By Paul Dottino
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How many times do the Giants have to stumble through a game before they realize that they actually have a chance to make something out of their season?
They’ve dropped five of their last six games to fall to 7-7 – and yet they still will win the NFC East with victories over the Jets and Dallas Cowboys in the final two games of the regular season. Coach Tom Coughlin’s already explained the situation to his players, but do they really understand what’s in front of them? Not if Sunday’s humbling 23-10 home loss to the Washington Redskins (5-9) means anything.
The Giants have lost four home games to teams with losing records this season. They were swept by the Redskins. And they needed fourth-quarter comebacks in six of their seven wins.
Ugly? Yes. Then again, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7-9 record last season and went on to win their first-round playoff game. So the Giants must play on and see if there’s anything to salvage out of the wreckage.
Here’s the review from the Washington game:
Offense-FB Henry Hynoski. We’re going to be generous here and recognize Hynoski for catching the only two balls thrown his way. Why? Because the Giants had five dropped passes (three by Hakeem Nicks) in this game and because Hynoski deserves a pop after we passed over him for making blow-up blocks on Brandon Jacobs’ two touchdowns last weekend in Dallas. Besides, none of the Giants on offense did anything worthy of recognition against the Redskins.
Defense-DE Jason Pierre-Paul. You knew that he was very active while you were watching the game, but that didn’t prevent a double-take at the post-game stat sheet: 11 solo tackles, 5 assists, a sack, two tackles for a loss and three quarterback hits. And this doesn’t include the partially deflected field goal that he got his hand on.
Special teams-Steve Weatherford. The temperature was 29 with a 9-mph wind that brought the wind chill down to 20. You’d never know it was cold by the way he kicked. Weatherford averaged 49 yards on four punts, including a net of 44.5, with a long of 54.
Offense-WR Hakeem Nicks. A very rare off game for the Pro Bowl-caliber receiver. He had three drops, but none more important that a long post route that would have gone for a touchdown with 7:59 left in the first quarter. His score would have countered the Redskins’ early 3-0 lead and perhaps given the Giants the jump-start they needed. Rather his drop, coming one snap after TE Jake Ballard dropped a curl route, resulted in the offense’s second three-and-out.
Defense-CB Antrel Rolle. Once again, it would be appropriate to make the entire defense run laps after this game, but we’ll force Rolle to lead the pack because this slumping team does not to put out brush fires – such as the one caused after the game when Rolle questioned some of the nicked up Giants for not practicing enough during the week.
Special teams-PK Lawrence Tynes. An otherwise very solid day by the special teams took a hit when Tynes went wide left with a 44-yard field goal attempt with 5:28 left in the third quarter. True, the Giants were trailing, 20-3, but this kick would have made it a two-score game and perhaps provided a bit of an emotional lift to an otherwise moribund club.
Who do you think was the goat of the game? Sound off below…