Is the Big Blue second-half season collapse a myth?
The New York Giants have, without a doubt, the most trying second half schedule in all of the NFL. Their current three-game losing streak tells us two things. First, they do indeed have a rough road ahead of them. Second, they do not seem up to the challenge.
The second half collapse has been discussed before. Some have dismissed it. Some have subscribed to it. We'll take an in depth look into this allegory and find out if it holds water. Read on folks.The second half of the season started for the Giants in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers. Despite a pretty good showing, the G-Men lost 27-20. Week 11 found the Giants facing a Philadelphia Eagles team that was without their starting quarterback, Michael Vick, and without their leading receiver, Jeremy Maclin. It was considered to be a predetermined victory and at the same time, a must win. New York got picked apart by backup quarterback, Vince Young, and lost by a score of 17-10.
Last Monday night, the Big Blue Wrecking Crew got completely wrecked. Eli Manning and company traveled down to the Big Easy to square off against a not-so-easy New Orleans Saints. The general consensus among the football world was that the Saints would go marching on to victory. The general consensus was right. The Saints did a second line all over the New York Giants, humiliating them by a score of 49-24. The bitter irony - Eli Manning finished with a 101.9 QB Rating and was the leading passer in the NFL for Week 12. Victor Cruz was the leading receiver (157 yards).
Clearly, the Giants have some talented players. Manning is ranked fourth in passing yards, yards per game and yards per pass. Victor Cruz is ranked fourth in receiving yards. Jason Pierre-Paul is ranked fourth in sacks. Four seems to be the magic number here. That is the number of consecutive losses that the Giants will have if they can not contain the Green Bay Packers at home this coming Sunday. A game that many consider to be a certain loss for the home team.
Tom Coughlin's team went 6-2 in the first half of the year. They are now 0-3 in the second half. If the same team shows up to play the Packers that played the Saints, they are assured a loss. There has been talk, in the past, of a Big Blue second-half collapse. Let's take a look at the numbers.
Statistics show that in the Tom Coughlin era, which started in 2004, the Giants have finished poorly in the second half of each season. In fact, they have only had 2 second half seasons where they were on the winning side of the scale. Here are the stats by year:
2011: 0-3 (to date)
Total Win-Loss Record: 23-36 (.389)
The remainder of the Giants schedule is as follows:
12/04/11 Green Bay Packers @ MetLife Stadium
12/11/11 Dallas Cowboys @ Cowboys Stadium
12/18/11 Washington Redskins @ MetLife Stadium
12/24/11 New York Jets @ MetLife Stadium
01/01/11 Dallas Cowboys @ MetLife Stadium
There are five games left, and they will not be easy. The quick glance has the Giants winning at least one of those games. The Washington Redskins beat the G-Men early on in the season opener. The Giants SHOULD win that one. The deeper look tells a different tale.
The Green Bay Packers seem unstoppable. Yet, I do not think that they will go undefeated this year. I do not see the perfect season in their future. The Giants have ruined the perfect season before, back in Super Bowl XLII. Call me crazy, but I think the Giants can win this game, for many reasons that I will not get into in this article.
Big Blue will probably split the series with the Cowboys and come away with the win against the Jets. That would give them three out of the remaining five games. it would also make them 3-5 for the second half of the 2011 season. In the worst case scenario, they will be 2-6. Either way, it will be another losing second half of the season under Coughlin's tutelage.
So, Giants fans, the second-half collapse is not a myth. It is the Big Blue elephant in the room that no one is really addressing. Personally, I think Tom Coughlin is a great coach and there should be no talk of getting rid of him. I do think that he should step up his efforts to keep his team moving in the right direction in the later half of the football year. It is also this pundit's opinion that the strength and conditioning position be filled by someone who is dedicated to keeping his players healthy. Injuries have been a major factor in the last few seasons.
In any event, there are some changes that need to be made in order for this Giants team to have a successful finish this year, and to have a winning season next year. Hopefully, we see this come into fruition.
[Note by Ed Valentine: Please welcome Sean Kerr as the newest front-page contributor to Big Blue View. Sean has written previously at G-Men HQ, and as part of the blogging communities at Yahoo! Sports and Giants.com.]