There's a ton of blame to go around after the New York Giants followed up Week 15's historic collapse at the feet of the Philadelphia Eagles with a stinker of a blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers, 45–17.
But as the blame is roundly distributed, we here at G101 wanted to take a moment to ponder the balance of responsibility between the players and the coaching staff.
If you open a newspaper (or read G101), you'll know that while Coach Tom Coughlin may be back next year, he's certainly on the hot seat for now.
So, we ask, is that fair?
First, let's acknowledge that players flop beyond the controls of their coaches, as this week's game was a pretty fine example of simply failing to execute, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
Just ask Deon Grant, who plainly admits to Pat Traina that "[The Packers] did everything we practiced for…At the end of the day, we didn’t do what we were supposed to do. We knew what was coming; we should have been able to attack it, but we didn’t.” Hard to blame Perry Fewell for that one.
Or Barry Cofield, who says that the Giants have been taught to do everything the right way, but for some reason the missed tackles and poor executions persist. "We have been taught to do everything the right way, we just haven't been doing it."
At some point, now on the offensive side of the ball, it's hard to pin all of Eli Manning's league–leading 24 interceptions on the coaching staff. And Tom Coughlin can't go out on the field with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs to make sure they hold onto the ball.
This is the kind of basic error that has haunted New York all year long and they frankly should not happen at the NFL level. That, and not the fact that the Giants have almost lost what looked at one point to be a Super Bowl-caliber season, is why Tom Coughlin's job could be in jeopardy.
Again, it's hard to blame Fewell for Rolle biting hard on a play action, but defensive meltdowns like what happened against Green Bay this week, or Indianapolis or Kitna's Dallas team earlier in the year sure are won't look too good on Fewell's resume. That's Joyner's point: it's not like Coughlin's hasn't been telling the offense not to turn the ball over, but he's the one going to get canned for them not listening.
But there's another side of the coin here.
For starters, Coughlin is presiding over his second year of colossal meltdowns (and looks likely to miss the playoffs again). Other arguments include the special teams units appearing unfixable, and the turnovers continuing, despite Tom's perennial harping on both issues. There's also the inconsistent offense, Coughlin's offense, that hasn't changed in years. Not to mention the hiring of Bill Sheridan.
But are any of these or other issues juicy enough to make you get on board with the likes of Steve Politi, who thought Coughlin looked like "a man without answers" after Sunday's loss? Or the New York Daily News' Gary Meyers, who thinks it's high time that Giants bestowed upon their franchise quarterback a new coach?
Whether Coughlin's seat gets hot enough to bounce him off of it remains to be seen, but for now we'll ask you guys the question: in the face of players who simply didn't execute, is it fair for the coach(es) to take all the heat?
Other Notes:Ahmad Bradshaw, Antrel Rolle, Barry Cofield, Brandon Jacobs, Deon Grant, Eli Manning, ESPN, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Pat Traina, Perry Fewell, Philadelphia Eagles, Tom Coughlin
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