The New York Football Giants let one slip away Sunday in their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. After dominating the first 27 minutes of play, the Giants held onto a precarious 6-0 lead. Then what could have been for the Giants turned into a nightmare. This playoff game was reminiscent of the 1989 Giants playoff against the Los Angeles Rams. On that afternoon 28 years ago, the Giants dominated the first half but found themselves down 7-6 at the half. In Sunday’s game, the Giants dominated those first 27 minutes in each category except the score. Two key dropped touchdown passes-one by OBJ and one by Sterling Shepard-cost the Giants touchdowns.
As we have stated in our previews leading up to this game, the Giants offense has struggled all season scoring points. It was no different in the playoffs as the Giants mustered a total of 13 measly points. With the offense stuck in first gear, the Giants special teams were atrocious. Giants’ punter Brad Wing forgot how to punt. Pro Bowler? Yes. Pro Bowler Dwayne Harris was awful. He is the guy the Giants spent millions on to improve their return game and improve their team coverage. Well, all I saw was Packers kick returner Jeff Janis put his team in good field position. In addition to Janis, Packers punt returner Micah Hyde had a 23 yard punt return which set up the first Packers score of the game. The Packers started that drive on the Giants 38-yard line. Three plays later, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers found Adams in the end zone for a touchdown. The Packers took the lead at 7-6.
Right before the half with six seconds left, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a Hail Mary pass which unbelievably was caught by Giant-killer Randall Cobb. This was a major blunder by the Giants coverage unit. Of all people, Giants safety Landon Collins allowed Cobb to get behind him. As a result of this miraculous play, the Packers went ahead 14-6 at the half.
We hit a Hail Mary. That got us going.Aaron Rodgers
It sure did because the Packers went on to score 24 second-half points to pummel the Giants. After looking like David Whitehurst to start the game, Rodgers finished with 362 yards and FOUR touchdown passes.
As Pete pointed out in his preview, he thought the Giants could exploit the Packers banged up secondary. They did. The problem was the Giants receivers could not catch the football. OBJ had three drops in this game. Two of his drops were in the first quarter. Shepard had two drops in this game. Both guys played well during the year, and they saved their worst performances in the biggest game of their careers. Our Motown discussed the Giants need to get off to a fast start. Indeed, they did but with receivers unable to catch a football, they did not make the most of the opportunities presented to them.
OBJ is an explosive player, and he needs to grow up. His antics after the game were unacceptable. He was not contrite in his post game press conference. I did not hear him take responsibility for choking in this game. If you go back to his college career, he played just as poorly in the 2012 BCS Championship against Alabama. He deserves the criticism and needs to work on getting better.
What was Ben McAdoo thinking?
Just before the Hail Mary possession, the Giants had a third and one. If they had converted that third down, they would have run out the clock and been down 7-6 at intermission. Instead, McAdoo called a run play to Bobby Rainey. Bobby Rainey? Rainey got stoned. McAdoo has to learn from this botched call. Why was Rainey in the game?
Speaking of Rainey, what was he thinking on the kickoff return? After the Packers took a 21-13 lead, the Giants needed a score. Rainey caught the kickoff and went out of bounds. All he had to do was let the ball hit the ground. The kick was headed out of bounds and the Giants would have had the ball on their own 40 yard line. That is serious hidden yardage in this sequence. The Giants lost 35 yards of field position. That is a killer.
Fire offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.
Fire special teams coordinator Tom Quinn.
Fire tight end coach Kevin Gilbride, Jr.
McAdoo needs to make serious changes for his team to improve going forward.
More to come..