Yesterday was a good day for the Giants, they couldn’t have hoped for better results. After a shaky start they took care of the Browns, the Eagles lost, the Redskins lost and the Cowboys didn’t play.
The Giants are now 3-2 and tied for the best record in the NFC East with Philly.
It looked sticky at first though. Within 6 minutes the Giants were in a 14 point hole. A fumble from Bradshaw and some questionable run defence put us 7 points down in less than a minute and a mismatch of Chase Blackburn on a wide receiver led to a 60 yard touchdown a few plays later.
From then on though it was all Giants. Bradshaw had a big day catching and rushing, David Wilson looked good on kick returns and broke a big run in the fourth to seal the game.
Hixon, Cruz and Manning were solid as was a break out day for Reuben Randle. If a couple of pass interference calls had been,are (including the interception off Cruz’s hands) then the Giants would probably have won even more comfortably than 41-27.
Our defence at times though is still porous. The rush needs to get home to help relieve the pressure on our battered secondary and we need to learn to seal the edge and be disciplined in the running game.
Nevertheless it was a good bounce-back from a game in Philly that they should have won last week.
We are in a good position going into week 6 but our schedule from here is tough – starting with the 49ers next week on the West Coast.
The first thought following this heartbreaking 2 point loss (19-17) is that Ramses Barden will get the blame for it. His Offensive Pass Interference penalty moved the Giants back making the missed field goal 54 yards instead of 44 yards. It wasn’t his fault – Namdi Asomouga was in a position to intercept Manning’s pass – which was thrown to Barden’s wrong shoulder – if Barden hadn’t pulled Asomouga down for the penalty then the Giants wouldn’t have been in a position to kick a field goal to take the lead anyway.
Why the Giants threw the ball instead of running it on that down is a mystery to me. Even a quick kneel down followed by a field goal would have secured the game. I agree with the call not to try to shorten the distance of the kick with a throw with 15 seconds left and no timeouts after the penalty though – the danger of watching the clock expire with no kick attempt is too high.
My second thought is Osi Umenyiora. The British-born Osi is one of my favourite players but he was burnt badly on several runs where he failed to keep contain on the edge. On a key third down he jumped offside, giving the Eagles a first down which they turned into a touchdown. He needs better discipline and to understand the situation on the field.
The Giants’ secondary and their injuries: Phillips (knee), Rolle (knee), Webster (Hand), Thomas (knee), Coe (hamstring), Amukamara (ankle), Hosley (hamstring) – when are we going to catch a break? After Phillips went down in the first half the Giants admitted it changed their strategy – without him shoring up the centre field they couldn’t rush as aggressively. Webster was responsible for the Jackson touchdown as well.
We saw the good and the bad sides of Eli Manning last night – a clinical drive in the fourth and at the end of the second to put points on the board but also an end-zone interception and the poor throw to Barden at the end of the game. Those two plays resulted in at least 6 points not being scored – if either of those drives ended in points then the Giants win.
That’s it for my thoughts. I’m disappointed and tired after a late night but there’s still 75% of (an admittedly tough) schedule left. They have time to right the ship, get healthy and hope Dallas and Philly start losing some games. Of the three games the Eagles have won they have done it by a total of 4 points – it’s a game of inches. A few plays here and their against Dallas and Philly and the Giants are 4-0 and sitting pretty. As it is they are 2-2 and need to work hard.
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