Co-owner John Mara was optimistic that the Giants would be a playoff contender, although he never went so far as to say he had a Super Bowl team, as many observers suggested. But after a 1-5 start and plenty of scrutiny on coach Ben McAdoo, Mara acknowledged the obvious Wednesday.
“I’m very disappointed,” Mara said in his first public comments about the state of his team since the season began. “We’re 1-5. How could I possibly feel good about that?”
Even a 23-10 win over the Broncos in Denver on Sunday night did little to assuage Mara’s irritation.
“It showed me we’re 1-5 instead of 0-6,” he said at the conclusion of the NFL owners’ fall meetings in Manhattan. “Listen, the players played hard Sunday night and our defense played the way I thought they were going to play all year, so it’s a step in the right direction. But it’s just one step.”
McAdoo has been criticized heavily for one of the worst starts in franchise history, but Mara said he still backs the second-year coach and longtime general manager Jerry Reese. “I support both of them,” he said. “You have to. It’s hard enough to win in this league. But if the general manager and the head coach don’t have the support of ownership, it makes it almost impossible.”
Mara acknowledged fan displeasure with the performance of his two key football men. “It’s not my first time dealing with an issue like that,” he said. “I do hear what they have to say, but at the end of the day, we’re still in the middle of the season. We’re trying to win games and do the best we can.”
No NFL team ever made the playoffs after being 0-5. Does Mara still think it’s possible?
“I’m not going to pull the Jim Mora quote out,” Mara said, referring to coach Jim Mora’s famous rant in 2001 in which he mocked a question about whether his Colts could reach the postseason by repeatedly saying, “Playoffs? Playoffs?”
“I just want to win the next game [against Seattle]. That’s all I’m thinking about.”
Has he given up on the season?
“I haven’t given up on anything.”