PHILADELPHIA, PA – The encouraging Giants’ season came to an daftar roulette abrupt and unsatisfying end on Saturday night, via an old-fashioned boot-stompin’ by the rival Eagles. The Giants were outclassed in every way. But I’m here to pick up the pieces and remind you that they’re headed in the right direction. Aren’t they? Like *Short Matt in a brothel, they have some big decisions to make with a lot of holes to fill. But for the first time in a while, it seems like they have the right guys in place. So I’ve got a nice little Tuesday planned, and I might even make some Championship Game Predictions. I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.
The whiplash on Monday morning felt like I had crashed my motorcycle into a wall on my way home from a Metallica concert. Giants’ Nation changed lanes from the Stairway to Heaven to the Highway to Hell before I had my morning coffee. Going into the showdown with the Eagles, it was easy to see that Giants’ fans were way too high after a Wild Card win over the defensively-challenged Vikings. I was hopeful, but knew it wasn’t likely to end well.
I sure expected a much better fight though.
A closer look at Jones’s stats reveal only 3 games where he topped a mere 228 yards passing. One against Detroit, with plenty of garbage time yards, and two against the aforementioned Vikings. He finished with fewer than 200 yards passing nine times (not including one with exactly 200). This was not a team that could win with Jones dropping back to pass 40 times. Reality swooped down in the form of an annoying green bird, as the Giants were outclassed from the jump.
Fourth and Eight
It’s been talked to death, but going for it on 4th and eight from the Philly 40 on their first drive was an extremely questionable decision. Daboll showed a lack of faith in his defense and gave Philly a short field. The decision was especially questionable because they had a 3rd and three the play before and Jones just ran out of bounds for a five yard loss sack.
If they were planning to go for it on fourth down, why not run it on third down? And if Jones knew he had two downs, maybe he would have thrown that ball away to save the five yards. It was an impulsive move that reeked of panic. And it was a weird early look from a team that looked so prepared against Minnesota and for most of the season. I know it wouldn’t have mattered, but it was still perplexing.
One matchup where the Giants lack of talent really showed was the Giants’ receivers vs the Eagles’ secondary. I give the Giants’ coaches credit for turning Slayton, Hodgins, and James into a respectable group of receivers. But these guys are role players. They couldn’t compete against one of the best secondaries in the league.
The defensive performance was a profound disappointment. Against Minnesota, the plan was to take away Jefferson and live with what the Vikings got from Hockenson and the running game. Well, what the hell were they trying to take away in this game? They were equally inept against the run and pass. Even the Eagles’ cheerleaders were on the top of their game. Your offense is broken, it don’t even trickle. They call him Danny Dimes but he ain’t worth a nickel.
The Eagles were running it at will, even up the middle at our supposed run stuffing studs Dexter and Leonard. Every time they threw it to Goedert, there were no defenders in his zip code. The quick hitters to DeVonta Smith looked way too easy. The Eagles could’ve carved the Giants up any way they wanted. To add insult to injury, ex-Giant and pre-season salary cap casualty James Bradberry came up with an interception.
But when the stink of this one washes away, we’ll realize that this was a fantastic season for the Giants. Going from fighting just to get under the cap to a playoff win, with that roster, was an impressive achievement. We finally have a capable head coach, with the rare ability to get the most out of his players.
Still, let’s not book the Canyon of Heroes for next year just yet. They need a lot more talent. Look around at the four teams left and you’ll see a plethora of superstars that the Giants just don’t have. Assuming Jones and Saquon come back, the biggest needs will be WR, CB and LB. Those three position groups are supermodel thin.
Championship Preview NFC
I hate to say it, but I think the Eagles will beat the 49ers. Before Sunday, Brock Purdy had beaten the Seahawks twice, Cardinals, Commanders, Raiders, and Bucs. That’s not exactly Murderers’ Row. They got by the Cowboys’ strong D, but the best thing you can say about Purdy’s play was that it was mistake free. Bad Dak showed up and tipped the scales to the Niners.
This week, you have to figure Philly is going to score. They had the top offense in the league. So at some point, Brock is likely to have to drop back and let it rip. He hasn’t shown that he can do that against a good defense. Hurts is less likely to Dak things up and hand him the game. The fairy tale ends here, says me.
It Hurts to Say Hurts.
Championship Preview AFC
On the other side, Patty M’s high ankle sprain has thrown a massive wrench into the mix. The Mahomes’ Magic depends on his ability to buy just enough time in traffic for a receiver to get loose. Turn him into a statue and he’s not the same guy.
Meanwhile the Bengals seem to have taken on the personality of their unflappable QB. I thought the decimated O-line of the Bengals would be a tough hurdle to overcome but it wasn’t. They pushed around the Bills with ease. What happened to the Bills’ defense? I hadn’t seen that many missed tackles and helpless defenders since Barry Sanders took his flag football team on a tour of retirement homes and elementary schools back in ‘92.
In normal weather, against Chris Jones and company, the revamped O-line will likely struggle some. But I’m buying on this Burrow guy. Josh Allen was supposed to be Mahomes’s rival, the Brady to his Manning. But Burrow stepped in and took that job. And while there’s no questioning Mahomes’s heart, a high ankle sprain takes time to heal. He’s unlikely to be anywhere close to 100%.
Light Em Up, Joe Cool.
A Bengals vs Eagles Super Bowl doesn’t exactly make my heart flitter. But Angry Ward does, and he’ll be here tomorrow. Please comment below and follow us on Twitter at @benwhit8 & @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts. And we’re on Instagram, too – @MeetTheMatts.
*Management NOT happy