Another game another Giant disaster. Well the disaster was really on one person. Eli Manning. We will get more into him later. But last night the Giants showed fight. They showed some fight for them selves and their coach. If you go by the theory the coaches coach and the players play last night was not the fault of Tom Coughlin or any of his other coaches. Last week vs the Eagles Coughlin had a very bad game. Accepting a penalty when I felt the Eagles would punt which cost the Giants 3 points and the whole timeout/challenge debacle. Last night was not on him or Perry Fewell or Kevin Gilbride.
The defense played reasonably well. It is still a flawed unit. The pass rush which was the symbol of this team is non existent at least to the level of what this teams needs it to be. But the defense only gave up 20 points. After Eli’s first interception was run back inside the twenty yard line the defense held firm. For some unknown reason the Bears went for a TD instead of kicking a field goal. The Giants defense stepped up to the challenge and denied the TD. That was a great sign of life for a struggling defense.
But there are still problems. This defense is built around the pass rush. The line backing core has been a weakness of this team for a long time. The defensive backs are decent. But not consistent enough to cover the whole game. There is not a shut down corner in the bunch. Stevie Brown was a ball hawk who always seemed to be around the ball causing turnovers is sorely missed. But still when the Giants needed the ball back they did their job only to see Eli throw it away again. Still after that they fought hard and almost got the ball back again but were called for a holding penalty after the Eli pick. There was no number called and we never saw the hold on the instant replay. But when your struggling that is how it goes.
Perry Fewell won’t survive this and he may be a fine coach. Maybe another coach would get more out of this bunch but when your defense has been built around a pass rush and you are not getting that pass rush then what are you to do. Yes there are injuries. Every team has injuries. The Giants used to be able to overcome injuries. Well not any more.
Steve Weatherford did well keeping the ball out of the hands of the explosive Devin Hester. The kick coverage was fine. The Giants don’t have a great return game. As long as they kick returners hold onto the ball I will take that. No this game was lost by one person. Eli Manning.
Brandon Jacobs turned back the clock and ran the ball well. The Giant running game did very well. Justin Pugh dominated Julius Peppers all night long. This was the first time I felt the Giants had a 2 way offensive attack all season long. The only problem was and this is not his fault is that Jacobs does not have breakaway speed. He never did. I thought some of those runs had it been David Wilson he might have taken that to the house. Aside from the speed Wilson has he has the moves and the jukes to make defenders miss. You can see Jacobs thinking that hey I am not faking anyone out but let me truck this little defensive back which is what he did. Jacobs performed admirably last night. He is not a young player anymore and now with Da’rel Scott nursing a hamstring problem the Giants need to add yet another running back. Jacobs can’t carry the ball 20 plus times a game.
How many more times are we going to see Nicks drop balls. I know he has talent but it is every game now. The Giants should be on the phone right now offering him around for draft picks. He will not be resigned. Ruben Randle will fill his spot very well. And by the way what is with Giants receivers and putting the ball on the ground. Randle’s play last night was very similar to the Victor Cruz play in Arizona two years ago. Giants were lucky to get the call that day and were lucky last night too.
No this loss is on Eli Manning. One pick six in the first quarter. Almost a second pick six. if not for the Giants defense and the curious decision by the Bears to not kick a field goal that would have cost the Giants another 3 points. Eli has been brutal. Nothing more needs to be said about that. I will address Eli in another blog. But your QB can’t keep killing your team like this every week. He is the leader of the team and he has two super bowl rings so that does give him some sort of cushion. But you can’t play this bad in New York City and get away with it.
But the bigger issue is with the lack of depth on this team right now. Since the first Super Bowl win 5 years ago and up until the last Super Bowl win 2 years ago every move Jerry Reese made worked out. It was amazing to see. All the players the Giants let leave never came back to hurt them. From Steve Smith to Kevin Boss to Shaun O’Hara etc. To drafting a lot of key players that the coaches were able to develop quickly that they became big weapons in the Giants title runs. That does not happen all the time. Reese was batting a thousand. Of course luck has something to do with it. And when you win the Super Bowl no one cares about the warts. If we threw bouquets at Reese for winning then he gets the blame for losing.