by J.D. Cook
Yesterday the Giants won their second divisional game of the year. Unfortunately thanks to the N.F.L’s asinine scheduling it was virtually a meaningless game. Division games should be spread out with three confrontations between rivals near the start of the season and three near the end. Instead the Giants played Dallas with a good bit of time between games but played Philadelphia in two games very close to each other and now have two games against Washington in the final quarter of the season. If the games were spread out the N.F.C. East might look a bit more competitive right now but then again who knows how much scheduling plays into a team’s victories.
Despite the fact the Giants were all but eliminated from the playoffs last week I was still excited for this game against a division rival. The Giants can end this season 9-7 with a grouping of hard fought victories and after their dismal start even finishing 8-8 would make the season into some sort of success. Unfortunately neither of the games commentators were as excited for this game as I was. They brought up how excited they were for next week’s flex game multiple times and rarely seemed interested in the game in front of their eyes. Now I know this game didn’t have a lot of playoff implications but a good commentator should make even the most poultry of match ups seem exciting. Both the New York Giants and Washington Redskins are storied franchises with huge fan bases who did not share either commentators disdain for the game. Later in the game both commentators even tried to create a controversy over an officiating mix up. It was as if they were so bored they needed to drum up something to excite them. The controversy in question was nullified by the fact that the Redskins still got the first down they were supposedly cheated out of and the fact that the referee on the field did inform them it was 3rd down and not 1st down. Also we shouldn’t forget that if the Redskins hadn’t wasted their time outs earlier in the game they could have called one to sort the situation out. Furthermore the commentators spent so much time on this silly issue that when the Giant’s Will Hill stripped Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon a play later they didn’t even seem to notice. Both commentators need to treat their next football game that doesn’t have huge playoff implications more like a game and less like a funeral.
Onto the subject of the actual game! It was a pretty fun match up. The Redskins took an early lead but the Giants rallied to tie the game up in the first half. Eli Manning looked more or less back to normal throughout the game which was a welcome change from his play this season. He even drove the team down to score before halftime in true Manning Gunslinger fashion. It was especially nice to see tight end Brandon Myers get a score and look like the safety valve the Giants intended him to be in the passing game. Both Andre Brown and Peyton Hillis continued to look good running the ball despite not accumulating many yards. The real standout of the game was Justin Tuck who has come under scrutiny of late for his lack of production on the field. He accumulated four sacks and looked like he did against the Patriots in the 2007 Superbowl. His sacks came partially as a result of being moved from defensive end to defensive tackle. So the question moving forward is should he stay there and was this performance enough to show the Giants management that Tuck is worth one more year in Big Blue? I have said myself I didn’t think he should be kept after this season but if his drop in production was due to coaching maybe he needs to stay in the middle with Pierre Paul and Kiwanuka as the new full time ends. That already sounds like a pretty awesome defensive line to me.
Ok so next week Manning faces his arch rival Philip Rivers! Manning has never beaten the team he shunned on draft day and I think it’s about time he proved once and for all that he is Rivers better in a one on one quarterback duel. Well alright Manning has definitely proven he’s better with his two super bowl MVP’s but a win against San Diego would be a good stepping stone to the Giants showdown with Seattle. At this point I’m just rooting for the Gmen to play huge spoilers and slay the mighty Seahawks proving that despite their record they are still a good team that just caught a bad break this year.
The Giants Blog is published every Monday during the NFL season while the New York Giants remain viable contenders (which in 2011 was right to the end and their Super Bowl championship). On the weeks when the Giants have a Monday night game, the blog will be published on Wednesday. The blogs are thoughtful (albeit heavily biased) analysis of the Giants’ performance from our editor-in-chief and Giant fanatic J.D. Cook.