This was the first Giants game that I actually watched most of, seeing as I’m on fall “break” (which means I have Thursday and Friday off, really not sure that constitutes a “break”) and seeing as this game was on Thursday, I did not have to worry about homework lurking in the background. In addition, the live streams on my computer are slightly more watchable when the feed is from NFL Network for some reason. Still miss having my own TV and not being surrounded by Saints fans, but I digress…
Nice being able to relax and watch a whole game without worrying about homework. At 0-5 (0-6 now), the Giants have been a complete embarrassment and have left fans such as myself utterly depressed, confused, and empty inside. I’m not really in my best state on sunday as I usually wake up very late and out of it after a completely inactive saturday and am half-watching the games on my computer and dorm TVs while simultaneously thinking about all the homework I have and haven’t done and should have done yesterday and when I’m going to do it while simultaneously trying (and failing) to motivate myself to take a shower. Being in this state, flipping on the game on my computer on these sundays and seeing the Giants (in full 8 bit resolution) self destruct with horrible play after another while at the same time the cruel, painful, and unnecessary jeers from the Saints and Patriots fans on my floor (you know who you are) get louder and louder like a knife stabbing my chest, does not bode well for my persona.
Maybe that was all a little dramatic, but the point is it has not been a happy football season for the freshman in college Giants fan. The stress of sunday mixed in with the complete sucking of the Giants is not a great combination.
Well, tonight it was nice to relax and be able to watch almost the whole game without having to be stressed about other stuff, AND it was nice to have the Giants put up somewhat of a fight.
I guess there are some positives to tonight’s game, and I guess I should start with those. We went on the road and played a good football team and played pretty well for most of the night. Like I said, I haven’t seen most of the previous games so I can’t say for sure what those games were like, but I got the sense that for the most part we played better tonight than we had previously this season. Sure they made some plays and there definitely were some times where we got lucky (Jay Cutler misfired on a couple sure TD’s) but for the most part our defense, for what it is played ok, or at least better than it has in the past and in previous seasons. I don’t expect them to be a great defense, they’re just not. Tonight, it was clear that Brandon Marshall is just bigger than our DB’s, he matched up well. Would have been nice if we doubled him not sure why we didn’t, but nonetheless our D they kept the game manageable, which is a step in the right direction. As for our offense, I really wasn’t a fan of bringing back an old Brandon Jacobs initially. However, we need a run game–we can’t just throw it all the time like we’ve been doing, it’s not a good strategy, Eli this year just isn’t good enough, neither are our WRs–and if Jacobs can deliver then why not. It’s clear Coughlin trusts him more than David Wilson. A lot of his nice runs were at wide open holes, it’s not like he was breaking a ton of tackles, but he’s running hard and reading his blocks correctly. He seems to be playing with more effort than he did when we got rid of him. Small sample size, obviously. But we need a run game and we need to keep being patient with the run and keep handing off. I know that’s hard when you’re behind, but play calling has been too heavily tilted toward the pass when it doesn’t need to be and those pass plays have not been creative at all. It’s a lot easier to make mistakes when you’re throwing and with all the tipped balls, misreads by WR, inaccurate throws, or all the other things that have led to interceptions from these short passes, we’re just not a team that can be efficient with the short passing game to pick up yards. We never have been, but we especially can’t with this year’s personnel. So enough with all this empty backfield and all the slants we’ve been running in previous games. I liked our commitment to the run today. Whether the production from it will hold up, we will see.
And we gave ourself a chance at the end, which is what I was surprised to see. I felt good for most of the game, there were plenty of times where we could have let it get out of hand but we didn’t. So that’s the good stuff. But honestly, at the end of the day, that ending just kills you, and that’s what’s going to–and should, for the most part–define this game. This is what bad teams do, they blow it at the end. It was a good looking drive and a play that could have worked, but Eli has been high and inaccurate with his throws for a lot of the year. A throw just out of reach of Brandon Myers–who is smaller than Martellus Bennett, why did we get rid of him by the way? That play can’t happen, obviously. The disappointing (to say the least) season continues. 0-6, at this point we can DEFINITELY say (if we couldn’t before) that the Giants season is over.
What about the Bears? Watching them under the command of Marc Trestman was interesting. Jay Cutler disappointed me last year. I was a fan of him, and everyone expected him to … I hate to say this because it’s getting so cliche … “take the next step” as the media would say, due to the acquisition of his BFF Brandon Marshall and his former QB Coach from Denver Jeremy Bates. Instead, he did not have a good season. Most people wanted to blame it entirely on the offensive line (as usual), but last year was a clear regression. Not counting his nightmare 2009 season (his first year in Chicago with 26 INTs), in 2012 we saw Jay’s lowest Y/A and lowest passer rating since his rookie year. Despite playing 15 games, he barely surpassed 3000 yards. He’s never been a guy with great stats, but I was not seeing the impressive throws that I was used to seeing from him. So when the media started asking if Marc Trestman could “fix” Jay Cutler, I was highly skeptical. If 2012 was supposed to be “the year” and he had Jeremy Bates and Brandon Marshall and he couldn’t do it with them, why would we ever see it?
Well I can’t speak for the season, but I tonight I was very impressed with Jay Cutler. He looked good. It seems I was wrong, and it seems Marc Trestman (former Montreal Alouettes Coach–CFL LETS GO!!!!) has had an impact on him. He was getting rid of the ball very quickly. He was taking the checkdown, taking what the defense was giving him, not hesitating to throw it away when the play wasn’t there. Play calling was fantastic. Matt Forte seems to be having an “on” year as well. I don’t know a ton about this team, I don’t know how far they can go. But for me it’d be nice to see them back in the playoffs. They’re a hard working, quiet team, not talked about too much. Their last playoff run ended so strangely and abruptly with Jay Cutler getting injured and sitting out the AFC championship. I was impressed with Jay and their offense tonight, and they seem to be on the right track to make a push for the playoffs.