Panic? Not members of Big Blue View Nation. Not New York Giants fans everywhere. Not New York sports fans in general. Never happen. Fuhgeddaboudit!
"Fans can get in panic mode and that is alright. We can’t have the players get in panic mode, and that is the most important thing," Manning said. "We just have to get back to where we are making some of those plays. There is no secret ingredient. There is no ‘we have to change our philosophy.’ There is none of that. We are not in panic mode right now. But we do need to get better and we do need to play better than what we are playing right now."
Thanks, Eli. But, I will actually feel better when you and your receivers stop talking about it and actually start making some of those plays again.
File this is the 'you know things are bad when' category
When even the folks over at Giants.com are pointing out the negatives you know things are not going well for the boys in blue.
The three turnovers in Philadelphia increased their total to 15 in half a season. Last year, the Giants (and Miami Dolphins) set an NFL record with 13 turnovers in a 16-game schedule. The Giants lost three fumbles all last year; they have lost nine this season.
"I think the most important thing right now for this football team is that it's not about our record, it's about the way we are playing football," center Shaun O'Hara said. "We are not playing New York Giants football; we are turning the ball over, which is something we don't do. We talk about not doing it, we practice not doing it. But you can look at the last three games and it's happened. I think that is the first thing that we can correct and it's hard to win football games when you turn the football over. That's really been our formula for success. When you look at the five games that we did win, we took care of the football. We played New York Giants football."
Manning, who threw 10 interceptions in 479 attempts last year, has eight in 242 throws this season. Of course, the picks go on his stat line but they are not always his fault. And Manning is optimistic the passing game will improve in the second half of the season, as Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks continue to grow.
"I think we are fine," Manning said. "Speaking of the offense, we have some young receivers and we knew that this wasn't going to be automatic. There was going to be a transition. I know we got off to a fast start, but these guys are still learning some things and getting better. You see more defenses and more complex defenses, there are going to be some mistakes, but that is where they learn. This will make us better down the road, down the stretch when we need these young guys to step up and play great for us. Going through some of these learning experiences will make us stronger later on."
Gary Myers of the Daily News writes today that the burden of righting the Giants ship falls on the struggling Manning.
This is why I love Mike Garafolo
No offense to Ernie Palladino, who is gracious enough to visit with us every week. Or Giants beat writers Ralph Vacchiano and Tom Rock, who have both been great to yours truly. But, Garafolo is the king of the Giants beat writers.
Why? Because he constantly picks up nuances that are both informative and right to the point of why things are happening. Here is MG discussing Bill Sheridan.
Here are my concerns about Sheridan and the defense:
*They’re often blitzing from a zip code away. Brown starts to creep forward on a third-and-6 in the first quarter and is five yards off the ball and outside the tackle at the snap. Third … and 6! How can he be expected to get there in the time it takes the Eagles to throw a short pass. Two plays later, Brown is blitzing from 10 yards off the ball on a second-and-6. These were not the first two times I’ve seen plays like this. And if it’s Brown’s fault and he should be closer, well that’s more fuel on his fire then.
*They’re guessing wrong. As I mentioned, on Weaver’s run, the Giants blitzed hard off their left side and the Eagles ran the other way. Again, not the first time this has happened.
*He said in the off-season he wouldn’t drop his DEs into coverage. Guess what he’s doing plenty of lately.
*No attitude. Remember the Giants’ defense under Steve Spagnuolo? The unit had a swagger. Now, I see none. That’s partly because of the players, but I also think it trickles down from the top.
My take: MG raises a great point. The blitz always seems to be coming from the wrong side. Or from somewhere off your TV screen. One other thing I will say. The Giants keep talking about 'gap discipline' against the run. Well, if they don't have any, and they have guys running around and doing what they want or what they aren't supposed to do, who is at fault for that? The coordinator.