Coughlin era crashing to embarassing end

Posted: December 28, 2010 in Giants

For the third straight season, the Giants started the year so full of hope and at times looked like one of the best teams in the NFC, if not the NFL. But, much like last year’s tankfest, the Giants fell apart down the stretch with a pair of embarassing losses in games they needed to win. The first one stung the most, as the G-Men (which could stand for Girlie Men as the Governator would say) squandered a 21-point lead in the final eight minutes to the hated Eagles, losing what would have been a firm grip on the NFC East lead.
Coach Tom Coughlin totally lost it at the end of the game, publicly chastising rookie punter Matt Dodge for not kicking the ball out of bounds instead of directly to the speedy DeSean Jackson (who naturally busted loose for the game-winning score). This was a classless move on his part. Sure, Dodge messed up, but Coughlin should have reamed him a new one out of camera’s view. Besides, it wasn’t as if Dodge had blown the 21-point lead. That was on the Giants’ defense, which has been exposed to be fraudulent once again in late-season matador-like fashion.
The Giants said all the right things heading into this Sunday’s game against the Packers, with safety Deon Grant guaranteeing a win and most players saying they had shrugged off the Eagles loss and knew they had everything to play for against Green Bay. Win that game and they were in the playoffs, they said. Instead of playing like a team with everything on the line, the Giants played as if it was the first exhibition game of the season. Tons of mistakes, no pressure on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, a general malaise still hanging over the team from the previous week’s joke of a choke.
I know he has a miraculous Super Bowl win to his credit, but it’s time for the Giants to cut the cord with Coughlin. Three straight disappointing finishes (including two epic Metsesque collapse the last two seasons) for teams that had more than enough talent to not only make the playoffs, but go deep into January. Something’s not clicking with these guys. They are far too inconsistent, looking like champions one week and a shitty semipro team the next.
Outside of the great 2007 playoff run, Coughlin hasn’t won a playoff game with the Giants and has seen his team get off to great starts in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and fail miserably at the end.
I believe it’s time to bring someone else in with an entirely new coaching staff and fresh set of ideas. Coughlin isn’t totally to blame for all these late-season failures, there’s plenty of blame to go around. (Don’t get me started on offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride’s playcalling or Perry Fewell’s inability to get anything out of his defense when it mattered the most). The players (and their 50 turnovers or whatever it is) need to look themselves in the mirror as well. I’m a big fan of Eli Manning, despite his mistakes, but he doesn’t seem to be a leader. Too nice of a guy (kind of like David Wright), but I believe he could thrive under a more controlled offense (where the run sets up the pass and not vice versa) and with a strong leader as head coach, say a Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden. His prime years are being wasted, and he really hasn’t improved all that much the last five years. Flashes of brilliance scattered with stupid mistakes. Kind of a microcosm of the Tom Coughlin era in New York.

When Tom Coughlin is fired following this year's disaster, the Giants should call upon Bill Cowher and his famous chin to fix the mess.

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