Tom Coughlin has won two Super Bowl championships as head coach of the New York Giants. Thanks to an 0-2 start, is his job in jeopardy?
Coughlin has accumulated 98 victories overall, including an impressive 8-3 in the playoffs. Now in his 11th season at the helm of the NFL’s most iconic franchises, his team is off to a 0-2 start for the second consecutive season.
With the Giants already in bad shape to make the playoffs (for a third straight campaign), is it time to seriously consider putting Coughlin on the hot seat (again)?
Coughlin is known league-wide for his passion, beat red face during games, and an uncomfortable obsession with punctuality, but after a decade with the team, it’s time to question whether his messages are getting through to the team anymore.
Sure, he hasn’t been fielding a great time over the past two plus seasons, but in a league of “What have you done for me lately,” the head coach is usually the scapegoat.
The Giants struggled offensively last season, as quarterback Eli Manning threw a career-high 27 interceptions, leading the NFL. Manning also has the distinction of throwing the most interceptions in the league since 2009. One factor that did not help matters was their porous offensive line, which general manager Jerry Reese tried to patch up this off-season via free agency.
However, Geoff Schwartz, one of the players added to the offensive line, was placed on the short-term injured reserve list with a dislocated toe.
To make matters worse, just two weeks before the Giants’ preseason opener, veteran guard (and Coughlin’s son-in-law) Chris Snee announced his retirement. Their running game was 29th out of 32 teams last season.
Coughlin and company brought in Ben McAdoo from the Green Bay Packers to become their offensive coordinator, replacing the retired Kevin Gilbride. His goal was to have Manning complete 70% of his passes and to increase the pace of the offense. The same mistakes have burned Manning and the offense on the field.
The offense consistently uses their timeouts to avoid delay of game penalties and is out of timeouts when they really need one.
Off the field, injuries to their receiving core are a common theme year in and year out.
Last year, it was veteran Hakeem Nicks who played injured the entire season and did not catch a touchdown. This year, first round pick Odell Beckham hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring in June. Not only has been the lack of winning been frustrating for Coughlin, so has the media constantly asking him about the before-mentioned rookie.
The defensive strategy in Week 1 against all-world receiver Calvin Johnson failed miserably. Megatron took advantage of single-coverage and caught two touchdowns in the first ten minutes of the game in a Lions 35-14 rout.
On Sunday, the Cardinals, led by quarterback Drew Stanton, marched down the field on their opening drive that led to a touchdown.
Stanton, who hadn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2010, was aided by three Giants penalties that resulted in automatic first downs. Blown coverages and missed tackles were themes of the first two weeks defensively. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell may be on his way out, too.
It’s easy to overreact after only two weeks, but in both games, the Giants have played poorly. Coughlin’s team is now 16-18 since winning Super Bowl XLVI against New England. The silly penalties and the lack of execution are signs that a coach isn’t properly preparing their team. The Giants have looked anything but prepared in the early going, and things won’t get any easier when they host the 2-0 Texans in Week 3.
The good news for Giants fans is that the last two times was seriously on the hot seat, they won the Super Bowl that same season.
There’s still hope this year, but it’s dwindling fast.