The entire New York Giants team and coaching staff should hang their heads in shame after yesterday's 45-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Ironically, last week's whipping boy, punter Matt Dodge, had the best game of any Giant player and last week's whipper, head coach Tom Coughlin, looked clueless and on the ropes. The Bill Cowher calls are getting louder.
The Giants were stranded in Appleton, Wisconsin after yesterday's interminable game because of the blizzard in New York. Talk about a snow job. To rally the troops, after last week's debacle at the New Meadowlands (same as the old) Stadium, Giants quarterback Eli Manning called his first 'players only' meeting in the seven years he's been in New York and safety, Antrell Rolle all but guaranteed a victory against the Packers, the Giants still folded under pressure...big time.
Coughlin doesn't deserve all the blame--just most of it. The whole team looked uninspired and unprepared. You know something is wrong when a veteran team fails to perform fundamental football duties. Turnovers, pouncing on loose balls, on-side kick coverage, punt coverage and kickoff returns are all problems with the team. The team has no one to blame but themselves.
There are no excuses for the Giants poor play. Center Shaun O' Hara was back and the offensive line was complete but Manning still threw 4 interceptions to a Packer defense depleted by injuries.
"They played harder than we did," an exasperated Justin Tuck said, "It's a sick feeling in my stomach to be able to say that, considering what we had at stake." What they had at stake was destiny. Beat the Packers, make the playoffs.
The Giants vaunted backfield continues to underachieve and lose balls. Ahmad Bradshaw continues to drop the football at the first hello and Brandon Jacobs got the ball poked out of his arms after being chased down by linebacker extraordinaire, Clay Matthews. On the end of that romp, the usually clutch tight-end Kevin Boss tried to pick up the loose ball instead of hopping on it. Green Bay's recovery shot down any chance the Giants had to make a game of it. That makes 41 Giants turnovers this season. They had 13 all year in just two years ago.
The Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers, played lights out yesterday, only couple of weeks from being knocked out by a concussion. He riddled the Giants D for 404 yards and 4 touchdowns. He made "victory guaranteed' Rolle bite on an eighty yard TD throw to Jordy Nelson. Packer running back John Kuhn looked like a reincarnation of Jim Taylor against the over-rated and under-whelming Giants D-line.
Over the last 68 minutes the Giants have given up 73 points. Not exactly Giants football.
Coughlin--who could be coaching his last game for the Giants this Sunday--said, "I'd like to see us get the 10th win, and I'd like to see us come back from a game of this nature." Didn't he say that last week? " There's not a whole lot out there to be proud of," continued the coach, "And literally stop talking about it and do it." Again, last week?
All the Giants keep repeating is that they are still in the playoff hunt, but now they are the prey. This Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins in D.C. has been pushed back to a 4:15 starting time. Oh goody, three more hours to prepare.
The Giants are in the playoffs if they beat Washington and the Bears beat the Packers. Or if they beat the Redskins and the Saints lose twice, starting with tonight's game. Good luck with that.
Here is a scenario which is much more likely to pan out. The Giants are in the playoffs if Brett Favre and Jenn Sterger kiss and make up, Michael Vick is voted PETA's Man of the Year and Rex Ryan becomes a spokesperson for Dr. Scholl's. Only then can you believe the Giants are playoff bound.