The Giants put up one of their most embarrassing efforts in years in losing to Carolina. Coughlin said it best when he said they were "manhandled". I usually try to find some positives, but it was tough. What a difference a year makes. A year ago the Giants beat the same Panthers team and were listed at #1 in most power rankings. It’s only been downhill since. I have not envied Jet fans in many years. This is a sad day.
The offensive line was atrocious. It wasn't a play here or there. It was everything. If Beatty had this game last year it would have cost him a few million dollars a year on his new contract. You hope it was just a bad day and he will recover. Perhaps it was just a bad match up. The defense didn't seem as bad as the score would indicate, but you are what the numbers say you are. If you want any positive, it’s that if you add back 2 runs called back by penalties, David Wilson had a decent day. It was tough to see Bradshaw run for almost 100 yards against a great Niners defense, while the Giants can’t run at all. At 0-3 the playoff chances are withering away. This is more what a 5-11 team looks like. It could really roll downhill from here.
Something is not right with JPP. It’s hard to explain. He is too young to have lost so much and he is supposedly healthy. At this point, I see no reason not to give Damontre Moore a shot. The secondary is actually playing well. Aaron Ross in particular looked good in Webster’s absence and could take playing time away from him. But with no pass rush there is a limit to what you can do. Unfortunately this happens sometimes in pro-sports. Teams just get old - all at the same time. I didn't think the Giants would be great, but I didn't see this coming.
The Giants looked sloppy and generally not ready to start the NFL season before turning it on some time during the second half. Ultimately 6 turnovers were too much to overcome and they lost to the Cowboys. It was a disappointing loss in a winnable game that will come back to haunt them.
The game had its positive moments.
The much maligned defensive backfield performed reasonably well in coverage. Eli threw for 450 yards with Nicks, Cruz and Randle all exceeding 100 yards, the first time in team history that was accomplished.
The big story for the Giants was the fumbling of David Wilson. His 2 early fumbles set the tone for the game and more importantly caused Coughlin to lose confidence in the back and completely bench him for the rest if the game. If the Giants are going to be a competitive team they will need a 1,100+ yard season from Wilson. They can't give up on him.
After the game, I correctly predicted that Tiki Barber, who overcame his own fumbles earlier in his career, would reach out to Wilson in his continued efforts to get back in good graces with the fans. JPP played, but was completely ineffective. He gets a pass for his first game back, but the pass rush was horrific and Peyton will destroy that, if given that kind of time. The run defense held up well with all the "big butts" brought in on the line (but don't underestimate the help of not having Osi in there on running plays). I had thought that a better run defense would allow the line to tee off on passing downs bringing back the once feared pass rush. It was just non-existent. The only hope is that some combination of Damontre Moore and a healthier JPP can turn that around.
Brandon Jacobs was brought in as an additional back, but don't expect much from him as he was too slow last time he was here in 2011. Don't underestimate what a returning David Baas can mean for the running game and pass protection. Brewer proved he was not really ready for prime time.
The Broncos are the class of the AFC and are the better team, but the Giants have a good punchers chance if they can win the turnover battle. If they turn the ball over again like last week it could get ugly.
Ari has been an avid Giants fan since 1979. He attends many home games and has attended the Giants last 2 Superbowl victories. This blog will talk about anything related to the New York Giants. Ari also blogs about the New York Knicks, at http://www.ariglassknicksblog.com