New York Giants Need to Ignore Windy City Bluster
By Curt Macysyn
Maybe someone needs to remind Chicago Bears (2-7) linebacker Pernell McPhee to look at the standings. Otherwise, the veteran player has chosen to ignore reality. As lowly Bears come to town, McPhee has ratcheted-up the pre-game rhetoric. Unfortunately, McPhee’s words are tantamount to going “all-in” holding a pairs of deuces in a poker game. The New York Giants are on a playoff push. The team needs to ignore McPhee’s words this week, and then punish Chicago on Sunday.
Ignore McPhee’s Rant
“We’re going to tear their ass up,” McPhee said in Chicago as reported by Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. “I don’t care what everybody else did. I mean, we’re going to sack him around. He can throw the ball as many times as he wants, we’re going to sack him. I’m going to make sure of that.”
Now if the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller says that, well, it’s noteworthy. But Pernell McPhee?
“When he was growing up in Pahokee, Fla., Pernell McPhee probably was the kid who walked around poking hornets’ nests with a stick,” states Dave Blezow of the New York Post on Nov. 17, 2016.
As Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells famously said, “You are what your record says you are.” This statement sums up the Bears’ season and the silliness of McPhee’s boast. And like the Parcell-led Giants, this squad needs to ignore the ramblings, and make Chicago pay on the field.
Teams that lose 36-10 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t make declarations. Instead, they create noise. So make the Windy City bunch head back to Chicago with their tails firmly placed between their legs.
Ignore Bears’ Win-Loss Record?
Factually, the Bears have sacked the quarterback 24 times, which is in the top ten of the NFL. Then again, the Philadelphia Eagles have sacked the QB 25 times this season. Yet the Birds did not overwhelm Eli Manning a couple weeks ago. Philadelphia had one quarterback sack from Destiny Vaeao; not exactly a brand name.
The Eagles, however, are in the playoff mix, while the Bears are doing their yearly rationalization. They’ve finished last in the NFC North for two consecutive seasons and are on their way to a third straight basement appearance in 2016.
Playoffs have become a hit-and-run proposition for the Bears, as the team has not been consistently relevant since the 1980s into the early 1990s (1990-91). Trash talking is an exercise in exposing yourself as insecure. McPhee is a middling player on a lousy team. You figure out the rest.
As Myers points out, “Chicago, which is 2-7, qualifies as a crappy team. Jay Cutler usually holds a competition to see whether his sacks outnumber his interceptions.”
Ignore Individual Match-ups
New York will see Bears’ first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd up close and personal on Sunday. While it would be unusual to game plan around a rookie (Ezekiel Elliott excluded), the Giants will be mindful of the former Georgia Bulldog.
This week, the thought implied by the Chicago Sun-Times is that the G-Men got out foxed (no pun intended) at this year’s NFL draft. One headline boasts, “Leonard Floyd is Bears’ gain, Giants’ big loss.”
“[The Bears’ trade with Tampa Bay] takes center stage this week. It’s widely thought that Floyd was a top target for the New York Giants, who owned the 10th pick, according to the Sun-Times on Nov. 19, 2016. In a bold draft-day move, the Bears jumped ahead of the Giants, acquiring the No. 9 pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 11th pick and a fourth-round selection.”
Perhaps in the long run, but this week it’s New York versus Chicago. Even if Leonard Floyd quickly became Von Miller, it still wouldn’t be enough. And the game is not about Eli Apple versus Leonard Floyd, unless you need to set up a moral victory.
It’s humorous when the local media takes up for the poor performance of the team they cover. Maybe it’s because they have to be cheerleaders to enjoy continued access. The gushing over Floyd is one thing, but the media victory lap over his selection, smacks of sixth grade playground stuff.
Teams that lose by 26-points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should lay low and figure out a way to remain competitive. But as the Bears and the beat writers have proven, there continues to be a dearth of common sense in the NFL.