New York Giants Notes: Bumbling Big Blue Edition

Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants reacts after a fumble by Eli Manning late in the fourth quarteragainst the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 21 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Well, here we are again--dissecting a demoralizing loss when victory was within reach. The Giants proved on Sunday night that they are capable of beating the Eagles if play mistake-free football, or even limit their mistakes. So that at least gives us hope. Dim hope, but hope. Here is what is being said the morning after....

Eli Manning's fumble against Eagles proves costly as Giants lose game and grip on playoff berth
Eli Manning knew he needed to slide, Tom Coughlin expected him to slide, but when Manning didn't go feet-first, the only sliding the Giants did Sunday night was right out of first place. Manning cost the Giants any shot of preventing Sunday night's bitter loss to the Eagles. "You've got to slide," Coughlin said. Maybe he needs to bring in Joe Girardi, or at least Terry Collins, as Rex Ryan did last year when he summoned Girardi to teach rookie Mark Sanchez how to slide. "We were a slide away from being right in the game," Manning said. "I got to slide. Sometimes you are just kind of going with momentum, trying to get as much yardage as you can. You are running and you come to a point where you don't want to slow down, you don't know if it's too late. You go down the fastest way you know how to." What should he have done? "Don't worry about the yardage," Manning said. "Just go down. We had the first down."

I know I was screaming at my TV (well, as loud as you can scream with a wife and 3-year-old boy asleep), "Slide, Eli, slide!" And this isn't the first time Eli has done something like this. It makes you wonder what goes on in his head during these situations.

Politi: Ill-fated dive in loss to Eagles shows Giants QB Eli Manning is trying to do too much | NJ.com
Maybe Eli Manning somehow misheard his mission for this game. He was supposed to beat Michael Vick, not try to be Michael Vick. But there he was, lumbering into the open field on fourth-and-6, the lead in the NFC East on the line. He had more than enough yards for the first down, plenty of distance to give the Giants a chance to tie. He just had to slide — any rookie quarterback knows that — and protect the football. He dove instead, losing the football and, a few minutes later, a 27-17 decision to the Eagles.....Manning is in his seventh season. He is a Super Bowl MVP with a $100 million contract. He has to be smarter than that at this stage of his career.

I don't think I could put it any better. $100 million quarterbacks should make better decisions.

Our own Ed Valentine put it well, too, by calling the Giants "Generous Giants" in this analysis at SB Nation New York.

It's interesting too to note that the Eagles played a sloppy game as well. Of course, that fact makes a Giants' loss even harder to take....

Ashley Fox: Too many points left on the field | Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/22/2010
This could have been so much easier. Look out there on the choppy Lincoln Financial Field turf. That's where the Eagles left so many opportunities to put away the New York Giants on Sunday night. One was on the left sideline. Two more were in the south end zone.

Very true ... the Eagles were just about as bumbling as the Giants were, but in the end they made a few more plays and a few less mistakes.

And this take on how the TV analysts fawn over Michael Vick is pretty amusing.

Gonzo: National media in full Vick-mania | Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/22/2010
Vick's numbers weren't as cartoonish against the New York Giants on Sunday night as they were against the Washington Redskins on Monday night, partly because his receivers dropped at least two passes that should have been touchdowns. And his careless fourth-quarter fumble led to a Giants touchdown that almost won the game for New York. Still, and more importantly, his outing came complete with a dramatic, fourth-quarter comeback that pushed the Birds past the Giants, 27-17, and into first place in the NFC East. It won't be long now until Vick's spectacular season leads to a twisted tongue or a sprained brain for one of the yammering television ninnies. They squeal about Vick like teenagers reading about him in Us Weekly.

Vick, McCoy Lead Eagles To 27-17 Win Over Giants : NPR
Vick looked a little more ordinary after a spectacular performance in a 59-28 win over Washington on Monday night, but he led the Eagles (7-3) to a comeback win nonetheless, and into sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

That's why this hurts so much. The Giants' defense figured out how to slow Vick, yet turnovers and a few lapses on defense late in the game were the difference.

So now there is talk all over the Web about the Giants' current playoff aspirations, as they are currently the 8-seed in the NFC after all those pundits had them as the best team in the NFC two weeks ago.

NFC South: the power division - NFL - SI.com
This piece talks about the Saints (7-3) and how they can't seem to overcome Atlanta (8-2) and Tampa Bay (7-3). So the Giants (6-4) trail those teams as well as Green Bay (7-3) and Chicago (7-3). And it sure is kind of a shame that a team has to come out of the NFC West, isn't it?

Slide, Eli, Slide - NYTimes.com
3) Six games to go, with this schedule: Jacksonville, Washington, at Minnesota, Philadelphia, at Green Bay, and at Washington. Extra point: Can the Giants (6-4) go 4-2 the rest of the way? That would probably get them into the playoffs, and if they’re healthy once there, who knows?

Who knows? Yeah, who knows. When you look at this schedule, you probably think the two games against Washington are wins, as are the game this Sunday against Jacksonville and the road game at Minnesota--a team that is self-destructing and out of the playoff race. And that the Giants will figure out how to lose to the Eagles at home, and also that they can't possibly match up with Green Bay.

But so much can happen. The Giants can sweep and finish 12-4; they can finish 4-2 and hope that 10-6 is good enough; or they can go 2-4 and finish 8-8 again. While that first scenario is possible, it's not likely. But that last scenario is much more possible if the bumbling play continues. Hopefully the G-men can find a way to straighten things out in these next six games.

NFL Playoff Picture: Giants On the Outside Looking In
Two weeks ago the New York Giants had won five straight games, boasted a 6-2 record and many were saying the Giants were the best team in the NFC. Now, the Giants are 6-4, have lost two straight games and would not even make the playoffs if the season ended today.

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