Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants 2013: Unsettling Inconsistency

This article was written by talented freelancer John Hoey. Follow John on twitter @JohnnyCrashMLB for all-sport acumen


I don’t like to refer to games as a must win when a team is not technically eliminated if they lose, but this is as close as it gets for me.  The Giants fell to the Cowboys yesterday on a 35 yard field goal by Dan Bailey.  An extremely effective running game wasn’t enough to make up for a strip-six, red zone failure, and frantic management with the play clock.

Although the game went to the wire, there was a hovering sensation that the Cowboys were in control the entire time.  A morale crushing strip of the ball from Victor Cruz early in the 1st quarter for a 50 yard defensive touchdown by Jeff Heath set that tone.  The Giants had their opportunities to score but failed twice in the red zone and settled for field goals.  New York appeared unprepared and frantic trying to beat the play clock. The biggest example of this was being forced to take a timeout with 13:23 to go in the first half.  Eli Manning looked visibly frustrated, directing players in motion like a traffic cop as the single digits ticked down on the play clock.  For a long time now the Giants have been guilty of taking the play clock to the final seconds time and time again, and how often have Giants fans heard Eli’s “Omaha” snap call to avoid a delay of game?

Big Blue seemed to get things together as the game progressed, especially in the running game.  It’s pretty ironic that the part of the game that was such a weakness in their 0-6 opening to the season was arguably their only strength yesterday.  The Giants ran for over 200 yards with the combination of Andre Brown (127) and Brandon Jacobs (75), but it simply wasn’t enough.

The Giants defense never seemed able to make third down stops.  They were able to get Dallas to third downs with relative ease, and it seemed just as easy for Romo to convert on those third downs.  The Giants appeared to finally get the big stop they needed when Terrell Thomas stripped the ball from the receiver, and Hill recovered. However, a penalty was called as Matthias Kiwanuka was tagged for roughing Tony Romo after the pass.  An arguable call but a call nonetheless.  Eventually this lead to a Jason Witten touchdown on 3rd and goal and the Cowboys took a 21-6 lead.  The penalty no doubt changed the game.

The Giants fought back on an exciting play for a fourth down touchdown from Manning to Myers. Later they were able to score another touchdown and Andre Brown punched in the two point conversion to tie with 5 minutes to go. However, the Cowboys ate the clock and moved the chains, and eventually set themselves up to kick a field goal to run out the clock and walk away with the win.

New York now sits at 4-7 with a terrible division record, and although they are not technically eliminated, everyone would agree that they needed to win that game to stay in the mix.  A lot of things need to happen for the Giants to have a shot at this point, and I don’t think its going to happen.  The fact of the matter is that the Giants aren’t playing consistent football.  They have shown flashes of how talented they can be in all facets of their game, but never at the same time.  Their consistency in being inconsistent has dug them into a virtually insurmountable  hole with only five games left in the season.  A team has never played a Super Bowl in their home stadium, and unfortunately for the New York Giants, they will not be breaking that trend.

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Tags: New York Giants Opinion

  • Joseph Bulger

    Heartbreaking game, which I believe was lost by coaching and Eli Manning. TC’s post game “balance” comment is mind boggling. Sure, as a general principle you work toward a balanced attack, but when the defense is obviously conceding the run by assuring Cruz and Randel don’t beat them, then you run the ball until Dallas decides they can’t concede the run anymore. Dallas gambled they could make up for the loss of Lee in the middle, and they couldn’t. When the O-line opens holes to rather quickly rack up 200+ yards on the ground, but can’t sustain blocks on Eli’s 5 step drops, then you keep running the ball and hitting your TE over the middle for quick move-the-chains gainers until Dallas does something about it. The only people who stopped the Giants running attack and didn’t use Myers correctly were Gilbride and Eli. The play calling was atrocious… 3rd and goal from the 9 and you call a draw play? That’s a “we’ll take the 3″ call. Pathetic. Fewell’s last drive D play calling was also maddeningly frustrating… ok, you want Rolle to do something he hasn’t practiced in 6 weeks? Help him out with max pressure on Romo. Don’t send 4 and force Rolle to sustain coverage beyond a single move. If Rolle could count on Romo having to get rid of it quickly, then Rolle would cover that way, and maybe have a chance. Rolle needed Fewell to be aggressive on that last drive, and instead he played conservative defense and lost. The Giants need more talent in 2014, especially on the O-line. But the coaches also need to be more efficient and effective with the players they’ve got, both starting and bench depth. We’ll all witness over the next 5 games that these coaches are more concerned with preserving their jobs than getting the most value possible. They’re shooting for a 7-9 or 6-10 season, because that’s better than a 4-12 season in the eyes of Mara and JR, even though smart coaches would use these last 5 games to their maximum value by allocating reps to players who need them most. TC, Gilbride and Fewell will play starters and run the risk of their injury affecting 2014 instead of getting Moore, Taylor, Cox, Robinson, Donnell, James, Hosley, Herzlich, Bradford, Paysinger, Kuhn, Hankins, and yes… Nassib on the field to learn from 250+ regular season game reps that will pay dividends in 2014. It would be a huge payoff to the Giants if they witnessed Nassib emerge over the next 5 games such that they don’t have to carry 3 QBs next season, and maybe even conclude they’ve already got Eli’s relief on the roster. Many teams learn about their backup QBs after starters go down. The Giants 2013 season has gone down… we don’t need Eli to go down to see what Nassib’s got and help him mature his football skills.