Dec 302012
 

Too Little Too Late: The NFL Champion New York Giants clobbered the Philadelphia Eagles 42-7 earlier today at MetLife Stadium. However, despite the victory, the Giants were knocked out of the playoffs when the Bears narrowly defeated the Lions 26-24 a few minutes later.

The Giants finished the season 9-7 overall and 3-3 in the NFC East.

As for the game against the Eagles, the Giants basically ended the game by halftime by scoring five touchdowns on their six first-half possessions:

  • After an interception and 48-yard return by S Stevie Brown, the Giants drove 26 yards in four plays with QB Eli Manning throwing to WR Rueben Randle for a 3-yard touchdown.
  • After a punt by the Eagles, the Giants drove 74 yards in five plays with Manning hitting Randle again for the score, this time from 38 yards out.
  • After another punt by the Eagles, the Giants drove 75 yards in six plays with Manning throwing to HB David Wilson for a 15-yard score.
  • After an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive by the Eagles, the Giants drove 73 yards in 10 plays with HB Ahmad Bradshaw scoring from one yard out.
  • After a missed 28-yard field goal by the Eagles, the Giants picked up two first downs and then punted.
  • After a the Eagles failed to convert a 4th-and-5 at midfield with 17 seconds left before half, the Giants amazingly scored a touchdown two plays later when Manning hit WR Victor Cruz for a 24-yard score with four seconds left on the clock.

At the half, the Giants led 35-7.

Each team only had the ball three times in the second half. The Eagles punted twice and turned the ball over on downs once. The Giants punted once; scored another touchdown on a 14-play, 88-yard drive; and ran out the clock on their final possession. On the touchdown drive, Manning threw to FB Henry Hynoski for a 1-yard touchdown.

Offensively, the Giants gained nearly 400 yards and accrued 32 first downs (the 32 first downs are the third-highest total in franchise history). Manning finished the game 13-of-21 for 208 yards and a career-high five touchdown passes. The leading receivers were Randle (four catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns) and Cruz (four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown). Bradshaw rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Wilson chipped in with 75 yards on 15 carries and scored on a 15-yard reception.

Defensively, the Eagles were held to one scoring drive on 10 possessions. The Giants shutout an opponent in the second half for the third time this season. Brown intercepted one pass and DE Justin Tuck had the Giants’ lone sack although the Giants got good pressure much of the game.

Highlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Injury Report: CB Corey Webster suffered what appeared to be an injury to his left knee or lower leg and left the game. No word on the severity of the injury.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference are available at Giants.com.

Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of the following player media Q&As after the game are available at Giants.com:

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were HB Ryan Torain, WR Ramses Barden, TE Adrien Robinson, DE Adewale Ojomo, DT Chris Canty (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (quadriceps), and S Tyler Sash.

The Giants have missed the playoffs three of the last four seasons.

The Giants finished with a winning record for the third consecutive season, the first time they’ve done that since 1988-90

The Giants finished 6-2 at home, their best home record since they were 7-1 in 2008.

The Giants scored 429 points, the second-highest total in franchise history. The 1963 Giants scored 448.

The Giants were 9-0 this season when they scored at least 21 points, 0-7 when they did not.

QB Eli Manning’s five touchdown passes increased his career total to 211 and moved him past Randall Cunningham, Kurt Warner, Kerry Collins, and Jim Hart and into 26th place on the NFL’s career list.

Manning’s 208 yards left him with 3,948 for the season, ending his streak of consecutive 4,000-yard seasons at three.

HB Ahmad Bradshaw finished the season with 1,015 yards, the second-highest total of his career. He rushed for 1,235 yards in 2010. Bradshaw increased his career total to 4,232 yards, the sixth-highest total in Giants history.

HB David Wilson scored touchdowns rushing, receiving, and on a kickoff return this year. He is the first Giant to do that since Joe Scott in 1948.

Wilson’s 1,533 kickoff return yards are a team record.

S Stevie Brown had eight interceptions this season, the most by a Giant since defensive back Willie Williams had 10 in 1968.

PK Lawrence Tynes finished the season with 145 points, the second-highest total in Giants history. Jay Feely scored 148 points in 2005.

NY Post Q&A With LB Mark Herzlich: Serby’s Sunday Q & A with … Mark Herzlich by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on DE Justin Tuck: Frustrated Justin Tuck Can’t Explain His or Giants’ Woes This Season by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Dec 292012
 

December 28, 2012 New York Giants Injury Report – Amukamara, Hosley, and Canty Doubtful:DT Chris Canty (knee) and CB Jayron Holsey (quadriceps) did not practice yesterday. Both are officially listed as “doubtful” for the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

HB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), OC David Baas (hip/shoulder), OG Chris Snee (hip), DE Justin Tuck (shoulder), CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring), and S Kenny Phillips (knee) practiced on a limited basis. Amukamara is “doubtful” for the game. Nicks, Tuck, and Phillips are “questionable.” Bradshaw, Baas, and Snee are “probable.”

S Tyler Sash (hamstring) fully practiced and is “probable” for the game.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday Press Conference: The transcript and video of yesterday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A With Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Finishing Strong by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

QB Eli Manning on WFAN: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN interview with QB Eli Manning is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Article on the Regular-Season Finale: Giants’ Pride On Line Against Eagles by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Cruz: Weight’s Off Giants’ Shoulders by Mark Hale of The New York Post

Article on S Kenny Phillips: Giants’ Kenny Phillips Calls 2012 a ‘Long, Frustrating Season’ by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Dec 282012
 

December 27, 2012 New York Giants Injury Report:OC David Baas (hip/shoulder), DT Chris Canty (knee), and CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) did not practice yesterday.

It was revealed yesterday that Amukamara re-injured himself early in the game against the Ravens. “Evidently he did in the game,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Surprising to me too because he practiced all week and he only played about four plays.”

“It’s not a problem of strength,” said Amukamara. “It’s just the motion, and I can’t really extend it. When I run, I like to extend my legs out, so (I just feel) pain.”

HB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), DE Justin Tuck (shoulder), CB Jayron Holsey (quadriceps), S Kenny Phillips (knee), and OG Chris Snee (hip) practiced on a limited basis.

S Tyler Sash (hamstring) fully practiced.

Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of yesterday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Giants Online: The video of this week’s edition of Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Article on the Giants’ Running Game: Giants Hope Rushers, and Offense, Can Reclaim Early Form by Zach Schonbrun of The New York Times

 

Dec 272012
 
Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 23, 2012)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens 33 (10-5) – New York Giants 14 (8-7)

Debacled Again

By rnargi for BigBlueInteractive.com

Autopsy Report:

A few weeks ago I made the point that the Giants had arguably played their worst game in two years against the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s hard to believe just five games later, New York has actually played two worse than they did then. The game against the Ravens was for all intents and purposes a continuation of the beating they took from the Falcons last week. Nothing changed, nothing got better, and as a result the Giants playoff hopes are all but doomed.

Once again, New York was down 14 points before the locals could even get comfortable in their seats. The Giants’ first two drives were both three-and-outs, gaining two net yards and accounting for three minutes in time of possession. Baltimore’s first two drives consisted of 18 plays, 120 yards, 7:35 in time of possession, and mostly importantly, two touchdowns. Though New York closed to within seven points on their next drive, it never felt like the Giants were going to get back into the game. New York had six “drives” in the first half. Four of those resulted in three-and-outs and resulted in -8 net yardage. Their other two drives were just five plays each and accounted for 97 yards (77 on one, 20 on the other) and the lone touchdown of the half. Forty-three of the yards on the touchdown drive came on one play. If you’re keeping score at home, that means on the other 21 offensive plays New York ran in the first half, New York gained just 46 net yards (2.19 average PER PLAY!)

Three Baltimore drives and 10 points later, the Ravens walked into the tunnel at halftime with what every New York Giants fan knew was an insurmountable 17-point lead.

The first half stats were stunning. Yardage: Baltimore 289, New York 109. First Downs: Baltimore 15, New York 4. Offensive plays: Baltimore 41, New York 22. Third down efficiency: Baltimore 6-8, 75%, New York 0-5, 0%. Time of Possession: Baltimore 17:21, New York 12:39.

It got worse in the second half. New York ran just nine plays for a total of six yards and one first down on two drives totaling just 3:06 in the third quarter. Unbelievably, when the Giants took over with just 7:25 left in the game and put together an 11-play, 80 yard touchdown drive, they’d run just 12 plays for 12 yards and one first down. Incredibly, New York had just 3:53 time of possession in the second half going into that final drive.

On the day, Baltimore gained 533 yards including an astounding 224 on the ground, registered 25 first downs, converted 61% of their third downs, ran an incredible 81 offensive plays, only punted twice, and held the ball for 39:21. Additionally, Baltimore came into the game dead last in the league at sustaining drives of 10 plays or more. Naturally, the Ravens had four drives of 12 plays or more (14, 12, 16 and 13). The only thing that kept the final score relatively “close” was the fact that Baltimore had to settle for four field goals on drives that ended at the Giants’ 12 yard line or closer.

Offense:

There isn’t much to talk about with regards to the offense. Other than the 43-yard pass to WR Rueben Randle and the 14-yard touchdown run by HB David Wilson on the Giants’ third drive, New York did very little with the ball. Seriously, what’s to talk about when you control the ball for a mere EIGHT minutes in the entire second half? How does one discuss six three-and-outs and just 34 offensive plays over the first nine New York drives?

QB Eli Manning had another tough game, completing just 14-of-28 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown. I suppose one can look on the bright side and note that he didn’t throw an interception. Manning was under pressure all day, suffering three sacks and absorbing at least nine hits.

The running game once again went nowhere. HB Ahmad Bradshaw was wearing a knee brace that was obviously affecting him greatly, particularly in blitz pickup. Bradshaw gained just 39 yards on a paltry nine carries. HB David Wilson carried just three times for 17 yards and the 14-yard touchdown that temporarily made the game seem close. Many in The Corner Forum believed that Wilson’s role was reduced because of his back flip antics in the end zone following his touchdown. That was not at all the case. The Giants were playing catch up and were forced to throw on over 70 percent of their plays (32-of-45). It’s obvious by the fact that the Giants employed both HB Kregg Lumpkin (who ironically missed a blitz pickup that led to a sack) and even FB Henry Hynoski in the backfield to block on passing plays that they do not trust Wilson in pass protection. That’s why he only saw the playing field four times.

WR Hakeem Nicks only saw three passes thrown in his direction and didn’t catch a ball. Victor Cruz and Domenik Hixon only had five passes thrown at them each and caught three balls apiece. Rueben Randle caught just one pass, yet the 43 yards gained on that reception actually led the Giants. Cruz again took a wicked shot to the head, this time from S Ed Reed who hit him with his shoulder. It looked innocent enough, but you cannot hit a receiver in the head. Cruz has taken a lot of shots this year and frankly, it’s impacted his play this season.

TE Martellus Bennett paced the team in catches (4) and targets (7) for just 27 yards. Additionally, on the opening Giants drive of the third quarter Bennett simply missed a beautifully thrown pass down the middle of the field that would have set the Giants up with a first down close to the Baltimore 40-yard line. Instead, they punted.

The offensive line was not very good on Sunday, but as noted they were not getting much help in blitz pick-ups from the Giants backs. RG Chris Snee deserves a lot of respect for gutting out and playing through a painful hip injury, but seriously he’s going to get Manning killed if he continues to play as he is. C David Baas is also battling through injuries and it’s showing. Baas cannot stay healthy and it’s really hurt the team. There is simply no anchor in the middle of the line. The only bright spot on the entire line this season has been the steady if not solid play from LT Will Beatty, who is starting to look like he may become a great one. Beatty, LG Kevin Boothe and TE Bear Pascoe blocked Wilson’s touchdown run perfectly.

Defense:

There are no “excuses” for failure in football, but there are “reasons.” Face it folks, injuries and the fact that young players have not developed as expected have destroyed what this defense may have been able to accomplish this season. Many of the fans in The Corner Forum have blamed Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell and his schemes for their failures this season and there may be some merit to those complaints. On Sunday, however, New York employed the style the fans have been screaming for and tried to play more press coverage and send more blitzes in on QB Joe Flacco. It didn’t work, as Flacco carved up the secondary particularly when he saw one-on-one coverage. Baltimore had six plays of more than 20 yards, and four of 35 or more.

Baltimore has not been a very good offensive team over the second half of the season, yet they looked like San Francisco circa 1989. Baltimore employed a hurry up offense early that kept the Giants from substituting as they would have liked. New York tried to go with a four linebacker look to stop the run and it was as effective as putting a brown paper wall in front of HBs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. The Giants abandoned that look early, but in retrospect it worked better than what they tried to do in the second half when Baltimore ran for 137 of their 224 yards. Both Rice and the rookie Pierce ran for more than 100 yards.

The youngsters at linebacker simply haven’t progressed. Mark Herzlich led the linebackers with seven tackles, but frankly he looks lost out there. For each tackle Herzlich made, it appeared he missed one. Spencer Paysinger has seen more time lately, but again he’s not contributing with any impact plays down near the line of scrimmage, and though he was sent on a couple blitzes on Sunday, he got nowhere near Flacco. Paysinger seems to play tentatively, waiting for something to happen and then reacting to it. Chase Blackburn is also a guy to respect, but he’s just not fast enough to be an impact middle linebacker. It speaks volumes that Blackburn is the best linebacker of this bunch and has been unable to be beaten out for a job by Herzlich, Williams or Paysinger. Michael Boley was on the bench more than on the field for the second week in a row. Keith Rivers nearly had an interception, but there isn’t much more to discuss with him either.

Other than DT Chris Canty and DE Osi Umenyiora, the Giants defensive line was once again missing in action on Sunday. Justin Tuck did not play. Jason Pierre-Paul and Linval Joseph did absolutely nothing. When the Giants’ big names up front are missing in action, bad things happen downfield. Not to be outdone, DE/LB Mathais Kiwanuka also was a no-show on Sunday until he was able to sack Flacco on a third-and-one play down near the goal line. At that point, New York was down 30-7 with just seven and a half minutes to go in the game. A pyrrhic victory, at absolute best. Part of the problem with the defensive line is that the linebackers cannot stop the run. The Giants linebackers are assigned to hit holes created by the linemen to stop the run, but just don’t do it. As such, the opposition is constantly in manageable down-and-distance situations and the Giants defensive line cannot tee off and get after the QB. Interestingly, when the Giants had Baltimore in long third downs on Sunday, they still couldn’t get to Flacco. New York allowed Baltimore to convert twice on third-and-19 and once on third-and-nine.

How bad is your secondary when QB Joe Flacco decides to pick on your number one cornerback instead of a rookie who has looked lost most of the season? Corey Webster was torched constantly on Sunday. By unofficial count, Flacco threw at him 13 times. WR Torry Smith, who was rumored to be out with a concussion early in the week, abused Webster over and over to the tune of five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. If you want to know how often Webster was thrown on, just look at the fact that despite playing one-on-one coverage all day, he made seven solo tackles.

The rest of the secondary wasn’t much better. Flacco threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns on his way to a 114.2 passer rating. As mentioned, New York tried to send more pressure in on Flacco, blitzing significantly more than normal. When the Giants couldn’t get home, hitting Flacco just twice all game, Flacco just dumped the ball off short to Rice (six receptions on seven targets for 51 yards) or TE Dennis Pitta (four receptions on five targets for 56 yards) or went over the top against one-on-one coverage. Amazingly, WR Anquan Boldin caught all seven passes thrown his way before leaving with a shoulder injury.

S Antrel Rolle made 10 tackles as he constantly had to make up for missed tackles by the linebackers. S Stevie Brown nearly had an interception.

Special Teams:

P Steve Weatherford had a good game. The rest of the special teams were average, but the punt return team did allow Baltimore to average eight yards per return which is unsatisfactory.

Coaching:

The Giants tried to change things up on defense and it didn’t work. The strategy, in my opinion, was sound. The Giants had been unable to stop the run all year and decided that if they could bottle up Rice and Pierce, they’d have a good chance of rattling Flacco into mistakes. As has been the case all season, the Giants failed to execute the plan. I’m not sure you can blame Fewell for that.

HC Tom Coughlin continues to state that the Giants have had good communication, good weeks of practice, and seemingly are ready to play on game day. While the first two may be true, it sure looks like the third isn’t. The Giants simply looked flat on both sides of the ball to start the game once again. As for the offense, nothing is working. I’m not sure why OC Kevin Gilbride called for a direct snap to Ahmad Bradshaw on their first drive needing two yards to convert a third down. Bradshaw has a bad knee and one would think they would try something a little more conservative. Why not an I formation FB blast? Even if you don’t make it, it’s something different and certainly would not be expected.

Final Thoughts:

After another 6-2 start, the Giants have stumbled down the stretch and are currently 2-5 since then. Deja-vu all over again. As I mentioned, the Giants are beat up on both sides of the ball and are not getting improvement from their young players and that’s part of the problem. The Giants have also had a very tough second-half schedule, but there is no reason to put any blame there after defeating the likes of the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints.

The Giants aren’t out of the playoff hunt, but it’ll take a small miracle to get in and then if they do, is it even remotely possible that they have a run in them this year? I started a thread last week saying the Giants would win the division at 10-6 because Dallas would lose to the Saints and then beat the Redskins and that the Redskins would beat the Eagles then lose to Dallas. Those scenarios may still occur, as the first half has already happened. What I didn’t expect was for the Giants to tank on Sunday. How awful will it be if everything falls right again for the Giants next week, but they lose to the Eagles?

(Box Score – New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens, December 23, 2012)
Dec 272012
 

December 26, 2012 New York Giants Injury Report:HB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), TE Travis Beckum (knee), OC David Baas (hip/shoulder), OG Chris Snee (hip), DT Chris Canty (knee), and CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) did not practice yesterday.

Beckum has already been ruled out of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Nicks isn’t sure he will play on Sunday. He was asked if his knee will require offseason surgery. “We’ll see,” Nicks responded. “I just have to go through another re-evaluation. Right now, I think we’re just counting on and banking on rest. Once we rest, we’ll see what it says…I never really rest. We can’t just cut that part of the equation out, just try to say, ‘Okay, let’s go straight to surgery.’ I never rest my body, and I’m not quick to get cut, go under the needle. We’re going to see how it plays out. Whatever is best for me to do to benefit the team and myself, I’m sure we’ll do it.”

DE Justin Tuck (shoulder) and S Kenny Phillips (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

S Tyler Sash (hamstring) fully practiced.

Three New York Giants Make the Pro Bowl: Though it remains questionable whether any were deserving, three Giants were elected to the Pro Bowl yesterday: WR Victor Cruz, OG Chris Snee, and DE Jason Pierre-Paul. This is Snee’s fourth Pro Bowl, Pierre-Paul’s second, and Cruz’s first.

“It’s always an honor to be selected to the Pro Bowl,” Snee said. “It doesn’t quite feel right, coming off of our last two performances, but it is an honor because you’ve earned the respect of your peers, the coaches and, of course, the fans.”

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected,” Cruz said. “It really is a dream come true for me. The Pro Bowl is a great individual achievement, but I know I couldn’t have been named to the Pro Bowl without the support of my teammates. Eli (Manning) is one of the great quarterbacks in the game. He has done so much for my career. Right now, I’m really focused on going out Sunday and our team playing as well as it can, getting a great team win against the Eagles and hoping we get the opportunity to further our season.”

“Just like last year, I would much rather not play in the game because I want to be with my team at the Super Bowl,” Pierre-Paul said, “but it’s a great honor to be selected among the best in the NFL at my position.”

Five other Giants were named Pro Bowl alternates: PK Lawrence Tynes (first alternate), QB Eli Manning (second alternate), KR David Wilson (second alternate), OC David Baas (fourth alternate), and S Stevie Brown (fourth alternate).

Roster Moves – Travis Beckum Placed on IR: The Giants have placed TE Travis Beckum (knee) on Injured Reserve. To fill Beckum’s roster spot, the team signed CB Terrence Frederick from the Practice Squad.

To fill Frederick’s spot on the Practice Squad, the Giants signed CB Brandon Bing to the Practice Squad. Bing spent time on the Giants’ Practice Squad in 2011 but was waived in August 2012.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday Press Conference: The transcript and video of yesterday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

S Antrel Rolle on WFAN Radio: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN Radio interview with S Antrel Rolle is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Articles on the Giants’ Linebacking Corps:

Article on TE Martellus Bennett: Martellus Bennett Would Consider ‘Hometown Discount’ to Stay with Giants by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Dec 252012
 

New York Giants Fading Playoff Hopes: The New York Giants can no longer win the NFC East. To earn an NFC Wild Card spot, the Giants must beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and hope that the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings lose.

December 24, 2012 New York Giants Injury Report: DT Chris Canty sprained an MCL in one of his knees in the game against the Baltimore Ravens. “He does have a sprain,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “It’s an MCL sprain. We’ll have to see how he responds.”

The reporters failed to ask about DT Marvin Austin, who also left the game with a knee injury.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Monday Media Conference Call: The transcript of yesterday’s media conference call with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts of media conference calls with the following players are available at Giants.com:

DE Osi Umenyiora on ESPN Radio: The audio of yesterday’s ESPN Radio interviews with DE Osi Umenyiora is available at ESPN.com.

Notes: The Giants have lost four road games in a row and and finished 3-5 away from MetLife Stadium. It is their worst road record and the first time they lost four in a row as visitors since 2004, Tom Coughlin’s first season as head coach.

Dec 242012
 

Approach to the Game – Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants, December 30, 2012: There is still one more game to play and the Giants are not officially dead yet.  But even if they somehow miraculously make the playoffs by beating the Eagles, combined with the Cowboys, Vikings, and Bears losing, there doesn’t seem to be much life left in the 2012 New York Giants.

Only one team will win the Super Bowl this season.  You can argue about the reasons, but the point of the matter is the 2012 New York Giants were not good enough to be that team.  Some will say lack of talent was the reason.  Some will say poor coaching.  Some will say lack of hunger and focus due to a Super Bowl letdown.  Many – including myself – will lament the wasted 6-2 start.  And we will point to the team’s potential with their easy victories against the 49ers, Packers, and Saints.  But as Bill Parcells said many years ago, you are what you are.  And the Giants are an 8-7 football team that is 2-5 in their last seven games.  They have not earned the right to be a playoff team this year.  They are not good enough.

Even had the Giants won another title, changes would be coming.  It’s the nature of the game.  But with the disappointing collapse, we’ll probably see even more change.  Many players on this roster will not be on next year’s team.  Perhaps a coach or two will be gone.  Many fans will debate how much change is in fact needed.  Some will want to clean house while others will argue that only a few tweaks need to be made.  I choose not to think about all of that right now.

Many fans right now want to harp on the negative.  I want to ask fans to remember the big picture.  Championships are rare and special.  We are blessed to follow a team that has won eight NFL Championships and played in 19 NFL Championship games.  Those eight titles include four Super Bowl victories and another Super Bowl appearance.  Only the Packers (13) and Bears (9) have won more NFL Championships and only the Steelers (6), Cowboys (5), and 49ers (5) have won more Super Bowls.  The Giants are one of the NFL’s truly special teams.  Be proud of that.

New York Giants Super Bowl Trophies (June 14, 2012)

New York Giants Super Bowl Trophies – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Also, as we say farewell to veterans who were part of the 2007 and 2011 Championship teams, I ask that we not be mean-spirited about it, but thank those gentlemen for their service.  Years from now, as we watch old highlights of those teams and reminicense about two of the great playoff runs in NFL history, let’s remember these players fondly for the warriors they were.

Think about those playoff runs and the images from those games.  The Giants were never favored to win any playoff game in 2007 and trailed in each.  Folks forget how good the Tampa Bay defense was that year.  The Cowboys and Jerry Jones were sure they were going to the Super Bowl.  The Giants went into brutally cold Green Bay in January and beat Brett Favre.  And to beat the undefeated Patriots and Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl?  Are you kidding me?  It still seems like a dream.

And they did it again in 2011!!!  After stomping out the Falcons, the Giants ruined the season of the 15-1 Packers, again at Lambeau.  Then a classic NFC Championship Game in the rain at Candlestick.  And to beat the Patriots and Belichick again, once again with a late-game, dramatic drive?  As David Tyree said, this is fairy tale stuff.

We’ve had it good Giants fans.  The 2012 New York Giants?  They weren’t good enough.  It’s as simple as that.  But that does not erase 2007 and 2011, or the other six NFL Championships.  Free agency and the draft are right around the corner and soon the New York Football Giants will once again try to regain former glory.

I still love this team.

Dec 232012
 

Giants Get Their Asses Kicked Again, Playoff Hopes All But Gone: For the second week in a row, the Giants did not play competitive football and got their asses kicked, this time by the Ravens in Baltimore, 33-14.

With the loss, the Giants fell to 8-7. After a 6-2 start, the Giants are 2-5 in their last seven games. The Giants have no chance to win the NFC East and they will have to win next week against the Philadelphia Eagles and receive a lot of help in order to earn a Wild Card spot. The Giants need the Cowboys, Bears, and Vikings to lose.

To add injury to insult, defensive tackles Chris Canty and Marvin Austin suffered knee injuries in the game and did not return.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul summed it up best when asked if he felt the Giants deserved a playoff spot: “Shit. Do we deserve it by the way we played? Do we. Shit, I don’t think so man. We went out there and pissed on our legs. That’s really all I can say.”

Like last week, the game was a good ole’ fashion ass-kicking. The Ravens dominated not just on the scoreboard, but the final stats. The Ravens had advantages in total offensive plays (81 to 45), first downs (25 to 11), third-down efficiency (61% to 20%), total net yards (533 to 186), net yards rushing (224 to 67), total net yards passing (309 to 119), and time of possession (39:21 to 20:39).

The offense sucked. The defense sucked. It was 24-7 at the half and 33-7 with less than eight minutes to play in the game. The Giants’ last touchdown came in garbage time with just over three minutes to play.

Offensively, QB Eli Manning finished 14-of-28 for 150 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions. He was sacked three times and officially hit nine times. His leading receiver was TE Martellus Bennett with four catches for 27 yards. WR Hakeem Nicks had no catches and WR Victor Cruz only had three catches for 21 yards. HB Ahmad Bradshaw had 9 carries for 39 yards and HB David Wilson had 3 carries for 17 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Giants gave up over 500 yards of offense to a team that was struggling to move the ball. The defense had no sacks and forced no turnovers. The Ravens had two running backs rush for over 100 yards each.

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were DE Justin Tuck (shoulder), DE Adewale Ojomo, S Kenny Phillips (knee), S Tyler Sash (hamstring), WR Ramses Barden, TE Travis Beckum (knee), and TE Adrien Robinson.

Dec 232012
 

Everyone Except for Travis Beckum Makes Trip to Baltimore: All of the Giants on this week’s injury list made the trip to Baltimore except for TE Travis Beckum (knee). Beckum was officially downgraded from “questionable” to “out” for the game.

HB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), OC David Baas (hip/shoulder), OG Chris Snee (hip), S Kenny Phillips (knee), and S Tyler Sash (hamstring) are “questionable” for the game.

DT Chris Canty (neck), CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), and WR Rueben Randle (back) are “probable” for the game.

NY Post Q&A With LB Chase Blackburn: Serby’s Sunday Q & A with… Chase Blackburn by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on the Giants’ Defense: Giants’ Poor Run Defense Slows Pass Rush to a Stumble by Sam Borden of The New York Times

Article on the Giants’ Offensive Line: Giants’ Offensive Line Stats Are Good, But Unit Needs To Be Better by Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger

Article on HB David Wilson: New York Giants’ David Wilson Leaves Behind Tom Coughlin’s Ire as He’s Thrust Into the Fire by Mark Giannotto of The Washington Post

Article on WR Hakeem Nicks: Giants’ Hakeem Nicks Forced to Adjust His Game Because of Injuries by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Article on DE Osi Umenyiora: His Giants Days Ending, Osi Umenyiora Has Regrets – Lots of Them by Mike Garafolo of USA Today

Article on DE Adewale Ojomo: Has Ojomo’s Turn Come at Last? by Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com

Dec 222012
 

December 21, 2012 New York Giants Injury Report:DE Justin Tuck (shoulder) is the only player to not practice yesterday. He is officially listed as “questionable” for the game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

When asked if Tuck will play, Head Coach Tom Coughlin replied, “We’re going to have to wait and see on that one.”

HB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), TE Travis Beckum (knee), OC David Baas (hip/shoulder), OG Chris Snee (hip), S Kenny Phillips (knee), and S Tyler Sash (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. Bradshaw, Beckum, Baas, Snee, Phillips, and Sash are “questionable” for the game while Nicks is “probable.”

DT Chris Canty (neck), CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring), and WR Rueben Randle (back) fully practiced. All three players are “probable” for the game.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday Press Conference: The transcript and video of yesterday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A With Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Two Wins and In by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the Giants’ Offense: The Big Play Goes Missing by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Article on QB Eli Manning: The Year in Eli Manning by Katie Baker of Grantland.com

Article on DE Justin Tuck: Pierce: Tuck Not the Same Player by Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on DE Adrian Tracy: Tracy Ready to Step Up After Long Wait by Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Reeling Giants’ Antrel Rolle Ready to Resume Role as Emotional Leader Against Ravens on Sunday by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger