Archive for the ‘Giants’ Category

Following yet another disappointing failure down the stretch, the Giants missed the playoffs despite winning 10 games. And although it’s a travesty the 7-9 Seahawks make the playoffs over the Giants and Bucs (each 10-6) and an even bigger joke they get to host a playoff game against the Saints, the Giants dug their own grave with their annual December choke-a-thon.
Don’t get me wrong, the Eagles debacle was about as bad as I’ve felt as a football fan (I mean one defensive stop in the fourth quarter and the Giants are division champs), the Giants still had everything to play for the next week in Green Bay, yet looked like a semipro team in getting demolished 45-17 by the Packers, committing six turnovers along the way.
The Giants topped a subpar Redskins team (who they own) in the finale by a mere three points, but the result was academic once the Packers beat the Bears.
Countless times under Tom Coughlin, the Giants have started great and then folded late. I know he led them to an improbable Super Bowl title three years ago, but how much longer can the goodwill from that season last? Coughlin hasn’t won a playoff game with the Giants otherwise and has seen his team tank it time and time again. So what does Giants ownership do? Not only do they say Coughlin will be back for 2011, but they are ready to offer him a contract extension. For what? To be the Eagles’ bitches the next two seasons?
There is no way the Giants should have lost six games in a row to the Eagles. No way. Too much talent there. Yet, they have, and it’s only going to continue under Coughlin’s ‘leadership.’
Nice message the ownership is sending to the fans. Missing the playoffs and colossal collapses are acceptable. At least the Knicks are playing well for a change.


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.

Giants 21, Vikings 3

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Giants

The Giants’ defense dominated an inept Vikings team tonight, setting up a huge showdown with the Eagles for the division lead next week at the Meadowlands.
Eli Manning had his second straight “blah” performance, throwing a pair of picks early on, including one deep in Giants’ territory to set up the Vikings’ field goal.
Minnesota led 3-0 early in the second when the Giants started ramming the ball down their throats with the 1-2 punch of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. For the second straight week, the Giants had 200-plus rushing yards, and they’ll need a big performance next week to keep Michael Vick and the vaunted Eagles offense off the field.
Today’s win was very workmanlike after the slow start. The defense was never seriously threatened in a game that will be forever remembered as the one Brett Favre couldn’t start, ending his amazing streak at 297 games.
It’s probably a good thing Favre didn’t play, he likely would have been injured further.
I’m fired up for Sunday afternoon already. Should be a classic NFC East battle.

Knicks win 8th in a row

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Giants, Knicks

Crazy win for the Knicks this afternoon, as they took an 80s style track meet from the Denver Nuggets, 129-125.
With future Knick Carmelo Anthony in town for the proceedings, Amare Stoudemire scored 30 or more points for an eighth straight game (finishing with 30 points, 8 boards and four assists) in the Knicks’ eighth straight win.
Man, that feels great to say. The winning streak is the Knicks’ longest in 16 years, you know, back when they were a perennial playoff team in Patrick Ewing’s heyday.
Knicks had a big first quarter, only to see the Nuggets roar back in the second. Knicks put some distance between the two squads in the third, only to see the Nuggets rally to take a one-point lead in the fourth. But, as they’ve done throughout this great run, the Knicks finished strong and sealed the deal, with Wilson Chandler’s huge three in the game’s final minute giving New York the lead for good.
Chandler finished with 27 points and seven rebounds, one of six players in double figures for the Knicks. Raymond Felton had another outstanding game, dishing out 17 assists to go along with 19 points. Rookie Landry Fields continues to impress, contributing 18 points and nine boards. Danilo Gallinari (16) and Toney Douglas (13) were the other Knicks in double figures.
The team is playing great, but I do have some concerns, mainly with Mike D’Antoni’s rotation. Amar’e and Felton are consistently playing 40-plus minutes. This just can’t continue, as they will be spent in the second half of the season. Aside from Douglas (20 minutes) and Ronny Turiaf (15), no bench player received more than three minutes of playing time. Athletic Anthony Randolph must have pissed in D’Antoni’s corn flakes, as he hasn’t seen the floor in awhile. Rumor has it the Knicks may send him to Houston for the first-round pick Donnie Walsh foolishly traded away last year. That pick in turn would be a piece in a trade for Anthony. Maybe the Knicks aren’t playing him because they don’t want to risk an injury, but I doubt that’s the case (he’s probably just in D’Antoni’s doghouse).
Also, the Knicks could use a little more help inside. It would be ideal if Amar’e didn’t have to play center (as he is now), but rookie Timofey Mozgov is too raw and Ronny Turiaf is more of a defensive specialist who is a bit too foul prone. The Knicks really don’t have a true backup point guard, as Douglas is more of a scorer who isn’t adept at running the offense.
So, there are concerns. And now, the Knicks head into a dangerous part of their schedule, starting with a home game Wednesday against the 18-4 Celtics. That’s followed by a home game Friday against the Heat. Both games are nationally televised and will tell us a bit more about how good this team actually is.
I don’t expect them to win them both, and realistically it’s going to be tough to take one, but I’m more interested in how they compete. Let’s see them go against some of the best talent in the league and see what they’ve got.
I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Eagles win, Giants must do the same Monday: The Giants’ long and winding journey this week takes them to Detroit tomorrow night to face the temporarily homeless Minnesota Vikings. The Giants were stuck in Kansas City Saturday night, and couldn’t get to Minnesota while the NFL kept insisting the game would go on (idiots). Finally, they moved the game to Monday night, and then the roof caved in on the Vikings (literally). So, now it becomes a neutral-site game in Detroit, which should work in the Giants’ favor. The Eagles (9-4) pulled a half-game ahead of the Giants with a 30-27 win in Dallas tonight, so it’s imperative for the Giants to get a win here. Green Bay (8-5) helped out by losing 7-3 to the Lions today, so a Giants win will move them a game ahead of the Packers and Tampa Bay Bucs in the NFC playoff chase. Go Big Blue!

Giants 31, Redskins 7

Posted: December 6, 2010 in Giants

I’m back from a well-appreciated respite in Cozumel with my wife, and it’s time to blog again.
The Giants are in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt, running all over the Redskins on a cold and blustery day in New Jersey. The 31-7 win (in which Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw ran for a combined 200 yards and four TDs) came on the heels of last week’s season-saving comeback win over the Jags, improving their record to 8-4.
I can’t emphasize enough how important last week’s win was. Down 17-6 at halftime, the banged up Giants came back to post a 24-20 win thanks to an improved defensive effort and the strong right arm of Eli Manning (who has proven quite adept at the comeback victory during his career). The G-Men got a break last week when the Bears topped the Eagles, so now both teams are 8-4 with a huge showdown looming in two weeks.
Can’t look ahead to that one though, as next week’s game in Minnesota won’t be easy. The Vikings appear to be doing exactly what the Cowboys did, playing more inspired football under a new coach. And with gimpy, moldy old pervert Brett Favre possibly out of the game, the Giants will face a mobile QB in Tarvaris Jackson (who actually looked good today in a thrashing of the Bills). The Eagles face the resurgent Cowboys in Dallas, so that isn’t a gimme win as it appeared a few weeks ago (just ask the Giants). It’s looking more and more possible only one team from the NFC East will make the playoffs. If the season ended today, the Eagles and Giants would both get in, but the Giants still have a game against the Packers (also 8-4 but with a slightly worse conference record than the Giants) in Green Bay remaining, so I’m still a bit uneasy about the playoffs. 2-2 over the next four might not cut it.
But at least they’re in the thick of it.

Eagles 27, Giants 17

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Giants

Eli Manning's failure to slide cost the Giants any chance of a late comeback against the hated Eagles.

I hate when my teams do this to me. For the better part of three quarters, the Giants’ offense looked about as effective as a blind air-traffic controller. The defense was doing a decent job of containing Michael Vick and the tough Eagles offense, but a few turnovers and general poor play by the Giants’ O (and strong play by the Eagles’ D) had the Giants trailing 16-3 late in the third quarter.

As Eli Manning has done many times in his Giants’ career, he got it going late, with the defense also chipping in with big plays to give the Giants good field position. New York scored on consecutive drives to take an improbable 17-16 lead early in the fourth and I went from total resignation to elation in no time.

Here I was, one week after the worst sports weekend perhaps in my entire life (Bloomsburg University lost conference title game, Penn State got blown out after dominating first half vs. Ohio State, Knicks lost twice including giving up a 31-31 performance by Kevin Love, then Giants get wrecked by the 1-7 Cowboys), I was getting ready for a perfect sports weekend.

With Bloomsburg and Penn State winning and the Knicks now on a three-game winning streak, the Giants were the only team left and their game with the Eagles was the one I wanted the most. A win would put them all alone in first place in the NFC East, while a loss would drop them out of the playoff race for the time being. Of course, the Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter, getting a huge 50-yard TD run by LeSean McCoy and two-point conversion pass from Vick to Anthony Avant to go up 24-17.

On the ensuing Giants’ drive, Tom Coughlin made a gutsy (actually stupid) call to go for it on 4th and 6th from his own 45 or so with three minutes left and all three timeouts remaining. Eli dropped back to pass, then stepped up into the pocket and saw a ton of running room. So, the lead-footed Manning took off into the Eagles’ secondary for a 15-yard run and key first down. Eli sometimes leaves his brain in the locker room, because all he had to do was slide to keep the chains moving. Instead, he dove for the first down but lost the ball before he was touched. Eagles recover the fumble, Eli puts on his well-known hang-dog expression, and the Eagles go on for the win.

Giants drop to 6-4 and could be well on their way for a second consecutive late-season tank. They’ve lost two in a row and just two weeks after looking like the kings of the NFC, they’ll now have to scramble just to get into the playoffs.

If they somehow miss the playoffs, Coughlin should be canned and the team should start its full-court press of Bill Cowher.

As much as it pains me to say this, the Eagles look like a viable Super Bowl threat. Their defense is making big plays to go along with the explosive offense led by the lightning-quick Vick. Dog’s worst friend, Vick is better than he ever was in Atlanta. The way he’s playing reminds me of Steve Young, only with more speed and a better arm. That’s scary. He’s got speedy receivers and a dynamic running back in LeSean McCoy, when Chunky A (Andy Reid) decides to run the ball, which happens less frequently than Halley’s Comet sightings. The Giants are going to have a tough time catching this team, and only a Vick injury could stop the Eagles from making a deep run in the playoffs.

I’ll get to the Mets’ hiring of Terry Collins’ another day, I’m too ticked off from the Giants’ game to discuss this rather unexciting move.

Giants 41, Cowboys 35

Posted: October 26, 2010 in Giants

In a game nowhere near as close as the final score, the Giants topped the Cowboys tonight on Monday Night Football, 41-35. The G-Men dominated this game, yet couldn’t get out of their own way, as five turnovers led directly to 28 Cowboys points. The other TD came on an 88-yard punt return by Dez Bryant. Eli Manning got off to a horrendous start, throwing two picks deep in Cowboys territory on the Giants’ first two possessions. The Cowboys capitalized, taking a 10-0 lead despite having only 15 total yards of offense at that point. Manning eventually heated up, tossing four TD passes. The Giants’ running backs also looked good, and the defense knocked Tony Romo out of the game and punished 90-year old Jon Kitna until the Cowboys got a bit of life at the end of the game.
Up 38-20 with just over three minutes remaining, the Giants inexplicably threw the ball when they should have been running out the clock. Keith Brooking returned a Manning INT inside the 20, and Kitna found Bryant for a score. The Giants recovered the onside kick and eventually got a field goal from Lawrence Tynes to make it 41-28. The Cowboys drove down the field on a soft Giants defense, and Kitna hooked up with Bryant again to close the gap to 41-35. Never should have gotten to that point, but I’ll take the win despite a bad start and finish. The Giants head into their bye week at 5-2, alone atop the NFC East. I’m cautiously optimistic, although the Giants rolled to a 5-0 start last year before absolutely tanking down the stretch. But in a pretty weak NFC, the Giants should at least make the playoffs this year. As for the Cowboys, wonder if Jerry Jones still thinks his team will reach the Super Bowl. At 1-5 and without their overrated star QB, 6-10 may be a stretch for this overpaid group of underachievers.