Before the New York Giants’ 29-27 loss to the Washington Redskins fades into the memory banks and we turn our focus to the Minnesota Vikings, let’s look at “Five things I think I think” about the Giants.
The Giants need more from Olivier Vernon
I think I love how hard Giants’ defensive end Olivier Vernon works, and I think he’ a good player. I also think, though, that the Giants need more than they have gotten from Vernon in the first three weeks. Much more.
Vernon has a sack, four quarterback pressures and seven tackles after three games. That’s not nearly enough. Now, in fairness, I have no idea how much he is limited. or if he is limited at all, by a hand injury. The Giants are paying him to be the lead dog on that defensive line, though, and in the first three weeks of the season that isn’t what they have gotten.
Vernon had a reputation as a guy who could create havoc, but with one one double-digit sack season in four years perhaps didn’t finish enough plays. There was also the question of whether or not, after playing second fiddle in Miami to Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh, he could be the No. 1 guy.
The first might still be a fair observation. The jury remains out on the second one until he proves otherwise.
Eli Manning needs to be better than he was Sunday
TV talking head Skip Bayless is a clueless guy who makes a living saying the most outlandish things he can think of. His Eli Manning takedown on Monday morning is, simply put, ridiculous.
If, however, you simply want to say Manning wasn’t very good on Sunday and needs to play better for the Giants to make the playoffs I will support that 100 percent.
Manning’s 25-of-38, 350-yard passing day looks fine on paper. Until you add in the interceptions — including a really awful throw to end the game — near interceptions and questionable decisions.
By the way, in “Kudos & Wet Willies” I put the blame for the first interception on Will Tye, the intended receiver. I will hold to that, but look at the image below. The All-22 film reveals that there are three WIDE OPEN receivers on the play. That’s Odell Beckham breaking to the end zone, Sterling Shepard in the middle and Victor Cruz on the outside. Manning never looks at any of them and throws the ball to the one player who is actually tightly covered. Awful.
“Ticky-tack” penalties? Maybe, but Weston Richburg is still at fault
Call the penalties on Weston Richburg that led to his ejection “ticky-tack” if you want. Manning did. Richburg, though, clearly deserved the second penalty and, thus, the ejection.
After blasting Josh Norman on a catch-and-run to the 5-yard line by Odell Beckham, Richburg clearly turns and taunts the Washington corner. With one personal foul already, this is just poor judgment by Richburg. In fact, both the block and the taunt were completely unnecessary. That lack of discipline cost the Giants first and goal at the 5-yard line, and their starting center.
Odell Beckham and “maturity”
In the “K&WW” comments I see that many disagree with my “Wet Willie” for Beckham’s maturity. If you’re not understanding why his tantrum, sideline or otherwise, is an issue then you simply turning a blind eye to it.
Sure, it happened on the sideline. But, he took the attention of his head coach, quarterback and position coach away from the game. He could have hurt himself. And, he showed the rest of the league that three years into his career his emotions remain an issue that teams around the league can and will use against him.
"I don't think in my short memory I've seen anyone as emotional as Beckham is. And one other play you can say on this is, if I'm a defensive coordinator or a defensive team coming in and playing Beckham, you can also play that to your ... I mean, that is probably why you're going to see a lot of people say things in the media. A lot of people might go at Beckham in different ways because they know he is emotional, and they know that in the past that has taken him out of his game," Tuck said on 98.7 FM ESPN New York. "So that can be something that defensive scouting reports will say: 'Hey, we can utilize this to take him out of his game.'"
The offensive line has been fine
If you are still pounding that drum that says “The Giants’ offensive line is terrible” then you really haven’t paid attention to the first three games.
We know how good Richburg is. Justin Pugh is solid at left guard. John Jerry, after an offseason working with Richburg at OLine Performance, is moving better and playing well. Ereck Flowers isn’t perfect, but he’s showing some improvement. Marshall Newhouse had a good game, then a bad one. Bobby Hart showed promise Sunday, doing a nice job filling in for Newhouse.
The Minnesota Vikings, leading the league with 15 sacks, present a huge challenge Monday night. Maybe next week I will have a different opinion. To this point, though, the work of the offensive line has not been an issue.