Sunday’s contest against the Giants and the Redskins (Seriously, guys – you’re still the Redskins? Why not be the "Cottin’ Pickin’ Good Fer Nuttin’ —" well, you see where I’m going with this. And if you don’t get it, let me speak plainly: your team nickname is racist. Very Racist.) was sloppy, but given how few games the NFL plays, every win is important, and all that matters is you win. The Giants didn’t look especially good doing it, but they got it done.
Mr. Robert Griffen III sure can play. I know that’s not news, but jeez, that dude has some moves, some legs and a serious arm. I do think he’s a catastrophic knee injury waiting to happen (based on the way he pivots and scrambles), but wow. He’s an amazing player, and yesterday, it often looked like he had to deal with the ineptitude that Eli Manning usually has to do deal with – although this weekend, Manning contributed a bit of that bad play himself. Anyway, much props to RG3 (as the kids say… right? kids still say that?), but in the end, Eli decided that he preferred to win the game rather than loose it and KABOOM – touchdown! Just like that. Victor Cruz and Eli Manning make it look so easy, don’t they? And that’s how it goes – if you let Eli Manning have the ball with time left late in the game and it’s a one score game, you are screwed. Very, very screwed.
It’s good to be a Giants fan.
As The New England Patriots learned when they played the Baltimore Ravens, sometimes you win the game, but other times, your opponent loses the game. I’m not sure if Super Bowl 46 was one of these cases, but Tom Brady made two mistakes that ultimately made it very difficult for the Patriots to win the game. (Which worked out great for me!)
There’s been some Intentional Grounding calls we’ve seen over the years that felt a bit like splitting hairs, and then there’s an Intentional Grounding penalty that’s so blatant it is called by seven year old kids throwing yellow napkins at their TVs. What on earth was Brady thinking? I guess he wasn’t – he just panicked, trying to get rid of the ball and avoid the safety, but got one anyway.
This wasn’t nearly as bad as the safety, but still, not a great throw. Sure, you look at the match up between the defender and the receiver, but it’s The Super Bowl; you can’t throw the ball like that. Oh well.
Still, even if it wasn’t he best played game, it was fun to watch. Tom Brady still gave a pretty good performance, and as I’m sure Eli Manning can sympathize, you can throw a bunch of good balls, but you can’t catch them for your receivers.
And hey, I was pretty close on my prediction – I had the Giants winning the game 24-17, so not too bad.
The New York Giants just don’t have the pieces they need to succeed, and while I’m usually yelling at the receiver core until I’m blue in the face, it’s time to take a hard look at the Giants running game.
Or lack there of.
The Giants rushed for 29 yards. Twenty-nine yards. That’s it. Brandon Jacobs averaged under 2 yards per carry in 12 tries. What. The. Hell. Is. That. About?!? At this point, the guy just doesn’t provide the Giants with much value, and I don’t know what they can do to turn around his season.
Whatever. This is who the Giants are. They play close games against mediocre teams and sometimes they make fewer mistakes than their opponents, and sometimes they make more. It’s a weak division in a weak league, so ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because the Giants don’t have what it takes to go all the way. If you have any fantasies about the Giants going deep in the playoffs, it’s time to let those go. If they were in the other league, they’d have a .500 record instead of being 6-4, and yet, they could easily be 8-2 and it still wouldn’t change who they fundamentally are – a flawed team that can’t get out of it’s own way and has no hope of winning the Super Bowl this year.
It’s always nice when someone can admit they’re wrong. In this case, it’s the Giants wide receiver core. Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole has got the goods:
…on at least half of Eli Manning’s eight interceptions this season, the problem has been tied to the receiver being in the wrong place at the wrong time. “There have been some pretty crucial times when we haven’t finished routes or read them correctly,” a Giants source said earlier this week. The latest example came on Manning’s second interception during Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers as wide receiver Mario Manningham didn’t finish a route the quarterback expected.
“You could say I’m supposed to work through it a little further,” Manningham said, a little sheepishly. “We definitely weren’t on the same page, so that has to get fixed.”
Likewise, Manning had an interception on a pass to Cruz in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks earlier this season when Cruz was in the wrong spot.
Yeah, I noticed that myself. I’m sure that memorizing an NFL playbook is no easy task, but when it’s your job, I’d like to think there would be a bit more emphasis on getting that done. Hell, Plexico Burress was usually hurt and couldn’t even practice with the team, but I don’t remember him having this problem. I’m willing to give Cruz a pass for now; after all, he’s been on the team for like five minutes, right? But Manningham needs to get his act together so I can start making Super Mario puns.
But yeah, look at Yahoo! Sports coming in handy! I usually don’t have much in the way of positive words for them, but this was a decent article… although they did make the obligatory joke about Giants receivers being in the wrong place at the wrong time in reference to a shooting at a nightclub that some of the Giants were at to celebrate Victor Cruz’s birthday. It’s not an especially funny joke and given that someone died, it’s not in the best of taste.
So, you know – standard Yahoo! article.
While I am willing to concede that Mario Manningham made some fine catches (including a well thrown ball for a touch down) in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco Giants, I must also point out that the ball bounced off his chest at least once and his inability to complete his route directly caused an interception that was probably a game changing turnover. These kind of mental mistakes are the sort of things that continue to hold the New York Giants offense from climbing up to the next level. Eli Manning is not guiltless in the loss, but when he hits a receiver in the chest with the ball, they need to catch it. When you’re running your route, you need to finish it so the only person that’s anywhere near where the ball comes down isn’t the other team’s safety. Still, big kudos to Eli Manning and the offense for their 4th down conversions in the fourth quarter – that was some hardcore shiz. But taking this thing to the next level is not looking like a possibility right now, although a playoff birth is looking mighty obtainable at this moment. If Brandon Jacobs and the Giants wide receivers can elevate their game, we might really have something here. I was pleasantly surprised by the Giants rushing defense;I thought the 49ers would run all over the place, but it didn’t feel that way; I can’t remember now, but perhaps the Giants were able to bring in an extra safety due to the 49ers less than stellar passing attack.
This feels like a game the Giants should have won – they led in nearly all offensive categories, but that extra turnover really broke their back. Maybe next week, the Giants can take advantage (again) of a damaged Philadelphia Eagles team that is just waiting to be put out of it’s misery.
Reggie Bush did his best to knock the Dolphins out of the Andrew Luck bowl, but in the end, mediocrity triumphed over the team with no quarterback. Barely.
In an effort to be positive, here are two things I like about the Giants: Eli Manning and the pass rush.
That is all.
I’m a huge fan of Corey Webster – not only is he an outstanding play maker (2 interceptions this week!), he’s also keenly aware of reality:
“We still have a long ways to go, but it is easily corrected off of a ‘W’ instead of a ‘L.’ We made some mistakes, but we get to correct them. We have two weeks to do that so hopefully we get started moving in the right direction now.”
This is the sort of comment he makes after a win – no wonder I admire his play so much. Webster must know that yesterday’s win was achieved not only due to some good play by the Giants, of course, but also some tremendous mistakes by the Buffalo Bills. Both teams committed 3 penalties, but the Bills pass interference and face mask penalties in the fourth quarter were back breakers for them and W makers for the Giants. If the Bills don’t commit those blatant fourth quarter penalties, we could be looking at a different outcome, and I think Corey Webster understands that.
Eli Manning had a stellar game – 21 of 32 for 292 yards and no interceptions! Coupling this with Ahmad Bradshaw’s 104 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns and that’s good offensive production. The defense also had a great second half by allowing the Bills to score only once.Still, the New York Giants problems are there for all to see. I don’t expect Bradshaw to rush for 100 yards every week and although it seems that Victor Cruz is quickly becoming a fan favorite, I don’t see him being the answer at wide receive any more than I do Hakeem Nicks or Mario Manningham. I have always believed that to win a Super Bowl, a team has to have an elite receive, and I just don’t see that guy on the Giants roster at this time.
Enjoy the bye week!
I decided to take a few days and give myself some space after the Giants’ Monday night win over the Rams – watching my team play so poorly against another team that is even worse than they are leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Where to begin…
The defense doesn’t look too bad, but giving up 16 points to the Rams is disappointing, no matter how you look at it.
Can anybody on this team catch? Even when they’re wide open, Giants receivers can barely catch the ball, or it straight up bounces off their chest or hands.
Eli Manning isn’t exactly setting the world on fire. Back foot, anyone?
Still, the Giants might find a way to worm their way into the playoffs and as they get guys back from injury, maybe things will look up. Let’s see what they do against the Eagles – hopefully, Michael Vick will be able to play and the Giants can put a big hit on him; that alone would make the game worth watching, even if they get stomped.
I haven’t written a single word about my beloved New York Giants this season until now, and with good reason: they stink. I didn’t expect much last season, and I expect even less this year… why waste my time?
You can hunt for silver linings, cast undue grandeur on existing players or just call it what it is – a weak team that cannot sustain a single injury and already has several. Without Osi Umenyiora, Hakeem Nicks or Justin Tuck (not to mention Prince Amukamara and Travis Beckum), you might as well ask Eli Manning to throw with oven mitts on his hands. The bottom line is the Giants needed to improve their roster for this season, not let several of their better players leave. Without Kevin Boss, who will Eli Manning dump the ball off to when he gets tired of watching the ball bounce off the hands and chests of his other receivers? Without -
You know what, forget it. I hate to be so pessimistic, but I consider it a significant miracle that the Giants went 10-6 last year, and this season, it’s hard to expect any better than a .500 record, but it’s easy to question even that prediction. They don’t play these games on paper, but when you review the Giants roster, it’s hard to get excited about this team. Maybe Mario Manningham and Dominic Hixon will suddenly turn the corner on their career and evolve into elite players. That seems likely. Maybe Brandon Jacobs will work well and play nicely with others this season. Right.
Oh, and Monday Night Football – great. Everywhere I look, it says the game starts at 8:30 PM EST, but if it starts before 9, I will throw a parade in MNF’s honor. The only bright spot is that the Giants are favored tonight by 7 points – but again, they don’t play these games on paper.