The Giants Guys

Giants’ 34-13 loss to the Eagles uncovers a lot of ills

When sifting through the rubble of the New York Giants’ latest deflating defeat, one doesn’t have to search long and hard for lowlights. It’s the highlights, the hope, the light at the end of the long tunnel of losing they’re traveling through that’s hard to find.

There’s a lot to unpack and most of it is dirty laundry. We did learn a few things, however.

The Giants have officially become Saquon Barkley’s team

It didn’t take long for the best player in this year’s NFL Draft to take over this team. The Giants have talked about leadership the past few years and yada, yada, yada no one has really stepped up and led.

Eli Manning tries to lead but we all know he’s a B-type (or maybe even a C-type) personality. He used to lead by example but he’s lucky to escape each game with his health intact these days, so being a leader of men is not on the forefront of his mind.

You can forget anyone else stepping into the role of leader. These guys are simply trying to stay afloat on a shrinking raft. Leadership would have to come from someone new, with a fresh attitude and a lot of talent.

Enter Barkley, who has the poise, composure and football ability no other Giant player possesses. When he enters the huddle, he is in control. When he has the ball, the Giants feel relieved. On the sidelines he is constantly providing positive reinforcement. Last night, he was calming down several players, including Odell Beckham, Jr.

This is Barkley’s team now. The Giants are lucky to have him.

The Eli Manning era is coming to close

Maybe it’s already over and we haven’t realized it. Manning can still lead a team, still throw the ball with authority and maybe even take a team to the Super Bowl. Just not this team. Manning still has one more year on his contract after this season, but the Giants may not be able to fend off the masses calling for a change for too much longer.

Against the Eagles on national television, the world saw for themselves that Manning was under constant pressure, getting sacked four times, hit ten more and hurried on almost every throw. The coaches have tried to move him around to make him less vulnerable but even that isn’t working. He’s in an offense – and maybe even a game – that is no longer suited to his talents.

I’ll admit that Manning frustrates me at times, which is nothing new, but like a Broadway show that has run too long, it might be time to dim the lights on this one. It’s sad in a way, but when you see your career path going from Peyton to Archie, the writing is on the wall. Eli now has the fourth most losses of any quarterback in NFL history.

The Giants aren’t winning with him any longer, which can be summed up with what Branch Rickey told Ralph Kiner: “we finished last with you, we can finish last without you.”

I wouldn’t miss Odell Beckham, Jr. if the Giants decided to trade him

I’m sure I’m not alone in this school of thought. The Giants just made a $90 million commitment to the star wide receiver and again, they are nowhere with him and all he does is bring extraneous distractions to the team and the organization.

That’s good for him and his TMZ profile but bad for a football team that is trying to turn its fortunes around. Each week now, Beckham is making news for something he’s doing or saying off the field. His on the field performance has not been up to snuff. He’s still explosive but the Giants aren’t scoring points and as a result, losing games.

They have their superstar in Barkley. There isn’t room for two. Barkley doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight, but Beckham might. This is beginning to show its head.

I always felt that boring is good. Countries that win wars doing in a methodical, boring way. Most sports dynasties are boring. They are disciplined, well-oiled machines that have few flaws and leave nothing to the imagination.

Beckham is just the opposite. Like any diva with transcendent talent, the spotlight follows him around. That does not play well in a team environment. It’s not his fault, but if you are Pat Shurmur or one of OBJ’s teammates, its tough to manage. As crazy as it sounds, the Giants could be better off without him. The reality is, they can’t get mush worse.



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