Longer version: The intragame comments, postgame comments, email and phone conversations were flooded with unflattering remarks about Gilbrown. Everyone kept on bringing up the series where it was 1st and 5 later in the game. That was certainly one of the more egregious moments. Wonder articulated it simply: the offense need(ed) to have a rhythm. For lack of a better word, it is converting 3rd downs. When your QB is having problems, you need to use the slant and shorter passes to make his job easier, give him more confidence. But we have talked about this EXACT same issue immediately after W14. So why the surprise? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." WHO WAS FOOLED BY WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?! "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." We are disappointed (to put it mildly) that our coaches made the same mistakes again. A rhythm was established in the Carolina game, and it was quickly lost. Was Gilbride getting "cute?" I think it is more about him being clueless.
These kinds of games are killers because of the simple fact the team beat itself. Everyone who understands football knows that there was more than enough on this team to win a championship. Watching the season end in this manner is particularly nasty. I am grateful that there are at least a few sane people out in cyberworld who have afforded us the luxury of knowing that we are not the ones who are mad. And when I spoke with Wonder, he independently remarked about "your buddy Gilbride." It was Wonder who said that he was one of the three MVPs of the game for the Eagles, I had to borrow that. Gilbrown= underachievement.
The 5 stages of grief may call for "acceptance," but we as fans do not have to accept underachievement. It is up to Coughlin, not Reese, to cut Gilbrown loose. We have heard about GMs who ask for assistants to get let go, but I do not believe the Giants ever operated this way. So Coughlin is the one who is responsible in Reese's eyes, and if it doesn't get fixed at a certain point, Reese would have a problem with Coughlin, not with one of his assistants. As we all know, Reese is VERY smart. I am sure he knows exactly what is going on. He'll be hearing excuses from the coaches, but he was not born yesterday either. He knows that the Giants loss was just as UNACCEPTABLE as the Titan loss 1 day prior.
Some of the remarks about the defense causing problems in the loss were imo incidental. THE DEFENSE PLAYED WELL ENOUGH TO WIN. Gilbride's unit did not get it done and SCORED THREE POINTS ALL GAME. The Giants defense gave up 16. Deduct 2 points for the safety, 3 points on the Robbins INT, and all they did was give up 11 points. This game was NOT on the defense.
As for Jacobs' remarks about not having the same intensity as the Eagles, I completely disagree. In the first half, all I saw was the Giants defense playing with fire, giving up 3 points the entire half, and the offense simply falling (Manning INT) apart and not finishing drives. The Giants had plenty of intensity, more than enough to win. If you want to argue that Manning did not play with "intensity," I won't argue with that, but since when he has ever showed 'any' intensity ever? He always plays at the same speed, whether it was last year's playoffs or this year's playoffs. Speaking of Manning..
I was struck by a rather accurate assessment made by Cris Carter of ESPN on Eli Manning. Carter said that Eli Manning was going to have deal with the fallout from this loss along with his big win last season. Essentially, what he is saying is that the Joe Montanas of the world did not play down and bring their teams to defeat in BIG PLAYOFF games. This is just a reminder that you are what your record is, and he is going to be remembered for having left plenty on the table in the 2008 season.