Sunday, November 8, 2009

Game 9 Summary

So much for the must-win. Now the Giants will spend the next two weeks thinking about not only what could go down as the toughest loss of the season, 21-20 to San Diego, but the fact that they've now lost four straight after starting off 5-0. Talk about a mental load. This could be devestating.

Taken by itself, tonight's setback is hard enough to take. This one was in the bag. Terrell Thomas' interception that ended his finest day as a starting cornerback should have led to a game-icing touchdown. Instead, Chris Snee held, and the Giants could recover no more than 10 yards on the ensuing drive. A field goal, which kept it a one-possession game, forced San Diego into touchdown mode, and that's exactly what they did when Vincent Jackson beat Corey Webster on man coverage with 21 seconds to go.

Red Zone issues rose their ugly heads. A botched operation on a first-possession field goal, and various glitches during the game led to the loss. If the season goes down the tubes from here, the Giants can look at this game, not the previous three, as the one that sent it to the slippery slope.

"Our defense had played well all game," center Shaun O'Hara said. "The blame for this goes on the offense. We should have punched it in there, but instead we settled for the field goal. You have to score touchdowns there. We can't put the defense out there in that position."

O'Hara also said "Nobody's going home." Perhaps not. There's still seven game checks to pick up. But unless Tom Coughlin can find some answers, and the Giants can find some consistency of offense and defense in the bye week, they all will certainly go home in mid-January, before the playoffs even start.

Here's the summary.

BIG PLAYS:

Start at the end, when 6-foot-5 Vincent Jackson found himself in man coverage on Corey Webster near the end zone sideline with 21 seconds left. Jackson got a yard's separation, and Philip Rivers, the guy Ernie Accorsi traded on draft day 2004 for Eli Manning, put the ball right on the button for the go-ahead and game-winning touchdown. "He just put it in a good position so (Jackson) could make a play on it," Webster said. "Good receiver, good quarterback."

Terrell Thomas' interception and 33-yard return to the San Diego 4 should have sealed the game. Thomas jumped Malcolm Floyd's route, and Rivers' underthrown pass came right to the cornerback with 3:14 left. For a second, it seemed Thomas might take it to the house himself, but LT Marcus McNeil and FB Jacob Hester brought him down.

The Giants held a three-point advantage after Manning found Kevin Boss for an eight-yard touchdown toss with 8:58 left in the game. It was the Giants' first lead, and came after Domenik Hixon had his best punt return of the day, a 13-yarder to the San Diego 39 following a three-and-out series by the defense.

Webster had a 29-yard pass interference call in the end zone that set up the Chargers' second touchdown at 3:51 of the third quarter when Jackson beat him on man coverage. Actually, he had two penalties on the same play, his illegal contact being declined.

Usually reliable holder Jeff Feagles couldn't handle the first field goal snap and caused Lawrence Tynes to bypass a 39-yard try on the first possession. Make that, and the ending doesn't happen.

THE VETS:

Eli Manning: He actually didn't play horribly. He finished 25-of-33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, and didn't throw an interception for the first time in three games. But he couldn't engineer a touchdown when he needed it. "I felt bad," he said. "I just knew we had to get a touchdown. When you have a chance to win the game and end it, you have to do it. Whether it's running out the clock on the four-minute drive or scoring a touchdown or doing something to finish the game, we didn't do it and we gave them a chance."

Osi Umenyiora: All but invisible for the umpteenth game, he did come up with a huge strip-sack of Philip Rivers to end a second-quarter threat. That was one of only two tackles he made, and he was nowhere to be seen in the backfield again.

Fred Robbins: He had three tackles, none bigger than the bull-rush sack he had on the fourth-quarter three-and-out series.

Brandon Jacobs: His 11 carries for 67 yards produced a 6.1-yard average, but he wasn't used nearly enough. Still, he looked like the old Jacobs, running over linebackers and DBs as he picked up good chunks of yardage. He limped off the field after an eight-yard carry at the start of the second half, but came back.

Danny Ware: The seldom-used running back had two nice runs of six and five yards in the third quarter to set up Tynes' 38-yard field goal to narrow the Chargers' lead to 14-10. They marked his first two carries of the season.

Steve Smith: He had eight catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Kevin Boss: He had two catches for 17 yards and a touchdown, and got up yet again from a helmet-to-facemask hit on a nine-yard catch during the Giants' 16-play touchdown drive in the second quarter.

Jeff Feagles: One of the most reliable holders in the game, he blew the first-possession field goal attempt when he failed to get the ball down in time for Tynes. Tynes explained that when he reached the ball, Feagles still had two hands on it, and a kick there might have injured Feagles' hand. On the punting end, Feagles had another bad game, averaging 35.2 yards per punt while knocking two of 30 and 31 yards. Very inconsistent for him.

Justin Tuck: He was all over the place again, though he finished with only three tackles. Two of those were for losses, however, including an ill-fated reverse that he smelled out and dropped Jackson for a four-yard loss.

THE KIDS:

Bruce Johnson: The undrafted nickelback broke up three passes, including a second-quarter, third-and-8 throw to Malcolm Floyd that could have gone for big yards with the score at 0-0.

Clint Sintim: He got his first significant time on the defense, mostly in coverage, and he didn't do a bad job. He finished with three tackles and a hit on Rivers while replacing the slower, older Danny Clark on passing downs.

Hakeem Nicks: He continues to make at least one eye-opening play per game, this time making a nice step around Quentin Jammer on a 29-yard catch-and-run.

THE UGLY STUFF:

Allowing the Chargers to travel 80 yards for a touchdown in 1:46 after stretching a lead to six points is ugly enough. But how they did it was even uglier as the defense simply let down. Tom Coughlin said everybody on that unit knew that Darren Sproles would be the target on first-down at the Giants' 39, and yet he was wide open in the middle for a 21-yard catch to the 18.

The pass rush was inconsistent, but seemed to be there when the Giants needed it in the second half. But then, when they needed it most as Rivers ran the two-minute drill, it was nowhere to be seen. He had all the time he needed to find his receivers. There was no blitz on the final touchdown pass, but the front four should have at least been able to pressure Rivers into an early throw. They simply seemed to run out of gas.

THE MISS:

No question, it's the botched first-possession field goal. Hit that, and the Giants are never in the position they were in to lose the game at the end. Technically, it wasn't a miss for Tynes because it was Feagles' fault.

You might also throw in the final field goal, too, since they missed getting a touchdown in the Red Zone. That made them 2-for-4 in scoring touchdowns inside the 20 yesterday, not good enough.

THE BUMPS:

LB Gerris Wilkinson came out of the game in the third quarter to have his wrist x-rayed and did not return.

DE Justin Tuck injured his knee in the third quarter but returned.

TE Kevin Boss was shaken up on a second-quarter completion, but returned.

EP

22 comments:

  1. The most troubling aspect of this loss is that the Giants found a way to lose. They were the better team on the field today but they found a way to give it to the Chargers.

    That is not the hallmark of a good team. This team is very fragile when the game is decided right now. First and goal on the 4 at the end of the game, you need a TD. No questions asked. They can talk about positives within the game, and there were lots, but if you don't get it done when you need to get it done you are simply a middle of the road to bottom of the pack team.

    Chris

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  2. Things that were better -
    1. No CC Brown.
    2. Eli had a purpose and wasn't confused at the line.
    3. No turnovers.

    Things that were not -
    1. Special Teams.
    2. Red Zone offense.
    3. Penalites.

    It is going to be a long two weeks. Let's hope we get Aaron Ross back and everyone returns healthy. I know it looks far fetched but 10-6 is not an impossibility.

    John

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  3. The non-excuse excuses are getting old.
    "we're better than that"...
    "The blame for this goes on the offense. We should have punched it in there, but instead we settled for the field goal. You have to score touchdowns there. We can't put the defense out there in that position."
    And in 2 weeks, the same gutless mediocrities, led by the same truly incompetent coaches, will use the same lame excuses.
    93 days to pitchers and catchers.

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  4. The fact of the matter is they are not a good football team. The Chargers are a mid pack team and the Giants lost to them. End of story.

    We were not as good as a 5-0 record would suggest. Equally, we are not as bad as 0-4. What we are is somewhere in the middle. This isn't a playoff team, far from it. 8-8 is a real possibility, especially when you consider the schedule.

    I would give the team at least 5 days off. Clear everyone's head. Then Coughlin has to turn this ship aroung. He talked about leaders leading....well Tommy boy this falls on you now! It's your job to get these guys to play better ball. You're job alone.

    By the way....Ernie mentioned this in his game blog but I am sure Jacobs is hurt right now. That has to be the reason he is so under utilized in the running game. That, or you have zero confidence in your O-line, and I don't see that.

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  5. Ernie, big play..how about first and goal at the four and you take a holding penalty?

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  6. Bradsaw had more carries than Jacobs. That blows my mind.

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  7. Lt arrested Ern. U gonna be a character witness??

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  8. This game could go down as the 'signature' game of the Giant's season - what the season was all about. At this point, looking over the remaining schedule, i can't see the Giants doing better than 8-8.

    They need to replace both coordinators at the end of the season. Its not all their fault obviously, but the majority of the blame goes their way. As it turns out, Sheridan was a poor choice. And Gilbride - well no need to mention how much he needs to go. Its sad to see a good team like this go spiriling down.

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  9. WOW!!! Can we please spread the field than run inside,instead of using a Pop Warner formation.
    M.Johnson has no feel for the game,might have the talent,but without feel he's horrible.On the final TD he had great coverage on the goal post.Time for him to take a seat next to CC. Can we throw 1 fade to Nicks instead of a screen,maybe we score or get a call. Gilbride has the imagination of a rock. Time foe hin to take a seat next to CC and MJ

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  10. Why can't the Giants go 9-7 or 10-6?


    Right now they sit at 5-4.

    The Schedule is fairly daunting. Not that daunting.


    Next up is the Falcons (we'll be coming off the Bye-Week) in New York. That could be a win.

    Then at Denver. Do we really buy Denver yet? Maybe.

    Then it's Dallas and Philly in New Jersey.

    Then it's at Washington, which should be a win.

    Carolina, who will be playing for nothing, in Giants Staidum. That can also be a win.

    Then it's Minnesota who will have wrapped up the division, and probably home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs...playing for NOTHING. That could be a situation similar to last year where the Giants were better than the Vikings playing for nothing and lost with their scrubs in.

    If the Giants beat the Falcons they will hold the tie-breaker over them.

    Then they beat the Redskins and Panthers (that's 8 wins) and One more win vs the Cowboys, Broncos, Philly, Dallas, or a playing-for-nothing Vikings team and they'll be 9-7 with the tie-breaker over the Falcons.

    With the Packers and Bears being average teams that would propel them to the playoffs, where anything can happen.


    Down, but not out.




    giantsgab.com

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  11. Plenty of football left. This team can still get a wildcard berth due to the rest of the NFC being terrible this season. Philly and Atlanta are the only other real threats out there to win the WC.

    The rest of the season starts today. The Giants just need to get hot.

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  12. Wow. Can they make the playoffs as a wildcard? I would say based on the last four weeks, no. The bigger question I have for my fellow NY fans is why would you want them in the playoffs? Do you really think this team, as it stands now, is capable of being anything but the team that gets crushed in the first round? Again, I'll ask the question - If the Pro Bowl was about who was the best player at their position and NOT the popularity contest it really is - which Giant do you feel should go the Pro Bowl? I can't name one guy on the team this year that has stood out against all the other players at his position in the NFC. Not one. Right now, I would say Tuck is the best player NY has, but this year, he has not been the most dominant player at his position. Nicks shows some real promise, but he's not there yet. Who else? This team is like a Maserati with VW Bug engine inside. It looks great from the outside but it performs like s**t on the track. I say let's forget about the playoffs and pray that Jerry can work some draft day magic again and/or save this team with a few choice free agents. The Giants are the "not ready for primetime" team.

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  13. Dweez,

    No offense, but only an idiot hopes their team doesn't make the playoffs. You do realize the Cowboys had about 8 guys make the Pro Bowl two years ago when they lost to the Giants in the playoffs. And you do remember the Giants were a wild card team when they won the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl means nothing, get over it.

    If the Giants beat Atlanta and move to 6-4 they have a legit shot at making the playoffs. They would have the tiebreaker over the Falcons with games against the Cowboys and Eagles at home.

    I know they lost four in a row, so you can make the case that there's no way they could beat Atlanta or Dallas or Philly. And until they win a game I can't disprove that theory. But if they do beat Atlanta they have a shot.

    Both the Bears and Packers are 4-4 and the Falcons and Eagles are 5-3. At worst the Giants will be in the 7th spot coming off the bye, with a chance to get the 6th spot if they beat Atlanta. But a loss to Atlanta and they may be done.

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  14. anonymous - No, only an idiot completely misquotes me and shows the reading comprehension of a four year old. Fact - Dallas had 11 Pro Bowlers in 2007! Know something before opening your mouth. Fact - Yes, the Pro Bowl is meaningless. I stated that. If you bothered to read (can you do that? or does the zoo keeper hit you when you try?) you would see I clearly state "IF THE PRO BOWL WAS ABOUT WHO WAS THE BEST PLAYER AT THEIR POSITION...". Reading is fundamental. Fact - this year's draft is deemed to be one of the deepest in years. Why root for your favorite team to get massacred in the first round of the playoffs when they would get a better pick if they didn't make it at all? Can they make the playoffs? Not unless in the next two weeks things change dramatically. Philly destroyed them and, if San Diego can beat them, you can bet big money Atlanta can. Atlanta played New Orleans a lot tougher than NY did. Turner ripped NO for 150 plus yards of rushing. NY's backs combined didn't break 100. If Weaver can run through the NY D, it pains me to think what Turner can do. Finally, if you're going to name call, you might want to get your facts straight so you don't make a total a** of yourself.

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  15. Yes, let's hope the Giants to LOSE every game so we can get higher draft picks. That's the answer. Jerry Reese should hire this 'dweez' character as a consultant of some sort.

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  16. Gee ny8ogmen10, you're brilliant insight is "vomit in my mouth". Let's make you head coach! All I am saying is this team looks pathetic right now. IF they even manage to back into the playoffs, we saw with Arizona, New Orleans, Philly, and San Diego, any team with a QB can shred this defense. So, genius, tell us all how to fix this? What is your brilliant plan? I don't think they have the personnel to compete in the playoffs UNLESS the past four games were some strange aberration and after the bye they miraculously become a different team. There aren't any Oaklands or Tampa Bays left on their schedule. Washington and Carolina are the only possible "gimmes", but then, Arizona and San Diego at home should have been "gimme" games and they weren't. If I have a choice between watching NY get crushed, a la the New Orleans or Philly game, in the first round or having a better pick in an excellent draft, I'll take the pick. What's the point of going to the playoffs to be humiliated? Isn't that Dallas' job in the NFC East? If they were playing competitive football, I would be all for them going all out to see if any of that 2007 magic still remained. But they are not. They are playing more like the Redskins than the Giants. Now, since you are the resident football savant, I'm sure you'll let us all know how to fix the numerous problems on defense, offense, coaching, and special teams and with your magnificent plan, the Giants will go undefeated from this point on.

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  17. Waa Waa Waa I can't even read all this shit. You were insinuating that the Giants would be better off losing games this season instead of trying to make the playoffs, in turn for better picks next year. That's what I'm replying to. That concept is comical to me. And so are your rants.

    I'm not offering any suggestions to fix the problem. All I truly know for sure is that quiting is never an option.

    We'll see what the future holds for the Giants from Coaching Staff to execution on the field. I'm not saying it's going to happen but the Giants are certainly capable of going 4-3 or maybe maybe maybe 5-2, and if they are hitting sride going into the playoffs they can beat any team. It's a lot of if's but they are certainly capable of preforming at a high level THIS season.

    I understand your frustration and lack of confidence in the coaching staff and players. I feel the same way. Throwing in the towel when your halfway through a season and still in good postion to make the playoffs is not an option.

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  18. Look, Ernie made one simple request, keep it clean. Try to be an adult and help the guy out. This blog is way too new and not an ad in sight, so it's clearly NOT making the guy any cash yet. You want to rip me, have at it. But throw Ernie a bone and lay off the four letter words.
    As for throwing in the towel, I have been watching the Giants since 1969. Take a look at their record through the 70s. If I sat through that, I stay with NY forever. That was as bad as football gets. The problem is this team has thrown in the towel. No way Arizona, Philly, and San Diego are better teams on paper. Philly couldn't even beat Oakland! Yet, they pounded the Giants. I'm not seeing any heart or fire out there. Can you imagine if LT was on this team? He would be ripping his teammates heads off for blowing their assignments. Take off the blue tinted glasses and be realistic. If a different team with a whole new attitude does not appear after the bye, they are done. You want them in the playoffs and right now they can't even punt the ball.

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  19. oops I said the S word. Sorry Ernie, no disrespect.

    I guess there's no need to rip you when you already make yourself look like a fool with your own words. Way to deflect the attention off your irrational suggestions by brown nosing Erine in the process.

    The fact that you've been a fan since 69' only adds insult to injury.

    I never said they were going to turn it around (playoffs). Yes, a different team needs to show up after the buy, and they are fully capable of that. I don't feel confident it's GOING to happen, but once again they are capable of doing it. Therefore quitting for better draft picks next year is not an option(my original and only point I'm trying to get acrossed to you). No tinted glasses, cute though. You didn't mean what you wrote or you are not very bright. Either way you were wrong. Brown nosing Ern and not adressing my criticism regarding your ingnorant insinuations does not make you right.

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  20. ny8ogmen10 - If you're going to call someone ignorant, the least you could do is learn how to spell the word. Otherwise, you just come off as a barely literate jacka**. Let's address (another word you have trouble spelling) your criticism.
    1) "Brown nosing Ernie" - I fully understand you probably spend all day on your knees trying to raise your salary above minimum wage (learning how to spell would be a great place to start). The purpose of brown nosing is to gain something. Ernie has set up his blog for free. ALL comments are posted immediately without Ernie screening them. So, what is there to gain? Absolutely nothing. It's called common courtesy. The man made a simple request and provides all of us with free content. Not a lot to ask. I understand trailer trash such as yourself has no use for manners (manners might help get you off the french fries station - try it), but at least show the man some consideration.
    2) "Quitting for better draft picks" - Since I neither play nor work in any capacity for the NY Giants, it is actually impossible for me to do that. The worse I could do is shut off the TV during the game, but since there are millions of Giants fans in the Tri-State area alone, that will have no effect. Let's look at cold, hard facts. Coughlin just brought in 14 free agents to look over. That's unheard of during a bye week to bring in that many. 14 guys who not only could not make ANY NFL team during the off-season, they couldn't even make the UFL! And yet, there they were. Seems Coughlin knows that the way the current roster is playing the playoffs are nothing but a pipe dream. The NY Giants Defense is LAST in the NFL preventing opponents from scoring in the red zone. DEAD LAST. To put it terms you might understand that means such powerhouse teams such as Detroit, Tampa, and Oakland are currently doing better. The defense is allowing an average of 22.7 points per game. Only four teams are worse and Cleveland is actually doing better. Add on to that, the Giants are in the bottom third when it comes to scoring inside the red zone and that's about the worse combination you can have. Wait, there's more! The Giants are currently ranked 30th in the league in punting. So, huge problems on offense, defense, and special teams. That's the team you want to see in the playoffs. Yeah, better polish up that Lombardi, huh? Can the season be salvaged? Sure, it's possible. But they have shown nothing in past four games to make anyone rational believe that they will. Remember, it was the Giants themselves that said San Diego was a "playoff game". They certainly played better than they did at Philly, but to allow a team to march eighty yards in less than two minutes without even forcing them use a timeout is embarrassing. Especially, when the players claimed it was a "playoff game" and especially against a San Diego team that simply isn't all that talented. I hope they can turn it around, but if they continue to play like this, they have NO chance in the playoffs. None.
    I believe those were your only two "points". Feel free to write more moronic babble though. It's certainly entertaining. It also serves as an important reminder to kids to stay in school and get a good education.

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  21. I'm not wasting my time reading all of this.

    Calm yourself. I didn't spell check. You made a terrible suggestion. It was a really dumb comment and I called you out on it. Have a nice life..

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