But, despite aspirations of making the playoffs again, little has gone right this season.
In McAdoo’s most debated decision, he benched the team’s revered, two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Eli Manning, who had started a mind-boggling 210 straight games for the team. Columnists and talk radio callers blasted the move and how it was handled, saying Manning had earned the right to finish out the season at least. Manning was near tears discussing his benching.
Equally galling to Big Blue faithful was that Manning’s replacement was not a heralded rookie who might bring hope for the future, but the journeyman Geno Smith, who had washed out as a starter with, of all teams, the Jets. Smith was a competent 21-34 for 212 yards in his debut as starter Sunday.
It seems unlikely that fans will protest McAdoo’s dismissal too loudly. Many have criticized the Giants players’ effort. Other fans have simply been lethargic; there have been many empty seats at MetLife Stadium this season, especially in the second half of games. The fans’ torpidity sometimes seems to be drawn from the coach’s; McAdoo was rarely a demonstrative or passionate presence on the sidelines.
McAdoo’s dismissal came even though the Giants said last month that he would remain for the rest of the season.
The Giants have four more games to play and are in danger of putting up a historically terrible record. Some fans have already surrendered to this, or are even rooting for it, hoping for a high draft pick that will turn the team’s fortunes around.