Well, we do this every week so -- whether we really want to put ourselves through it or not -- let's get to the 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review of Sunday night's ridiculous 17-10 loss by the New York Giants to the Philadelphia Eagles.
I have already written about coach Tom Coughlin's comments from Sunday night, and they are apt. The Giants were everything Coughlin said they were, and none of that was very good. This was a game they should have been able to win, that they needed to win. It turned into a game in which they did what they have done all too often the past three seasons -- make too many mistakes, fail to play with urgency, play without discipline and end up losing to a team that should not beat them.
The 'Kudos & Wet Willies' will look a little bit different today. It is difficult, to say the least, to find many players to hand out 'Kudos' to, so I am changing up the format a touch.
'Wet Willies' to everyone on that side of the ball not named Eli Manning or Victor Cruz. I don't care what Manning's numbers were, I can't include him in the 'Wet Willies.' It often looked like the Giants' quarterback was playing one-on-11. He got no blocking, no running game, his receivers couldn't catch the ball. Cruz caught six passes and at least made a couple of plays, but he also had his typical, weekly easy drop.
I have a new name for the Giants 'offensive' line. Until they begin to prove otherwise I think I will just refer to them as the 'Invis-O-Line.' Especially in the run game (17 carries, 29 yards) teams go through them like they aren't even there. I will examine this group in more detail later, but for now suffice it to say their effort can be summed up in one word -- terrible.
Jake Ballard? Three drops, and his first one on a wide open play that would have netted 30 yards set the tone for a horrible night for the Giants offense. Ridiculous. Hakeem Nicks had a big drop. Will Brandon Jacobs ever make a defender miss again?
'Wet Willies' to everyone on that side of the ball not named Mathias Kiwanuka or Prince Amukamara. Kiwanuka was a monster, and the seven tackles don't begin to tell the story. Many of those plays were special from a guy who has become a tremendous force against the run from the linebacker position. Amukamara got a little bit lucky that Vince Young underthrew DeSean Jackson on the first pass thrown his way, but made the interception when given the opportunity. Also had five tackles and two passes defensed. The kid can play.
You might want to argue that some other guys played well, but I just can't justify 'Kudos' to anyone else. All of the rookie linebackers had their moments, but they were all also helpless in pass coverage. The Giants played good run defense most of the night, but could not get anywhere near Vince Young with the pass rush, even when they sent extra people.
I try not to go here because it so often leads to viciousness in the comments. But, today I am going to say my piece with the coaches and I am going to hope you guys can frame your comments without going over the top.
Tom Coughlin deserves 'Kudos' for ripping into the team after the game. The head coach, though, deserves a 'Wet Willie' for what went on during the game. This is the third time this season the Giants have been beaten by a team with a losing record. They did not look ready to play. As Coughlin said, they played without discipline with penalties, stupid skirmishes and dropped passes.
The thing is, these kinds of performances have become normal for the Giants over the past few seasons. There are highs like the recent victory over the New England Patriots that show you what this team can be, but there are too many lows against teams that have no business competing with the Giants. That is on the head coach.
I saw many of you with the 'Killdrive' comments and all the 'fire Gilbride' vitriol both Sunday night and this morning. My defense of offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is that when your line can't block, your receivers can't catch and your running backs can't run it makes zero difference what plays you call. Nothing is going to work, anyway. So, I don't want to hear the foolishness about 'he should have called this play in this situation' or 'why did he call back-to-back shotgun draws?'
Where Gilbride -- and probably Coughlin -- deserve a 'Wet Willie' Sunday night is in failing to recognize that the Giants had only one chance to generate real offense in the second half. That was to abandon their traditional set, go no-huddle and completely put the game in Manning's hands. Shotgun and hurry up were really the only things they were successful with all night, and things might have been different if they Giants had gone that way the entire second half.
As for Perry Fewell, like many of you I am tired of the lack of aggressiveness in his play-calling. He gets a 'Wet Willie' as well. The three-man line is a poor use of personnel, with Jason Pierre-Paul stuck at nose tackle where I don't think he has made a play all season. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are not 3-4 defensive ends, and being asked to do that does not play to their strengths. It's even worse when Fewell chooses to rush just three, negating on purpose the thing the Giants defense is built to do -- rush the passer. I just don't get what Fewell is looking at when he sees this defensive unit. He has a team built to attack, to go downhill, to press on the outside all the time and he simply does not let them do that.