Pathetic, awful, putrid, embarrassing, costly, the list could continue, but I won’t. Football fans and New York Giants fans know the range of feelings I’m describing. The ones that still linger after a team with everything right in front of them laid that type of egg in a real “statement” game.
One week after pounding down the New Orleans Saints, the Giants went down south to play the NFC’s best, Atlanta Falcons. It was definitely a statement game. Both teams made a real statement! The Falcons stated that they were among the NFL’s elite, regardless what experts say. They stated that in order to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, teams would have the go through them. The Giants, on the other hand, made a different statement, but a statement nonetheless. They showed that they are the most inconsistent team in the NFL. The paper champs, if you will. No one can argue the magnitude of talent they have on their roster, just like no one can argue how twisted and confusing the results are. I understand losing to an 11-2 team, on the road, in a dome, where Atlanta plays well, but come on. They didn’t even get on the plane, let alone get off of it.
Trying to piece together that game on Sunday, I’m left with one conclusion; What’s up with Eli? Now before you start going crazy, understand that since the time he was at Ole Miss to present date, I’ve always been a huge proponent and supporter of Eli. It doesn’t change the fact that he is having a strange year, in a stretch of his career that really is inexcusable. His numbers aren’t great, but the numbers don’t even tell the story. His play has mirrored the Giants inconsistent and sporadic performance and record. He’s been up, down and all around. Go back to week two, the Giants played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Eli played an ugly first half. With the Giants finding themselves down at halftime they, and especially Eli, came out and played nearly a flawless second half of football and went on to win. That game, much like the rest of the season makes you scratch your head. How is it possible to look so bad at one point and look so good soon after? Its difficult to find a comparison on the NFL at the QB position because no one has the cliff falls that Eli does, and only few have the dynamics Eli has when he’s playing well. It’s not a question of comparing him to Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers (mainly because those guys don’t really have bad performances, just not always spectacular) it’s a matter of finding out what’s responsible for such inconsistent play. He’s had this “mantra” since he came into the league in 2004, however given his success over the last couple years, its very surprising. So I ask, what is up with Eli? Any ideas? Anyone?
The craziest part is with the aftermath of Sunday’s game against the Falcons? The Giants are still in the drivers seat for the playoffs. It’s as simple as this, win out and they’re in. Even the NFC East is still in contention, though they would need help to win the division, but its still a possibility.
They go into Baltimore, who basically mirrors New York in the AFC with inconsistency. This should be some pretty angry football. Two of the more “physical” (at least the teams are touted as physical) both have been embarrassed recently with New York’s loss to Atlanta and Baltimore dropping three straight. The stakes are high, too. Baltimore is in danger of losing the Division lead in the AFC North and the Giants could be eliminated from playoff contention this week with a loss to Baltimore, and wins by Seattle, Washington and Dallas.
The Giants have their work cut out for them, its right there. Its been said all year, go out and take control of the season. They know what needs to be done, just get it done. Not looking great for them right now.
Lets see what the experts things:
They have squandered their lead and are in danger of missing the playoffs. Something’s just not there that was there before. (Graziano)
There is truth in that statement for sure, and where I feel very similar its hard to write them off until they are literally eliminated from the playoffs. Similar things were said about the Giants after last year’s week 15 loss to the Washington Redskins, then they got hot, got in the playoffs and won the Super Bowl.
CBS Sports 10(7)
They can win the next two and still get into the playoffs. But that game at Atlanta sure was eye opening. (Priscoe)
It sure was an eye opener, but could it be an eye opener for the New York Giants a team that seems like it just isn’t “catching”. Maybe it’s the kick to the teeth, the spark they need. We’ll find out.
Fox Sports 15(8)
The Giants were shut out this weekend and are still averaging 26 points per game over the last two. (Billick)
Not a really a big deal because they’re probably averaging around 30 points against over the last two weeks, you do the math. They need more from the defensive line. Where is Justin Tuck!? Unless they’re line steps up and Eli wakes up, they’ll find themselves in a better draft pick then they want to be.
Check back next week for more Rankings Review.