Thoughts And Musings: 2010 Season Edition

Well, the 2010 season is over. Not the ending we wanted, or even expected. This was an interesting team. Lots of high points. Lots of lows. We’ll do our best to recap the season, what went right, what went wrong, and what the Giants need to do moving forward.

-The season started off awful. After a win against Carolina, the Giants lost two in embarrassing fashion, to the Colts and Titans. The 1-2 start had fans and commentators calling for Tom Coughlin’s job.

-He seemed to have gotten the message, because the Giants racked up 5 straight wins, all in dominating fashion. They were clicking on offense, on defense. They looked like the best team in the NFC, in not the whole league. The Giants had reached their potential, seemingly.

-And then, just like that, they fell back to earth. Back to back losses against the Cowboys and Eagles. The Eagles game was close and hard fought, but couldn’t pull out a win. Fans weren’t panicking yet.

-The Giants then reeled off 3 straight wins, all in pretty impressive fashion. The Giants were back on top.

-Until it all came crashing down. The collapse against Philly. The no show against the Packers. THey rallied to beat the Redskins in the final week, but it was too little, too late. A season. Over

-So what happened? What caused this team, that at times looked so great, to fall so hard? A lot of it was injuries. Injuries at different points to key players like: Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Shaun O’Hara, Dave Diehl, Ramses Barden. The Smith injury was huge. The Giants were never the same team, offensively, after he went down.

-Inconsistency was a big problem. Giants could never consistently get 3rd down conversions. They too often let teams back into games. They took their foot off the throttle often. This is a team built on pass rush. When they had the lead, they took a step back. But a team built on a pass rush can’t go away from that. Their defense won’t be as good. The Philly collapse is a classic example of that. When the pass rush wasn’t there, or wasn’t being called, the defense suffered. Almost all of their losses can be traced back to the fact that their pass rush was weak.

-The lack of 3rd down conversions (which was affected big time by the loss of Smith) and the inconsistent pass rush was, for me, the two reasons this team didn’t live up to its potential. If the pass rush was consistent, they would be the best team in football. No doubt.

-Turnovers were huge. Eli Manning had a career high 25 interceptions. A lot of those were off tipped balls. Not his fault. But interceptions nonetheless. Tons of fumbles, mostly by Bradshaw. You can’t have turnovers, that many turnovers, and expect to win games. You just can’t.

-So what went right? Well, individual players had great years. Mario Manningham really improved. As did Terrell Thomas. Antrel Rolle was a solid addition. Osi and Tuck were great. Deon Grant had a pretty solid season. Jon Goff was a surprise, playing a solid middle linebacker. Barry Cofield was, I thought, outstanding. Despite the INTs, Eli had a great year, throwing for over 4,000 yards and over 30 TDs. Despite the fumbles, Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for over 1200 yards and 8 TDs.

-When healthy, Hakeem Nicks was really good, showing why he’s the next great receiver in this league. Rich Seubert, Shawn Andrews were terrific, playing out of position. I thought Chris Canty had a good year, as did MIchael Boley. For the most part, Corey Webster was solid. Lawrence Tynes went under the radar, but was terrific and consistent.

-The Matt Dodge experience deserves its own line. Such an enigma. We saw tremendous growth and some boneheaded plays. His development was, actually, fascinating to watch. In fact, he is the epitome of the Giants season: Good on one day. Bad on another. And you never know which one is going to show up.

-The rookies didn’t make a huge impact, although Jason Pierre-Paul looks to have a bright future. He showed flashes of brilliance. Linval Joseph and Phil Dillard didn’t play much and when they did, they weren’t effective.

-So what’s next? I think the move you’ll see, partially to appease the fan base, partially because it’s merited, is that some assistants will go. Tom Quinn, the special teams coordinator, and Kevin Gilbride, the offensive coordinator, will go. The Giants will look to get someone young to man the offensive coordinator position. Perry Fewell will be a head coaching candidate. Whether he gets a job remains to be seen. If not, I think he will be back.

-Giants need to really look at how to be more consistent. How to get their pass rush more consistent.

-The Giants need to draft, or address in free agency, a corner, an athletic tight end, another lineman, and a strong side linebacker.

-You know, 10 wins should be a good year. But when you don’t make the playoffs, it isn’t. So, we’re left stuck. Was it a good year? Yeah. But not really. Not good enough for us. Fans want playoffs. No matter how many wins we get. Playoffs, and then a Super Bowl, is the goal. 10 wins usually is enough. Not this year. This is a good team. The foundation is there. A few pieces here and there and they’ll be fine. But the biggest issue is within. Does the team want it enough? Are they willing to put in the hard work to make it? Can they put aside their inconsistencies? Can they play hard for 60 minutes? Can they limit mistakes? It’s a tall order. But, if they want to be great, they’re going to have to.


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8 Responses to “Thoughts And Musings: 2010 Season Edition”

  1. Chris says:

    Hagan proved he’s pretty capable. So he should get as many reps as possible in blowout games so that if Smith goes down again he can step right in. Clayton, with a lot of reps and coaching, can do a capable job of replacing Nicks when he’s banged up. Have Cruz be Manningham’s replacement if Mario’s injured. As for the O-line, they need more depth and youth. They’re aging – look how long it took for Ohara to get healthy, and then injured again. I’d draft three offensive lineman, and make it known that all secondary jobs are up for grabs. Thomas is the best, but still makes that one critical mistake at the wrong time. He needs to up his game so he’s a shut down corner.

  2. GoTrojans77 says:

    The line was at its best when Andrews started at LT, Diehl kicked down to guard and Seubert started at center. Quietly, the right side of the line (Snee & McKenzie) were healthy and consistently excellent. Boothe proved to be a capable back-up, as did Beatty. Beatty looks to be a decent candidate to take-over for McKenzie one day at RT, so hopefully Andrews’ back will stabilize — a big if. That said, I’d look for a big center (a la what the Steelers got w/Pouncey) and maybe a developmental LT. Beyoned that, an athletic TE is a MUST. Boss is a good compliment, not the featured guy. Travis Beckum is a non-factor. An LB is a MUST. I actually think the secondary is fine. I’d look for another RB before I looked in the defensive backfield. So my off-season wish-list is as follows: (1) OL (2) TE (3) LB (4) RB. We should take the best player available at either of these positions come Draft Day. On a separate note, I can’t help be a little envious when I see the Tampa Bay Bucs grooming Josh Freeman. Wouldn’t it be great to have a big young stud like that on our roster, rather than the tragically inconsistent and frequently ineffectual Elisha?

  3. Spider says:

    I agree… the special teams coach has to go. They lost Hixon but they can’t cover, can’t tackle and give up field position all the time. Personally, my heart was in my throat on every special team play.
    The offensive coordinator has to change. Statistically the Giants look good, but this offense doesn’t come up big when it has to. Can’t score off of turnovers ( defense gave them plenty of opportunities), can’t score to change momentum, can’t put games away. The offense is too predictable. No trick plays. The next offensive coordinator needs to be younger, and more imaginative than Gilbride. Someone needs to teach Eli how to lead from the quarterback position. That includes not turning the ball over and getting rid of the DARN IT! look on his face when things go bad.

  4. lboots says:

    josh mcdaniels is that young coordinator

  5. lboots says:

    gilbride out MCDANIELS IN

  6. Sonny says:

    i guess i’m not the only one to see it’s time to replace Gilbride. He’s the cause of this seansons problems…he sits on a lead to early and tries to run out the clock buy running the ball NOWHERE! putting the defense on the field the entire 4th quarter they are sure to get tired. and what?? they come into the game with 3 passing plays and 2 running plays??? i’m pretty sure Eli can remember a few more plays…..we need someone with a younger mind…not to sure if it’s mcdaniels

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