Much will be written about this historic letdown by the NYG and I will leave it to others to breakdown the game. I want to focus on the coaching. Once again the Giants were outcoached at every critical moment. And no, I am not referring to the punt as clearly Matt Dodge was given his orders and simply didn’t execute. No, I want to focus on the other major tactical mistakes as perpetrated by the coaches.
Second half started and the Eagles made adjustments. I believe Michael Vick decided to put his team on his back and let the chips fall as they may. The Giants’ coaches never made an effective defensive adjustment to limit Vick’s damage. Michael Vick was barely touched in the second half, missed tackles (Deon Grant) missed assignments- Aaron Ross and a momentum change that was palpable. The best antidote for opponent momentum is sacking the quarterback. By Justin Tucks own admission, the Giants “turtled” in the second half by going into the dreaded prevent defense. Not consistently pressuring Vick was another element leading to this embarrassing lose. Defensively, putting Justin Tuck in zone coverage is absurd and of course led to a touchdown. I do not expect football coaches to solve world hunger or nuclear proliferation but I do expect them to comprehend what is happening on the football field and make appropriate moves. I would love to play some of these coaches in chess, for money! I am quite sure I could make my 401k more robust after a few games. Perry Fewell, give your check to charity!
Offensively, it seemed to me that the Giants were running more effectively in the second half, yet the play calling (Kevin Gilbride) consistently showed little faith in the run game. Particularly grievous was the last 1:06 of the game. The ball is on the Giants 37 and Eli attempts a short out pass, incomplete on first down, clock stopped. Is it not time to run a delay or a simple off-tackle and work some clock? The defense is pinning their ears back and Bradshaw might find a crease and exploit it for positive yards. If nothing else you are in a position to dictate the game clock. You may opt to call timeout, a pass, or run. Yet 1 incomplete pass and a sack and you are forced to punt. There never should have been time for a punt! Matt Dodge’s punt was horrendous, but he should never have been in that situation. Coaches must never put their charges in positions where they might fail. Time management in these critical moments is a key to winning. The Giants coaches deserve a resounding “F” for that sequence and as such, I hold them responsible for this loss.
Where was the hands team?! And if not “the hands team” than at least an awareness of a potential trick play? Are you kidding me? There is just over 5 minutes and you don’t even think maybe they might try an on-side kick? I was screaming at the TV prior to the kick having seen the formation. Special Teams coach Tom Quinn-give your game check to charity!
This loss conjures up memories of the Miracle at the Meadowlands (I was there). The Eagles do have the Giants’ number, but today was inexcusable. Coaches are often the difference makers in games, and this time the coaches didn’t do their jobs.
Taking a team’s aggressiveness away is never a good idea and that is exactly what Perry Fewell and his defensive staff did. Offensively, Gilbride showed little faith in the running game and was incompetent regarding the last 1:06 of the game. After last year what could possibly have been going through Fewell’s mind by going into exotic schemes where Tuck is tasked to cover a swift footed tight end. Inexcusable!!
Tom Coughlin was let down by his staff but ultimately the buck stops with Coughlin. After all the stories are written and the finger pointing dies down, the Giants will still be 9-5 needing to win their last 2 games to secure a playoff spot. The coaches blew their assignments today. Let’s hope they spend only a few minutes mourning, learn from their mistakes and get right back to the task at hand, beating the Green Bay Packers. Learn from this China-Syndrome melt-down. 2 more wins puts the Giants into the playoffs and we all know that anything can happen in the playoffs. And oh boy-wouldn’t we all like another crack at the Eagles and the ever humble DeSean Jackson.