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Final Thoughts: Eagles/Giants

Let me tell you something — this was a great game to watch. And aside from the Giants losing by a touchdown I think it was clear the Giants had a real chance to win that game tonight.

Turnovers were costly.
Special Teams coverage – or lack thereof – costly.
Defensive Secondary – costly.
Receivers with 10 dropped balls or incompletions on perfectly thrown passes — COSTLY.

When the Giants went up at the start of the second half 31-30…. it proved that the Giants had a shot to win this game. A legit shot, too. After all the turnovers and drops and poor defensive coverage — the Giants in that moment took over the game. Brandon Jacobs bulled his way into the endzone… a great defensive stop followed by Domenik Hixon taking a short pass 60+ yards for a score to put the Giants on top.

And then a moment later the Defense gave all the momentum back to the Eagles.

McNabb hit Desean Jackson on a 60 yard pass of his own for what seemed like the 200th big play of the season for Jackson. The Giants COULD NOT cover him at any point.

When the Giants got the ball back, for some reason Kevin Gilbride took a promising drive and then started calling the “forbidden” clutch plays that drive all us fans nuts. Short dump off for Hedgecock on second down…. then a draw play on 3rd and 5. Guess what, didn’t get the first down. THOSE PLAYS don’t get it done, coach. And to make matters worse — the Eagles came back and scored on a 7 minute drive that broke the Giants back.

But let this be said — Eli looked great tonight even thought he fumbled away a great opportunity. Through the air Eli looked like a 100 Million dollar man. And even on the ground the Giants ran well and got into the endzone twice with 2 backs. So what happened?

DROPPED PASSES for one.

Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith dropped several crucial balls in the first half. Kevin Boss dropped a PERFECT pass from Manning in the second half that would have setup a score inside the 10 yard line. Missed opportunities.

Speaking of which, Mario Manningham had not 1, but 2 touchdown passes overturned because he only got one foot down. His hugging the sideline technique was partially to blame, and that is something he really needs to work on. There’s no question he’s fast — but he needs to work on those little parts of the game that make you truly a deadly and reliable receiver.

MISSED TACKLES

On the Eagles 7 minute 4th quarter drive, missed tackles killed the Giants. Not only did they get no pressure, they weren’t able to make a tackle to save their lives. So McNabb and company picked apart the Giants and could not be stopped on a deflating scoring drive capped by Leonard Weaver’s 1 yard touchdown run.

When the Giants got the opportunity, Mario Manningam caught a touchdown pass on the good side of the 2 minute warning. But it was overturned on further review. Getting his second toe in bounds on that play may have been what the Giants needed to keep hope alive. It was not to be. Kevin Boss ended up getting a touchdown but it only left 90 seconds on the clock.

While the Giants wisely used their timeouts and the defense did their job to stop the Eagles’ running game, Eli was strip sacked and the Eagles ran out the clock after they recovered the football.

TURNOVERS

There were way too many fumbles in this game — and the ones that could have helped the Giants were not capitalized on. Os Umenyiora forced a fumble from Donovan McNabb but Clint Sintim decided not to pick up the lose ball for some reason. Had he done that — it would have saved a score from the Eagles and kept the game in reach.

Eli fumbled twice, Jacobs fumbled, Hixon fumbled twice — lots and lots of turnovers kept the Giants out of it.

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It’s a bitter loss because it’s the Eagles, but the Giants still have a shot to make the playoffs. If Dallas loses next week to New Orleans and the Giants beat the Redskins monday night, the Wildcard is still in reach.

Even though the Giants let one get away from them tonight with some mistakes I think there are positives to take away from this game. Eli played really well, the running backs played a good game, and at times the receivers made some plays.

Keep the faith, nothing is over — and I’ll have my Unpacking the Loss column up early this week that goes over some of the finer details of the game.

What a crazy game it was…

-ai


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12 Responses to “Final Thoughts: Eagles/Giants”

  1. The Giants Chick says:

    They need to get rid of Sheridan.

    • VINMAN says:

      like i said 2 weeks ago if we cant BEAT philly we will not win our division simply said why not put a man all night on jackson even if you take away one of his touchdowns we have a good chance , you know what philly is doing with Vick they are preping him after mcnabb retires GOODLUCK GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Júlio César says:

    manningham’s awareness on madden 2011 should be around a big zero

  3. VINMAN says:

    YOU KNOW THATS ALL WE HERE IF IF IF IF LAST NIGHT WAS THEIR SUPERBOWL TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS BEAT PHILLY BUT WE WILL NEVER BEAT PHILLY WHEN IT COUNTS………..

  4. If the Giants win next week and Dallas loses, the Giants take over the lead for the other wild card spot.

    Playoffs are well within reach.

    • andrew ilnicki says:

      Yup the are. And as good as Eli played I hate to see them come away with a loss on this game.

      But it goes like this… the Giants offense can only go as far as the defense takes them.

  5. Bill says:

    I second the call to get rid of Sheridan. His play calling is questionable and his schemes are awful. While we are at it, we should get rid of Gilbride too. He is never aggressive enough when we are fighting our way back late in the fourth quarter…which we’ve seen way too much of this season.

  6. twerp says:

    Even if they make thee playoffs, this team is no better than a 1 and done.

  7. CMH says:

    Sheridan should be fired today. Someone has to take the fall for this string of horrendous D performances and he’s the boss.
    What kind of impact DB could we have gotten if we had offered the $ we gave to Bernard and CC?
    Since Osi can no longer hold the line at the point of attack, should we turn him into an OLB where he can play in space?

  8. f00z says:

    it’s not all sheridan’s fault, he’s not the one out there missing plenty of easy tackles that the giants should be making. though i do agree he has some pathetic schemes and will be gone ASAP. i dont understand why the giants spent so much money one multiple D-lineman when they’re not getting any pressure from any of them. it hasn’t paid off yet to have that many guys on the line. they need to figure out what they’re going to do with some of those guys, bc the secondary is a joke.

    • andrew ilnicki says:

      they can start with something very simple — put tuck and osi back next to eachother on the QB’s blind side and put Kiwi on the other side where Tuck currently is.

      When Tuck and Osi were next to eachother — they were a deadly 1-2 punch. strahan on the other end also made them a huge threat of course but right now they arent getting the same push from their line. Tweaking it in this way and getting back to 2007 schemes is what needs to happen.

      They created confusion last week with Dallas by standing up and moving guys around — you didnt know who would be in coverage or who was blitzing, or when it would come. The linebackers played well enough to limit gains, but they were still picked apart.

      Here’s the truth about the linebackers and secondary in this decade for the Giants… they’ve never been great. but they key is that they were not bad and didn’t make mistakes up until last year. In 2007 for example, the Giants LB’s flew under the radar and simply did their job, and no more. They still gave up big plays — but they made tackles and didnt completely blow their coverage. Well enough to win.

      Communication is clearly lacking on the handoff from the corners and LB’s to the safetys as plays develop — that is week 1+2 stuff from Steve Spagnolo’s rookie year where they gave up 40 points twice in a row to the Packers and Dallas…. see the similarities this year?

      The players aren’t getting into the scheme properly, its breaking down at crunch time whereas Spags’ crew had it HUMMING at crunch time later in the year. HUGE difference… no breakdowns and no mistakes.

      Maybe all it takes is practice at the fundamental level — ingrain it better in the players. But if Sheridan has to go to get through to the next level, so be it. New tactics are needed perhaps.

      The pieces in place aren’t working when it matters and it starts at the outer most perspective, the coach.

  9. f00z says:

    Too bad they don’t have the Jets defense. They’d def win the superbowl this year.

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