Not to be pessimistic, but the New York Giants did not look like a good team against the Dallas Cowboys. It’s only two games into the season, sure. Two games into the tenure of Pat Shurmur as the head coach. There’s not a lot of coaches that can turn things around from a 3-13 year with only one offseason in charge.
But part of having realistic expectations for a new head coach is realizing that the team might not win a lot of games early on. It looks like the Giants are going down that route, rather than the quick turnaround one. It’s not Saquon Barkley’s fault, either. He’s a worthy player of the second overall pick, but this offensive line hasn’t given much help to anybody, whether that’s Barkley or Manning.
After Jon Halapio left the game and will likely be out for an extended period of time, things are even worse for that offensive line. Brett Jones was traded to the Vikings because Halapio had cemented his position as the starter. Now? The Giants are left without depth at the position. They may just end up relying on Evan Brown, an undrafted rookie from SMU. It’s not quite the ideal situation for a rookie center to be thrown into, this early into the season.
It’s now that we have the benefit of perfect hindsight. Signing Nate Solder for so much money may not have been such a good idea. The offensive line hasn’t improved, and it’s now harder to bring in needed improvements next season because of the salary cap. Obviously, most would reverse the Brett Jones trade too if they had the chance to travel back in time and warn the front office of what would happen.
But most didn’t predict that these decisions would pan out this way when they first happened. The season is hardly underway, so there’s still time for things to change, but this Dallas game is a lesson in tempering expectations. Not that it’s fun to watch football as a pessimist. But on the other hand, unrestrained optimism can result in kneejerk reactions when things don’t go as planned.
It’s a lot more disappointing to start 0-2 if you came into the season expecting a playoff run.
The 2018 season is far from lost. The Giants were a 3-13 team last year. It shouldn’t be hard to improve on that, and most teams with three wins don’t immediately jump to reaching the playoffs after one offseason with a new regime. But even though things look grim after this game, they might not be as bad as you think if you shift your expectations a little bit, and remember where the Giants are coming from.