Giants/Redskins Finale, Tall Tales and Lasting Memories

Now I know I mentioned that I was going to the game yesterday, but did I happen to mention that I had front row seats directly behind the Redskins defensive bench?   I know, I shouldn’t have been there as a Giants fan. I was heckled, booed, ridiculed, blocked from getting refreshments — but in the end we whethered the storm and had a great time.   That stadium and the fans in D.C. are always good for a great time. The views were incredible from our seats…

The game was broadcast directly in front of where we were sitting, and the camera angle really doesn’t do it justice.  If I wanted to – I’m pretty sure I could have given the camera man a wedgie.

There was a genuine feeling of concern for Rich Seubert when he went down with his knee injury in the first quarter.  I will say it looked like he was in an awful lot of pain, the stretcher and cart were on the field pretty quick. The whole team practically came out to support Richie, it was refreshing to see. He really is the heart and soul of that offense and the Giants for whatever reason failed to run the ball as effectively once Seubert went out. Chris Snee joked earlier in the season that Seubert was the key to the Giants running game — the more I think about his comment the more I believe he wasn’t really joking.

The following phrases were uttered to the Redskins bench from Redskins fans directly behind where my wife and I were sitting at yesterday’s game. Note –  we were probably the only Giants fans to have front row seats between the 30’s on the Redskins side.

“The Giants SUCK!”

“C’mon guys, it’s the Giants! They’re a bunch of wimps… I HATE em!”

“Remember what they did to Theisman?!”

“That ain’t Sexy Rexy!”

“Hey guys, raise your hand if you want to see Donovan play…”

“That’s all on you Kyle (Shanahan)!”

“That’s it?! That’s how it ends?!”

“Eli you’re still horrible!”

After the game, I remember seeing the stadium empty out, Green Bay having won their game at home — and just the empty feeling of seeing Eli Manning take center field with the FOX cameras to explain his thoughts after the game, knowing his team wouldn’t be headed to the playoffs.  He more or less said something to the effect of “bitter sweet” for winning but not making the post season, knowing they had it in their hands a few weeks ago for the taking.  They certainly didn’t have it last week, where win over the Packers may have won them the division regardless of their collapse against the Eagles.  And the lasting feeling I have from this moment is that the Giants won a meaningless game, but in the fourth quarter the offense and defense downshifted so considerably that they nearly gave the game away again.

My wife said something to the effect of “it’s a shame the Giants had to finish the game the way they did.” And what she was referring to was the ‘run out the clock’ mentality that the Giants have when they’re up by more than 7 points.  It drives me crazy on the couch, it drove me absolutely nuts at the game.  It’s 17-7 in the third quarter and the Giant offense has gone into uber-predictable mode, just like they did against the Eagles and just like they did in Green Bay.  Run, Run, Pass, Punt. You are not going to move the ball effectively, you’re not going to pickup first downs, and you defense is not adequately rested up minutes later when they take the field.  And honestly, from a fan’s perspective at the game — it’s boring.  If I think about what my wife was watching with me in the middle of it all, it was probably pretty lack luster by the middle of the third quarter.  No points of turnovers, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing aggressive.  Frankly — at times it was a pretty poor product from the Giants perspective.

To make matters worse, the defense decided they’d let the Redskins right back into the game with minutes to play.  Sound familiar? The right-middle of the field was wide open ALL DAY.  Redskins receivers, tight ends, and backs had that seam exploited from beginning to end — there was no adjustment by the Giants defense.  Yeah Osi had a great day — but other than his performance the Giants had no consistent pressure on Grossman.  It was obvious Rex had all day, and a better QB wouldn’t have missed their target quite so much.

The Giants nearly lost a game they should have won handily, and with Green Bay’s win at home the Giants have “no post-season opportunity” as Coughlin put it.  Frankly, and I know I sound like a broken record — but from what I’ve seen the past 3 weeks on offense and defense, the Giants did not deserve to make the playoffs this year.  They were not finishing games, not staying aggressive, not playing to win, simply not playing their best football.

On a related note, Tom Coughlin has a losing record in December. It’s a pattern that can’t be ignored any longer.

I for one don’t know what timeline it’s going to take for the same personnel and same coaches to make adjustments so that the Giants can play dominant football for the entire season.  Like Justin Tuck said, at times the team was completely dominant and other times they couldn’t execute the most basic fundamentals.  Consistency is the word Coughlin and Gilbride use, but the truth is the Giants are consistently out-played and out-coached at the wrong times.  It’s frustrating as a fan, and you wonder how things are going to improve without a major change. Now I don’t want anyone to get fired — don’t get me wrong.  I like Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride has really grown on me the past two seasons.  They’ve done well enough to get the Giants in position to win more often than not.  What bothers me is what my wife said — why must they end games the way they do?  Let’s further that thought as well, why must they end seasons the way they do?  This is a topic we’ll be pondering over the next several months while the draft talk heats up.

Anyway, hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday season this year aside from the Giants collapsing into their own footprint yet again.  Stick around this offseason, as always we’ll be covering all things Giants here at GMENHQ until we’re blue in the face.

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