At 2-9, 2017 is possibly the most disappointing season in the 93-year history of the New York Giants franchise.
After finishing 11-5 a season ago and making offseason acquisitions such as Brandon Marshall, D.J. Fluker and drafting the fastest tight end at the NFL combine, Evan Engram, some were predicting this Giants team would make it to the Super Bowl.
Instead, they are one of the worst teams in the league and have had internal conflicts. Veteran cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have each been suspended for a game.
With the franchise missing the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six years, you can bet that major changes are coming.
But there are still five games left in the season for the Giants to play, and there are a number of things to keep an eye on.
Here are five predictions for the Giants down the stretch.
1. Orleans Darkwa will have a 1,000-yard season
One of the few bright spots this season has been the play of Orleans Darkwa. Despite seeing limited action in September, he leads the team in rushing with 519 yards.
The Giants have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw back in 2012.
Darkwa will need to average just over 96 yards a game to achieve this feat. The Giants are hopeful to get Justin Pugh and Fluker back for their next game against the Raiders on Dec. 3. If Darkwa and the offensive line can remain healthy, he’ll eclipse that 1,000-yard mark.
2. Davis Webb will see significant action
Even though he’s started 210 consecutive games, Eli Manning cannot play forever and the Giants need to find out if their third-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Davis Webb, can be his successor.
The best way to develop a young quarterback is to play them, and the Giants can do this without breaking Manning’s consecutive-games streak. Expect Webb to soon be active for games and replace Eli on the field in the second half.
The Giants will likely have a top-three draft pick and with several quality quarterbacks expected to be available, the Giants need to know if they’ve got their QB of the future in Webb or need to snag one of the highly touted college gunslingers.
3. Ben McAdoo will be fired before the season finale
Giants ownership said that they will make their decision on the coaching staff at the end of the season. But the team isn’t responding to McAdoo and the Giants will be underdogs in each of their final five games.
The idea of heading into the season finale 2-13, along with the team’s ongoing offensive woes, will force John Mara and Steve Tisch to pull the trigger and part ways with McAdoo.
McAdoo was promoted to head coach in 2016 because the Giants thought he was an offensive genius. But the offense has struggled mightily ever since he became the head coach.
In his 28 games as coach—including the playoffs—the Giants have failed to score 30 points even once. This season they’re averaging 15.5 points per game, which is 31st out of 32 NFL teams.
4. Landon Collins will be the lone Giant to make the Pro Bowl
Collins hasn’t played at the level he did last year when many felt he should have been named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, but he is still playing at a high level.
He leads the team with 86 tackles and has two interceptions and a forced fumble. Collins’ performance this season may not have been what he and Giants fans had hoped it would be. But it will still be good enough for him to earn his second trip to the Pro Bowl.
5. Eli Manning will finish with a 2-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio
Manning’s production dropped significantly once Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall were lost for the season in Week 5. But he has kept the number of interceptions he’s thrown relatively low.
Through 11 games this season he has 14 touchdowns to seven interceptions. Only three times in Manning’s career has he had a 2-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. This year he’ll do it for the fourth time.