I really hate the idea of a "moral victory", especially for a team in the situation that the Giants find themselves in after suffering their 4th straight loss. The reality of the situation is that we were 6-2 and now we're 6-6. Not good. That said, there were obviously plenty of positives to take from this latest loss to Rodgers and the Pack, and if the Giants can put that sort of effort and level of play on the field over the next 4 weeks, you gotta like their chances. When watching such an up and down, back and forth game, a lot of thoughts go through your head, both good and bad. Here's a random list of some of my thoughts (and out-loud rants) from yesterday's game:
1. Jesus F*cking Christ, Aaron Rodgers is good. I mean, what can you say about the guy that hasn't already been said about him? Some of those throws he made yesterday were simply beautiful, most notably his throw on the run to Nelson in the fist quarter, and his throw to Finley on the first play of the last drive. Even some of the incompletions were pretty. You know you're good when an incomplete pass is impressive.
2. So is Eli Manning. Eli was huge yesterday, especially in the second half. Plenty of what he did was what we've come to expect from our guy, so I won't dwell on that stuff. I was particularly impressed with some of his throws in the face of pressure, such as that huge 3rd down completion out of his own endzone with Clay Matthews bearing down on him. Eli continues to carry the torch.
3. Except for that one throw... Fair is fair. If we're gonna credit Eli when he deserves it, we gotta be just as objective when he screws up. And brother, that pick 6 was simply a head scratcher. Raise your hand if you screamed "No! No! NOOOO!!!!" before that ball even left his hand. I'm gonna assume a lot of hands just went up, I can't see... I think Matthews was just as surprised as anybody else that Eli actually threw that ball.
4. Mitch Petrus, welcome to the starting lineup. Seriously, how great did the kid look at left guard? I had almost forgotten what it looked like to see an o-lineman blow his man off the line of scrimmage like that. He's in as far as I'm concerned. Dave Deihl, this is your last season.
5. JPP was the best defensive player on the field, for either team. He just keeps getting better. Even on Tuck's sack, it was Pierre-Paul who made the play and forced Rodgers into Tuck. He hits the quarterback a half dozen times a game. When he doesn't get penetration, he knocks the pass down. He makes tackles in the run game. He's got a nonstop motor. And again, HE KEEPS GETTING BETTER! Wonder what Rolondo McClain is up to these days...
6. This defense is a house of cards. Look I'm sorry to rain on the parade for the defense, considering they did actually do a lot of good things yesterday. It's just so damn frustrating to watch them week in and week out give up at least one touchdown as a result of a completely blown coverage. All it takes is one guy not being on the right page, and it seems like that "one guy" shows up every freakin' week. And I'm not gonna single anyone out, but usually that guy's name is Aaron Ross. Just sayin'... It's very difficult to trust this defense, even when they look good for stretches of time. The whole system is just too fragile.
7. Perry Fewel reverts to form when it matters most. Biggest moment of the game for the defense. We're down a point, and the Packers are driving. It is absolutely paramount that we hold them to a field goal, so as not to force our offense into having to score a touchdown and get the 2 point conversion. Second and goal, Rodgers takes the snap and WE ONLY RUSH 3. Rodgers has sixty-eight minutes to throw, and eventually finds Donald Driver (who probably stepped out of bounds before that catch, no big deal) for the TD. You just don't get it Perry, do you? All game long, any success we had on the defensive side was predicated on pressuring the QB, whether it was through blitzing, stunts, or simply our 4 down lineman getting it done. The point is, PF seems to be the only one at this point who doesn't understand that the 3 man rush does not work. It doesn't matter how many guys you drop into coverage, nobody can cover and NFL receiver for ten seconds. They just can't. And with the game on the line and the defense desperately needing a stop, Fewell relied on what he believes in. How'd that work out?
8. So, yeah... That's not a catch. Greg Jennings did not catch that ball in the back of the end zone. I saw it. You guys saw it. 80,000 fans saw it. The referees missed it. Then they looked at it again, really slowly and in close-up. And still missed it. Huh? Not that I'm bitter or anything...
9. Why oh why did we run that play? I have no idea why the Giants rushed to the line of scrimmage to run that play right before the 2 minute warning. They were in a totally ideal position right there, and had absolutely no need to hurry themselves anymore. That run play to Bradshaw, if run after the 2 minute warning, would have made a difference of 35-40 seconds on the clock. I just don't get it. I understand the idea that you have to score when you can score, and when you're losing you can't be too picky about clock management. But this one was a no brainer in my opinion. The game should literally be decided on the Giants tying the game or not. There was no reason at all to give the ball back to Green Bay with anything more that 20-25 seconds left on the clock.
10. Bring on Dallas. We play that way in Dallas next week, we win.
I had planned on putting more into this post, but I'm at work and hungover and I didn't really have the energy for the details. You all saw the game, I don't need to rehash it for you. But someone's gotta be subjected to my inner monologue, and since my girlfriend could give 2 sh*ts, that leaves you guys, my invisible friends.