The sleep didn't change the way I felt about this team when I went to bed. Simply, it just isn't good enough. It has sprung leaks all over the place, many in areas that were completely unexpected entering the season. Blame the coordinators if you must, and I know you will, but the fact is there are areas of the Giants where the players are simply not getting the job done. No matter what the calls are.
That is particularly true across both lines, where games are truly won and lost. If you told me before the season that line play, on both sides, would let the Giants down this season I would have thought you were nuts. But, it has.
Anyway, on with the 'Kudos & Wet Willies.'
Kudos to ...
It really wasn't easy to come up with any 'Kudos' today, and I really feel like making this one of those 'Kudo-less' weeks after Thursday night's miserable effort. There are, however, a couple of players worthy of at least a little praise.
- Terrell Thomas: Came up with a third-quarter interception. I really don't care if Denver quarterback Kyle Orton did throw the ball right to him, Thomas actually made a play. That's something Giants defenders have done all too infrequently. Thomas also had six tackles and a pass defensed. In my mind, he has solidified himself as a fixture in the Giants secondary.
- Aaron Rouse: Nobody knew what to expect from Rouse when GM Jerry Reese pulled him off the scrap heap after his release by Green Bay. Rouse has played pretty well, though, and Thursday night was no exception. He had eight tackles last night, several of those right along the line of scrimmage in run support.
- Lawrence Tynes: Yeah, I know the thin Denver air had a lot to do with it, but Tynes did make a 52-yard field goal. He also put a couple of kickoffs to the goal line, and one five yards deep. It's not his fault the coverage team let the runback go all the way to the 37, which is inexcusable.
- Steve Smith: Typical Smith game with seven catches for 71 yards, including a couple of first-down grabs. The receiving corps is definitely not one of the problems on this team.
- My Palm Pre: I really, really hate the bar scene. In the last 25 years I have probably seen the inside of one less than a dozen times. So, thank goodness the phone -- provided to SB Nation football bloggers as part of a Sprint promotion -- includes access to the NFL Network. Two-inch screen or not, I was still watching the game in my own house.
Wet Willies to ...
There are so many of these to give out I could probably go on for hours. But, I will try to summarize the best I can.
- Offensive Line: Let's face reality here, gang. This group, for whatever reason, is just not good any more. Brandon Jacobs numbers (11 carries, 27 yards) look awful. Not his fault. A year ago, the Giants line was thought of as the best run-blocking line in the league. Now, it can't open a hole. Jacobs is always running sideways because there are always defenders blowing up the line and getting in the backfield. As for pass protection, what pass protection. Eli Manning was sacked three times, hit countless other times and running for his life a few other times. Watch the line pass block and you would think they were a bunch of rookies who never saw a stunt or had to pick up a blitz before. No matter what plays are called, you can't have consistent offense when you can't block. And right now, the Giants can't block.
- Defensive Tackles: The defensive tackles on this team are simply terrible. Fred Robbins and Rocky Bernard have gotten old. I have never been a big Barry Cofield fan, he is an average tackle at best. It might not be completely fair to criticize Chris Canty because he missed so much time with leg injuries, but all he has shown so far this year is that Cowboy fans who told use Reese spent way too much money on him were correct. He makes no impact plays. There is rarely any push from the guys in the middle, against the run or the pass.
- Osi Umenyiora: I watched Osi's sideline tirade last night, and I have a little advice for Osi. Shut the hell up! You happen to be a big part of the reason why this defense is so disappointing. Watch the film. Where did Denver run most of the night? Right at Umenyiora. Where was he on most of those plays? Pushed five yards off the ball, that's where. Osi made exactly ZERO tackles last night, not even an assist. Despite the Broncos running right at him probably 15 times. I don't think I saw him get within the same zip code as Orton last night, either. So, Osi, shut up and look in the mirror. Right now you aren't very good.
- Michael Boley: Followed up his Defensive Player of the Week performance with a stinker. He plays Osi's side most of the time, so he also has to take a hit for porous run defense. Plus, he could not stay with Denver tight end Tony Scheffler.
- Corey Webster: Locked up one-on-one with the terrific Brandon Marshall most of the night. Nothing C-Web could do about a couple of the spectacular catches Marshall made. But, Webster had two costly 15-yard penalties.
- Danny Ware: The guy has been itching for an opportunity for two years now. Finally gets one, and coughs up a costly fumble that leads to a Denver score. Not a good way to make an impression.
- NFL Network: If you saw the game, you heard the airing of Denver coach Josh McDaniels sideline tirade to his offense in which he said "We're trying to win a m-----f------- game." Apologize all you want, gang, but you just can't let that happen. This is why getting too close, and picking up too many 'sounds of the game' is not a good idea.