Lots of links this week. Funny how a struggling team that's lost two straight games generates a lot more media buzz than a team that easily wins five straight. And Giants fans wonder why the Jets typically get heavier media coverage.
Probably the biggest off-field storyline this week is the unprecedented showdown between New York and Philadelphia. It kicks off Saturday night with an early-season game between the Knicks and the 76ers. The main events come on Sunday, as the Giants-Eagles game has been moved up to 1 pm to accommodate Game 4 of the World Series between the Yankees and the Phillies. Hopefully Monday will be a very happy day in Gotham and a very, very sad one in Philly. Now to the links:
Eli Manning's Struggles
Jeffry Chadiha at ESPN saw lots of questions and no answers in the Giants performance against the Cardinals. One of the problems that both he and Matt Mosley saw was Eli taking too long at the line of scrimmage, resulting in a few delay of game penalties and a general sense that Eli was out of rhythm.
Steve Serby of the NY Post thinks the problem is that Eli needs some help.
Personally, I think the real problem with Eli is that I jinxed him by acknowledging that he was having an MVP caliber season and was one of the top QB's in the league before the Saints game. Maybe I should start calling for the Giants to bench Eli and draft a new QB of the future to replace him...it worked pretty well last time I did.
A few more takes on the Giants two-game slide:
The AP gathers a few quotes, including this one from Shaun O'Hara that more or less sums it up:
"I could come up with 100 words to describe how upset and disappointed we are," center Shaun O’Hara said. "With this team, we hold ourselves to such a high standard. We were upset with our play after some wins early in the season, but to lose at home like we did last night, really, we think that is unacceptable. That’s the standard we set, and we know we can play better, and that’s the thing that is frustrating. At the same time, we also know we are a good team."
Vinny Ditrani of NorthJersey.com finds some positives from the loss to the Cardinals, pointing out that unlike the Saints game, the Giants weren't totally outclassed. Little victories, I guess.
The Giants are using the playoff loss to the Eagles last year (and Donovan McNabb's uncharacteristically classless move picking up the phone on the Giants sideline) as motivation going into this weekend's game. There's definitely no love lost between these two teams, and they almost always play memorable games. Hopefully this one ends up more like the 12 sack game or the Sehorn bobbling interception game than "the fumble" game (more on that later).
Fred Robbins says the Giants are putting last week behind them and are ready for the Eagles:
It’s a good time to play the Eagles. A win would cure everything. We’re playing a division opponent, a good rival and it will be an intense game. That’s a good way to get back on track, stop all those sad faces in the locker room. And you can’t let the losses pile up, especially in the division.
- Kevin Boss says he didn't get a concussion from the (uncalled) helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday. Definitely good news.
- Apparently Eli Manning gave Peyton a few pointers about Steve Spagnuolo's defense. Spags joked that Eli should have at least given him some pointers on how to stop Peyton. I've gotta say, I love that Eli and Peyton are close, but was this really necessary? The Colts are probably the best team in the league and the Rams are probably the worst. Peyton probably could have won this one if he'd spent the last two weeks binge drinking and played the game behind the '58 Colts offensive line.
- Finally, the NY Times' 5th Down Blog continues it's countdown of the greatest moments in Giants Stadium history. Coming in at #10 is the aforementioned "fumble" game. Definitely the low point of Giants history, but it ended up leading to the changes that turned the Giants into Super Bowl winners and one of the better run organizations in sports, so it wasn't all bad. Plus, without that play maybe Herm Edwards never becomes a 2-time NFL Head Coach, and I think we can all agree: the entertainment that brought us was well worth it.