One of the great bastions of NFL media, Pro Football Talk, has gone on the record and responded to Tom Coughlin’s “kiss my ass” challenge. Yeah, they are officially not impressed with a 10-6 record and a no-go on the playoffs for the Giants. Go figure.
…frankly, we’re not all that impressed by 10 wins and no playoffs. The Giants could have and should have qualified, but just like the Bucs, who somehow blew their shot at an 11th win against a Lions team that hadn’t won on the road in 26 tries, the Giants failed to deliver victory in a winnable game against the Eagles, which they happened to be winning by 21 points.
And I thought Kevin Gilbride’s 4th quarter play calling was predictable…
Of course the Eagles collapse was going to be brought into this — I still can’t quite figure out how that’s all on Coughlin though. I didn’t see him fumble inside the 20 while heading out of bounds in the 3rd quarter. I didn’t see him miss multiple tackles. And of all the coaches, wouldn’t it be Perry Fewell to take the wrap on that defensive collapse? Or when their need was most dire, Special Teams? It seems to me Coughlin had his team very well prepared for that game, and if you’re going to blame the final 8 minutes all on Coughlin, even if it is out of spite, you might as well be talking into a kazoo. It’s pure foolishness as it were.
10-6 in the NFL is no cake walk. Ask Jim Zorn how hard it is to win in the NFL even with an unlimited budget. Ask Jerry Jones how all that talent translates to wins consistently. Ask Brett Favre how the Vikings with their top defense and the best RB in the league did so well to get their coach fired… after nearly going to a Superbowl a season ago. No it’s not easy to win in the NFL.
But, for us here at GMENHQ – what about the Giants season was impressive?
For starters, how about reorganizing the defense to go from a bottom ranked passing defense to a top ranked one in a single season? Perhaps there is a reason other than the Rooney Rule as to why Perry Fewell is getting interviews this week. Based on his body of work this season, I hope he doesn’t go anywhere. There’s room to work here in NY.
Seattle made the playoffs didn’t they? The Giants throttled them if I’m not mistaken, on the road, defying their NFL touted best 12th man in the league. 35 – 0 at the half if I recall correctly when the game was over.
The Giants shut down the NFL touted most dangerous offense in the league, in Houston. Completely demolished them in every facet.
The Giants handled the Chicago Bears at home, and recorded record sacks for a half of football if I’m not mistaken.
And of course, the Giants had their opportunities to beat the Eagles both times they played them… in the end it’s two losses and a no show for the Giants when it comes to the post season. However both losses do not come back on Coughlin whatsoever, no matter how badly anyone wants it to. Eli Manning fumbling the football in the first game without being touched has nothing to do with TC, and you better believe the Giants were in position to win that game when the turnover happened. The defense missing tackles all over the place in the second game and giving up yards and points at an insane level, while the offense under Kevin Gilbride has reverted to run, run, pass, punt. The players win games, he loses them — that’s the reality of it right? Still, I ask what the lack of execution on the field in that moment where Deon Grant missed his tackle on Michael Vick, and it blew the game wide open — what does that specifically have to do with Coughlin?
Here’s the truth – Nothing.
Tom Coughlin set the priorities, he oversaw the game plan, his entire team and staff met and discussed repeatedly the importance of setting up that win… it was in the players hands with 8 minutes to play. A few missed tackles and guys out of position on a couple of plays… it’s that easy to lose a football game in the NFL sometimes. To say it comes back on Coughlin is a mistake. To blow it even further out of proportion, it’s ugly.
But PFT did have one solid point, he asked for it when he approved this message to the mainstream sports media – “they can line up and kiss my ass”.