The end-of-the-year narrative for these New York Giants is largely the same mantra as the rest of the NFL’s non-playoff teams use.
From head coach Pat Shurmur on down, the New York Giants stayed on message. They boasted, “we don’t quit” to anyone with a microphone or notepad after Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Dutifully, the scribes jotted this gem of wisdom down, and those on television nodded in agreement as to the absolute veracity of the statement. Thankfully, as the NFL season concludes, the amount of worthless quotes begins to lessen. Just one small problem is that instead of simply enduring coach-speak, we now endure a week’s worth of owner-speak and GM-speak too.
Understand that the idea of “no-quit” only applies to the lousy teams. This line of conversation would be foreign in the New England Patriots locker room.
“Hey Coach Belichick, as you were fighting for the top seed in the AFC playoffs, did you find that all your players gave 100 percent effort until the game was over?”
Devoid of quit and “building something here” seem to be the talking points of the 2018 New York Giants. Hey, something has to deflect from that pesky 5-11 record, and three straight losses to end the season.
The other method of deflection comes with compiling individual player statistics, and we certainly saw volumes of that with running back Saquon Barkley. By the way, Barkley has the most yards from scrimmage of anyone named Saquon in NFL history.
Look it up at Pro Football Reference.com.
Now bless Barkley as he dutifully repeated the “no-quit” mantra, probably in order to convince himself it didn’t happen.
When asked about so many close losses, Barkley said, per Giants.com:
“We had to fight and come back and it shows that dog mentality that we have on this team and this no-quit mentality that we have on this team. If we can keep that and figure out how to execute and finish those games, we’ll be a way better team next year. “
Ah, Saquon, did you miss Curtis Riley’s tackling attempt in the third quarter?
Kudos to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, as well as George Willis of the New York Post for not just mailing it in. Leonard penned an entire story about Riley’s ill-fated tackling attempt on Cowboys’ three-touchdown star Blake Jarwin, which included this juicy tidbit:
“[Riley’s] teammates mostly were reluctant to address the incident or covered for him by insisting all was well. But strong safety Michael Thomas’ reaction was telling.”
For his part, Willis didn’t buy into the putting lipstick on this pig of a season, in spite of the “hey look over there” attempts to deflect from the actual outcome. After all, you are what your record says you are, even if you are “building something”.
While Leonard focused on one play, Willis looked at this entire game, as it related to an entire season, a season that was supposed to be light-years different than last year’s 3-13 debacle.
“Sunday’s game was simply a microcosm of the 2018 season: Manning wasn’t good enough when it counted; the defense wasn’t good enough when it counted; and Barkley, despite his record-setting day, wasn’t given a chance to save the Giants. That’s not the right path.”
The real fun comes on Wednesday, when general manager Dave Gettleman meets with the media, and likely takes responsibility for the entire debacle. He may tell us not to believe our eyes or the team record. That usually was Jerry Reese’s preferred strategy.
It will be interesting to see how many times Gettleman mentions quit or quitting. What will be more interesting is if any of the beat writers actually challenge the idea that no one quit on this team. First, that narrative isn’t accurate, and it doesn’t address how you’re going to improve moving forward.