Yes, they are, and it’s best not to be the worse for wear.
After five seasons, the Giants and Jets are last in their respective divisions. Both teams are desperate to find stability on their respective rosters this season, and, based on their performances thus far, both the Giants and Jets might have just reached that point of desperation.
On Monday night, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur and his Gang Green counterpart Todd Bowles were right back to square one.
Pat Shurmur basically confirmed that Odell Beckham Jr’s broken ankle is no longer an issue
Shurmur went 9-24 in his first season as a head coach, and his team has hit rock bottom.
The Giants’ defense has played well enough to earn the respect of quarterbacks, including Sam Bradford, whose Vikings needed some last second heroics to snag a 24-23 victory over the Giants.
“They’re good, they can run the ball, they can protect the quarterback,” Bradford said. “They’re going to test you. They’re a big, physical group. They have a good pass rush.
What has been alarming about the Giants’ defense this season is that every week the team is one play away from shrugging off an opponent.
Like in their week 3 debacle against the Chicago Bears, when the Giants looked great against the run, but defensively incapable of stopping the passing game. Or week 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who rattled off a couple quick touchdown drives before missing a field goal and nearly forcing a game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Just because this week was a tale of two halves, doesn’t mean it will be different the next time around. The Bears’ Mitch Trubisky nearly threw a pick six on the first play of the game before tossing a touchdown pass to Tarik Cohen and turning back into the same Jay Cutler quicksilver he was under the tutelage of Brad Childress.
One area the Giants can definitely make improvement in is their offensive line. The group allowed Eli Manning to be sacked six times on Sunday, and if they’re going to be road warriors, both teams will have to find a way to pass protect.
When looking at the opposing defenses, the Giants might actually be more prepared than their Sunday night opponent, the Titans. Tennessee has the 31st ranked defense in the NFL. The unit has produced just 16 sacks this season, which is half a sack less than the next team in the league, the Vikings.
The Giants on the other hand have tied for fifth in the league with 31 sacks.
On paper, if the Giants can somehow come up with their defense and run the ball well, they should have a chance to win their first game since the second week of the season, on the road.
But it’s going to take more than talent on paper for the Giants to pull off their first road win under Shurmur.
Follow Zach Kruse on Twitter @zachkruse2