The Giants didn’t run out of entrances to the playoffs in Sunday’s 33-14 loss to the Ravens, but, on the heels of a 34-0 loss the week before, it certainly felt like it did.
Perhaps that’s why defensive end Osi Umenyiora spent most of a Monday conference call talking about the future. There was his future, uncertain with free agency approaching and a “high probability” that he’ll be moving on from the Giants, and the future of the Giants. Umenyiora has no insight into what might be in store for the Giants, but he had some suggestions.
“Where are they going to make the changes is the question,” Umenyiora said, via Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. “There is no individual, there is no aspect of the team this year that stood out. People want to just talk about the pass rush. OK, well maybe we didn’t get 50 sacks like we did last year, but was the offense playing well? Was the special teamns playing well? Like where? There was nowhere that was up to par, that was up to the standard that we set last year. So if they’re going to be making changes, it has to be wholesale changes, it has to be changes for everybody, because nobody played above average this year.”
The standard the Giants set last year included an 8-7 record heading into the final season, exactly the same record that this year’s Giants have. They won that final game, winning them the division. They could do the same thing this year and wind up out of the playoffs, which is where they were after going 10-6 in 2010. The standard’s been about the same for the Giants in each of the last three seasons, their timing just worked out for the best in 2011.
Which isn’t to say that they don’t need to make changes. The offensive line has not been good enough this season, the defense sprang leaks in several different places and the offense seemed to lose its rhythm in midseason without ever rediscovering it for more than flashes. Wholesale changes aren’t coming to the Giants, though. The team doesn’t roll that way, for one thing, and all the key pieces from the team that won the Super Bowl are still in place. Changes will come, but they are likely going to be around the edges more than to the foundation.
Whichever way they go, it isn’t likely to be Umenyiora’s concern too much longer.