The Giants beat themselves today. This was a game the Giants could have won, because they were better than the Titans. 26-17 in first downs. 385-252 in yards from scrimmage. 471-271 in total net yards. But penalties, turnovers and lack of discipline killed the team.
1) Despite the final score, in terms of pure "football," this was the Giants' best effort. While that is not the complete story of the team (see 'Bad' and 'Ugly' below), there were some encouraging things.
2) Eli had pass protection against a good DL.
3) The offense was able to move the ball up and down the field.
4) Bradshaw had some good moments.
5) Mario Manningham was terrific. He even had a great grab that was negated by a penalty.
6) The defense stopped Chris Johnson and the run. Overall the defense did very well and did what they needed to do to win the game. Even some of the passes given up by Webster and Thomas were well contested, well-thrown balls by Young.
7) Eli Manning made many terrific throws today. He hits Boss perfectly, and the YAC was something we need more of.
8) Kiwanuka quietly plays well.
1) Eli's decision to push the ball with his left hand, leading to an INT in the end zone.
2) Ahmad Bradshaw continues to not hold the ball high and tight, something that Coughlin taught Barber how to do. So why not #44? Another red zone TO.
3) Nicks' dropped ball is right in his hands/arms. The deflection generates an INT.
4) Two delay of game penalties that each set up the Giants 5 yds further out for a FG, with each FG missing.
1) Dan Dierdorf used the word "disturbing" in describing how the Giants became unglued today.
2) 11 penalties. 5 of them were personal fouls.
3) Kareem McKenzie, as a veteran, committing 2 personal fouls. Whatever chance the Giants had in Q4 was essentially eliminated by the selfishness of this one player.
4) Special teams again. "A disgrace," said Carl Banks. Bob Papa singled out the opening kickoff return of Q3, where the Giants give the Titans the ball at the 48 yard line after a 45 yd kick return. Dodge has an oppy to boom a punt after the Safety, but instead it is meek and the Titans start at midfield.
5) The Giants lead the league in turnovers.
Summary: The offense played well. The defense played well. The Giants lost. Huh? Too many stupid mistakes. This team can win games if they play physical like they did today. But they will lose games too if they continue to hurt themselves. Is this a symptom of lack of leadership? In the postgame, Bob Papa wondered aloud if this was merely a continuation of the 2009 stupor that saw the team go 3-8. Carl Banks (paraphrased): "last week they were embarrassed by the loss, this week they are disgusted by the loss." The Giants can win a lot of games this season if they eliminate the mistakes and play as hard as they played today.
Discussion: Is the lack of discipline just more of the 2009 Coughlin hallmark? Are there positives to take from the effort today, or is the lack of discipline every bit as damaging?