A major humbling at the expense of a shocking loss
“There are some things we have to go back and sit down with the coaches to find a solution for, we have to find a way to get it done and bounce back next week.”
Courtesy of GMEN HQ:
I’m rewatching the game this morning, because I still can’t believe the Giants lost this game. CAN’T BELIEVE IT.
And the reason I can’t believe it is that the Giants should have been ready for this shootout with the Cowboys and they weren’t. We talked about Kitna’s arm. We talked about the Cowboys being ready to go for this game. But the Defense didn’t bother to show up. The Offense had their opportunities and squandered them with stupid penalties and mistakes AGAIN. Here are some of the critical moments where the Giants had opportunities to get in position to win, and some simple mistakes proved to be severely costly for the Giants.
• It’s 9-3 in the second quarter. Eli Manning and his offense have just engineered a critical drive down to the goal line. Ahmad Bradshaw himself brought about 6 Cowboys to the doorstep on a play that knocked Safety Mike Jenkins out of the game. On the next play, Brandon Jacobs punched the ball in for a TD. But it was called back due to Will Beatty moving early. That was a go ahead momentum shift that never happened, because the very next play Hakeem Nicks was out-muscled for position and Eli Manning’s pass to a busted slant route was taken 101 yards the other way for a momentum killing TD. Instead of 10-9 Giants, it was 16-3 Cowboys with 6 minutes left the second quarter.
• On the next possession, Will Beatty had 2 penalties in a row that brought the Giants back nearly to their own endzone. Beatty wasn’t even on the field for one of those calls, Tom Coughlin was livid. But these stupid, avoidable, pre-snap penalties just killed the Giants from getting anything going all game.
• Kevin Boss dropped a critical TD pass from Manning that was right on point. It should have been caught. It went right through Boss’s hands, hit his helmet, he bobbled it and dropped it. Good coverage by the Cowboys but that catch would have limited the Cowboys lead before the half to only 19-10. That field goal was more deflating than helpful I think… and the Cowboys nearly made a drive down the field for more points after that.
• After the half, the Giants defense was COMPLETELY out of position to shut down a simple screen pass for Felix Jones. Blown coverage on steroids. It reminded me of last year’s thumping from the Eagles where no one could make a tackle on the running backs. 70+ yards for a rushing TD to start the half from the #2 rushing defense in the league. Not ideal.
• Terrell Thomas had an awful game. After a beautiful scoring drive from the Giants, Thomas basically stopped running and gave up an easy pass to Roy Williams over the top for 25 yards and first down after the Giants had a 3rd and 22 situation in their favor. Pathetic. The next play Kitna delivered on a deep post to Miles Austin for a score. Had Thomas got his hand up or SOMETHING on that Roy Williams play, that is a punt for the Cowboys and another opportunity for the Giants.
• Mario Manningham has improved his game play — no doubt about it. And overall he had a decent game. But his route running in the middle of the field is still an issue and this is where Steve Smith was missed yesterday. Manningham still gets lost in space sometimes and forgets that to get a first down, you have to run past the marker and then cut open… not the other way around. When it was 33-20 the Giants punted away another opportunity because Manningham didn’t get upfield another yard and a half before he made his cut. The Cowboys then buried the Giants inside the 20 after ticking 4-5 minutes off the clock. Then he did the SAME THING on the very next possession that setup a 3rd and 1. The Giants barely picked it up. Steve Smith — get well soon please.
• Perhaps the biggest call of the game though is Kevin Boothe getting called for a hold after Eli Manning delivered a 45 yard TD pass to Hakeem Nicks that would have FINALLY made the score 33-27… within reach for a Giants team coming on strong. The defense was playing better, the offense started getting some momentum… but when I heard “Holding #77 Offense” my heart just dropped.
You can make the case that there was no hold, you can make the case that the call should have been a chop block — EITHER WAY this penalty cost the Giants their most legitimate shot at winning yesterday. It took away an amazing TD from Manning to Nicks, and at that point there was enough time for the Giants defense to stop Dallas’ sputtering offense and for the Giants to have another shot at winning the game in the 2-minute drill. But it was not to be.
• Of course the very next play was the bad snap from Seubert, fumble from Manning, and the Cowboys basically ended their night with some celebration for going into NY and out lasting a team that eventually started to turn things around. But mistakes and penalties cost the Giants dearly.
Yeah the Giants made it to the shootout in time, but they repeatedly shot themselves in the foot until they could no longer stand. I thought the Giants made some good plays like Eli often says, at times their third and fourth stringers did well to keep the game at least competitive. But in the end mistakes and penalties, primarily from the less experienced players, were too much to overcome.
Next week the Giants go on the road and face the Eagles for the first time — a team that routinely brings out the worst in the Giants with mistakes both offensively and defensively. My only hope is that the Redskins work out a win tonight and get to Vick early, and often. The Giants are undoubtedly sore this morning, hopefully they have an extra day’s rest on the Eagles at the end of the week and the Skins take it to them hard. That’s about all I can hope for at this point.