GMEN HQ – Rankings Review (Week 4)
By Matt Brisk
The focus for the New York Giants going into the 2012 NFL regular season, was to break the habit of going through the motions, and squeaking into the playoffs. The NFC East got better and the NFC overall is just a powerhouse. It was no secret to the NFL or the Giants that the type of regular season they had last year, probably wouldn’t be good enough to punch their tickets to the playoffs. So naturally, everyone thought there was no chance it would happen. But look at us now. The Giants are not only replicating last year, they’re starting worse off.
The Giants are 2-2 going into week five. The worst part about their sluggish start, their two losses came in the NFC East division (to Dallas and Philadelphia). Arguments can be made the Giants could have/should have won both of those games; but the fact is, there are no style points in the NFL.
New York really shot themselves in the foot on Sunday night in Philadelphia. The strangest thing is where the blame should fall, and it’s not a place we’re used to seeing. That place is on the shoulders of Head Coach Tom Coughlin. The last 35 seconds of that game was mismanaged by Coughlin, plain and simple.
Take a look back into the crystal ball. Why are you taking a deep shot in that scenario. Why aren’t you play more conservative to give a your kicker (who by the way was perfect on the year up until Sunday) an easier field goal. Coughlin knows it too. That’s why he took responsibility for it Monday during a press conference. So many times coaches will do that to take to focus off his player, but this time he, knows, the team knows, and we all know it should’ve gone differently. The Giants could have lived with Tynes missing a field goal, heartbreaking yes, but it wouldn’t have given the feeling that New York just beat itself.
Go even farther back in the game, where was Andre Brown? Right the hot hand, huh? Bradshaw had a couple of nice runs in the early part of the first and second half, and then was not heard from again. It was a strange game, it was not the same Gilbride and Coughlin New York has been accustomed to seeing. The defense I thought played pretty well, but they got worn down and McCoy gashed them in the second half.
To top it off the Giants sustained another injury to their secondary, starting Safety Kenny Phillips. If Phillips is unhealthy the remained of the year, this will cripple the Giants, he really is the main guy they cant afford to lose. Ask the entire defense. He and Rolle’s play making allows the rest of the defense to be as aggressive as they want.
Enough on my rant, lets look at what the “experts” have on the Giants.
"Same team as last year. Lots of holes and reliant on the QB to win it at the end. Kenny Phillips injury could hurt."
Couldn’t be more right on this, but I’ll challenge and say with the injuries the Giants have now, with the schedule they’re looking at, they’re much worse off then last year. The bright spot being that Dallas looks more dysfunctional than just about any team in the NFL, outside of New Orleans. Philadelphia, though posting a 3-1 record, has done nothing to make you believe they’re for real. Phillips could be a huge blow. If he and Nicks continue to be hampered throughout the year, the Giants will need a miracle just to make the playoffs.
Fox Sports 11(5)
"For all the hype the Giants’ defensive line had leading up to the season, the only true intimidator I see in that group is Jason Paul-Pierre. Osi Umenyiora consistently lost outside containment and allowed both LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick to get to the edge throughout Sunday night’s loss."
I’m glad this is being brought into the light. Where is Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora? The only thing I can remember from Tuck is being blown up on that Demarco Murray run, in week 1. As for Osi, the only notable thing he’s done this year involved Lesean McCoy, off the field. Anyone who saw Umenyiora on Sunday night knows McCoy got the best of him, as did Michael Vick. Both Tuck and Osi got sucked inside multiple times leaving big gains for both McCoy and Vick and in pretty big spots, too. Now I understand that the defense was worn down but these two have been all but invisible since opening night. Now JPP can compensate for some of it, because he’s without question one of, if not the best defensive player in football right now. They’ll need Tuck and Osi to step up to compensate for the injuries across the board.
CBS Sports 11(8)
"Despite the loss at Philadelphia, this is still a good team. Injuries are starting to undermine the secondary."
They are a good team, but there are so many injuries this team can take, especially wit the schedule they have in the pipeline. Essentially after this week (and make no mistake Cleveland will be tougher than you think) New York really has no “gimme” the rest of the year. I guess that’s to be expected of the defending champs. I just hope when it’s all said and done, the Giants truly have a chance to defend their title, not miss out due to yet another, lackluster regular season.
Side Note: Is anyone else overly concerned with Hakeem Nicks and his rash of injuries? Bar none, he is the best receiver on the Giants and is probably top 3-5 in the NFL. You have to think that with Nicks in the game on Sunday night there is probably a different outcome. His specialty is getting off the line against the bump and run coverage. He needs to get healthy in order to restore this Giants offense to what is truly is.
Check back next week for more reviews.