Notice how I didn’t title this post “Eagles win,” or anything to do with the Eagles winning. Because for anyone who watched this game, it was clear that the New York Giants pulled a Plaxico Burress by shooting themselves in the foot (rather than the leg) all day long.
It started early on when Eli Manning gave the Eagles the ball on the doorstep of the endzone for an easy touchdown.
It continued when John Carney missed a 46-yard field goal and then again when he missed a 47-yard field goal.
It continued some more when they allowed a 3rd and 20 conversion when the Eagles were backed up in their own territory.
It continued when the Giants converted a big pass play to Domenik Hixon and then couldn’t get dwon the field fast enough to run a play, so they had to burn their first timeout of the second half.
It continued when the Giants couldn’t convert a 3rd and 3. And it continued some more when Tom Coughlin challenged the spot on that play, lost the challenge, then called for a QB sneak that failed and gave the ball back to the Eagles in Giants territory.
If you had to list the people responsible for the Giants loss on Sunday, and believe me there are many it would go something like this:
1. John Carney – Carney cost the team six points by missing two field goals. After missing just one all year, non-blocked (in Week 17), Carney choked when it really mattered.
2. Tom Coughlin – Coughlin challenged in a vital situation and lost, wasting two timeouts in idiotic fashion. His play calling and game management was awful, a complete opposite from the 2007 postseason.
3. Steve Spagnuolo – At the end of the first half, the Giants had a chance to go into the locker room with a 11-10 lead, but instead Spagnuolo put his defense into prevent and gave up pass after pass underneath.
4. Eli Manning – Call it the wind or whatever you want, but Eli’s throws were high all day. I understand that this is the reason for acquiring Plaxico Burress back in 2005 because of Eli’s high passing, but aside from a pass to Domenik Hixon and one to Kevin Boss, Eli was not Eli.
5. Antonio Pierce – As bad as this is, my good friend and an enormous Giants fan texted me the following after Pierce’s facemask penalty that eventually led to an Eagles touchdown. “I wish Plax shot him at the club.” And while that might be a little much, Pierce was terrible in this game like he was most of the year. He is slow for a linebacker and without a great pass rush, his weaknesses are greatly exposed.
I was a Tom Coughlin hater from the first day he became a Giants coach. And last year when he won the Super Bowl, I was given a lot of crap for always talking badly about him. And after they beat the Patriots I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But looking at this game today, in a game where they were playing an inferior opponent, and just good game management could have won the game, Coughlin failed and failed miserably.
Aside from the 4-0 record in the postseason last year, Coughlin has been the Giants coach for three other playoff seasons, all ending in the Giants first game of that particular postseason. It was 2005 against the Panthers, 2006 against the Eagles, and 2008 against the Eagles.
With the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals set to play in the NFC Championship, it is a disappointing matchup to end what has been a disappointing season. To think that the Ravens, Cardinals, and Eagles are currently three of the final four with the Chargers and Steelers still yet to play, sounds pretty ridiculous.
Congratulatons to the Philadelphia Eagles and maybe they can finally get over the hump and win the Super Bowl and keep it in the NFC East.