The Giants won a game they were favored to win. At home. By four points. Big deal. I am glad the Giants won. However, I am perplexed at their all-too-frequent lethargy.
Try this cliche....the ends do not always justify the means.....
There was no ricochet, or fumble or Act of God to save the Jaguars yesterday. At the end of the game, they got to see what we should have been seeing here for some time now: a steady dose of Jason Pierre-Paul.
JPP doesn't get to play much for the Giants. The Giants' top draft choice is buried on their bench and only gets to wet his beak in select moments.
Jacksonville QB David Garrard had been slipping through the Giants fingers, hands and arms all afternoon long, but in the final minutes he fell prey to the athleticism of safety Antrel Rolle and the fresh legs of JPP.
Until that time, the 78,533 paying customers at the New Meadowlands Stadium were relegated to short breaths. Jaguars' RB Maurice Jones-Drew had run under, over. around and through the Giants' staunch run defense for the better part of yesterday afternoon, quieting the already nervous crowd.
At one juncture, as the Doors' Roadhouse Blues was vibrating the billion-dollar walls of NMS, the fans sat stoically, deader than Jim Morrison himself...I thought " where did all the Giant fans go....?"
Then, thankfully the team sprung to life and won the game - a game they were supposed to win handily, injuries and all. The Jaguars started Guy Whimper at tackle for God's sake!!!
One of the reasons the Giants struggled was that QB Eli Manning had a rough game. Don't look at the statistics. They won't tell the story. With Eli, its what's NOT there that is the tale.
He looked shaky and confused and off-target way too often. He did not look like himself yesterday. The Giants will be needing him to play muuuuuch better if they are going to make some noise in this NFC playoff race.
First there was the vastly underthrown deep pass to Mario Manningham, who had gotten behind the Jaguars' defense down the middle of the field. The ball was so poorly thrown, the Jacksonville defense couldn't even make a play on it. The Giants ended up punting.
On a another possession, with the Giants in the red zone - and ready to pounce on the generally pedestrian Jaguars defense - Eli flubbed a pass with several wide open options in the end zone. The Giants settled for three points instead of seven.
For those who lobby for Manning in the argument of whether he should be included in the elite QB group - you must not see him person very often. Yes, he is a good player. But he has too many "What was that?" moments for my liking and I am not alone in saying that.....
I am glad for Tom Coughlin today as he defeated his former employer ans successor. He deserves some retribution. The Jags shoved Coughlin to the curb after he launched their program from scratch.
They replaced him with Jack Del Rio, who may or may not be a good coach. I'm not really sure. All I know is that Garrard was drafted by Coughlin and he is the reason the Jags win games these days...
Let's not go crazy over this win. Jacksonville's defense averages 27 points-against per game. The Giants should have had more than 24. But 24 was enough - yesterday. Another easy win made hard by Big Blue.....