Folks, I’ve gotta say that the Giants fanbase lately has been in a precarious position. This fanbase has been so starved of winning over the last five seasons that any taste of winning, no matter how sustainable, has become addictive to them.
Part of me gets it. Being a Giants fan for the last five seasons has been brutal. It’s been embarrassing. It’s been painful. So when the Giants started off the season 7-2, fans lost sight of what this season is about.
For the Giants, this season is more about the process than it is about the outcome. The process of getting the most out of players. The process of evaluating the talent that is on the roster. The process of a first year head coach learning how to manage a game. The process of evaluating draft picks and installing young players into the lineup.
The outcome of games for the Giants has always been secondary no matter how much we as fans want to pretend that isn’t the case. So when the positive outcomes started to happen despite the processes being poor, fans began to lose sight of the processes being more important in the first place this season.
Anytime I would call out some of the deficiencies that this team had, the response would be something along the lines of “Shut up! We’re (insert record here)” as if this team isn’t rebuilding right now.
When you fall behind by double digits in games against the Titans, Packers, and Ravens but somehow manage to win all three of those games, fans have to realize that you can’t expect that result to continue to happen throughout the season. Giving NFL teams double digit margins is a surefire way to lose.
So now fans feel that this team is taking a step backwards, which is incorrect. This team is regressing to the mean, which is not the same as taking a step backwards. This team was overperforming, not performing at a high level. Distinguishing the difference between these things can be challenging, but it was obvious to anyone who looked beyond the result.
I also want to go on the record and say that if the Giants have a worse record next year because they make necessary personnel changes like letting Daniel Jones walk or not extending running back Saquon Barkley, it’s okay. It’s not a step back if this team loses some games next season because the team decided to overperform this season.
This season was about evaluating what you have while the salary cap was a mess. Year two is about trying to find a long term answer at quarterback if there’s one available but realizing that Tyrod Taylor could be the starter in year two, and that’s okay. Year two is also about building the team around the future quarterback if he’s not on the roster just yet. Year three and beyond is about going for it and winning in a sustainable way with a quarterback who has franchise carrying potential.
Don’t get it twisted: I’m not saying that the Giants should lose the rest of their games this season. I’m also not saying that they won’t make the playoffs. Realistically they should win nine or ten games.
What I am saying is that let’s stop pretending that the problems on this team are fixed when they’re not. Let’s stop hiding behind our record to justify a process that simply isn’t there yet mainly due to the mess that Dave Gettleman left behind. Let’s root for a team that is built to win for the long term so that we can become the next Buffalo or the next Kansas City.