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What went wrong with the New York Giants?

To really understand what is happening with the New York Giants, we need to go back to 2016. The Giants were coming off an offseason where they overhauled their defense on day 1 of free agency. They brought is Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and Janoris Jenkins all at once. What resulted was an 11-5 team that had one of the best defenses in the NFL. They made the playoffs as a wild card team. A week before they played the Packers, the WRs decided to go on vacation and take this photo:

Giants WR on a boat before their playoff game against the Packers

They ended up getting blown out by the Packers and have gone 12-41 since. So, what went wrong with a team that had just made the playoffs?

Rebuild or Win now?

The goal of any sports team is to win the championship. After going 11-5, a slew of injuries and poor play resulted in a 3-13 record and the number 2 overall pick. This was new GM, Dave Gettleman’s, first real test as GM. Eli Manning was far beyond his prime and was falling off a cliff fast. This draft class was loaded with QB talent with Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen. The Browns were a lock to select one of them so the Giants pretty much had their choice at QB. Draft experts were mocking Darnold to the Giants leading up to the draft. Gettleman decided to take the most talented player in the draft in Saquon Barkley.

The running back out of Penn State had an electric college career and was poised to be an impact player right away. The mistake Gettleman made was misevaluating the rest of the talent on his team. He believed adding a player like Barkley would make them a playoff team. Boy was he wrong. Gettleman does seem to understand positional value. When you have the chance to take your next franchise quarterback, you do it. I am a Penn State and love Barkley, but he was not the player the Giants needed. Runnng back should be one of the last positions you select when you have a solid offensive line and a dominating defense. The Giants had neither. In retrospect, the pick should have been either Darnold, Allen (knowing what we know now), or Colts LG Quenton Nelson.

The fact that the Giants drafted Barkley, set them back years and years in terms of building a true contender.

A pure lack of talent

To put it bluntly, this Giants team does not have good football players. The only long term pieces that I am locked in on are Andrew Thomas, Jabrill Peppers, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, and Xavier McKinney. Everyone else can go. That includes Daniel Jones. That includes Darius Slayton. The Giants need top end talent, and they are simply lacking that. This upcoming offseason is going to be huge for the Giants. The first move that needs to happen is Gettleman needs to go. The NFL has moved past him at a massive rate. The other decision they need to make is if Daniel Jones is the guy. Personally, if you have the chance to draft Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, or Trey Lance, you do it. Those guys are franchise quarterbacks. They can win you games by themselves, and that is something that Jones has yet to prove he can do.

Final Thoughts

There is so much more on this issue that I can say. However, these are the biggest points. The Giants have a lot of decisions to make, but the easiest one is firing Dave Gettleman. This man has overseen one of the worst 3 year stretches in Giants history. In Jerry Reese’s worst three year stretch the Giants won 18 games. Gettleman has won 12, yet he seems to have a much longer leash than Reese did. This offseason is a pivotal one for the rebuild. Will Jones be QB1 next year, or will we see Lawrence, Fields, or Lance. Will they look to trade Barkley? There are a lot of questions ahead, and fans are getting impatient.

-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)

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