PIT 24 NYG 7

Yes yes yes, the Final Score was 24-14, but that last score in garbage time does not count. The Giants Offense does not get credit for 14 points.

They were who we thought they were. The NY Giants Offense has been struggling all season, and they continue to struggle.

The Giants Defense gets a turnover at the PIT 17 yard line. The Offense scores a TD with that Turnover. That touchdown was the (true) sum total of the Giants Offense in this game.

Trivia question for the Giants faithful: What are the 3 positions which Jerry Reese has serially neglected since becoming GM? The answer is OL (certainly until 2013 when he was already 3 years late), LBer and TE.

Question for the Giants faithful after watching today’s game vs the Steelers: Which 3 positions killed the Giants in their loss? The answer is OL, LBer and TE.

So this is why I go apesh*t when I keep getting fed “a win is a win.” They beat garbage the past 5 weeks vs teams that were collectively 16-40. Yes, you can only play your schedule, but the Offense slinked, slummed, and squeezed by. It matters how you play in each game. It matters that the Offense stinks because they still stink now. It matters that the improvement we were hoping for has not arrived. The time that the “a win is a win” bought them is not helping them to get better. Ereck Flowers’ sophomore campaign is a huge disappointment. Devon Kennard is invisible in a season that we were frankly expecting bigger things from him.

The Offense

The Offense is one-dimensional. At least in the second half they tried to get the ball to OBJ. But even that became all too predictable, as every play was going his way. The OL cannot run block. The OL cannot pass protect. So many plays malfunction because Eli is being blown up in the backfield by a defensive pass rusher who has OBLITERATED the protection. The Pittsburgh Defense is NOT a very good defense. They came into the game ranked #18. Yet there they were looking like monsters because the Giants Offense is so weak.

Eli Manning has another title in him but at the age of almost 36 he needs help. He can’t do it by himself back there. Yes, he was very bad on a few plays that killed the team. But all of this flows from the OL. It is the source of so many of those questions. It is a hypothetical but perhaps if Eli had better protection he would throw better passes to his TEs. Donnell is an accident waiting to happen. Tye is a Division 3 Stony Brook overachiever who is not a true NFL TE. I would be giving Jerell Adams a lot more opportunity.

We strive for objectivity on this blog. There was an interesting stat quoted by Buck and Aikman: The NY Giants are 31st in the NFL in time of possession. That is the objectivity we need to be reminded of when the NY Giants barely beat Chicago and Cleveland. We want to believe that “a win is a win,” yet we know that when the real schedule begins, questions arise. Too many questions came today against a better opponent and there were not enough answers. McAdoo had 11 games to get ready for this stretch. We found out that the Offense was not anywhere close to being ready.

The Defense

The 2008 Season was a tremendous story. There were so many lessons embedded in that season. Here was a Giants season that was seemingly blown apart by Plaxico Burress. There were answers in overcoming that player’s loss, and today we were reminded of what good gameplanning looks like. The 2008 team fell to the Eagles in the playoffs in part because the Gmen would not use screens, flares and other playcalls to slow down the aggressiveness of the Eagles. One game later, an Offensive Coordinator for Arizona named Todd Haley saw the film of the Eagles Defense and threw 6 screens in order to beat them. 8 years later, Haley was the Offensive Coordinator of the Steelers, and he gameplanned the Giants beautifully. He threw so many screens and flares, I lost track. Bell himself was given 6 passing targets. He targeted his TEs Ledarius Green and Jesse James 15 times. FIFTEEN TIMES! The Steelers tight ends collected 142 yards and a touchdown.


We warned about Ladarius Green before the game. Why? Because the Giants LBers can’t handle TEs in coverage, and after 3 games back from injury, we believed this had the potential for being a coming-out party for the Steeler TE. All he did was lead the team with 6 catches for 110 yds and 1 TD. He had 97 yards total in 3 games and then pulls a Zach Ertz and crushes the Gmen. Is it Ertz and Green? Or is it Reese’s abject neglect at LBer? As we have said before, TEs circle the Giants on their calendar.

As a fan of football, I admire the elegance of a good gameplan. Haley once again figures out how to attack the LBer (in this case due to poor coverage ability, in the 2008 case due to blitzing). The difference between a Gilbride and a Haley is that the latter finds that weakness and exploits the hell out of it, going back to it again & again throughout the game. Just remember 15 targets to the TE when you think about whether the LBer position matters. And remember all of these screens. Remember the WR screen to Rogers on 3rd and 18. The Giants Defense has come a long way since 2015. There has been great improvement. But we are still waiting for Linebacker to come. In 10 drafts, Reese has drafted a LBer in Rounds 1-3 exactly once (Clint Sintim). ONCE. That flash of light who picked off Eli in the end zone was a guy named Lawrence Timmons. He was a former 1st Rounder. It matters what kind of resources you put to a position.

The Giants will still probably find a way to get to the playoffs. Atlanta, Washington, and Philadelphia all lost. The NFL is not a deep league. There are only 3 teams who are any good. Those are the Cowboys, Seahawks (EThomas?) and Patriots. The Giants are close if only because the rest of the NFL does not have dominance. But they are still on the outside looking in. Reese’s OL is poor. He has patchwork TEs and LBs. A title (while still remotely possible) is not a reality in 2016.

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