The New York Giants’ ritual to lose all games to the Philadelphia Eagles is getting really old. It would be one thing if the Giants consistently lose to a team that was better than them, but that is not the case at all. The Giants have been a better team over a five year period, but their record is an embarrassing 1-8 against Philly.
At some level, it makes you feel that the Giants are just never going to beat the Eagles. Philadelphia over that nine game span has beaten the Giants every which way and New York’s one victory last year came on two somewhat lucky plays by Victor Cruz. Victor Cruz is the only good thing to come out of a Giants Eagles game in a decade.
The Inexcusable: What are you doing Osi Umenyiora? What are you doing!!? I understand you want to rush the quarterback, but you cannot take straight angles from the edge to sack Michael Vick. When playing Vick, you must………..MUST, keep gap control. When New York forced Vick to stay in the pocket he looked pretty lousy, except on the couple plays he had a lot of time to throw the ball. On several plays, Umenyiora took terrible angles at rushing Mike Vick and it was costly, because Vick simply ran around him and picked up 10 yards each time. Osi was also ineffective on setting the edge on running plays along with Tuck on several downs. Both Tuck and Umenyiora were taken out of stretch runs that were created by them not being able to set an edge and forcing McCoy to run inside.
The lack of a running game. As good as Eli Manning is, it is unfair to expect him to do as much as he was asked to do last night. New York did not seem that they were interested in truly establishing a running game. They would run it a couple of times here and there and the rest of the drive would be pass after pass. There was no reason for this. The Giants were never more than one score behind and although they were not having great success running the ball, it always becomes more effective with repeated attempts. Also, with the play of Brown the last two weeks, he needs to carry the ball more than five times he was given the ball.
Who were you throwing the ball to in the end zone Eli? On the first play of the fourth quarter, Manning dropped back and threw a pass from within the red zone straight to Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie. That pass was nowhere near a Giants receiver and the only reason I can rationalize that pass, is that someone ran a wrong route. Because if not that pass was mind boggling bad.
The Giants offensive line was called for way too many penalties. A couple of promising drives were stopped dead in their tracks by holding calls. Philadelphia’s pass rush is really good, but you have to use better footwork and technique to ensure you do not get caught holding on important downs. New York’s offensive line has been great at pass blocking so far, but they definitely were not up to those standards last night.
The Good: David Wilson was absolutely stellar on kick returns last night. Through the first four games this season, Wilson has shown a lot of skill and promise on kick returns. This is especially nice, because kick returning had been a source of problems for the Giants over the past several seasons. If Wilson can continually give good field position to this Giants offense, it could prove to be very instrumental in their success at putting points on the board. The one constant annoyance with Wilson is that he continually cannot do anything right when put in New York’s backfield. Last night he came in for a shovel pass play and of course he could not handle the pass and dropped it. Until he proves to be useful on the field, he will be relegated to a special teamer, which I will accept if he continues to produce like he has.
With this loss the Giants have fallen to 0-2 in the division and 2-2 overall. With the 0-2 record in the division they will be in last place in the NFC East and will have some must wins in division battles later on. The New York Giants refuse to make anything easy, so this was expected, but it is still extremely frustrating.
Thankfully the Giants have medication coming next week in the form of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have been one of the most abominable NFL franchises since their expansion season in ’95. This year has been no different with their 0-4 record they are still seeking their first win and the Giants better not concede that.