On the day Eli Manning gets to witness his No. 10 being retired, it is worth reminding the men playing for the only NFL team he ever wanted to play for that it was a privilege for him to represent the New York Football Giants for 16 seasons.
That is all the more important to emphasize because Giants fans are fearing again, after a fifth straight 0-2 start, that there still aren’t enough Giants who consider it a privilege to wear the uniform.
If 0-2 becomes 0-3 on Sunday against the Falcons, you had better believe head coach Joe Judge will be looking to replace the ones who don’t with players who do.
Manning’s emotional ceremony will be sandwiched by 60 minutes of football that could make or break the Giants’ season.
A win, be it ugly or not, would stop the bleeding.
A loss would precipitate a crisis of confidence, self-doubt, and the ire of Giants fans who will look to general manager Dave Gettleman and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett as their sacrificial lambs.
There will be tears and cheers when fans bid their final farewell to the last and forever symbol of New York Giants pride … and it would only be right that the Giants players who could not request No. 10, the Giants players who wear numbers that have not been retired and should feel fortunate to wear them, honor the end of this day by inspiring only cheers.
This isn’t a day when fans should expect to walk out on their team in the fourth quarter and trudge miserably to the parking lots.
Judge has summoned some of the franchise’s champions of yesteryear to educate his players on what it means to be a Giant.
The greatest example, the last Giant who wore No. 10, has an office at 1925 Giants Drive.
Manning’s Super Bowl XLII Giants started 0-2, so all is not lost just yet. But from the mouth of John Mara, it was time to win games this season, after all the recent wretched seasons when his team has stopped winning enough of them.
Remember the Fighting Joe Judges? Speak now — to anxiety-ridden Giants fans — or forever hold your peace.
This is also the year that Michael Strahan’s No. 92 will be retired.
This is also the year the 10-year anniversary of the Super Bowl XLVI is being celebrated.
Giants fans are tired of living in the past, and who can blame them?
The Giants learned on the last night of the 2020 season, when Eagles coach Doug Pederson gifted the Washington Football Team the NFC Least title, not to leave your destiny in the hands of anyone else.
They learned in their most recent game against Washington not to leave your destiny in the hands of the officials.
Enough of the painful lessons.
Daniel Jones balled out against Washington and deserved better than to carry an 8-20 career record into Sunday.
Judge hasn’t incurred the wrath of fans, but he should do himself a favor and field a team that is smart, tough and fundamentally sound as promised, not to mention disciplined, before he falls to 6-13 as a head coach.
Kenny Golladay has played two games at a Giant and shouted at Garrett on the sideline during one of them.
Judge: “The one thing I really love about this guy is he’s got a lot of fire.”
Garrett: “I love the guy.”
Let’s see that fire on the field, if his hip cooperates.
Let’s see Garrett get creative with first-round receiver Kadarius Toney, who has been more involved on Instagram than he has in the game plan.
Let’s see what an extended 10-day rest can do for Saquon Barkley.
Let’s see if the reassembled offensive line, an ongoing source of angst and ire for fans four years after Gettleman’s vow to fix it, can allow Jones to function effectively and efficiently.
Let’s see if defensive coordinator Patrick Graham can field the kind of defense that gave the Giants a chance to win virtually every game last season, and do it against Matt Ryan after having been shredded by Teddy Bridgewater and Taylor Heinicke.
Must win. Must win for Eli Manning. Must win for this team and this season. Sunshine and 70 degrees. Make it the Perfect 10 day.
Credit: Source link