Palladino: Giants Following Bad History

‘From the Pressbox’
By Ernie Palladino
» More Ernie Palladino Columns

Ernie is the author of “Lombardi and Landry.” He’ll be covering football throughout the season.

Three years now. Same thing.

The Giants have control of a playoff spot, they come across an eminently beatable team like the Redskins, and away they go.

Right down the rabbit hole.

Sunday’s misadventure turned into a 23-10 loss, a setback where neither defense, an exploitable entity all season, nor the usually reliable offense produced.

Brandon Jacobs said this 7-7 team played without passion. Justin Tuck said he was at a loss for words to describe the lack of fire the Giants showed after the Redskins went up by a very recoverable 10-0.

They all seemed shocked of course. That’s how players are. Lay an egg. Wonder where it all went wrong.

But the fans who populated MetLife Stadium shouldn’t be puzzled at all. The Giants were simply following their recent history. It’s been three years now that we have seen similar flubs, some even worse than Sunday’s where a 5-9 team ran and passed and intercepted the 7-7 Giants to complete a season’s sweep.

Let’s take ourselves back to the tail end of 2009. The Giants weren’t in horrible shape back then, playoff-wise. They were, despite numerous injuries, 8-6 and within perfect range to earn a playoff berth. All they had to do, really, was beat Carolina, which was struggling then at 6-8.

What happened in the final game at Giants Stadium was a disaster of the most embarrassing type. Essentially folding their tents, the Giants lost 41-9.

They still had a shot the next week in Minnesota, but another folderoo resulted in a 44-7 blowout, leaving Tom Coughlin’s bunch on the outside looking in.

And does anyone want to remember last season? All they needed to do to clinch the playoffs was beat Philadelphia. And the 9-4 Giants were in perfect position to as they took a 31-10 lead into the fourth quarter.

We all know what happened then. Twenty-eight points by Michael Vick and company, and the Giants went down to arguably the most humbling defeat in their history.

Still, they held their playoff hopes in their own hands going into Green Bay. That didn’t work out, either, as the Packers ripped them up for 21 unanswered points down the stretch of a 45-17 setback.

What would be relatively new for the Giants would be a recovery from Sunday’s loss, a Christmas Eve win over a Jets squad that got run over by the Eagles and a season-ending, New Year’s Day victory over the Cowboys.

It may well come down to that. Two wins in the last two weeks. The Giants haven’t ended that way since 2002, after which Jim Fassel’s 10-6 squad melted in the playoffs to San Francisco.

Coughlin’s Giants will have to duplicate that feat now if they expect to get into the playoffs via the NFC East title. And that would involve sweeping Dallas. Not an easy road considering how the Cowboys manhandled Tampa Bay Saturday.

Losing five out of six is hardly the way to go into the playoffs. Despite lingering hopes, any playoff projections off the way the Giants played Sunday would have to involve long odds.

“I still have confidence,” Justin Tuck said. “We laid an egg today, but I’ve seen us rebound from things like this a lot of times.”

Not in these circumstances. History is against them in this case.

Will the Giants be on the outside looking in come playoff time? Sound off below…

  • Ron Cyrus

    all the TE’s dropping like flies-TE’s are the key to beating the Jets-haven’t been able to cover all season. Something different?
    From left field, I know but when we get in the red/green zone-put JPP out there at TE. If he is truly like an octopus-he has to be as hard to cover as he is to contain. Anybody know if he ever caught a ball in actual games at USF?. As long as he doesn’t pick up a LB or CB and throw him in the air for offensive interference-we might do better than what we can put out there otherwise-just a play or two in limited situations.

  • Masi

    Looks like they’ll be on the outside, looking in, Earnie. The likelihood that the Jets can be “up” on Saturday is, I think, much, much higher than it is for the Giants —

    the latter have a tendency to quit as you pointed out; also, with some notable exceptions — Green Bay in January ’08 — Manning **does not** throw well in cold weather; the whole NFC knows that, and it’s one reason for 2nd-half collapses all but 2007. (And, in the NFC championship, he looped a lot of balls to Burress, and he caught 11 of these, the difference. You can see them losing to Dallas on January 1st — badly — in a blow-out.

  • Tommy C

    I love Tom Coughlin..but as thry say you can’t fire the whole team…ANTRELL/DION/HAKEEM/MARIO ….but i believe his time has come.It seems we have too many mediocre and over the hill players to consisently win . 1 week we’re good next we’re HORRID. I also believe Mr Reese has not lived up to Giant expectations all we ask is to be consistent.Players are not held accountable bench GRANT way passed his prime . Perry Fewell looks lost on the sidelines . What has happened to Giant Pride . Thnx for everything Coach Coughlin ….but its time to clean house.

  • Shawn Laverty

    I am sad to say Coughlins time is probably up, but who do yoiu bring in Cowher (no) who else is there give me a name

    • John121234

      I’ll take Jeff fisher ,Tony Dungy, and Bill Parcells.

    • GmenFan

      I’d take Cowher..but I think Jeff Fisher would be a better fit. Hopefully Spagnolo gets fired and he comes back to coach the D

  • yankee fan

    The fat lady has sung.

  • frank m

    I think there should be changes from top to bottom starting with Jerry Reese for not getting any good veteran linebackers, and going with 4 mediocre rookie linebackers. Coughlin should be fired for his second half collapses alone. If you cant prepare a team against mediocre opponents, and you can tell he doesn’t have the fire anymore and it has rubbed off on his players. Fewell is a terrible playcaller does’t blitz when he should also does not make adjustments. Gilbride also must go his playcalling is terrible, how many times do you see third and short and he is throwing the bomb that gets picked off.

  • frank mb

    there should be changes

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