As proud as I was to be a Giants' fan the Monday morning after beating the Patriots a couple weeks ago, I'm that much more embarrassed today. To not even show up in what was supposed to be the "soft" part of the currently hellish ordeal that is our second-half schedule is INEXCUSABLE! Just because everyone picked us to win and expected us to do it rather handily didn't mean it would happen on its own accord. We gave a preseason effort out there, and the result reflected just that. I can't for the life of me understand why we feel it's necessary to consistently play down to the level of our competition in games we're supposed to win, AT HOME no less! This was a horrendous output and a game we'll have to simply put out of our minds for the rest of this season.
But before we do that, let's talk about it for a while longer right now. That'll be pleasant… The View From Home
JJ, Joe, Vandy, and I watched in the living room, the same place we watched the Giants beat the Eagles earlier in the season. Aside from being appalled and very, very angry most of the time, little else happened.
Save for one tangential argument about the difference between animals acting on instinct in relation to whether or not they're aware of death. I tried explaining that WE (humans) are the only animal species capable of said awareness, which is kind of what separates us from the rest. Just what I wanted to be having during such a painful viewing experience - a stupid, unnecessary debate about a popularly accepted biological fact.
The one genuinely uplifting moment from the game (Cruz's TD reception) came as JJ was answering the door for the delivery guy. Good thing Joe grabbed Vandy, because the way we reacted, with the door open, that dog would've been LONG GONE.
Angered by the Birds
I can't believe we let a limping, 3-6, Vince Young-led team into OUR HOUSE and beat us. Just pathetic. Even when we did make big plays, we never managed to take advantage of them. It would've been really nice to welcome back Prince Amukamara by converting his clutch first quarter interception into points. But we didn't. Eli gave it right back with an interception thrown off his back foot.
In the big picture, no one really played a complete game. The offensive line was horrible in run and pass blocking. And unfortunately our offense made no attempt to adjust to their glaring weaknesses. When your line is giving up constant pressure, and everyone's dropping everything (Jake Ballard's going to be in for an especially tough film session this week), you have to call passing plays that give your offense a chance to get back on its feet. Quick-hitters. You don't continue to call all-or-nothing passing plays that involve long routes that take time to develop. Yes, occasionally we hit a few of them that were caught for decent gains (and plenty more that were dropped). But the problem with those plays is that they leave no room for safe results. If the primary target isn't hit, Eli is back for so long that he's forced to take the sack or throw it away. There's no middle ground there.
The rushing game continues to be tragically non-existent. Brandon Jacobs, you are six-foot-four inches tall and you weigh (according to all official sites) two hundred sixty-four pounds. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO GAIN ONE YARD ON THE GROUND WHEN WE NEED YOU TO! THAT'S THE REASON YOU'RE HERE!!
Any time we started to build anything on offense, we'd immediately disrupt our own progress with dumb penalties. Just a horrendous game offensively, and still, we had a chance in the end. Imagine if the offense decided to show up for four quarters!
Unfortunately the myriad of injuries to the defense really showed up in glaring fashion on Sunday. We played hard and held them in check for the first half, but that also had a lot to do with the fact that we were playing a rusty QB who was missing a lot of open receivers and making bad reads. As he started to get settled in, suddenly everyone noticed just how open the middle of the field was for him to work. While it's a great story for the rookies and they tried hard on Sunday, we really missed Michael Boley. The guys in there were terrible in pass coverage. And don't get me started on the defense letting STEVE SMITH score a touchdown. Where's the pride?
On a positive note, Steve Weatherford for the most part looked great. I don't blame him for the one big return by DeSean Jackson - we had opportunities to tackle him before he broke his big return. Other than that, Steve did a great job pinning them deep most of the game. And Ramses Barden - one pass thrown to him, one catch made (and a good one, too). That's a far better percentage than any other receiver Sunday night.
Offensive Game Ball - Victor Cruz. Kind of by default. Six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown, it's hard not to give it to him. Especially since everyone else looked so bad. But it doesn't excuse the drops.
Defensive Game Ball - Prince Amukamara. He didn't play as well in the second half as he did in the first, but with five tackles and an interception in his first game as a Giant against the hated rival Eagles, he certainly deserves it.
Non-Gmen Thoughts of the Week:
• Love that new Modern Warfare 3 commercial starring Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill (with a guest appearance by Dwight Howard). Go get 'em, noob!
• On a related note, I was a little perturbed by the premature Christmas holiday coloring of the Empire State Building during the game last night. A little bit of red and a WHOLE LOT OF GREEN. Come on, be aware of the situation, save any and all green coloring for when the Eagles have LEFT TOWN! WHERE'S THE HOMETOWN LIGHT SUPPORT?
• Congratulations to my cousin Zoey on her Bat-Mitzvah this past Saturday - it was a beautiful occasion and you did a great job! Mazel Tov!
• At said occasion I had the privilege of meeting the one and only Larry Merchant - what a great guy to spend some time with. So much great wisdom to share, and how can you not love a guy who had Floyd Mayweather thanking his lucky stars for an age discrepancy?
Okay, this was a miserable game. Don't listen to sports talk radio or watch any recap shows this week. Just put the game out of your mind and move forward. We're tied with Dallas on top of the division, with two games against them still left to play, and in control of our own fate. We seem to play down to lesser teams but rise to the occasion when we play good ones. Let's hope that's the case these next few weeks, starting in New Orleans next Monday night. To talk all things Giants you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on Facebook under the username "Gmen Superfan," and/or follow me on Twitter under the name "@gmensuperfan1." Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, and until next week, GO GMEN!!Join other diehard Giants Fans!
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