Ok. The Giants just took a major punch to the face, nay, a crowbar to the back of the head. Most articles, posts, and threads are already calling for coaches to be fired and players to be cut.
Let's all take a chill pill and reflect on some of the obvious issues and maybe some small positives that came out of today's 48-27 loss in New Orleans. Today's battle was lost but the War will be won.
The New York Football Giants organization as a whole has done a pretty darn good job at managing what most of this evenings naysayer's have forgotten is one banged-up MASH Unit. RB Danny Ware (elbow), CB Aaron Ross (hamstring), LB Michael Boley (knee), LB Clint Sintim (??), DT Chris Canty (calf) were all inactive due to injury.
Starting Safety Kenny Phillips and upcoming DT Jay Alford are on IR. Also, please allow me to remind you of the number of players listed as "Probable" and/or "Questionable" that suited up despite not being anywhere near 100 percent.
Sure, good teams have depth and persevere through adversity and injury but when you are playing arguably the most potent passing attack in the NFL and your most glaring weakness is your secondary...it's going to get exploited. It hasn't thus far for two reasons: 1) Favorable Schedule 2) Superior Pass Rush.
Neither reason listed was available today to help the back seven. The 2009 Saints will make the most formidable opponents look like the 2009 Raiders (who, by the way, gave the Eagles more to be disappointed about).
We can all agree that some positives.
1. Ahmad Bradshaw is no longer a "change of pace" back. He needs to be signed to a long-term contract not because of recent performance but because he possesses "it." Bradshaw is a SPECIAL running back. Ware will be good, Jacobs is an imposing force, but Bradshaw has Tiki Barber ability. Let's hope Reese & Co. agree.
2. I'm not big on Hixon as a WR. That's just my opinion because I feel he tends to miss the big play. But he reminds me of Willie Ponder. He a natural return man behind punts and kickoffs and his performance today was exceptional and to a degree a bit expected.
We should all be thrilled that this is one facet of the game that we now can feel comfortable with for the rest of the season. Hixon should continue to shine in this role as he has done in the past.
3. Tynes was consistent. Looking much better in kickoffs and place-kicking duties.
4. Wide receiver production. Smith, Manningham, and Nicks appear to be one hell of a core of young talent. I would like to see Moss' or Beckum's speed used occasionally to stretch to field and Barden' size in the Red Zone but roster limits are just that, limits. Otherwise, they look good today and have thus far this season.
Areas of Concern:
1. Depth of o-line. We have absolute studs protecting Eli. Not today but typically. McKenzie is wearing earlier each year and the group is aging. Nothing needs to be done now but the 2010 Draft War Room better make this its first "post-it" note on the wall.
2. Recent lack of defensive end production. Sheridan needs to carry on the formula Spagnolo implemented and the players need to execute.
3. Safeties. CB's struggled but will bounce back. Michael Johnson needs help. Brown is big hitter but gets torched. Maybe Rouse needs more time with 1st string defense. Arizona will be loving the film on this one and next week improvement is a must from this unit.
4. Gilbride. Some of the play calling is questionable. Was Manning's primary read always a 35-yard pass attempt on third and four or third and six?? Appeared that way. I'm all about shots down field...big play potential...draw pass interference potential...but not every third down situation. Easy Kevin. Easy.
All in all, we got beat. Manning and the boys have some film to watch and both physical and emotional wounds will need healing.
The first loss is out of the way and trust in Coughlin to rewire the coaches, Manning to re- establish the offense, and Pierce to fire up the D. So turn off the panic alarm and get ready for some improvement and retribution next weekend against Arizona.