In last week's recap, we talked about a simply embarrassing showing in ATL and noted that the Giants had too many of these games. Well, the Giants were undressed yet again, losing 33-14. Given that the last TD was in scrub time, the Giants have effectively been outscored 67-7 in the last 2 games. Not that these last two games were important or anything...
At the end of the half of both games I had a pretty good feel for whether the Giants could come back and make it a game. Early in the season vs TB, you can check my tweets for a certain amount of optimism and hope that permeated the 1st half and the game. They came back and won that contest. But there is not the same feeling right now. Why? Too many of the same themes we talked about last week:
- Eli is bad Eli right now. He is not making plays. He misses WRs when they have defenders beaten. He is not helping the team win ball games w any consistency at all.
- The DL is not getting a pass rush. Tuck is invisible (and did not dress due to an injured shoulder). JPP is not making impact plays. Osi is gone. And without a pass rush, it is so much easier to take 7 step drops and convert 3rd and 18 and 3rd and 20 backbreaking first downs.
- The Giants cannot stop the run. Memo to Jerry Reese: LBer still matters, and because RGIII is in your division for 2 games per year w that option run, you better upgrade LBer in a hurry. In this game, Rice carved up the Giants like a Xmas turkey.
- Gilbride's offense lives and dies by the X Wide Receiver. In 2008 it was wheels coming off once Plax went down. In 2012, the Giants offense took the gas pipe once Nicks became hobbled. Manning (see above) has not helped. But we do not see the adjustments that are needed when your X WR is no longer able to make the plays that an X is supposed to run. This NYG blog will not repeat for the 50th time what those adjustments need to be. Read the attached link for Nicks' own (pre-game) admission of what he cannot do this season.
Let's look at the bright side. No complaining about the red zone!
Let's talk for a moment or two about Corey Webster. CWeb is one of many reasons why the Giants have two Super Bowl rings. He took the opponent's X WR head on in 1-on-1 coverage on plenty of snaps over the past 5+ years. Down the stretch in 2007, he got matched on some of the best WRs in the game, like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Donald Driver. His pick of Favre in OT sealed a Super bowl appearance. And in 2011 he bent but did not break against weaker WRs. In 2008 he was a shutdown corner. So now that we are in 2012 and his career is in decline, we honor all that he has done for this franchise. If Terrell Thomas was healthy in 2011 and 2012 like maybe he could have been, perhaps TT would be drawing the tougher WR assignments and shielding CWeb from some of the abuse we see on days like today. But alas, that is not the case with this depleted corps that is playing rookie after rookie. So CWeb gets exposed. And while I am defending Webster's overall record, it does not help any of the Giants CBs here in 2012 that the DL pass rush is so anemic game after game. We salute you Corey Webster for two Giant SB rings.
There is one game left in the season. Some people think this can be 2007 or 2011. It is more like 2009. The Giants need a lot of help to get into the playoffs. The 2nd half of the season needs to be aired so that we understand the reality of the situation:
- After a 6-2 start, the Giants are 2-5 in the last 7 games.
- The road warriors are the road warriors no longer. They are 0-4 in their last 4 road games. They would be 0-5 if not for a misplaced finger by Dez Bryant. Yes, the last real significant road win was vs the Niners back in Week 6.
- BAL 533 yds NYG 186 yds
- The Eli "tired arm" gets more support, anecdotal or otherwise. He limped into the bye with QB ratings that descended from 87 to 79 to 58 to 41 to 56. After the bye, he posted a 114, 98 and 100, followed by a 39 and a 78 today which was padded by a late TD. He underthrew Randle on a big completion and he underthrew Hixon when Hixon had the BAL defense beaten.
- The Giants identity and resources are put behind its DL and their QB pressure. And the Offensive Line generally protects Eli more than adequately. This year the team only has +4 more sacks on Defense than the OL has given up. Last year that differential was +20.
- After allowing 533 yds, the NYG are unofficially the 29th ranked Defense as measured by yds per game (stats not updated on NFL.com)
A final thought. Just like in 2009, after this game Coughlin was at a loss for words or any understanding of why the ugly and uncompetitive defeats are occurring. His teflon will last as long as he wants it to. I just draw the line at these uncompetitive showings. I can accept narrow losses where the team shows up and fights. I cannot accept how this franchise can get embarrassed in must-win after must-win games. This is not the NY Jets. Yet the NY Giants are losing with less competitiveness than that dysfunctional franchise. We saw Rolle giving Fewell a few heated sentences on the sidelines late in today's game. I do not care that this team is one year removed from a Super Bowl. It is never an excuse for teflon. There is dysfunction when a team of this caliber is getting beaten so badly.