Giant Disappointment in East Rutherford

Melissa FalicaContributor IJanuary 13, 2009

It is safe to say that the performance of the New York Giants on Sunday was quite disappointing.

From the start of the playoffs and for much of the year, they were the favorite in the NFC to solidify yet another appearance in this year’s Super Bowl XLIII.

Yet they lost to their NFC rival in a game that was filled with poor play calling, absolutely no pass rush, and an overall lack of offensive performance.

In the first quarter alone, the Giants had possession of the ball for almost 11 of the 15 minutes, yet they only managed to put three points on the board. That alone demonstrates the play of the Giants offense throughout the game: continuously struggling to score.

The play calling of Kevin Gilbride throughout the game was mind-boggling.

Take a look at Eli Manning’s first quarter interception; it was 1st-and-10 on the Giants’ own 13-yard line. Gilbride called a passing play in which Manning overthrew Domenik Hixon, placing the ball right in the hands of Philadelphia’s Asante Samuel, who returned it to the one yard line.

Between the combination of the explosiveness of the Giants’ running game and their field position, a rushing play should have been called. Yet that was not limited to that one play; Gilbride relied too heavily on the passing game throughout the whole game.

The blame should not solely be placed on Gilbride though.

Eli Manning was not the same quarterback that we saw in last year’s playoffs. He looked like his old self, in addition to seeming lost without his big target Plaxico Burress.

The defense played well, with the exception of the pass rush. It could not, whatsoever, put any pressure on McNabb. It did not even have one sack on him.

Sunday’s game brought up many question marks about the New York Giants, one in particular about the importance of Plaxico Burress.

Since Burress’ absence, the passing game of the Giants has inevitably suffered. Hixon is a good player, but he is not Plaxico Burress, and he is not a number one wide receiver.

Due to Eli’s poor performance, talks of bringing Burress back to the Giants have emerged. The organization will face harsh scrutiny if they do in fact bring him back, but is all of that worth going through? If he was not suspended and did in fact play in Sunday’s game, would the Giants have won?

We have seen similar scenarios in which a player who had previously been suspended from the NFL due to run-ins with the law was brought back regardless of the criticism he would face. Just look at players such as Pacman Jones and Marvin Harrison. Burress’ case is no different than those.

The offensive woes of the Giants were unsuspected, as the offense had not played this poorly since early last season. It has sparked reports that the Giants are interested in bringing Burress back, since the hole that he left was quite evident in the game against the Eagles.

Regardless of what occurs, Giant fans want answers about Sunday’s lack of performance, and they want them now.