Friday, September 5, 2008
A cause for celebration: Last year's title not yesterday's victory over the Skins
Last night was cause for celebration. There were dramatic moments, climaxes and genuine excitement. The only problem was, this was only true of the pregame ceremony honoring the defending champion New York Giants. Strahan popping out of that Superbowl trophy got me harder than any girl ever has (okay that's not true but it was cool). The Fireworks, though not my style, definitely added to the festive atmosphere. The video tribute was fun as we got to relive our favorite month in modern sports history, that is January, 2008. (and first three days in February of course) However after the excitement of that was washed away, the game itself was horrible.
You could tell that this was a week 1 game for the Giants though it appeared that coach Jim Zorn of the Skins thought it was week 4 of the pre-season. His lack of urgency in the last 6 minutes of the game, trailing a team with an excellent defense and running game by two possessions, was comical for Giants fans and probably infuriated for Skins fans. The Giants came out firing as Eli found the great Plaxico with ease thanks in large part to his 6"6 frame and great leaping ability. Plaxico no doubt was fired up from the news that he will officially be donning the blue for the next 5 years thanks to a last minute contract extension. Congrats Plax you deserve it. We love ya. However, as great as Plaxico was and as solid as Eli was for much of the first 20 minutes; this was a horribly ugly football game, especially in the 2nd half.
The Defense A- The only reason I give them a minus is because of that horrible d it played in the final Skin's drive of the first half. Although they had great field position inside the Gmen's 45 yard line; leaving the only good player on Washington's offense wide open on 3rd and 12 is inexcusable. Doing so led Washington to its only score a 13 yard Touchdown reception for Santana, "don't call me Sinorice" Moss. However, the rest of the game the defense was completely dominant. Tuck and Kiwi were phenomenal rushing Campbell from the ends and Ross did his usual excellent job of coverage in the secondary. Oh and my man crush on Spags continues as he consistently brings pressure and does a brilliant job of play calling.
The Offense- C+- The offense in the first half should get an A- for scoring 16 points yet failing 3 times within the "green zone" as Coughlin and Eli call it. I think this is the area inside the other team's 40?? This unit will miss Shockey's dominance in this area all season long. However, Plax was brilliant as was Jacobs. Most importantly, the O-line continues to be one of the very best in the NFC if not the NFL. However, Eli was awful in the 2nd half. He threw a horrible pick way over the head of Kevin Boss into the waiting arms of Fred Smoot. He should have had several other passes picked but the Skins missed several opportunities to catch very interceptable (is that a word?) passes. Eli was not terrible overall but he needs to be smarter against better opponents if he wants to play more like he did in January than the way he did in November and December.
Special Teams- C- John Carney was very good filling in for the injured Lawrence Tynes. His kickoffs consistently reached inside the 5 yard line and he made a nice 46 yard field goal which proved critical in keeping the Skins at least 2 scores down for the balance of the game. However, the kickoff coverage was deplorable. The Skins had two kickoff returns of over 30 yards and one all the way to New York's 45. This unit was great in the playoffs and needs to return to this form if New York wishes to realistically contend in a great division.
Coaching- B+- This grade reflects the mean of Spag's A++ and Gilbride's C-. Spags always calls a brilliant game but Gilbride did not fare as well as his defensive counterpart. He made some horrible calls on third and short including several Half back pitches when all New York needed to do was have Brandon lead forward 2 yards for the first down. Oh and where the heck is my man Bradshaw. I did not buy his Superbowl 42 logo emblazoned jersey so I could watch him get zero carries and one touch in a game! He is the team's most game breaking back and provides a great contrasts to Jacob's bruising style. Ward is a solid back but he has no place on this team. I wish the Gints had traded him for a mid level draft pick. Oh well.