EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — There’s something hopefully good coming out of the New York Giants’ seven-game losing streak.
They seemingly are going to get another headliner in the NFL draft next spring to add to a mantle that includes halfback Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones.
The last two seasons (3-13 and 5-11) helped general manager Dave Gettleman find leaders for the offense and this season’s 2-9 record has New York on the way to finding a play-making defender.
There are plenty of good ones. Ohio State defensive end Chase Young seemingly tops the list, with cornerback and Buckeyes teammate Jeff Odudah highly rated. Safety/linebacker Isaiah Simmons of Clemson is the top hybrid, while Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown is a monster.
Whether Pat Shurmur will be their head coach remains to be seen. He is 7-20 in less than two seasons with the Giants, and that’s not good.
“I see the young players improving. I see us competing in games, we’re just falling a little bit short,” Shurmur said Monday. “Most of the games, unfortunately, are within a score for most of the game, or we’re ahead and somehow we just can’t find a way quite at the end. But I do think that there’s improvement behind the scenes. It seems like each week we add another young player to the mix of guys. Then they go out and do some good things, and then they do some things that remind you that they’re young.”
Shurmur doesn’t want having so many young players to be an excuse.
“We need to do what we need to do to win the game,” he said.
WHAT'S WORKING: When losing, look at the little things. Punter Riley Dixon is having a very good second season. He is averaging 47.0 yards with a net of 42.5. Twenty of his 45 punts have been inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and 10 ended in fair catches. Last season, he averaged 45.6 yards with a net of 41.5, with 20 finishing inside the 20.
WHAT'S NEEDS HELP
Placekicker Aldrick Rosas. He missed two field goal (42, 43 yards) attempts in the second quarter. The 2018 Pro Bowler has missed either a field goal attempt or PAT in five straight games. He is the first Giants kicker to miss two field goals in a game since Lawrence Tynes in 2010. The Giants may bring in a kicker to turn up the heat.
DBs Sam Beal and Julian Love. Beal held his own in sharing time at cornerback with first-rounder DeAndre Baker. Love, a fourth-round draft pick, got his first extensive playing time with safety Jabrill Peppers banged up and got an interception.
Baker and fellow cornerback Corey Ballentine. Baker has started most of the season but he had to share time with Beal. Ballentine played the slot and was picked on repeatedly by the Bears. He led the team with nine tackles.
Peppers sustained a fractured transverse process in his back. His pain threshold will determine when he plays. WR Golden Tate III is in the concussion protocol. He was hurt landing on a fourth-quarter TD catch. He also took a big hit on a punt return, causing him to spit out his mouth guard.
8 — The last time the Giants lost eight in a row in a season was in 2004. It was Tom Coughlin’s first season as coach. They finished 6-10, then won the NFC East the following season at 11-5. Two years later, they won the Super Bowl.
Just win. It won’t be easy. Green Bay (8-3) is on deck and coming off a bad loss to San Francisco. The schedule also has two games with the desperate Eagles (5-6) and one apiece with Miami and Washington. The Dolphins (2-9) had won two in a row before losing to Buffalo and Cleveland, while the Redskins (2-9) beat the Lions, a team that beat the Giants in the current skid. One of New York’s wins is against Washington.