The next Giants GM must find a way to make amends for a pathetic offense – but it won’t be easy, as the Cowboys beating showed


Whoever replaces Dave Gettleman as Giants general manager has an unenviable mess on his hands.

And we’re not just talking about the overall condition of this once-proud franchise, which continued to soar on Sunday, in a 21-6 home loss to the Cowboys.

(But hey, at least you gotta drown your grief with a free medium soda!)

The Giants are now 4-10 this year, 10-20 under coach Joe Judge, 19-43 under Gettleman, 22-56 since their last winning season and 61-97 since their last Super Bowl victory.

It’s not just the losers. It’s not just the new GM who (probably) has to inherit a head coach who has proven absolutely nothing of his ability to win. It’s not just the salary cap disaster that Gettleman will leave behind. And it’s not just the ridiculously bad offensive line.

It’s also that: When you watch the Giants’ pathetic offense (302 yards on Sunday), are you sure there are enough weapons for Gettleman’s replacement to build around?

Good, of cours you’re not – and Sunday was another prime example of that, although alternate quarterback Mike Glennon didn’t help matters with his end-to-end incompetence (or at least until Jake Fromm replaces it late in this rash).

Just look at the supposedly fundamental skill position players on the pitch on Sunday – all the guys who are expected to be back with the Giants next season.

Forget about the final statistics for a moment. That game ended with 1:57 left in the third quarter, when the Cowboys took a 21-6 lead. The rest was garbage – and free soda! – time.

At this point, Saquon Barkley had 47 rushing yards (3.9 per carry) and 17 receiving yards. Kenny Golladay had zero yards on two targets. Sterling Shepard had zero yards on a target. (He added a last-minute crash on a perfectly thrown Fromm pass, for good measure.)

Chances are Evan Engram is gone next season. He is in contract year. Complementary receiver Darius Slayton could also leave, although his salary cap is manageable ($ 1 million). But barring a trade, Barkley will return. Ditto for Golladay (who has just landed a lucrative contract) and Shepard (who had his deal restructured, to create a cap space).

Golladay’s production has been an absolute joke this year. He had played 10 of 13 games before Sunday, with 424 yards and no touchdowns. Shepard – who is still injured and was taken out late in Sunday’s game – has only had 351 yards and one touchdown in six games. Barkley, in nine games, was averaging 4.5 yards per touchdown – up from 5.8 and 5.4 in 2018 and 2019, when he was productive.

Oh, and first-round rookie Kadarius Toney – the player Gettleman picked over Micah Parsons or Rashawn Slater – didn’t play again on Sunday. He missed five games and has 392 yards and no touchdowns. Another line of uninteresting statistics from an important player.

With the Giants pinched for cap space in 2022, Golladay will have an inflated cap number – $ 21.15 million. Shepard, who can’t stay healthy, is now much harder to cut – $ 8 million in dead money, rather than a cap of $ 12.5 million if he stays – because Gettleman foolishly reworked his contract after a frenzy of free agency spending. .

As discerning football watchers will notice, the Giants are not winning now.

Their attack, inept for most of the season, was again in the first half on Sunday, as Glennon began his third straight game for Daniel Jones, who remains absent with a strained neck. (The Giants gained 250 and 316 yards in Glennon’s first two starts.)

The Giants trailed 15-3 at halftime. They had 112 yards and six first downs. They have allowed two field goals in the final two minutes of the first half, meaning they have been outscored 65-0 in those final two minutes this season. Glennon threw a first-half interception – which led to a 13-yard touchdown – and posted a 38.9 quarterback rating.

It was so bad that Barkley escaped for just the third time in his 41-game career, while losing a fumble for the first time in NFL history. (By the way, the Giants are now 10-31 in the games he’s played. Too bad for him for making a difference.)

In short, a 12-point halftime deficit seemed insurmountable for this Giants offense – which hadn’t eclipsed 316 yards in its previous eight games, while averaging 269 on that streak. No wonder the Giants started Sunday 29th in Pro Football Focus’s offensive odds. (And it’s not like they suddenly started looking terrible on offense when Jones got injured.)

When Sunday’s second half began – even though the Cowboys had only had one touchdown – the only question remaining was whether Dallas would cover the 11.5-point gap. Forget the Giants who make history with epic upheaval. If they won, it would have been their fourth biggest points gap in the regular season, upset at least in the past 32 seasons.

They didn’t win. They did not approach. And considering what their new GM will inherit – with those underperforming weapons alone – success seems so far away.

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Darryl Slater can be reached at [email protected].


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