Had it all the way. Not. We'll spend the next couple of days talking about this one. The Giants outgained 277 yds to TB 124 yds in the first half. The Giants outgained 327 yds to TB 183 yds in the second half. So this game should not have even been close, given the Gmen doubled TB's production. But the Giants made it interesting. And midway thru the game, how many Giants fans felt the team was going to pull it out when they pulled a boner near the end of the first half, turning a likely FG and ~17-16 game into a 24-13 nightmare? But we tweeted midway thru the 3rd when the Giants were down by 14: "Amazingly, the Giants are not out of this game despite so many mistakes. If anyone can lead them out, it is Eli" And Eli led them out of an INT trainwreck into a magic carpet ride.
The Giants have to protect the ball. The lack of finish on the INT, which ended with a TB touchdown when the player was seemingly wrapped up, is unacceptable. It dug a hole, psychological and otherwise, that lesser teams would have simply collapsed underneath. The Giants know that as long as they have Eli, they have magic 4th Quarter powers. So they hung in there and climbed out of the hole.
Some of the good: Eli in the second half. Victor Cruuuuuz was baaaaack. Nicks (if he can remain healthy one game in a row) is baaaaack. Andre Brown (5.5 yards per carry) was a refreshing breath of fresh air. Gilbride's use of run in support of the pass (especially with draws) was great. Bennett, for all his mishaps, made a huge catch to give the Giants its first Q4 lead. Solid play by the fill-ins for 3 lost starters. Pass protection of Eli was excellent. JPP was ubiquitous as usual. Tynes was 4-4.
Some of the bad: TB is a much improved team but the Giants were shoddy and made too many mistakes. Dropped balls, turnovers, unfinished plays, special teams horrors, uneven pass rush, THREE injuries, atttrocious cornerback play, HORRIBLE RED ZONE failures, safeties with bad angles, prevent defense (and specials kickoff) at the end. Methinks Tuck is playing hurt, as he was invisible. Fill in more here. This game needn't be this close, but then again the Giants could have easily been 0-2, so no complaints.
There are so many areas where the Giants can improve. Red zone efficiency was 1-5. When you consider that the TB Bucs let the team score at the end, 0-5 would have actually been BETTER. There was ZERO need for the theatrics at the very end on the reversal sidelines catch by TB. I have to believe that Webster can play better. Amukamara is untested but can't play worse than what we are seeing from Tryon. Bennett giveth and taketh away, but he has 9 catches in 2 games thus far, so he can improve. He has 2 more TDs in two games with the Giants than he had in the last 3 years in Dallas. There is upside here.
Playing professional football without professional refs is at times maddening. It almost makes these games a lottery.
Summary- the Giants have to work through their mistakes and simply get better. When your QB is Eli Manning, you are in every game till the bitter end. In Q4, who is better? Rodgers? I'd take Eli.
2 quick things on the defense.
- Blackburn. I don't know what Herzlich is showing in practice, but he might deserve a shot in the middle. If he isn't ready, could Fewell play Kiwanuka, Boley and Rivers at the same time ?
- Blitzes. Pressure isn't getting there. I know putting extra stress on our weak DB corps might be tricky but shouldn't we blitz more ?
"If you count all my interception yardage, I’d probably be No. 1. [in NFL history for passing yards in a single game]"
Nothing gets to this guy. Unreal.
Eli, Eli, Eli - sigh - what can we say. You played a top-10 all-time game and a bottom-10 all-time game all in the same game!!! You brought us back, but personally accounted for a 25-pt differential (I'm adding in that crazy high pass in the end-zone to the lineman, instead of the uncovered Bradshaw, so we lost 4 pts on that one).
It'd take Rodgers in Q1, Q2 and Q3 though ...
Good to have a win, it was even harder than I thought it'd be !
I was excited when we signed Bennett but I never dreamed of the man catching that kind of ball downfield. Man, is that great or what ?
The OL looked way better in pass protection with Diehl out and Beatty-Locklear as bookends. Boothe and Baas are not getting it done in the run game. A few good blocks that Brown exploited well but most of the time, nothing.
The DL is starting to be an issue. DT are getting pushed on runs and Pierre-Paul is the only DE who has an impact right now. Tuck doesn't look good and Umenyiora was invisible.
I think Tuck is hurt in his head, something's broken. He never holds his head up, he seems to be going thru the motions, no will to perform.
Obvisously I'm seing this from 6000 miles away, but that's what it looks like.
The secondary is as advertised. Interesting though that Freeman didn't target Hosley (I think).
I didn't watch the LB play very closely.
Nicks is a beast, there's no questionning his commitment or toughness. Good to see Cruz back. Barden is clearly next on the depth chart as Randle took only an handfull of snaps as far as I could tell.
Obviously a great game for Andre Brown, welcome back. Can he play like this if Bradshaw is out for a month ?
I don't agree on the ST. TB's average starting field position was their own 25 (if we exclude the INT), that'd have been good for #3 in 2011. I think the coverage is good. Yes, we lack some return game.
They're not helping the team win, but they're not hurting us either. Looking at our offense and our defense, I'd rather cover kicks well than return them ...
Overall we're back to same old Giants football we've been seing for a few years.