When you are up 31-17 in Q4 and you hang on to win in OT, it is NOT a step in the right direction. The Giants had this win gift-wrapped and did whatever they could to try to lose it. If Atlanta has Michael Turner, the Giants lose this game. If Atlanta has Jerious Norwood, the Giants lose this game. If Atlanta wins the (OT) coin toss, the Giants lose this game.
Yes, it's a win for the gmen, but the Giants are NOT a good team that is going anywhere. Tom Coughlin preaches improvement, but the Giants have not improved.
"We have to learn how to finish games, but we didn't do that today," said Justin Tuck after the game. For all of you out there who want to call us nitpickers for belittling this win, you just heard one of the stars making the same candid admission of failure. Give credit to Tuck- he would have said the same things if Atlanta won the coin toss and the Giants lost 34-31. And so do we.
1) Eli Manning was old Eli in Q1 and then he was strong the rest of the way. He made some very nice passes after an ugly start and found a lot of open receivers who benefitted from a lot of blown defensive coverages by ATL.
2) When you take WRs at #2 (Smith), #3 (Manningham) and #1 (Nicks), you are going to have offensive firepower. These young players are the future, they keep making plays, getting separation, making great catches. Manningham saved the Giants on a number of occasions with big catches at big moments. He had a Toomer Toe too. Without his receptions (6 for 126 yards) this team simply will lose the game.
3) Kevin Boss is fantastic. Carl Banks: "He is as money as you can get. Doesn't go pumping his chest. The same guy play after play."
4) Gilbride shook things up enough and FOUND HIS TIGHT END. 2 TDS, 76 yds, both career bests.
5) Corey Webster shut down Pro Bowler Roddy White. White's stats say 4 catches for 45 yards, but White got some of those vs different coverage. When Webster was on him, there was nothing doing. In fact, Webster was on Gonzalez occasionally and did well against that Pro Bowler too, all things considered.
1) Chris Snee spoke with Johnston during the TV prep before the game and made an honest confession (paraphrased): "We're not getting it done at OL this year." On 3rd and 1 the Giants throw a 27 yard reception to Manningham, but that is because the Giants cannot run for a short yardage first down to save themselves. If the pass is incomplete everyone is yelling bloody murder. All it is is bad schemes and lack of surge from the OL. This is not a RB problem, it is a problem with Gilbride AND the short yardage package.
2) ATL was 9 for 11 in the second half on 3rd down. And of the 2 where the Giants "stopped them," one was for an 11 yd gain on 3rd and 12 where ATL made the 4th and 1 conversion and the other was a 4th down FG.
3) Michael Johnson is another liability at Safety. He got undressed on more than a few plays. Aaron Ross is playing some Safety and learning on the job. It cannot be any worse (i.e. Ross can only improve this ugliness, altho it is a combination of bad players and bad scheme).
4) 8 penalties for 64 yards.
5) Kickoff coverage still spots the Falcons at the 34 yard line average when you throw out the kickoff which ends the first half.
1) Defense cannot give up 14 points like swiss cheese and think that the team is going to go anywhere this season/postseason(?)
2) Lawrence Tynes misses a 31 yarder, short on kickoffs as usual.
This is not NY Giants winning football. Against winning teams the Giants defense has given up DAL 31, NO 48, AZ 24, PHL 40, SD 21 and ATL 31. That is an average of 33 POINTS GIVEN UP PER GAME. You cannot win a title this way.