Ed: Yes, and yes. This is Coughlin's first losing season since his first year with the Giants, which was 2004. Despite the bad year he still has two Super Bowl titles since 2007, and no one else has that. After an awful 0-6 start, Coughlin's rock-solid belief and his steady hand is the only reason this didn't turn into a two or three-win season. As for next year, I don't think there is any doubt. From all the signals it seems he wants to continue, and if the Giants win Sunday they will finish the season 7-3 in their last 10 games. I don't see any real reason the organization would push him out the door.
2.) With meaningless games like this, are there any lesser-known Giants players you're seeing making plays that could potentially be starters for next year?
The guy who has really stepped up the past two weeks has been third-year receiver Jerrel Jernigan. He has 13 catches the past two weeks and has become -- finally -- a guy Eli Manning trusts. Safety Will Hill is a guy who should become a superstar -- if he can stay out of trouble off the field. Whether he can do that or not is anybody's guess.
3.) In Free Agency and the draft....the Giants need to __________ to get back to their playoff-caliber selves.
a) Fix their offensive line.
b) Fix their offensive line.
c) Fix their offensive line.
D) Worry about wide receiver, tight end, linebacker, cornerback, running back and anywhere else they might be able to upgrade.
4.) How much blame does Eli Manning deserve for this season?
He deserves a good bit, but not all of it. The offensive line has been atrocious. Manning has been sacked more than ever before, hit more than ever before, running for his life more than ever before and throwing some balls just to avoid getting hit. What happens to a QB in that situation? Eventually all the hits get to you, and what we see in recent weeks is Manning expecting to be hit even when there isn't pressure, throwing off his back foot and having his mechanics break down. He doesn't trust the protection. He hasn't been able to trust any receiver other than Victor Cruz to be in the right and make plays most of the season. Fix the line, maybe get him another weapon at TE or WR and I think you will see him play better.
5.) What is going on with the RB situation? Andre Brown seems pretty inconsistent yet there are tons of UFA or practice squad RBs out there they could sign. What's the team's stance this season on that?
The problem is they have been through six, yes six, starting running backs. It's hard to judge Brown simply because the offensive line has suffered so many injuries and been so bad that there is rarely anyplace to run. One thing the Giants have to determine is whether or not David Wilson's neck injury is career-ending. Even if it isn't, what role do they really see him capable of playing. I expect Brown back, to be honest. Ben Tate is intriguing, but he seems similar to Brown and I think Brown would be less expensive.