This was easily one of the most embarrassing games of the decade. What was hyped up as part one in a great New York vs. Philadelphia doubleheader quickly turned into a stinker.
Hey Giants defense, you realize Leonard Weaver is a fullback, right? Yes, the same Leonard Weaver that sprinted past the entire secondary in about one second on his way to a 41-yard touchdown. From the very first drive, it was apparent that these two teams were playing at different speeds.
Even without Brian Westbrook, their best player, the Eagles managed to rack up 180 rush yards on 24 carries (7.5 yards per carry). But no play was more telling than Weaver’s 41- yard gallop, on only his fifth carry of the year. The Giants’ defensive backs (especially the lead-footed C.C. Brown) were out of position all day.
The Giants’ defense had no answer for Donovan McNabb, who completed 17 of 23 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Aside from two sacks, the Giants rarely put any pressure on him (this is becoming a theme), and had no QB hits.
McNabb had one of the easiest games of his career as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin ran uncovered through the Giants’ secondary all day. He threw long touchdown passes to both of the aforementioned receivers in less than a one minute span.
Justin Tuck had a chance to pick off a tipped pass in the Eagles end zone in the first quarter, which would have put the Giants right back in the game. Instead, Tuck allowed McNabb to tip the ball away from his hands, catch the ball and run for a one yard completion to himself.
What is going on with Eli Manning? He had his third poor performance in a row, completing only 20 of 39 for 222 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He constantly made poor decisions, missed open receivers and threw floating passes over the middle of the field. It was as bad as he’s looked in two years.
On the bright side, he ran for 34 yards on three carries.
Not that it mattered, but there was a phantom holding call on Rich Seubert at the end of the first half. There was also a bogus horse collar call on Jason Babin.
The Giants won the time of possession battle 35:33–24:27. Yay!
The only game ball goes to tight end Kevin Boss, for giving up his body game after game. Boss caught three passes for 70 yards and his first touchdown of the season. He was again destroyed by the opposing defense, and will not make it through the entire season if he is continually hung out to dry every time he makes a catch. I’ll bet he spends the entire bye week sitting in a bathtub filled with ice.
Of all the boneheaded coaching decisions, nothing in this game made me angrier than seeing Corey Webster in on punt returns.
Are you serious, Tom Coughlin? In the fourth quarter of a 40-17 game, you’re putting your No. 1 cornerback in on punt returns? Did we learn nothing from Jason Sehorn’s injury?
I understand that Domenik Hixon and Sinorice Moss were both unavailable due to injuries, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to put one of your most valuable defensive players in as a punt returner in a game that had been decided by halftime.
With all of the holes in the Giants’ secondary, an injury to the team’s most reliable defensive back would have been a crushing blow. The fact that Coughlin put Webster in harm’s way in the meaningless moments of a 23-point game is an inexcusable gaffe.
Now if it had been C.C. Brown back there, that would be an entirely different story…
I hate to say it, but if the Giants don’t get Chris Canty, Aaron Ross, and Michael Boley back (or at least some combination), I only see two more wins on the schedule.
Starting their season off with a cupcake-laden schedule might have been the worst thing for the players, coaches and fans, as it gave everyone a false sense of comfort.