No talk about how the 2013 New York Giants still have a shot at the playoffs, or that their next two games are, on paper, winnable affairs. New York is, at 2-6, maybe the league's most disappointing team at the halfway point of the campaign. It would be a bit harsh and even unfair to give the G-Men failing grades across the board when you consider where the team could be a few weeks from now.
That doesn't mean, however, that I wasn't tempted to do just that.
2013 New York Giants midseason grades: Offense
I'm a big fan of the idea that stats often lie. That isn't at all the case, however, when it comes to the offense of the 2013 Giants. The numbers paint an ugly picture that thoroughly explains why New York is still a favorite to finish near the bottom of the overall league standings come this December.
Only two teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars, are averaging fewer offensive points per game.
Only Jacksonville and the Atlanta Falcons are averaging fewer total rushing yards per contest.
The Giants have thus far given the ball away on more occasions, 25, than any other team in the league. Second-worst in that category are the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards currently sit on 18 turnovers.
New York's offensive woes have stretched out to every position. The offensive line was a disaster in the first month and a half of the season. Quarterback Eli Manning and his wide receivers, none of whom are new to the franchise, are just now seemingly getting on the same page. Running back David Wilson couldn't hold onto the football, and now he may not take the field again this season (neck).
Back to back wins don't make up for six inexcusable outings.
2013 New York Giants midseason grades: Defense
It hasn't been all bad for the New York defense this fall. Prince Amukamara finally began justifying his being a 2011 first round pick. The Terrell Thomas comeback story has been one of the better tales in the NFL in 2013, and he recently won Defensive Player of the Week. Linebacker Jon Beason, who joined the Giants before the team's Thursday night game at the Chicago Bears back in October, has proven to be a solid acquisition.
The biggest problem, one that has plagued this team since September, is that a pass rush that was the most feared in all of pro football not that long ago can't get to the quarterback with the aid of GPS. The Giants are dead last in the league with ten total team sacks.
Think about that for a moment. Even winless Jacksonville and Tampa Bay have accumulated more sacks than have the Giants.
When you examine all of the numbers, you see that the Giants have what is, statistically speaking, a middle-of-the-road defense. That's too generous in my eyes. Of New York opponents, only the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, neither team all that good, have failed to score 27 or more points on the G-Men this season. Not good.
2013 New York Giants midseason grades: Special teams
The Giants do not have a winning percentage of .250 because of special teams play. Placekicker Josh Brown was MVP for New York in the win over Philly, and Steve Weatherford has been reliable. Other than that, it's “meh” here.
2013 New York Giants midseason grades: Coaching
I am not nearly as interested as are some in burying the coaching staff of the Giants. There is probably a good chance that head coach Tom Coughlin will reevaluate his immediate future come January, and also that offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell may both be looking for new jobs during the 2014 offseason. With all of that said, you haven't been paying close enough attention if you are first blaming poor coaching for New York's abysmal record.
Gilbride isn't overthrowing WRs, falling down while running routes or failing to create holes for running backs. Fewell can't fix the back of Jason Pierre-Paul, nor can he alone rebuild the rest of the defensive line. How those three coaches, along with the rest of the staff, perform in the final eight weeks of the season will determine a lot, both for their futures and for the futures of many within the Big Blue squad.