Michael Strahan follows the Giants closely, for both personal and professional reasons, but he had not realized until someone brought it up recently just how consistently unsuccessful they have been in recent years.
“The last Super Bowl seems like yesterday, but it’s eight years already,” the Hall of Fame Giants defensive end and Fox analyst said Thursday in midtown Manhattan before hosting the “Thursday Night Football” pregame show.
“We had our run. We won two in four years, and it’s been dry since. But I didn’t realize the Giants have been so bad for so long.”
At 2-10, they are guaranteed their sixth losing season out of seven and seventh non-playoff season out of eight.
“I think this year’s been frustrating because you see that they do have some weapons and they do have some great players,” Strahan said. “Some can’t stay healthy. Some just aren’t playing well. Losing close games to start every season, which in turn is just going to put you behind the 8-ball, kills your confidence.
“For me, I’m always more focused in a lot of ways on defense. They have some players, but who’s the impact [player]? You need a few impact players, guys who are going to make some plays. They had some. They let 'em go. Or you have a few who I think play better when they have impact players around them, obviously.
“Right now they don’t have any one player who I’d say, OK, the other team’s got to come in saying, ‘We have to focus on this guy or he’s going to rip us apart.’ They don’t have that.”
Strahan is pleased that Eli Manning, the quarterback with whom he won Super Bowl XLII in Strahan’s final season, likely will get at least one more chance to start for the Giants on Monday night.
“I know what he can do, I just want him to be at the best he can be,” Strahan said. “I want the guys who are around him to give him the best opportunity to win this game.
“I don’t think Eli has anything to prove to me or you or anybody else. I mean, the Super Bowls speak for themselves. It’s unfortunate the way the season has gone for him, and if this is the way he has to get back in the game, so be it, it’s just what the nature of this game is with injuries. But, yeah, I know what he can do, I just hope he does it well.”