Giants defense got bounced all over the Meadowlands yesterday, or should I say MetLife Stadium, giving up 248 yards rushing and letting RGIII complete 71% of his passes. Overall, there were very few plays that the Redskins ran that the Giants actually stopped; a very high percentage of their plays were successful, some extremely successful for big gains. If you look at the game from that perspective: how many plays "worked" and how many didn't, the Giants won the game solely because they made just enough big plays on defense forcing turnovers at critical moments and not because they figured out a way, a formula, an approach to stop RGIII. They better figure out how to stop that college style option offense because it will be tough to beat the Redskins down in Washington.
I still think there is talent on this defense, I don't think they had a good plan for stopping RGIII. I think they were spooked by his speed and didn't play smart. On the first TD that Moss scored, Giants defenders were standing around and did not make a move on the ball. It is as if they still had the 'don't be too aggressive mind set' because you have to think contain with RGIII on the field. In the second half they were more aggressive, that's when they got some hits and forced the trunovers. But they also got beat deep on the long ball to Moss over the top of the defense. That's twice in the last two weeks that Giants got beat deep - both times over Antrel Rolle's head. I wonder if the two INTs he got against 49ers are playing with his head. He wants to make the big play and is taking chances looking to jump underneath routes instead of doing what the primary job of the S is - protect the deep ball.
This was Eli's worst day passing the ball this year. I guess we shouldn't complain to much when he completes 56% of his passes and throws for 337 yards. But the 2 INTs - one a bad throw and the second a bad read were somewhat bothersome. Moreover, there were a couple of incompletions that we're used to seeing as sure completions and easy throws that he missed. He missed Cruz in the first half down on the goal line, where Cruz was wide open for a sure TD. He overthrew Bradshaw badly right before the winning score; he underthrew Hixon once and he missed on a back shoulder fade to Nicks on a throw they complete nearly all the time. Having said all that and picked out his bad throws, he still came up big and threw a perfect ball to Cruz for the TD, right before getting leveled by a pass rusher and won the game for the Giants.
The second INT that Eli threw when the LB dropped back into the passing lane on the short hitch route/slant was the exact same play as on one of his 3 INTs in the Tampa game. That time it was DB that stepped into the passing lane, this time it was LB. Giants must be telegraphing when they are going to run that play. The common thread is that Cofield on the Redskins used to play for the Giants and knows the reads and the keys. On Tampa, their new OC Sullivan was Giants QB coach last year and was on the staff for many years, so he also is able to give some insight to his new team into the Giants offense. I am betting that Eli will learn from those two mistakes and not make that same play again.
Everyone is saying Giants should have run the ball down there, when they were up a TD and had just taken the ball away from the Redskins on one of the fumble recoveries. I didn't have a problem with Giants throwing. I trust this QB and Giants were not really running consistently yesterday. It didn't work out because of the INT, but I didn't think it was a bad strategy.
I am dying to know what Bradshaw was so upset about all day long. He smacked Cruz in the helmet once and got into a heated exchange with the coaches and different players on the sidelines.
Nicks is not right yet; he just doesn't have the explosion and the quick moves that make him a star. I would like to see him rest or at least take fewer snaps until he's 100%. Hixon did fine when he stepped in as starter as did Barden and Randle; Giants should not push him to play if he's not healthy.
Andre Brown did a real nice job on the screen play that got a first down - earlier in the year, he just missed the first down on 3rd and long, but this time he made it. I was disappointed that Wilson did not get into the game on offense this week. Bradshaw and Brown are both playing well, but I don't like keeping a weapon on the bench. Giants passed more than they ran yesterday, and they may still be nervous about Wilson's blocking and blitz pickup. But still.... let him play. Cowboys tend to blitz a lot out of unusual formations, so Giants may be nervous about him mastering his assignments and may not use him much next week either.