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New York Giants Notes: Bitter Pill To Swallow the Morning After

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As if it wasn't hard enough to take one of the worst losses in Giants' history, those of us who just love football and watched the rest of the games as well as the highlights had to endure talk and recaps of our team's "collapse" in the fourth quarter on Sunday. One of the talking heads on NBC or NFL Network brought up the point that the last team to lose a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter was also the Giants, in 2006 against Tennessee. Then if you were watching Bob Costas at halftime of the Pats/Packers game (that was WAY too close for comfort, by the way), the dude delivered a gut-wrenching piece that talked about Philly's dominance over everything New York sports this past week--aka Cliff Lee's signing affecting the Yanks and Mets, as well as Sunday and the six times in a row that the Eagles have beaten our Giants. Guys like that just revel in delivering news of a "great comeback" the way that The Weather Channel covers storms--with glee. That's why it's great to have a place like BBV where we can all gather and commiserate together. With that, here are some stories from around the web--both locally, in Philly, and otherwise....

DeSean Jackson becomes for Giants at New Meadowlands what Reggie Miller has been at the Garden
This was the end of it for the Giants, the end of what was supposed to be the first truly great day for them at the New Meadowlands Stadium and was officially about to become the worst regular-season loss in all of Giants history, the kind that gets coaches fired in sports.......There had never been a walkoff punt return like this in pro football. Until now. There had been bad regular-season losses for the Giants before, all the way back for the Giants, to the beginning, to 1925. There had been Pisarcik's fumble against the Eagles, turned into a touchdown by old Herm Edwards.

Nothing like this.

Nothing like those seven minutes and change we saw Sunday in Jersey, when what was going to be the best day at the new place turned into the worst kind of history. Coughlin and the Giants say they can come back from this, just watch them. Tell me how.

I read that and just said, "Wow." But then again, that is how many of us feel on Monday.

Tom Coughlin screams at Matt Dodge, but Giants coach deserves most blame for collapse vs. Eagles
He deserved that blame, too. This one is on the coach for a lot of reasons. Coughlin ordered his team into a deep, suicidal prevent defense in the fourth quarter, against an other-worldly quarterback, Michael Vick, who doesn't really need to throw the ball downfield at all to be at his most dangerous. Coughlin and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell dropped Justin Tuck back into coverage too often. He put the wrong special team out on the field with less than eight minutes left, allowing the Eagles to swoop in for one of the easiest onside recoveries ever, a big turning point. So in truth, Matt Dodge might have been yelling right back at Coughlin after this game, except in the end it didn't really matter. In order to blow a three-touchdown lead in the second half, a lot of Giants needed to make a lot of mistakes, and Coughlin was just the biggest violator.

Speaking of Dodge, how'd you like to be this guy?

In Eagles’ Comeback, a Dark Omen for Coughlin -
What happened Sunday — albeit in the 14th game of the regular season — may eventually be recalled as another career-changing occurrence for Coughlin. Ask Jim Fassel, Coughlin’s predecessor, who took the Giants to the Super Bowl but is still trying to live down a couple of egregiously blown playoff games, one at the old Giants Stadium against the Vikings and another in San Francisco. At the very least, New Meadowlands Stadium, in its inaugural season, has a debacle of its own that, in a very different context, can match what happened in what is now the parking lot next door on Nov. 19, 1978. The Fumble, the botched handoff between the Giants’ Joe Pisarcik and Larry Csonka that Herman Edwards scooped up like a $100 bill in the park, came against the Eagles. Maybe that’s just coincidence. Or maybe a hard fact that heightens the condemnation of Coughlin if the Giants don’t recover to make the playoffs.

Teammates can't 'Dodge' blame in historic horror -
If his shell-shocked, demoralized team blows the playoffs, of course, if he cannot find a way to close this open wound and stop the bleeding, there is no guarantee that this will be his team next season.

Well, yeah. All of us that support Tom Coughlin know that even he may not ultimately survive this. He's helped this team overcome adversity several times--in 2007 after starting 0-2; this season after starting 1-2; and even briefly last season when they were 7-6 and then crushed the Redskins 45-12 to keep their playoff hopes alive. But having to win Sunday in Green Bay may be the toughest regular-season challenge in Coughlin's Giants' tenure.

Cowher has three-team wish list? - Scoop Du Jour - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Bill Cowher hasn't coached in four years but he's ready to do it again, preferably if he can hook up with a gig with the New York Giants, Houston Texans, or Miami Dolphins, according to a source to ESPN. Those three teams sit atop the wish list of the former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach who has been an analyst for CBS in the meantime.

Giants offense came up empty when it counted |
It’s a scenario the Giants routinely rehearse in practice. The scoreboard revealed a 31-31 score and 1:10 remaining on the clock. They were on their own 36-yard line with all three timeouts. "We drill that weekly," center Shaun O’Hara said. "I don’t think there’s anyone in our huddle who didn’t think we were going to go down and at least get a field goal." Instead, they went three-and-out. Two downs were incomplete passes. One was a sack. For all the criticism of the defense’s breakdown against Michael Vick and the special teams’ breakdown on DeSean Jackson’s touchdown return in the Giants’ 38-31 loss to the Eagles Sunday, the offense was provided a chance to win.

I thought this article was interesting, because while a ton of blame goes to special teams and defense, the offense had a chance to ice the game once the Eagles used their final timeout. And they blew it when it really counted.

Eagles have the Giants' number -
Tom Coughlin’s face began to turn midway through the fourth quarter Sunday, changing from dry to sweaty, from ashen to crimson, from calm to angry to enraged. As it did, a game, a season and a franchise direction were about to follow. By then, the New York Giants’ knew what everyone had to know, meaning there was no practical application for a poker face. His team was going to lose to the Eagles, and it was just a matter of when and how humiliating. That’s what happens in the Meadowlands, regardless of which edge of the parking lot the football stadium might sit. That’s what happened Sunday, DeSean Jackson returning a punt 65 yards to win a game that the Birds would never lead with time on the clock, the third such Eagles miracle at that very address since Joe Pisarcik once went from a quarterback to a punchline.

Ugh. Do any of you feel like we may never beat the Eagles again? That's how much this one hurts right now.

Phil Sheridan: Vick and Jackson combine to write script of a brand-new miracle | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/20/2010
It's OK if you didn't quite believe what you were seeing at New Meadowlands Stadium Sunday afternoon. Neither did the Eagles. And anyway, isn't that what miracles are - events too astonishing for your senses to take in?

Rich Hofmann: Where there's a will there's Michael Vick | Philadelphia Daily News | 12/20/2010
An NFL team had not blown a 21-point lead at the half since the self-same Giants did it against Tennessee in 2006. The Eagles had not come back from a 21-point deficit at the half since they did it against the Redskins in 1946. The Eagles had never scored 28 points in the fourth quarter of a game, ever.

Okay, now you're making me angry, Philly. It's when those words like "ever" and "1946" and "1978" keep being spewed over and over that it really sinks in. This just sucks.

Ashley Fox: My vote is Vick for MVP | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/20/2010
The ballot is not due until the first Friday of 2011, but I have already filled in the name that goes next to MVP: Michael Vick.

I don't think we or anyone wearing blue on Sunday would argue with that, except for maybe Patriots' fans wearing blue.

Vick set up Jackson's miracle at Meadowlands - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
If by now people don’t understand what Vick has brought to the Eagles in this season of his revival it was alive in those final 8:17 on Sunday afternoon. He is forcing himself to play at a level that is different than everyone else. Even when nothing seems to work, when the Giants knocked him to the ground countless times, leaving him to limp to the bench, he managed to pull the Eagles together and make football seem easy all over again.

Yeah, and the Giants, to a man, as players and as coaches, gift-wrapped that Easy Button for Vick, for Andy Reid, for the Eagles, and for their fans. Merry Christmas, Philly.