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Monday, January 12, 2009

That bitter taste, a day after

Short version: A day later, 1-Gilbrown still browns, 2-underachievement should never be "accepted," 3-this loss will be right up there with Flipper Anderson, 4-the loss had little to do with the defense, 5-the Giants played with intensity and 6-Eli Manning will be judged by his record.

Longer version: The intragame comments, postgame comments, email and phone conversations were flooded with unflattering remarks about Gilbrown. Everyone kept on bringing up the series where it was 1st and 5 later in the game. That was certainly one of the more egregious moments. Wonder articulated it simply: the offense need(ed) to have a rhythm. For lack of a better word, it is converting 3rd downs. When your QB is having problems, you need to use the slant and shorter passes to make his job easier, give him more confidence. But we have talked about this EXACT same issue immediately after W14. So why the surprise? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." WHO WAS FOOLED BY WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?! "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." We are disappointed (to put it mildly) that our coaches made the same mistakes again. A rhythm was established in the Carolina game, and it was quickly lost. Was Gilbride getting "cute?" I think it is more about him being clueless.

These kinds of games are killers because of the simple fact the team beat itself. Everyone who understands football knows that there was more than enough on this team to win a championship. Watching the season end in this manner is particularly nasty. I am grateful that there are at least a few sane people out in cyberworld who have afforded us the luxury of knowing that we are not the ones who are mad. And when I spoke with Wonder, he independently remarked about "your buddy Gilbride." It was Wonder who said that he was one of the three MVPs of the game for the Eagles, I had to borrow that. Gilbrown= underachievement.

The 5 stages of grief may call for "acceptance," but we as fans do not have to accept underachievement. It is up to Coughlin, not Reese, to cut Gilbrown loose. We have heard about GMs who ask for assistants to get let go, but I do not believe the Giants ever operated this way. So Coughlin is the one who is responsible in Reese's eyes, and if it doesn't get fixed at a certain point, Reese would have a problem with Coughlin, not with one of his assistants. As we all know, Reese is VERY smart. I am sure he knows exactly what is going on. He'll be hearing excuses from the coaches, but he was not born yesterday either. He knows that the Giants loss was just as UNACCEPTABLE as the Titan loss 1 day prior.

Some of the remarks about the defense causing problems in the loss were imo incidental. THE DEFENSE PLAYED WELL ENOUGH TO WIN. Gilbride's unit did not get it done and SCORED THREE POINTS ALL GAME. The Giants defense gave up 16. Deduct 2 points for the safety, 3 points on the Robbins INT, and all they did was give up 11 points. This game was NOT on the defense.

As for Jacobs' remarks about not having the same intensity as the Eagles, I completely disagree. In the first half, all I saw was the Giants defense playing with fire, giving up 3 points the entire half, and the offense simply falling (Manning INT) apart and not finishing drives. The Giants had plenty of intensity, more than enough to win. If you want to argue that Manning did not play with "intensity," I won't argue with that, but since when he has ever showed 'any' intensity ever? He always plays at the same speed, whether it was last year's playoffs or this year's playoffs. Speaking of Manning..

I was struck by a rather accurate assessment made by Cris Carter of ESPN on Eli Manning. Carter said that Eli Manning was going to have deal with the fallout from this loss along with his big win last season. Essentially, what he is saying is that the Joe Montanas of the world did not play down and bring their teams to defeat in BIG PLAYOFF games. This is just a reminder that you are what your record is, and he is going to be remembered for having left plenty on the table in the 2008 season.

19 comments:

Eric said...

Yes, Eli didn't have a good game. No argument there. But Gilbride's play calling was horrible. The first interception was just a stupid call. You're backed up inside the 10 and going against the wind. Run the ball. Let Jacobs pound away. Worst case scenario you go three and out and punt. Your defense is playing lights out and you make it a field position game. Every time Jacobs or Ward started to breakthrough Gilbride stopped and started to throw. Aikman called it at half. Keep handing off to Brandon Jacobs until he can't run anymore. Play to your team's strengths. At half the play distribution was 16 pass 16 run. In a windy game at Giants stadium with one of the best running teams in the league that's moronic. The 1st and 5 was epitomizes that. Run the ball and at a minimum get 2 or 3 yards and then throw on 2nd. The idea is to keep moving the chains. Every time they were inside the 30 his play calling stopped the drive dead in its tracks. You can certainly blame the offense for lack of execution, but the failure starts with Gilbride. He didn't give his guys a shot. Gilbride's play calling sucks and it always has.

Crazed Giant fan said...

This has to be one of the most disappointing Giants games in the history of the franchise. Clearly, the game was there for the winning. We had many chances to win, but just never seemed to take advantage of them.
There was one scenario which really ticked me off.

In the first half at the 2 minute warning, we have 1st and five. The Eagles have two TO left. It is clear that you want to score the TD and close out the half.

So what do the Giants do. They announce to the Eagles that they are going to pass by lining up 5 wide receivers. No finesse, no trickery. Make the job easy for the Eagles on Defense. I think that is awful. Have you ever heard of play action or inside handoff or draw. And so we get an incomplete. Then we get another incomplete and now it is 3rd and five and we decide to run the ball and don't get the 1st down. Eagles burn 1 timeout and manage to get the ball with 1:30 and1 TO left

Imagine if we run the ball three times from that down and distance and somehow, don't get the 1st down. The Eagles would have to burn their two TOs and the game clock would be under 50 seconds when they get the ball after our FG attempt. Plus they have no TO's left. More than likely, they don't have enough time to get that FG before the half.

Now that is all on Gilbride. He is unaware of the game clock. He is giving the opponent extra chances to beat us and score. Yuck

Now it is the 4th qtr and we have a 4th and short. Why not on one of the attempts, fake the run and try to throw to the TE. The Eagles are selling out to stop the run and we are playing right into their hands. Yuck.

It will take a long time for this game to digest. I can't beleive we missed two FG's. That was so critical.

I just hope we come back better. A new OC would go a long way to helping the franchise.

Crazed Giant fan said...

This has to be one of the most disappointing Giants games in the history of the franchise. Clearly, the game was there for the winning. We had many chances to win, but just never seemed to take advantage of them.
There was one scenario which really ticked me off.

In the first half at the 2 minute warning, we have 1st and five. The Eagles have two TO left. It is clear that you want to score the TD and close out the half.

So what do the Giants do. They announce to the Eagles that they are going to pass by lining up 5 wide receivers. No finesse, no trickery. Make the job easy for the Eagles on Defense. I think that is awful. Have you ever heard of play action or inside handoff or draw. And so we get an incomplete. Then we get another incomplete and now it is 3rd and five and we decide to run the ball and don't get the 1st down. Eagles burn 1 timeout and manage to get the ball with 1:30 and1 TO left

Imagine if we run the ball three times from that down and distance and somehow, don't get the 1st down. The Eagles would have to burn their two TOs and the game clock would be under 50 seconds when they get the ball after our FG attempt. Plus they have no TO's left. More than likely, they don't have enough time to get that FG before the half.

Now that is all on Gilbride. He is unaware of the game clock. He is giving the opponent extra chances to beat us and score. Yuck

Now it is the 4th qtr and we have a 4th and short. Why not on one of the attempts, fake the run and try to throw to the TE. The Eagles are selling out to stop the run and we are playing right into their hands. Yuck.

It will take a long time for this game to digest. I can't beleive we missed two FG's. That was so critical.

I just hope we come back better. A new OC would go a long way to helping the franchise.

Motown Blue said...

Lobotomy of an OC

There is a concern at this point in TCs tenure. He has had some very poor hiring decisions with Huefnagel to Tim Lewis. He stuck with both of them too long due to his loyalty to a fault. He has a QB who can't throw in his own stadium and this should have been priority number 1 to coach up. Last year the D-line and D started to figure it out toward the end of the season and rode that into the playoffs. Eli was not carrying this team last year and his numbers were not in any ways eye popping numbers. Spags and the D were truly what won the SB last year and Eli was in the don't brown it up mode. TC has done a great job in motivating and instilling the team first, fundamentals, and execution orientation in this team. However, if he stands behind this lobotomy of an OC they will start to tune him out as the NFL does stand for Not For Long. Remember in Reeves and early Fassel tenure when the D was fighting with the O could be headed there.

Yesterday brought back memories of the SF playoff game collapse as the frustration was compounded by knowing that we were stuck with Fassel for at least another year knowing the Maras.

We have let some great coordinators go in the past from Lombardi, Landry, Belidick to Fox. Just wondering if we should allow Spags to move on? Just something to ponder.

Bob said...

The parallels between this game & the last Eagles game are scary. A close score at the half. A 12-14 margin of victory for the Eagles.
An Eagles D that slowly took over the game in 2H.

Andy,as you have wisely said, all we had to do was learn from PAST MISTAKES. There is too much talent on this O to tolerate no TD's. If Coughlin is responsible for Gillbrown, then his job must be put in jeopardy for Gillbrown's failures. Any false sense of loyalty to Gillbrown must be punished by Gerry Reese.

Gerry Reese is ultimately responsible for football operations
& the future of this team. We are now at a critical juncture. We need Gillbrown F#@@&ing FIRED.

Robert said...

One of the most dissapointing performances of the Eli era. Would someone address why, after 5 years, Eli has not learned to throw in the stadium winds. Phil knew how to do it. Why can't this skill be passed on. It would make sense since this helps home field advantage.
Second, in Peter King's Monday Morning QB he mentions Plax may be welcome back the Giants if he doesn't go to jail. How real is this? Comparasion to the LT situation back in the 80's. Nevertheless, Giants need a big time receiver. Can Manningham handle this?

Russ Wellen said...

Once again, I've seen the rest, now I read the best. UltimateNYG easily provides the most comprehensive coverage of the Giants -- especially, of course, game day -- in the metropolitan area.

Eric said: "Every time Jacobs or Ward started to breakthrough Gilbride stopped and started to throw."

Right -- and what's with sending Jacobs on end runs?

Motown Blue raises the issue that Coughlin may feel too loyal to fire his coordinators. (Who does that remind you of? Oh yeah, our soon to be ex-president.)

The initial relief everyone experienced when Gilbride took over for Hufnagel has long since expired.

Finally, how did we ever come to a state where the linebackers -- traditionally the Giants' strongest position over the years -- is now its weakest?

Cody said...

Sorry, but I just have to pile it on Gilbride here (and most of this has been mentioned by Andy previously, so in many ways, I'm just venting at this point):

(1) No touches for Bradshaw? Really? That’s like leaving Albert Pujols on the bench in the 9th inning when he’s available to pinch-hit.

(2) Why no RB screens? The one that Ward dropped doesn’t count. I’m talking about an old-fashioned draw in the defense, dump off to the RB screen.

(3) No slants all game. What’s the worse that could happen? Eli throws it incomplete? GMen didn’t throw ONE SLANT ALL DAY.

(4) Sal Paulontonio said this morning that because of the wind, at the half the Eagles made a big adjustment w/ McNabb: they switched him to all short drops and short throws. Uhhh….what do you think Gilbride’s adjustment was? (Aside from shifting from saying “Duhhhhhh” to "Derrrrrr"). Point is: Gilbride kept pushing the ball downfield on a day when EVERYONE KNEW that Eli wasn’t at his best from his 1st throw. I don’t get it. By this logic, Gilbride is insane (Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”).

(5) WTF WITH THE WILDCAT! Giants HAVE NOT run that play ALL YEAR! Yet you pull it out in a CRUCIAL 3rd and 3? Knowing the smaller size, yet speed advantage, that the Eagles LB’s have…and instead of pounding Hedgecock or even counter action with Snee – you try to run a sweep to the edge that fooled 0% of the people involved with and watching the game?? BRUTAL call. Brutal. Poor choice in both timing and thought. With smaller LB’s a punch in the mouth is what’s called for, NOT a “finesse” play.

Ugh. I’m just sick right now. I’m so angry with the coaching staff and with Eli. They had two weeks to come up with this game plan and their inability to have a back-up plan or even commit to the things that were working (hello, run game!!) are just shocking, really.

Settling in for a long and cold offseason……

Raymond said...

Is it time for us all to admit that Eli is just not that good, his unreal hot streak last year notwithstanding?
Look at the first play of the game. Steve Smith was WIDE OPEN. With virtually any of the other QB's who made the playoffs, that's a sure touchdown, or at least a play that gets damn near the goal line. This, to me, is a microcosm of Eli's career, of his whole game. He simply can't make most NFL throws too much of the time. There's a reason they never throw a slant: because Eli can't do it. The ball would be behind the receiver, over the receiver's head, at his feet, batted down by the defensive line. He just isn't very good at the fundamentals of the game. The second half of the Vikings game was a real revelation, I think, because for all David Carr's flaws--which may well have been more a product of being sacked 7000 times in Houston than of anything else--we got to see what an NFL offense looks like when it's run by a QB who can make all the damn throws. Carr comes in, and BAM! Hixon scores a TD. The wideouts aren't the problem: the Plax thing was a huge deal primarily because, given his size and athletic talent, he is able to adjust to horrendous throws very well. People seem to ignore the fact that the wideouts are often very open--again, see the first play of yesterday's game--and that often Eli just can't hit them. Look at what Tom Brady was able to do with a very average crew of receivers for years in New England before Moss showed up.
Moving forward, they need to commit to running the ball 40 or so times a game--at least--and only asking Eli to throw a little bit. Am I taking crazy pills, or are other people seeing this?

Motown Blue said...

The original #58 on WFAN today. He has confirmed just about everything discussed on this blogoshpere.

http://www.wfan.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=3319280

In summary:

1) Poor game planning by the OC and coaches.

2) Need to have their fingers on the pulse of thier team and players. The coaches were spectators. Got to cute with play calling as he used the crayon analogy where Gilbrown took too many out to play with. Stay with black and blue what they are doing well, run the ball. To inivative when you don't need to be in certain spots such as the wildcat with Ward.

3) When your QB is off his game you give him 'lay ups' and 'dink and dunks' and everything he talked about before about moving the chains play calling.

4) No excuses about Plax. The WRs were getting behind their 2ndary the QB just coulnd't get them the ball. Another reason to give help to your QB by calling the above plays.

5) He pulled a Shockey and Tiki: 'They were outcoached'.

6) Red Zone efficiency faults were 'manifested' in this 'big' game and poor play calling on manageable 3rd downs.

7) Boss beating Bradley 2x was a key play and what they should have been doing to move the chains. "What were they thinking in not using these type of plays" and "they had a bad game calling plays".

8) He mentioned a conversation with Aikman about how underappreciated Simms was at playing in Giants stadium. Eli needs to learn how to win in Giant stadium and use it to your advantage against your opponent. Playcalling needs to be weather friendly as well. They need to tinker during the game based on the weather conditions in Giants stadium. The coaches need to have their pulse on their team and players and adjust accordingly to what works and is working.

9) They don't have any cover LBs.

Unfortunatley, Carl based on his position did not call out Gilbrown and whether he should be allowed to keep his job.

Bottom line Eagles were the better team as they executed when needed and do what they are good at, win ugly games.

James Allen said...

A bitter pill.

Everything's been pretty much covered, so I'll just point up a few things that pissed me off.

1) What's with going away from the run so much? What the hell was with running wide? WTF was with going shotgun/empty backfield on 1st and 5? What in the name of hell was that direct snap play? No Bradshaw again. They have the best running game on Earth and they don't pound it with the goddamn running game.

2) They threw to Boss a few times in the first half (3 rec for 52 yards) and never threw to him again. It was clear to everyone Manning didn't have it (hello? Week 14 anyone?) so you drop the TE from the playbook?

3) The defense did very well, but going into prevent (3-man rush) at the end of the first half was assinine. Let the defense try to pitch a first half shutout; let them keep doing what they were doing. That FG gave McNabb a bit of life going into the locker room.

4) A tale of the start of two halves: first half opening kickoff returned to the Eagle 35. Only get 3. Opening drive by Philly in the second half, INT to the Eagle 33. Only get 3. A TD in either case would've meant tons.

All in all, yes, Gilbride stinks. The running game should've imposed their will on this game but they weren't given the chance. Manning needs a QB coach to teach him to throw in the wind (something Aikman and Bradshaw pointed out.) Manning just can't play well at Giants stadium in January. That's not good. Astoundingly the Giants haven't won a home playoff game in 9 years when Collins was the QB.

I know the other wideouts haven't stepped up the past few weeks, but it's going a bit too far to say Plax's departure killed them. It was a factor, but they still had more than enough to win this game. No excuses.

Raymond said...

Bill Cowher for offensive coordinator! He'd run the damn ball!

Nature said...

Raymond your on crazy pills....

we are all mad about the lost but you are trippin...dont DARE mention DAVID CARR's name with ELI no day no way...Eli is not that good? 21 td 10 int in the NFC BEAST? did you see our schedule? have you forgotten about the MANY late game winning drives he has had in his short tenure? i think you are WAAAAY off course on the ELI thing. Gilbride designs and calls the plays, its ELI's fault they are no slants in the playbook? im sorry name me the good OFFENSIVE coaching he has had since he has been there? there is none. ELI needs some coaching(Norv Turner type). you are overreacting to this lost. i hate to say it but the SMITH over throw would of landed in the hands of an outstrectched Burris, agreed? McNabb only gets a pass because they WON, he stunk also but they won so it is overshadowed.

lets say Bradshaw ran back the opening kick, and Robbing stumbled into the endzone, we win, would you even think about mentioning DAVID CARR? come on dude i know you are smarter than that.

ELI needs GOOD coaching (Palmer,Hufnagel,Gilbride) name the QB played as good as he has under them. out of the 3 QB's drafted with him ELI is the only one who actually WON a superbowl for his team.


Ben Roethlisberger's superbowl numbers

9/21 123 yards 0 td's 2int's

now if they lost that game it goes down as one of the worst play-off performances ever (in which it was too me)but they won...

Nature said...

if they dont FIRE GILBRIDE im going to start

gilbridestinks.blogspot.com

you will be able to post your FAVORITE(being facetious)moments from 2008, if you need a reminder just go look-up old INTRA-GAME comments or ANDY's post game rap ups (even the victories)im can pretty much garauntee there is enough material there. especially the second REDSKINS game ouch, he left 30 points on the field!!!

anyone know where i can get a good pic of el stupido

Raymond said...

Nature:
Point taken. Yeah, I'm overreacting to the loss to a certain extent, but really more rhetorically than anything else, because I think my point was more overstated than wrong. (Carr was probably not the best example I could've brought up.) The fact remains that, on a given day, you have no idea whatsoever which Eli is going to show up: the relatively accurate one, or the nightmarishly bad one who still, at this point in his career, puts up rookie stat lines fairly frequently. I can't deny that he has had moments of true awesomeness, which is what makes his frequent absolute ineptitude so perplexing. Honestly, watching the Chargers-Steelers game after the Giants game, was it hard to believe that the Giants' offense would be more efficient with a quarterback who, like Rivers and Roethlisberger, can drill spirals all over the field? Again, Eli won us a Super Bowl with a five-game hot streak for the ages (I'm counting the season-ending loss to the Pats, in which he was great), and so he clearly has to get some kind of pass. Best drive ever, best playoff run ever, hands down. But come on. We're all watching the same games. If he could really get it together, the offense would be terrifying.
On a more realistic note: maybe bring in Jim Fassel as the QB coach? Look what he did for Kerry Collins.

Raymond said...

Again, maybe I should have said that Eli is not CONSISTENT rather than not GOOD. But inconsistency is a serious problem in itself, no?

Mitch said...

Nature is on to something here.

Almost everyone on this blog has called for Gilbrowns head on a silver platter.

The problem is I believe that TC will not let Gilbride go. I think his thinking ( although wrong ) is that the Offense was so dynamic for the first 12 games that he may view it is a blip on the radar.

There have been so many instances in yesterdays game that everyone has gone over & over & that it is comical how we all know what's wrong with the team.

My take is that there were 3 major reasons why we lost this game yesterday:

1. Eli
2. OC
3. Plax

Eli has to be able to throw a tight spiral in the wind. Whatever it takes this must get done in the off season. If the Giants don't address this now we will never have a home field advantage. We are about to pay Eli $100 million dollars for the next 7 or 8 years. That is priority one!

The OC & Plax are intertwined. Killdrive never adjusted his offense with the loss of Plax. Eli had his safety net removed when Plax left. Eli always threw high and he had a giraffe who would just go up & get it.

Carl Banks said today that Killdrive never had the "pulse" of the team. It was like he had a script of plays that he was going to use come hell or high water. All of us saw on the first play of the game that Eli would struggle. He never adjusted his plan accordingly.

The problem as I stated earlier, is that because the "O" was good for 12 games it might be viewed as a successful season by the Giants heirarchy.

I hope I am wrong...because if I'm not we are going to be saddled with Gilbrown next year. I hate him now even more than I hated Ray Handley. And that is saying alot!

Motown Blue said...

Gilbride is scheduled for a face to face with Al:

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/giants/2009/01/gilbride-raiders-may-talk-agai.html

Anyone now a good P.R. person that we at Ultimatenyg can hire?? We need a full court press to get this guy hired by Oakland. Al is our only hope!!!!

Ginnetti said...

The Giants' playcalling was really poor, especially after W14, especially after watching the first half. But isn't it also Coughlin's responsibility to get on the same page with Gilbride? I short, after the way the Giants' offense was regressing over the last month (i.e., since the loss of Plax), if I were Coughlin I would be very hands-on when it came to preparing for the Eagles.

If I'm the Giants, I'm looking for tall receivers. More so than other QBs, Eli really seems more effective when throwing to a big target (cf. Shockey, Boss, Plax, etc., etc.).

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