The 2013 New York Giants are awful.
Losing all of your games and being 0-4 at the start of October is one thing. Getting blown out in three out of four contests is another. New York is, heading into an October 6 showdown with division rivals the Philadelphia Eagles, on pace to have maybe the worst season in franchise history. Think that's an overstatement or an overreaction?
Then you haven't been watching the Giants.
2013 New York Giants September review: Weak up front
The play of the Giants offensive line in September was, to put it bluntly, offensive. Quarterback Eli Manning took beatings en route to getting sacked 14 times, and New York is averaging under 58 rushing yards per game. That's good for third-worst in the NFL. Injuries are now impacting a unit that was arguably the worst o-line in the league last month, and thus there is little reason for anybody to believe that the situation is going to drastically improve anytime soon.
Truth be told, I'm not sure anybody up front outside of Justin Pugh deserves his spot in the starting lineup. Giving Will Beatty a five-year deal last winter looks like a massive mistake right now. Chris Snee “can't move” at the moment. The entire line needs an overhaul, and that's a fix that doesn't come during a season.
2013 New York Giants September review: Weak up front II
The Giants, the famous Big Blue Wrecking Crew, have four sacks after completing one-fourth of the campaign. No team has fewer (the Pittsburgh Steelers also have four). Critics can comment on the performances of those in the New York secondary all they want. The Giants have consistently had zero pass rush, and you're not going to get away with that in this day and age.
Jason Pierre-Paul in particular is a big concern. JPP, who had back surgery in the offseason, hasn't even shown flashes of being the player of old, and his problems are as much mental as they are physical. The New York d-line is toothless without Pierre-Paul at his best. That isn't changing before January.
2013 New York Giants September review: One reason for hope
The one reason Giants fans shouldn't abandon the 2013 season after four games is that the rest of the NFC East isn't all that good. Dallas is the only team in the division that doesn't have a losing record, and the Cowboys are at 2-2. The Eagles and Washington Redskins both sit at 1-3. At this rate, 8-8 may be good enough to win the NFC East.
In such a scenario, a team like the Giants crawls back into contention thanks in part to bad teams beating up on each other. That will have to include New York earning victories, plural, against NFC East opponents beginning on October 6. We'll know what the 2013 Giants are made of on the first Sunday of this month.
2013 New York Giants September review: Overall
The notions that the Giants are too good and have too much talent to be 0-4, comments I've heard on numerous sports talk radio programs, are completely false. Four straight losses and three straight beat-downs don't just happen. Those results are a sign of a team in crisis.
There are no game balls or MVP honors to hand out to the Giants. September 2013 was, for my money, the roughest patch of the Tom Coughlin era at the franchise. New York is a bad football team, and that assessment will remain accurate until the team proves otherwise.
Don't hold your breath.