I think the way one moron reacted to the Victor Cruz injury shouldn't be the story. Yes, I had to post the Mike Missanella garbage on Monday. That's part of my job. I didn't have to like doing it. What I did like, and need to commend them for, is the class shown by the Philadelphia Eagles players when Cruz went down in a horrifying heap on Sunday night. I think, no I know, I also really like the job that Jenny Vrentas of 'Monday Morning Quarterback' did capturing the scene and the reaction. Sometimes good journalism happens out of chaos or unfortunate circumstances, and it certainly did here. Here is Vrentas quoting the talkative Eagles slot cornerback Brandon Boykin, who was covering Cruz on the play and was closest to him:
"As soon as he hit the ground, he was screaming, like, really screaming. Not like, Ahh, but he was screaming at the top of his lungs. I was trying to signal for somebody to come over," Boykin said. "When you hear a professional NFL player scream like that, you know it is serious." Boykin had never heard a player scream like that before. As two members of the Giants' medical staff raced over, a handful of Eagles players stayed in the end zone, and the otherwise rowdy Eagles crowd went silent. Safety Nate Allen and defensive end Vinny Curry were among the opposing players who dropped to their knees to join in prayer. "They were trying to straighten his knee out, and he was just screaming," Boykin said. "No matter if it's a rivalry or not, this is his livelihood, and this is his career. Going against him for the past two, three years, knowing how great of a receiver he is, you never want an injury to happen to somebody like that."
I think the Giants must win Sunday in Dallas. Can the Giants still make the playoffs after Sunday? The Giants were, of course, routed by the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-0. To makes matters worse, the Dallas Cowboys went into Seattle and defeated the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. Those events left the Giants shaken -- and two games behind both the Eagles and Cowboys in the NFC East.
Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka is right when he says "The story about the season has not been written yet." There are 10 games to play and the Giants do have time to put thing right after embarrassing themselves in Philadelphia. If they are going to have a legitimate chance of doing that, however, they absolutely must emerge from Dallas on Sunday with a victory over the Cowboys.
If they do that they will be 4-3, still on the heels of the Cowboys and Eagles, and will go a long way toward restoring their status as NFC East contenders. If they lose they will be 3-4, three losses behind the 6-1 Cowboys and 5-1 Eagles, heading into their bye week off two devastating losses and facing four brutal games after they return. Mathematically they will still have a chance, but they will have been exposed as pretenders rather than contenders and most likely will spend the final nine games playing out the string of another playoff-less season.
I think Weston Richburg acted, and sounded, like a rookie Sunday night. The Giants offense lost its composure Sunday night in the face of a hostile crowd and an aggressive, blitzing Eagles defense. No play illustrated that better than the foolish spearing penalty incurred by rookie guard Weston Richburg. Afterwards, Richburg shrugged off the penalty by saying "That's football. That happens all the time."
I think that's complete nonsense. That's not football. That's dirty play you might expect from Ndamukong Suh, and it's immaturity. It's the kind of stuff that can't happen if you are going to win critical football games on the road. It's also a reminder that the Giants went into Philly starting three rookies, a second-year player and a third-year tight end really playing for the first time. I think Eli Manning could have been talking about this play when he said "We have to grow up."
I think, hopefully, we've heard the last of the Giants running their mouths. Mathias Kiwanuka said Monday that Tom Coughlin had called out Giants players for their trash talk last week and said that it wouldn't happen again. "we understand the message that we received today and we will move on in a better way," Kiwanuka said.
I think the thing I don't understand is why the message had to be delivered -- again -- anyway, and why this Giants team thinks it has done anything worth giving it the right to talk at all. Last time I checked the Giants had not made the playoffs since 2011. So what the Giants beat the Texans, Falcons and Redskins. None of those teams is going to the playoffs (sorry, Texans fans!). When, by the way, is the last time the Giants defeated a good football team that actually had its regular starting quarterback? All you need to know is that to answer that question you would have to go all the way back to 2012 and look it up.
Good teams don't need to talk about how good they are or do stupid things like stomp on other team's logos. They show how good they are on the field, and everyone knows it. Mediocre or bad teams that are trying to convince themselves they are good are the ones that run their mouths and tell people they are good.
Right now, which one do you really think the Giants are?
I think I'm tired of hearing about defensive players not playing their assignments. Kiwanuka was talking about this after LeSean McCoy torched the Giants for 149 yards rushing on 22 carries Sunday. "It wasn't always people not understanding what they were asked to do. Some of it was people trying to do too much. People trying to go outside of the defense and make a play. When you start doing that, there are multiple breakdowns that happen," Kiwanuka said.
The thing is, this is what we hear almost every time the Giants play poorly on defense -- that players went outside the defense and started doing their own thing in an effort to make plays.
Why does this happen so often and what does it say about Perry Fewell? Does it say that there are times players are not trusting the calls being made from the sideline? Does it say the Giants aren't prepared at times, that they are seeing things they aren't ready for and aren't sure how to react to them?
I don't know the answer. It is just perplexing that the Giants, especially in the front seven, can look so dominant some weeks and so clueless other weeks.