Not since the Giants emerged from the dark days of the 1970s has it felt quite like this.
After a humiliating loss to Dallas — before a MetLife Stadium crowd that made it sound like a Cowboys home game — and a pathetic performance in a second-half meltdown against the hated Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, the Giants have hit rock bottom.
They are barely able to put points on the board in a league designed to score almost at will, and the defense no longer is capable of carrying the team the way it was through much of last season and in spots this year.
There may be other teams with fewer wins, but right here, right now, the New York Giants are the worst team in professional football.
We take no delight in saying this, not about a team that has delivered a competitive product from the 1980s to 2011. There are four Super Bowl wins in there, another Super Bowl appearance and many other playoff seasons.
But the team on the field now is not competitive and not functional.
Yes, the Giants have lost their starting quarterback, and Daniel Jones makes them somewhat better. But even with Jones, there is no ignoring his horrid performance against the Buccaneers, which was the last straw for offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
Even when healthy, Jones struggled to find the end zone. Not as much as Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm have, but it still was one of the team’s worst offenses in years.
And now they have sunk to the very depths of the sport. No team is more incapable of winning right now than the Giants (4-11).
The previously winless Lions have played competitive football in recent weeks. The Texans, without quarterback Deshaun Watson all season, beat the Chargers on Sunday with a third-round rookie quarterback, Davis Mills.
The Jets and Bears won Sunday. The Jaguars have won only two games, but at least they have victories over Buffalo and Miami to their credit.
The Giants? This was supposed to be a season of marked improvement, remember? They signed high-priced receiver Kenny Golladay to give the offense a more reliable target. Saquon Barkley was back from a knee injury. The offensive line was supposed to be better. And the defense was ready to improve on last year’s promising results.
Nevertheless, this team is worse than last year’s. Much worse. Their two most heated division rivals have wasted them in the last two weeks. And it’s hard to see them beating the Bears or Washington the next two weeks
as they lurch toward the end of a hideous season.
It’s brutal for a fan base that deserves better. Joe Judge promised he’d build a team the New York area could be proud of, a lunch-bucket team that would give you everything it had for 60 minutes. But the coach has not delivered.
Judge said Monday that, even with the poor record, there have been signs of improvement in the second half of the season.
They are awful on offense, and even before Garrett’s ouster and Jones’ injury, they were among the league’s worst. They still play tough on defense; see Sunday’s first half, in which they held the Eagles to a field goal before Philly blew their doors off in the second half in a 34-10 win. And except for kicker Graham Gano, their special teams are unremarkable.
This team hasn’t improved. It has regressed. Badly.
Judge gave Fromm a shot against the Eagles, but he showed why he couldn’t earn a spot on the Bills’ regular roster before the Giants desperately signed him off their practice squad. Glennon is one of the NFL’s least effective backups.
The Giants can help themselves by beating the Bears to improve next year’s first-round pick they secured from Chicago in April, but how are they supposed to get a win at Soldier Field the way they’ve been playing through a four-game losing streak in which they’ve been outscored 112-46?
They have won only 10 games the last two years, and though they briefly flirted with reaching the playoffs last season, it was only because the NFC East was a burned-out husk of a division.
They are a desperately bad team right now facing yet another set of decisions involving Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman, the architect of these most forgettable last four seasons.
Yes, this really is rock bottom.