Cardinals 24 Giants 17

The score is not indicative of how poorly the Giants played or how soundly the team was beaten.  It was the offense’s turn to lay an egg.  And they stunk up the joint. 

 Right now this is not a particularly good football team.  Of course at week 7 with Boley, Canty and Ross coming back, things can change.  

The Giants underachieved this evening.  Say what you want about the Saints, the Giants were not favored or expected to win.  Tonight the Giants were TD favorites and were OUTPLAYED.  They deserve this loss.  It was stunning how the team had shot itself in the foot so many times and yet was still somehow in a position to tie the game in the end.  That the team came up short was apropos.   

Good:
1) Webster on Fitzgerald.  This always gives us hope because when your corner can take out their best WR, you can match up against any team.
2) Terrell Thomas in spots. Yes, he was roasted on a Beanie Wells stiff arm, but he can play corner too.
3) Tuck made another impact play, stripping the ball in Q1 for a turnover.  Tuck is another cornerstone of a championship defense.
4) Giants pressure was much better, not fantastic, but caused Warner to hurry more throws.

Bad (where do we start?):
1) There were so many things wrong with the offense this evening.  Lack of urgency.  Jadam asked midway thru the game for the no huddle and it was a spot on assessment of shaking things up because of the lack of rhythm.  The Cardinals went to the old 8 man loaded box and tried to force the Giants into passing to make Manning beat them.  Manning could not beat them.  He looked like old Eli out there tonight.  This loss was not entirely on Eli, because he had tons of help from all over the place.  But he did not help the team (3 INTs) and was not crisp enough to lead them to a win.  How much of Eli’s play was due to the wind? At this point, it should not matter anymore.  This is his stadium, his homefield. Or is it? 
2) Penalties penalties penalties.  This disrupted the rhythm on offense as much as anything.  Delays of game, personal fouls, false starts, you name it.  This was a constant saboteur of the effort.
3) Ahmad Bradshaw.  Terrible fumble on the penultimate possession. Protect the ball.  Yes, he’s trying for extra yardage and doing a great job there, but then the fumble and he is not.  You cannot make that mistake now or ever in the pros.
4) Mario Manningham.  Collinsworth ripped him on one of his routes where he ran too close to the sideline.  But the dropped TD pass on the 3rd to last possession when we settled for a FG was HORRIBLE.  HORRIBLE.
5) CC Brown on the wildcat gadget play could easily cost the team 7 except Fitzgerald drops the ball AND there is an offensive penalty.  But make no mistake, he is still a liability out there.
6) Gilbride playcalling.  This Cardinal defense needed to see a steady diet of screens/flares/play action/slants/2 back sets.  When Manning had a quick flare to Jacobs it is out of his reach but it is a great call.  BUT so many MORE of those calls were missing as a response to all of those players in the box.  Old problem, same problems.
7) Feagles’ distance kept field position at bay.
8) Giants zone defenses are surefire recipe for guys like Fitzgerald (and Colston last week) to wreak havoc.  Webster (hurt?) was fine vs both #1 WRs.  Why doesn’t he always take that assignment every snap?  He is a true shutdown corner, let him shut down at corner.  When the Giants secondary looks bad it is (at least from my perspective, pls correct me if I am wrong) always emanating from zone.

Ugly:
1) “3 and out.”  If you count a 15 yard personal foul vs the Cardinals for rescuing the Giants on one 3 and out and giving them a new set of downs for another 3 and out, the Giants HAD EIGHT THREE AND OUTS!  Woeful. 

We said this past week that if the Giants got turnovers they would likely win this game.  When they had the turnover advantage they were ahead.  By the end of the game it was a 4 to 2 turnover disadvantage and the Giants lost.  Garbage in = garbage out.  The offense was taking turns either sleepwalking or shooting itself in the foot.  The Giants scored 17 points today.  The first 7 was off a Terrell Thomas INT gift wrapping the ball at the AZ 30.  The second was off of a pinball ricochet which somehow landed in the hands of Nicks for a fluke TD (if the play is incomplete it is a ‘4 and out’).  The last FG came on a red zone wipe out where it could have really used a 7.  So this offense really engineered 3 pts of its own ALL GAME.  ALL FREAKING GAME.  More like 24-3 tonight.  The defense did fine overall, giving a high-powered offense enough problems so that the Giants could win.  And the fact that the team was miraculously in it until the end was proof of that.  But the offense would have no part of any success this evening.   

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