The New York Giants came into this season with hopes of duplicating their playoff run from a season ago, and never came close. By December, they were a laughingstock and coach Ben McAdoo was the target of fans’ scorn.
It became clear early this season that McAdoo was in over his head, and the Giants fired him on Monday, a day after the Giants lost at the Oakland Raiders to fall to 2-10. The firing was reported by NFL Network and ESPN.
The Giants cleaned house on Monday, also firing longtime general manager Jerry Reese, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network. Reese was hired to be GM in January 2007 and was the GM for two Super Bowl championships, but the Giants had made the playoffs only once in the past six seasons and completely bottomed out this season.
If all the Giants’ losses weren’t enough, McAdoo will go down in franchise infamy for his clumsy benching of fan-favorite quarterback Eli Manning. McAdoo benched Manning, a two-time Super Bowl champion, for Geno Smith and said he thought it was best for the organization moving forward. Manning had started 210 straight regular-season games before sitting out Sunday. McAdoo was roundly criticized for that move, and plenty of other things along the way.
The Giants did manage to win a couple games after an 0-5 start. But aside from an out-of-nowhere win over the Denver Broncos on “Sunday Night Football” on Oct. 15 and a 12-9 overtime upset of the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 19, the Giants were uncompetitive this season. The lowest moment on the field probably came in Week 10 when they lost 31-21 to a San Francisco 49ers team that was 0-9 coming in.
McAdoo got the job after the 2015 season when the team parted ways with Tom Coughlin. He was promoted because he did a good job as offensive coordinator, but he was never a great fit as a head coach.
— Boomer Esiason (@7BOOMERESIASON) November 29, 2017
He gave up play-calling duties this season but that didn’t help much. The Giants were hit hard by injuries, most notably to receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but didn’t play well in any area. There were also player discipline issues as McAdoo tried to regain control of the locker room, but as the weeks passed it became clear the players had checked out on him. He was already on his way to getting fired, and the Manning decision just added to the contempt Giants fans have for him as he departs.
The Giants opening will be appealing, because it is generally a solid franchise, will have a very high first-round draft pick and there are a few appealing quarterback prospects in next year’s draft. There’s still some talent on the roster – the Giants went 11-5 last season, after all – and the Giants usually are patient with coaches. The only Giants coach other than McAdoo since 1979 to get fewer than four seasons was Ray Handley in 1991-92. Like Handley, McAdoo will go down as one of the worst coaching decisions the Giants have made in many years. Firing a head coach during the season and before his second season in charge was over isn’t the Giants’ way, but it was clear McAdoo needed to go.
The Giants could have a fairly quick rebound if they come up with the right solution to their quarterback situation, which may or may not include Manning. But it was pretty clear McAdoo wasn’t going to be guiding that rebound, and it was no surprise when he was fired before his second season was done.
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