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Tom Coughlin cannot be blamed for New York Giants' struggles

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The natives, the fans, the press and the talking heads are rightfully restless. The New York Giants are awful.

This is a three-win mess of a squad, a shell of the team that won Super Bowl XLVI with heart and toughness. There is no hope in sight. It's that bad. The Giants are about to miss the playoffs for the third straight year.

However, if you are blaming Tom Coughlin for this horrendous campaign, if you are calling for the decorated coach to be fired, I frankly feel sorry for you.

You've missed everything.

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The problem with the 2014 New York Giants is they aren't any good. You don't need a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Mike Mayock to figure this one out. This installment of Big Blue just doesn't have the requisite talent to be competitive in the NFL. Bill Belichick couldn't win with this roster -- neither could Bill Walsh nor Vince Lombardi. So it's not hard to understand this team's struggles under Coughlin.

Tom Coughlin is arguably both a future Hall of Famer and the greatest coach in Giants history. No, I'm not forgetting Bill Parcells. And Tom Coughlin didn't forget how to coach.

New York is a dreadful 3-7. And in six of those seven defeats, the Giants have lost by double digits. The talent cannot match up. They aren't close.

Blame must be pointed in the direction of general manager Jerry Reese, who has been living off an epic 2007 draft class that instantly helped shaped a Super Bowl team (albeit one largely constructed by former GM Ernie Accorsi). Since that initial triumph, Reese has made many draft-day miscalculations. He's eschewed spending early picks on linebackers, creating a consistent problem. New York's offensive line is in shambles. The defense, currently ranked 31st, is arguably worse.

Back in August, I thought the Giants could win seven games this year -- and even that would've been underwhelming for this proud franchise. But then the team suffered a rash of key injuries, from Victor Cruz to Rashad Jennings to Walter Thurmond to Prince Amukamara to Jon Beason (though depending on the injury-prone Beason was a mistake by Reese in the first place). The Giants were banking on key offseason acquisition Geoff Schwartz to help the offensive line. He just came off of injured reserve this week, having missed every snap of the season thus far. Odell Beckham Jr. has sizzled of late, but a balky hamstring sidelined him throughout the summer and the first month of this season, hampering the rookie's development and the offense's explosiveness.

Of course, this is the National Football League -- every team encounters injuries, and the good ones overcome them. Just look at the Arizona Cardinals, who've endured a spate of key personnel losses to post the league's best record.

Unfortunately, the Giants have no depth. And in a related note of ineptitude, the Giants have no identity. They don't have a bone-crunching defense or a top-flight passing attack that can carry the squad through adversity. They don't have a run game or a pass defense, either.

The 2014 Giants don't have much of anything. Honestly, this group doesn't have one true area of strength.

How could anyone coach this team up?

As a two-time Super Bowl champion, Coughlin has earned the right to go out his way. I could see a scenario where Coughlin bows out gracefully, sick of continually missing the playoffs, with the Giants several players away from truly competing in 2015. I could see Coughlin wanting to get off the sinking ship to spend more time with his grandchildren.

But firing Coughlin is absurd.

The game has not passed him by. I don't believe for a second Coughlin has lost the locker room, either. Effort isn't the question. The Giants don't have the players.

This week, the Giants host the Cowboys on "Sunday Night Football." Dallas is likely to win. New York's issues will be laid bare on national television, just like they were on "Monday Night Football" at the beginning of this month.

Tom Coughlin's face will be red from anger and perhaps cold weather. Giants faithful will be hot and bothered watching it all play out.

But here's a word to the wise: If you're feeling the need to let loose a Bronx cheer Sunday evening, just make sure your venom is directed in the right place.

Fire Tom Coughlin?

Stop the insanity.

Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.

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