The New York Football Giants (2-1) squandered a chance to take partial control of the NFC East. Big Blue dropped a close 29-27 contest to the Washington Redskins on Sunday. The loss and how it was achieved now require a “clean out” before taking on the Minnesota Vikings. The last time the G-Men faced the men in purple in prime time, the result was ugly.
Clean Out Penalties
This aspect of the cleansing comes in two parts: quantity and type.
“After the first two games we were No. 1 in the league with seven penalties,” McAdoo said according to the New York Daily News on Sep. 27, 2016. “Yesterday we had 11 for 128 yards in the game and a potential for 14, and five of the penalties were of the 15-yard variety, which there’s no excuse for.”
Penalties mostly come in two varieties: drive killers or drive extenders. Neither variety is good for a team’s morale. Looking at the Andrew Adams’ penalty, it was a drive killer that allowed the Redskins to punt again. The loss of field position was fifty yards.
If seven to ten percent of your team’s plays result in penalties, then your chances to win decrease exponentially. Simply put, to beat the Vikings on the road, needless penalties must be eliminated. Playing completely error-free football remains unrealistic, due to the human element. But needless taunting, launching and trash-talking fouls have to go.
Clean Out Turnovers
Show me a team that consistently loses the turnover battle, and I’ll show you a losing team. The irony about this clean out is the fact that many veteran players are involved. Names like Eli Manning, Victor Cruz and Shane Vereen have coughed up the football.
For those who do not remember, turnovers have been a problem since the first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. The Giants committed six of them on Aug.12, 2016 and improvement has been slow. Big Blue placed additional emphasis on protecting the football (The Duke) after the New Orleans contest.
But still the team treats “The Duke” like dookie in the real games. Back in August, MacAdoo waxed poetic about how detrimental turnovers are in the NFL.
“McAdoo then pulled a Tom Coughlin — he used some analytical data to further his point: The Giants were minus-three in turnover ratio, and last season, NFL teams were 2-46 when committing three more turnovers than the opponent,” according to the New York Post on Aug. 13, 2016.
Not much McAdoo can do here, except to hope this self-regulates, or sit anyone who doesn’t respond.
Clean Out Bad Karma
The two prime culprits this week are center Weston Richburg and receiver Odell Beckham. These are similar problems to what then-coach Tom Coughlin saw in 2015. Interestingly enough, McAdoo became the anti-Coughlin when he publicly rebuked his star receiver.
“I thought between the white lines he controlled himself. Emotionally on the sideline in between the series, he needs to do a better job,” McAdoo said on a teleconference according to NJ.com on Sep. 27, 2016. “That’s all of our responsibilities, mine included. But he needs to control his emotions better and be less of a distraction to himself and his teammates. It’s our job to help him with that process.”
Beckham kicked the punter’s net, which resulted in instant bad karma. The net retracted then lurched forward and hit OBJ in the head. Keep in mind, every second spent on calming down Beckham is lost time.
Richburg has the honor of being the first player ejected by way of the “Beckham Rule”. To add insult to injury, Richburg was taunting Josh Norman at the time of his departure.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Richburg was $12,000 for his taunting penalty on Sunday. He is appealing the fine. This seems like a fool’s errand and counter-productive. The Giants need to close the page on the Washington game and focus on a good (maybe great) Vikings squad.
The offensive center usually becomes the leader of the unit. Richburg’s reaction after the game, and his appeal are disappointing. As a unit, the Giants need to clean out the physical and emotional drama and play the game. That also includes Kennan Robinson learning to stay away from any further bulletin board material.