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'Kudos & Wet Willies,' I'm back edition


You may have noticed that I have been missing in action for a few days. My family and I have been among those in upstate New York affected by the Great Ice Storm of 2008.

Beginning late Thursday night, about a quarter-million homes and businesses were without power. There are still more than 50,000 customers without light or heat, and with high winds and warm temperatures today it could get worse. In fact, there are news reports this morning of more trees and power lines falling.

We had power restored in my neighborhood Sunday evening, just in time for me to watch Giants-Cowboys using an old pair of rabbit ears. Cable and Internet were restored after midnight.

I don't know how many of you live near this area, but if you do I hope you are making out OK. I am 48 years old, and this is easily the most damaging storm I have seen in this area.

We were lucky. We have a fireplace that gave us a little warmth, and we were able to purchase a generator Saturday (Merry Christmas to us). I know of people who sat in homes with temps in the 40s for days.

So, I didn't abandon you guys. And I'm back

Now if we could just find the Giants. The team that went 11-1 and became the talk of the NFL is also MIA.

There are no 'Kudos' today. If I was going to give one, I would give it to John Carney, the old man who continued his nearly flawless season with two field goals Sunday. Pretty much, though, it is 'Wet Willies' all the way around.

The Giants have some serious problems on offense right now. They have receivers who can't get open. They have a running game that can't consistently make plays. They have an offensive line that gave up eight sacks Sunday night and looked helpless in pass protection.

Yes, the Giants are missing Plaxico Burress. And I hope those of you who don't understand Brandon Jacobs' importance to the Giants learned something last night.

Without their two biggest playmakers on offense, what I saw last night was a team that is no longer sure what its personality is, or who can make a play.For two games now, the team that had the league's best offense through 12 games has looked completely inept.

I know some of you will kill offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride today for Sunday's play-calling. I felt Gilbride abandoned the run too quickly last night, but I can't put all the blame on him. Fact is, nothing the Giants did worked. It seemed to me like Gilbride was searching for something that would work, and never found it.

Much of that is on the offensive line. Maybe the 'New York Blocking Department' should put away the T-shirts and figure out a way not to get Manning killed. Oh, and opening a hole for a running back would be nice, too.

DeMarcus Ware absolutely embarrassed David Diehl all night. The fact that Kareem McKenzie and Rich Seubert didn't finish the game was also a problem, even if McKenzie was also struggling. If McKenzie had been out there, Kevin 'Penalty' Boothe would not have been.

Manning wasn't great last night. I can't be critical of him, though, since he spent his night simply trying to finish it standing up.

Defensively, the Giants were OK but there are still problems. The safety the Giants recorded was a mistake by the Cowboys on the snap count, not a great play by the defensive line.

Fact is, it has become obvious that the Giants can no longer get pressure on quarterbacks with a four-man rush. That leaves defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo bringing the house on almost every play, and leaves the Giants susceptible to the big play.

We have seen that kill the Giants two weeks in a row, giving up long touchdown runs to Brian Westbrook and Tashard Choice.

Right now, Tom Coughlin has a lot of problems to solve. He has little time to solve them, too, with red-hot Carolina coming to Giants Stadium Sunday in a game that will determine home-field advantage in the playoffs.

The question is, do the Giants have the pieces that will enable them to solve those problems? That's a huge question. I don't know the answer.