Sunday could not have gotten worse for the New York Giants. The 0-4 Giants faced off against the 0-4 Chargers, a matchup which even the most pessimistic of fans felt certain the Giants would win. New York didn’t just lose to drop to 0-5, but also suffered injury after injury in what turned out to be one of the worst days in recent Giants history.
Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, and Odell Beckham all had ankle injuries. Beckham and Marshall have already both had season-ending surgery, whereas Shepard’s status remains in question for upcoming weeks. Dwayne Harris broke his foot and his season is over. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left the game and never returned. This is all on top of Olivier Vernon already being inactive due to an ankle injury. It seemed every drive a different player went down on the field at one point or another with an apparent injury. To make matters worse, Eli Manning even underwent an X-ray after the game because he took a knee to the helmet, though he does appear to be fine.
Everything came crashing down on the Giants, who now have as many losses through five weeks as they did all of last year. No team has ever started a season 0-5 and made the playoffs, and with the Eagles starting to run away with the division at 4-1, the Giants chances of climbing their way back into the race is all but gone.
In what has now turned out to be an underwhelming, very disappointing season, it’s difficult to put into words what the Giants should do next. Fans will be calling for Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese’s heads. Talk of the draft and where the Giants pick will be are starting, and we’re not even halfway into the season. What do we want from this team for the rest of this season? Is it possible they can salvage what has been a terrible year so far, but then hurt their draft stock?
Probably the only positive in a dismal day for the Giants was the emergence of the Wayne Gallman and Orleans Darkwa duo. With Paul Perkins sidelined due to a rib injury, Gallman and Darkwa were given the reigns to the running game and did not disappoint. Darkwa finished with 69 yards on eight carries plus a 23-yard touchdown, while Gallman racked up 57 yards on 11 carries. The Giants finished with a total of 152 team rushing yards. All of this happening in the running game was refreshing while everything else fell apart around it.
RB will certainly be a position many will be looking toward when the Giants are on the clock come April (Saquon Barkley, anyone?) but Gallman and Darkwa have an opportunity the rest of this year to grab the Giants’ backfield roles for years to come. I think potentially having a duo of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw would be best for this team rather than banking on a rookie. Not saying Gallman/Darkwa will be Jacobs/Bradshaw, but hey, you never know …
Maybe injuries to some of their stars is the best thing that could happen to the Giants right now. At 0-5, they have virtually no shot to make the playoffs, why not see some of the younger talent on the roster?
Travis Rudolph and Ed Eagan have been promoted from the practice squad. Tavarres King is making a return to the team. Darius Powe has signed with the practice squad. So, heading into Denver Sunday night, it appears the Giants’ WR corps will be made up of Roger Lewis, Rudolph, King, and Eagan. This youth movement should also signal Evan Engram getting many more targets in upcoming weeks.
Giants vs Broncos, in Denver, on Sunday night football. Yikes. Denver has been dominant on defense, and with the Giants already at 0-5 and a banged up offense, we may be in for a long night. But sports are weird sometimes, what if the Giants play their best game of the year and win? Anything is possible.
Remeber 2013? The New York Giants started 0-6, and then won four in a row to make some noise in the division. Of course, with a start like 0-6, it was just too big of a hole for the Giants to climb out of; they did manage a 7-9 season, but when they lost down the stretch they tended to lose by a lot. The 2017 Giants are a better team on paper than 2013, possibly even with the WR corps now being dismantled. If we’ve learned anything from past Giants teams, they can make a run at anytime.