New York Giants 2013: We’re Halfway There


Credit: Jim O

We’re exactly halfway through a thoroughly depressing Giants season, so I’d like to take this opportunity to take stock of where we are. You know that the Giants are 2-6 and somehow only 2 games out of the NFC East lead, but allow me to remind you how we got here and take a guess at where we’re going.

The Giants opened the season with promise after offseason moves and players returning from injury seemed to shore up their biggest weaknesses from a year ago. The O-line returned most of the members from a solid 2012 unit, David Wilson was a popular breakout candidate in the run game, and Rueben Randle had seemed to emerge as a solid #3 option behind our two stars on the outside, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Week 1 saw the team lose a shootout with Dallas, where the offense moved the ball well but was ultimately done in by an astounding 6 turnovers, including 3 INT’s by Eli Manning. Much of that was chalked up to bad luck, however, and when the Giants hung around (for a while, anyway) with the Broncos in Week 2, fans had lost little faith in a team that had so much promise at the start of the year, despite the 0-2 record.

Then the wheels fell off. The Giants were crushed by the Panthers and Chiefs on the road in successive weeks, and couldn’t pull out a home win against the rival Eagles that would have put them right back into playoff contention. When the Giants lost on a Thursday night to the Bears, thanks to another killer 4th quarter interception by Manning, the season looked lost.

It turned out that all the team needed to get into the win column was 10 days to prepare for an awful team that had just switched quarterbacks. After the Bears loss, the Giants came home to play the Vikings on Monday night in a matchup of two of the biggest disappointments in football. It wasn’t pretty, but Big Blue was able to get it’s first win of the year. A week later, the Giants faced another new quarterback when Mike Vick was forced out of their game in Philadelphia with a sore hamstring. Matt Barkley couldn’t do much as a replacement and the Giants suddenly have a win streak going into the bye.

So what does it mean for the second half? Who knows? I’ve eulogized the 2013 Giants already, and I still believe that this team isn’t good enough to go on a run to the playoffs. But these last two wins, coupled with some incredibly gratifying Cowboys’ losses, have ensured that the Giants haven’t played their last meaningful game of 2013. My best bet is that a bad division keeps the Giants in the race until Week 15, when an excellent Seahawks team comes to Giants Stadium and puts us out of our misery. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see how a marginally improved defense, an offense that can’t score touchdowns and a special teams that’s in shambles can add up to the 6-2 record we’d need the rest of the way to have a chance. That being said, the Giants have a habit of surprising us.