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
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.