MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Here are the Giants, clanking along on a creaky treadmill. For the past six weeks, they have been laboring on a lose-win-lose-win-lose-win cycle.
When in doubt, turn to Bruce Springsteen to uncover the reality — in this case, the lackluster reality — of the situation.
“We’re the same sad story, that’s a fact. One step up and two steps back.’’
Or, if you prefer:
“Somewhere along the line I slipped off track. I’m caught movin’ one step up and two steps back.’’
Yup, that’s pretty much it with the Giants.
It is always something with this team, and usually that something is not wonderful. On Sunday, the Giants, for the fifth time in the past three seasons, will go into a game without their starting quarterback. Daniel Jones will sit out at the Dolphins, felled by a strained neck. There are no guarantees he will be cleared for contact in time for the Week 14 game at the Chargers. While the Giants play wait-and-see with Jones, in the here-and-now they turn to Mike Glennon, the (mostly) career backup who will make his first Giants start.
The facts are what they are. When Glennon starts a game, his team very often loses. He is 6-21 as an NFL starter, 2-15 in his past 17. At 6-foot-7, he is a bit taller than Jones and he has a strong arm, but he not have nearly the mobility Jones possesses. Put it this way: Interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens is not going to call any run-pass-options for Glennon.
In 2020, Glennon went 0-5 as a starter for the Jaguars, but he actually had more touchdown passes than interceptions and did not play poorly.
“I don’t really take that much personally,’’ Glennon said. “We were 1-15. It wasn’t all on me. I want to win because I want to help the Giants win this week. That’s really it.’’
Last season, the Giants upset the Seahawks on the road with Colt McCoy replacing an injured Jones, though that victory was far more about the defense than it was about McCoy. Glennon’s only previous action this season came at Dallas, after Jones was forced out with a concussion. Glennon looked functional, completing 16 of 25 passes for 196 yards and one touchdown, but he also was intercepted twice. In his nine NFL seasons, Glennon has 44 touchdown passes and 27 interceptions.
Perhaps Kitchens, who is reputed to be more aggressive than Garrett and more determined to force-feed the ball to the supposed playmakers — Kenny Golladay (no touchdowns) and Saquon Barkley (three touchdowns) — will find a way to help Glennon hunt some success.
“I think you still have to trust your eyes, trust your read, and if the ball takes you to that guy then you throw it to him,’’ Glennon said. “If not, you have to move on. Some changes, some similarities that you can’t just be stupid about it and force it.’’
The Dolphins present a challenge. They have won four straight games — following a seven-game losing streak — by leaning largely on a risk-taking defense that, during the winning surge, led the league in sacks with 16 and was third in points allowed (11.5 per game). The defense has allowed the Dolphins to simplify the system for Tua Tagovailoa, who is completing 70.5 percent of his passes.
The Giants (18 touchdowns on offense this season) need to figure out a way to get into the end zone.
“I think people outside get so caught up in how many times this person is getting the ball or how many times this person is touching the ball,’’ Barkley said, “when the only thing and our whole main objective as a team is just finding a way to get the ‘dub.’ Whatever it takes, that’s the way we’ve got to do it.’’
People on the outside mostly get caught up on winning and losing, and the Giants do much more of the latter than the former. They have yet to win back-to-back games this season, and this represents another opportunity to do so, coming off a defense-infused 13-7 victory over the Eagles. Otherwise, it is one step up and two steps back, again.