A win is a win. A road win is even better. The Giants had an 8 game road losing streak. Good riddance to that streak. The Eagles now have a 10 game losing streak at home. That ongoing malady breaks my heart. Not. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the Linc.
Dallas snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Why are the Dallas Cowboys America's team? Because when the going gets tough, they shut down.
Remarkably the Gmen are 2 games out of first place. So anything is still possible this season. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. In these last two weeks of football, the NY Giants have beaten two teams that are collectively 4-11 (after MIN loses to GB tonight) and which both DID NOT HAVE A QUARTERBACK. As a reminder, the Giants were up 12-0 near the end of the first half when Barkley replaced a completely ineffective Vick. The Eagles drove down the field for the first time all day and a Barkley fumble turnover snuffed out what looked like a 12-7 ball game. But given the weak opposition, the Giants did what they had to do- they held serve on defense, Yes, with the exception of two TDs allowed on special teams (ugh, can't completely handwave those away), the Giants defense has shut out both teams. That is impressive and is clearly something to build on.
On a more sober note the Giants offensive struggles continue, as the team could not get into the end zone vs the Eagles. You lose games on the road when you come away with FGs on drives. In this contest, of course, that was not the case. But as soon as the schedule stiffens, the Giants need to rise up to that task, else these past two games will be remembered as a charitable oasis in an otherwise sour season.
So what is happening that is good and lasting, for 2013 and beyond? Will Hill. Peyton Hillis. Jon Beason. This NY Giants blog is circumspect about anything significant occurring in 2013. So while we watch and wait to see how the team performs when it is truly tested, we are nonetheless very pleased that the Giants have a bonafide linebacker. And the Safety position can be a source of many happy returns when/if Stevie Brown fully recovers from his torn ACL. Imagine the Giants' future with Brown and Hill- if they are healthy they could be back there for a while together. Rolle, as a veteran, can compliment these younger players with leadership and a very good nickel package.
Amukamara is quietly becoming more consistent on the corner. All this defense needs is JPP to come back with a strong pass rush and the defense will be more than fine. That is really the transcontinental divide for this team... WHEN DOES JPP's CONSISTENT IMPACT PASS RUSH COME BACK? If it gets turned on after the bye, 2013 is still on the table. I am trying to remain more grounded and realistic.. JPP is playing better than at the beginning of the season, but his pass rush is not significantly improved.
Hillis, for his part, has stabilized the RB position with solid fundamentals. Flashy this veteran ain't. But he pushes the pile, he blocks, he runs simple "small ball" routes... all the unsexy meat & potatoes things that the Giants were missing in the first 6 weeks. Add Round 7 pick Michael Cox's platoon running and some blocking from FB John Conner and you get a functional backfield. If Andre Brown can stay healthy when he comes back from his "Reserve/Designated to Return" slot, together the offense can get some balance.
Some repeats of tweets made earlier in the day.. (1) Daryl Johnston remarked that the offense's long ball hasn't worked this season- it was a good move to play more small ball by Gilbride. Can the Giants' OC stay with that playbook?! (2) Linval Joseph is coming into his own as a solid DT. Can we re-sign him with cap dollars found from (in part) money saved from cutting David Baas? (3) Wilson in Round 1, Cox in Round 7. Where do you think the Giants should be drafting their RBs??!!!
Scary, but the NFC East is collectively 5-14 outside of the division.
WAS 2-3 with wins vs OAK and CHI
PHL 1-3 with a win vs TB
DAL 1-4 with a win vs STL
NYG 1-4 with a win vs MIN
Humdinger, those 5 teams the NFC East has beaten are 11-23... in other words, outside of the division, these 4 teams in the NFC East have managed to collectively beat ONE team with a winning record. Let's pull for JPP to get that pass rush back, and we'll see what this team has vs OAK after the bye.
The much welcomed "Bye Week" is here!! I am glad. Not because this team needs the time off to rest, heal and revaluate, but we finally get to hear from Jerry Reese! As Ricky Ricardo used to say to Lucy, "You've got some explaining to do." I don't want to hear him say, we are on a two game win streak. I don't want to hear, "We are now in the process of turning this around." I want answers as to why this team started 0-6.
His miscalculation at running back, It looks at this point as if David Wilson is a colossal bust who can't stay on the field or maintain possession of the football. Ask him why Martellus Bennett, a big target who had good chemistry with Eli Manning, was not brought back. Brandon Myers, all 6'3" has been of little impact in the offense with 23 no impact catches and only one touchdown and is certainly a liability as a blocker.
The offensive line has gotten old and injury-prone and has transitioned from a strength to a weakness. Two-thirds of the starting five — center David Baas ( whom I think is poor anyway ) and guard Chris Snee — are out for the season and finding competent depth has been a problem. The $38.5 million deal Reese gave left tackle Will Beatty appears to be a bad signing.
Reese has shown a lack of regard for the linebacker position, treating it as almost an afterthought. The position, once the cornerstone of the greatest Giants teams in franchise history, has been a weakness for Reese’s entire tenure with the team. (He'll spin it as to what a great pickup Jon Beason has been )
We can pick apart the drafts all we want, but if there is one miss that was most damaging. Marvin Austin, a 2nd round pick in 2011 who is no longer in the league.
The Giants have won two Super Bowls during his tenure. But we are either hit or miss. This season will most likely be 4 out of the past 5 seasons missing the playoffs.
I went back to find this quote from Reese,
“We want to put everybody on notice,’’ Reese told reporters in training camp, referring to the team’s inconsistency. “Myself, everybody is on notice that that’s not our standard.”
Return of Andre Brown would go a long way to resolve Red Zone deficiency. He has that rare combination of strength and the ability to knife through defense that makes a good scorer. You can no longer count on power alone, as we know from Jacobs's struggles at goal line in years past, to cross the goal line.
That said, as Peyton Hillis shows, there's still room for the old-fashioned straight-ahead, push-the-pile runner, a la Larry Csonka. His inability to catch on with a team earlier this year suggests GMs no longer think that model is viable. May not be able to score in Red Zone that way much anymore, but it moves the chains.
The defense is quietly putting together a very decent season. The early numbers looked bad, but it's tough with limited pass rush and being on the field over 35 minutes per game.
If for these final 8 games we get 80% of 2011 JPP (rather than the 50-60% we saw in September) and "good Eli", 2013 is still very much on the table. Two big "ifs", but too early to close up shop just yet.
The only downside to that is a late run could keep Gilbride around another couple years.
Fundamentally, the team played its best game. Scoreboard alone does not do this game justice. Eli & Co moved the ball effectively enough (considering more than 4-5 yards cannot be had on the ground) and I was impressed by Kildrive's use of small ball.
Not getting in the endzone will kill this team (assuming it continues to play at or near this level). From 20-30 yards in not having a large TE on the field (who knows the paremeters of the field) is kiling them. The Gmen basically have no ability to take a shot down the seam because Myers just isn't big enough. When you struggle to run the ball you NEED a playmaker down the middle of the field to give your WRs a little bit of room on the outside.
Nice win. Get healthy.
One more thing - Nothing I hate worse than when Dallas loses a game like that and they don't show Jerry Jones' face!
Gotta agree with Bleed Blue about how the clock is always running down to 0 on Eli - 2 delay penalties yesterday. Lots went right and is looking better, but its natural to focus on the problems we see.
1. The two penalties for leaving the RT uncovered - I've never seen that happen twice in a game to a team - coaching.
2. We still can't run a screen play - it's been that way for 5+ years. Why? Watching the end of Dal-Det, watched Det run a really effective screen and the announcers talked about how Bush was used to clear out the linebackers. Is that creative play design? Is that our problem?
3. I also notice our receivers rarely have any good separation. Again, is that play design or are they just not good enough to get that?
4. And how many years now have we seen our receivers on 3rd down just run to the marker and then come back for the ball, leaving themselves 2yds short of the first down. Again, is that coaching or the players, or both?
At least this team shows some fight. Improved play from the defense is certainly encouraging. But is there a team in this league that has more problems getting off plays at the line of scrimmage than the Giants? Every game I find myself screaming at the TV "Clock-Clock" as Eli is yelling "Omaha, Omaha Hut!!!" This has to be Gilbride not getting the players-protection-scheme right. Every game this happens. 3rd and 4 always seems to turn into 3rd and 9. Just very frustrating.
@CommanderShepard Glass half full is that the D is gelling - JPP getting a bit healthier, Beason coalescing the LBs; Hill returning, Amukamara maturing, and Fewell simplifying improving the DB play. All combining to yield no points in the last 2 games. The glass half empty is that they haven't faced a functional QB in those 2 games.
@RickHI used to think that running the clock down to 0, or beyond, was on Eli. Yesterday Eli made clear it was Gilbride. Good, maybe he'll fix the problem.
I think the Giant receivers are more than able to get separation most of the time, especially Cruz, but the plays aren't designed for that. Not only does Gilbride play too much longball, seems to me the Gmen also specialize in patterns with no moves, relying instead on back shoulders, fades and simple jump balls. Another head scratcher.