The post-game quotes Sunday from the New York Giants told you everything you needed to know about Sunday's disappointing 36-25 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Giants stunk up MetLife Stadium, losing to a team that had no business beating them, and they knew it.
"We played poorly. When you don’t deserve to win you don’t win," said Giants' coach Tom Coughlin. " I fully expected to win. Probably the most miserable feeling as we've had around here in a long time."
Let's get on with what promises to be an ugly edition of our traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies' game review.
Kudos To ...
Eli Manning -- Yes, I know he threw three interceptions and he fumbled twice. You know what, though? If you want to be critical of the Giants' quarterback today, you are way, way off base. Manning was outstanding on Sunday. He threw a bad ball on his first interception, but other than that he was pretty terrific. He ended up with a career-best 420 yards passing and three touchdowns despite getting absolutely no help from his running game or his offensive line. He did everything he could possibly have done. The pick six was unlucky, and the last interception was a forced throw because he really had no choice but to try something.
Jacquian Williams -- I think the Giants have found themselves a big-time play-making outside linebacker. Eight tackles, including seven solos, and tons of time spent in the Seattle backfield. This kid can play. He had a pass defensed, and I think his most impressive play of the game was running down wide receiver Golden Tate in the open field to prevent a first down.
Osi Umenyiora -- One-and-a-half sacks, a critical forced fumble on a running play, and four tackles. Tough to find much to criticize -- the guy played hard and made things happen against the pass and the run.
Steve Weatherford -- Seven punts for a 49-yard average. He hit one short punt, but otherwise boomed the ball all day.
Devin Thomas -- A 37-yard kickoff return he was close to breaking, and a 27-yard average for the day. His judgment has been solid, and he is dangerous coming out with the ball.
Jim Cordle -- Just signed off the practice squad this week Cordle was forced to long snap most of the second half after Zak DeOssie suffered a concussion and did an excellent job. He also ended up at guard after Chris Snee also got a concussion.
Wet Willies To ...
Perry Fewell -- He is supposed to be a defensive mastermind, and his supposedly top-tier defense just got torched for 424 yards by Seattle, which entered the game last in the league with an average of 254 yards per game. Marshawn Lynch ran for 98 yards after getting 141 total in his first four games, and Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst looked like Pro Bowl quarterbacks.
I hate to belabor this, but through five games the Giants have yet to put together a consistent, complete defensive performance. Every week there is a leak somewhere, and it never seems to come from the same place.
The Entire Defense -- Dave Tollefson said the Giants were "embarrassed" by the way they played, and the entire defense certainly should be. A handful of guys played well, but getting completely dominated by the worst offense in the league should have every member of that group looking in the mirror. Seattle's go-ahead touchdown was an embarrassing bit of non-defense by the secondary, with two guys jumping the wrong receiver while no one went with Doug Baldwin -- the guy heading toward the end zone.
The Offensive Line -- Kevin Boothe was awful, snapping the ball all over MetLife Stadium and having guys run by him. Snee wasn't very good, missing blocks and getting pushed backwards. Kareem McKenzie kept getting pushed backwards as well. Will Beatty gave up two sacks to Chris Clemons, including a sack/fumble, and had a huge penalty. David Diehl had a big penalty.
The Running Game -- Really, this is like a second 'Wet Willie' being given to the offensive line -- with the tight ends and fullback thrown in for good measure. The Giants averaged 2.8 yards per running play, which was actually an improvement from the week before. Missed assignments, guys just getting beat one-on-one, penalties -- you can blame all of it. Way too often there just isn't anywhere for Giants' running back to go except driven into the turf by a swarm of defenders.
Kwillies To ...
Yes, I am busting out the 'kwillies' this week. Quite a few guys deserve the honor -- probably more than are actually going to receive it.
Jake Ballard -- Yes, three catches for 72 yards and a touchdown, including a Bavaro-esque catch and run, dragging defenders. Ballard is supposed to be a blocking tight end, though, and there have been plenty of whispers early in the season that his blocking has been inadequate. After Sunday, that might be a roar. Ballard completely missed the block that caused D.J. Ware to be nailed in the end zone for a safety by Anthony Hargrove. Coughlin said "I don't know how he (Ballard) blocked. Well, yes Coughlin does but he didn't want to say it. The answer is, not well.
Victor Cruz -- Eight catches for 161 yards, both career highs. A beautiful 68-yard touchdown catch and run on a ball Manning simply threw up and trusted Cruz to make a play. He also earned chants of 'Cruuuuuz.' Unfortunately, he committed a critical turnover with a fourth-quarter fumble and could not make the play on the Manning pass that ended up being a 94-yard game-clinching interception return by Brandon Browner of Seattle.
Aaron Ross -- A nice interception, but an awful lot of balls completed in front of him.
Here are some final thoughts on the game.
- Want to know why the Giants signed Justin Tryon last week? Well, check out how much the Seahawks targeted -- and abused -- Deon Grant in pass coverage. Grant had five tackles and a sack, but missed two interceptions and is just not fast enough to cover downfield. Grant's lockerroom leadership helps the Giants, but his play on the field of late really has not.
- I did laugh when Lawrence Tynes put a kickoff through the uprights. When Tynes can do that, you know kicking off from the 35-yard line is a bad rule.
- The Giants' 464 yards of total offense was their highest output of the season. They managed to do that despite going a miserable 1-for-12 on third-down conversions.
- Bear Pascoe had a 17-yard reception, his first catch of the year.