It’s OBJ-NormanGeddon week for the New York Giants, as they get set to face Josh Norman and the Washington Redskins. With the Giants off to a solid 2-0 start, let’s look at “Five things I think I think” about the Giants.
The Giants have a real chance
At 2-0, the Giants have not won anything yet. Remember that 5-0 start in 2009 which the Giants followed up by going 3-8 the rest of the season and finishing 8-8 and out of the playoffs.
This Giants team, though, has shown that it has a real chance in the NFC East. All of the Giants’ opponents are flawed and the Giants already have a game in hand against the team I believe is the best of the group, the Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants have won games without playing their best. They have yet to create a takeaway, and are -4 in that category. The offense didn’t score a touchdown Sunday vs. the New Orleans Saints. The defensive line doesn’t have a sack yet.
The division, the fact that it looks like Steve Spagnuolo’s defense will give the Giants a chance every week and the presence of Eli Manning and a splendid group of receivers means the Giants have a good chance of getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Sunday is a big test for Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham’s biggest struggle as an NFL player has been in handling his raw, over-flowing emotions. That came to head last season against Norman and the Carolina Panthers. You remember, of course. No one, especially Norman, will let you forget the three personal foul penalties and the resulting one-game suspension for Beckham.
We get to find out Sunday when Norman and his new team, the Washington Redskins, visit MetLife Stadium to face the Giants. Beckham and Norman spent way too much of the offseason talking about each other, and that chatter will intensify this week.
Can Beckham, as I have written on a few occasions, keep his emotions in check and simply talk with his talent? If he can, that’s a huge step in the right direction. If he can’t, that will be a discouraging development that will lead to more questions about Beckham’s maturity.
The Giants could bury the Redskins this week
That’s not me predicting that the Giants are going to blow Washington out on Sunday. I’m saying that a victory by the Giants, whether it is by one point or 30, would pretty much be the death knell to the 2016 season for the defending NFC East champs.
A win by the Giants would put them at 3-0 and drop Washington to 0-3, an incredibly difficult hole to climb out of. We already know that since 1990 teams starting 0-2 have made the playoffs just 12 percent of the time. Obviously 0-3 — with a 3-0 team leading the division — would make things worse.
The Giants had a chance to grab the NFC East by the throat Week 12 last season against Washington, and failed miserably. That chance comes much earlier this season.
The Tom Coughlin watch might be on in Jacksonville
If Tom Coughlin is ever going to coach again in the NFL, the situation is going to have to be right. I have thought ever since he was let go by/left the Giants that the Jacksonville Jaguars were one team that fit the situation. Coughlin was the franchises’s first coach.
The Jaguars are 0-2 and there are rumblings that fourth-year coach Gus Bradley is in trouble after showing no progress with seasons of 4-12, 3-13 and 5-11. That’s an overall record of 12-38 which, per SB Nation’s Big Cat Country, “qualifies him for the worst head coaching record through 50 games in the modern NFL era, and probably technically the worst of all time.”
BCC writer Zach Goodall wants Bradley gone. Now. Here is part of what Goodall wrote:
Gus Bradley's career record is 12-38. He's won 24% of his 50 career games. That's the second worst record for a head coach in NFL history who's coached at least 50 games.
This doesn't fall on the players. We know the team is talented. The 2015 offense was no fluke and this defense seriously looks to have taken steps. The youth on the defense -- Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue, Myles Jack and Dante Fowler Jr. -- have all displayed potential to be great. The talent is there.
I'm tired. The fans are tired. We're all over it and believe the experiment is over. Hell, #FireGus is trending on Twitter.
This fan base has been in the dumps for years. Through good and bad, thick and thin, hell or high water, these fans have stayed true to the black and teal; to the Big Cats. They deserve so much better than this.
But the only way things can get better is to call upon a new leader -- a true head coach.
I think TC fits that description. I also think Jacksonville, with his previous stint there and his ties to the community through the Jay Fund, would be a perfect spot.
Jerry Reese’s offseason looks like a home run
Co-owner John Mara told the embattled GM that fixing the roster mess he had created was on him, and with each passing week it looks like Reese struck gold — several times — this offseason.
Free agents Janoris Jenkins, Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon have all had major impacts thus far. Even smaller pickups Keenan Robinson and Leon Hall are paying dividends.
Top three draft picks Eli Apple, Sterling Shepard and Darian Thompson are all contributing. Shepard, in fact, is starring.
It is still early and things can, of course, go wrong. Give the GM props, though. The heat was on him, he knew it and it certainly looks like he has delivered.