Chargers 21 Giants 20

2:55 left in Q4, 3rd and Goal from the 9 yard line.  You’re up by 3 points.  You hand the ball off to Jacobs. 4th down, FG.  There is no better example of Prevent Offense than that (3rd down) playcall.  This is a complete abdication of the offense’s responsibility to GET 7 POINTS AND END THE GAME. 

Yes, the defense gets beat straight down the field at the very end of the game for the loss, but this is what happens when you don’t put teams away.  Show some respect for yourself.  Show some respect for Philip Rivers.  Do you have to think for even a split second that Bill Walsh is going to go right at the Chargers in that situation and get 7?  OF COURSE HE WILL, HE DOES, HE WINS THE GAME, END OF STORY.  INSTEAD WE GET THIS PUTRID STORY.  GARBAGE IS WHAT GARBAGE DOES.  

How can you blame the defense for holding the SD Chargers to 14 points in the first 56 minutes, intercepting the ball and giving you a 17-14 lead at the opponent’s 4 yard line? 

Sorry, some will complain about Sheridan, some will complain about Webster on the final TD, some will complain about Rivers slicing the Giants up on that last drive, but the onus is on Gilbride to end this game when he can. 

  1. 1-4-SD 4 (3:14) 27-B.Jacobs right end to SD 1 for 3 yards (96-T.Johnson). PENALTY on NYG-76-C.Snee, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at SD 4 – No Play.
  2. 1-14-SD 14 (3:07) (Shotgun) 10-E.Manning pass short right to 88-H.Nicks to SD 14 for no gain (27-P.Oliver, 20-A.Cason).
  3. Timeout #1 by SD at 03:01.
  4. 2-14-SD 14 (3:01) (Shotgun) 27-B.Jacobs up the middle to SD 9 for 5 yards (59-B.Siler, 74-J.Cesaire).
  5. Timeout #2 by SD at 02:55.
  6. 3-9-SD 9 (2:55) (Shotgun) 27-B.Jacobs up the middle to SD 4 for 5 yards (74-J.Cesaire).
  7. 4-4-SD 4 (2:11) 9-L.Tynes 22 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-51-Z.DeOssie, Holder-18-J.Feagles.

Folks, this is where the game was lost.  Blame Snee for the holding call.  Hell, blame Terrell Thomas for only returning the INT 33 yards down to the 4 yard line instead of icing the game himself.  He knew if he got 7 the Giants win and if he gets tackled he leaves it in Gilbride’s hands. 

The Giants started out the game ugly, they ended it ugly.  For that they deserve to lose.  You make too many mistakes and you deserve to lose.  9 penalties for 104 yards, those last 10 on Snee the costliest. 

The Good
1) 3rd and 18.  If the Giants win this game, we can go back to this moment when the Giants converted 4 times on 3rd down, the biggest being a 19 yarder to Smith which enabled the Giants to climb back in this one and tie the score at 7-7.  This was supposed to be the defining moment of the game and the defining moment of maybe the entire season.  Instead it will be 3rd and goal from the 9 in Q4 when we are ahead 17-14.  How is that for contrast?! 3rd and 18, you are trying to get the first down, attacking.  3rd and 9 you meekly hand the ball off trying to kill clock.  Contrast that, Gilbride.
2) The Safety play today.  Gone were the perpetual images of Can’t Cover Brown being roasted alive.  Today we got an INT from Johnson.  And Rouse played far better. 
3) From 14:09->8:58 of Q4.  The Giants defense asserts itself, gets a sack by Robbins, Tuck stays home and blows up the end around and then a stop by Kiwanuka.  Hixon returns the punt to the 37 of SD.  The Giants get a much better mix of playcalling on the TD and pull ahead 17-14…  flare, slant to Manningham, wildcat direct snap to Jacobs, pass to the TE in the red zone for the TD.  It is not an accident that these plays worked and that the Giants moved the ball into the end zone.   
4) Eli Manning.  25/33, 2 TDs, 0 INTS.  He played very well.  Certainly well enough for the Giants to win.
5) Smith/Manningham/Nicks will be a force to be reckoned with.  These guys have 2,1 and 0 years experience, the future for them is bright. 

6) 38 minutes of possession.  This is supposed to lead to a win, which it would have if not for the bad and ugly.  
 

The Bad
1) Webster could not stop Jackson one too many times.  Rivers showed that when a good QB throws to a perfect spot a shutdown CB will still be vulnerable.
2) <1st and 5> or <2nd and 3>, what do you choose?  For some reason the Giants do not accept the penalty.  Two downs later they are kicking a FG.  And… 
3) The Tynes UN-field goal in Q1 goes awry..  Still waiting for an explanation of what the brown happened.
4) Tuck in coverage vs any Tight End.
5) It is 17-14 late in the game.. Jacobs drop of 2nd and 6 checkdown flare on the right side.  You have to catch that ball.  Instead, one play later the Giants are punting.
6) The four man front could not get pressure consistently on Rivers, despite knowing that he was going back to pass almost all of the time. (SD: 15 rushes for 34 yards.)
7) How many times today did the Giants use play action?  Gilbride can painstakingly and predictably try to keep the # of run and pass plays balanced, which he did today.  USE THAT to your advantage and use play action because you have worked so hard to run the ball.  There is simply too much leverage being WASTED.  The Giants passed the ball 33 times, so there were enough times, shotgun or not, to use play action.  Someone pls tell me how many times they used it?  Once? Twice? I can honestly say that I cannot remember them calling it at all.  Whatever the number is, it is way too low, embarrassing.   
8) Tight formations on two 3rd and 1 playcalls.  Yes, a power running game should be able to get 1 yard, no matter what.  But  Banks commented in September 2009 (see minute ~12:20) that the tight formation was part of the reason why Gilbride and the offense were having a lot of trouble.  Try at least a little deception?!  New season, same flawed scheme, same flawed result, same flawed coordinator, both times the Giants cannot convert on the run play.

The Ugly
1) 9 penalties for 104 yards.  Yes, it is not Gilbride’s fault that Snee gets called for a hold at 1st and goal from the 4.
2) 3rd and Goal from the 9.  Prevent offense prevents you from winning the game.  Mission accomplished.  You ticked the clock down ~40 seconds, congratulations.  How’d that work out for ya?! 

You are your record.  The Giants are 5-4.  At this point, given the schedule and the lack of ability to win games, the Giants are on the outside looking in for the playoffs.  This is a bitter pill.  The Giants are better than this.  OR ARE THEY?! 

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