Good morning, New York Giants fans. Let's look around the Inter-Google and see what is being said about the Giants as Thanksgiving approaches.
Two games into yet another shaky second-half-of-the-season wobble, the pressure is on for Coughlin again. He made it past last year's collapse, when the Giants were devastated by a 38-31 home loss to the Eagles that essentially ended their hopes of making the playoffs. But in the wake of yet another losing performance at home against Philly, the heat is starting to build for the Giants' eighth-year coach.
And if 0-2 to start the second half of the season turns into 0-4 after the next two games against NFC powerhouses New Orleans and Green Bay, nothing short of a miracle run to the playoffs is likely to save him.
The hope here is that Coughlin can get things turned around. He's a good coach, a good man and a credit to his profession and to a first-class organization. But he knows as well as anyone that he's in a bottom-line business. If his team isn't in the tournament in January, the Giants likely will make a move -- and it will be a necessary move.
Coughlin may be only the second Giants coach to bring home a championship, but in a sport in which excellence is demanded more intensely than ever, that 2007 team's run is far enough in the past that it shouldn't be factored into Coughlin's future. His team hasn't won a playoff game since that Super Bowl season and didn't even reach the playoffs in 2009 and 2010.
When you have a $100-million quarterback and the game's best pass-rushing defensive line, the expectations are greater than the reality of what the Giants have produced since they knocked off the previously unbeaten Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. And even though the Giants' second-half schedule this year is one of the toughest in the league, it doesn't absolve them or their coach of the consequences of failure.
Valentine's View: We will talk more about this, I'm sure, and I will at some point have my own post on the subject. For now, though, no matter which side of the debate you fall on this is a fair question if the Giants miss the playoffs again.
Given the killer schedule looming ahead for the Giants and the cushy lineup awaiting the Cowboys, by the time these two teams meet for the first time this season, Dec. 11 at Dallas, it could be a one-horse race in the NFC East, and that horse will be wearing a silver and blue star.
It all looks depressingly glum for the Giants because it is. The signs are everywhere that they are in the early stages of another late-season meltdown. Already, after 10 games, players are talking about "controlling our own destiny’’ and "we can still accomplish everything we set out to do.’’ Of course, those statements are factually correct. They also are catch-phrases often used by a team on the ropes.
The Giants will not be favored in any of their next three games. Logic dictates they will have an extremely hard time winning in the Big Easy, and anyone paying attention knows knocking off the unbeaten Packers is going to take a monumental upset by someone.
AccuScore: Giants' playoff hopes in peril - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
The Dallas Cowboys maintained their lead in the NFC East for the second straight week. They are 64 percent likely to win the division, and are the most likely division team to win a wild-card spot if it doesn’t win the division. The Giants could have put themselves in a great position with a win on Sunday, but they couldnât stop Vince Young(notes) when they needed to and fell behind Dallas. New York is 31 percent likely to win the division and 44 percent likely for a playoff spot. Philadelphia kept its faint hopes alive with that late win over New York. The Eagles still have a 7 percent chance of salvaging the season.
I like the call from Giants’ DC Perrry Fewell to play Cover 2 on a third down situation in the 4th quarter. Force the ball to go underneath to Celek, make a tackle and play for a FG. However, as I have detailed before, playing Cover 2 in the red zone can be an issue if the Mike Backer doesn’t get depth at the snap of the ball. Here, the Giants’ Mark Herzlich (highlighted in red) steps up vs. Celek—and that’s all the room V.Y. needs to make the throw. Herzlich should open his hips to the passing strength, play with depth and take away the skinny post.
- Where are the safeties? In Cover 2, this is on the Mike. Both safeties will overlap any throw inside of the numbers. We see it all of the time out in the field vs. the vertical game, but down here in the red zone, the safety has no chance to make a play on the ball. These routes break at shorter depth inside of the 10-yard line and the throw takes less time to get there.
As I said above, playing Cover 2 in this situation is a solid call to take away throwing lanes and force the ball to go underneath or to the check down. But when you don't play the technique of the defense in the red zone, it is time to strike up the band and play the fight song.
Valentine's View: I think we knew that Herzlich, who played well for the most part, made a mistake on this play. I enjoy reading Matt Bowen's work, though. I always learn things about football from this former NFL player.
Through his first two seasons with the Giants, Canty picked his spots to express his thoughts, both behind the scenes and in front of microphones. He’s an intelligent, opinionated person, though at times he’s been reluctant to voice his concerns about the team since signing a six-year, $42 million deal in March 2009.
But that might be about to change. In much the way he’s looking to expand his charitable endeavors in the area, Canty seems intent on increasing his profile in the Giants’ facility. Seven years into his career, the ex-Cowboy might be emerging as a leader for a team and a defense in need of one.
"Chris is a very conservative kind of guy, in a sense. He measures himself well," said Canty’s father, Joe, who was on hand for the second straight year to help with the turkey dinner. "He had to get a certain comfort level with the organization, with the players, not just come in here and have people see him as a guy trying to tell them what to do.
"He’s moving more toward front and center at this point. He’s a natural leader."
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