‘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.

New England seems so far away now.

Remember that inspirational win just four games ago? The one where they last pressured a quarterback? Where they were in it until the fourth quarter, where Eli Manning brought the Giants back in heart-stopping fashion?

It seems so long ago now. That 24-20 win was supposed to be the catalyst to avert the yearly second-half swoon.

So long ago. San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New Orleans later, the swoon is in full swing. Their latest, last night’s 49-24 no-show loss to the Saints, put them in a heck of a pickle. Now, after Drew Brees got done racking up more than 500 yards of offense on their battered defense, one has to start wondering about the mental state of this team.

Despite their 6-5 record, they are currently out of the wild card race, a game behind Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta.

You have to assume things will only get worse next week against Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers, a combination that can make even New Orleans’ offense look like some pop-gun operation.

The question here is not with the offense, though it would be nice to see them put up a few first-half points, if only for show. Last night marked the fourth straight game the Giants have scored six or fewer first-half points. But Eli Manning came back with a nice touchdown at the start of the second half to pull the Giants within 11.

And then the defense gave it all back, with interest. And that’s where the real issue lies.

Is this defense too injured, too hurt, to be effective the rest of the year?

That unit had one goal in mind — to pressure Brees and force him into mistakes.

The result? Zero sacks. Zero turnovers.

And the added enjoyment of seeing Brees lead his team up and down the field at will.

The picture doesn’t brighten, either. Justin Tuck still looks like he’s battling through his nagging neck and groin injuries, unable to explode like the younger version. Osi Umenyiora, absent from the frame the entire first half, went out with an ankle sprain in the third quarter and could miss time. There was no charge whatsoever from the inside.

The linebackers were a young mess, unable to mount a challenge to big tight end Jimmy Graham. The secondary? Were they out there?

Give the offense some blame, too. Although Manning had a great second half, hitting 21 of 21 (one short of the league record for consecutive completions) for 241 yards and two touchdowns to make the final score somewhat respectable, it all came too late. His first-drive end zone interception changed the entire tone of the game.

It was just a matter of time before the Saints exploded.

They did, and they may well have taken the Giants’ season with them.

Let’s face it, they’re not going to beat 11-0 Green Bay next week, not unless the defense pays a quick visit to Lourdes and gets well in a hurry.

That’s not going to happen. So the collapse after a 6-2 start will in all likelihood continue, perhaps right through their first meeting with Dallas.

Will it cost Tom Coughlin his job? Quite possibly, if it all goes down the drain. Things won’t lighten up by year’s end, with the Giants playing Dallas twice in the final four weeks. A couple of wins might save him, even if there is no playoff spot for a third straight season.

The way the Giants played New Orleans, though, there doesn’t seem like much hope at this point.

Things looked so much brighter a month ago.

Do the Giants have any chance of beating Green Bay? Be heard in the comments below…

Comments (8)
  1. Jim says:

    Look what the Saints did to you. Wait until Bryant and Witten go agaist that defense.

    1. Captain Mac says:

      As good as things look for the Cowboys right now, and a awful as things look for the Giants, trust that the one team that may wake the Giants up and get them out of this funk is the Cowboys.

  2. Hank says:

    As much as I respect him, they should have fired Coughlin last year. It’s the same exact story, they lose a bad game to the Eagles then the very next game the D gives up 40+. And who was the genius who hired the Bills defensive coach anyway? I mean the Bills! Perry Fewell stinks get him out of here and take Gilbride too. This D is soft, big changes need to be made. How many collapses are we supposed to watch?

  3. Moe says:

    Bring on Bill Cowher…PLEASE! This team no longer responds to Coughlin.

  4. BleacherCreature26 says:

    beating the saints on the road just wasn’t going to happen. eli threw for 400 yards and 2 TDs. the D looked awful, but thats a tough place to play.
    come back and defeat the undefeated… then beat dallas and we’re set up for a home game in the playoffs.
    stop making it sound like the world’s ending, we lost a few games. relax. we’re a game out of first. ONE GAME!

    1. Joseph says:

      Wow, you are in serious denial. It is very likely that the Giants won’t win another game this season. It will take a wing and a prayer to even win two games the rest of the way. I’m a Giants fan and hate the Jets, but it’s going to be ugly when they play. The Jets will absolutely embarrass them. That should tell you how bad the Giants really are.

      1. Captain Mac says:

        Every season it seems, the giants manage to lose a huge game against one team in particular. It’s the same team each year. After they are eliminated this year, I know at least I will look to the Eagles game.

        A little history: last year’s inexcusable last second return touchdown by Deshawn Jackson.
        What year was it when Parkway Joe decided in the final seconds to hand off to Larry Czonka when all he had to do was kneel?

        I can give other examples of Phlops against Philly, and the Giants don’t have exclusivity to blowing big games against Philly teams.

  5. Hector Toledo says:

    uhhhh….. no

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