Hello again Giant fans. Welcome back to the Pit of Misery!
The New York Giants tried desperately to rope us back in. Two solid offensive performances in a row against bad teams had some of us cautiously optimistic and close to jumping back on the bandwagon.
“Win Out” they said!
“It’s not crazy until you do it” OBJ stupid Nike slogan coming to life.
Then, the Giants went out and had the best half of offensive football they had all season in the 1st half of the Eagles game. With a 19-3 lead late in the 2nd Quarter, they had us all believing. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This offense was actually taking care of business against a good defense.
“Maybe this is it?” I started telling myself while surrounded by a room full of Eagles fans. “The Eagles have given up and we are right back in this thing”. I sold myself on the thought that maybe, just maybe, this team would give me just a glimmer of hope with their best offensive showing of the season against the hated Eagles. Eli was throwing darts all over the place. Barkley was looking like the damn star that he is. The defense (for a bit) kept the Eagles offense at bay. Things were actually looking up.
Then Eli pulled an Eli move and threw a horrific INT right before halftime with the Giants up 19-11. Worst case scenario, the Giants should have been heading into the locker room up 22-11. That, my friends, was the beginning of the end. You could literally feel the air taken out of the Giants proverbial sails. That is not to blame the entire loss on Eli, but you can distinctly identify that INT as the turning point. It felt like Mario Manningham’s fumble with the Giants up big against the Eagles back in 2010 before the “Miracle at the Meadowlands II” happened. You just knew it wasn’t going to end well.
From that point on, the Giant defense couldn’t stop a nose bleed. The offense looked out of sync for the whole second half with negative plays, penalties, and drops. The Eagles got the ball after the Giants tied it up at 22 and there was no doubting that, with 5:47 left on the clock, they were going to drive it down our throats and score with little to no time remaining.
With that loss, the Giants dropped to 3-8, and while they are not mathematically eliminated, any hopes of a miracle playoff run went KAPUT! It was fun while it lasted (a whole two games) (was it really fun?).
There was plenty of blame to go around in this one, but I think the biggest culprit was Coach Shurmur. First, there was the call to go for 2 points after scoring their first TD of the game. While you can definitely blame Eli for missing a wide-open TE in the back of the end zone (and you would be 100% right to blame Manning there), for as poor of a Red Zone team the Giants have been all season, why not take the points there? As we ended up seeing, every point counts, especially in a divisional game. I know, call me Captain Hindsight if you want…
but I am taking the points there.
Then, you could argue that the timing of sitting Barkley down was more than curious. I do not disagree with the logic of getting your best player a break and not wanting to overwork him, but with the momentum clearly shifting in the game (everyone could see it) and the score at 19-11, that is NOT the time to sit your All-World running back. Wayne Gallman doing well in his place is another matter altogether. If Barkley turns one of those plays into a long gain, the momentum changes and possibly the game.
After touching the ball 10+ times in the first half, the Shurmur only gave the ball to Barkley less than 5 times in the 2nd half. I don’t care if your team is running off schedule. You have to have Barkley and OBJ heavily involved and KEEP them heavily involved throughout the entire game. The Giants were in no position to take their foot off the pedal in a must-win game. They did just that, and it cost them.
You could also point to the bad clock management in wasting a time out on a 3rd & 18, only to subsequently call a swing pass while backed up against your own end zone in the 3rd Quarter. You know when we could have really used that time out? At the end of the game when trying to stop the clock!
Shurmur could have also told Eli to be a bit more conservative at the end of the 1st half instead of telling him to take a deep shot. Again, you NEED to come out of that possession with points, and the Giants should have, at worst, been up 22-11 at that point (you could say 24-11 had they not gone for two earlier in the game). Every button Shurmur presses seems to be the wrong one this season.
Eli Manning was even more at fault for that late 1st half turnover. You simply can’t be making the types of decisions Eli has been making this year. Be it that late INT, the missed throw on the two-point conversion, the constant delay of game penalties, etc.. Manning was every bit to blame for the collapse and he continued his bout of inconsistency.
In the first half, he looked like the Manning of old and was shredding the Eagles secondary. In the second half, we saw the more recent version of Eli. Eli has been up and down all year, but he has had WAY too many bad decisions. His detractors have at least 2-3 moments a game to point to Eli being toast. The Giant roster simply isn’t good enough for their well-paid QB to have 2-3 mistakes a game. A lot of that has to do with the horrific defense the Giants employ.
The defense came out holding the Eagles in check. For some reason, the Eagles came out throwing the ball against what is now a pretty decent Giants secondary, despite the lack of talent. When push came to shove though, the Eagles realized they could just run the ball at will. Boy did they ever. The Giants front seven offered ZERO resistance and were getting blown off the ball on every snap in the 2nd half.
Don’t even get me started on the “pass rush” (I will get started anyways). This team hasn’t had a viable pass rush since 2010, and its pathetic that it has not gotten addressed yet. From defensive line to linebackers, nobody showed up in that second half, and that ultimately cost the Giants the game. Very reminiscent of the Panthers game which the Giants blew in the final seconds, the Giants defense can simply not be counted on when you need a big stop.
In the end, the dreamers out there (maybe I was one of them for a brief moment…sue me) were being unrealistic if they thought this team had a chance of making a real push. This team is so bereft of talent at multiple spots that it takes a complete game for a full 60 minutes EVERY time out to put the Giants in a position to win. There is absolutely no room for error for this team, and more often than not, they find a way to stumble their way to a loss.
Sitting at 3-8, with the mighty Bears defense coming in. “Lauletta Watch” is back in effect with the team all but eliminated. All I can root for is effort and continued progress on the offensive side of the ball. Make it fun for me to watch at least!
Mr. Glass-Half-Full Take:
Not going to blame this game on the refs, but my God, can they get any worse? Two HUGE blown calls against Barkley and OBJ in the end zone went a LONG way in securing a victory for the Birds. Then, just to throw it in our face, they missed a BLATANT tripping call on the last play of the game that could have resulted in a long field goal attempt or, at worst, a Hail Mary attempt. Fuck those refs.
On the positive note, Barkley keeps proving that he was WELL worth the #2 pick in the draft. 13 carries for 101 yards and a 51-yard BEAUT of a rushing TD. 7 catches for 41 yards and a nice little screen for a receiving TD. Ordinarily, I would say this guy needs 25+ touches a game to win, but at this point, winning is REALLY counterproductive. Save this guy’s body when you can this year, because he is a freakin’ weapon and the best RB in football. Yea, I said it Gurley fans.
Speaking of weapons, that boy Rosas has a damn LEG. He is now 23/24 on the year and booting 50-yarders like they are nothing. The Giants have officially found their kicker of the future and one less position they need to fill going forward.
Outside of that, not too much to be positive about. We are back in the chase for a Top 3 pick, so that’s what I will be rooting for from here on out. Competitive losing football. We need a damn pass rusher SO bad and this 2019 draft is littered with them.
MAKE THE GIANTS DEFENSE GREAT AGAIN!
Go Big Blue.