The 2018 New York Giants season is over. After weeks and weeks of talking myself into the chance of them miracuously getting into the playoffs, it’s over. The Giants can’t reach the playoffs this season. It’s something we have known since their Week 2 disaster in Dallas, but now it’s official.
What better way for this awful season to end than for the Giants to get shutout at home with Eli Manning and the offensive line playing as bad as they had all season, Odell Beckham not playing at all, the defense unable to make a big spot or avoid a careless third-down penalty and Pat Shurmur coaching his team out of the game and using all of his challenges anyone could finish their first beer. With the Giants clinging to a far-fetched playoff berth, they lost 17-0. It’s nearly impossible to not score in the NFL in 2018, but the Giants did it … at home.
I spent a lot of time watching, writing, reading and listening about the 2018 Giants and a lot of money wagering on (and mostly losing) on them as well. It’s time and money I won’t get back as a season with so much promised ended up just being a continuation of the three-win season of a year ago. The offensive line was as bad and possibly even worse, Manning was as inconsistent, Beckham was as much of a jerk, the defense was as unreliable and Shurmur and Dave Gettleman might as well have been Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese.
Giants fans were made to believe that this team was capable of contention and that 2017 was a fluke and not 2016. In reality, 2016 was the fluke, as the Giants’ 11 regular-season wins were a product of the low-scoring, one-possession wins they have been on the wrong side of many times over the last two seasons.
Sure, every team’s season can come down to a few plays. For the Giants, it was the crushing loss to the Panthers in Week 5, in which they lost on a 63-yard field goal as time expired, and the Week 13 letdown against the Eagles when they had 19-3 halftime lead, but failed to put the game away. There were other missed opportunities against the Jaguars and Cowboys and Redskins, but those two games were the difference in the season. Turn those two losses into wins and the Giants are 7-7 right now, and a pair of wins in their final two games from a winning season and a potential postseason berth. Instead, they are 5-9 and eliminated and most likely going to get blown out by the Colts and then play in front of a Cowboys crowd at MetLife in the season finale.
The season went south before it even began when in the offseason the Giants thought they could fix the offensive line by placing a few patches on a boat that had been taking on water for a long time. Instead of getting a whole new bought, the Giants tried to repair the poorly-made piece of crap that could barely stay afloat the last two seasons. The offense was able to produce and put up points once the line was just bad and not a complete embarrassment, but the changes came too late, and asking a team to climb out of a 1-7 hole and finish the season on an eight-game winning streak after winning just four of their last 24 regular-season games was ridiculous.
Now there is no reason to watch another second of Giants football this season. They have already wasted enough of Giants fans time this season and last season that watching just to watch isn’t even close to a good enough reason.
Shurmur will try his best to win the last two games and avoid a 5-11 or 6-10 season in what is his second and last chance as a head coach in the league. Manning will try his best to prove that he should be given one more season in 2019 to get the team back in the playoffs and back to where they should have and could have been many times in recent years. Beckham will probably sit out again now that there is truly no reason to play. As for the rest of the team … who cares?
The once-proud Giants are now 8-22 in the last two seasons and 19-27 in the three regular seasons since Tom Coughlin was shown the door. They have played one playoff game in the post-Coughlin era, a game in which only the quarterback showed up to play, and they were routed. The team is now much closer to being the Jets or the Browns than they are to being champions again. I would like to think that will change in 2019, but it would be foolish to think it will.