In order to do this recap justice, we have to quote others, who succinctly capture the game's essence:
John Geraci: "We'll take that win, but it feels dirty. I feel like I cheated on my wife but didn't get caught."
Greg Colodner: "If you don't win a game where you get 5 turnovers and one is a pick six, your offense was not prepared."
Yes, every win matters, and this win counts just as much as the SF win. Yes, we are not about to give this one back. But when your defense is getting turnover after turnover and you fail to put away the opponent, you get what you deserve. The Giants DESERVED TO LOSE. Thankfully they did not. The Gmen are 6-2 and are in control as they enter the second half of the season. And they did it today without the help of Kevin Gilbride.
Small ball. We will say it till this NY Giants blog is BLUE in the face. There was no rhythm at all in the offense today, and the reason why is that Gilbride was either throwing deeper routes or running it up the middle. There was no balance. There was no DRIVE with time of possession. FACT: THE GIANTS DID NOT HAVE A SINGLE TOUCHDOWN DRIVE. The only TD they scored was on a turnover gift-wrapped by the defense. Add a JPP pick six and FIVE Lawrence Tynes FGs, and you get the story, Five FGs. Five F'G FGs. FIVE.
The Giants were 3-15 on 3rd down. Is there any better example of how the lack of small ball hurts the team than that statistic?
If there was ever a metaphor for this game, it was yet again on the penultimate Giants offensive drive. The Giants have been given YET ANOTHER turnover for a gift-wrapped scoring oppty. And the drive stalls for a FG. The Giants offense, with a 2 pt lead and 7 mins left, can seal the game with a TD. But that was not Gilbride's way. Instead of taking responsibility for the game, he put it on the defense, And if that was not enough, when the defense bent but didn't break, the Giants had the game in hand and all they needed THIS TIME was ONE F'G Gilbride first down. And the offense couldn't even manage that! Run Run Run Kick. I felt like I was time warped back to the wretched 1970s Giants offenses of decades past, when this franchise would snatch defeat on a regular basis with bullbleep like this. Could there ever be a better example of prevent offense than RRRK to kill timeouts/clock just enough to make you think it "had" to be done but NOT ENOUGH to get the JOB done?!
So Dallas got yet another opportunity, and if not for the fickle "finger" of fate, a Dez Bryant digit, we are in misery at how this team could possibly blow the game. We know how they almost blew it. And his name is Kevin Gilbride.
Let's give some props out in this win, The defense was at times porous, but I can't hold them completely responsible given how the offense was never really on the field. All the offense had to do was do its job and the defense would have had to face at least 2-3 less possessions. And let's not forget the turnovers created. Is it possible to win ANY game without the impact plays of Jason Pierre-Paul?!!! That leaping INT and TD was tremendous, and further camouflaged the offensive woes. Lawrence Tynes, Canty, and Keith Rivers all made their presence felt.
Have you ever thought- why is it that Eli Manning is so good at getting SO MANY of these 4th Quarter comebacks? Maybe it is because he is not only very good at delivering, but that the offensive coordinator so often fails to take responsibility in the first three quarters.
Yeah, remember how we used to yearn for more Bradshaw? That's how I feel about Andre Brown. Re small ball: at this point in his career, doesn't Eli have input into the playcalling? Why doesn't he lobby for small ball? Finally, great piece at si.com about Downfield Stevie Brown:http://nfl.si.com/2012/10/31/break-it-down-explaining-stevie-browns-surprising-success/?sct=nfl_t11_a0
I rmember at least 4 dropped passes by the receivers that would have kept the chains moving and, in the case of Bennett's drop, would have given the Giants a 1st and goal at the 1. They do their job and then we're not talikg about Gilbride. You can scream about play calling, but the fact is the Cowboys defense is very good. I think Andre Brown should have seen the ball more since Bradshaw didn't look good.
@pdmeyerh Even if the receivers had caught all those drops, Dallas would still have gotten twice the passing first downs as the Giants. You can't win like that, especially if you're not dominating running the ball.
Focusing on the drops though raises another point. Most of those drops were not easy catches. In addition to the other problems, the Giants downfield passing scheme puts a lot of pressure on the receivers to make an athletic play to catch the ball. A lot of times Eli just throws it up for grabs, especially on deep balls, or otherwise gives the WR a chance to outcompete the DB. Typically the Giants receivers do a superior job, maybe the best in the league, at making excellent athletic catches. This is another way a short passing game would take some pressure of the rest of the downfield game
@pdmeyerh I agree on Andre Brown. He has a way of following his blockers and getting positive yardage consistently. It would give a change of pace, just like Bradshaw coming in for Jacobs or Tiki used to do. I wish they would do that more often. Oops, I guess that takes us back to Gilbride again....
To Andy's point about small ball, and its importance to the offense's rhythm and success, a note from Peter King's MMQB column:
Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator, Atlanta. In 2011, Matt Ryan threw 20 screen passes all season, and the Falcons were intensely interested in seeing him throw more, especially to quick running back Jacquizz Rodgers. So Koetter, who replaced the departed Mike Mularkey as offensive coordinator, brought in some ideas to get more deep balls and more screens into the offense. On Sunday, in Philadelphia, Koetter called 10 screens. He got Rodgers the ball 13 times on rushes or receptions, for 80 yards. Atlanta built a 24-7 halftime lead and coasted, 30-17.
Imagine if Gilbride made a similar commitment...10 screens in one game, with the type of open-field shiftiness we have in our backs and receivers, which then opens up our deep ball? I think we could score at will on anyone.
I know I am 'preaching to the choir' here but I really believe the Giantsmore often that not, win IN SPITE of Gilbride. Can you imagine what they Giants could do with the talent they have in the hands of a top notch OC? I really believe Gilbride is the Giants' achilles heel.
As soon as Bradshaw fumbled, even though the score was 23-0, I though, 'uh oh.....'. I hate being right. As bad as it was, can you imagine how we all would feel if Bryant gets that hand in bounds. Sheeesh.....
Agreed that Gilbride is a major culprit here. I'm not gonna kill the defense too much here. Yes, the pass defense was very sloppy at times, but they allowed ZERO run game, and as Andy said they were forced into defending 2-3 extra possessions because the offense couldn't do jack squat.
But we'll take it. Both teams deserved to lose, but somebody had to win. Luckily it was the Giants this time. We blew the Eagles game, but stole this one. I'll call it a wash.
Ugly win. We had the Packers and 49ers tell us how they lost more than we won. Well, this time, the Cowboys have a case ... We didn't deserve that W, but I'll take it !
We're back at 2-2 in the division and we're 2.5 games ahead so there's some good in this. Yet I feel like outside that SF win, we haven't showed much : 4 wins over sub 0.500 opponents, one blowout of a team that sucks and 2 losses.
The only thing I feel really good about is the turnovers situation.
As we've experienced all season, awful 3rd down offense and awful RedZone offense. That's on Gilbride, except for a few breakdowns in execution here and there.
They were down to their 3rd string cover LB and we never went in the middle. Granted I'm no OC and I have no idea of how to attack that part of the field in a intelligent fashion, but man, we didn't even try.
Every time Pascoe shifts pre snap, it's a run behind him. Small sample size on this game as Pascoe got hurt on ST and never came back, but it's so freaking obvious.
The OL was back to his old self.
Right on. We'll take it, but 3-15 on 3D is not going to win with a less generous opponent. The other stats bear this out. Dallas had 21 passing first down, Giants had 7. You cannot win close games like that. Short passing game is definitely a main factor in this. Witten had 18 catches - more than the Giant total - averaging 9 yards per. The lack of a short passing game is obvious and hopefully this will be a wake up call. The pass defense could use some work too.
@Paddlepedal Yeah, it's hard to hammer the pass D after a game where they had 4 INT and scored a TD, but still.
Our recievers had hands of stone today. Early in the game Bennett dropped a ball at the one yard line. Nicks had a couple of critical drops. And Eli didn't look too sharp. After the game Eli kept talking about the Cowboys playing two deep safeties and how the Giants couldn't force them put of it with the run game. We coukd not establish the run against a seven man front. And tat hurt us big time.
Absolutely right - Gilbride gets an F for this game. Eli - C, Receivers - D, RBs - no idea - I noticed they did well running to the left, but kept running to the right anyway. I could go on. As you said, the Giants deserved to lose. Fortunately, the Cowboys ALSO deserved to lose (sort of like a famous quote about the 80s Iran-Iraq war - "Too bad they both can't lose").