By Jason Keidel
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For all the talk, the New York Giants had appallingly little walk. They crawled onto the shores of the Gulf Coast under heavy fire from Drew Brees and retreated back to sea. Big Blue lost in the Big Easy, if you will.
Last night’s game in New Orleans was over at halftime, after the Saints came marching for 354 yards in 30 minutes – a feat nearly unfathomable against any NFL team, much less one allegedly as formidable as the Giants’ defense.
Brees could have dined on his favorite Cajun cuisine while scanning the Giants’ secondary; he dropped back 25 times in the first half and was touched just twice. They made four trips to the red zone and scored seven points on three of them.
Even Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden noticed the lack of emotion on the Big Blue sideline, the dearth of determination from a squad that has squabbled all year without letting the anger out on the enemy – at least not since they stunned New England, which feels like years ago.
For all of Justin Tuck’s bold assertions about must-win games, he was seen standing solemnly on the sideline in the second half, chewing on his mouthpiece. And by the time Brandon Jacobs ran the ball as hard as he ran his mouth, it was too late. (Can someone explain Jacobs’s violent touchdown celebration in the third quarter, with his team losing? Perhaps he channeled his little Stevie Johnson.)
There will be a lot of calls for Tom Coughlin’s vocational head after last night’s horror film session. If Coughlin gets credit for 2007, then he should get some heat for the beating his defense took last night. Sure, Tuck and Boley are hurt, but name a d-line or secondary sans injury to important personnel? My beloved black & gold are worried that Troy Polamalu doesn’t know what year we’re in, much less the date and time.
The Giants’ defense didn’t even try, and that must fall on the coach. Whether the Giants complete the collapse and Coughlin keeps his job is beyond my pay grade. But we know the answers will come after the next five games.
The only reason we can’t put a postmortem on the morbid Giants (6-5) now is they have two contests left against division-leading Dallas (7-4). (And does anyone have that much confidence in the Cowboys?) Oddly, it seems the Giants have a better shot at winning the NFC East (where they trail one team by one game) than a wild card spot (where they trail three teams by one game).
Now, in reward for this putrid performance, the Giants get Galactus on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers and his undefeated Packers will have no sympathy and, with all due respect to Brees, Rodgers is residing in his own realm. The Giants will pray for rain, wind, and a rabid pass rush from a recently silent squad.
The Giants played their tails off against an undefeated team in 2007, which sparked a Super Bowl run. With just as many jobs on the line, the Giants have a chance to do the same this Sunday, at home. If the Giants care about their coach, they’ll do their Sunday best to be a bad host.
Feel free to email me: Keidel.Jason@gmail.com