Week 10 of the 2017 NFL season brings together the two worst teams in the NFL: The super disappointing New York Giants coming to visit the winless San Francisco 49ers, who might be facing their only opportunity to win a game this season, considering the rest of their schedule.
Since going 8-8 in 2014 and then firing Jim Harbaugh, the team’s most successful head coach in almost 20 years, the 49ers have won just 7 games, going 7-34 over the last 41 games, including losing 11 straight at their home field. It was a 20-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in week 1 of the 2016 season.
For the Giants, it’s been more a case of shock than expecting to suck. After going 11-5 in 2016 with a solid offense and a terrific defense, the Giants simply collapsed this season right from the get go. Ben McAdoo is turning out to be an awful hire at head coach, while the previously heralded moves of general manager Jerry Reese are seen as franchise destroyers at this point, especially his inability to fix the team’s long-known offensive line issues.
So how bad are we talking when it comes to both teams? Their offenses average 32 points combined per game, with the Giants ranking 29th in the NFL and the 49ers 30th. The two are also near the bottom defensively, with the Giants ranked 29th, giving up 25.9 points per game, and the Niners 26.6 points per game. Only the Colts give up more points per game, and only the Browns and weird Dolphins score less than these teams each time they’re on the field.
The Niners, scoring exactly 10 points in each of their last three losses (with rookie C.J. Beathard playing quarterback), had some close calls this season, losing by 3 points or less four times in a row between weeks 3 and 6, but that improvement progress more or less stopped without Brian Hoyer. Whether Jimmy Garoppolo plays or not, it might not matter if the rumors of the Giants already quitting on their head coach are true.
The man who changed and improved Eli Manning, who coached the Giants to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, is now a walking question mark, as everyone is asking how he still has a job. Ben McAdoo, along with poor front office decisions, has made the Giants into a joke, partially for their fall from grace, now guaranteed to finish .500 or under for the 4th time in 5 years. And Manning? His 6.15 yards per attempt are 27th in the NFL, with 19 sacks he’s taken so far, and a 85.4 passer rating, 23rd in the league. Excluding the awful 2013 season, this might be his worst year since 2007, although that one ended with a happy note.
The NFL has seen plenty of bad games this season, for various reasons, including a weird quarterback situation and transition around the league. However, a game between two teams as bad as the 49ers and Giants we’ve yet to see. The teams that 6 seasons ago clashed for the right to play in the Super Bowl and presented the pinnacle of the NFC are now an example of how bad it can get – for the Niners in a long, slow decay, while for the Giants it’s been in one, sharp and painful drop.