Reviewing Sunday's 31-13 loss by the New York Giants to the Cincinnati Bengals 'Kudos & Wet Willies' style.
Yes, New York Giants' fans it is time to review the carnage of Sunday's 31-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in our traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies' style. This is not going to be pretty.
Kudos to ...
Prince Amukamara: At least one player on the defense did his job. Amukamara had 10 tackles, one for loss. His run support was solid and he did not surrender any big plays -- at least I can't recall any. Amukamara was in coverage on a touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu, but he had good position and only a perfect throw by Andy Dalton and a terrific catch by Sanu beat him.
Steve Weatherford: Sad when the punter is the best tackler on your coverage unit. Weatherford hit a 68-yard punt, had a 61-yarder nullified by a penalty and made a tremendous hustle play to keep Adam Jones out of the end zone after Weatherford had nailed a 59-yard punt.
[Related: Studs and Duds from SB Nation New York]
Wet Willies to ....
Pretty much everyone associated with the Giants not named Amukamara, Nicks or Weatherford.
Since we must, though, let's give out some individual 'Wet Willies.'
Tom Coughlin: When a team plays the way the Giants did on Sunday the head coach gets a 'Wet Willie.' The Giants fell behind 14-0 in four minutes. There were defensive mistakes. There was offensive ineptitude. There were special teams follies -- pitiful coverage, return men dropping the ball and fighting over who would try to catch it. The Giants were a complete mess right from the start of the game, and that falls on the head coach.
Eli Manning: Terrible. Two horrendous interceptions. Three straight weeks without a touchdown pass (although Victor Cruz could have fixed that). Manning had a passer rating of 56.0. Manning isn't the only problem with the Giants' offense right now -- there are many, many of them. He certainly is part of the issue, however. I don't really know what the issue is with Eli, but a two-time Super Bowl MVP isn't supposed to play like this.
David Diehl: It really is an over-simplification to blame everything on Diehl, but the worst two games of the season played by the Giants' offensive line coincide with Diehl being returned to the lineup at right tackle. I don't need the Pro Football Focus numbers or to re-watch the game to know that Diehl was atrocious on Sunday. You can't get the ball down the field when you quarterback is under pressure on every play, and when the right tackle is utterly helpless in pass protection your offense can't function.
Chris Snee, David Bass, Kevin Boothe: Diehl was terrible, but he wasn't the only offensive lineman who wasn't good. It was like a jailbreak to the quarterback way too many times when Manning went back to pass on Sunday. Cincinnati linemen were barreling through the middle like there weren't any Giants' blockers there -- and there certainly weren't any doing a good job of not getting their quarterback blasted.
Victor Cruz: Paging Victor Cruz! Paging Victor Cruz! Where are you, Mr. Cruz? Cruz hasn't had any positive impact on the Giants' offense in three weeks now, and has nine drops on the season. Entering Sunday no receiver in the league had more drops than Cruz.
David Wilson: Failed to catch one kickoff. Had a tug-of-war with Reuben Randle over who would catch another one, and was actually pretty awful overall. He returned six kickoffs for an average of 17.8 yards. He got one carry on offense and managed to run sideways for a yard.
The Giants' secondary (other than Amukamara): I don't really know if Corey Webster screwed up the coverage on A.J. Green's 56-yard touchdown or if it was safety Stevie Brown. What I do know is it took the Giants five whole plays to prove Green correct -- the Giants' defense is full of holes.
Kevin Gilbride: I don't have all the answers, but it seems pretty obvious that teams have figured out what the Giants are doing on offense and how to defend it -- in particular, how to turn Cruz into a non-factor. When you can't run, can't pass block, have receivers who can't get open and have a quarterback who can't throw straight and keeps delivering the ball to the wrong team you have issues. Gilbride has a couple of weeks to get this figured out.
Perry Fewell: The beat goes on in the Giants' secondary -- meaning the blown coverages and surrendering of big plays -- keeps on happening. Whatever Fewell is trying to do with coverages isn't working -- unless he is actually just trying to challenge the Giants' offense.
Tom Quinn: When your punt team can't cover and your kickoff team can't return, or even catch, the ball cleanly then, yes, the special teams coordinator takes a hit.
Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard Linval Joseph: That, basically, is the entire Giants defensive line. Their impact on the game can be summed up this way -- they didn't have one.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Killed any chance the Giants had at a second-half comeback with a third-quarter fumble in the red zone. If Bradshaw is going to keep putting the ball on the ground the Giants might as well let Wilson play. Bradshaw's effort is there, but the results aren't.
[Related: Miserable Monday]
I could probably go on and on with the 'Wet Willies' today, but I think you get the drift. There is blame to go around for everyone for Sunday's awful display by the Giants.
Remember this, though, Giants' fans. Every season under Coughlin there has been a stretch like this where the Giants look like the worst team in the league. Why? I have no idea, and I'm pretty sure the coach doesn't, either. We know, though, that two of those seasons have ended with Super Bowl titles. Point is, climb down off the ledge and don't jump off that bridge just yet.
The Giants host the Green Bay Packers in two weeks. Would it surprise anyone if the Jekyll & Hyde Giants win that game? It wouldn't surprise me in the least. After all, the Giants are wounded now and over the years that is when they have done some of their best work.