Welcome back to Wilderness Years football, New York Giants' fans. The Giants are 0-5 for the first time since the strike season of 1987, and the first non-strike season since 1979.
And they have earned every single one of those losses with some of the most God-awful football possible. This was going to be a 'Five things we learned about the Giants' post. What we really learned is one thing, though, and it is something we suspected before this.
The Giants are a terrible, lost football team with no idea how to win football games. On top of that, the stunned expressions on their faces tell you they had no idea this train wreck was approaching when the season began.
After a first half in which they fell behind 19-7 the Giants actually rallied to take a 21-19 lead late in the third quarter. MetLife Stadium was rocking with anticipation, defensive players were trying to juice up the crowd. Then things fell apart as the Eagles scored the game's final 17 points.
Eli Manning imploded, throwing the game away with fourth-quarter interceptions on three straight possessions. He also had three intentional grounding penalties. Manning, as great as he can be, can't lift the sinking ship around him. He is drowning with it.
Where do the Giants go from here? Well, they go to Chicago to face the Bears Thursday night. The real answer, though, is that the Giants need to begin figuring out what their future will look like.
The Giants, with the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium next February, tried to squeeze one more year out of a fading group of veteran players with the hope they could play in the big game in their own stadium. That has blown up in their faces.
As constructed, this team is no longer good enough. It is filled with fading veterans past their prime and young players who haven't proven themselves yet. The Giants need to begin to seriously assess who can be part of their future, and who can't.
Tom Coughlin has two Super Bowl rings and is a tremendous football coach who might end up in the Hall of Fame. He deserves to leave the job when he chooses to leave the job. Does he, however, have the stomach at 67 to tear this team down and rebuild it?
Forget what they can or can't contribute this season, that no longer matters. Which veteran players have enough left in the tank to be part of the future? In all honesty, there probably aren't a lot. I have written this before, but it's time for the Giants to let go of the past, meaning letting go of many of those players they used to be able to win with.
Are there are young players who can be relied on to be leaders and play-makers going forward? The rest of this season has to be about finding out whether David Wilson (if his neck injury allows him to play), Rueben Randle, Johnathan Hankins and some of the young defensive backs and offensive linemen can be part of their future.
If Coughlin stays beyond this season which of his coaches stay and which go? The Giants should field a massively different roster in 2014, probably a much younger one than they have now. Do they have the right coordinators and assistant coaches to mold a young team?
What about Jerry Reese? The general manager has enjoyed a great run with the Giants, but this is his roster and the brutal truth is it isn't very good. There are no running backs aside, possibly, from Wilson. The offensive line is awful. There are no worthy tight ends. There is no pass rush. Aside from Prince Amukamara and Spencer Paysinger there are no players on defense playing particularly well.
These are Reese's draft picks. They are his free-agent signings. This is the team he built, and it's not good. He deserves a chance to fix it, but he also needs to be held accountable for some of his decisions.
There are 11 games left in this ugly, already lost season. The countdown clock in the Giants locker room -- which counts days to the Super Bowl -- should be modified to reflect the end of the season. Dec. 29, when the Giants face the Washington Redskins in their season finale, can't come fast enough.
What happens once that day arrives is anyone's guess.