Has Giants reversal of losing streak any chances of continuing after bad news about Brown and Beckham?
In the New York Giants (4-3) 17-10 defeat of the Los Angels Rams yesterday in the early hours of a Sunday morning at Twickenham stadium in London, England, Big Blue did not show the weaknesses from weeks three through five.
After falling to Washington 29-27, Green Bay 23-16 and Minnesota 24-10, the Giants looked like a badly injured team coping with unstable players, namely, Odell Beckham. Most recently, the re-opening of the case of field goal kicker Josh Brown from more than a year ago cast further doubts as to whether the Giants can go 5-4 or better to increase their chances of playing late into the year.
According to the NJ.com Advanced Media, there has been a storm of controversy surrounding the handling of the Josh Brown suspension around the NFL. Tom Brady recounted his formative years as a little boy-turned father of a daughter in his rebuke of the way the league handled Brown’s suspension perhaps not unmindful of his missing four games this season for the equivalent of injuring a kickoff return player on a hard hit.
Robbie Gould kicked a game-tying field goal in the second half to tie the game at 10-10. Although the Giants offense did not produce as much yardage as it had against the Baltimore Ravens last week, the secondary took responsibility for wining the game at the end with a quite remarkable total of four picks.
Replacement quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams Case Keenum ran into trouble late in the fourth quarter when he allowed threw a sailing toss down the field which deflected off players in the midfield into the hands of Landon Collins who made his way to the Rams’ endzone. Earlier in the game, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had an interception off of Keenum which put attention on head coach Jeff Fisher who had in the coming days praised the Giants secondary, and made his decision to keep Keenum as the starter after the Ram’s bye week suspect.
Odell Beckham Jr. caught for close to ten yards per reception withal keeping tame his emotions. An injury to his hip which rules him as unlikely to play in Sunday’s game had a sobering effect for Beckham. His productivity was apparent and his focus, both of which had proved elusive for the entire season.
"It took a lot to get ready for this game…It was all mental preparation, actually. Even going through warmups, I didn’t quite known what to expect. It was pretty painful.”"
Beckham imitated art when he played without drawing penalties for excessive conformation or celebrations. Just as in Seinfeld when George Constanza lives like a monk and frees up his mind to suddenly be able to have eureka moments about “absolute zero,” Beckham impressed Giants’ coaching staff with his self-discipline and physical toughness.
What close followers of the game learned is three-fold.
1. The Giants secondary is becoming one of the better squads in the league when judged week by week
Four interceptions off a team that was predicted to defeat the Giants by analysts is noteworthy. Other teams in the NFL in Week 7 did not show such composure and alertness on defense as the Giants did. The Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) lost to the New England Patriots 27-16, for instance. This might have had to do with the bad publicity the Giants secondary has been receiving by the New York media over the past coupe of months. The will to improve may also be a factor when there are plays that occur such as in Week 6 when defense bad Janoris Jenkins caught the attention of both Ravens and Giants and when he made a dexterous deflection in the end zone to save the Giants.
2. Eli Manning at his worst is good enough to beat teams outside of the NFC East
Yes, the Patriots and other AFC teams lead in the power rankings yet to be published largely because the competition is weak. On the other hand, the Redskins, Eagles and Cowboys have mirrored the ultra-competitive AL Eastern division in Major League Baseball: teams with player salaries approaching and surpassing the cap limit go head-to-head year-after-year. Manning needs only to have a strong performance by Rashad Jennings or Shane Vereen when he returns against the Cleveland Browns. With the right play play calling by defensive seasoned defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, a healthy Giants secondary can outsmart offenses such as the Rams’ by displaying superior reads of smoke signals only capable of begin discerned by professional defensive backs.
3. Odell Beckham does not have to be the main focus every week but can sometimes have the day off
Predictably, rugby fans and football ultras wanted to see what the hype was surrounding OBJ. Compared to Ronaldo or Messi, many fans thought that Beckham would be just as entertaining to watch on the field. instead, the NFL’s outreach to Old England left many disappointed, as Beckham did not dance, sing, leap or shove. The fact that the Giants could beat the Rams and go against the grain of the Las Vegas lines shows that the Giants organization as a whole is coming full circle. After this week’s bye, the test will of course be against Philadelphia.
The Giants can be successful without two mainstays as long as players step up and live up to McAdoo’s high standards week in and week out.