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Giants Putting on a Clinic for Losing Games in Most Brutal Way Possible


Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, right, makes a catch near the end zone on a pass from quarterback Matt Ryan, not pictured, as New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara defends on the play during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J.

AP Photo / Bill Kostroun

I wasn’t able to watch the week 2 game between the Giants and Falcons live. I was flying back from the Derby City Comedy Festival in Louisville, not knowing that Atlanta would have the last laugh. When I landed at LaGuardia, my girlfriend informed me that Big Blue was winning, 20-10, but that Eli had just fumbled. I let her know that I didn’t want to know any more info. I’d DVR’d the game and wanted to find out for myself. But, I had a feeling. Without having seen a single snap of the game, when I read that Eli fumbled, I got that all-too-familiar feeling that the Giants would blow yet another win.

Just like you knew Tony Romo would lead a game-winning drive last week, you knew the Giants would blow another 10 point lead late because of costly mistakes and mind-numbingly dumb errors. And Sho’ Nuff (great Kentucky beer, btw), I was right. I’m really starting to hate being right.

After watching last week’s Falcons-Eagles game, you had a hunch that Julio Jones might catch a thousand balls for a million yards and infinity touchdowns. He went off for 13 catches and 135 receiving yards, but, for the most part the Giants D kept him in check. There were only 2 catches that were daggers. The long reception down to the 1 and that ridiculous circus catch earlier in that same drive. Take away those 2 grabs and I think a lot of people in the Giants organization would consider it a success.

Atlanta was content with throwing quick strikes to Julio and the Giants were all over it. We’ll take that all day as long as he doesn’t burn us deep. Of course, the broadcasting team of John Lynch and Kevin Burkhardt foreshadowed the sh*t out of a deep dart that would burn Big Blue and it came at the worst possible juncture.

Would that have happened with DRC in the game? DRC got a stinger on the first play then came back and suffered a concussion, taking a cleat off the jaw. If DRC is on Julio in that crucial spot, does he get burned? Maybe not.

For most series, especially early on, the Giants secondary showcased some tight coverage. Any time a back or a wideout caught a ball, a defender was immediately there to put a body on ’em. Yet, down the stretch, it continued to be the tight end position that did in the Giants. The long roll-out, throwback-against-the-field pass to Jacob Tamme following Eli’s fumble in the red zone was what ultimately swung the momentum.

The run D looked good for most of the game. I really loved the run blitz on 1st downs. You have to wonder if these long drives are taking their toll on the Giants D. They had Dallas run off 15 plays on their opening drive last week then Atlanta comes out with a dozen plays to open this week. Is that kind of play sustainable? The inability to get off the field on 3rd down is gonna be a serious problem for this unit all year. They need to figure out how to end drives.

There were times where it looked like the G-Men had some success stopping drives. Spags dialed up some intricate blitzes and the players responded with some good pressure that forced Matt Ryan to throw the ball awkwardly, inaccurately, and before he wanted. But, much like last week, the Giants couldn’t bring the kind of pressure late in the game to force Ryan into bad throws. I was genuinely surprised by the Giants pressure early on, but it was largely ineffective when it counted most down the stretch.

The defense had missed opportunities. There was the dropped interception by Casillas that allowed Atlanta to get 3 points early in the game. Another dropped interception by Landon Collins – granted, a much tougher attempt – later that would’ve given the Giants at least 3 points.

I really liked how the Giants were able to bat down balls at the line of scrimmage. That was a major key to the Giants wins over the Patriots in each Super Bowl; when the rush couldn’t get to Brady, you better make damn sure you jump and get your hands up to knock the ball down. There were a few situations in today’s game where defenders did that and it paid dividends. But again, not when the team needed it most.

Brandon Meriweather had another big hit this week. I’m pretty stoked to have that combo of Collins and Meriweather, but Landon’s mental mistakes have to stop. Not touching down the receiver and allowing him to get a handful of yards afterwards is inexcusable. Collins had another mental letdown last week that led to 7 points when he didn’t mirror Witten at the goal line. It’s only 1 or 2 plays per game, but they up playing huge factors in the outcome.

Then there’s the offense. The FOX Sports team asked a very important question at the beginning of the game: Odell and Who Else? Well, we found out the answer was Shane Vereen and to be honest, I’m not crazy about that. Shane bailed Eli out a few times in today’s contest, but instead of viewing that as a bright spot on a target-deprived unit, I see it as a crutch. We sort of know how Eli works now. Sort of. He still manages to boggle minds on a weekly basis, but he throws to guys he confides in. If he doesn’t trust you, if you don’t have a good rapport with him, he won’t go to you in critical moments.

Case in point, on the play where Eli gets strip-sacked just outside Atlanta’s 10, Eli had Preston Parker wide open in the end zone and he either didn’t see him or subconsciously couldn’t bring himself to throw to a receiver who has let him down multiple times in 2 games. Eli trying to do too much = turnovers.

How much does this offense miss Victor Cruz? Eli honed in on Odell for most of the game and the Falcons finally picked up on that. Eli then moved to other targets and wasn’t rewarded. Parker had more drops, Randle had a critical drop. Randle was yet again invisible. Right now, the Giants don’t have a WR2. They don’t even have a WR3. They’re playing with a WR1 and three WR4s.

Larry Donnell flashed some promise, but I still don’t see him as the threat he appeared to be early last season. The Giants finally went to him in the red zone and it paid off. Why they don’t go to him at least once or twice in the red zone every visit is straight up weird.

I really appreciated Coughlin’s decision to go for it on 4th down early in the game and then Dwayne Harris lollygags, yes, LOLLYGAGS, and gets called for a HUGE penalty that takes away a MASSIVE first down. Who knows what happens after that? Maybe a touchdown instead of a field goal?

The loss of Ereck Flowers was devastating. You could see Eli wasn’t as comfortable in the pocket. Pugh got beat by Beasley a handful of times and if Flowers can’t bounce back, you’re gonna see some real ugly football out of Mr. Manning.

You can get upset about the dropped passes, but the stuff that is murdering Giants fans is the consistently stupid clock management and lack of wherewithal. HOW IN THE HOLY HOT FRITATTA does the Giants offense get a delay of game coming off a Falcons timeout?!?!?!?! The faithful have every right to boo like bananas. You just came off a soul-obliterating loss to your division rival because you couldn’t manage the game or clock properly and then you can’t snap the ball on time after you had more than enough time to plan? That’s what’s so disturbing about the start to this season. Dropped passes, lack of heads up play out of your mega-contract QB and disciplinary coach.

On the bright side, the Cowboys will be without both Romo and Bryant for a while and the Eagles’ offense looks REAL bad. I mentioned in my previous Giants post that the Cowboys could be staring at 2-5 or 3-4 entering the halfway point. I’m not so sure that could be a reality even with the loss of #9. Weeden seemed fairly unfettered in place of Romo against Philly and might not have to put on a cape if that run game continues to churn.

NEXT UP: VS. WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH AT 8PM

I don’t know what to expect in this game. I could easily see the Giants dropping to 0-3 on a short week against a Washington squad that upset a Rams team that upset the Seahawks. If Flowers is unable to return to the left bookend, I think Washington dials up a lot of pressure, doubles or triples Odell, and keys on Vereen out of the backfield. Giants fans can only hope the defense steps up, shuts down Alfred Morris and forces Kirk Cousins into goofs galore.

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