Everything everyone knows about the Giants and John Mara indicates he's not going to make a rash decision on his coach. He doesn't want to fire a coach in-season. He especially doesn't want to do it when he's angry.
But this may be the angriest he's ever been.
That's certainly the way he looked from high up in Levi's Stadium in San Francisco as the cameras caught him watching another inexplicable, inexcusable defeat. The Giants were humiliated by the previously winless 49ers, 31-21 on Sunday. That came on the heels of a 51-17 embarrassment at home against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. That's 82-38 in two weeks, and some pretty convincing evidence on film that some of his defensive players have quit.
Add in two anonymous players ripping Ben McAdoo in the media, discipline problems that have led to two suspensions and one benching, McAdoo's frosty and at times odd public persona, and the case for a firing is clear: Embarrassing results, a lost season, players that don't seem to care, others that don't seem to listen, a perception (and possible reality) of chaos.
It seems inevitable now that McAdoo won't be the Giants' coach next season. But at this point, can he even survive to season's end?
It may still be a longshot that Mara (and co-owner Steve Tisch) fire McAdoo now. But he's got a long, six-hour flight home after this hideous performance to stew about it, to ponder the fact that there are still seven games - and four home games in what surely will be an empty stadium- to go.
That's a lot of time for his anger to grow. And at this point, all bets on McAdoo's future may be off.
- If Mara doesn't fire McAdoo, would he order the firing of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo? The Giants defense as a whole was pretty disgraceful on Sunday. They gave up 474 yards to one of the worst offenses in football, quarterbacked by C.J. Beathard. The 49ers got an 83-yard touchdown from Beathard to Marquise Goodwin over the top of the Giants' defense, a 47-yard touchdowm from Beathard to TE Garrett Celek through the heart of the Giants' defense, and a 33-yard touchdown run by RB Matt Breida, untouched by the Giants' defense. The Goodwin touchdown was a complete breakdown in the secondary. On the Celek touchdown, Giants LB Jonathan Casillas got beat and then pulled up when he might have been able to make a tackle if he kept running hard. CB Janoris Jenkins was a disaster on both (see below). Just the fact that the 49ers - the 0-9 49ers with a worse offense than the Giants - were able to make three big plays like that was pretty unimaginable. They had 281 yards in the first half alone. Their per-game average coming in was 309.4. And remember, all the discipline problems this season (that we know about) have come from the defense, and everyone is pretty sure the anonymous players who ripped McAdoo (and Spags) came from the defense, too. Spagnuolo is incredibly popular in the Giants' offices, but he doesn't seem to have control of this unit right now. I mean, the 49ers scored 31 points after scoring 30 total in their three previous games combined.
- Jenkins was suspended last week for not showing up to work after the bye week. Turns out he still hasn't shown up. He put on one of the most embarrassing displays of football the Giants have seen in ages with an effort that can be described as pretty nonexistent. He was the victim of that 83-yard Goowin touchdown where he may have thought he had safety help, but really didn't seem to try hard to bring Goodwin down. He also made a half-hearted attempt to tackle Celek on his 47-yard touchdown catch. Then in the third quarter he had squared up RB Carlos Hyde in the open field, but when Hyde cut inside Jenkins barely leaned in his direction. If that's not quitting … well, he's going to have to come up with a heck of an explanation then.
- The Giants have given up a touchdown to a tight end in 10 straight games - an NFL record. I don't even know what to say to that, except that everyone should pick up Chiefs TE Travis Kelce in fantasy football next week.
- I keep seeing statistics where the Giants' offensive line gets decent grades, and Eli Manning is somehow shown to be one of the least pressured quarterbacks in the NFL. So ridiculous. If anyone believed this offensive line was good, all they needed to do was watch this game. There were few times Manning was left with actual time in the pocket, without a defender closing pretty fast. Even the best pockets around him are like popped bubbles quickly shrinking. If he's not pressured it's because of how crazy quick he's throwing the ball, which is part of why this offense has been so bad. It's hard to run anything when the quarterback is under constant duress. And don't be fooled. Manning is.
- Ben McAdoo can hold Manning accountable all he wants, and it's certainly fair to do so, but I don't see how he can get blamed for this disaster. He had one terrible play - his fumble that was some sort of bizarre underhanded toss as he was getting sacked. Yes, he had a few off-target throws, but not many. He was 28 of 37 for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and considering the pressure he was under that was pretty impressive. No, it's not a lot of yards per completion, but that's what this offense has become. There's no time to throw downfield.
- A bright side? Orleans Darkwa had 14 carries for 70 yards. As many of us have been saying for years, he's the Giants' best running back. He runs hard, he creates yardage where there are only small holes. Maybe the best thing the Giants have done all season was to anoint him the No. 1 running back. He could be a valuable part of the rebuilding of the Giants next year.