Had it all the way. Not. We'll spend the next couple of days talking about this one. The Giants outgained 277 yds to TB 124 yds in the first half. The Giants outgained 327 yds to TB 183 yds in the second half. So this game should not have even been close, given the Gmen doubled TB's production. But the Giants made it interesting. And midway thru the game, how many Giants fans felt the team was going to pull it out when they pulled a boner near the end of the first half, turning a likely FG and ~17-16 game into a 24-13 nightmare? But we tweeted midway thru the 3rd when the Giants were down by 14: "Amazingly, the Giants are not out of this game despite so many mistakes. If anyone can lead them out, it is Eli" And Eli led them out of an INT trainwreck into a magic carpet ride.
The Giants have to protect the ball. The lack of finish on the INT, which ended with a TB touchdown when the player was seemingly wrapped up, is unacceptable. It dug a hole, psychological and otherwise, that lesser teams would have simply collapsed underneath. The Giants know that as long as they have Eli, they have magic 4th Quarter powers. So they hung in there and climbed out of the hole.
Some of the good: Eli in the second half. Victor Cruuuuuz was baaaaack. Nicks (if he can remain healthy one game in a row) is baaaaack. Andre Brown (5.5 yards per carry) was a refreshing breath of fresh air. Gilbride's use of run in support of the pass (especially with draws) was great. Bennett, for all his mishaps, made a huge catch to give the Giants its first Q4 lead. Solid play by the fill-ins for 3 lost starters. Pass protection of Eli was excellent. JPP was ubiquitous as usual. Tynes was 4-4.
Some of the bad: TB is a much improved team but the Giants were shoddy and made too many mistakes. Dropped balls, turnovers, unfinished plays, special teams horrors, uneven pass rush, THREE injuries, atttrocious cornerback play, HORRIBLE RED ZONE failures, safeties with bad angles, prevent defense (and specials kickoff) at the end. Methinks Tuck is playing hurt, as he was invisible. Fill in more here. This game needn't be this close, but then again the Giants could have easily been 0-2, so no complaints.
There are so many areas where the Giants can improve. Red zone efficiency was 1-5. When you consider that the TB Bucs let the team score at the end, 0-5 would have actually been BETTER. There was ZERO need for the theatrics at the very end on the reversal sidelines catch by TB. I have to believe that Webster can play better. Amukamara is untested but can't play worse than what we are seeing from Tryon. Bennett giveth and taketh away, but he has 9 catches in 2 games thus far, so he can improve. He has 2 more TDs in two games with the Giants than he had in the last 3 years in Dallas. There is upside here.
Playing professional football without professional refs is at times maddening. It almost makes these games a lottery.
Summary- the Giants have to work through their mistakes and simply get better. When your QB is Eli Manning, you are in every game till the bitter end. In Q4, who is better? Rodgers? I'd take Eli.