The New York Giants are going to be horrible the rest of the season. The confirmation of Daniel Jones' season-ending ACL injury on Monday should erase any optimism over the Giants being somewhat competitive in the second half. They'll struggle to win another game or two.
But that doesn't mean the season is over, and that's where the intrigue lies.
It's one thing to be bad on the field, and it's another when the effort isn't there and there's infighting. Giants coach Brian Daboll isn't having a good season but his main job the rest of the way is to make sure the team doesn't fall apart.
That's why it was a little alarming to hear Giants safety Xavier McKinney, a team captain, say the team's leaders are being ignored when they try to suggest solutions to the team's problems, which are plentiful.
Xavier McKinney is frustrated
After Sunday's loss, which was a big embarrassment in a season that has had many of them, McKinney had some pretty damning comments on the communication between the team's best players and the coaching staff.
“I think that from a leadership standpoint, I don’t think they’ve done a great job of letting the leaders lead and listening to the leaders and the captains," McKinney said after the game via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com.
In an answer to a follow-up question, McKinney made it clear that he was talking about the coaching staff.
"It was little things," McKinney said, via ESPN.com. "It was one of those things where you have some of your leaders, captains from a defensive standpoint, trying to switch things up. And just not really being heard.
"I don't know. There are other things too that we could've done. Like I said, the execution stuff could've been better. But when you got guys out there that are playing and seeing different things and are being vocal and communicating that with the coaches and whoever and are not being heard, it's hard to go out there and be able to make plays and do things of that nature."
Communication breakdowns happen even on good teams, but the troubling part was that McKinney — a fourth-year player, one of the team's most productive players and a captain — was frustrated enough with the situation to share his feelings publicly.
Giants are in trouble
The Giants' season won't get easier, unless there are some magical answers at quarterback with Jones and Tyrod Taylor on injured reserve. They're 2-7. There are going to be a lot of hard days ahead.
Sunday's game was a low point and not just because the Giants lost their quarterback. New York lost 30-6 to a Las Vegas Raiders team that had just fired its coach, offensive coordinator and general manager and benched its quarterback. The Giants were uncompetitive on defense, perhaps due to some of the communication issues McKinney referenced. It wasn't the first time the Giants' defense has been run off the field this season either.
Daboll isn't the defensive coach; that's coordinator Wink Martindale. But Daboll oversees everything. If the team's leaders feel their suggestions on adjustments are being ignored by the staff, that's something the head coach has to deal with.
There will be more losses and the frustration that comes from that. How Daboll handles that will determine if this Giants season is just one of those bad campaigns that can be blamed on unfortunate injuries, or one that will spiral into a complete disaster.