The NFL playoffs are here once again. This Saturday, the teams in the divisional round will take the field and will have a chance to move one step closer to the Super Bowl. Two teams from the NFC East, the Eagles and the Cowboys, will have games during this round. One team that you won’t see, however, is the New York Giants.
It can be easy to focus on the present, but sometimes it’s important to look at the big picture. That big picture doesn’t paint a great picture of the Giants as a franchise since their last Super Bowl win. Since winning it all in 2011, the team has only made the playoffs in one of the last seven seasons.
During that one season, the Giants lost to the Packers in a one-sided game where they never truly seemed like they were competitive against a team led by a hot Aaron Rodgers.
The point here isn’t to be negative, but realistic. If the Giants want to maintain the prestige around the franchise, which helps in attracting big name free agents, they need to make the playoffs. Additionally, making the playoffs would go far in reducing fan apathy. This season, for example, the tone quickly turned from positive to negative and then to apathetic in a way, as the season went along and it became clear that the Giants weren’t getting in.
Worst teams have made it into the playoffs multiple times during the Giants’ dry run. The Colts play on Saturday and this will be their fourth trip in a seven-year span. Their opponent, the Chiefs, are on their fifth trip during the same span. The Rams, on the other hand, have only been back in Los Angeles for three years and are on their second playoff appearance since returning.
All of those teams have had more success in getting into the playoffs, despite not having the brand that the Giants do. But which team are free agents going to want to play for, if they want to win now? Teams like the Chiefs or the Rams, who have less past success than the Giants but have come closer in recent years to making a Super Bowl? Or a team like the Giants that has great history but few trips to the playoffs after 2012 as well as an abysmal last two seasons?
This offseason, the Giants should be thinking about winning now rather than going into a long rebuild that could see more established players, such as Landon Collins, leave to free up cap space. There’s already been too many years lately where the team has been on the outside looking in once the playoffs roll around. After back to back seasons where the Giants were one of the worst teams in the league, neither the fanbase nor the franchise’s reputation needs another one.