NYG 40 WAS 16

Here are the major takeaways from Sunday’s win over Washington:

1) Alex Smith cannot be replaced by Colt McCoy. Colt McCoy cannot be replaced by Mark Sanchez. Josh Johnson hasn’t made an NFL start in 7 years.

2) The Redskins Offense was challenged before Smith (and then McCoy) went down. It is so anemic now that they may lose the rest of their games and finish 6-10. At least Johnson is not a turnover machine like Sanchez.

3) Last Monday we alerted readers that

Mullens

Fitzpatrick

Daniel

Sanchez

were not competitive. The Giants have won 4 out of 5. Please do not get bullish.

As we explained last Monday, we’ve seen this movie before and it is not a turnaround. Freeman Barkley Pryor Tolzien. 2013. An 0-6 team rips off 4 straight.

2018. A 1-7 team rips off 4 out of 5. It’s nice to kick the Skins’ a**. But let’s not celebrate fantasies about being on track for a turnaround in 2019. There is simply too much rebuilding left to be done. Or, rebuilding to be started.

Before anyone starts thinking lofty thoughts and has visions of Giant grandeur, consider this- going into the 12th game of the season, the Giants had 14 sacks. They collected 5 vs the awfulness that was Daniel. That still left the Defense in last place in the NFL in sacks. Then enter Mark Sanchez. 5 more sacks vs the Redskins. So Daniel and Sanchez enabled the Gmen to nearly double their sack total in two weeks. Do you still think this is a turnaround? Or maybe the likes of Daniel and Sanchez were huge boons to the Giants Defense?! Please remain seated until the Captain has turned off the safety belt sign.

4) Saquon Barkley is an absolute stud. Eric Dickerson should be grateful that the Giants put up 40 and benched Barkley else he would have racked up 300 yds from scrimmage instead of the 197 yds he collected. It’s kind of hard to imagine what this guy’s going to be like with more experience and an Offensive Line. Get him some road graders. Leverage him. Oh yah, we said that. The night he was drafted. Barkley is on pace for ~2145 yds, and Dickerson’s record is 2212 yds.

Oh, one more thing. Dickerson is in the Hall of Fame. Terrific running back. I saw his entire career. Barkley’s better. Barkley can do literally anything. And (knock on wood) he doesn’t fumble. 0 fumbles his rookie year. You know how many Dickerson had in his rookie year? 13 fumbles. Yep. Barkley’s better. Already.

5) Eli had a good game. Let’s get something straight here. Eli’s game has regressed. He no longer makes fast reads, is less capable of finding the open receiver and gets swallowed up by the pass rush as soon as there is any adversity. 2018 was the first year where he has truly shown his age. The only way he’s winning another title is if he has a strong defense and a strong OL. The Giants have neither. And since efforts at turning both around quickly (i.e. via FA) has been a disaster, it is not feasible to try. REBUILD. Patience. Eli can still play QB but he makes too many mistakes. On 2nd and Goal at the 3 he gets sacked for a 14 yd loss. Those kinds of plays get magnified when you aren’t playing vs Chase Garbage Daniel or Mark Charity Sanchez. This NY Giants blog has been an ardent defender of Mr. Manning since 2007 when he turned his fortunes around vs Tampa Bay and shocked the world. We staunchly advocate his selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Do not call us haters when we argue he is not part of this franchise’s future. If you want him in 2019 while the franchise grooms another QB, that is fine. Unless a major turnaround happens at OL and Gettleman finds some great rookies plus one stop gap FA, Eli is not going to be able to get it done vs the best competition. Those days are gone.

6) Engram was healthy and effective today in his return from injury. John Fennelly suggested making Engram a WR next season. I think that’s brilliant on so many levels. (a) he can be that big X WR who is a mismatch vs Cornerbacks (b) he will be relieved of significant blocking duties (c) that’s one less WR to waste drafting on (d) finding a functional TE in later rounds (beyond Ellison) is not as hard to do (e) you can still use Engram to block some bigger LBers and DLmen occasionally (f) maybe he’ll get less wear & tear and this will extend his career (g) he can be an outside/downfield blocker for Barkley.

7) Kyle Lauletta got his first pro snaps. 0-5 with 1 INT. But let’s be fair. Shur-mur-** put the Offense into the Prevent, Run-Run-Pass-Kick and that’s not how you help a new kid get some experience. Gee, give him 3rd & 8, a bad OL, no Barkley and let’s see how he does passing the ball. Welcome to the NFL. Good grief. Did his play look stiff and weak? Yup. But for heaven’s sake give him a little bit to work with. How about play action when all 11 Redskins know it’s run?! Oh wait, you’re worried about killing clock when your team is up 32-40 pts? C’mon.

SUMMARY- Stop trying to hold a parade for anybody “responsible” for resurrecting the Giants at 5-8. Mullens Fitzpatrick Daniel and Sanchez had more to do with this bounce off the bottom than anything. The Giants still need to rebuild. Barkley is fabulous and needs to be leveraged. Lauletta needs more snaps this season under truer game conditions. Try Engram at WR.

It’s a QB-driven League

In 2013, when the Giants were garbage, we tried to cut through the noise, explain that a 4-6 team was rotting and that their last 4 wins after an 0-6 start were not real. In a QB-driven league, the Giants had just faced 4 Schtick dreck QBs:

1) Josh Freeman, who wasn’t on the roster a week before playing

2) Matt Barkley, the backup to backups

3) Terrelle Pryor, who was not only playing with a sprained MCL, he also left the position to play WR

4) Scott Tolzien, another backup to backups

Was it a complete surprise that the Giants won these 4 games, and then proceeded to go 7-9 en route to more woes while their GM was in denial? The next season started 3-9. Hmmm what a pattern.

2013 started 0-6

2014 started 3-9

2015 finished 1-6

2017 started 1-8

2018 started 1-7

So let’s talk about this latest “turnaround” where this team has won 3 of the last 4. It’s another mirage. Is it good to learn how to win games? Yes, but let’s not fool ourselves.

The Giants beat a backup QB, the 2-7 Niners with Mullens in his 2nd career start.

The Giants beat 3-6 TB, where turnover machine QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had to be benched.

The Giants lost to Carson Wentz, whose team is practically in intensive care, suiting up CBs with zero playing time.

And the finale of the 4 game exhibition… where the Giants faced backup Chase Daniel, whose epic demonstration of incompetence made us ask aloud on Twitter how much he was paid to throw the game.

In this stretch of 4 games, the Giants at least were able to blitzkrieg the opponents, right? Uh, no. Win on last possession by 4, win by 3, blow a 16 pt lead, and win by 3.

So now the Giants play against Colt McCoy in the next game. Pardon me for assigning another asterisk. (UPDATE: Double asterisk, another backup’s backup… McCoy hurt in Q2 Monday night, Giants to face Mark Sanchez if injury prevents him from playing next weekend. UPDATE2: Fractured Fibula. Sanchez doesn’t know the playbook and he faces the Giants next.)

You are your record. 4-8. Sure, they could have won a couple more games. And they could have also gotten throttled by Garoppolo and Trubisky.

It’s a QB-driven league. You beat bad QBs like the Tolziens and Daniels. You lose to good ones. Eli Manning is done. The OL needs to be rebuilt. The Defense has many needs.

We all love our team, the NY Giants. Let’s celebrate beating an 8-3 team any way we can. But let’s also be honest and objective about its many problems. If we don’t do that, we go right back to 2013, where the denial began.

Rebuild.

NYG 30 CHI 27 OT

How does a 3-8 team beat an 8-3 team?

1) Play against a team who has Chase Daniel as its backup.

2) Daniel starts.

3) Daniel throws a pick 6 to Ogletree.

4) Daniel underthrows a wide open TD and instead provides a pick INT #2 to Ogletree.

5) Have Barkley the magician manufacture 22 yards at the end of H1 on 3rd & 23 leading to ….

6) Rosas knocks down a 57 yarder.

7) Use OBJ on a flea flicker to throw a 50 yd TD to an uncovered Russell Shepard.

8) Fail three times at goal line and have OBJ get lost in the wash on a 4th down TD across the entire Defensive unit.

9) Despite Shurmur being a moron and not running the ball on 3rd & 8 at the CHI 30, and despite Eli being a moron/rookie and taking a 9 yd sack preventing a FG winning the game, the Bears cough up the ball at their 13 yd line on the next possession so that the Giants hold on with the sealed score. Oh wait. Give up 10 pts via an onside kick.

10) Play against Chase Daniel (again, for effect).

11) Have Daniel fumble a snap.

12) Have Daniel fumble a snap (this time not for effect, happened twice in OT).

Smoke and mirrors does not do this win justice. A non-garbage QB guides the Bears to an easy victory. The Giants outplayed the Bears when it counted and deserved the W. Do not misunderstand the message- this was a nice win. If the Giants would have found a way to lose it would have be an epic implosion. Thank goodness they hung on.

4-8. Rebuild.

PHL 25 NYG 22

Games like these are misery. It is no secret that the team I dislike the most in the NFL is the Philadelphia Eagles. So when the team we root for is up 19-3 in the 2nd Quarter, we expect to win. Yet these are the Eagles, who seemingly own the Giants of late. We have not cashed our ticket because we understand the realities of who this Giants team is. Unfortunately those brutal facts reared their ugly head again.

I am not bothered that Jamon Brown, whom Wonder classified as “just a guy,” was undressed Sunday afternoon … because he is just a guy. He is a stop gap for Gettleman, just a guy to get us to the Draft so that we can get some people on the Offensive Line with the potential to run block and pass protect more consistently. At least I do not have to look at Omameh getting blown up or missing a stunt.

I will tell you what I am bothered by. His name is Pat Shurmur. We took off the gloves many weeks ago, ripping this guy on Twitter and on this blog. Remember the end of the first half vs Atlanta? We argued that he was not deserving of a honeymoon because he already had two years of coaching experience in Cleveland. We were warned by a Cleveland fan that he was a loser, and 11 games into his stint with the Giants, I am in agreement.

When a team racks up 346 yards in the first half and comes up empty (66 yards) in the second half, SOMETHING IS WRONG. One team made adjustments, while the other did not.

Saquon Barkley touched the ball 5 times (4 carries) in the second half. That is wrong.

Once Barkley is keyed upon, keep him in there for liberal play action. Fwiw, Drew Brees uses play action practically every snap he is not running, so given that Barkley was carving them up in the first half, use the tool. Not done. That is wrong.

The Eagles started 3 Cornerbacks, 2 of which never started a single game. CB Jalen Mills out. CB Avonte Maddux out. CB Sidney Jones out. (CB Ronald Darby and S Rodney McLeod are already on IR too, just saying.) Are you telling me that the Giants could be stopped by a replacement team? “Knowing they were struggling (with injuries) in the secondary, personally I would’ve loved to attack them. But that wasn’t in our gameplan,” said Odell Beckham Jr. after the game. That is wrong.

The Eagles could not blitz because they needed extra bodies in the secondary to help the neophyte CBs. The Giants could not exploit that. Wrong. 

At the end of the 1st half, Eli throws an INT in the end zone, throwing away at least 3 points. Fwiw, Pat Shurmur took the blame. If the shoe fits. Another wrong.

The timeout called in the 3rd Quarter on 3rd and 18.  Wait. I have the wrong play in. I may not make this conversion??????!!!!!! Who the F do you think you are? 3rd and 18???????? HELLLLLLPPPPPP!! This is completely brain dead. Spielman calls this for what it is, braindead, and of course they check it down anyway and the timeout is gone. Do you think maybe that those 35 seconds (with the additional timeout) could have been used at 0:55 instead of the 0:20 with the game over? Yet another wrong.

Odell Beckham had a cramp, needed an IV, missed a drive in Q3. Huh? He gets paid $95M to not drink enough water?

Engram injured his hamstring in warmups and did not play. What a trainwreck year.

The Giants are 3-8. If it is one thing I cannot stomach it is underachievement. Shurmur does not instill any confidence as an in-game manager. Pederson would have won with either team. It is not impossible for Shurmur to improve. Give up playcalling duties for starters so that you can have a better chance at managing the game. Maybe you won’t waste timeouts and will be able to make the adjustments that the team needs to be competitive.