John Mara needs to right the ship, and fast.
Four wins and 13 losses to conclude the 2021 season.
The Giants suffered a 22-7 defeat against Washington Sunday that put a stamp on their 17-game slate.
The record, however, is just the icing on the disgusting cake that was Big Blue’s 2021 campaign.
High hopes were present back in the summer. Offseason moves were made to improve the roster (or at least we thought) and various young players were in the position to further develop in the second year of the Joe Judge era.
That was only a few months ago. Fast forward to January 2022, and the vibe in East Rutherford is different. Morale is now low, and so is the overall level of confidence.
As a result, many are pointing the finger at co-owner John Mara, who should be embarrassed for a number of reasons.
The stamping of multiple poor decisions
John Mara was the one who stamped the hire of Dave Gettleman.
John Mara was the one who stamped the hire of Joe Judge.
John Mara was the one who stamped the drafting of Saquon Barkley (at No. 2 overall, mind you), the decision not to draft a quarterback in the 2018 first round, and the retaining of front office individuals such as VP of football operations Kevin Abrams, director of college scouting Chris Pettit, and VP of player evaluation Chris Mara.
I understand some of these decisions were made a number of years ago, but each move has played a significant role in the Giants continuing to dig themselves deeper into this dark hole.
Because of moves like this, John Mara has had various guys in prominent front office roles who don’t understand positional value (hence the selection of a running back at No. 2 overall).
Because of moves like this, the Giants haven’t had a consistently reliable, healthy, and productive starting quarterback since the prime years of Eli Manning, which concluded in 2015.
Because of moves like this, the Giants have remained in the mud for a half-decade, a period of time that has played host to arguably the worst era in the franchise’s history.
The enabling of Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman, who’s expected to essentially leave on his own terms, went 19-46 during his four-year tenure as the Giants general manager.
And John Mara is allowing him to “retire.” Yes, you read that right.
Let’s go back to 2017 for a little, shall we?
Mara fired then-general manager Jerry Reese in the middle of that season after Reese had won two Super Bowls with the organization and experienced a Giants tenure that Gettleman’s can’t even be compared to as far as success is concerned.
So, Mara takes action with Reese but lets Gettleman ride off into the sunset? After the Giants never had a winning record at any point during Dave’s tenure?
And I know what you’re going to say: “There wouldn’t have been any point to firing Gettleman in the middle of the 2021 season when the team wasn’t going to reach the postseason anyway.”
You’re wrong — there absolutely would’ve been.
Firing Gettleman would’ve sent a message to the entire front office that this is a results league, and that if the team doesn’t perform up to its standards (which it hasn’t), anybody could be gone at any point.
But of course, Mara decided not to send that crucial message…
Ice-cold Pepsi! Get your ice-cold Pepsi here!
These fans pay thousands of dollars for season tickets to watch an inept on-field product.
They show up to MetLife Stadium, tailgate with friends, go into the boring stadium, and belt the “Let’s go Giants” chant despite the team having been in the dumps for a number of years.
And to show your “appreciation,” you give the season-ticket holders a free medium soda?
Not a large; not an XL. A medium soda. And apparently, only one to whoever’s name is on the season-ticket package. So not one soda per ticket, but instead, one soda per account.
It almost seems fake. It seems like something out of a movie about a team that can’t afford its stadium lease and doesn’t possess the funds to pay for a team flight to away games.
A new direction
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A clean sweep is needed in East Rutherford.
A new quarterback, new head coach, and new general manager from outside the organization (no Kevin Abrams, please) are needed.
But while multiple positions underneath ownership require a change, a number of the finger-pointing needs to be done at Mara. He’s continued to run this team like his father ran it. And I’m not saying his father was a poor owner; I’m saying it was a different era back then.
It’s 2022 — the era of patience and tradition is over in the NFL.
Enough with being patient — make the big moves to turn this organization around as quick as possible.
Enough with tradition — part ways with the individuals who haven’t fulfilled their positional duties.
John Mara should be embarrassed, and must make huge changes in the coming days, weeks, and months to flip the script.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY