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New York Giants Notes: Taking Care of Business Edition

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So its' come to this. The Giants win Sunday, and need the Bears to beat the Packers in Green Bay. Chances are not in our favor, but the fact that there is a remote possibility of reaching the playoffs should be all the Giants need for motivation. They can't control the Bears, they can only control this game. It also might be, whether right or wrong, Tom Coughlin's last game as our head coach.

Coughlin spoke yesterday about a few things--namely, about his new kick returner, Brian Witherspoon; about whether he expects Michael Clayton and Devin Thomas to play more in place of Hakeem Nicks; and about Shaun O'Hara and whether or not he will start Sunday in Washington. And Perry Fewell talked about how the Giants may be without CB Corey Webster, and also answered more questions about how his unit has given up 73 points in five quarters.

Tom Coughlin should stay as Giants coach after Eli Manning and defense let Big Blue down
Tom Coughlin ought to keep his job whether or not he beats the Redskins on Sunday. And whether or not the Packers beat the Bears. The idea that everything should come down to one roll of the dice in Washington is ridiculous. If you want to fire him for losing to the Redskins, fire him now. Coughlin hasn't had a great year. It was another lousy December. He still had a better year than his quarterback, he had a better year than his defense, he had a better year than his coordinators. And he had a better year than his general manager. The closest thing the Giants have to impact players, on either side of the ball, going into what is supposed to be a make-or-break game for the head coach, are these two: Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw. If you have somebody else you want to throw into the mix, jump in at any time.

Well, I can think of one right off the bat--Justin Tuck. But beyond Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith, who are both hurt, it's not that easy. You can make an argument for Chris Snee, Osi Umenyiora and Bear Pascoe -- but maybe not a great argument. I'm curious what you guys all think about this.

All of a sudden, Giants' defense showing lack of toughness |
Just two weeks ago, Perry Fewell oversaw the hottest defense in the NFL. His unit had allowed only 20 points in 11 quarters, a pace that would be nearly impossible to maintain but one that demonstrated the defense’s potential. Then, the fourth quarter in Philadelphia happened. In the past five quarters, the Giants have allowed 73 points. Not all are on the defense — few can forget DeSean Jackson’s punt return at the end of the Philadelphia game — but the Packers’ 45 points last week served as evidence of a defense missing what it once possessed.

Well, no Zach, the fourth quarter IN Philly was in November, but we get your point. And the bottom line is, they need to come out with some toughness on Sunady or the season will be over no matter what the Bears do.

Giants Must Rediscover Art of Intimidation -
The Giants no longer intimidate. This is Rolle’s missing link. The fear factor is gone. The question for the Giants is how do they get it back.

Someone posted this article in the comments section yesterday so I thought it would be a good idea to re-post it since some of you may have missed it. The fact that this is talking about a lack of intimidation reminds me of the Carolina game last year, when we just imploded with guys like Harry Carson on hand to witness our final game at old Giants Stadium. There is no doubt the defense is better than the 2009 team, but sometimes not that much better.

Giants QB Eli Manning in need of a repeat against Redskins |
Eli Manning emerged from the huddle during a Dec. 5 game against the Redskins, peered to his left and his right and did not see Steve Smith or Hakeem Nicks. It was the second consecutive game without his top two receivers — and would become the Giants’ second consecutive victory. On Sunday, Manning and the Giants play the Redskins again, in the regular-season finale. After losing two straight games and putting their postseason aspirations in peril, the Giants must win to even consider other playoff scenarios.

With no safety valve, everyone from Kevin Boss to Mario Manningham to Derek Hagan to Michael Clayton to Bear Pascoe to Devin Thomas must Step Up and Make Big Plays. More than that, though, it's time to get the running game in gear again.

49ers to Consult With Bill Parcells on General Manager Search, ESPN Says - Bloomberg
The San Francisco 49ers will talk with former New York Giants coach and Miami Dolphins consultant Bill Parcells for his opinion on the team’s search for a coach and general manager, ESPN reports.

I'm not sure why I posted this clipping, other than to see what kind of talk it generates.

Chicago Bears: Against Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears should go all out — within reason -
There is a reason the Bears will wear helmets and pads Sunday rather than bubble wrap. The Bears are in the business of football, not self preservation. If the Bears find themselves with nothing to play for come kickoff Sunday in Green Bay, we all can agree their goal should be to do everything possible to prepare for the playoffs. The issue, then, is how they should prepare. You might suggest they crumple into the fetal position and pray they depart Wisconsin with nary a bruise nor scratch. Me, I say the best way to get ready for the playoffs is to hit somebody in the mouth.

Lovie has suggested as much, and there is an outside chance the Bears have a shot at the 1-seed when they take the field Sunday. The fact also remains that you know the Bears would love to knock their division rivals from the postseason party. I will re-iterate this, though--that Lovie is friends with Tony Dungy. And if they spoke at all this week, or if Dungy decides to wish his pal a Happy New Year Saturday, let's hope Dungy doesn't suggest what he would do Sunday--play his third string the entire game.

Former Eagle Gary Cobb talks about who the Eagles would rather play in the first round, the Packers or Giants. It's a valid question, because if the Giants get another shot at Philly, who knows?

Beyond Black-Eyed Peas: New Year's good-luck foods Austin Food -
Over the years, I've learned subtle variations on what I believed – for example, a penny should be placed under each person's bowl of black-eyed peas to boost the luck potential. Hog jowl should cook with the peas and smoked bacon with the collards; more pork equals more luck. Some golden cheese and bits of corn in the cornbread intensifies the prospects. As I learned more about world cuisines through the years, it became apparent that every culture has its own traditions of good-luck foods, meant to ensure abundance and prosperity in the coming year. When you examine the different rules around the world, similarities begin to emerge.

I can just picture the Giants' buffet table Saturday, can't you? Of course, they will need more than luck on Sunday. They will need to convince us and themselves that they can win a game when they absolutely have to. Then and only then should they worry about whether or not the Bears beat the Packers. They need to just take care of business.

Happy New Year BBVers, and please be safe tonight if you're out and about!