It would be easy to give the honor of the worst team of 2017 to the winless Cleveland Browns, but they are truly not the worst team. The Browns are a complete mess, but their players have shown consistent effort that should not be ignored. No team has shown a lack of effort and lack of stability like the New York Giants have this season. This not Tom Coughlin’s Giants who raised the Lombardi trophy twice in four years just a few years ago.
The fact that the Giants were considered Super Bowl favorites further proves the point that they deserve this honor. This team made the playoffs last season despite having a completely underwhelming offense. It was clear from the first game that this team was still struggling when they could only muster three points against Dallas. It took the team six weeks to get their first win of the season. At times during the season, it was clear players were not going 100 percent on every play, while others showed lack of maturity garnering numerous penalties.
The team even managed to humiliate their one pillar of consistency, Eli Manning. Manning literally broke the record for most games started by a quarterback this season only to have it snapped by a bizarre decision to start Geno Smith to explore all options. Now, the Giants tried (and failed) to explain that this decision was to look for their future starter as Manning is getting older and likely only has a few more good seasons left, but to start Smith and leave their draft pick Davis Webb inactive was beyond embarrassing, but also incredibly puzzling for this organization. It seemed to be the final strike for team owners, John Mara and Steve Tisch, as they released both head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese just a week later, after the team lost yet another game. Smith has never played a snap since and Webb will be active for the first time this season as Manning’s backup during the season finale this week. Yeah, the Giant botched this situation about as badly as an organization can. The team still has a major question mark as to who will be their starter next season and/or if they will draft a quarterback in this year’s draft.
Of course, this team cannot even go into their season finale without extreme drama. Eli Apple becomes the third DB to be suspended this season. Apple has had a really, really, really rough season. He has gone through personal issues with his mother who underwent brain surgery during his season and extreme issues on the field and with teammates. One teammate being Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins and the two have done the worst thing possible, make their feud public. Collins who has become a leader for his on the field production called Apple a “cancer” in an interview just days ago.He tried to apologize for the comment on social media, however, the damage was done and it is clear this team needs a complete overhaul. A divorce between Apple and the team seems inevitable.
There are bright sides for Giants fans for next season. It would be unfair to not mention the numerous injuries that the Giants faced all season, including losing four wide receivers in just one game. They will see the return of a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. who will instantly make this offense much better. His passion and desire to get the ball cannot be ignored and he will make whoever is playing quarterback feel much more comfortable while sitting back in the pocket.