Jobu reviews the Giants first win of the season… finally!
All week long, I convinced myself that I wanted the Giants to keep losing so that they could secure the first overall pick in April’s draft and use it to take Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks. My experiment in reverse psychology seems to have worked, as the Giants finally scored a win in what might have been the worst Monday Night Football match up in history. Let’s take a look at the particulars of this, our first winning Giants Week in Review.
The One Big Difference
I feel like the Giants didn’t play all that well in this game, but they came away with a win despite themselves. Don’t get me wrong, any kind of win will help revitalize the fan base, but this was a particularly ugly one. If they hadn’t faced the terrible Vikings in this game, things might have been different. The one thing the Giants were able to do all game is not completely shoot themselves in the foot. That’s right, no big turnovers. No ridiculous fumbles, no patented Eli Manning skittish “they’re in my hair!” type of interceptions and no oops the punt hit our guy in the ass on the way back and now the kicking team recovered type turnovers either. Rueben Randle did fumble a on a punt return, but the defense held and nothing bad came of it. Amazing!
Good Enough Offense
Ten days ago, Peyton Hillis was a volunteer assistant coach at a high school in Tennessee. Yesterday, he was splitting carries with Michael Cox on Monday Night Football. Pretty crazy what injuries and desperation can make happen. That being said, Hillis played pretty well for a guy who only had a few days to learn an entire offense. He led the Giants in rushing, albeit only with 36 yards on 18 carries, and even scored a TD in his debut. Hillis also almost led the team in receiving yards, catching 4 passes for 45 yards (Victor Cruz had 50), including a big 3rd and long catch and run during which he broke a couple of very tough tackles.
That was the kind of game the Giants offense had against the Vikings. There was nothing spectacular, and they often blew opportunities with bad throws or big drops, but they did enough to get the job done. Manning wasn’t spectacular either, but he managed to go 23/39 with 200 yards and a TD. THe Giants should have torched the terrible Vikings secondary, but the most important thing is that, for the first time all year, Eli didn’t throw the ball to the other team. He came close, but he didn’t do it.
Coming into this game, the Giants had allowed at least 27 points in every game this season. It was getting to the point where they were setting records for futility on the defensive side of the ball. I was calling for the head of Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell on a stake. While I still think Fewell should go, it was nice to see the Giants stop someone from scoring points. Despite the 23-7 final score, the Defense pitched a shutout. Granted, the Vikings were trying out newly acquired QB Josh Freeman, who was atrocious in this game, but the defense held the best running back in the world, Adrian Peterson, to just 28 yards on 13 carries.
Of course, the special teams gave up a punt return, but that was the only real blemish. Also, the Vikings Special teams ended up helping the Giants more than it hurt them, so that return didn’t end up mattering anyway. Seriously, how badly do the Vikings want the first pick in the draft? As good as Marcus Sherels looked on his 86-yard punt return for a TD in the first half, he looked just as foolish fumbling another return attempt after 3 yards in the third. In the fourth, the Giants did one of those squibby floppy kicks after a field goal. Rather than let it go to a real return man, 6’6″ 305 lb lineman Sharrif Floyd made a leaping catch and tried to return it, and promptly fumbled as well. Not sure what he was thinking, but that was pretty much the last nail in the coffin.
Yes, this was an ugly game. It wasn’t very fun to watch, nor did it feature a lot of skillful play, but we’ll take the 1-6 rather than the 0-7, right? Reverse psychology, my friends. Try it on your team.
Featured image courtesy of: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
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