The catch phrase motto of the Giants this year is “finish.” Someone better tell this team to start too. We said yesterday morning in extremely brief pregame comments that it is impossible to have two trap games in a row. You cannot be caught unaware, for two consecutive games, and call EITHER one of them a trap.
60 minutes. This NY Giants blog talks all the time about the importance of playing 60 minutes, about being competitive in losses and playing 60 minutes in all games. Why? Because this blog is not interested in building the foundation for a “nice” 9-7 or 10-6 season. This blog follows the Giants in the quest for championship titles. After playing a terrific game vs the Eagles, playing with focus and concentration, executing a terrific gameplan and coming in well prepared, they have been sloppy at best the past two weeks. When you play for less than 60 minutes, you are going to get burned. The Giants got lucky last week when the Cardinals flopped at the end. This time it was the Giants turn to flop. You will not win the close games against good teams when you keep it close versus the bad ones. You will not win a title when you cannot put 60 minutes of football together. To date, the Giants have played 60 minutes of football ONCE in FIVE GAMES. That is unacceptable.
So where is this team? It is 3-2. That may not sound so bad, but the tough part of the schedule awaits shortly and the Giants needed to bank this win. You could argue that the Giants could be 5-0, or that they could be 1-4. They are that volatile. At 3-2, the NY Giants are the average of those two extremes. That makes sense. They winneth with plays like Boley taking a Rams lateral back for a TD, and they loseth with Seattle’s Browner taking it back the other way for a TD. They winneth with Cruz making flashy plays that save the Giants skin, only to have him taketh away with the tripped/tipped ball. They winneth with Ballard on a few terrific plays, only to loseth when he cannot block at the goal line and causes a Safety.
Seattle was a 1-3 team. Arizona s*cks too… they just got crushed by the (hitherto winless) Vikings today. The Rams are not a good football team. Even the Eagles, the one solid win, are a 1-4 team. And the Redskins are merely beating bad teams, as they are not particularly competent either. It is a good thing that the NFL as a league is simply awful. The Giants benefit from NFL charity the way the economy is inflated by the printing of money. It is a fiction.
The Giants are not doing well on 1st down. he Giants cannot run on teams. So the Giants go through 3rd down conversion droughts. The Giants OL is not cohesive. They miss Baas. They missed Snee when he went down. Gilbride was inconsistent and outsmarted himself at times, getting away from the two TE set that sprung Ballard so well. The team misses that rhythm it had vs PHL. Has the strobe light gone off?
Teams are running on the Giants. The Gmen allowed 145 yards on the ground. Banks, after the game, points out that Seattle could not run the ball coming into the game, and that the Giants could not stop the run… and it was the Giants run defense that caved.
The last drive that Seattle engineered made Charlie “Oak”hurst look like Aaron Rodgers. Receivers wide open. You have a 3 point lead over a journeyman backup QB who is awful, and he finds WRs completely uncovered. The final play to cap the drive to put the Seahawks ahead was a blown coverage where it looked like Rolle and Ross miscommunicated- the result a metaphor for the game and the season, a Seahawks TD to a receiver who waltzed into the endzone untouched. Folks, Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Oakhurst combined for 315 yards in the air. These two QBs s*ck. S*CK. But just like Rex Grossman went for 300+ the (last game of last season and the) first game of this one, it was done again.
False start Ballard in the red zone, false start Beatty red zone. Cruz fumble lost. Eli fumble lost. 5 turnovers. The Giants are a sloppy team.
Here is the good news- it is still early enough in the season to fix mistakes and have this team play 60 minutes EVERY game. The Giants have some wonderful playmakers in Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Jake Ballard. Cruz and Ballard are rookies with bright futures. The Giants have some excellent pass rushers. Special teams are vastly improved over last season. Gilbride has shown some clue at times to find good things can work. The Giants have shown an ability to take a punch, fight back and climb out of holes. Oh, and the Eagles are 1-4!
Here is the bad news- they have played against garbage teams and are barely getting it done. They get lucky vs the Rams, they get lucky w some early turnovers, but then the luck runs out. The 49ers and the Bills, originally looked upon as doormat games, are no longer gimme’s. Hell, we were -10 vs SEA and look what happened! The OL woes are most worrisome, but the disarray on defense is going to rear its ugly head against the better teams. Why? Because the better teams have better players to capitalize off of mistakes and better coaches to gameplan effectively. If I am the OC of a team playing the Giants defense, I worry about one thing- the pass rush. So I negate that with 3 and 5 step drops, some max protect for down the field, and screen passes selectively to slow down the DL from pinning their ears back and creating the turnover. The rest is simply running and passing the ball, all of which can be done well vs the Giants defense.
Summary- This is a passing league, but you still need to run the ball and stop the run. The Giants cannot do either, and that will spell big trouble if they do not turn it around quickly. Time is ticking, and Buffalo awaits. Let’s get Snee and Baas back and get that OL tight. The Giants need 60 minutes of effort. Start well and finish well. PHL told us that they are capable of playing at that level, but they need to do that EVERY week. In the first 5 games, the record of Giants opponents was 7-16. In the last 11 games, the record of Giants opponents is 29-19. At 3-2, there is still plenty of opportunity, but the Giants have to play a lot better football.