Embarrassing. Howard Cross and Carl Banks: "A talented team that has underachieved.... it is time to panic."
Let's remember where this team was at 1PM: You've lost two games. You are playing a divisional opponent. Up to this point this is clearly the most important game of the year for the team. And the team does not show up. That has to fall on Coughlin. We noted after the loss to AZ that the teflon is wearing thin from XLII. Well, when does Coughlin start accepting responsibility for his players and coaching staff not being ready for a game they absolutely had to be ready for?
This was a complete destruction. At halftime, the score was 30-7 and the game was ugly. Wonder: "That is the worst exhibition of playcalling, QB play, coaching and defense I have seen from the Giants since the 1970s. Eli had no idea who he was throwing to. He looked like a rookie. There is a reason why Trent Dilfer didn't get a $100M contract. Adam Schein of SNY is right when he says Eli Manning is not a $100M QB." Jeff Lebowski echoed the same exact sentiment and SamB had similar doubts about Manning. We're not taking shots at Manning as a bad QB. We're indicating that Manning is one of the WEAKER PLAYERS on the team today when he needs to be the bedrock of the franchise. Guys like Montana and Peyton Manning do not look like this. Ever. Old Eli Manning shows up and reminds us he is capable of being dead weight. Your $100M man cannot do that.
The Giants have given up 40 points in a game twice in the same season, something which has not happened since the 1970s. The Giants have lost 3 straight games to teams with winning records. Add the fact that the defense gave up 31 points vs the Cowboys in the only other game they played vs a winning team, and the glass at this point is clearly more than half empty. The LBers are poor, especially in coverage. The secondary is weak without Phillips. The DL did not get enough consistent pressure with just 4 men. McCoy and Weaver (FB wrinkle) ran over the Giants for some huge plays. Also notice how the Saints and Eagles get their TE involved early and then rip apart the defense thereafter when the Safeties pull down.
"Tendencies," griped Banks, with an exasperated chuckle as the offense once again got a flat tire in Q4. The former Giants LBer was blunt in questioning the preparation and gameplanning of the coaches. So were the color commentators of FOX, who asked aloud why the Giants offense is sauntering up to the line of scrimmage without ANY sense of urgency. We watch as Eli is changing the play and going down to 0:00 on the playclock. YOU'RE DOWN 33-7!!! Where is the hurry up? Or at least up tempo? The FOX guys add that we "don't see anything creative coming out of the Giants sideline." The Giants get a turnover and then score, but it takes 4 minutes of clock to go 28 yards. "We need to see a different pace on the next possession," lamented Johnson and Siragusa. There was none. They ripped Gilbride openly, calling out the lack of aggressive playcalling. Maybe that is because, after a turnover and one first down, when you have the ball at the Eagles 28 and it is 33-7, RRPK is scary. Manning missing an open Moss in the endzone is scarier. We could spend hours going through the littany of poorly executed plays.
Manning did not take care of the ball on offense. He had two INTs but could have had 4 or 5. There was poor synchronization between the QB and WRs.
On defense, players did not tackle and make stops. And this went on all day long. Both squads were out of synch. "Embarrassed," said Antonio Pierce.
Special teams was equally horrid. Kickoff coverage gave up great field position and set up Eagles TDs. Hixon put a cherry on the end of the H1 meltdown by coughing up the ball at the beginning of Q3. At least the effort was consistent in all three phases. Consistent vomit.
Speaking of vomit. what would the recap of a losing effort be without the mention of CC ("Can't Cover") Brown?! The Giants go zone, Webster passes off the player and Brown gets roasted by DeSean Jackson. He's barely in the same frame and it is his responsibility. Apologies for stating what every Giant fan with a pulse knows, but Phillips is missed in a bad way. Opposing offenses are targeting this area EVERY GAME.
Terrell Thomas was equally woeful on one missed tackle and he leads the team in this category. Webster was not without a blemish (when it rains, it pours) as a perfect McNabb pass to Maclin victimized the excellent cover corner.
Btw, there were a few players who showed up. (1) Boss was open a number of times and was missed by poor Manning throws. Yet he still managed to get 3 catches for 70 yards (TD in the red zone, two catches off the wrong shoulder, remarkable!) and is clearly a force that the Giants need to build off of. He should not have even suited up. He's a warrior. His ankle was ripped apart on one play and was back in the game ~3 plays later. (2) Hakeem Nicks continues to impress. He goes up for a 35 yard jump ball off of play action and (unlike Hixon last week) comes down with the ball. He's a gamer. He is the future.
Back to the present, this team was completely outplayed and outcoached. It seemed like Gilbride and Sheridan were an open book. It is the Q4, the Eagles are in control and we have a metaphor for the entire game... The Giants send in pressure at the line and the Eagles call a RB screen. The pass by McNabb was inaccurate and the play ended up going for a loss, but the point is that the Eagles were one step ahead and were in the perfect playcall. The Giants did not have but one RB screen called the entire game. Embarrassing. Predictable, uncreative and unaggressive Gilgarbage. The irony is palpable... how the Eagles could be using a RB screen in Q4 while we are not doing that in Q1 through Q3.
The Giants did not play fundamental football. Gameplans are weak. Adjustments (to things like the Eagles fullback) are even weaker.
Summary: The team is NOT competitive. None of the last three games were close.
They were outcoached on defense vs the Saints. They were outcoached vs the Cardinals on offense. They were outcoached by both units vs the Eagles. This NOW falls squarely on Tom Coughlin because his Sunday ship is running aground.