There was some lousy, superb and silly play in Sunday’s 27-23 victory over the Washington Redskins.
The Lousy: The Giants’ run defense on Sunday during the first half was so bad. So, so bad. New York gave up 248 yards rushing Sunday, and about three quarters of that total came in the first half. How the did the Giants give up so many yards rushing. By not maintaining gap control, which Osi Umenyiora is notorious for, and lousy tackling. One particular problem against the run was how bad the linebackers were at getting off their blocks. Chase Blackburn and Michael Boley, could not get off their blocks and Alfred Morris had free running lanes past them on more than several plays. The Giants did redeem themselves in the second half, when they did a much better job stopping the run, which also led to some much needed turnovers.
The way Eli Manning played for the first 28 minutes of each half was not very good. He missed open receivers on several passes and missed what could have been a crucial touchdown pass on a slant route to Victor Cruz. Manning also threw two bad interceptions, but as he usually does, he made up for all of those mistakes within the final two minutes of each half.
The Superb: Eli Manning was unstoppable under the two minute mark of each half. On those two drives, Manning completed 7 of 11 pass attempts for 136 yards and a touchdown on the game winning drive. All of that equates to a 136.9 quarterback rating in those two minute drills. Pretty stellar stuff. With the 77 yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz on that game winning drive, Eli capped off his 23rd fourth quarter comeback, according to Profootballreference.com. Eli Manning is to Derek Jeter as Tony Romo is to Alex Rodriguez in terms of clutch play, which is really good if you did not pick up on that analogy.
Since last year, Victor Cruz has been the most consistent and explosive wide receiver in the sport. Cruz shows up every week for Eli and the Giants and makes big play after big play. Cruz finished Sunday with seven touchdowns on the season and was on the receiving end of the most important play of the game, when he torched Madieu Williams for the 77 yard game winning touchdown score.
Other than on the final drive of the game, New York’s defense played really well in the second half. They were able to slow down the run and force some key turnovers. Unfortunately, the Giants offense was not able to take full advantage of those turnovers. The defensive line put pressure on RGIII and safety Stevie Brown got himself another interception on an errant throw by Griffin. Stevie Brown has filled in very nicely for the injured Kenny Phillips, who was injured in the game at Philly. Other than the San Francisco game, the Giants’ defense has been wildly inconsistent. Similar to last season, but more effective in certain spots. New York’s D has got to get on track if they are going to want to play some home games in January, otherwise they may be fighting for a playoff spot in December.
The Silly: The play calling in this game made absolutely no sense. The Giants had been running all over teams the last two weeks and then on Sunday Kevin Gilbride and Eli Manning forgot that there was a running back on the field. Ahmad Bradshaw was seen going nuts on the field during the game and I do not blame him. What the hell is New York doing not feeding him the ball. Especially late in the game, when the clock is on your side. And if you are afraid of having Bradshaw re-injuring his foot, there are other players, Andre Brown and David Wilson, who are more than willing to get a shot at running the ball. Gilbride has a couple of these games each year when he completely neglects the running game. I think the lack of balance hurt Eli Manning on Sunday, just as much as his bad throws.
Aside from the offensive play calling, what is Perry Fewell doing sending a three man rush at Robert Griffin III on what could have been the game winning drive. The only time it makes sense to use the three man rush is when you are up 14-17 points and you are trading yards for time on the clock. New York was only up four points on that drive and that three man rush in my opinion allowed Griffin to make that sensational play on fourth and ten. So for my own personal sanity, can you please not use that senseless three man rush any longer? PLEASE PERRY!?
The Giants must prepare for another division game next week in Big D. New York needs to get some revenge, for suffering a loss on the first game of the season to the Cowgirls. Eli and company are 3-0 in the new Jerry Jones Palace, so hopefully they can stick it to that jerk again Sunday.