Monday, December 14, 2009

Game 13 Summary

Believe it or not, folks, the Giants still have a shot at the playoffs, even after their defense-less 45-38 loss to the Eagles. As long as Dallas continues its December swoon, and the Giants beat Washington and Carolina, they've got as good a shot as any to sneak into that sixth playoff spot.

"It's still going to matter how we end the season," Eli Manning said. "Whether we're in first place tonight or not, these next three games are going to be important and they're still important to us right now. We just have to handle our business."

None of that is going to happen unless the defense finds some answers. It gave up another 374 total yards, not to mention a long touchdown strike from Donovan McNabb to DeSean Jackson that had safety Aaron Ross beaten by five yards. They played the run better, allowing 77 yards, but again failed to make key stops.

Can't blame this one on the offense, though. Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Kevin Boss all contributed touchdowns as Eli Manning threw for a career-high 391 yards and three touchdowns. But the Giants lost the turnover battle 4-1. And they allowed a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown to Jackson to neutralize whatever tackling and coverage problems the Eagles had themselves.

Losing the turnover battle 4-1 was deadly, especially since one of the fumbles was returned for a touchdown.

"I'm disappointed with all the balls on the ground," Tom Coughlin said. "That's not what we preach. But we were in position to win, and then the clock became a factor."


Start with Jackson's 72-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter on which he got a block and made a little move toward the sideline, and then ran right past punter Jeff Feagles for a 24-10 lead.

Then things got interested as the Giants answered with a touchdown, only to see Donovan McNabb answer that with a touchdown set up by his 44-yard throw to the deep sideline to Jackson.

Domenik Hixon's 61-yard touchdown catch put the Giants in the lead 31-30 with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter. But on the next play from scrimmage, Jackson caught his 61-yarder to pull ahead of the Giants for good at 37-31.

After Manning found Kevin Boss alone on a four-yard touchdown pass with 1:31 remaining in the game, Lawrence Tynes knocked his onsides kick attempt out of bounds to allow the Eagles to run the clock down to 28 seconds before punting the ball away. The Giants wound up getting the ball at their four, thanks to a roughness call on C.C. Brown, and were unable to move it from there.


Brandon Jacobs: He ran 15 times for 60 yards and a touchdown, but also had an early fumble that Sheldon Brown returned for a touchdown.

Steve Smith: With his seven catches for 74 yards, he eclipsed Amani Toomer's single-season franchise record for catches by three. Smith now has 85 catches for 1,053 yards.

Jonathan Goff: He started a second game at middle linebacker and came up with his first career interception.

Mario Manningham: He continues to have trouble finding his way on the sideline as his end zone catch for an apparent touchdown was reversed on replay when it was determined his second foot came down out of bounds.

Eli Manning: Despite a career-high 391 yards passing, he lost a late fumble on a scramble that kept the Giants at bay. "I'm disappointed because we did a lot of good things," Manning said. "We started off bad again, down 14-0, but we fought back. There's a lot there to take from, but we had a lot of missed opportunities, too. I just hope we can build from this."

Kevin Boss: He had seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown as he became a viable option in the passing game for only the second time in the last four games.


Hakeem Nicks: He made a sparkling 68-yard touchdown catch to go along with his four catches for 110 yards in his first career start.


Can't get much uglier than an opponent who answers you at every turn, especially on the snap after you've fought all the way back from 14-0 to take a 31-30 lead. McNabb put together way too many easy drives.


RT Kareem McKenzie went out in the second quarter with a sprained left knee and did not return.

CB Corey Webster sprained his knee in the fourth quarter and did not return.

DE Justin Tuck suffered a neck injury in the second quarter and returned.



  1. Ernie, I can't take it anymore. I don't care if it's too late now - the Giants NEED to fire Sheridan. The guy's a joke of a coordinator.

    I, by no means am a defensive wizard, but if I were a coordinator two of my most important goals heading into each game would be: 1. Stop the run and 2. Pinpoint the game changer on the opposing team and do what was necessary to stop him.

    I'll focus on the second point. How do you let DeSean Jackson run free through the secondary all night? Can't they roll coverage to him or double him? At 31-30, first Eagles play Jackson gets a free release past Boley (a linebacker) and blows right by Aaron Ross who is supposed to cover him one-on-one. It's assanine.

    Once Maclin went out the Eagles have one big play threat and Sheridan is to stupid to realize that. Are you more afraid of Celek catching 10 yard out routes? Or the Eagles running it? Or Jackson catching 60 yard bombs all night?

    Ernie, if you can, can you ask or see why the Giants never tried to take Jackson out of the game. Are they going to do the same thing with Steve Smith? Or Santana Moss over the next two weeks. Would they play Randy Moss like that?

    And I'm sure Sheridan will say the players were there, but didn't make the play or there were some miscues in the secondary. But when will this guy look in the mirror and realize he needs to protect this secondary a little bit. I love the philosophy of rushing four and playing zone behind it for most of the night.

    If you rush four there are plenty of players you can double Jackson with. He is, honestly, the worst coordinator in the league. At this point the Giants should just play a Cover-2 or Tampa-2.

  2. Still scratching my head over this one. Don't know that the Eagles beat the Giants so much as the GMen beat themselves.

    How does no player on the D jump on McNabbs fumble??? Most times that refs are chasing the defense down the field blowing the play dead. Instead our guys are standing around playing grabass and patting each other on the back for breaking up the play.

    I want Sheridan fired tomorrow. This is not Giant football.

  3. The secondary is only PART of the problem. The lack of pass rush is attributable to the defensive line. To all Giants beat writers, stop getting quote from Osi, until he can play a complete game, run and pass, he's not worthy of the ink. The TV did a nice job of showing Canty getting blown off the ball, he's too large a target for trap blocks. Robbins is playing at less than 100%, you can see it. He's not fully recovered. Bernard was a waste of FA money. That one is on Jerry Reese, as is Boley, who is too small to play well at the point of contact.

    McNabb found receivers after scrambling but 5-6 seconds is too long to cover. When you look at the film, the D line gives up once they get blocked. The vaunted rotation, is non-existent.

    For those who are thinking the Redskins are a pushover, think again. Their rookie DE leads all rookies in sacks. The revamped O-line now boasts two former 1st round picks, Levi Jones and Mike Willams, whom they salvaged from the scrap heap, both of who are 340lbs and lately have been plowing people over with power football. The Giants do not have the size to match up with them at the point of attack and will need a huge effort from the LB corps.

  4. Did you get a sense that Andy Reid knew that he had 5-6 plays that would work big against the Giants? This is a sure sign that the defense shows their tendencies and gives up parts of the field that good teams will exploit.

    The "amoeba" defense was a joke and was torched big time when Johnson could get back into position. When was the last time a safety on this team picked off a pass?

    Not falling on a loose ball, that's just criminal.

  5. I agree with the first post, every team seems to find a way to get the ball into the hands of their best players against us. None of this playoff talk is going to matter, do you really think we will beat Minnesota? If they sit AP, chester taylor will gut us. They won't rest defensive starters, even the cheating Williams brothers (whom the NFL didn't have the spine to contest their steroid acquittal). We won't be able to score on them, so what's the playoff talk about ???

  6. When Jacksonville misses the playoffs, and cuts loose Jack DelRio, can we pick him up for our defensive coordinator, please? or when jerry Jones lets go of his staff, can we get Dave Campo. Either one of these is an upgrade and they represent someone who knows the NFL. Sheridan is a former college coach and lifelong assistant, coaching at Michigan teaches you nothing, your team recruits better so you have better talent than 2/3 of your opponents, the NFL is not as easy. This was a terrible, terrible hire.