...the word of the night after this one was fight and the Giants certainly did that in this one. It would have come as a surprise to no one, if the 0-6 Giants packed it in. Or if the freshly "almost-eliminated "4-6 Giants did not rise to the occasion in last night's matchup. This was not the case as the Giants rallied from a 14-0 first quarter deficit in this one to earn their fifth victory of the season. No matter what side of the "draft-pick debate" (with playoff hopes all but gone, some feel it is ultimately best for a team to play it's young players down the stretch, see what they got and in turn improve the team's draft standing come April) the Giants effort over the last six games must be commended.
...the offensive line continues to stay consistent in 2013 as they once again failed to show any signs of improvement in pass protection. It is unrealistic to expect any type of sustained success or flow through the air with the protection this porous. Sure Eli was 22-for-28 with 235 yards (standing alone--strong numbers) but he labored for every completion, as he was unable to step into really any throw throughout the night. It has to be doing a number on his timing with his receivers, particularly on the big hitting plays we have become so accustomed to seeing with the "Eli Giants." It is frustrating to see countless off target and mistimed passes for an offense that passed the ball with ease for several seasons. It is alarming when, and not to exaggerate in the least, your only competent pass blocker is also your least seasoned NFL player. While Pugh's steadied development is certainly one of the positive's from a near-lost 2013 season, the regression of Beatty is a big concern. This is something that the Giants must address in the offseason or they will be forced to again feature a limited offense in 2014 and in turn a limited team. With all signs pointing to the end of Snee and Diehl's time in NY (and ideally Baas) we will see major changes up front for the Giants next season. The earlier the better, as the more time the 2014 unit has to grow accustomed to one another, the better for their chances, especially in pass protection.
...the Giants got plenty of pressure on Griffin in the second half led by Justin Tuck's career best four sacks. The impressive total highlighted a second half (and three quarter for that matter) shutout for the Giants defense. Good for Tuck, for now having a sack total a bit more reflective of his strong season as a pass rusher. It was a vintage performance for the veteran. Several of those sacks were classic Tuck stops, as he delayed his rush/fought across the face of several OL to find his way to the mobile Griffin. As we have been saying on here all season long (supported by PFF data) a healthy Tuck is an asset for this team. He is one of the league's best run defenders and has proven this season that he is, at worst, a serviceable pass rusher. While he may lack the get off and burst at this point in his career, he is most definitely an asset for the Giants in 2014---at the right price.
...a Brandon Myers sighting! AGAIN! That's back-to-back TDs for the disappointing tight end who has begun to show some signs of life in the passing attack late in the season. Like nearly every other team in the NFL is able to do (or at least against us they do!), the Giants were able to find a WIDE OPEN Myers on a seam route from 22 yards out to tie the game at 14. While Myers certainly struggled to acclimate himself to the offense for most of the season, I find it hard to believe that the Giants were not in a position to attempt this standard route at least once throughout the season (and to my knowledge, this is the first time we have attempted the seam route near the red zone) as it is something many teams find success with. Myers' biggest play of the game came on the Giants' final scoring drive, as he made a difficult catch (and extension to ensure the first down) on a 3rd and 2 near midfield. The first down allowed the Giants to burn more clock on the way to Brown's FG to extend the score to 24-17. While many of us would like to see the Giants hit the undo button on the Myers experiment, he will most likely return in 2014 so his continued development is certainly a positive for the offense.
...with the game clinching forced fumble, Will Hill once again showed why the Giants were wise to not part ways with him after his four-game suspension earlier this season. Last night's game was proof that Hill is the Giants' strongest tackler (you rarely see Hill miss a tackle) and most physical finisher. Hill provides Giants with the rarest of players, a hybrid safety type who is quick and athletic enough to play deep but also a strong enough tackler to make plays near the line of scrimmage. Players like Hill are especially useful against the zone-read stuff that Washington features. At just age 23 the Giants have found a POTENTIAL defensive SUPERSTAR in Hill going forward.
A couple of belated stray observations . . .
• More cause for optimism, Commander Shepard: Stevie Brown may be back. (Are Giants loaded at safety or what with Rolle, Hill, Brown, and even Mundy, not to mention hybrid cornerback-safety Thomas, who tackles like a safety?)
• For those of us fed up with Kevin Gilblight (sorry, couldn't resist), remember, the problem is compounded because there's two of them: his son is the receivers coach. Think about the receivers' problems this year -- maybe Gilblight junior is the greater part of the problem!
The only positive I took from this game was Nicks finally showed up. Other than that, I wish they had lost. Any wins the rest of the year just help insure TC and KG stay just where they are.
Despite the win, Dallas/Philly basically put the nails in the coffin this week.They each can win no more than one more game, and they play eachother once. So we can pretty much forget about that for now.
Just one game at a time. Definitely want to see some of the young guys in (that's not necessarily synonymous with playing for a better draft pick in my opinion).
Things I was dismayed by last night:
-Gilbride's mug every time they showed it on TV
-Beatty's continued regression
-Lack of snaps for Damontre Moore
-Cruz/Garcon falling short of carrying me to a first round playoff bye in one of my fantasy leagues.
Will Hill is a potential stud in the making. I'm glad the Giants knew what they had, and didn't cut bait when he was suspended.
I'm loving this potential foundation we're forming on defense. JPP, Hill, Beason, J. Williams, Amukamara, etc. If guys like Hosley and Damontre pan out too, all the better. Lots of reason for 2014 optimism there.
Less reason for optimism regarding the OL. They better figure something out.
I just read a story that Houston Texans are interested in talking to Gilbride about their HC job! Wouldn't that be great if he took that job!!
@capt george I disagree with the idea that the Giants' losing is the best way for them to get better. You are what your record says you are, unless you're hit with a streak of very bad luck. If they lose the rest of their games it's a pretty clear indication that their players aren't any good and the team needs to be rebuilt. Getting back to .500 means that their players are still functional and adjustments are necessary. We like that Nicks was better, instead of not showing up for the rest of the year (assuming a chance that he'll be back). We like that Tuck is getting some sacks. We'd like to see the LB corps continue to improve and the running game continue to improve. We want to see the DBs continue to improve, and Eli get back towards his form, with a little help from the OL. We want a lot of these guys around next year if they can play. If the Giants win the next few games it will be because these things are happening. If they lose it will be because they are not.
Better draft choices are not a reason to hope for losses. Each loss is IMO more debilitating than the incremental increase in quality in the draftee from the worse record. I'd much rather have a 8-8 team at the end of the year than a 5-11 team, especially if the 8-8 is on the way up, regardless of the drafting opportunities.
Substantial changes are necessary, whether or not the Giants win the rest of the way. I hope that JM, JR and even TC are able to realize them and pull them off. They're not stupid people and a lot of the needs are obvious. (I'd also be careful about getting rid of TC. I don't like him much either, but you don't know if the next coach will be the next Belichick, Dan Reeves or Ray Handley.)
The schedule the rest of the way is hard, with only Washington not in contention for the playoffs. If the Giants can make a good showing against Detroit, NO and SD when they are fighting for the playoffs then there is hope for next year, especially if team management can adapt. If they lose out and the tank is really empty, especially Nicks and Tuck, then say goodbye to the team that we've known and probably contention for the next couple years.
@capt george Always a voice or reasoning as I agree wholeheartedly. I read in comments on BBI that another big reason the OL has struggled is Gilbride's age old issue of getting play calls in on a timely basis. Year after year we have been frustrated by watching Eli struggle to get plays off before or just as the play clock expires. The opposing DL has thrived on this with their ability to time their rush. Not to take Beatty of the hook but he has failed miserably vs. speed rushers partially because of this. DL's are getting an advantage on the OL due to the predictable timing of Eli getting the snap off.
The lack of infusion of youth has come back to bite TC in the a**. He has lived of the lore of the vets since 2011 SB. How many years have we seen youth sit on the bench in year 1 or get limited snaps in year 2? The coaching staff is awlays harping about trusting rookies/sophs on getting their scheme/assignments down thoroughly before they see extended playing time. This is related to the issues of the WRs running the wrong routes due to the complexity of the route trees. Dumb it down to get the talent on the field; namely Moore, Wilson, Hosley, Hankins et al.
Gilbride, Gilbride Jr. and Quinn will all be back as TC is not going to fire them......tooooooo loyal. TC is not going anywhere. I have much respect for Coughlin as a motivator and getting us 2 SBs but the only way we can improve from a Coordinator standpoint is for him to retire. That is my hope.
@CommanderShepard Agreed... extremely long odds of this season going anywhere beyond the regular. We'll continue to see DMoore, Hosley, Hankins, Mosley, and hopefully Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell in the last games, because JR and the organization need to know what they've got going into the draft and FA discussions, and because those guys greatly benefit from regular season game reps. As far as Beatty, I think he's an adequate LT who will have his up and down games, the latter usually against the best DEs in the game. What frustrated me a bit with his play wasn't only that Orakpo was beating him 1-on-1 with speed inside and out, but when he knew he had help to the outside, Beatty let Orakpo go inside. That's not being overcome by speed as much as it is not playing smart football, and that's correctable. My reason for OL optimism is JR knows he didn't fix it by signing Baas in 2011 and drafting Pugh in 2013, and that he only has Eli for a few more seasons (especially behind this line). Sure, Brewer and Mosley will continue to get better, and provide serviceable relief when necessary (unless consistently solid play and improvement is evidenced over the last regular season games). I'd like to see JR use his 1st round pick again on an O-Lineman, like Michigan's Taylor Lewan or Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, and to also use some of that cleared cap space to seriously negotiate with O-line FAs like KC's Jon Asamoah, the Raiders' Jared Veldheer, or maybe even Broncos' Ryan Clady. I'd like to think Beatty with a stud Guard inside him would perform significantly better, and the Giants O-line with the stud Pugh is about two studs shy of controlling the line of scrimmage with consistency.
@mkdrep Take him now! Midseason! At least then maybe capt george could stop rooting for losses! ;)
@Paddlepedal @capt george I agree paddlepedal. If I knew for a fact 4-12 would result in Gilbride's firing, I'd have an easier time "hoping' for that. But this "hope we lose" attitude assumes a few things.
1) 7-9 is lousy, but 4-12 is downright awful to an embarrassing degree. You assume that type of putrid garbage won't have a lasting effect on the team.
2) You assume the Giants front office is stupid. We know they have way too much faith in Gilbride, but for a proud franchise like this, 7-9 and 2nd straight year with no playoffs is plenty bad. I don't think they necessarily need to go 4-12 to fire Gilbride.
3) How do you even know for sure 4-12 would automatically mean Gilbride's firing? Coughlin's working off his free pass from the two superbowls, and allegedly loves Gilbride.
But let me just understand this... you guys sit in front of the TV on Sundays and think to yourselves, "I hope the Giants turn the ball over right now, and I hope RG3 scores a touchdown," then if that happens do you pump your fist in glee?
I know you think you're rooting for what's best for the team long term. But to me that just feels..... dirty....
It's one thing to watch the game rooting for wins, but then seeing the silver lining in a loss after the fact. It's another thing entirely to sit there during the game hoping for Philip ****ing Rivers to blow us out of Qualcomm Stadium.
@Paddlepedal @capt george If the Giants lose out, I think it forces the Giants to make coaching changes, which they really need to do. Nothing will change if you keep the same coaching staff. Just look at what happened at Philly and KC. They change coaches and their teams are playing good football. The Giants players are professionals all day long, however, even a professional can start to believe deep down that keeping the status quo is just that....no changes = no improvement for the Giants. TC had his run, time to bring in a good HD that will put back the run in Giant football and develop a top 10 defense. THAT is NY Giants football, not the pass happy offense they use now....
@Paddlepedal Like your comments paddle but I can't agree with some of them. Your making assumptions on why I want them to lose. I don't want them to lose so the get better draft choices. I want them to lose for one reason and that's Coaching change (s),
While I would love to see TC gone I would at least hope for KB to be gone.
Losing the rest of the way does not necessarily mean that the players are no good. Wholesale change usually comes when the head coach loses the locker room and the team has a cancer. This team does not. Players like Rolle and Eli will try and prevent that from happening. The Giants always seem to draft not just for physical ability but also guys who are team players.
@mkdrep Are you guys actually able to sit in front of the TV on Sunday, and during a game, actually hope and root for the Giants to lose?
CommanderShepard Your taking this way to seriously. If you feel I am talking down to you that is not my intention.
@capt george "Taking how I feel and projecting it on another?" Don't talk down at me. "Better" is a subjective idea here. A tiny part of me now hopes we go 5-11 yet keep the entire coaching staff, then see if you still think rooting against our team for half a season was really worth it.
So to be clear, you were sitting on your couch two weeks ago watching the Dallas game, actively hoping/rooting for a loss (and a Tony Romo win)? It wasn't just a case of recognizing afterward that it's probably for the best in terms of making change this offseason?
Well, all I can say is you must have a TON of fun watching those games hoping for the Giants to lose. Not watching the games at all seems like a better option. Whatever floats your boat...
And I say the same thing about people who go to games and boo the home team. Does that make me right? Does that make them right?
Your trying to take how you feel and project it onto another. When I was younger I could never ever feel the way I do know about this subject. Does that make the younger me better than the older me? According to you, yes it does. Older me begs to differ.
@CommanderShepard Root? No. Hope they don't win. Yes. By rooting for them to win meaningless games, you are rooting for your team to fail because winning these games means the inept coaching staff gets to stay and lose more games year after year.