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New regime didn’t change the Giants’ culture problem

Vincent Frank
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports

The last-place New York Giants are not in a good place heading into the final five weeks of the season. Fresh off blowing Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, first-year head coach Pat Shurmur and Co. head into Week 13 with a 3-8 record.

New York’s most-recent loss was glaring for one reason. Up 19-3 with just over four minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Giants fell by the score of 25-22.

It’s a game that saw stud running back Saquon Barkley attempt 13 runs compared to 37 pass attempts from Eli Manning. Despite this, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was not happy about New York’s game plan.

“Coming in knowing they’ve struggled in the secondary, personally I would’ve loved to attack them,” OBJ said following the loss, via ESPN. “But it wasn’t in the game plan. I don’t know. I don’t call the plays.”

Given that Barkley put up 101 yards on 13 attempts, it’s hard to agree with OBJ’s sentiment here. In fact, New York dropped the ball big time by ignoring the rookie running back with the game seemingly in hand.

In pushing back against Beckham’s criticism, Shurmur pretty much mirrored this thought process.

“We ran the ball 18 times and threw it 37,’’ Shurmur said, via the NY Post . “That’s twice as many throws as there were runs. We had seven explosive gains in the passing game. You’ll have to ask him to define it after he watches the tape, but I felt like we were trying to do the things necessary to win the game.’’

It’s getting to the point that we’re noticing a pretty big rift between Beckham and his new coaching staff. It’s seemingly been a season-long issue.

In one way, Beckham is 100 percent correct. The Eagles have been dealing with a plethora of injuries in the secondary.

On the other hand, passing the ball 37 times with a quarterback in Eli Manning who has regressed leaps and bounds doesn’t seem to be a recipe for success. That’s magnified when the other option in the backfield is Saquon Barkley. He’s currently on pace to be only the third rookie running back in NFL history to cross the 2,000-total yard plateau.

At issue here is just how the Giants’ locker room is going to function moving forward. For as good as OBJ has been, it’s Barkley who looks to be the future face of this franchise. Just recently extended, we have no idea how Beckham is going to deal with that dynamic.

More to the point. Beckham’s continued criticism of this new coaching staff has created a widespread divide. Is it realistic to believe that all of these entities can coexist moving forward? We’re not too sure.

What we do know is that the Giants are coming off a drama-filled 2017 season under then-coach Ben McAdoo. The team needs to find a way to change its culture. OBJ now appears to be part of the problem. And in reality, that could lead to a divorce once the 2018 campaign comes to a merciful conclusion.