The New York Giants have a problem. The team is 0-2 after another listless performance in a road loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and they seem to be on the precipice of another disastrous year. Suddenly, next week’s return trip to Texas to face the Houston Texans has become the biggest game of the 2018 season.
The hysteria from a disgruntled fanbase has brought the talk of a must-win game in the month of September. However, the Giants are 0-2 to start a regular season for the fifth time in the last six years. It feels like Pat Shurmur and his coaching staff cannot move forward until the ghosts of past season’s failures are exorcised from the organization. That can be accomplished by playing 60 minutes of competitive football.
New York Giants Slow Start: Team Faces Must Win Against Houston Texans
Most of the early season questions center on the offense as poor play-calling and constant pressure on Eli Manning has put the Giants in this hole. You can call it whatever you like, but the playmakers have put too much pressure on themselves to succeed, which often results in slow starts at the beginning of games. It’s all about developing a confidence level that affords them not to wilt under pressure. Sure, the game plan can be simplified, but the players still have to execute and excel against their opponent.
One player that needs a confidence boost is Manning who must reclaim his quiet, confident swagger that he exhibited during the Super Bowl years. Instead, Manning led an offense that accumulated only 79 total yards on 32 offensive plays in the first half against the Cowboys. Unfortunately, that kind of production has been the norm instead of the exception as the offensive line looks unathletic and over-matched in neutralizing opposing pass rushers at the line of scrimmage. The results have been ugly: either an incompletion, a sack or an interception. Manning is at his best when he’s given time to throw the deep ball and hits the target in stride towards the end zone.
Creating a Winning Culture Can be Difficult
Shurmur knew creating a winning culture inside the locker room was easier said than done. It begins by developing good practicing habits that translate into playing smart football on Sundays. The players must take care of their business on the practice field, in film sessions, and in the weight room before good results can take place in games. Right now, we’re witnessing the growing pains of Shurmur’s offense, but the Giants must learn to crawl before they can walk.
This week, the message has to be to forget all the talk and speculation surrounding the franchise and think more about avoiding an 0-3 start. The time is now for the Giants to create their own opportunities and slate the field in their favor. It’s funny how one win can change the confidence of a football team.
16 Months is an Eternity to Feel Good About Yourself
The last time the Giants played with a winning record was the week heading into the NFC Wild Card Weekend against the Green Bay Packers. It’s shocking to believe the Giants have a 3-16 record since that fateful Sunday at Lambeau Field. It might be asking a bit too much to expect a team to play winning football that hasn’t felt good about themselves in 16 months.
The hope for a winning season is far from lost for the Giants, especially in a league when momentum changes in a blink of an eye. Two games have been played. It’s not a time for panic in the streets, but you have concerns if the Giants have the right personnel to win games.
Gaining that first win of a season can be the most difficult task for a professional athlete.
For the Giants sake, you hope it comes sooner rather than later.