WEEK 4 REVIEW
GIANTS 17 ~ BEARS 3
The Giants Defense recorded 10 sacks! Woo Hoo.
That my friend is an aberration. Don't count on too many of those. Half of those sacks can be attributed to Jay Cutler holding onto the ball like it was his favorite teddy bear. There were times he just held on to the ball entirely too long. When that happens you deserve to get sacked. But the Giants executed and got the sack so I don't want to pooh-pooh the day too much for their QB harassment. The ten sacks cost the Bears 63 yards.
It's good to see the Giants come together for their Coach.
Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora (three sacks a piece) played like the two defensive titans they are supposed to be, not the ones we've imagined them being. Their performances were especially needed in light of the fact the Giants lost Mathias Kiwanuka to a neck/disc problem and did not play. Mathias is hopeful of a return to action but reality says doubtful in the near future.
But on a more positive note, we've finally seen life in the Offensive Line and their ability to surge the running game forward again. If you remember in my last post, and the one before that, I've been taking a round-about way of saying how Brandon Jacobs and the O-Line exists in a symbiotic relationship; where Ahmad Bradshaw is more of a self creator dependent on the O-Line to a lesser degree than Jacobs' style is.
Bradshaw cracked 100 yards for the first time this season and for the first time by any Giants back this year. But his fumble cancels out a big chunk of that number. It was a careless fumble because he wasn't protecting the ball ( I know he got caught looking the wrong way...I get that).
Brandon Jacobs was the beneficiary of better O-Line play. See? Brandon isn't shaking and baking like Ahmad is. It's up to that O-Line to engage the front four/three and get Brandon into the land of linebackers and safeties. You do that with Offensive Line Surge. They surged this past game unlike their performances in the prior three weeks. However, Coach, c'mon...we have to give Brandon more than 6 carries a game to work with. It works both ways. But for his efforts and 6 carries, Brandon cashed in with 62 yards.
David Diehl is still having a frustrating go of it, but overall the O-Line had a much better day. The O-Line gave up two sacks but kept Eli protected fairly well.
Overall, a beleaguered unit gave signs better days are ahead for this long standing proud bunch.
More dropped passes? I could harp on that but I'll take a pass. Thank you.
Big Blue Thought:
This is still a hard game to gauge the Giants with though. Were they that determined to win Sunday Night? Is this the G-Men playing up to their skill level? OR, are the Bears not as good as their quick start may indicate. I like to think the Bears weren't that good and got to this point with mirrors. Their offense is not as potent as their season points total say they are. But on paper, the Giants stopped a very good offense cold.
I got all over the players last week amidst all the talk about "Coughlin losing his team this" and "Coughlin being on the hot seat that". I called the players out and implored them to rally around their coach. I wasn't willing to have Tom Coughlin take the hit for indifferent play yet. I said this should be on the players first; this time, this year. Every season is different. I wasn't always on Coughlin's side. But I de-Fassel'd myself along the way and today I have Coughlin's back (for the moment).
I do not want this to sound like a negative post in light of a victory. After losing badly and getting completely outmatched the previous two weeks, the Giants accomplished the weekly mission this time around. They won and are now 2-2. But they turned the ball over 3 times. Teams in the NFL are lucky to get away from a game victorious after turning the ball over three times. Truth is, the Giants should have dominated the scoreboard a little more impressively than it reflected.
A win is a win folks; I get it. Ya can't argue being tied for first place after 4 games. The Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins have all see-saw'd so far also. All those games are still ahead of us. Hopefully by then we'll have the major wrinkles ironed out.
I'll give the Giants a straight B for the game.
Coming next: WEEK 5 New York Football Giants visit Houston Texans. We're back on our 1 p.m. slot on Sunday where we belong! I hate those alternative times; Not my team. You can keep your Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights. I like watching the games, just not my Giants.
The Giants record is now 2-2.
picture credit ~ Ron Antonelli/NYDailyNews