New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is nearing the end to his 10th year as the head coach of the franchise. He’s won two Super Bowl championships over the last seven seasons and has finished at or above .500 in his first nine seasons in New Jersey. He boasts a .560 career regular season winning percentage and is 7-3 in the playoffs with the Giants. Needless to say, Coughlin’s tenure rivals what Bill Parcells did with the franchise a nearly quarter century ago. In reality, Coughlin will likely end up being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio when all is said and done.
Then why even attempt to write an article that suggests Coughlin should be forced out as the Giants head coach? At some point in a coaches career it becomes obvious that it’s just time to move on. We saw this with Andy Reid in Philadelphia, and before that, Jeff Fisher in Tennessee. Not to say that Coughlin has worn out his welcome…okay, maybe he has. That’s precisely the point to look at here.
Coughlin has coached the second-most games in Giants history, about 125 less than Steve Owen, who led the franchise for a quarter century from 1931-1953. Coughlin boasts the second-best winning percentage in franchise history, behind the great Bill Parcells. He has also tied Owen and Parcells with two world championships in New York.
It’s not for a lack of success, nor is it about attempting to get page clicks. Coughlin has been on the hot seat more often then anyone in recent NFL history. Each time that the former Boston College head man has seen his seat get scorching hot, the Giants have responded as a team. This ended in 2013.
Due to lackluster quarterback play from Eli Manning, a complete lack of a running game and absolutely no pass protection, the Giants’ offense has stalled big time this season. They rank 28th overall in points scored and have been shutout twice on the season. Equally as important, the Giants boast a negative-16 turnover margin and have turned the ball over in every single game. Defensively, the Giants rank 20th in scoring and are in the middle of the pack, both against the pass and the run.
It’s mostly been about turnovers and a lack of accountability on the football field, and this is directly related to the coaching on the sideline.
Outside of a great four-game stretch to win the Super Bowl back in 2011, the Giants have been nothing more than a mediocre football team over the past five seasons. They have compiled a 42-37 record and has missed the playoffs four times during that span. This cannot be acceptable for a franchise that prides itself on the eight NFL championships that it possesses.
We can sit here and Blame Eli Manning for being mediocre, and that’s exactly what he has been. We can sit here and blame general manager Jerry Reese for not drafting incredibly well over the past half decade or so. Heck, we can even blame both coordinators for failing to up the play of their units on the football field.
But in the end, doesn’t the buck stop with Coughlin?
This isn’t to say that his tenure in New Jersey hasn’t been successful. Nearly every coach in the NFL outside of Bill Belichick in New England would take two Super Bowl rings in the matter of seven seasons. The idea here is that every good thing must come to an end. It’s clearly time that the Giants move on to the future with a new head coach on the sideline. Will they heed this call when all is said and done Monday morning? That much I am not certain of.