I’m not even mad. I physically can’t be. I ran out of mad after last week’s season-ending loss to the Native Americans. As Josh Brown lined up for the game-tying, game-extending field goal attempt in overtime, I knew he’d miss it… because he hadn’t missed alllllllllllllll season and he was due. I’d say it hurts being right, but the hurt is gone, folks. I can’t be hurt anymore. This team has extracted all the emotions and the feels from me. Every last drop. Sure, I cheered when Dwayne Harris took a punt to the house. I cheered when OBJ took a mid-range pass to the house. I cheered when we got a huge fumble recovery. But, I – and I’m sure millions of other Giants fans – knew that the 20-10 halftime lead wasn’t going to hold. It would evaporate. And it would do so in the 4th quarter.
I can’t even bring myself to read or say “the 4th quarter” anymore. If the 4th quarter didn’t exist the Giants would be like 10-2. Yet again, the Giants dropped 2 game-changing interceptions. One by Prince Amukamara, the other by Craig Dahl in the end zone. The Giants defense decided to soften when it needed to harden. They took their collective foot off the Jets’ collective throat and Fitzy and Gang Green made them pay. Bilal Powell has been a farkin’ ghost for almost the entire season then he flips the switch and is a pass-catching cybernetic organism.
There’s no easy fix as the Giants head into another offseason without a playoff appearance. Who’s to blame? Just about everyone. The players simply aren’t good enough. The coaches continue to make bad decisions. Management failed to address personnel issues. As soon as the football went wide left in overtime, I thought to myself, “CLEAN HOUSE!” And, about 7 hours after the Giants notched their 7th loss of the season and the 4th or 5th double-digit blown lead, I still think that’s the way to go.
As fans (buyers of this mediocre, shaky, faulty product), we shouldn’t stand for this. We shouldn’t stand for not kicking a field goal to go up 13 points and essentially put the game away. We shouldn’t stand for players like Rueben Randle, Markus Kuhn, and Damontre Moore. We shouldn’t stand for running the ball before halftime, picking up a first down, calling timeout, and running the frackin’ ball again to run out the clock. We shouldn’t stand for not being able to punch the damn ball into the end zone when you have the ball on the 2. It’s just not acceptable.
I don’t care how people feel about Tom Coughlin. It is very clear to me that he’s lost the ‘it’ factor. He’s unable to coach his players to execute and to motivate them to hunker down and rise up and all that other inspirational garbage. If the Giants played in ANY other division, they wouldn’t even have won 2 Super Bowls.
Clean house. From the top down.
Odell Beckham, Jr. one-handed grab
The Giants lead the league in non-offensive touchdowns and are still 5-7. That’s a telltale sign your offense SUCKS at scoring. Can you imagine if this offense didn’t have Odell Beckham, Jr.? He tallied 6 grabs for 149 yards and a touchdown. Take away that 72 yard score and OBJ had 5 catches for 77 yards. He tried to get fancy on the 3rd down and 2 pass in overtime and missed the ball then kicked it for a delay of game. You have to know not to do that. Luckily, he made up for it on the next play, but he put the team in a precarious position. But, hey, at least he shows emotion and cares. I can’t say the same for any other receiver on this team.
Yet again, the second leading receiver was Will Tye – a guy who wasn’t on the depth chart in September. Rueben Randle had a nice diving catch, but, other than that, was invisible. You have to think we’ve seen the last of #82 in a Giants uniform. #3 receiver Dwayne Harris, 1 catch for 8 yards. Myles White 1 catch. Hakeem Nicks 1 catch. 9 different receivers with at least 1 catch. There’s spreading the wealth, then there’s SOMEBODY STEP UP AND HELP TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF OBJ!
Odell Beckham, Jr. burn Jets D for 72 yard catch and run
The most disappointing? Shane Vereen. 2 catches, 7 yards. It’s embarrassing how underutilized this guy is. EVERY 3RD DOWN PLAY should be a pass to Vereen. This guy will win any matchup against any safety or linebacker you put on him and instead the Giants motion him into the line so he can chip a DE before he can run his route? Are you kidding me? Motion him out of the backfield, get him some space, let him make a move or two and hit him for a first. If the Giants brass ever need a reason to fire McAdoo, it would be Shane Vereen.
23 carries, 72 yards on the ground. A little over 3 yards per carry. Orleans Darkwa led the team in attempts with Andre Williams coming in second, followed by Jennings then Vereen. I understand running the ball is no longer a “thing” in the NFL, but I would think 3.5-4.0 yards per carry has to be a goal.
Eli had a fairly average to subpar day. 18 of 34 for 297 yards, the TD to OBJ and yet another red zone pick. On that 4th and goal interception (a play that should’ve never happened), he threw to a double covered Rueben Randle when he had 2 other guys breaking open. They say it’s good to have short memory, but you have to remember that Randle runs horrific routes and would screw Eli yet again. Most games you can tell when Eli has confidence and is willing to stick a ball where few QBs can or would even dare and this game, he just wasn’t sure of himself.
The Giants were 0 for 3 in the red zone. Need a reason to revamp the offense? There it is. 0 for 1 in goal to go (the pick that never should’ve happened). 4 for Fuddruckin’ 15 on third down. Ben McAdoo, look on your sheet and see “Shane Vereen”.
Odell Beckham, Jr. kicks balls after incompletion on 3rd and 2
We all had to know that Josh Brown was going to miss at some point during this season and going by the heart-smashing ways the Giants prefer to lose, it’s only fitting he’d virtually end their season with a hook left.
Dwayne Harris had a superb game returning the ball on kickoffs and punts. It’s clear that he’s not a top-tier wideout. At best, he *might* be a #4 or #5. But, for some reason, we look to him to pick up the slack.
The defense is a joke. I want to believe in them. I’m flabbergasted by their ability to force turnovers, but they’re the most unreliable unit in the league. I had 0% confidence they would hold onto that 10 point lead in the 4th. When you’re looking around the field and you’re seeing Trevin Wade, Craig Dahl, Cooper Taylor, and Uani Unga lining up, you got problems, son.
Casillas led the team with 7 solo tackles. Robert Ayers, Jr had 2 sacks with Cullen Jenkins adding another. Jasper Brinkley had a huge forced fumble. But, ultimately, Spags’ designed blitzes just weren’t getting the job done. It seemed like the Jets had the answer to almost everything. Their plays were so masterfully designed and executed, I couldn’t help but applaud them. The Giants rarely have plays of that sophistication come to fruition. That 3rd and 15 screen to Powell was just pure beauty.
The Jets registered 28 mother-loving first downs. 21 via air. I don’t know why Spags deviated from the formula for success – stick DRC on Brandon Marshall and put Prince Amukamara on Eric Decker. There is absolutely no reason why Trevin Wade or Trumaine McBride should be covering the #1 or #2 wideouts.
I will give credit to the Giants run defense for keeping Ivory in check, but it was Fitzpatrick’s feet that killed Big Blue. That 4th and 6 scramble was the dagger, folks. That’s the kind of first down that’s indicative of how the game will turn out.
Dwayne Harris punt return TD
There were a lot of Giants playing for their jobs today. The Giants would need a Christmakwanzakuh miracle to make the playoffs; the G-Men had a 36% chance of clinching a postseason spot by winning the NFC East coming into the game. After the loss, it’s fallen to 27%. If they lose to the Dolphins next week, it’ll drop to 17%. While the most optimistic of Giants fans will hold on to the very short thread of hope, I’m callin’ it. This is the last you’ll see of Coughlin as Giants head coach. And it all came down to a field goal. With the season basically over, I’ll do a post-mortem with the team’s free agents / bubble / fringe players:
CB Prince Amukumara – Prince is also a UFA who is probably going to be the toughest decision. He’s only 27, but he gets hurt a lot and drops easy picks, plus he’ll probably ask for more than $7M per year. Not worth it, but I don’t know that you can find a suitable replacement via free agency. Josh Norman is also 27, but will most likely command an absurd amount of money, considering his current performance. Plus, I don’t think he’ll leave Carolina. Tracey Porter? Morris Claiborne? Sean Smith? Leon Hall?
DE Jason Pierre-Paul – As valiant as JPP has been and as much as he’s kinda sorta helped the pass rush, he’s just not the force he once was. I hear ya, he’ll only be 27 next year! But, he’s only got one functioning hand. I don’t see that changing unless he gets hooked up with Luke Skywalker’s surgeon. I would love to see the Giants make an honest effort to get Muhammad Wilkerson, but he’s gonna want so much money. Maybe you bring back Justin Tuck if he takes a pay cut?
DE Robert Ayers Jr – Keep him!
DT Cullen Jenkins – Meh. I’m on the fence. He’ll be 34. I think the Giants should explore other options.
DE George Selvie – Hasn’t really made an impact.
DE Damontre Moore – He’s only 23 and won’t be a free agent until 2017, but I say trade him. Get whatever you can for him. He should’ve been called for yet another late hit – this time on Brandon Marshall (?) – and he cost the Giants a timeout when he got hurt and couldn’t make his way off the field. At some point, he’s hurting more than helping and Coughlin just hasn’t been able to get through to him.
DT Markus Kuhn – Many fans and bloggers alike have wondered how this guy made the team and though he might be the most likable dude on the squad, the Giants needed more out of him to keep him.
LB Jasper Brinkley – I love how he’s stepped in and stepped up. Reward him!
SS Brandon Meriweather – I was sort of surprised to see he was available to sign when the ravaging happened, but after seeing some of his play this season, I get it. He can lay the lumber with the best of ’em, but he’s prone to giving up big plays.
SS Craig Dahl – It’s weird, ya kinda like the look and idea of Craig Dahl but I just don’t think he’s done enough to get re-signed.
CB Jayron Hosley – man, what a frustrating guy. Just never showed anything other than a pick six in a preseason game. Woof. He got owned by Brandon Marshall on a play where the Giants needed a tackle to stop a drive and #28 got plowed.
CB Trumaine McBride – He always seems to be in the right place at the right time when turnovers happen, but has been hard to find in recent weeks.
RB Rashad Jennings – He’ll be 32 next season and isn’t a free agent until 2018, but is he worth almost $2.5M per year when he’s averaging less than 10 touches per game. I don’t care how many punts he blocks. There are a TON of running backs on the market: Matt Forte, Chris Ivory, Doug Martin (my personal favorite), Lamar Miller, Alfred Morris, Ronnie Hillman, and many more.
RB Orleans Darkwa – He seems to be the favorite to take the reins as THE starting running back. He’s got the powerful running style and the vision to find holes, but is he a season-long, long-term solution?
WR Rueben Randle – it’s almost sacrilegious to give up on a 24-year-old, but the unrestricted free agent will not be wearing a Giants uniform next season. I’d try to go after Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers grad), Alshon Jeffery (though he’s injury prone), and/or Travis Benjamin.
WR Hakeem Nicks – Might as well bring him back.
TE Larry Donnell – *long, drawn out sigh* I dunno, man. He went from an unstoppable force against the Native Americans last season to a guy who puts the ball on the ground one way or another. The market is scarce: Jermaine Gresham, Coby Fleener, Ladarius Green, Garret Celek?
TE Jerome Cunningham – Has the look of a pass-catching tight end, but hasn’t really caught any passes.
TE Will Tye – You can’t argue with his production, but I still think he’s a #2 TE.
OL John Jerry – It appears other linemen have filled in and held their own.
K Josh Brown – He’s 36. It might seem ridiculous to not re-sign a guy based on 1 missed kick since it’s been the only missed kick, but that’s a very makeable field goal and it definitely cost the Giants their season.
P Brad Wing – Other than the rare shank here and there, he’s gone above and beyond with his ability to place the ball inside the 20 and deep in enemy territory. He deserves a raise.
5 double-digit leads blown, 5 losses. While the offense could definitely use 1 more reliable offensive lineman, a reliable running back, and a second receiving threat, it’s imperative to make significant moves to improve the defense. Pass-rusher, safety, linebacker, run-stopping DT. We’ve seen how pressure effects quarterbacks like Tom Brady. You can make up for a porous secondary with a consistently intense pass rush. That’s what the 2007 and 2011 Giants did. The 2015 Giants have like a dozen sacks through 13 weeks, the worst in franchise history. It’s why they can’t hold leads. Strike fear. Don’t fear change.