It seems like it's been all doom and gloom around these parts most of the preseason, especially in the wake of Saturday's ugly offensive effort in loss to the New York Jets and the sad news that safety Stevie Brown will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
All of which means it's time for me to remind you that it's only preseason. A meaningful snap has yet to be played. The Giants are still 0-0, just like every other team in the NFL. They have suffered injuries, just like every other team in the NFL. They have issues to work out, just like every other team in the NFL.
From all the doom and gloom around here, and in the fan base in general, you would think the Giants were the Jacksonville Jaguars. Or the Buffalo Bills. Or, God forbid, the eternally screwed up Jets.
They are none of those things. Whatever issues they have they are still a team many think will win the NFC East, and a team that is undoubtedly capable of competing to do that. They are a team that has two Super Bowl titles since 2007. They still have Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese, the quarterback, coach and general manager who helped them get those rings. They still have lots of talented players on offense and defense.
Things are never perfect in life, or in football. A long season has ups and downs, moments of euphoria where you feel great and moments of darkness where it looks like the world is crashing down. If you're ready to jump off the bridge now, what will you do when the Giants lose a couple of games they should win during the regular season, or have one of their inevitable pitiful performances? Those things will almost certainly happen. They always do.
Relax. Enjoy the fact that 'real' football, not this preseason stuff that doesn't count for anything, is just around the corner.
Remember how awful the 2011 preseason was for the Giants? Wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Kevin Boss both unexpectedly bolted the team via free agency. Terrell Thomas suffered a knee injury that cost him the first of two straight seasons. The Giants cut ties with starting offensive linemen Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert, leaving huge question marks about that group. Osi Umenyiora missed virtually half the season with injuries.
What happened? I think you remember what happened. Guys like Victor Cruz, Jake Ballard and Jason Pierre-Paul happened. Guys like Devin Thomas made unexpected plays. Magic happened.
The injury to Brown is obviously a tough one that leaves the Giants without a player they counted on. Every team in the league will have to deal with the loss of one or more players they were counting on, that's just part of what happens in the NFL. The poor offensive play to this point is a concern. The defense looks better than in 2012, but hasn't proven anything when it counts yet.
Certainly there are reasons for concern. You can't hoist the white flag of surrender before the battle has even begun, however.
Take a deep breath. Relax. The season isn't over. It hasn't even begun. It might turn out to be awful, which many of you have already convinced yourselves it will be. It might, however, turn out to be great. That's what you long for.
The ride hasn't even started yet. Don't jump off before you give it a chance.