After the New York Giants’ embarrassing 49-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, head coach Tom Coughlin’s job seems anything but safe. It’s the first time since 1964-1980 the Giants have missed the playoffs four straight years. While Coughlin brought the G-Men two Super Bowls in his twelve year tenure, his record for the past four seasons is 28-35.
There are many arguments for keeping Coughlin in place that are quite sound. Every franchise wants the stability of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers have only had three head coaches since Chuck Noll took over in 1969. But with that must come success and Pittsburgh has had plenty of that.
Many fear that Eli Manning will have to learn another offense as a 35-year old quarterback nearing the end of his career. In his second year of Ben McAdoo’s offense, Manning had the best statistical season of his career and another change would just set the Giants back.
And of course, the injuries that hit the Giants particularly hard this season. Coughlin certainly isn’t to blame for Jason Pierre-Paul’s mangled hand, Victor Cruz’s calf or the second-string defense that took the field most of the season. Either due to injury or a roster with poor depth, that defense couldn’t come up with late-game stops that could have given the Giants a playoff berth.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
However, today on a conference call with the media, Coughlin took all the blame and it’s looking more and more like his tenure as head coach is about to end. According to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, Eli Manning said of his performance and Coughlin, “I have great respect for him, I wanted to do my job and do my job well, and get into the playoffs… and have a big season, so he could continue to be the head coach. I feel disappointed that I wasn’t able to play at a better level for him.”
Coughlin, later on the call, had his response. “I feel badly that they feel that way…It’s not about me. I’m here for them.If you want to break it all down, blame it all on me. I’m the head coach. I’m responsible. We lose, I lose the game for our players. Put it that way. Leave it that way.”
Coughlin sounds like he believes his fate is already sealed. He maintained that he will prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles like he prepares every other week. But it may not be like every other week; it may be his last game as head coach of the New York Giants, and in front of a fan base that, despite all the past glory, still wants him gone.