Ben McAdoo might well be the reason why the New York Giants are 1-6 and bottom of the NFC East, but he deserves credit for coming off the bye week with not only the right perspective, but for owning the team’s terrible start to the year.
No one imagined that the Giants would be this bad this year. A team that was 11-5 a year ago and made the playoffs seemed pointed in the right direction. The bulk of last year’s defense, among the best in the league, was returning. Same with an offense that added some playmakers at wide receiver and tight end. The team seemed ready for a little run, what with a veteran at quarterback who was twice Super Bowl MVP and All-Pro talents at both wide receiver and safety.
Instead, the team came out flat and has been horrible on both sides of the ball, a major reason why McAdoo finds himself at the center of speculation about his job security.
“You take a look at the first half of the season. I don’t think you can point to just one thing. Were we a hungry enough football team? You can make a case that we weren’t,” McAdoo said on Monday. “But, that’s just part of it. It’s not just one thing.”
The Giants now have to play out the rest of the season, a year with virtually no hope and all postseason ambition now vanished.
Did hubris lead the Giants here? Maybe. There was so much buzz about this team being ready to take the next step, perhaps dethroning the Dallas Cowboys atop the NFC East and making a run at the Super Bowl. Perhaps the Giants thought they were closer than they really were and better than in fact they turned out to be.
They spent the offseason ignoring issues along the offensive line — this coupled with the lack of a feature running back and lack of depth up and down the defense. All of which — along with some uninspiring playcalling as well as a step back in development from several key players — have all conspired to lead the Giants to this point.
“I think that there are a few things when you take a look at the first half of the year and we were humbled, obviously, the first half of the season. And, we talked to the players about the first half before we left and we were obviously humbled. One thing I wanted them to keep in mind is don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you now have,” McAdoo said. “It’s a blessing to be here and to work with these guys each and every day and they had an opportunity to get away from it for a little bit and reflect on the first half of the season. But, we need to flush the first half. We need to move onto the second half. It’s important for us to get better as a football team and the thing I asked of these guys is just taking it one game at a time and one play at a time. Don’t hold onto what we did the first half, but let’s go out here and be the best team we can be in the second half of the season.”