Let me start with this when it comes to today's 'Kudos & Wet Willies.' I have to agree with BBI's assessment -- if you play for the New York Giants name is not Eli Manning, Victor Cruz or Jason Pierre-Paul you need not apply and you may not want to read any further. Nothing nice will be said about you here today.
The Giants 49-24 loss Monday to the New Orleans Saints was just the latest example of a team that simply can't back up its words. This team is not as good as it thinks it is. Anyway, let's get on with the 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review.
Kudos to ...
Eli Manning: Last week I gave Manning 'Kudos' despite mediocre numbers because I felt like he was playing offense all by himself. Today, you have to give Manning 'Kudos' for having a phenomenal, if futile, night. He completed 33-of-47 passes for 406 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. This was the second time this season he threw for more than 400 yards. Manning also set a franchise record with 21 straight completions. It's too bad that the Giants are wasting Manning's brilliance.
Victor Cruz: Each week you have to fall in love with this kid more and more. The nine catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns, including a 72-yarder, was more of the same of what we have come to expect from him. The kid can flat-out play. You know this 'Kudos' is for, though? It's for the fact that Cruz gets it. He scored both of his touchdowns in the fourth quarter and skipped his Salsa dance, simply handing the ball to the official. That is what you do when your team is getting killed. You don't celebrate like a fool ... or Brandon Jacobs.
Jason Pierre-Paul: Was JPP the only one really trying on the Giants defensive unit Monday night? Sometimes it sure looked like it. A brilliant play to stop a fake punt was just the best example. Pierre-Paul made a team-high six tackles, but this 'Kudos' is for effort. I didn't see any other Giants busting it downfield play-after-play, running to the ball at full speed. I saw JPP doing that on pretty much every play. The young man is a pleasure to watch. Now, if Perry Fewell would just use him properly.
Wet Willies to ...
I have to start here with Tom Coughlin. It is always said that a team reflects the personality of its coach, and that means that a lot of the inconsistency, the lack of emotion, the lack of -- well, the lack of anything remotely resembling good football -- has to land at Coughlin's doorstep. I am not going to call for Coughlin's firing, his players are doing that for him by failing to perform and by failing to look they care or have a clue. I will simply say this -- I believe we are about to witness the final five games of the Tom Coughlin era with the Giants.
Now let's move on to the individual units.
Let's start with the coach. Perry Fewell should be utterly embarrassed. I know the Giants have had injuries and I know Michael Boley was calling signals before injuring a hamstring. But, Fewell has had these players together since August and he ran a group of players out on the field Monday night who did not know their assignments, could not get lined up, and in one case couldn't even get turned around to face the ball before the snap. Five touchdown drives Monday night by New Orleans of 73 yards or more. When you watch the Giants try to play defense you have to think Fewell is rapidly coaching himself out of consideration for head-coaching jobs around the league. Off of what I have seen I certainly can't say Fewell should be at the top of the list of candidates if and when the Giants remove Coughlin.
Deon Grant also has to take a hit. If it was his job to get the Giants organized, he failed miserably. Not to mention the fact that Grant is too slow to be on the field, anyway.
I am not even going to bother going through the rest of the players. No pass rush. No coverage, in zone or man-to-man. No ability to stop the run. No physicality. Nothing. 'Wet Willies' to everybody except Pierre-Paul.
Manning, Cruz and Hakeem Nicks (seven catches for 87 yards) were productive. In truth, the offense was not the problem Monday night, even if the Giants did struggle -- as usual -- to run the ball. The Giants scored 24 points and it would have been 31 except for a brilliant interception in the end zone by Will Herring of the Saints, and they did compile 465 yards of offense.
Still, there were too many dropped balls. There was Brandon Jacobs' idiotic touchdown celebration with the Giants trailing badly in the second half. There was Da'Rel Scott fumbling the ball.
A fumbled punt by Aaron Ross. Steve Weatherford deciding on his own to try a fake punt. At least a little bit of life from Scott on kickoff returns, but not a good night.