That was a tough one to swallow. A figurative shot to the gut. All these feelings describe what was felt by New York Giants fans everywhere Monday night. In a game that the Giants played well enough to win, they came up short against divisional rival the Washington Redskins.
This was a bad loss for a number of reasons, most notably because the Giants had a chance to, all but bury the Redskins season, maintain their lead over Dallas and put a stranglehold on the Division, while heading into what looks to be the most rigorous quarter of their season. In a perfect world…
The question I asked myself is ‘Did they pay well enough to win?’ Obviously not, and now the Giants are left with some pretty scary questions. What is wrong with the defensive line? How is Head Coach Tom Coughlin going to handle the right tackle situation? Are they going to make the playoffs? A different tone than my previous article, for sure.
To run back over the issues previously mentioned, I understand Robert Griffin III, better known as RGIII, is a difficult player to defend, but my issues with the defensive line don’t really pertain to him, it’s the fact that in two games against the Redskins, Alfred Morris has looked unstoppable. Every time he got the ball he seemingly picked up six, seven yards, every carry! From a viewer’s standpoint the way Griffin handled the ball, either handing it off, play action or running himself appeared to be difficult. However, with the staff the Giants have, it’s hard for me to believe New York wasn’t prepared for it. Reports came out the Giants D practiced a large part of the week without a football, to instill focus on carrying out your assignment, and your assignment alone. It didn’t work.
Now, the right tackle situation. This to me is the biggest blow of all, Sean Locklear, whom the Giants added this off-season played surprisingly well in filling in when starter David Diehl went out with an injury. In fact so well that he became the starting RT even when Diehl came back. The offense played better. He is a flat out better pass blocker than Diehl, who has been a disappointment this year when on the field.
These are just a couple of the issues that face the Giants going into the home stretch of the regular season. Going into this past week, people wondered what seed the Giants would get, not if they would even make the post season. Make no mistake about it, their schedule is not as favorable as Washington’s or the Cowboys. They host New Orleans (always gives NYG trouble), then go on the road to the NFC’s top dog in Atlanta, followed up with a road trip to the AFC’s second best team in Baltimore, only to return home and close out the year against divisional foe the Philadelphia Eagles, in who the Giants already lost this year. To top it off the Giants lose a lot of tie breakers within the division.
It’ safe to say the Giants control their own destiny, but that destiny is a difficult one in which they’ve got the “flip that switch” and steamroll into the playoffs, not fall backwards. I think they’ll rally and get in.
What to the “experts” think?
The Giants never make anything easy. They still lead the NFC East, but now must sweat it out. (Graziano)
In order for the Giants to make the playoffs they can’t take the approach of “sweating it out” the Giants need to see their schedule, know what needs to be done and go out a take it. Over the past years they have had the tendency to sit back and just “hope Philly and Dallas lose”. Enough is enough. As I said they control their destiny, go out and make it, don’t wait for it.
Fox Sports 12(8)
The Giants still lead the NFC East with a 7-5 record, but the Redskins and Cowboys are breathing down their necks at 6-6. (Billick)
In order for the Giants to allude Dallas and Washington changes need to be made, whether its to the blitz package or the timing personnel is on the field. They’re not applying enough pressure to the QB. The secondary is improving slightly, but the Giants need that cushion of rushers to cover up some more of those deficiencies. Unless, they can do that, it could be a very long December when facing, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, all of whom air it out anywhere from 25-50 times a game.
CBS Sports 11(8)
They are suddenly in a fight for the division title. They have to get that passing game cranked up again.
One positive thing to look at from the game on Monday how the Giants were able to move the ball in the first half. Eli Manning although missed a couple shots down field looked poised, comfortable and confident in the pocket. I understand Washington’s pass defense is atrocious but sometimes a team needs a little confidence booster like that. Hakeem Nicks is looking more crisp every game and Martellus Bennett has been a great addition to the offense. Let’s just up David Diehl can pick up the slack.
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