I would like to congratulate you, a NY Giants fan, for visiting this NY Giants blog on such an ignominious occasion. To willingly subject yourself to an examination of the Giants upon another defeat demonstrates tremendous loyalty to the team, a degree of masochism, or more likely a combination of both.
This has devolved into the 1970s. We are told it was 1979 when the Giants were last 0-5. (1987, the strike year, is ridiculous to compare anything to.) And the only other time I can remember the team consistently crumbling like this was in the second half of the 2003 season. It is that low.
Do we have to do a forensic analysis of how another seemingly competitive game at the Q3 mark fell apart? You can reread the recap to the first 4 games and we can replay all of that commentary for the same effect. The Giants were good enough to win this game, and they charitably pissed it away. The Offensive Line was much more cohesive today, and Eli had enough time to do damage to the Eagles. Unfortunately for the Giants, he had enough time to also do damage to his own team.
But trust me Giants fans. ELI IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Eli is part of the solution. He is a championship QB and he (to quote the post game comments by Coughlin et al) is pressing to try to do too much. So if you want to comment about how Eli blew this game, that is symptom, not the root cause. Were Eli's turnovers killers? Yes. And do turnovers lose games? Yes. And logic would dictate that Eli lost the game. But that is overly simplistic.
Did anyone notice how the slants were killing the Eagles? When the Giants went to small ball they took control of the game. And when they went gunslinging they hit and they missed. And in so doing they lost the rhythm they need so desperately when they are 0-4. This team has lost its mojo. Eli has lost his mojo because his run game is not there and his protection is (at best) not consistent. So rhythm is crucial to him and the offense. It is crucial to the defense as well, because the more snaps Eli sees, the less snaps the defense sees.
The mistakes and the penalties are part of sloppy football. 4 turnovers (which could have easily been 5 on a punt muff). 12 penalties. 3 of those were intentional grounding, which are equivalent to drive-killing sacks. Some QBs can go a year or two w/o 3 intentional groundings. Eli had 3 in one game. He is pressing.
This NY Giants defense does not scare anyone. There is still no pass rush. The first 5 games: 36-31, 41-23, 38-0, 31-7, 36-21. These are beatdowns. The offense does not help the defense when it leads the NFL in turnovers (20).
The team received a huge break at the end of the second quarter when Vick pulled up lame with a hamstring injury. It was the opportunity the team needed, and seemingly a few drives later (in Q3) the Giants took the lead. But then the game slipped away. Here it is, the Giants are down by 8 (1 score) with 10:26 left, an eternity:
1st and 10 at NYG 20 Shotgun E Manning pass incomplete DEEP middle to Randle
2nd and 10 at NYG 20 Shotgun E Manning pass incomplete DEEP left to Cruz
3rd and 10 at NYG 20 Shotgun E Manning pass DEEP middle for Cruz intercepted by Boykin
Boykin made a great play. I have no interest in taking that away from him. But there was no rhythm and no patience.
Take a step back. At 0-4, the Giants needed to play sound fundamental football, and that means a foundation of success, one play at a time. It's okay to stretch the field to keep the secondary honest, but make your living and win some games with smaller completions to give your OL, QB, WRs, TEs, and Defense some confidence.
John Mara was "absolutely furious-looking" (per Vacchiano of NYDN) when he came down to the locker room after the game. He does not like the shoddy play. He sees a team that is beating itself. He sees what we see. As structurally flawed as the team is right now (without the ability to run the ball and rush the passer), it was able to win this game and it came up with another loss. They Giants are 0-5. That is the only reality.
The Giants have a short week, as they play in Chicago on Thursday night. Try to build things slowly, 1 play at a time, one patient drive at a time, for one win.
I was gonna come here and advocate for a change at OC using Rivers as an example of how that move sometimes is a good thing even if the offense problems are not squarely on his shoulders. I was gonna say that maybe Manning is somehow "too comfortable" in Gilbride's system, how maybe he doesn't challenge himself enought, how perhaps they're installed in some kind of routine. Before saying that I wanted to watch another game from Rivers first. So I watched SD@OAK and he threw awful interceptions and kinda crashed my argument before it even took off.
Talking about OCs, I really like what Olson did during the early stages of that game : lots of different looks, nice route combinaisons, getting the backup FB involved in the passing game … Then he went 14 points ahead and it was I formation with a blocking TE all the way. Too bad. I'll watch more of their games.
We went to see the Giants practice this summer. It was mid-late July and they had the first preseason game that week. We were shocked at the lack of any physicality at all at the practice. A ton of stretching before and after, mostly individual groups practicing together but No pressure on each other at all. I am aware they changed rules of contact in practice in the recent contract negotiations but I texted my son who coaches high school and said I'm pretty sure your team is having a more physical practice than the giants. We watch Hard Knocks that night and Cincinnati is hitting the heck out of each other at practice! Why all the injuries - we have more than other teams each yr. do we practice too lightly and can't take a punch in the mouth come game time??
I don't disagree with any of the comments below. Since this season is over, let's look at the future of the G-men as the "year of cleansing" as I'm calling it, should bring massive roster and coaching staff changes in the off season. I see a few bright spots on the roster: Will Hill is a force. He needs to play and play a lot. Of course, he also needs to grow up, but the talent and attitude is there. Hankins was impressive yesterday. He can be a foundation in the middle of the DL. Amukamara has been mostly consistent this season and will only play better with more talent around him in the secondary.
I'd like to throw out a scenario for comment as well. Let's say the Giants get bombed on Thursday (which we all hope doesn't happen, but probably will). After that game, The Giants play next at home the following Monday night. That's 11 days afterward. If ownership has seen enough after Chicago, and the coach they want to hire is available now, anyone think they pull the trigger on TC considering the long stretch between games? Rather than wait until the offseason? I know this isn't the "Giants way", just throwing this out for discussion. I am thinking of the Cowher rumors that persist regarding this scenario.
We are all so frustrated by these abysmal efforts week after week. Can't disagree with anyone and what has been posted here. I would like to offer my humble opinion. It is time to hear from Mr. Jerry Reese. He certainly got all the credit back in '07 with his draft. He is now responsible for letting this team get old before our eyes. He has ignored the most basic concepts of building a football team. We all know it starts with the offensive line. He has overestimated the talent there and did not infuse quality talent over these past few years. You cannot win in the NFL without an OL and running game. He has not replenished the DL effectively. (5 sacks in 5 games?, just pitiful) he never has regarded linebackers as a priority, was just content looking for retreads and stop gaps. The coaches ( OC & DC ) are not good enough to compensate for the lack of talent. Kevin Gilbride, with 2 Super Bowl trophies on his resume has never even sniffed a Head coaching job of his own. We Giants fans certainly know why and so do other executives around the league. Perry Fewell? I'm sorry but I have never been impressed with him. In fact, I said when Spags was fired in St Louis, I wanted to hire him back. That problem is Coughlin. He is very loyal to his people, and that is admiral, but he most certainly should have taken a step back to reevaluate and see the big picture. All in all this is a mess. We know ownership is patient, but this time I wonder how many no- shows will be at Met-Life in two weeks. If it is what I think, we most certainly will hear from John Mara then. I just keep thinking that at least we have won 2 Super Bowls these last few years. We will all never change our loyalty, so to all of out ther....chin up!! We've been through this before.
Good article and comments as usual.
It almost seems like it goes so against Gilbride's nature to use the short slants, etc that he will use them when forced to, then go right back to the long ball. I wonder how many TV's have been broken in Giants fans' homes by seeing one too many of those incomplete bombs?!
Is there any chance that Eli opts out of the shorter passes and goes with the long ball on his own? Is that a possibility? Is it possible he just isn't as confident in the shorter passes and naturally goes for the longer passes? Probably not, but just wondering.
The thing that bothers me the most is that the Giants are wasting Eli's best years because they didn't take care of business building a solid offensive line. At this point, so many things are breaking down, even if the OL got their act together, something else would break. Sheesh.....
Comments so far are spot on. We had a few decent pickups on early downs with runs. But to make up for it, we still had RBs hit 3 yards in the backfield a bunch of times.
As has been said in the article and in the comments, the pass blocking is "good enough" to at least stay in the game and compete. But what the #%@& is Gilbride doing???? There's plenty of blame to place, but geez. You can get away with this strategy a little more if there's some semblance of a running game. But there's not especially with Wilson already out. LACK OF ABILITY TO ADJUST. Watching the game last night on DVR, that mid-level area was open all game long. As was said we only USED it on that one drive.
This team still has a lot of good players, and this division is horrific. That's why the season isn't completely over yet. But I guess it probably IS completely over because the coaching staff just refuses to make adjustments and strategize based on the situation and the strengths/weaknesses of what we have on the field. But 7-9 may very well win this division. 7-4 from here isn't impossible. Won't find me holding my breath though. Let's just get one win, as Andy said.
I can't blame Eli on this one. The weaknesses are across the board and seem to amplify as the game goes on into a negative feedback loop of terrible football by Q4. I see a few bright spots, but that make a team not.
I appreciate the analysis I get on this site, keeps things in perspective and gives us a comprehensive look at just how far the Giants need to go. The thing is, it isn't hard to believe that the Giants are at this juncture as they had no business winning their last super bowl. Their flaws are only more apparent now. JR needs to get the rest of this season and off season right, or else he could be on the way out.
One more thing - I saw several decent runs on 1st and 2nd down - 4-5 yards. But I NEVER see two decent runs in a row. It's as though the OL decides we blocked decently, time to take the next play off. Or else the next run is so poorly designed that we can't make any yardage.
I wish we could know what's going on with the play calling. Is Gilbride really dialing up all these bombs? Is Eli checking off properly? Are the receivers doing their job in the first 3 seconds so that Eli can make a safe, quick pass? Are the routes designed for them to even be open that quickly? They certainly were on the quick slants - we could see that all game.
Gilbride had one good drive (the second TD drive I think) where he used quick passes. We get the Eagles D on their heels, we score and the next drive we're back throwing deep bombs. How can you not see what's working and what's not ?
Absolutely spot on. Eli's racking up some bad numbers, but it's not all on him. Even Coughlin recognizes he's trying to do too much. And we see today they can pass block well enough in to keep competitive. And the receivers are by and large playing well. So what's the problem?
You highlighted the best example. Giants get the ball back down by 8. Philly has scored twice, but there is plenty of time left and the offense had shown enough life with 2 TDs in the 3Q to briefly take the lead before the Eagles jump back out. Giants need to move the ball, and get points. First play long pass, probably not the best idea but you take some shots. Getting no yards on 1D isn't a crisis but now you need to think about the sticks. But 2d and 10? You NEED to compete for first down here. So Gilbride dials up . . . a bomb to Cruz. After it drops, now it's 3d and 10 and Eli gets picked trying to gain the first down in one play when they had three.
The OC is not seriously competing, or building a rhythm, or confidence, or helping out his leaky line or increasingly erratic QB. The failure has probably destroyed the season and definitely would have already if the division weren't so bad.
I agree it's time for some coaching changes but TC has already said today that no changes will be made re coaching staff. Maras and Tisches are way too loyal to cut a coach mid season. I feel it's not just this season but the ineffective way we ended last season too that should cause some heads to roll. U have to wonder if players have turned the coaches off? Has TC - once so tough and hard nosed become too soft? After more than one of these hideous losses he described one game as a good effort and after and other debacle he said he felt sorry for the players because they had such good practices!! I feel it is time for coaching changes but I not holding my breath for it to actually happen !
@I Bleed Blue I'm willing to give Reese a pass on the DL for now. The tackles have played okay, and at the ends we have Tuck, JPP, Kiwi, and Damontre Moore. If JPP was the "real JPP" things would probably be working out a lot better. But On the OL and LBs, he gets no such free pass. It's pathetic what he has allowed to happen there.
2011, everything came together at the right time, IN SPITE of the deficiencies the team had. But that title brought on a false sense of security, and complacency.
And hey, at least even though we're 0-5, we can still laugh at Romo, and then point to Dallas' ONE playoff win since 1996.
"Is there any chance that Eli opts out of the shorter passes and goes with the long ball on his own? Is that a possibility? Is it possible he just isn't as confident in the shorter passes and naturally goes for the longer passes?"
Why would he ?
1. They don't play enough of them to build "non confidence" in them, do they ?
2. When they do use those, it seems to work.
Also what was amusing; Moose Johnston mentioned at one point that with the crap running game, the Giants were using short passes as an extension of the run game.
And then they didn't do it ever again the rest of the game...
@FeelThePower Eli still has 3-5 years of his "prime" left. No disrespect to Coughlin who helped deliver two rings, but I really hope Eli and company get a chance under a new regime at some point before he hangs up his cleats.
@Arthuro Coughlin will be here as long as he wants to be, within reason. What we CAN do though, is get rid of the coordinators, which would be just as good if we get the right replacements. We NEED to see Eli in a different system before he retires.
@Arthuro And I would add 3. at least this year an opt out of an available shorter throw for a longer pattern exponentially increases Eli's exposure to free ranging 285 lb. defensive lineman. I would be surprised if this happened very often, especially after the first 10 minutes or so.
Especially since 4. a lot of the downfield throws are into coverage. Including 2d and 10 to Cruz in 4Q on Sunday right before the killer second pick.
@Arthuro Arthuro, what I wondered (trying to give Gilbride a huge benefit of the doubt) is, how often does it happen that a shorter pass is the call but Eli opts out of it and goes downfield? That's something we will probably never know. The Giants are not good at the screens in general. We have all seen that. I just wonder sometimes that given a choice, Eli chooses to go downfield rather than the screeen pass.
Sounds crazy I know, but is that a possibility? In this offense Eli does have options within a given call.
Oops, I mean Brian Billick, not Moose Johnston.
And one last thing to mention... the press are KILLING Eli today. Yes, he has his fair share of blame here without a doubt. But hardly anybody is talking about the coaching, as usual. And yes the intentional groundings were pretty lousy.
But let's look at the three pcks... #1: His facemask is grabbed as he's releasing, refs miss it. #2; A ball that Cruz could/should catch, and a great play by the defender. #3: Nicks appeared to quit on the route.
So let's not get carried away...
Well he's a QB in NY and the media, well, they are the media. It's easier to pick on the clumsy looking QB (sorry Eli) than discuss the short comings of the OC ...
I'm with you on Nicks. Has anyone told the man that this is a freaking contract year ? Lack of effort is pretty evident to me. Cruz + Randle is starting to look like an evidence for 2014. And I'll be fine with it (it's week 5, that could obviously change). Cruz signed his big contract and shows more heart, more willingness than the man on a contract year. Wait, what ? It speaks volume on both players I think.