BLOW IT UP: Giants must fire Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo in total housecleaning | Politi

By Steve Politi
Columnist, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Everyone has to go. The general manager. The head coach. The quarterback. But don't even stop there. Someone needs to lob a canister of tear gas into the leaderless locker room, too, because this housecleaning won't be complete until that space is scrubbed and sanitized with the precision of an elite hazmat crew.

The Giants have now lost to a franchise that was winless in nine straight games and playing 3,000 miles away from a city that couldn't give a damn about its entire hopeless existence. They are 0-5, the worst team in the league, an utter embarrassment from top to bottom.

You want rock bottom? Chargers 27, Giants 22 is the very definition of that tired cliche, and now this team has a full 11 games left on the schedule to see how far below the granite it can drill before the calendar finally -- mercifully -- turns to January.

When it does, co-owner John Mara has to emerge with a flame thrower. He doesn't need more evidence than these first five games that the 2017 team will go down as one of the most disappointing in the 92-year history of the franchise. Take this one further: Is there a team in recent New York-area professional sports that tops this one for a sheer letdown?


"You learn a lot about yourself in times like these," head coach Ben McAdoo said, and so far in 2017, we have learned that the guy in charge has spent more time "looking in the mirror" than Alex Rodriguez.

The worst thing that could have happened at MetLife Stadium was Odell Beckham Jr. fracturing his ankle late in the fourth quarter, and not because it sabotages any real hope of reversing this downward spiral. Any realistic hope of that vanished last weekend in Tampa.

No, the real concern about that injury is that Mara will use it as a convenient excuse to absolve McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese for the wreckage on the field. This team was broken with the star receiver on the field, and one can only imagine how this offense will look in the coming weeks if Roger Lewis Jr. is suddenly the No. 1 target.

Beckham is out, likely for the season. Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall left the game with ankle injuries, too, and several key players on defense -- including linebacker Jonathan Casillas and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -- limped off the field, too.

The injuries are the last thing that this team needed. The Giants are now a poisonous combination of unlucky and bad, but the former should not offset the latter. They are bad, capital B-A-D bad, and now the incompetence that derailed the offense a season ago has infected the defense, too.
This team made the playoffs a season ago in spite of quarterback Eli Manning and the offense. But the defense that carried this team to 11-5 in 2016 is unrecognizable now. Twice, the Giants scored a touchdown on Sunday, and twice, that defense let the woeful Chargers march to the end zone for seven points of their own.

Jason Pierre-Paul. Landon Collins. Janoris Jenkins. Name a defensive player that hasn't taken a major step back in 2017. For all the focus -- rightfully so -- on Reese's inability to fix his offensive line (five more sacks allowed in this game), he badly miscalculated by thinking this defense would just pick up where it left off a season ago.

Reese saved his job with the playoff appearance a year ago, and while the Giants are among the most loyal franchises in all of sports, the team is 39-46 under his watch since that last Lombardi Trophy in 2011 without a single postseason victory. He has more draft failures -- with 2015 first-round pick cornerback Eli Apple now sliding into that territory -- than successes. It's time.

When he goes, his replacement should have the ability to replace the head coach, too. The Giants are not just predictable, as Beckham said the opposition told him last week, they are undisciplined -- add a delay of game penalty on a crucial two-point conversion to the growing list of examples -- and come unglued late in games.


Honestly: What does McAdoo do well? Name something. Name anything. He is 21 games into his head coaching career and, while smart people can often grow on the job, if the answer to that question still hasn't materialized yet it probably isn't going to.

A good quarterback could mask some of these problems, and while a large faction of the fan base won't want to hear this, the Giants don't have one. Manning still shows flashes of his prime, like his perfect over-the-shoulder throw to Lewis for a third-quarter touchdown, but they are negated by his misses -- he overthrew a wide-open Beckham early in this one -- and turnovers.

His fumble with four minutes left, coming at the end of an 11-yard sack when he failed (again) to throw away the ball, handed the Chargers this game. Manning, who insisted he was okay after a viscious hit late in the game, will be 37 when next season begins. Even the optimistic fan has to admit that he is well into the back nine of his career.

If the Giants find themselves at the top of the draft -- you want to bet against that? -- they need to do what the Indianapolis Colts did when Eli's brother, Peyton, looked finished and draft their quarterback of the future. If the window isn't completely shut on Manning it is only open a crack, and the team isn't good enough to give him a shot at that third Super Bowl trip.


The Giants are 0-5 after losing to the Chargers, one of three winless teams left in the league and the only one that expected to contend this season. Mara has slapped Band-Aids on problems before, hoping that a few minor changes will stave off the inevitable.

But he needs to face reality. This is a broken football team, one that needs a complete gutting from top to bottom. Five games into the season, after five years of underperforming, that will be a painful conclusion for Mara to reach. But it has become abundantly clear.