I'm new to this blog, so I want to thank anyone who reads this and really thank anyone who actually takes the time out to comment on what I have to say. Anyway, on to the real reason why I decided to click the "I agree" button to sign up for this blog...
I have to admit that I was, probably much like many other Giant fans, a little cautiously optimistic with my opinion about the possible outcome of last night's game against the Eagles. On one end, I had the way the Giants played in their home loss to the Cowboys, as well as the way the Eagles man-handled the Redskins last Monday night. To counter that, I was also thinking that there's got to be some sort of happy medium so to speak, that would bring a very close, well played game. I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe the Giants would finally live up to their week by week speeches of protecting the ball and finally winning the turnover battle. I was hoping they wouldn't shoot themselves in the foot by allowing the referees throw flag after flag for STUPID penalties, such as late hits, holding, etc. I also had the thought of, "wow, the Giants let Jon Kitna tear them up through the air and Julius Jones run crazy over them, so how are they going to stop an offense that's much more explosive than the Cowboys?"
Then came last night's game. There's so many different things that can be said about the way things played out last night, but it all comes down to one point, when you give the ball to the other team more times than you take it away from them, you're not going to come out on top too many times. When this turnover epidemic finally comes to an end, I feel that the sky is the limit for where this team can go and what they can do. After taking a season long hiatus, the defense finally appears to be back on track. But if the offense does not help the defense, and always gives the defense a short field to defend, chances are, no matter how good your defense is, they'll finally crack. Alot of the turnover problems for the Giants start with Eli. Yeah, Bradshaw's got 6 lost fumbles on the year, but Eli's more than doubled that with interceptions alone. Eli's had his moments of greatness, most notably the final drive of Super Bowl 42, but it seems that for every moment of greatness, there's 5 or 6 moments of, "what the hell were you thinking?" There's no doubt he's got a strong will to win, or he wouldn't be noted as one of the guys who's the first to get to practice and the last to leave because he's always in the film room studying tape, but there's too many times when even I have to question his decision making, and I've never played the quarterback position at any level of my life. Take last night for instance, your team is down 24-17, you face a 4th and 6 with time running out, so obviously your team is in 4 down territory. The ball is snapped, all your receivers are covered down field, the protection starts to break down, so you step up in the pocket, still no open receivers, so you decide to take off and run for the first down. You get the first down easily and still have much more room to run, so you keep running and running, when finally the Eagles defenders figure out that you've already gotten the first down, so they turn all their attention to you and start closing in. Now just about any other quarterback would simply slide as if they just stole second base, but what does Eli do, he dives forward untouched, lands on the ball and pops the ball free, allowing the Eagles to recover it, that's it.....potential rally is OVER! Now of course he more or less goes out and tells the media that he should have slid instead of diving, but I have to believe that if he's faced with the same type of situation this week against Jacksonville, that there's a VERY good chance for the same type of play to happen. Why is that? Why are there still so many question marks for a guy who's a $100 million quarterback and former Super Bowl MVP? Why was I sitting around watching the Rams and Falcons game yesterday afternoon and seeing plays that young Sam Bradford made, and thinking those are the same kinds of things Eli STILL makes? What really goes through his mind when he watches film? Does he really see the mistakes he's made on film and understand how to fix them? If he's able to see all this, then why, in the critical moments of these games, does he consistantly make poor decisions?
I think the Giants can live with the occasional poor routes being run by their receivers, the dumb penalties or the lost fumbles by Bradshaw, even though they're obviously nerve-wrecking, but with all that combined, it still doesn't add up to the number of turnovers produced by the quarterback position. Without some sort of consistancy from the "franchise player", the Giants might as well start looking forward to April's draft.