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Sleepwalking Giants Wake Up Too Late Against Washington

Eli Manning giants redskins nfl 2015 week 12 fumble

Photo via SportingNews.com

In a must-win game for the Giants against Washington, the G-Men suffered a number of key injuries in an ugly loss and most likely lost the division and their postseason chances in the process.

eli manning giants redskins nfl 2015 week 12 ryan kerrigan

photo via bigblueview.com

Things were looking up heading into the Week 12 matchup against Jay Gruden’s squad; the Eagles and Cowboys both got their hats handed to them on Thanksgiving, and Romo fractured his collarbone, effectively ending his season. The Redskins were coming off a blowout loss to the Panthers, though many argued the refs blew a call on a potentially game-altering play. You would think the Giants would be able to heal up and come out in full force after their bye, but no dice.

Instead, the Giants looked like they forgot how to play the sport. You’d think I’d be used to Eli’s irrational play by now, but NOPE. Every week, the man continues to surprise me with his poor decisions. I was *this* close to writing an open apology letter to Eli for all the criticism and sh*t I’ve given him over the years, but then he threw 2 spirit-ripping interceptions and nearly hurled 2-3 more if Washington knew how to catch.

The first interception is not on him, Vereen has to hold on. The second pick is DEFINITELY on Eli. Manning’s never been good on the run. All designed bootlegs and rollouts should be placed in a safe, tied to a boulder, and thrown off a bridge. So, when he begins to scramble, you know only bad things would happen. This time, he tried to force a ball to Harris on the sideline and Will Blackmon missed the INT the first go ’round then came back with a diving grab off the tip. I honestly though Dwayne Harris had broken his mind, body, and spirit the way he was laying on the turf.

Somehow, the Redskins didn’t capitalize on either of the first 2 picks, a testament to the stinginess and resiliency of the Giants D. But, that third pick… Goal to go… Moose Johnston blames Rueben Randle for running a lazy route, which, let’s be honest, that’s the only kinda route Randle runs. Still, Eli can’t do that. If the Giants kick a FG or score a TD there, they win.

Eli was 26 of 51 (yuck) for 321 yards and the 2 touchdowns. The throw to Randle on 4th down was on the money and the toss to Beckham was placed perfectly. He was sacked 3 times and pressured a bunch more. I don’t see how he was supposed to drop back with any confidence knowing that he was without Justin Pugh, Geoff Schwartz, and Weston Richburg. For some reason, I don’t see Pugh coming back, Schwartz is done for the season, and Richburg’s status is questionable.

Beckham had himself a day. It’s nuts to me that teams aren’t triple teaming him. 9 grabs for 142 and the score. Why wouldn’t you put a man short, middle, and over the top against him? As Moose stated on the broadcast, there isn’t anyone else in the league who could’ve made that touchdown catch.

Simply put, the Giants don’t have a second threat. Rueben Randle had 0 targets in the first half and a couple drops. His only catch was the 4th down TD. On Twitter, I mentioned that he plays like he slugged Nyquil before kickoff. There has to be some undisclosed injury. It just feels like he’s running at around 50-60% right now.

Will Tye was the second most productive receiver. The undrafted free agent from Stony Brook University who was like 18th on the depth chart at the start of the season had 6 catches for 74 yards. As happy as I am for the guy, that shouldn’t be the case. The Giants needed another wideout to make plays and no one did.

Dwayne Harris got popped on that first pick and it must’ve jarred loose his common sense. He had 14 total return yards, muffed 1 punt, decided to catch the punt that was ruled a touchback, fielded another punt while going backwards inside his own 5 with the game on the line. If he let that ball go into the end zone, Giants would’ve got the ball at like the 30-something instead of the 15. Tack on those 15 or so extra yards and maybe Eli has a shot at a Hail Mary attempt instead of that three-ring circus Miami Hurricanes fiasco.

The running back situation is getting out of hand. Big Blue now has 4 healthy dudes in the mix and, apparently, are just waiting for one of them to emerge as ‘the guy’. Well, it’s now Week 13 and none of them have emerged. At some point, you have to wonder if rotating 4 guys is hurting the team and I believe it is. There’s running back by committee when each has a clear role, but 4’s a crowd.

On the ground, the Giants had 13 carries for 33 yards and only 1 first down. It’s downright disgusting that this team can’t pick up 2 rushing yards when they need it. McAdoo is now resorting to jet sweeps with Dwayne Harris. I mean, might as well, just put Beckham back there.

The O was 3 of 15 on third down, but 2 for 2 on 4th down. The issue seems to be that the Giants never find themselves in manageable third down situations. Any time, they’re forced to get more than 6 yards for a fresh set, they can’t pick it up.

Now onto the defense. Another uneven performance from that side of the ball. They had 0 sacks, gave up HUGE plays, and didn’t get a ton of pressure on Kirk Cousins. Devon Kennard led the team with 10 total tackles (5 solos and 5 assists). Jasper Brinkley came back down to Earth after a couple eye-opening performances. Craig Dahl, the third safety, was tied with Kennard for most solo tackles with Landon Collins leading the pack.

Amukamara didn’t look like himself out there. That pec injury is not going away anytime soon. His tackling will suffer and he might not be able to defend passes.

Meriweather got smoked.

Wade got beat consistently.

Jayron Hosley has a bullseye on his back.

JPP was contained. He played okay in the run game, but wasn’t able to generate anything in the pass rush.

The big letdown for the D was DRC. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie dropped a sure pick six, got hurt, and couldn’t tackle worth a damn. He ended up with 1 solo takedown.

If Eli doesn’t throw that interception in the end zone, if DRC holds on to the pick six, the Giants are 6-5. Instead, they failed to take advantage of a mediocre Redskins team that controlled the ball for 36 minutes, yet fumbled away a 4th down conversion and had a field goal blocked. Now, the Redskins are in the driver’s seat. Would you just LOOK at their remaining schedule?

Mon, Dec 7 vs Cowboys 8:30 PM – W
Sun, Dec 13 @ Bears 1:00 PM – L?
Sun, Dec 20 vs Bills 1:00 PM – L?
Sat, Dec 26 @ Eagles 8:25 PM – W
Sun, Jan 3 @ Cowboys 1:00 PM – W

Washington will sweep the Romo-less Cowboys, beat the feeble Eagles, and own the tiebreaker against the Giants if they somehow lose to Chicago and Buffalo and finish with an 8-8 record. Season over for New York.

Meanwhile, even if the Giants can do this…

Sun, Dec 6 vs Jets 1:00 PM – W
Mon, Dec 14 @ Dolphins 8:30 PM – W
Sun, Dec 20 vs Panthers 1:00 PM – L
***Sun, Dec 27 @ Vikings 1:00 PM – L***
Sun, Jan 3 vs Eagles 1:00 PM – W

…they lose the tiebreaker to Washington.

These aren’t your 2007 or 2011 New York Giants, folks. Those teams made plays in the last quarter of games and the last quarter of the season. Those teams got the ball to bounce in their favor. Luck was on their side. They had offensive lines that were tough, mean bastards. They didn’t act like the game was over at half.

I guess if you’re into useless comparisons, you could note that the ’07 Giants got walloped by the 4-6 Vikings at home, 41-17, thanks to a career worst game from Eli then lost another home game 22-10 to the 6-7 Redskins (led by Todd frickin’ Collins) while the ’11 Giants got crushed by the 7-3 Saints then lost to the 4-9 Redskins 23-10 (led by sexy Rexy). As “uplifting” as the last second loss to the Pats was for a lot of Giants fans, this loss appears to be the final nail in the Coughlin.

When the Giants are officially eliminated from postseason contention, there have to be some significant changes in the offseason. The #1 priority has to be finding players who don’t get hurt. The sheer volume of injuries over the this four-year long dry spell is mind-boggling. It’s been an issue for way too long. Cruz, Beason, Hankins, Schwartz, Beatty, Gordy, Mosley, Jones, Thompson, Berhe, Fells, Harris, and Jackson all gone for the season with a host of others who are playing well below their talent level because of severe injuries.

A second receiving threat. A dominant offensive line. A pass rusher. The Giants are 3 or 4 moves away from getting back to greatness. Will Reese be the man who makes those moves? Will Coughlin be the coach to mentor those moves?

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