Sports Outside the Beltway

Giants 2006 Season Recap Part 3: The Bad

I will enjoy forgetting:

The collapse in Tennessee.
For some reason, even though the Giants were up 21-0, I felt Tennesse was going to make the game very close. It was lost on two plays: Kiwanuka’s ‘missed’ tackle, and Eli’s horrible pass to Pacman Jones. Because the NFL over-protects QBs, Kiwanuka let Vince Young escape because he thought he had thrown the ball and didn’t want to incur a personal foul, automatic first down penalty (which happened to him several games earlier). Eli’s throw was just an awful decision. He was falling backward, trying to make an impossible throw to Plax. One problem of Eli’s and the whole passing offense is the over-reliability on Plax. With a healthy Toomer and Petitgout returning next year, Eli should feel more comfortable throwing to other targets.

The last 32 minutes of the Chicago game.
The Giants, despite the losses of Arrington, Toomer and Petitgout, looked like the best team in the NFC for the first 28 minutes of the game. Chicago was willing to go to halftime down by 7, and ran a draw on third and long. Demps missed the tackle, and Thomas Jones picked up the first down, and Chiago scored a TD before the half, bringing them within 3. The Giants still had a chance to win, and were inside Bears territory on fourth down when Tom Coughlin made his worst in-game decision of the year. He had Jay Feely (who had already missed a 33-yard FG) attempt a 52-yard FG in a wind-blown Giants Stadium, when Jeff Feagles is the best directional punter in the game. Instead of pinning the Bears, Feely’s kick was short, and Devin Hester returned the kick 108 yards for a TD – the nail in the coffin. It was the start of a four game losing streak.

Eli’s inconsistency.
Although he improved his completion percentage from 2005, he went hot and cold throughout the year. He looked like a pro-bowler at times, and Dave Brown at others. He passed for more than 240 yards the first four games, then didn’t hit the mark until game 12. Then the final four games were a complete rollercoaster – QB ratings of: 97, 69, 41.3, 69.6. You really never know what kind of game he’s going to have. At least he upped his completion percentage to a respectable 58% (from 53% last year), but his next step is to make better decisions, and follow through on more passes (meaning he has to take more hits); improving in these areas will cut down on his interceptions, second most over the last two years only to Brett Favre.

These guys have to go:
- Coughlin – Dammit, he’s coming back. Why, Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch, may I ask? This team has no discipline, no creativity, and no passion (at times). Why not Cam Cameron or Ron Rivera?
- Tim Lewis – (UPDATE: He IS gone.) Dom Capers to replace him? Nope, as he resigned with the Fins. Tim Lewis is now the secondary coach with Carolina. What are they thinking?
- Gilbride (now officially the OC). His recent comments about stretching the field are promising, but can it actually be done? He’s been the QB coach for three years, and Eli still hasn’t come close to reaching his potential.
- Scott Pioli declined the Giants GM job. (There are rumors of Belichick becoming the head coach in 2008. Would he install a 3-4 defense? What about Osi and Kiwanuka? They would never fit in that scheme. But it’s all speculation at this point.)
- Jerry Reese, a member of the Giants organization since 1994, is the new GM. He’s reportedly a very good talent evaluator, which should translate into some great draft picks and free agent sinings.

- Emmons: way too slow and old. In the Saints game, watching him be in perfect position to tackle Reggie Bush on a reverse, only to get burned by him for 10 yards. Torbor and Wilkinson are in-house upgrades.
- Carter: was finally healthy, and with Toomer’s injury, became a starter, but did virtually nothing despite loads of talent and playing time: 22 catches, 253 yards.
- Joseph: also got more than expected playing time due to DL injuries, but did what he always does – showed flashes of dominance, which were few and far between.
- Whitfield: oh god, do I really need to explain this one? Rookie Guy Whimper couldn’t have done any worse. Why wasn’t he given a single snap this year?
- Strahan: if his money prevents signing a better player, let him walk. His body is in serious decline, and while he’s still very good when healthy, we still have three young, talented defensive ends. The money would be better spent on a free agent CB like Samuel or Clements, or a RB like Turner.

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