The days of talking Super Bowls are over. And while we’re at it, the 1-8 Giants generally haven’t been in a position to talk a good game, much less play one.
But when coach Ben McAdoo was confronted with the prospect of returning to MetLife Stadium — where the Giants are 0-4 and patience is running thin — he put all of his confidence in a team that in many ways has lost the confidence of a good portion of its fans.
“We plan on playing great football on Sunday and getting a win,” he said on Friday about the game against the 6-3 Chiefs. “We want your support. Come out, watch a great show.”
It was a pitch that McAdoo never would have had to make when the season started, but after season-defining losses to the Rams and 49ers in which the Giants allowed 82 points, fan interest is waning along with fan patience.
According to TicketIQ, which sells secondary market tickets and analyzes trends, prices for Giants tickets are down 29 percent since the start of the season. Prices, the site said, have dropped from an average of $346 to $244. As of Friday, some tickets for Sunday’s game were as low as $54.
“We’re not worried about it,” tight end Evan Engram said of the fan reception. “We’re just going to go out there to beat the Kansas City Chiefs.” Asked to clarify whether players care if fans come to the game, Engram grew terse. “No,” he said.
Although the level of discontent among fans has been apparent on sports talk radio, Twitter and website comment sections, McAdoo said he doesn’t fear an overly negative reaction. “The fans have been nothing but great,” he said. “If the players want support, we need to give the fans something to cheer about.”
Jason Pierre-Paul added that although thoughts of playoffs are long gone, it’s vital that the Giants play for individual pride.
“We all work for a purpose. We started off, we set a goal, [and that’s] to win a championship here, right?” he said. “Coming up short, you really got to motivate yourself . . . Even though you’re losing, your motive is get yourself to be the best you can be.”
Engram a captain. Engram’s quick ascension will reach a high Sunday; the rookie will be a game-day captain. “He’s done everything that we’ve asked of him so far,” McAdoo said of the 23-year-old, selected 23rd in this year’s draft. “He works hard, loves football and it shows.” Added Engram: “That’s the kind of stuff that means everything to me. I definitely appreciate the opportunity and it’s pretty cool to be asked to be a captain, so I definitely take pride in that and I definitely feel accomplished, and hopefully I can keep showing them that I can grow [in] a leadership role.”
Notes & quotes: DT Damon Harris (ankle) and LB Devon Kennard (quadriceps) are questionable for Sunday. “Tomorrow will be a big day for them on launch day,” McAdoo said. “It’s another day to get up to 80 percent, anyways.”