By Paul Dottino
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Anybody out there still want to complain about the Giants’ defense?
The improvement of the unit never was more apparent than when coach Tom Coughlin said after the 23-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks: “I think defensively and with our special teams, we got it. Offensively we did not — there’s no way to sugarcoat it. A pathetic offensive performance — we didn’t block anybody, we didn’t make any plays, we didn’t create any opportunities for ourselves.”
Indeed, the defense kept the Giants in the game at halftime, holding the deficit to 13-0, with Seattle kicking off to open the second half. But the offense never got into gear, failing to cross the 50 until nearly seven minutes remained in the game.
Offense: WR Jerrel Jernigan — There was only one choice for this category. Jernigan provided the bulk of the offense, setting a career high with seven receptions (eight targets) for 67 yards.
Five of his grabs came after Victor Cruz left with a concussion and a knee injury late in the third quarter. Remember, Jernigan — a third-year pro — came into the game with just 13 career catches.
Defense: DE Justin Tuck and S Antrel Rolle — These are two of the guys who continue to play hard and hate to lose. Rolle compiled seven total tackles and an interception — that’s three picks over his past five games. Tuck contributed six total tackles and a sack, and that’s at least part of a sack in each of his past three outings.
Special Teams: P Steve Weatherford — This was one of those games that reminded you of when Dave Jennings was the Giants’ best weapon in the late 1970s. Weatherford punted eight times for a 47.5 avg. and a 38.4 net, with two kicks inside the 20.
Offense: All of them — If Coughlin says they were “pathetic,”, that’s good enough for me. The Giants suffered a home shutout for the first time since the 2005 NFC Wild Card game against Carolina. This loss to Seattle also marked the Giants’ second shutout of the season — the first time this has happened since 1996 (Dallas, Philadelphia) — when coupled with the Week 3 blanking by the Panthers.
There is no sense beating QB Eli Manning over the head because you could argue that only three of his team record-tying five interceptions primarily were his fault. No matter, he’s still set the franchise record with 25 picks and owns the career mark with 169. We’ll allow Manning to lead the sprints, OK?
Defense: None — Why? Because they worked their behinds off to keep the Giants in the game and did so. It was 16-0 after three quarters and the offense still could not help them.
Special Teams: None — We’re going to allow the offense to run an extra two set of gassers to make up for the defense and special teams because they deserve the extra sprints.
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