Joe Schoen 1-0.
This has nothing to do with the assessment of the head coach he picked at Brian Daboll, the veterans he signed into free agency, the freshmen he picked in the NFL Draft or the way he tried to pull the salary cap space out of an empty hat.
There can be guesses and predictions about what all these decisions will look like a year from now. It is too early to tell. However, there is one unmistakable prediction from Schoen that a sure-fire launch cannot be missed.
“It’s going to be overreacting, one way or another, on the Monday after our first game, win or lose,” Schwinn said. “you know, [you] Winning, everyone will say we are better than we probably are. If we lose, we’re not as bad as we were that day. So, I think it will take a few weeks to figure out who we really are. ”
As a first-time general manager, Schwinn’s valuation is of course based on money. The first week of the NFL season is reserved for the hottest scenes. Teams that are 1-0 up go high no matter what. Teams that are 0-1 do not win, until proven otherwise.
If Daboll somehow manages to push, nudge, and cajole the Giants to victory on Sunday in Nashville — they are underdogs by 5.5 points for the Titans — he will have done something only one Giants coach in the past 12 years has been able to do: record the win one week later.
Tom Coughlin ended his 12-year career by losing a season opener in each of his last five years, beginning with the 2011 Super Bowl. Ben McAdoo stunned everyone in the organization – in a good way – by leaving Dallas victorious in the first week of 2016. The Giants were 1-0 up after holding out for a 20-19 victory, prompting McAdoo to say: “We’re looking through the windshield; we Don’t look through the rearview mirror.”
McAdoo’s Giants lost their first five games in 2017.
Pat Shurmore? 0-2 in 2018 and again in 2019. It feels right. Joe Judge? 0-5 in 2020 and 0-3 in 2021.
The feeling of waking up after losing the opening match is so familiar to fans of the Giants that it’s almost a life-cycle ritual. Labor Day has come and gone, the children are back in school, traffic has slowed again to a crawl, and there is a slight hint of a cooling thrust in the air at sunset. Fall is coming. The Giants got off to a rough start. This has been a drumbeat for a long time.
For the fourth time in the past seven years, Opening Day also means Giants debut for the head coach. McAdoo and Judge were rookies, and Shumur was not. Daboll at 47 is more experienced than McAdoo and Judge – both were 38 when they were hired by the Giants. He was in Buffalo to start the 2021 season as offensive coordinator when the Bills lost to the Steelers 23-16 in the opening game. This was definitely not an omen.
“There are seasons where we won the first game and seasons where we lost the first game,” Daboll said on Monday. “Every game is important, everyone is excited for the opening day, it’s a great match. There are so many unknowns. You figure out what your team is, and you try to figure out which team you play on.”
The sins of the past cannot be reserved for those who are new to all this. Shurmur and Judge both felt the immediate weight of the loss early in the season, weighed down by a “here we go again” feeling not entirely of their own making. Returning players feel it, too. Newcomers should be exempted from this.
“I’ve never had to prepare to lose because I haven’t lost much in the past,” said Evan Neal, addressing the rookie. “I hate losing, I always have. Losing here is not something I will focus on. The goal is to win.”
Neal won his first eight games as a freshman at Alabama. He went 13-0 as a sophomore and won his first five games as a junior. He said he never lost his first game in any season at any level. He will try to keep his streak going and resist the trend of the giants on Sunday.
“The first game is the first game, it’s a long season,” Neal said. “Win, lose or draw, you want to go out and compete and fight hard and you know you have a chance to get better too. But 0-1, 1-0, there’s going to be week 2, you know?”
There will be week 2. 1-0 or 0-1 awaits the Giants, who have specialized in getting off on the wrong foot.