The San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants are a combined 1-15, and nobody is going to confuse them as contenders for anything more than a high draft pick. The playoffs are not happening, but naturally both head coaches will continue to push their players and assess things for the future.
Giants head coach Ben McAdoo chatted with Bay Area media on Wednesday, and when someone mentioned being eliminated from playoff contention, it led to an amusing little exchange. Well, sort of amusing initially.
BM: We've been eliminated?
Reporter: Pretty darn close.
BM: (Pause) Yeah. Well, I'm not ready to go without a fight, that's for sure. We’re just gonna play one game at a time, each week you have to make sure you have a good clean message for the team, and make sure you do — you’re not always on output, it’s important to be on input, too — make sure you listen to the leaders of the locker room, the Fraziers, we call them. Get the young guys to pump energy into the program.
No team has yet been mathematically eliminated, but the 49ers and Giants are clearly playing for the future. Of course, the future of the two organizations looks decidedly different.
On the one hand, you’ve got Kyle Shanahan in the first year of his contract, and working with new GM John Lynch to overhaul a bad 49ers team. Most of us probably would prefer at least one win, but an 0-16 season will not get him fired.
On the other hand, you’ve got Ben McAdoo in the second year of his contract. The Giants went 11-5 and earned a playoff berth in his first year, but not sit at 1-7 and are going in the wrong direction in his second year. Rumors are already circulating that he will be fired by the end of the year. Players have been anonymously ripping McAdoo, and one report on Wednesday suggested he could be gone sooner rather than later.
Things are not good, but it seems likely he can last year. However, if the 49ers beat the Giants on Sunday, could we see an in-season firing? Or would it take a particularly embarrassing loss? The 49ers would actually need to win the game first, but if they did, maybe that ends up giving the Giants the excuse they need to fire McAdoo.