BBV has a transcript of Tom Coughlin’s interview with the press and one particular quote jumped out at me when I read it, perhaps because in this moment when you read his statement… he sounds just like your typical Giants fan.
When asked about the teams energy level, or lack thereof, Coughlin said this:
….It’s not energy. It’s the spark. It’s a spark. You’re up seven to nothing, why can’t it be 14 to nothing? Why isn’t it 10 to nothing. The ability to recognize and capitalize on the circumstance as it presents itself to you. That’s more of what I’m talking about. There was energy. There was effort. There is a ton of people playing in their first professional game. You don’t think they were excited and a lot of times they don’t really know how to express themselves or even express it in a team way. That’s what I’m after.
It’s like Coughlin’s reading our minds, isn’t it? We the fanbase were wondering the same exact thing last night — what the hell was the problem last night in stomping out the competition early? Where was the spark?
It comforts me that the Head Coach asks the same questions and feels the same way about the Giants inneptitude of putting the game away early when given the shot to do it. I feel like that’s an offensive trend they can overcome, and when they do it they look like the best team in all of football. Seattle, Houston, the first Skins game, most of the first Cowboys game, nearly all of the second Eagles game — just DOMINANT performances on offense and defense. Defense that couldn’t be penetrated, offense that just kept building. Creative play calling, deception, execution, physicality, unstoppability. Why can’t the Giants play up to that potential every time they lace up?
That’s NY Giants football for you.
The Giants had an opportunity to put the hammer down early, and for a few minutes I thought they might do it. Big runs, nice crisp slants, slant and go routes that just missed. But I liked what I saw across the night in bits and pieces, though it wasn’t cohesive at all. If Hixon played first team, maybe they would have scored and gone up 14 – 0. But he didn’t. Maybe if Nicks didn’t get held or hesitate on a couple of his routes, it would be a different story. And maybe if the Giants hadn’t chosen to try and telegraph their moves and out-execute the Panthers tenacious defense at home when going got tough, the energy level would have been perceived differently. Didn’t happen.
They came out flat and paid the price.
The Giants used to be that team that could let you know what they were going to do, and dare you to stop it. Power running. That’s not them anymore. Eli Manning has committed to the deep ball and in order to open up the field, defenses are just staring to respect it – and once they see Jacobs in the backfield with a FB leading the way on 3rd and 1 — they know the drill. All the execution in the world isn;t going the change the fact that the defense is ready and waiting. In essence, it’s a trap and the Giants ran right into it.
There’s so much potential here, so much ability it sickens me to see it wasted on a run up the gut from I formation, or yet another draw play when the whole defense can be heard screaming DRAW DRAW DRAW before the ball is snapped. We’ve seen this movie before, and so has the defense. Either you commit to running your deceptive 2 TE sets or you find something else, but don’t revert to the givens.
The Giants have some weapons this season on their roster, make no mistake about it. But last night was not a showcase night for the Giants. They looked every bit the rusty shovel, digging their own graves one preseason game into the season. If they don’t want to end up dead, the Giants better start showing that spark, signs of life, before its too late.