Rapid Reaction: Giants-Eagles
Well, that was one worth forgetting for the Giants, wasn’t it?
Just like last week against the 49ers, they had us all on the edge of our seats, anticipating another miraculous fourth quarter comeback from Eli Manning and company, and once again, they came up just short. The 17-10 loss to the Eagles means the Giants dropped to 6-4 and 1-2 in division games. They’re now second in the NFC East behind Dallas.
A few observations from the game:
-One of the first things my father taught me about football was that it starts and ends at the line of scrimmage, and tonight’s game against the Eagles showed me how right he was. The Giants offensive and defensive lines alike were outmanned by the Eagles throughout the game. Eli Manning was given very little time to throw and had to scramble most of the night. Brandon Jacobs and DJ Ware had few holes with which to work. And the defensive line got next to no pressure on Vince Young, giving him time to throw and get comfortable. Frankly, I was amazed they even managed the one sack they did get.
Chris Canty did play a good game though.
-Speaking of the defensive line, I have to admit that I was looking forward to see Osi Umenyiora get to suit up against Philadelphia. He traditionally plays well against them (who can forget his glorious six sack game back in 2007?) so to see him as a non-factor all evening was a bit of a disappointment.
-One more thing about the defensive line- has anyone else noticed that almost all of their pressure seems to come from the outside? When they’re effective at getting to the quarterback it’s not that a big deal but if they miss, it leaves the middle open, allowing opposing quaterbacks to either step up and throw or scramble for some yardage. That was definitely evident tonight, especially with Umenyiora being shutdown by the left tackle all game.
-Congratulations to Prince Amukamara on his first career interception! It had be a big confidence-booster for a rookie to get his first pick less than seven minute into his NFL career. I was overall pretty pleased with Amukamara’s first game and it benefits the Giants to have another cornerback in rotation.
-Mark Herzlich was decent overall in his first career start at linebacker. He had a few spectacular plays against the run but his pass coverage needs some work.
-Actually, that statement about Herzlich applies to all the Giants linebackers. Just look at how Kiwanuka got smoked on Steve Smith’s touchdown. As they did last week, the Giants did a great job of shutting down the run but the linebackers kept leaving guys open. That’s the one area where they really miss Michael Boley.
-The poor play of the offensive line was partially to blame for the poor run game, but how much do the Giants miss Ahmad Bradshaw?
-The Giants now have a defensive takeaway in 23 straight games, dating back to last season.
-I guess Jake Ballard is human after all. He had three pretty significant drops that could’ve been difference-makers. But it’s hard to complain after what he’s done for them at tight end this year and he came back and had a big catch after leaving the game to get his elbow examined. (Thankfully the x-rays came back negative.)
-On the bright side, I think it’s become more evident each week that Victor Cruz is the real deal and not just a fluke. He still needs a little work when it comes to dropping passes but he’s been extremely clutch for New York all season and helped the Giants set up another potential comeback. New York’s depth at wide receiver is astonishing.
-While we’re on the topic of Cruz, am I the only one who gets nervous when I see him returning punts over Aaron Ross? I just keep thinking about how Domenik Hixon’s back-to-back season ending injuries came from returning punts and I’d hate to see the Giants lose Cruz that way too.
-When DeSean Jackson negated his own 50 yard reception by taunting defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, I found myself wondering how he can expect the Eagles to pay him the big bucks when he keeps pulling stunts like that.
-The Giants continue to struggle on third downs. Once again, they had trouble converting third downs on offense and the defense gave up six third downs on the Eagles game-winning drive. That’s one problem that definitely needs addressing.