Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Standing at 1-6 entering the second half, it's safe to say the season is lost for the Giants. It was a major letdown based their preseason expectations -- possibly the biggest this franchise has faced in recent years. So, these next nine games don't seem like that big of a deal. Fans are pleading the Giants to tank to get a top five draft pick, and focus on next season.
But for the team, they still have a job to do. Paychecks are still being signed by the front office, and for some, it could be the last ones they see from the organization following the season.
Here are some Giants that need to perform in the second half if they wish to remain with Big Blue:
Pugh will see his contract expires with the Giants after this season as his fifth-year option is up. So, he will be looking for contract extension, and playing better in the second half may secure that.
The Giants' offensive line is still hanging on by a thread this season as it has been shaken up numerous times to provide QB Eli Manning with some type of pocket to work with. That change forced Pugh to work as a left tackle instead of his normal guard position. So, you can understand why Pro Football Focus gives him a 53.9 overall grade.
In Pugh's defense, he is still trying to figure out the transition. But, entering Week 7, he had a 93.2 pass-blocking efficiency after allowing 14 pressures this season. That's good for 54th among the 69 offensive tackles that qualify.
Pugh is a leader on the line, and in the Giants' locker room. But the Giants may see his play on the field has not improved over his five years with the team, which makes this second half that much more important for No. 67.
The former fourth-round pick by the Redskins back in 2012 signed a one-year deal with the Giants this past offseason after proving he can work well in the team's system. However, this season, he hasn't impressed. Pro Football Focus docks him with a 49.8 overall grade this season, which falls in the "Poor" level on their scale.
Robinson had many ups-and-downs in Washington, and it seemed he found a niche in the Giants last season as he was their best pass coverage linebacker on the team. But he hasn't been the same in his pass coverage duties. Thirty combined tackles over five games isn't bad, and he just led the Giants' in tackles against the Seahawks in Week 7.
If Robinson wishes to stay in New York next season, he needs to continue racking up tackles, and clean up his coverage.
With the Giants' receivers depleted, you would think Vereen would be more impactful with his pass-catching abilities. However, his name has barely been heard in the first half of the season.
After securing nine receptions for 51 yards against the Cowboys in the season opener, Vereen has seen little time on the field. He saw one touch for four yards against Denver in Week 6, and he totaled six yards on two carries and three catches against the Seahawks last week.
Vereen has already taken a pay cut this season, and with the Giants liking what they see from Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman as well as the prospect of taking a top running back like Saquon Barkley in the first round of the draft, they could cut him outright. He needs to produce and get more involved in the passing game in the second half.
Rodgers-Cromartie has a unique situation with the Giants after his latest incident that led to a one-game suspension. DRC saw little time on the field in Week 7, and head coach Ben McAdoo didn't give a clear answer when asked if it was because of the suspension. However, Rodgers-Cromartie is certain he needs to fight his way back on the field, and in the second half, he will need to if he wishes to stay with the Giants next season.
He is under contract for 2018, but an $8.5 million cap hit for a corner on the wrong side of 30 may be too much for the Giants to swallow. If they decided it is this season, they could trade him elsewhere to get something in return instead of cutting him in the offseason. DRC can still play, but he will need to prove that in the second half as he works to get back his starting role
He's not a player, but fans are already calling for his head. McAdoo has been stoic through this rapid decline of his Giants team that made the playoffs last season. When asked what needs to improve, he continuously gives the answer that he has to look at the tape, or we just have to practice harder.
But, at this point, it seems even he doesn't have the answers.
GM Jerry Reese (who could be out after the season as well) said he hasn't seen the consistent hunger from his players that he did last season, and that's a shot right at the coaching staff. Owners John Mara and Steve Tisch have given McAdoo their support, but if the Giants really fall off a cliff in the second half, McAdoo could find himself on the market for a job after two seasons as head coach with the Giants