Now I am hardly saying, ‘Lets just call it a day (or a season)’ – when you’re a New York Football Giant you have got to find a way to finish strong regardless of the circumstances. You never know what may happen.
“Always proud of the Gmen although we came up short. A Giant never quits. All ABOARD!!” ~Antrel Rolle via Twitter post game
But here are a few observations I have following yesterday’s unfortunate ending in the 2nd divisional loss this 2013 season against our most hated foes, the Dallas Cowboys. I’ll keep this one short because frankly, I am still digesting this today:
It’s kind of amusing, ironic that we are finishing out the Giants’ 2013 season with confidence in the running game, and not so much in the passing game. As I wrote many times, my biggest concern coming into the season was that the Giants were lacking a strong running game. I had questions about so many units, but never the wide receivers. We are now in a completely opposite position. I KNOW Andre Brown is going to do something for me (What can Brown do for you?)! And Brandon Jacobs too. What I do NOT KNOW right now is if Victor Cruz is going to drop the ball. I do NOT KNOW if another WR is going to run the wrong route. And I certainly do NOT know if Hakeem Nicks is mentally wearing blue anymore, if he is hurt, if he is going to play – or who may be influencing that. There. I said it.
I don’t want to add to this drama with Hakeem, but who can help but to overanalyze it at this point? It’s bothering me. And I have been a HUGE fan of 88 since we drafted him and I first saw him on the practice field. But I just said what I think – that’s what I see on his face. And when his comment to the media after the game is, "I don’t really have nothing to say to ya’ll right now", I just have to question if there is more to him being inactive on Sunday than just an abdominal strain? There is no way Tom Coughlin keeps a star player out of a critical game just because he didn’t get a lot of practice time in this week. I don’t buy it. And another thing I have continued to notice over time – but haven’t said out loud: I never see Nicks and Cruz sitting together, nor do I see them rooting each other on anymore. What is that all about? Let me be clear: we missed Hakeem in the game yesterday. In my eyes, I would love for Hakeem to be a Giant for his entire playing career. BUT, TEAM MUST COME FIRST. Everyone on the team has to play for one another’s success, in order for the team to truly be successful. The agent influence is coming up too frequently for my taste. Remember the mystery holdout from OTAs with no real explanation in the Spring? I have said this before: focus on being the best player, the best man, and the best teammate you can be, and the money and success will come one way or another. If you can’t find a way do that, unfortunately, that type of mental approach is for another team. We will see.
By the way, kudos to TE Brandon Myers for that heads up play for a touchdown after NOT getting touched by the defender!
Stepping aside from yesterday’s game, oddly, for the first time ever that I can remember as a Giants fan, the Secondary deserves kudos for being the Defensive (and probably the entire team’s) backbone for the first time ever (I am pretty sure – I’ll have to confirm this with Paul Dottino, who knows more about Giants history than anyone I know). Between Antrel Rolle and Terrell Thomas leading the charge, Prince Amukamara, Will Hill, Ryan Mundy and Trumaine McBride – these guys ALWAYS come to play lights out. Corey Webster has been injured and taken a lot of flack of late. But he is a Giant til the end, and has given 9 great years to this organization, and so his veteran mentorship has also played an important part. Yes, there were a few key mistakes made in yesterday’s game by the Secondary – and Antrel was definitely challenged in the Cornerback position when McBride went out. But frankly, I would rather these guys play as committed and fired up as they have been, and make a mistake once in a while, than come in with a losing attitude. A winning attitude will always find ways to learn from mistakes.
Do not ever tell Brandon Jacobs he is over the hill (like one Cowboys fan did pre-game yesterday – who was quickly told in eloquent words only BJ could conjure up, where he could shove it). He has clearly shown that he is not. For someone who came back to the team after the season had already begun, and who, as I mentioned last week, was practically written off by most – I am so proud that he has 238 yards for 58 carries at 4.1 yards average per carry, and 4 touchdowns. Love it!
Congrats to Steve Weatherford, who kicked two 65+ yard punts yesterday, and whose abs of steel were greeted in today’s locker room with this lovely note, as Tweeted by #9 this morning. Clearly, as the note reads, this drug test was purely random.
Why didn’t we see more of JPP yesterday? Was he not supposed to bring the blood? I have to be honest. I am confused. And why did he only get 27 snaps in which to bring it? And why did Damontre Moore get none? Special Teams penalties? And by the way, Justin Tuck played pretty good – he’s not washed up either.
Play calling: Is there a reason why the Giants don’t blitz more often when it is terribly clear that putting pressure on Romo is the key to his downfall? Is there a reason why, when the Giants are successful running the ball (finally), that they don’t do more of THAT? I am NOT on the fire Gilbride or Fewell bandwagon. But I would sure like to understand why we end up with some of the play calling we do, instead of doing what clearly should bring a more successful outcome.
That’s all I’ve got for today – just a few things I’m thinking about. As I said – I’m still digesting this. One last thing I will add. Apparently several players spoke in the locker room media time today. Many of the right things were said – but from what I hear, this was a bunch of guys who were missing the passion of 48 hours ago. I can only hope this is the temporary effect of such loss for such a hyped up game, such a critical game.
Because in the end, whether the cards fall miraculously the way we want them to or not, I would hope that as a fan, and as a player, we would all would all prefer our team to be remembered for 9-7, than to give up, and be remembered in 2013 for 4-12.
Coach Coughlin put it perfectly like this (taken in excerpt from Michael Eisen’s piece on Giants.com):
“It’s not going to be over until the five games are over,” Coughlin said. “The one thing that all of you (reporters) would like to try to figure into this is you don’t have anything to play for. We’ve got a lot to play for. We have a five-game schedule. We’re playing against some outstanding football teams. We’re trying to assert ourselves. We’re not executing as well as we can and in all three phases at the same time, for sure. I’m looking for that. I’m always searching for perfection, the perfect game. We can’t get it, perhaps, because we’re human, but that’s the objective and that’s the goal and that’s what we’ll continue to fight for. It is the competitive nature of the player, of the coach and that’s where we are.”
ALL IN! (Except for maybe Hakeem – and that really bothers me…)
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