Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 10/11/13

There are a lot of terrible teams in the NFL, and by and large, it’s easy to see why those teams perform so poorly. Still, there are a few teams in the league’s cellar that really make no sense at all. The New York Giants may be the best example of such a team this year. The Giants are led by a head coach and quarterback pair that have won two Super Bowls together, beating Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to win the big game. In both those games, Eli Manning played about as well as any quarterback could, engineering game winning drives in the closing moments in both games. This year’s Giants are completely different. Eli Manning, normally known for his clutch performances, has been terrible. Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bears was another nightmare for Manning, who tossed three interceptions that ultimately sunk the Giants to 0-6. Now that the playoffs are all but eliminated from the equation, the Giants have ten games to get themselves back on the right track. As the losses mount, New York fans will no doubt begin calling for Tom Coughlin’s head once again. We’ve seen this happen before, but as in the past, don’t expect the Giants to pull the plug on their coach so soon. The Giants have been on this roller coaster before, and with Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin, it sometimes means the team turns in a sub-par season. On the other hand, they’ve also been to the promise land with Coughlin twice. There’s no easy fixes in the NFL, and that applies to the Giants as well. The most obvious problem is Eli Manning. He’s in a funk, but no one knows exactly why that is. Fortunately, the solution is easy on paper, but that doesn’t mean its execution will be easy. The Giants need to find ways to get Manning comfortable early in games without giving him the opportunity to trash their chances of winning. That means the running game has to pick up slack, and the passing game needs to be stocked with high-percentage passes. Obviously, that won’t fix everything wrong with the Giants, but that’s likely what we’ll see in the coming weeks from the Giants, and at the very least, it’ll get them pointed in the right direction. Beyond that, the Giants really have to keep chipping away at their issues. New York may be represented in the postseason, but if so, it’ll be by the Jets, not the Giants. The Giants aren’t in need of a full-blown rebuild, but there’s a talent gap that must be made up over the next couple of years. More pressure has been added to Eli Manning to make plays, and that pressure has resulted in a historical amount of interceptions from the two-time champion. [follow]

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