WASH 28 NYG 14

If the Giants won this game, I’d be telling the bulls who were calling for 10-6 and the playoffs to calm down.  If the Redskins had won this game, I’d be telling the bears likewise to remember what we said before the season started…. the early season games are not nearly as meaningful as Week 9 when the real season begins. 

All Giants fans need to stop reading into this loss too much.  Every team in the NFL smelled to varying degrees this weekend.  Sloppy play.  Injuries.  Blown assignments.  Post-lockout-syndrome is still here and the mistakes are abundant. 

The Giants lost this game but both teams s*cked.  The Giants beat themselves, but so did plenty of NFL teams this weekend.  This was a Marty Schottenheimer special.  The Schottenheimers of the world would win this weekend, only to come up empty later in the season or the divisional playoffs, when it counted.  

Let’s be fair here.  Two of the Giants’ biggest stars were not even suited up, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.  So if you think this blogger is stupid enough to kick a team while it is down, think again.  We spent the better part of the last two months telling you why the team will not be very good this season, but we also went out of our way  to tell you not to draw any verdicts after the first set of games, good OR bad.  We will run through the Good, Bad and Ugly and will try to put everything in proper perspective for the proper takeaways.

THE GOOD

1) Jason Pierre Paul is a monster.  He was up against second year (soon to be) franchise LT Trent Williams, and he was a force, creating sacks that led to turnovers, ended possessions, FGs pushed back out of FG position.  In short, havoc.  

2) Hakeem Nicks would be frightening if he played on an offense that had an Offensive Coordinator and/or a consistently accurate QB.  The bomb that Nicks caught in Q1 was a wobbler that barely made it.  Those passes, if thrown correctly, are TDs.  Nicks is a terrific player.

3) Ballard at TE was able to run up the seam and make some impressive catches.  This is huge for the offense, as I was extremely concerned the offense would not have this kind of threat.  If Ballard can continue to do the things he did for the Giants today, this is incrementally one of the most significantly positive notes for the team in 2011 and beyond.

4) Canty and Joseph inside had some nice moments early, quieted later.

5) Jacobs was spry.  He had a blitz pickup in Q2 that laid the foundation for a 1st down conversion deep in Giants territory, eventually leading to a Giants TD and some much needed rest for the defense.  If the Giants had won the game, I would have rated the blitz pickup as the key to the game.

THE BAD

1) Glenn calls him “Magnanimous Eli.”  Eli giveth and he taketh away.  The batted ball by Kerrigan that resulted in a TD for the Redskins changed the tempo of the game and put the Redskins ahead for the first time.  I have to take a tangent here and remind everyone that Glenn nailed the prediction on the game, calling for (a) WASH 23 NYG 14, with (b) specials and (c) turnovers burning the Giants.. and (d) a mediocre running attack. The Giants lost 28-14 with specials and a key turnover burning the Giants, along with 75 rushing yards total.  Back to the Kerrigan TD, it was a very nice play by the rookie.  But these things seem to happen to Eli a disproportionate amount of the time.

2) The defense had trouble with TE coverage (7 receptions for 126 yards).  Grossman racked up a 110 QB rating, so maybe this isn’t just a TE problem, but we can start there. 

3) Aaron Ross proves why he is a “4” replaceable starter who is average at best.  

4) Is it my imagination or does the Giant defense tip off its jailbreak about 38 seconds before the playclock is about to run down, allowing any opposing QB with half a clue to adjust his set for a blitz?!  Lucky for the Giants that Rex Grossman does not have a clue, so he would just throw a bomb into single coverage each time and take a shot.  Better QBs feast on this embarrassment of riches thrown their way.

5)  Whenever I see Kiwi in the defensive backfield chasing WRs I instantly reach for the garbage can to hurl.  Oh wait, he’s playing LBer!  Better book an appointment with the psychiatrist for treatment of GiantBullemia.

6)  I wish I had a dollar for every time the Giants gave up a BIG pass play and Aikman had to remind me that the receiver had a “free release” at the line of scrimmage.  Oh goodie.

7)  Ideally RBs are supposed to be faster than LBers, but it was still a little disappointing to see Hightower outrun Jones to the sideline for the TD.

8) #8, how appropriate, 8 penalties. 

THE UGLY

1) Special teams. (“I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in that we have a problem here.”)  Look, I do these recaps, and as painful as the Special teams are, please do not force me to run through all of the sad travesties that continue to proliferate, okay?

2) 3rd down and whatever.  3rd down and long is going to be a big problem because we don’t have Boss and Smith.  3rd down and short is always a problem as long as Gilgenius shows run from 200 miles away.  The Giants were 1-10 on 3rd down and 0-1 on 4th down.  The numbers actually understate what it looked like.

Summary

That more than a few of the problems resurfaced for the Giants that have been ongoing for years now is not a surprise.  We will go easy on the coaching staff at the beginning of this post-lockout-sloppiness and politely warn them that they better fix it fast.  

 

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