Now that I am back home, here is your 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review of Saturday night's debacle in Chicago. Head coach Tom Coughlin said after the game that his team was "embarrassed." I watched every snap, unfortunately, and I don't disagree. Thank goodness the game didn't count.
Anyway, there were a handful of bright spots. I will start with those.
Kudos to ...
- The running backs: Brandon Jacobs 'Laron'd' Bears' middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, and that made my night. If I ever think about Saturday night again, that's what I want to remember. Danny Ware ran 8 times for 34 yards, caught 4 passes and had an impressive 34-yard kickoff return. Ahmad Bradshaw had 6 carries for 54 yards. Derrick who? There is nothing wrong with the stable of running backs the Giants still have.
- Jonathan Goff: The young middle linebacker was all over the field in the second half. I had been wondering if Goff was on the roster bubble. After his impressive work Saturday, I don't think so.
That's about all the good stuff I can remember. And, no, I'm not going back and watching this bit of ugliness again. Let the coaches and players suffer through that.
Wet Willies ...
The hardest question here is .... where to begin. I think I will start with ...
- The first defensive unit: All of it. Every last one of 'em. This is supposed to be a dominant, historically good Super Bowl caliber group. Even without Antonio Pierce or Kenny Phillips. Instead, the front seven got blown off the ball so often they looked like an expansion team taking the field for the first time. Pathetic. No linemen in position, no linebackers coming up to make plays, more missed tackles than they had pretty much all of last season. I don't know what they were trying to do, but Bill Sheridan's front seven played as bad as humanly possible in the first half. Now, to single out some players.
- Chase Blackburn: Nice stats with six tackles, but Blackburn was terrible subbing for Pierce in the middle. On Ike Forte's 32-yard touchdown run, Blackburn got blown at least 15 yards off the line of scrimmage by a single blocker. I'm not sure I have ever seen a professional linebacker get pushed back like that.
- C.C. Brown: Pray with me that this guy does not have to play many meaningful downs this season. He made 8 tackles, but he missed a whole bunch more. And Brown cannot cover anyone. On one play Devin Hester blew about 10-12 yards past the safeties (Brown was closest), and Jay Cutler managed to overthrow him. I don't even think Brown knew Hester was back there.
- Guy Whimper, Andrew Carnahan, Orrin Thompson, Cliff Louis, Terrance Pennington: The sooner the Giants get all of these backup offensive linemen off the roster the better. Terrible is not nearly a strong enough word to describe the work of these guys in the first two exhibition games.
- Carl Banks: Now, I loved Banks as a player. What Giants' fan doesn't? And I know Saturday night was awful to watch. But Banks' negativity and condescending 'we were better in the old days' tone didn't help. He was critical of anything and everything right from the beginning. He even went so far as to criticize, and circle a player on the monitor, for apparently missing a tackle -- when the runner was already three yards out of bounds. C'mon, Carl. The game was bad enough, and you made it worse. Sideline 'reporter' Howard Cross didn't help much, either.