The Giants don’t like to make things interesting. They don’t make things tough on themselves – if they’re going to lose, they’re going to lose big. And this Titans game was the same old story. There was zero discipline; barely any pressure on Vince Young; and it’s like we grabbed the first 22 people into the building, suited them up, and called them the special teams unit.

After their 29-10 loss at the hands of Tennessee, the Giants have lots and lots and lots of work to do this week.

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I want to get this out of the way now. I don’t want to hear about Tom Coughlin being on the hot seat right now. I know the NY media is going to swarm, and I know the “Cowher to the Giants” rumors are already starting to fly. That being said, he should not be on the hot seat. I’m not going to say “he shouldn’t be, he won us a Super Bowl”, which is the dumbest argument I’ve heard recently. There are certain situations when a head coach should be placed on the fiery chair that is the “hot seat”. If his team underperforms for two straight years, then a coach should be given a short leash. And Coughlin is nowhere near that. Besides, he’s not the one out on the field. He is the mastermind behind the plays and the strategies, and at this level of football it’s rare for a coach to be terrible at game-planning and managing his team for one game, let alone one season. The players might not agree with a call, but there’s always a reason that call was made. It comes down to the players’ execution and discipline, two things that Coughlin has preached since he was a coordinator for the Giants way back in the late 80’s. The finger will always be wrongly pointed at the head coach, and if this season keeps heading down the path it’s on the scrutiny will be put on the wrong person.

This game ruined my whole week. Everybody was sharp, focused, ready to play. The Giants will be the first to tell you that this is a game they should have won. But, there’s 13 games left this season. That’s 13 opportunities for this team to jump off, fly around, play G-Men football.

Offensive Summary:

Eli was locked in, from the start, completing 34 of 48 passes for 386 yards – which is five yards off his career-high. He threw two picks (as crazy as it sounds, one was left-handed, into triple coverage – yes, left-handed. If it’s not your right hand, it’s the wrong hand Eli!), and the one interception he threw with the arm he’s thrown with his whole life should have been caught by Hakeem Nicks – and that’s not the first time that’s happened. If you get two hands on the ball, come down with it. They teach – even demand – that as low as Pop Warner: the ball could be over your head, at your cleats, or hit you in between the numbers. It doesn’t matter where the QB puts it, because if it hits you in the hands, you catch it. Period.

When Kevin Boss caught that 54-yard pass from Eli in the first quarter, I immediately thought “Simms to Bavaro”. Watching Boss carry two defenders an extra five yards gave me a flashback. There are so many weapons on this offense, and Boss really flies under the radar.

David Diehl spent his afternoon getting flat-out abused off the edge. I’m sure Julius Peppers (great name by the way) is going to have a nice stay in the backfield next Sunday. “Welcome, Julius. This is Dave. Dave, meet Julius. Julius, Dave will be accompanying your trip into Eli Manning’s grill for the next three hours. Hope you like the Giants’ backfield. Make yourself comfortable, Mr. Peppers, you’ll be here for a while.” On top of being abused, Diehl committed one of the Giants many unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, ripping the helmet off a Tennessee defender. Way to be macho.

Kareem McKenzie was yanked from the game after his second personal foul call of the day, and he should never see the field in a Giants uniform again. It’s unacceptable that a 10-year vet of this league could lose his cool that badly.

Ahmad Bradshaw had 88 yards rushing on 15 carries, and also caught five balls. But, he has to protect the ball better. Whether it be Bradshaw coughing up the ball, Eli forcing the ball, receivers misplaying passes that turn into interceptions, or Eli’s left-handed split personality, this offense has become mistake-prone.

Defensive Summary:

For most of the game, the run defense was excellent. Through three quarters, the Giants held Chris Johnson to 57 yards on 22 carries. The defensive tackles and middle linebacker Jonathan Goff did a good job plugging up the middle, and I felt the corners – notably Terrell Thomas – did a good job of containing Johnson and making quick stops on the outside. Twelve of Johnson’s carries, not counting his one-yard touchdown, went for two yards or less.

On the other hand, the pass rush was bad. Really bad. Mathias Kiwanuka should be kept out of this discussion, because he has four sacks already and is constantly being shifted around. I don’t know if the offense even knows where he is most of the time. Except when Perry Fewell dials up a blitz (not often on Sunday, with the focus being on stopping the run), there’s just no pressure at all. Osi Umenyiora was invisible. Justin Tuck isn’t getting close to the quarterback as often as he should. Vince Young didn’t have to use his feet to get out of trouble too much, which worries me against the Bears next week. If Jay Cutler can sit back in the pocket all day, his arm will pick us apart. I’m hoping we see more of what we saw in week one, with Fewell using all different types blitz packages with the front seven. I’ve been praying every night that this happens.

One more thing. Nice leadership by Antrel Rolle. For all the talking he did last week about leadership and attitude, he was certainly lacking both. Rolle took an immature unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Sunday, and then made it worse by saying he saw nothing wrong with what he did:

Q: After a lot of mental mistakes today, how worrisome is that to you?
A: It’s not really worrisome, there are things that can be corrected and will be corrected. I think we played a tough game, a physical game, and a good game in my eyes. You see that the turnovers and the penalties definitely hurt us, but it’s definitely something that will be corrected. We have to get back to work come tomorrow.

Q: Any explanation when you got pulled off the field?
A: There was no explanation. I got struck twice, and I struck back. There was no explanation about it. I’m a ballplayer, and that means I’m fiery. He struck me twice, and I definitely struck him back. I wasn’t ejected, but the coaches pulled me out probably to calm me down. I understand that. It’s a game of emotions. That guy took two strikes at me, and I made sure I struck him back.

What is this? A street fight? He even continued:

“It’s a penalty. I wasn’t ejected,” Rolle said. “It’s a penalty, a personal foul. Whoop-dee-doo. It’s not the end of the world.”

Thug life, yo. But seriously, was that the “attitude” you were talking about? That was being a freakin’ leader? Is that a Miami thing? That attitude won’t fly here. I hope Coughlin ripped into him after the game, and kudos to Tom for taking him out of the game. You won’t last long with this team with that “attitude”. Grow up.

One play that really impressed me: Titans up 3-0 in the first quarter and have a 3rd and 9 from their own 21. Vince Young goes deep down the right sideline to Kenny Britt, who gets about two yards of separation from Corey Webster. If he catches it, it’s an easy, 79-yard touchdown. Who makes the play? Kenny Phillips, who closed in ridiculously fast from the hashmarks all the way to the sideline, dove into Britt and broke up the play. Almost came away with an interception too. That was a flash of the old, play-making Kenny Phillips before his injury last season, and he hasn’t lost a step. He’s back!

Special Teams Summary:

All that needs to be said about the special teams unit is something needs to change. Big Blue View, a truly great Giants blog, lobbied for Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn to be fired – all the way back in January. This unit was one of the worst in the NFL last season, and already they rank towards the bottom of the League this season. The kick coverage unit looks like they don’t even want to be out there. That makes zero sense to me. When I played ball, every game I would revel at the thought of lighting someone up, me and 10 other guys running full speed toward one helpless opponent. Most of these guys on the Giants’ coverage team are backups; this is probably the only time they’ll see the field. Where’s that killer mindset?

Rookie punter Matt Dodge is very lucky he didn’t shank a punt to go along with his atrocious free kick, and his delay of game penalty on a field goal attempt (which Tynes ended up missing). I’m shocked the Giants haven’t brought in a different punter, or at least tried to use Tynes as a punter, or…well I’m shocked the Giants haven;t done anything but stand pat.

More special teams stuff: Ralph Vacchiano writes “[Return man] Darius Reynaud says his problem is that he’s used to a more read-oriented scheme where he has to dance a bit and then find a hole, which is I guess what they ask him to do in Minnesota. Here, he says, they want him to run straight ahead.” Welp, then do it. Do you play for Minnesota now? No? Then execute our scheme… It’s been a while since we had a good return man, and Darius can be that. He just needs to adjust and prove it.

Interesting Facts:

The Giants are 4-10 in their last 14 games…Sigh.

What’s Next?: The 3-0 Bears from the Windy City roll into the New Stadium on Sunday night.