Shambolic. Disgraceful. Embarrassing. Dumpster fire. Any of these descriptions are fitting for the 2013 New York Giants.
I missed 1976 by roughly half a decade, and thus New York's loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday made this year's Giants officially the worst that I have seen in my lifetime. All eyes and most criticisms of the G-Men begin with their quarterback, and he has unquestionably been guilty of multiple inexcusable miscues during this current winless stretch. No one person alone is responsible for New York's woes, and I am now more convinced than I was on Thursday morning that the Giants are, in fact, the worst team in the league.
Bears beat Giants 27-21: Team loss
I'll get to Eli Manning in due time. The spotlight has deservedly been put on the two-time Super Bowl MVP, but the Giants were once again let down by players at others positions in their latest loss. You could begin with wide receivers Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz, who both seemed to run incorrect routes on plays that resulted in interceptions, the second of which was taken to the house for the first touchdown of the game.
Then there's the depleted New York secondary, a unit that was clearly missing Corey Webster on Thursday. Chicago WR Brandon Marshall had his way with the likes of Prince Amukamara and Antrel Rolle, and the only reason Marshall didn't finish the contest with three touchdowns was because he bobbled the ball on a fourth down play inside the five-yard line.
One can't even make the joke that what has been an invisible New York pass rush is at least consistent. The Giants entered the game averaging only one sack per game. They didn't even manage that against the Bears, and they only registered two QB hits.
Bears beat Giants 27-21: Three
I'm not referring to the three interceptions thrown by Manning against the Bears. Three is Eli's quarterback rating in the fourth quarter of games this season, good for worst in the league. “Captain Clutch” and “Easy Eli” has been replaced by a QB who has cost his team chances to win in back to back games. Manning cannot be counted on when the game is on the line, and that is alarming.
Fans can complain about tight end Brandon Myers, who has admittedly been one of many big disappointments on the Giants this season, all they want. The final interception that ensured New York was going to 0-6 is 100 percent on Manning, who simply put the ball too high for his intended target. Anything in that circumstance, a ball thrown into the sidelines or even a sack, but a forced throw that didn't have to be made would have been acceptable.
Bears beat Giants 27-21: What now?
New York's season is over before Columbus Day, and there isn't much to look forward to between now and the end of December. The Giants will appropriately live with Manning, as he is their quarterback for the foreseeable future. New York's top young running back, David Wilson, could be done for the year with a neck problem. Hakeem Nicks, if he isn't already, will be playing for a new contract more so than for wins.
Things aren't much brighter on defense. New York's best young pass rusher, Jason Pierre-Paul, has been a shell of his former self coming off of back surgery. There's no budding star at the linebacker position. Amukamara may be the cornerstone of the secondary for years to come, but he alone can only do so much.
0-6. This is life for the Giants and for fans of the team. All had better get used to it for a little while. Dark days have only just begun.