If there’s one loss that puts Dave Gettleman’s job in doubt, it’s this one. The New York Giants took on the 49ers who were missing plenty of players due to injury, and they were still dealt a blowout defeat. The Giants had their own injuries, sure. Saquon Barkley is out for the season and Daniel Jones had more rushing yards than his replacement. But few expected the final score to be as lopsided as it was.
Nor did they expect the Giants to have as bad a second half as they did. They only scored 3 points in the second half and none of the Giants’ running backs had more than 10 rushing yards. A performance like this gives something for detractors of Gettleman to point to. It’s an example of the team at its worst, during a year where Gettleman appears to be on his last chance.
But it’s still the same narratives from the players. Specifically, the idea that the Giants are close to fixing their problems and they just need a little more time. That they’re one step away from getting better.
Leonard Williams claims Giants are right on the edge of success
“I do think we do have a really good team and a tough team, and I never see any quit in this team. I believe that we’re right there and we just need to fix a few pieces and a few little gaps here and there and stop beating ourselves,” Leonard Williams spoke after the game. “It’s already hard to beat a team and it’s going to be harder when we’re making mistakes on ourselves as well, so I just think that we need to overcome a few of those mistakes that we’ve been making and just keep playing hard.”
The Giants have been trying to stop beating themselves for years. That narrative can only stick around for so long before no one believes it anymore. The team is in their first year under a new head coach, but perhaps more change is needed. If only because changing the head coach wasn’t enough.
It might be too late to bounce back much this season, but a loss like this and an 0-3 start may show that it’s time for the team to clean house in the entire organization… Not just within the coaching staff.
The optimism of the players on the field probably doesn’t come from an intentionally misleading place. All players in the NFL are confident in their skills, after all. But there’s a point when only the most diehard optimists can believe the team is really one step away from improving. This might be that point for the Giants.