|Eli Manning was awful Sunday, and looks like he knew it. (AP Photo)|
I will get to the traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies' in a minute. Sunday's pathetic 41-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings demands some further reaction first, however.
Bluntly, if you're a New York Giants fan it is time to begin worrying. Yes, the Giants are still 7-4 and figure to find a way to stagger into the playoffs.
With last year's second-half collapse still fresh, however, you can't like what you are seeing. The Giants have lost two of three, and particularly on offense have played four bad football games in a row.
Eli Manning was atrocious Sunday, probably as bad as I have ever seen him play. Of course, he had no help. He had receivers running every which way, except seemingly where they should have. He had an offensive line that, for the first time this season, turned into a sieve.
Defensively, the Giants applied some pressure to Tarvaris Jackson. When Jackson had time, though, he again exposed the Giants secondary as beatable.
"We played very, very poorly," said Coach Tom Coughlin. That was an understatement.
The Giants have five games left -- at Chicago, at Philadelphia, against Washington, at Buffalo and a season finale against New England.
The way things look right now, I don't feel good about any of those games.
Now, on to 'Kudos & Wet Willies.'
Kudos to ...
• Ahmad Bradshaw: It's pretty rough when you are giving 'kudos' to a guy basically just because he got in the game. That's what I'm doign here, though. Bradshaw (4 carries, 29 yards) saw his first action in the backfield. Both as a back and kick returner he shows flashes of being a guy who can make plays.
• Fred Robbins: The big defensive tackle took advantage of the extra snaps he got due to Mathias Kiwanuka's injury. Robbins had 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks, and would have had 2.5 if not for a penalty that wiped out his best play of the day.
• Plaxico Burress: The Giants would probably love to sit Burress for a week and see if they can get him a little healthier. Yet, you look at the stats and Burress still made 7 catches for 93 yards and one touchdown playing on one leg. Tough to sit that kind of production.
• Osi Umenyiora: Two sacks and a forced fumble. Umenyiora played hard and a good day individually.
Wet Willies to ...
• Eli Manning: Amateurish. Awful. Putrid. Terrible. Pick your adjective, anything negative fits what Manning did Sunday. Perhaps the best one is disturbing. How is it possible for a guy in his fourth year, who has started as long as Eli has, and played basically with the same receivers, to look so clueless. Errant throws and miscommunications were the rule Sunday. Eli looked like a rookie starting for the first time, and that truly is disturbing. The booing he received was well deserved.
• Jeremy Shockey: I don't know what game Shockey was playing Sunday, but it clearly wasn't the same one Manning was playing. Shockey somehow managed to catch 4 passes, but it seemed like he amd Manning had different ideas all day. They rarely seemed to be on the same page. Again, disturbing is the best word I can think of.
• The Offensive Line: Three sacks against Manning don't tell the story. After the opening drive, in which the Giants scored a touchdown, the Giants didn't block anybody the rest of the day. Manning spent most of his day with purple jerseys flying all around him, and there wasn't any room to run, either. An awful job by a unit that has been a strength all year.