Clock is ticking on Tom Coughlin
Blame Coughlin for Sunday if you want. Maybe you agree with his decision to forsake the field goal with the Giants ahead 20-10 in the fourth quarter Sunday and go for the touchdown, what he perceived as the kill shot. Maybe you don't. That's what our poll is for.
Maybe you believe, as I do, that personnel decisions that are beyond Coughlin's control have been a big part of the reason for the failings of this team in recent seasons.
No matter. It's impossible at this point -- love the guy or hate the guy -- not to believe that you are about to watch the final four regular-season games of Coughlin's terrific coaching career.
The Giants have now blown fourth-quarter leads five times this season, several where debatable (whether you believe they were right or wrong) figured in the outcomes. They have had two games (against the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins) where they have been virtual no-shows.
Everyone's time comes, and it seems increasingly likely the clock is going to run out on Coughlin's time when this season ends. You have to wonder, though, if Coughlin might just call it quits himself at the end of the season.
- Odell Beckham Jr. is great, but not perfect: Beckham had six catches for 149 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown. He had a spectacular one-handed 22-yard catch. He now has 169 career catches, the most by any receiver in the first two years of an NFL career. He also failed to make two crucial plays. Late in the first half, Beckham could not haul in a pass from Eli Manning that would have been a 25-yard touchdown. He took a heavy hit on the play and had the wind knocked out of him, but the Giants ended up settling for a field goal. In overtime, Beckham dropped a beautifully thrown pass from Manning between two Jets' defenders that would have set the Giants up around the Jet 20-yard line. He also got penalized for kicking the ball, costing the Giants five yards and a down.
- Larry Donnell is not getting his job back: That's because rookie tight end Will Tye appears to be the future at tight end. The former Stony Brook star had three receptions for 70 yards, including a 45-yarder.
- The Giants found a pass rush: Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took the shackles off on Sunday, throwing the kitchen sink at Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in terms of the blitz. The Giants ended up with three sacks, two by defensive end Robert Ayers, and nine hits on Fitzpatrick. Defensive back Trevin Wade had two hits on Fitzpatrick, as did Jason Pierre-Paul. The Giants sent as many as seven rushers at times.
- Tom Quinn can be pretty tricky: You knew the Giants were pulling out all the stops to win this one when you saw Beckham back to return punts along with Dwayne Harris. On the 80-yard punt return touchdown by Harris it was clear the Jets were kicking away from Beckham. They spent the rest of the game kicking the ball out of bounds whenever Beckham joined Harris as a returner.
- Five-game winning streaks are not kind to the Giants: A week ago, the Giants had a five-game winning streak against the Washington Redskins snapped. Sunday, they had a five-game winning streak against the Jets snapped. The Giants hadn't lost to the Jets since Oct. 31, 1993.
- The RB committee isn't going away: The Giants' four-man running back committee was changed up a little bit on Sunday, but was still in existence. Rashad Jennings started, but after one series was rarely seen until the fourth quarter. Orleans Darkwa (eight carries, 23 yards) got the most rushes, and Andre Williams had six carries for 22 yards.
- You have to root for the Cowboys now: Believe it or not, the Giants can still have a share of first place in the NFC East if the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Washington Redskins on Monday night. So, for a teeny, tiny window of time on Monday that makes Giants' fans also Cowboys' fans. Yeesh!
- Bobby Hart "did a respectable job:" That is how Coughlin described the play of the rookie, who was filling in for right tackle Marshall Newhouse. Manning was sacked three times and the Giants had only minimal success trying to run the ball, but Hart appeared to hold up just fine in his first pro start. It will be interesting to see the Pro Football Focus grade for him on Monday.
- Screen passes killed the Giants: Bilal Powell scored the Jets' first touchdown when he took a screen 25 yards for the score. On at least two other occasions the Jets got 15 or more yards on screens. The Redskins killed the Giants with the screen last week. "We just didn't stop it," said Jason Pierre-Paul. No kidding.