EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants' owners do not like change. They don't want to fire coaches or blow up their organizational plan. They want to be patient, reasonable and understanding. The want to give the people they hire as much time as they can.
But time is now running out on head coach Ben McAdoo, and there's no other way to see it after Sunday's 51-17 home disaster against the Los Angeles Rams, which was humiliating and embarrassing to just about everyone except for McAdoo himself. The coach of this now-1-7 team insisted, somehow, "Embarrassing isn't a word I'd use."
His bosses probably would use it, though, and so did his players, right after they laid down and laid out the case for making a coaching change at the end of the year.
Maybe it's harsh to say McAdoo's players quit on him in this game. They are vastly undermanned, especially given they've been decimated by injuries. And their pop-gun offense, which has gotten worse and worse in the year and a half since McAdoo became head coach, was never going to be a match for the 30-points-per-game Rams.
But if that wasn't quitting, then it was horrendous preparation, poor adjustments and a disturbingly low collective football IQ. The Giants' offense turned the ball over three times. The defense gave up six plays of 30 yards per more, including two touchdowns of 50-plus in a span of two minutes. Their secondary, minus the suspended corner Janoris Jenkins, looked lost all game. Honestly, if the Rams receivers hadn't dropped so many passes and Jared Goff, who threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns on just 14-of-22 passing, was just a little more accurate, the Rams might have put up 70.
The Rams scored a 52-yard touchdown on a screen pass on a ball that was completed one yard beyond the line of scrimmage. The receiver was never touched. Oh, and that came on third-and-33. Let's repeat: a 52-yard touchdown on a screen pass on third-and-33?! That's not embarrassing?
"I'm disappointed," McAdoo said. "I expected us to come out and play a better football game than we played. We have it in us. It's my job to get it out of us."
It's pretty clear he's incapable of getting results out of them -- at least he is this year. Last season's 11-5 record is not lost on the team, nor will it be lost on ownership when it decides McAdoo's fate. However, GM Jerry Reese already tossed McAdoo under the bus with his bye-week remarks about how the Giants were unprepared for this season, how they believed their hype too much and lacked "fight." Reese said that wasn't McAdoo's fault, even though all those things are absolutely the coach's responsibility.
Now this? The Giants came out of the bye and were completely rolled by a Rams team making a usually tough cross-country trip. It was the Giants' worst beating ever at MetLife Stadium, the worst at the Meadowlands since 1998 and the fourth-worst in franchise history.
No wonder fans walked out so early; no wonder the ones that stayed constantly booed.
There's no way around this: It sure seemed like the Giants gave up, especially on defense, and especially late in the game. The players denied it, of course, and it's admittedly an easy thing to say when a team is blown out. Sometimes, as cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said, it just looks like teams quit when so much goes so wrong so quickly.
"It was like quicksand," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "You go out there, you keep trying to fight but you keep sinking."
Even he wondered aloud why the Giants didn't fight harder, why they collectively haven't decided the enough is enough.
"I thought we already hit that point where enough is enough," he said. "When enough is enough you go out there and you see a different player, man, like a different fight. For some reason, it just ain't it yet."
Here's the even bigger problem for McAdoo and his future: If the Giants haven't reached their "enough is enough" point yet, and they haven't begun to fight back, when exactly are they going to stand up? This is an awful season, one of the worst and most disappointing in Giants history. The way they played Sunday, it's hard to imagine them winning another game.
And there are still eight games -- four home games -- remaining.
That's a lot of time for this to get worse, if McAdoo can't find a way for it to get better. There's already probably no way around the embarrassing sight of an empty stadium in November or December with boos echoing off the empty upper-deck walls. McAdoo's bosses have two months to stew in their misery, to deal with their anger and to search for someone to blame.
John Mara has admitted in the past after bad losses that his immediate impulse is to fire everyone. Usually, he talks himself back from that ledge. But what happens if things spiral out of control in the next two months?
It's hard to imagine them getting much better, which is why McAdoo might really join Ray Handley as the shortest-tenured head coach for the Giants in the last 87 years. The owners may want to be patient, but even their patience is limited. These are the kinds of losses that get people fired. These are the ones that linger.
And this one has the potential to linger throughout what could be a very long and ugly two months.