Kudos to ...
Odell Beckham’s play — The guy is a brilliant player. Two fantastic touchdown receptions Sunday, and nine catches overall for 79 yards. He may not yet be 100 percent, but whatever percentage he was on Sunday was pretty good.
What a route and catch by Odell Beckham Jr. pic.twitter.com/YtVyiHCWWf— Ryan Smith (@PFF_Smith) September 24, 2017
Eli Manning — But, but, but, but the naysayers will say — he threw two interceptions. Yeah, he did. Sure, maybe the first interception wasn’t a perfect throw, but in my view should have been a simple incompletion with better effort from intended receiver Brandon Marshall. Manning came back from those to end up having a really good day.
Manning was good for much of the game, and really good in the fourth quarter. He finished 35-of-47 (74.4 percent) for 366 yards with three touchdowns. He should have had a fourth on one of the two near-touchdowns to Sterling Shepard. He finished with a 100.1 passer rating. He was never sacked, partially because he was decisive and got the ball out in a hurry. A super-fast 1.86 seconds, per PFF, fastest in the league on Sunday. He fit lots of short throws into small windows. He helped put the Giants in position to win. They just didn’t.
Jonathan Casillas and Olivier Vernon — Your opinion of the protest by the Giants, and whatever other protests of President Trump there were on Sunday, is your opinion. We live in a great country and it’s your right to have — and express — that opinion. I am giving these two veteran defensive players “Kudos” for being incredibly thoughtful about what went on Sunday and being eloquent in explaining the protests, and the feelings behind them.
Sterling Shepard — Seven catches for 133 yards and a 77-yard TD that should have been enough for the Giants to close out Sunday’s game. He wasn’t credited with a touchdown in the second quarter but that’s more about the convoluted catch rules than anything Shepard did wrong.
Wet Willies to ...
Odell Beckham’s continued selfishness and immaturity — I have already had my say about Beckham’s “mark my spot” touchdown celebration. All I will add is that it’s embarrassing — to him, to the organization, to his head coach and even to the fan base that supports the team. So, yeah, I didn’t like it. For him to blow off the 15-yard penalty and say “the consequences are going to be what they are” just makes it worse.
A DISGUSTING ACT BY ODELL BECKHAM JR!!! pic.twitter.com/QEUvbzmTIG— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 24, 2017
Discipline and poise — Because the Giants didn’t play with any down the stretch. Coach Ben McAdoo said on the day he was hired as head coach that the Giants would be “sound, smart and tough, committed to discipline and poise.” So far this season, the Giants have been none of those things. There was the awful Beckham celebration. There were a comedy of errors in the final minutes — missed tackles, penalties, players going out of bounds when they shouldn’t, sloppy execution on defense and special teams — that doomed the Giants. A disciplined, poised team wouldn’t implode like that, and that is on the head coach.
The rushing attack — Eight carries, 7 yards in the first half. Yuck! The biggest indictment came when the Giants went shotgun on third-and-goal inches from a score. The Giants did get a 20-yard run from Orleans Darkwa and a 7-yard run from Paul Perkins in the second half, but still finished with just 17 carries for 49 yards (2.9 yards per carry). There were far too many negative plays.
Brad Wing — I love Wing. He’s a great guy. He’s been on the’Big Blue Chat’ podcast. He did a cool “Kudos & Wet Willies” for us a few days ago. He just hit a crummy 28-yard punt at the worst possible time. Problem is, for a really good punter he seems to hit one really bad punt every game. This one came at the worst possible time.
The defense as a whole — You simply can’t cough up two fourth-quarter leads. You can’t give up 193 rushing yards. You can’t have two defensive backs (Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple) slam into each other and let a receiver out of bounds with one second left in the game. You can’t miss soooo many tackles. The Giants did all of those things. Through the first two games, the Giants defense was OK, but not nearly what it was a year ago. The defense couldn’t hide behind the failures of the offense on Sunday, it was front-and-center.
Brandon Marshall’s effort on Manning’s first interception — Yes, the throw was a little bit inside. But Marshall has been in the league too long not to understand he needs to go up and contest that ball, even if he commits offensive pass interference. You can’t just watch the defender grab the ball. That ball needs to be an incompletion. Manning saw one-on-one, a 50-50 situation, gave Marshall a chance and Marshall failed to help his quarterback at all.
Eli Apple — A pair of long pass interference penalties, although I wouldn’t blame you for arguing that the second one was a bogus call. Because it was. There was also the end of game mishap with Jackrabbit we already talked about. Apple doesn’t appear to be progressing after his rookie season.
As Orleans Darkwa told me, the Giants “shoulda won this game.” But, they didn’t. They didn’t because they couldn’t hold two fourth-quarter leads. Because they couldn’t execute down the stretch. Because they continued to look inept on offense for three quarters before finally getting something done.
Entering the season, most people — including me — thought the Giants would be a good football team. Through three games, that couldn’t be more wrong.