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Monday Morning Hangover: New York Giants Start Swoon with 24-20 Loss to Pittsburgh Steelers

November 5th, 2012 at 6:30 AM
By Simon Garron-Caine

'Eli Manning' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Cue the tabloids: the New York Giants may have just started their annual mid-season Swoon, after yesterday's 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers dropped Big Blue to 6-3.

Eli Manning and the offense did just about nothing as the Giants let a 10-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter. The defense had its own problems, but the passing game's disappearing act has left a sour taste in our mouth (the pathetic attempt to establish a ground game the coinciding pounding headache) and is an ominous cloud hanging over a Giants team that's about to hit the hard part of the schedule.

The post-game debate devolved into a blame game: Whose fault was this horrible loss, the offense or the defense?

Let's do our best to exercise the pain in our gut from an awful, awful offensive showing. Get ready, this is going to be long:

Eli Manning's offense came out flat and ended the day totally flat. Ahmad Bradshaw ran 15 times for a whopping 48 yards, Hakeem Nicks had one catch for ten yards and Eli Manning went 10/24 for 125 yards and an interception. Yikes.

The box score is bad enough to look at, but let's get anecdotal on this mother: the red zone offense continues to be among the worst in the league (the only time they were able to punch it came after a questionable personal foul that extended the drive at the goal line); Eli Manning killed another drive with an awful interception and appeared on different pages with his wideouts on several plays; bad decision-making on 3rd-and-9 at the outskirts of field goal range at the end of the half (reminiscent of the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles) not only resulted in Lawrence Tynes missing a 51-yarder, but in the Steelers getting a field goal of their own.

Instead of 17-7, they went into the half 14-10. By the end of the third quarter the Giants had inched the lead back up to 10 anyway, so no worries right? Wrong.

In the fourth quarter, the Giants had the ball three times, losing twelve yards, picking up three yards and then gaining one yard. Three 3-and-outs in their territory, three punts. The Steelers scored 14 unanswered, game-winning points.

Okay, so the defense is not exactly off the hook, although they were pretty good in the first half.

Isaac Redman, like most every other running back has done this year, gashed a defense that just couldn't bring him down. Mike Wallace took a quick pass on 3rd-and-5 from around midfield and just ran by the entire secondary for a touchdown, a blow to the gut they never seemed to recover from. Sure, the defense didn't do its job in the second half…but they played a good first half, scored as many touchdowns as the offense did and were totally hung out to dry in the fourth.

The Giants offense has actually been showing cracks the last few weeks, with Victor Cruz' 77-yard game-winner against the Washington Redskins covering up a barely mediocre day and the thrilling victory in Dallas rose-coloring a day that in reality was a marginally better version of yesterday's catastrophe.

With offensive power houses like the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons on the upcoming schedule, the offense is going to need to wake up quickly…or this hangover will turn into a bender.

Also…

Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Atlanta Falcons, Eli Manning, Football, Green Bay Packers, Hakeem Nicks, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers

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40 Responses to “Monday Morning Hangover: New York Giants Start Swoon with 24-20 Loss to Pittsburgh Steelers”

  1.  Krow says:

    Boley remains the only bright spot in a very JAG group of LBs. I’d be hard pressed to cite a big play by any of them. There’s no one outside of him who I’d say had a good game. No hard stops … No passes defended … Nothing. Not even stellar play on specials. JAG-O-RAMA across the board.

  2.  Krow says:

    It’s fine to have a deep passing attack. But this isn’t the Cruz-Nicks-Manningham juggernaut of last season. Cruz is fine, but Nicks is still hurting … and neither Hixon or Wrong Way Wrandle can match what Mario brought to the party.

    The defenses slide to Cruz … and we’re reduced to begging for interference calls.

    I’m surprised we’re not countering with some sort of screen or swing passes.

    • Bennett? Where is he on 3rd down? In the red zone?

      Well, for that matter, where is ANYBODY in the red zone?

      •  Krow says:

        He’s blocking.

        When was the last screen pass we’ve seen? How many successful checkdowns or flares do we complete a game? Compare the separation the Steelers WRs got to our WRs. Nicks … 1 catch. Hixon, Randle, Bradshaw … zero. Total touches from scrimmage for David Wilson … zero.

        Where is the creativity? Where is the element of surprise? We depend on execution … not inventiveness, and we’re simply not executing.

    •  Dirt says:

      You’re surprised?

  3.  JimStoll says:

    the Cincy game is suddenly huge
    Lose that one and the collapse is on
    The Giants are doing what they always do — scuffle along with a couple of outstanding efforts matched by an equal number of embarrassing ones
    So they shuffle off to .500+ and hope its just good enough where they make the playoffs, can play all their games on the road, and somehow flip a switch
    the 13-3/12-4/11-5 predictors are gone
    replaced by the 10-6/9-7/8-8 soothsayers

  4.  Krow says:

    An Eagles loss tonight would be very helpful.

  5.  JimStoll says:

    hopefully the Eagles lose tonight and the giants get a pass this weekend
    but if history is our guide, tonight will be the beginning of the Eagles’ resurgence

  6.  kujo says:

    Was the post-game debate last night really about which was worse, the offense or defense? The answer is clearly both–when we needed it, neither side stepped up to the plate. Now, the defense more than did their part for 3 quarters, and at halftime I said the offense needed to wake up or else the defense would tire out by the 4th quarter. That’s essentially what happened.

    Eli had a bad game, his second in a row. Nicks is a JAG out there. Cruz did nothing after that perfectly LEGAL hit in the endzone. Bennett was useless. Randle and Hixon were nowhere to be found. Bradshaw is back to his run-to-the-hole-stop-and-think-about-where-to-go-next-and-oh-sh*t-I-just-got-tackled routine. And the OL, as a whole, was average, at best last night.

    Unless your name is David Diehl.

    Holy mother f*cking monkey balls does he suck. I want to hear all the Diehl apologists come on here and tell us about how he has 2 Super Bowl rings and how he’s a “wily old veteran” who “can get the job done.” Horse sh*t! Dude has been among the worst starting tackles in the league for some time now. But last night, he shocked the world and actually played WORSE than he ever has. They had him pulling out into the flats on a sweep and, naturally, he was too old/fat/slow to actually be effective. I about died of laughter when Bradshaw ran into him and was swallowed up by 2 defenders. Diehl is awful, and was worse during crunch time. Whoever made the decision to put him back out there as a starter ought to be fined, or worse. The article on G101 announcing his elevation to starter suggested it was Pat Flaherty’s decision. Well, let’s hear it for “the best offensive line coach in the NFL.”

    And is it time to start questioning Gilbride again? What is the offensive identity of this team? Are we a longball to the sidelines team? Do we run lots of slants and go routes? Can we run the ball and run long, sustained drives? What’s the goal here? How many times have we been in 3rd and 1 or 2 yards, only to have a playcall that includes at least 2 guys heading full steam towards the endzone?

    •  JimStoll says:

      the decision to start Diehl last night against a very good steeler defense after he hadn’t played for 5 weeks, reminds me of the decision in 2010 to reinsert O’Hara against the Eagles after he had missed half the season.
      In both instances the O-Line had performed better with the old starter out and their re-insertion immediately brought the level of play down a notch.
      I think you have to put that one on coaching

      •  kujo says:

        100% agree, man. That’s exactly what I was telling my dad last night. He and I bickered all week because he thinks Diehl is one of the better OL our franchise has ever had. But he’s a stubborn S.O.B. (like his son) and wouldn’t admit that Diehl was putrid.

      •  BadBadLeroyBrown says:

        I agree 100% Jim,

        There was no excuse to reinsert Deihl into the starting lineup over Sean Locklear… none at all. But thats how Coughlin works no matter how successful you are Coughlin wont allow you to take away a starter who’s injured job. And we’ve seen it already this year when Andre Brown was tearing it up. As soon as Bradshaw came back Brown was back to 5 touches or less a game. Which isnt a bad way of running a team, but when that injured starter has been terrible the last couple seasons like deihl somethings gotta give. The O-line didnt give up a sack the last 3 games now the 1st game Deihl is back boom Eli’s getting sacked and the pocket has shrunk.

        Deihl would be perfectly suited to be the backup O-lineman because he is a shell of himself but his best attribute now is his versatility, his ability to play every o-line position but Center.

  7.  demo3356 says:

    Krow is 100% right about our offense. There is suddenly ZERO creativity. It seems like every play is a run up the middle for 2 yards or a bomb. There is no short or mid range passing game what so ever. Teams can See Nicks is nowhere near himself so they are focusing on Cruz. We need guys like Wilson, Brown, Beckum and even Jernigen integrated into the passing game

  8.  kujo says:

    We shouldn’t overreact here. It was one loss, and we are 6-3, 2.5 games ahead of our closest competition in the NFC East. We can right this ship next week by annihilating the Bengals, though I think that will be a tough game. Going into the BYE week at 7-3 would be better than most of us probably would have predicted before the season. Even a loss next week wouldn’t be catastrophic, though it would feed the flames of the “second half swoon” narrative.

    We are more than capable, personnel wise, of having long, sustained drives. Call it “dink and dunk,” call it whatever you like. But we simply cannot live solely on the hope that Cruz is gonna blow past a defender for a game winning 80 yard touchdown every week, especially with Nicks not himself and defenses being able to blanket Cruz with 2 or 3 guys.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      Stopping AJ Green is gonna be a tough task.

      That d-line is gonna have to constantly put pressure on Big Red or else the bengals might torch us with their verticle passing game. They don’t like to dink and dunk like Pitt does.

      I see us winning that game, but hai offense really needs to start Turing Fg’s into TD’s inside the 15 yd line

      •  kujo says:

        AJ Green is shaping into a top tier WR, but there isn’t anything behind him on that depth chart. The Red Rocket is gonna have to find another receiver because we will sell out to stop him

  9.  demo3356 says:

    I guess we just have some folks on here that dont understand the game of Football at all or just post when drunk and angry. Luckily Troy and Dirt really do know football and were here to try and talk some sense into the crazies.. Cant believe folks still want to blame a defense that has scored the same amount of TD’s as our offense and forced 8 turnovers the last 2 games..
    Giants Scoring the last 2 weeks
    Offense – 14
    Defense 14
    Tynes – 21
    Yep, its definitely the defense that is averaging 4 turnovers and a Defensive TD a week, not the offense that is averaging one TD a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    •  kujo says:

      Unreal.

    •  BadBadLeroyBrown says:

      While the defense has been terrible against the run it is the offense that has stunk as of late. Killdrive is terrible this bozo lives and dies by the deep ball would it kill him to call some intermediate routes to the WR or big bodied TE Bennet, screen passes??? Just to mix it up and keep defenses honest we were 3rd & long so many times in that game and the play calls were bombs.

      We are at the bottom of the league when it comes to receptions by the RB. Which is not the end of the world but it is critical when you also mention we dont have a power RB(while Bradshaw runs hard he is neither a power back and definitely not a burner). Nor do we have a burner back there since David Wilson is on season long punishment.

  10.  demo3356 says:

    The Giants Offense REALLY struggles vs Physical press or bump and run defenses. Teams Like Dallas, Phily San Fran and Pittsburgh have controlled Cruz for the most part. Nicks usually eats that **** for breakfast but outside of the Tampa game has been non existent this season. We need him healthy sooner rather than later.

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