Diary of a Giants Fan: Redskins Dismantle Giants – Grades
It was a rough day for we the Giants faithful, a day which is uniquely representative of their recent years. Start well. Erase all memory of the good start. Disappoint. Sigh.
The game started well for the Giants. Despite not having Tuck, Umenyiora and a host of others, the G-men defense looked good early. They were off the field relatively quickly and putting good pressure on perennial B-team all-star Rex Grossman. The Giants offense, though not blowing anyone away looked decent. They were moving the ball a bit, though stalling out until their third drive. It was on this drive that Manning floated a long ball to Hakeem Nicks who took it down inside the five. It was the first signs of life from a Giants offense that has looked listless since eight minutes to play against Philly last year. Manning would then show his dynamic speed on the next play with a touchdown run on my favorite play, NAKED BOOT!
It was after this Giants score that the defense began to show their true colors. The pass rush which had punished Grossman early, evaporated, leaving the already weak secondary even more exposed. A few sacks and a good hold on third down kept the Redskins in check until they were able to convert on a fourth down and finish the possession with a score to tie the game.
The ensuing kick off featured one of the more uniquely Giants-esq baffling plays that I've ever seen. Doing an impression of the Royals outfield, two Giants stood and watched the kick off land between them. One of them, apparently just now tuning into the game, was able to dive on the ball and give the giants possession at the five. Brilliant.
The next score to come in the game would be the Giants, in what was an impressive drive. Manning looked efficient throwing the ball, and both Bradshaw and Jacobs ran well - with Bradshaw capping off the drive with a score. The defense, however, looked worse than ever. The secondary looked crossed up and the front seven couldn't get pressure. The Redskins would score inside the two minute warning to tie the game and send us to the half. Though not before booming the ensuing kickoff through the endzone. Why, I wonder? Did you see what happened last time you kicked off? Kick that thing nice and high and let the Giants screw it up. Missed opportunity, Redskins.
At halftime, little could be taken from the game. The offense looked decent, though the defense, particularly the secondary, needed badly to improve. The special teams...well. The special teams. Yeah...Yeahhhhh.
The second half began with the similar thud that ended the first. A tipped ball inside their own fifteen resulted in a pick six and the Redskins were on top for the first time in the game. Mr. Mo Mentum had clearly changed his address to Landover, with the Redskins firmly in control, especially after good old Larry Tynes punished the Redskins defensive line by kicking a field goal straight into their chest. Defensively the pass rush was still largely non-existant and the secondary looked more confused than ever...if possible. The answer to me was clear. Rush. The damn. Passer. If we dropped all eleven I don't think we'd be able to cover, so drop a few and blitz the house.
When the Giants did decide to blitz, it worked. a third down blitz resulted in a loss of 16 on a Rex Grossman sack. A corner blitz resulted in a Pierre-Paul sack and forced fumble recovered by Michael Boley. But momentum was just supremely on the side of Washington at this point. They'd get the ball back and, with the help of the absolute softest personal foul penalty ever (thanks for that Zebra), score again to make it 28-14. The score which the game would so mercifully end at.
Is there hope to be found? Some. Maybe. This was without a doubt a poor, poor showing by the Giants. But the offense, I truly believe, will be fine as we go forward. The defensive line will be better when Tuck and Umenyiora come back, which will also help the linebackers and secondary, though I'm not sure anything but two other defensive backs on the field (13 defenders) would really help. We'll see how the Giants rebound next week, though I'm less than encouraged.
Grades: Offensive Line: C - The line showed some promise, giving Eli time to pass on some plays and opening holes for both backs. Though overall the line was anything but consistent and allowed too much pressure on Manning. If you give up four sacks a C is the best you can do.
Running Backs: B - Jacobs and Bradshaw didn't blow up the spot by any means, but they ran well when they could and looked excellent at times. With no huge mistakes from either, they were clearly the best Giants unit on the day.
Wide Receivers: C - Nicks, Manningham and Kevin Boss replacement Jake Ballard had some good catches, and even shined at times in the game. But the corps as a whole had some drops, broke off routes early and at times, just plain ran the wrong route. Some flashes off greatness, but mediocre at best.
Quarterback: D - Manning didn't look great all game. He made some good throws, but overall looked confused at times, wrestled with the play clock throughout the game ,and never showed anything significant. Poor performance, Eli. But hey, you got another straight start. Couple hundred more and you tie Brett Favre.
Defensive Line: C- -They stuffed the run for the most part and got to Rex Grossman at times, especially early, but overall they didn't put nearly enough pressure on Grossman. Especially when you consider how badly the secondary needed help.
Linebackers: D - Though helping in the run stopping, the linebackers had almost no impact on the game. Boley played well, but the rest of the corps barely had their names called all day, and looked horrific in coverage.
Secondary: Zero. Point. Zero. Is there a grade worse than F? - The secondary was atrocious in this game. It was picked apart by Rex Grossman. REX. GROSSMAN. Are you kidding me? Here's a guy that they weren't sure would start over John Beck. WHO THE HELL IS JOHN BECK?! Come on! The corners and safeties could not have looked more confused this day and were exposed for the dumpster fire that they are.
Special Teams: F - We let a kick off fall in between two return men then basically hit a one iron six feet off the ground into the D-line. Enough said.
Check back here at the end of the week for my preview of week two (if you dare), in the next edition of Diary of a Giants Fan.