What a season! Who would have thought with the start that the New York Giants had they could even be having thoughts of a playoff run. But, believe it or not, there is still hope. Very slim, but hope.
It seems as though after the bye week the Giants have started to find themselves. In the past 3 weeks, the Giants have had a close loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, and two good wins, one against the Chicago Bears and the latest impressive win against the Washington Redskins. The Giants have improved their record to 4-1 after the bye.
Now, if the beating they gave Washington was a glimpse of what might be if given the chance to enter the playoff season, the Giants may be in good shape. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.
It was bound to happen. A backup quarterback with not enough playing time slotted to win two back-to-back games? That was wishful thinking. But there were many factors that resulted in a painful Chicago Bears loss to the New York Giants on the road.
First, let’s start with the positives.
– Running back Jordan Howard actually had more than 50 plus yards in this game. As a matter of fact, he rushed for 76 yards, one as long as 25 yards! Hey, this is huge because he hasn’t been a factor in the run game for a while.
– Cornerback Kyle Fuller caught his 6th interception which he read in anticipation to the throw by Eli Manning. He surpassed his rookie high in 2014 of four.
It looks like history may repeat itself for the New York Giants. They are facing a 0-3 start if they fall to the Houston Texans this weekend. Once again, the Giants offense continues to struggle and unfortunately, all eyes will be on Quarterback Eli Manning.
Former New York Jets defensive lineman Damien Woody gave his thoughts during an interview with ESPN:
“Eli is toast. He is toast, OK? Listen, everyone has talked about the offensive line. I mean, I live in the New York tri-state area. You hear it all the time. ‘The Giants offensive line is trash.’ Which they are. They’re bad. They’re bad. There’s no question about that.”
He continued, “But there’s been one constant with the Giants. They’ve had change at GM. They’ve had change at the head coaching position. They signed (wide receiver) Odell Beckham. They drafted a running back. But there’s been one constant, and that’s the quarterback, OK? Eli Manning.”
If learning from failure results in success, let’s hope New York Giants learned a lot this week. To say the offense struggled would be an understatement. On 25 first down plays against the Jaguars, the Giants were only able to average 3.28 yards, which is the fifth-worst average gain on first downs among all the teams.
It didn’t help that the Giants set themselves back on their very first opening drive. With a penalty earned, the Giants had a first and 17 to begin the drive which resulted in them turning it over on downs. Five of the Giants’ seven penalties of the day came on offense and three of those five came on first downs.
Although the New York Giants preseason opener resulted in a 20-10 loss against the Cleveland Browns, there were some positive takeaways to consider, even with the newness of the team.
Keep in mind the Giants had a major turnover of personnel, so there is obviously going to be some fine tuning that will need to happen throughout the season. Also keep that in mind New York fans shouldn’t have expected them to come out in their first preseason game looking like the Super Bowl champs of 2012.
One thing to consider in that preseason game is the fact that the best player, Odell Beckham Jr, didn’t play and most of the starters were only seen for a few downs. The biggest impact was running back Saquon Barkley and his explosive start. Managing to get 39 yards on his first touch is a feat that the New York Giants have not seen in a few years. It does look as though the void of a running back has been filled.
I don’t remember the last time I saw a Giants RB run more than 20 yards in one play. #Saquon
It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Paul “Bear” Bryant
Most people would agree that a great start is necessary for any success. When it comes to football, you really need a great start. Then, you need to continue to be great all the way through until you finish with a successful season.
The New York Giants are looking to do just that. This Thursday they will be facing the Cleveland Browns. Both teams had a rocky start last season as the Browns finished 0-16 and the New York Giants weren’t much better with a 3-13 record. With the addition former Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur as head coach, and a new defensive coordinator in James Bettcher; the Giants are looking to turn things around.
It’s been said time and time again: defense wins games. The Eagles’ defense has been quite inconsistent these last few games, beginning with the Seattle Seahawks game.
I can understand that chasing after someone like quarterback Russell Wilson can be tiresome, but there’s no way that the game against the New York Giants should have been as close as it was. Five-point differential against a 2-11 team (at the time)?!
Nothing against the Giants, we all know they have a future Hall of Famer in quarterback Eli Manning. The Giants offensive line wasn’t hard to break through and yet the defense struggled for some reason. Allowing a 2-12 team over 500 yards of offense and the Eagles missing tackles is absolutely unacceptable.
Maybe it was the fact that it was a divisional game and those are always tough. Or maybe because it was their third (and final) road game in a row and it’s taken a toll on the players. Whatever the reason was, the Eagles were lucky that they had an amazing backup quarterback in Nick Foles who had a spectacular game back as a starter but luck doesn’t win championships.
The biggest concern, question mark, and complaint NFL analysts and fans alike had leading up to Sunday’s game was the offense. Would it change? Would they perform the same as they did when injured quarterback Carson Wentz was leading them?
I couldn’t stress enough to anyone who would listen was that Foles will bring his own swag to the team. He’s not in the league just to collect money. He even took a pay cut to rejoin the Philadelphia Eagles because he knows just how special this organization is. Foles threw for four touchdowns, and although it wasn’t always pretty, he was able to step-up when it counted the most.
I am more than delighted the Eagles clinched 1st round BYE and a home game for the first game of the playoffs. I’m just not happy with how it was accomplished. It’s been a long season, a grueling season filled with injuries, but it isn’t over yet.
Head coach Doug Pederson should grill them for the lackluster way they played. The Eagles fans went into this game worried about the offense but left this game with questions regarding the defense. Pederson has been asked whether he’s thought of benching the starters for either of the next two games, his answer was a simple “not sure yet”. My answer would have been “Bench them? Bench them?! Our defense didn’t show up today and you think I should bench them?!” Jim Mora-esque style.
Having the best record in the NFL does come with a few bragging rights, but I didn’t feel much like gloating today. The Eagles of old need to come back and finish this season off on a high note.