EXCRUCIATING

EXCRUCIATING!
By Martin Alvin

Last night’s 27-21 loss to the Chicago Bears was worse — more exasperating, more painful, more excruciating — than all the other Giants losses going back to the end of last season; because this wasn’t a lop-sided, no-contest, blow-out like last years Atlanta game or Baltimore game or any of this years smack-downs. This game — like the Cowboys game, after a ton of early turnovers — was right there for the taking in the fourth quarter; except the Giants didn’t take it. Instead, they clumsily snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. And because it was so exciting and so close and competitive, it was EXCRUCIATING!

But credit where credit due and blame where blame is due. Blame first: The receivers hurt Eli, badly: on the first interception, Randle was lazy and didn’t aggressively come back for the pass — but the Chicago DB did. Result? Pick! Suggestion: maybe the receivers coach — Gilbride-the-younger — should get in Randle’s face and coach him up. Or is Gilbride-the-younger the receivers coach simply because he’s Gilbride-the-elders son?

The second interception: Randle reads the coverage and goes deep. Eli reads the coverage and throws short. Result? Pick-Six! And once again — as in every game this season — the Giants are playing from behind from the get-go. They haven’t had the lead in a game for more then two or three minutes all year, and that was again Philly last week. They’re playing every game they play, up-hill! Just like their entire season will now be up-hill.

Hey, coaching staff! How about letting Randle run non-option routes that allow him to be athletic but not have to think too much? Yeah, if he thinks just like Eli thinks, great: it’s a big play. But if he doesn’t — and clearly, he doesn’t — it’s an interception. Why not just “Dumb” it down for the guy for a while? This is Gilbride-the-elder and Gilbride-the-younger’s responsibility.

Later on, needing a third down conversion, Eli throws to Nicks on a crossing pattern. The ball is high — so that it can clear the linebackers, dropping back into coverage. Nicks reaches up for it. The ball glances off his fingertips. He doesn’t leap for it. He doesn’t leave his feet and go after the ball. He just reaches for it. Result: Punt. This is Gilbride-the-youngers responsibility, again.

And by the way, speaking about coaches: ex-receivers coach, Sean Ryan, has been the QB coach for the last two years and hasn’t Eli looked a lot worse since Ryan took over for Mike Sullivan — now the Offensive Coordinator down in Tampa? And haven’t the receivers looked worse? Just asking.

Later, and most egregiously, in the fourth quarter, the Giants are driving for the winning TD. New – and heralded — tight end acquisition, Brandon Myers gets open. The ball is thrown high — again, so it won’t get knocked down or intercepted by a LB. The ball glances off Myers fingertips, because, like Nicks earlier in the game, he simply reaches up for the ball but doesn’t leap or leave his feet. Coach Pope is a great tight-end coach but this tight end didn’t do his job … and it cost the Giants the game.

And the final blame name: while the ‘D’ played hard and fast, there was absolutely no pressure on Cutler: few hurries, fewer hits and no sacks. He was able to stay relaxed, set his feet, and nickel and dime the Giants ‘D’ to death, including their first TD which caught Will Hill – an absolute terror last week — napping.

Now, credit where credit is due: the ‘D’ only gave up 20 points and seven of those points came on the early interception and TD by the Bears. The Giants ‘D’ also held the Bears to only 3 points in the second half. And Will Hill finally overcame his initial brain-freeze moment and was very active in the game with very aggressive and very sure tackling.

And how about Jon Beason? After barely a week of practice, in a brand new system, with completely different terminology, he was a major presence in the middle of the field, racking up 11 tackles. Even with his past surgeries, the guy can move and hit. And get this, after just a week; this guy is the first real middle linebacker of substance since Antonio Pierce in 2008. What does that tell you about the Giant’s draft and free agent philosophy and their personnel department?

And hats off to Bear Pascoe. Last week he was throwing half-hearted one-shoulder, Little Sisters of the Poor, blocks in pass protection, but this week he was a runaway freight train.

And Brandon Jacobs looked like the Brandon Jacobs of 2007-2008 and not The Tip-Toe Bandit of the last few years. He ran hard and angry and made a difference. And maybe, just maybe, he taught the Giants something about their much maligned ‘O’ line: maybe they look better when a north-south runner is behind them as opposed to a back like Wilson. Maybe the slower Jacobs allows the blocks to develop and, thus, the holes to open, while Wilson isn’t patient enough and hits the hole too fast, before it’s open.

And finally credit to the guys who fought their hearts out and still lost. That’s why this loss is the toughest loss to swallow so far. Because you could see guys fighting their asses off and still coming away with an ‘L’ instead of a ‘W.’ Hell, I’m telling you: it was EXCRUCIATING!


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4 Responses to “EXCRUCIATING”

  1. dave haase says:

    Why are all Giants Fans and ESPECIALLY the media COMPLETELY BLIND to the REAL Problem of this team? This defense for the last two years has been the WORST in the NFL. This year, they may be the WORST DEFENSE the NFL has EVER seen. They NEVER get a 3 and out.. they NEVER get PRESSURE.. they have ZERO GAME PLAN. They NEVER blitz, they NEVER show a DIFFERENT LOOK.. They are ALWAYS confused.. It doesnt matter who’s in the secondary (rookie, 5 year vet, Old VET) they are ALWAYS confused.. WR’s, TE’s and RB’s are OPEN all over the Field.. Last night MArshall had to TD catches that were so open and EASY it was horrific!! Can ONE defensive end, just ONE TIME, set and EDGE and NOT GET BLOWN back inside allowing 10-yard runs consistently around the outisde. Denver did it not ONCE but TWICE with the SAME play for more than 20 yards for EASY TD’s. LAst night it happened countless times.. one time TUCK got blown off the Line of scrimmage by 15 yards being blocked by TE. JPP is a not even a shell of himself. Kiwi, has yet to set an edge ONCE, and TUCK is lifeless, and shell of his old self from 2007. they have young guys who at the very least will play with effort. something that TUCK and JPP are NOT doinh right now.. and I agree, Beason was the best Defensive play last night.. sad the guy has what 4 practices under his belt and he showed speed and effort and tackling ability, sad state of affairs for the LB’s. Getting to ELI, ive been his biggest supporter over the years, but this year he hasnt been good.. All 3 picks last night werent his fault (the first 2 especially), the 3rd one, was a bad break, but 83 couldve made a play on it. In Eli’s defense, his mindset has to be that knowing the defense sucks as bad as it does, hes under HUGE pressure to get points EVERY series and hes ALWAYS playing catch up because the DEFENSE never makes a play and special teams ALWAYS lets up big returns or gets penalties when the Giants do make a stop.. FEWELL is to Defensive Coordinators what Rich Kotite is to HEAD COACHES.. he simply is way over his head.. ive never heard a Giants Defensive player talking about game plan in post game interviews, or adjustments, there simply isnt any.. they give the same look every play.. 4 down lineman, 2 LB’s behind, and the secondary all spreadout and confused. Can the giants blitz one time with out the goal of the blitzer simple y being knocking the OT off on of the DE’s? LAst night, Thomas blitzed, had a lane to the QB, and instead, he ran right into the OT who was engaged with JPP, instead of going for Cutler, who he had a straight shot on, he tried to “PICK” the OT so JPP could come free.. REALLY, is that your BLITZ Scheme Fewell? sophmoric and completely ineffective.. They should fire him now, let ANYONE ELSE run the defense.. show some imagination, show some ability to change the plan if clearly the 4 D-lineman arent getting ANY Pressure.. Coughlin isnt going anywhere, Fire the DC, they need a change and they need it RIGHT now.. TODAY!!!!

  2. Defense does indeed have problems, but there are some bright spots. pressure still isnt getting there, and I think DE’s and scheme to rush LBs is the problem. Cutler has had a good season though getting the ball out compared to other years.

    • dave haase says:

      Has Problems?? LOL, its horrific.. What are the bright spots? when have they made a stop when they needed to? DO they EVER pick the offense up? can you EVER count on the defense to win a game or at least put the offense in a position to win a game? do you have any confidence that if Eli led the Offense on another Game winning drive yesterday and Chicago got the ball back with 1:45 seconds down by 1 that the defense would ever stop them from attempting to kick a field goal? NOT A CHANCE.. I love this team, Ive been a die hard fan since I can remember going all the way back to the early 1970’s.. my favorite players back then were Gary Shirk, Doug Kotar, Brian Kelly, Brad Van Pelt. Ive havent a Giant defense even half as bad as this years in all the years Ive been watching giant football. Ive missed one game in my entire life (was on the operating table) and I know for a fact, this defense has no comparison in all those years. Even when the Giants were awefull way back when, the defense was always at least good. SO unlike GIants football, it makes me sick!!

  3. Bob says:

    This loss has me ill today and bad sleep last night. How much can you blame this player or that player. I stick to my thoughts that JR dealt TC and Eli a losing hand this year, I hate to see Eli suffer and take full blame for 2013. Reese has done a lousy job of keeping up with players that make a difference. Look what a difference Beason made look what we went into the season with. Tight end Myers stinks why not keep Bennett? JR is public enemy #1 in my eyes.

    Thanks

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