Along with the start of each season comes, an unparalleled excitement and unwarranted enthusiasm. Although I’m certainly excited for the start of the football season each year, I’ve learned to temper my positive outlook after 35 years of being a New York Giants fan. To most, I probably sound like an ingrate who doesn’t appreciate the team’s five Super Bowl appearances and four Super Bowl wins (three of which I can remember), the success hasn’t left me blind to all the lean years in between.
From the brief Ray Handley era, to the end of the Dan Reeves run, including the end of the Coughlin years, there are a lot of five, six and seven win seasons we’ve gone through. Bleeding Blue was nothing more than symptoms of G-Men induced ulcers. With less than a week until the Kickoff of the New York Giants 2019 season, here is my much-awaited season preview. It’s not going to be pretty.
Now, let me be the first to say, I want to be wrong. I’m hoping I’m wrong, even praying I’m wrong but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very much. The roster and the 2019 season is full of question marks.
Where is the pass rush coming from? Can our front seven hold up against the run? How will replace the production of Odell on the outside? Does Gettleman know what he’s doing?
When I read that a season should not be defined by wins and losses, it immediately sounds the equivalent of an ugly person telling me that “Beauty is only skin deep”. It’s the ultimate loser’s mentality, but I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from. In an offseason where the overall theme was addition by subtraction, I do see strides in the right direction. Starting with the rebuilt and, what should be, a serviceable offensive line.
Barkley proved to us, through a full season last year, that he can run for 1,500 yards with minimal push and nonexistent running lanes. No question mark there. The question is, not only “Can the offensive line be able to create a clean pocket?” but “Will Eli be able to get out of his own head, shake the happy feet, and do more than dump the ball off in the flat every…..single….pass!?”. After years of being a staunch Eli Manning supporter I just can’t do it anymore. It’s over.
Although the defensive side of the ball is riddled with more question marks then, well, the Riddler, at least those question marks have the potential to turn out positively. Last year, I remember hearing “IF Olivier Vernon can put it together for a 12 sack season”, this year, while the same question marks exist regarding Carter, Golden, or Ximines, and their ability to put together a 12 sack season, at least I haven’t had the opportunity to watch them fail for years like I did with Vernon. I just knew he couldn’t get the job done. Last year, I was hearing “If Collins can round the corner and finally start to cover tight ends down the seam…”. You and I both knew he wasn’t going to turn into Ed Reed. Collins was a good player (great in 2016) on a bad defense.
This year, with a retooled defensive backfield, there are no fantasies of older players making unrealistic jumps in progress. Although it will require some patience, since there are sure to be growing pains, the IF’s are truly IF’s. Unfortunately, the one question I simply can’t answer, is “How the hell are we going to stop the run?”. Although BJ Hill is trending upwards, Lawrence is unproven and Tomlinson has proven he’s average at best. The inclusion of McIntosh and Pierre to round out the five-man line rotation does not leave me feeling too confident.
Here’s one truth: The more and more I hear the “experts” trash the Giants decisions, draft picks, management, and everything else Giants, the bigger fan I become. The more I hear people crush the decision to trade a once in a lifetime, generational talent, the bigger fan I become. How could anyone in their right mind trade a player that has helped us put together a 31-49 record over the past 5 years? I’m not a Giants defender as you can tell and I’m one of the more critical people when it comes to this team, so much so that I could be considered a “Glass Half Empty” type of guy.
I do think the New York Giants are heading in the right direction but unfortunately, we’re not there yet. I’ll tell you this though…..I couldn’t be more excited and I hope I’m dead wrong. I hope Eli has a resurgence, Barkley is Barkley, Lawrence is the next Vince Wilfork, and someone learns how to cover a tight end. Regardless, you’ll still find me in the nose bleeds…..Bleeding Blue.
Mr. Glass-Half-Empty’s Season Prediction:
It’s hard to imagine coming out of Dallas Week 1 with a win. They’re more talented at every position except for running back, and Zeke is no slouch. While the next 3 games appear to be winnable, it’s hard to imagine them running the table and winning 3 so, going with my heart and not my head, I’ll say 2-1, leaving them at a solid 2-2 at the quarter season mark.
In the next 4 weeks of the season you have the Vikes (L), Patriots (L), Cardinals and the Lions, who I think will bounce back after a tough 2018 so it’s a toss up but considering we’re on the road, I’m going Loss, leaving them at 3-5. Boldly, I say they rip of 2 wins against the Cowboys at home on Monday night and the following week against the Jets at Giants stadium.
From there it goes downhill and they lose 3 straight, as they’re over-matched by the Bears, Packers, and Eagles, leaving them at 5-8. With 3 games remaining on the schedule they finish 1-2 with a final record of 6-10. I could them winning between 7 and 9 games but on the flip side, they’re a few small injuries away on the offensive line to falling right back to 5-11.
Have a Blessed Day,