Archive for December, 2006

Random comments

December 31, 2006

1) Eric Mangini worked for Bill Belichick in Cleveland.. get it?!!
2) I shut off the tv when the Giants took over on downs at the Skins 22 with less than 2 mins remaining. This from Harold: After getting a first down at the Skins 5 with ~1:40 remaining, they actually RAN A PISARCIK! The snap to Jacobs was not fumbled, and the team took a knee on the next 2 snaps to close the game, but wtf was that on first down????!!!!
3) Coughlin’s players in Jacksonville said the same things about him before he left there as they do now (see box on right side of blog).
4) Cincy of the AFC will not make the playoffs. They could beat any NFC team.
5) The 55 yd TD run in Q2 was guaranteed by Tiki Barber. (“If they blitz it will be a TD.”)
6) I thought that Tim Carter’s best play of his career was the 15 yd personal foul call on the Chiefs when they hit him out of bounds last season. That was topped last night when Carter did a Hollywood-esque dive on alleged contact and got the pass interference call. At least when he gets cut next season he’ll have opportunities in the future as an actor.

Tiki 34 Washington 28

December 31, 2006

Another microcosm of the season. Giants get great Tiki; soft defense unable to hold it down if not for a rookie QB making enuf mistakes to let the Giants off the hook. And how about our hero Coughlin not going for the 2 with 6 minutes left AGAIN! Deja vu! Where have we seen this nimrod before? Atlanta?!

This game illustrates a few points:
1) Hufnagel’s playcalling was in need of overhaul.
2) It always helps to break tendency in your playcalling, and you automatically got that from ANY new playcaller.
3) The Giants lack confidence in Manning.
4) Manning still has the same mechanical issues with his game. His sidearm pass into the endzone that was almost picked off is the classic Aikman critique. He is trying to avoid taking the hit after throwing the pass… tough sh*t. Make the proper throw even if that means taking the hit, or else don’t play in the NFL.
5) We will most likely lose in the first round of the playoffs, because beating a 5-11 garbage team w/ a rookie QB is the same NON-uptick as beating the decimated Panthers w/o Delhomme.
6) Tiki Barber for 234 yards?!!! Put the guy in Canton and stop with the talk about his career not being long enough.

I remember my first year as a Giants fan, we were 9-4 and needed to win but we lost to the LA Rams and finished 9-5, out of the playoffs. I was miserable. Contrast that with now, when we are likely going to be in at 8-8. WE ARE GOING NOWHERE. This playoff spot may appear to be an oasis but Coughlin is the desert. Chris Snee mockingly greets the Press Corp after the win with a blast of righteous indignation: “We’re awful…Get out.” Yep, the Giants SHOWED US! They showed us they could (a) beat an opponent who gave up 100 yards in penalties and was more shoddy than they were (b) almost blow a 20 point lead, AGAIN (c) win in a game they were favored to win, something they have been UNABLE to do in 5 games down this stretch (d) use a little attitude adjustment of a new coach.

Coughlin not out until we lose tonight

December 30, 2006

The Giants need to move on (and lose to Washington to get that process moving along). A new GM and a new head coach are needed at the very least to give Manning a new set of coaches to put him (at the very least) on track to help this franchise win games.

Shockey is said to be OUT tonight. His hobbled ankle was (re?)injured against New Orleans this past week. If the Giants have only Barber and Burress left as strong threats, you have to imagine that Williams of Wash will key on taking these guys out. Add that the Gmen have to move the guard Diehl to LT. So why are the Giants favored? Hey, I did not understand why they were -5.5 to the Eagles and -3 over the Saints. Even though I quietly want the Skins to win and seal Coughlin’s fate, you have to think that.. you can only lose the game once and why not attack with Jacobs and Moss, given they will have to be playing larger roles next season.

Hufnagel shown the door

December 28, 2006

Gary Myers of the Daily News writes a great piece today. He saves the best for last: “Coughlin made one desperate attempt to save the Giants’ season and save his job. Just like his offense, the timing is off.”

I sometimes wonder why it took the Saints game to realize what we have been talking about for months. We have pointed out how predictable the playcalling would get in the redzone (first down pass, second down a lock to handoff to Barber), how maniacal it would be to not throw to your Pro Bowl TE in the first half. We have talked about the underachievement on offense, the poor coaching of their QB. It took capitulation vs the Saints for Coughlin to all of a sudden get desperate? The selfish players have been venting their childish ways for weeks, but against the Saints when they openly mutinied it woke up Coughlin?

A day late and a dollar short.

Oh, by the way, one last tidbit: Schwartz of the NY Post reports that Giant management asked Coughlin to let go of Hufnagel at the end of LAST SEASON. Coughlin refused. Knowing this, what do you think Tom’s chances are now for being the head coach in 2007? With Petitgout and Strahan put on season-ending IR, with the team officially imploded, let’s hope we get skinned on Saturday and end this Coughlin era and move on.

Bashir Levingston

December 25, 2006

WTF is Bashir Levingston? Jim Fassel knows. In November of 2000, the 7-2 Giants lost two games in a row and Fassel was doing his typical underachievement, unable to handle prosperity. His contract was coming due, and he knew his days were numbered if this team with a softer schedule in a soft conference failed to meet expectations. So with the team now 7-4, Fassel made his legendary push ‘all-in.’ He guaranteed the team was going to the playoffs. BFD. He knew he was gone if they did not get in anyway, so by itself, he really had nothing to lose by doing that. The players allegedly responded by saying that Fassel took all the pressure off of them, en route to a 5 game sweep of the remaining games. Nice fairy tale ending, right?

But a lesser known move by Fassel was what MORE LIKELY put him over the top. (1) ON THE SAME DAY as the “guarantee,” he cut his kick returner, Bashir Levingston. As the kick returner, everyone assumed this alpha male of the special teams was untouchable. But word had it (I cannot confirm this) that Levingston was a troublemaker, a disrupter in team meetings etc…, and HE WAS SHOWN THE DOOR. He never played in the NFL again. (2) He simultaneously shook up special teams and placed many prominent starters in the jobs that are generally relegated to 1st and 2nd year players. Veterans don’t take kindly to being put in harm’s way by kamikaze gunners etc…so these team leaders took charge and overnight there was a complete change in attention and discipline as the veterans went after the younger players and played better themselves when they too realized their jobs were not safe either.

The inmates have been running the Coughlin asylum for a while now.

Wellington Mara

December 25, 2006

From the Daily news LAST WEDNESDAY:

“You definitely, definitely – and I told our team this – you need to put together an outstanding performance for our fans here at home,” Coughlin said.
And to be fair, this hasn’t been 2003 when the end of the Jim Fassel era played out in front of half-empty stadiums, prompting Wellington Mara to call the fans’ abandonment “a message that comes loud and clear.”

If Wellington Mara were alive it is quite possible than this meltdown would not have happened. But if he were alive yesterday, with the fans leaving near the beginning of the 4th quarter, with the fans twice chanting to Fire Coughlin, with the team completely giving up on the game… it is quite obvious that this would have sent him into the locker room to rip these players to shreds. Just like in 2003, when Fassel was the lame duck and Mara came in to a hushed locker room, to let them know that many of them would not be around next year… he would have done the same thing to a lame duck Coughlin.

The Giants have one more game remaining, but that is a mirage. You have a decent argument that Mara would not visit the locker room until the end of the season, but when the players give up on the coach, the owners and the fans, Mara’s words come out.


December 24, 2006

Coughlin was said to be keeping his job unless the Giants imploded. The Giants imploded. The only game we have won in this entire stretch was to the Carolina Panthers, who were decimated by injuries. And we knew back then that that win was not to be trusted as any kind of meaningful uptick. We are going to hear once again how the Giants somehow have a shot at the playoffs, but they are not worthy of that talk. I certainly hope the team lets go of Coughlin regardless of what happens next week.

Did you hear the stadium chanting: “Fire-Cough-lin” ..? That was Andy L and Andy F doing our best to contribute to that effort. After all, Coughlin tells us (the fans) that he needs us to be loud. We obliged.

So instead we get more headbutts and absurdities. Coughlin has lost the team. These guys do not get shown the door, so the door must be shown to Mr. Coughlin so that the rest of them can be shown the door by the new coach.

Coincidence? Or more?

December 21, 2006

Did you notice that the only two Giants who were voted to the Pro Bowl were also the (only) two Giants who have said previously that their team was outcoached? Barber and Shockey are outspoken on the quietest of days, so one can quickly dismiss it as coincidence. But they are outspoken because of their Pro Bowls, because of their skill and somewhat invulnerable status. They say things that others on the team would like to say but won’t. Is it the tip of the iceberg? I do not think it is a coincidence- where there is smoke there is fire.

Pro Bowl (or, when does 2-3= -1?)

December 20, 2006

So we have 2 Pro Bowlers, Barber and Shockey. Kind of frightening how Shockey makes it when they do not even throw to the guy in the first half of every game. And yet he still has the most receptions of any TE in the NFC. Add that Manning does not help Shockey help the team. Shockey’s (9.8 yds) avg/reception is the lowest in the top 10, clearly a result of Manning’s inaccuracy.

Speaking of Manning, no he did not get to the Pro Bowl. But THREE of the people that San Diego got in that trade did… Rivers, Merriman and Kaeding.

Anger and disgust

December 19, 2006

The NFL should make a rule that you need to have a 9-7 record to qualify for the playoffs. Why reward mediocrity? Money? Yep, I’ll admit I’d be one of those suckers either watching or paying to see my 8-8 team in the playoffs, because I am just too damn loyal. (Loyal sounds a lot better than addicted, right?) But to see the Giants getting into the playoffs after losing 5 of the last 6 is quite ludicrous. Absurd. I’ll switch to some nouns now. Vomit. Garbage. I think you get the idea.

I really wanted to leave the game after Shiancoe fumbled. This was not the kind of moment where you leave and find yourself kicking yourself if your team comes back to win. It is the kind of moment of disgust where, WIN OR LOSE, your team is underachieving… playing with its food, SCHTICK DRECK. Watching them became … unwatchable. Who cared if they won? Who cared if they lost? They ALREADY HAD LOST with 10 mins left. They beat themselves YET AGAIN. Philly did not play a bad game, but they are not going to win that game if this team is well coached and if the players are well disciplined. Leaving with 10 mins left was a statement that you had not given up on the team, that the team had given up on you.

This team has no business being in the playoffs. And it pains me to see these players and coaches possibly get rewarded for such sloppiness this year.

While I am in rant mode, ever hear Coughlin with his “Green Zone?” 31 teams call it the Red Zone, he calls it the Green Zone. Kind of reminds me of Bush pronouncing nuke-you-ler. Like, if Coughlin says it enough times it will be right. Coach- a piece of advice: get some better playcalling and score TDs instead of FGs and you can call it any f’g color you want!

Maybe by some miracle the Panthers will do something stupid and fire Fox. And we could do something smart and hire him like we were supposed to in 2001 and 2002. It is not happening. But allow me to fantasize.