How the New York Giants fare in the final six games of this season will determine the fate of head coach Pat Shurmur.
Twenty-nineteen has been another disastrous season for the New York Giants. In a season in which ownership and fans were expecting to see progression in year two of the Pat Shurmur/Dave Gettleman regime, the team has regressed.
The Giants enter their bye week riding a six-game losing streak and a record of 2-8, which is worse than last year’s situation (3-7).
It doesn’t appear as if the team will make any coaching changes this season, but how the team fares over the final six games of the season will determine Shurmur’s fate.
Shurmur’s record with the Giants is 7-19 and his overall coaching record stands at 17-42. If the team doesn’t show significant signs of improvement for the rest of the season, John Mara and Steve Tisch have a hard sell trying to convince fans that Shurmur is the right man to turn the franchise around.
Here’s what needs to happen in the final six games in order for Shurmur to return for year three with Big Blue.
Team must win and show that Shurmur hasn’t lost the locker room
The best way for Shurmur to remain coach at the conclusion of the season is if his team finishes strong and fights for their head coach as they did last season.
Last season, the team was 1-7 in the first eight games of the season and finished the final eight games 4-4. Albeit, most of those wins came against backup quarterbacks, but at least the team showed pride and didn’t give up one another or their head coach.
If the Giants win four out of their final six games, especially if one of those wins comes against the Philadelphia Eagles, who the Giants have not defeated since 2016, that might be enough to convince ownership to give Shurmur one more year.
Fix Daniel Jones turnover woes
Daniel Jones has shown many positive attributes in his eight starts this season. He’s accurate, athletic and has shown that he’s tough. The big issue with Jones is that he’s turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Jones has turned the ball over 17 times this season (eight interceptions & nine fumbles lost).
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 10, 2019
Shurmur deserves credit in the Giants selecting Jones, but he must fix Jones’s ball security issues. The development and progression of Jones paramount to the franchise, and it would not be ideal for a young quarterback to enter his second season next year with a new head coach.
If Jones can improve on his ball security issues in the final six games of the season, it will bode well for his head coach to return next season.
Make changes with the defense
Shurmur is an offensive-minded coach, but as a head coach, he needs to oversee all aspects of the team. The offense has its share of issues, but the biggest issue of the team is the defense.
Through Week 10, the 289 points the Giants have surrendered are the most in the NFL. Yes, there are several teams that have played one fewer game than the Giants, but relenting the most points league-wide is never a good sign.
Whatever defensive coordinator James Bettcher has dialed up is not working and it’s the onus of Shurmur for Bettcher to either come up with a new scheme, one that will allow other players such as Julian Love a chance to make an impact.
If the defense continues to go on their downward spiral in the last six games of the season, it could ultimately be Pat Shurmur’s downfall.