Here's my basic, initial and perhaps primal reaction to today's Giants-Redskins game: when do the Knicks open their season again? Thank the good lord and David Stern that the NBA settled its labor dispute and that hoops will again be on the scene. On top of that, the FCC ruled against James Dolan and forced Cablevision/MSG to offer its HD signal to other cable providers, so I get to watch the Knicks games in HD now.
Seriously - after the performance this afternoon, and after having lost 5 out of the last 6, does anyone really want to see the Giants get into the playoffs. The way they are playing now, they would not win a game even with home field advantage (3-4 so far at home this year) and even if by some stroke of providence and incredibly fortuitous circumstances, the Giants should win a first round game against a wild card team (probably Atlanta) there is no way that they could go up to Green Bay and beat the Packers. So what's the value of getting into the playoffs to be fodder for the good teams that are there? Incredibly as it sounds, the Giants played well against the Packers two weeks ago playing just well enough to lose, then played just well enough to win against the Cowboys last week and were awful today against the Redskins. Giants were soundly outplayed at the point of attack on both sides of the ball, but most importantly, had an incoherent poorly thought out game plan and did not have a chance from the opening whistle until the merciful final gun ended the disaster.
Before I go into the detail of what went wrong, let me take a 30K foot view first. When you have a mediocre team that has been carried almost entirely by the superior play of the QB, and then the QB has one off day, today was an example of the ugly result. There will be a desire to analyze each play, look for trends and close plays that turned the tide, but sometimes you have to raise your eyes up and look at the forest rather than the trees. Giants were poorly organized on offense, had poor tactics and did not control the action.
The defense usually leads the team in having the weaker game plan, but this week OC Kevin Killdrive beat out DC Perry Fowl in having the worse game plan, though I must admit it was close. Giants ran the ball effectively the last two weeks for the first time all year. Redskins have been weak defending the run and strong defending the pass. So what does Killdrive do? Establish a power running game? Nope. Mix in some runs and passes together? Nope. Let's try throwing the ball all over the yard, and it's OK if you throw some short passes that have a higher chance of success, but make sure you throw the ball deep very often. And, Jacobs ran the ball very well last two weeks, so have to make sure that he doesn't play much or carry the ball much at all today.
On defense, Giants play a fairly high percentage of zone which gets beat nearly all the time and when they play man, the opposing QB can pick on one match up that he likes, recently has been the Prince and they have trouble stopping anyone there either. Requires either a sack by the DL, a bad throw by the QB or the QB going after Webster for a pass to be incomplete.
I don't want to give the HC a break here either, because he is responsible for the quality of the planning and for influenscing the game plan develoment by the coordinators. Coughlin's biggest weakness is precisely this - he does not meddle enough, he does not direct enough and he does not overall influence the game plan on either side of the ball. He delegates to Killdrive and Fowl to a fault and his fingerprints are not on the team anymore. He just yells when things aren't going ideally well and players largely tune it out.
That's, it for now - I am too unmotivated to do a detailed analysis of this miserable game but will have some more stuff Monday and later in the week.