December 30, 2012
With the victory by the Chicago Bears over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, it’s official we will see a new champion in the National Football League this season. The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants will be champions no more, and I think it’s justice being served. All year long, the only thing we’ve heard about the Giants is how they know when to flip the switch on at the right time to make that postseason run, like they did last season and back in the 2007-’08 season. That switch never fully came back on and this season has ended in disappointment. The fact is the team isn’t that good to just turn it on and off when they want to. You can also say that it was just as much the fact the Giants were just an inconsistent team. The quarterback, Eli Manning, did not play at an elite level during the course of the year. Injuries to running back Ahmad Bradshaw(he always seems to be injured)and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks hurt the offense. The defense was simply not that good and they repeatedly got torched in the secondary. The much-celebrated defensive line, which includes Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Chris Canty(you can also throw Mathias Kiwanuka into the mix), just wasn’t able to generate pressure on the quarterback on a consistent basis. We all know that the Giants defense is very dependent on their defensive line dominating up front. If that doesn’t happen, the defense is suspect at best, and that was very evident this season. The bottom line is more often than not, you have to show some type of consistency during the course of the season to build momentum towards a postseason run. Every now and then(such as the case with the Giants in two of the last five seasons), you may be able to catch some lightning in the bottle and ride it out to a title, but it doesn’t happen often. When you look at the past six seasons for the Giants, the stock couldn’t be more up and down. Of course we’re aware of the Super Bowl titles, but the Giants were one-and-done in the playoffs in the 2006-’07 and 2008-’09 seasons. In 2009-’10 and ’10-’11, the Giants didn’t even make the playoffs. For those reasons I just presented, that’s why I was baffled when people were saying this team can just turn it on when they want to. There aren’t to many teams in any sport where you can say they’re good enough to turn it on, and the Giants aren’t one of those teams. This should be lesson to teams everywhere. That lesson is not to depend on a on-and-off switch. So many people were saying the Giants were going to get it going when it counted the most, but the team fizzled when those times presented themselves. It actually appeared the Giants were in good position when they throttled the New Orleans Saints to put their record at 8-5, which had them in first place in the NFC East. Then came the blowout losses to the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens, in which the Giants looked lifeless and uninspired. It was apparent the switch was off and it would turn out to be too late to turn it on. Yes, the Giants beat down the hapless Philadelphia Eagles 42-7 on Sunday, but it wouldn’t be enough to make the playoffs. I say again, let this be a lesson to teams everywhere. Don’t depend on turning it on and off, because once it’s off, it may not come back on.
By Charles Taylor