Last week the Giants got their (Super Bowl) clock cleaned by SD, losing 37-13. This week they lost again by a similar margin, only this time it was a shutout, 23-0.
"Pathetic," said Tom Coughlin of his offense's performance. The frequenters of this NY Giants blog have company in their assessment of that unit this year, and it comes from the head coach himself. At least we can respect TC for being forthright and honest.
In the first quarter we tweeted: "It is hard to imagine how (the) SEA defense allows NYG offense m/any pts today." Given that the Giants had one lonely drive past midfield that ended with an INT in the endzone, this outcome was not too surprising. Justin Tuck set the tone early in the week, noting that anything less than a strong effort would likely lead to an "embarrassing" result. And that it was.
Embarrassing. For Coughlin, December seems to deliver his fair share of embarrassment. The Giants have played hard for TC, but versus competent teams like SD and SEA, we find out again that the team is swimming naked when the tide goes out.
Before the game started, there was an assessment of Coughlin. This one came from Giants nobility in the form of Lawrence Taylor: "Tom Coughlin has done wonders for the Giants. Personally, I don’t know if I could play for him, but the guy is a winner, he is a fighter. But I think it is time for him to take his talents on the road. He’s done all he can do for the Giants. If he wants to coach, I think he needs to take his philosophies to another team."
Back to the latest ugliness, Seattle's defense shut down the Giants offense soundly. Before garbage time ensued late in Q4, the Giants Offense conducted 11 drives of an AVERAGE of 3 plays per drive. 11 drives, 35 plays:
This is called getting completely shut down. It felt like that metaphor from the first 6 games, Giants 1970's football. Men vs boys.
Eli Manning threw 4 INTs (the hail mary at the end of H1 does not count beyond official stats), and there was plenty of collective blame to go around. Eli Manning has regressed this season, and the #1 pass defense put his and the offense's weaknesses into overdrive. Hakeem Nicks arguably shares blame on 2 of the 4 picks, as he practically watched on as two balls were taken in front of him. And of course the Offensive Line was putrid, routinely getting manhandled on run blocking and pass protection. At one point after the Giants had made 21 pass attempts, Eli Manning was either hurried, hit or sacked on 17 of them. The final stats in that regard may have upticked, if only because the (prevent) defense relaxed.
The Giants defense fought valiantly at times, even if they too were overmatched. SEA's offense managed just 3 for 13 on 3rd down. All this while the Giants offense (1 for 10 on 3rd's) kept the Defense on the field with too many drives. Russell Wilson's legs and RB checkdowns kept the ball moving enough to get 23 points.
The Giants are 5-9. Next is Detroit on the road. Detroit has plenty of talent and even more underachievement. But they rate to trip up the Giants. And similarly, the Redskins rate to lose to the Giants. The final record is honing in on 6-10.
Cruz left the game with a concussion and knee sprain. On the play where Cruz got hurt, Manning threw the ball high, and Cruz (always the fighter) went up to get it. He paid for it in much the same way that Kevin Boss always paid for it, exposing himself to a beating. The Giants would be wise to shelve Cruz until 2014.
It was reported after the game via an Art Stapleton tweet that "One pre-SB 46 Giants player told me after the game this was as tension-filled a post-game locker room as NYG have had since he's been here." Met Life Stadium had plenty of no-shows from fans who opted out. John Mara, like his father, was not happy at halftime when his venerable franchise was also opting out. Changes are coming. Despite what LT said, it is expected that Coughlin's job is safe. But changes are coming.