When it happened, everyone in Big Blue nation wanted Matt Dodge out of town. He inexplicably punted a line drive shank right to the most dangerous punt returner in the league. However, I’m here to tell you that it should never have come to that, and we should take our foot off of Dodge’s throat for the time being.
Granted, Dodge’s rookie season has been up and down and at times he looked like he buckled under the pressure, but the Giants have themselves to blame for giving up a 21 point lead in a total of seven minutes.
Not only that, but they had the ball on the 35-yard line with 1:10 left and all three timeouts. Despite everything that had gone wrong, a simple 40 yards into field goal range and this is not even something we would be discussing.
I hate Dodge for not punting the ball out of bounds, but as much as it would seem to go against better judgment, the loss is in no way his fault—especially given that the Giants missed three tackles on the return.
Tom Coughlin said it best: “The players win the games, and I lose them. Place the blame on me, I can take it.” Uh, Ok Tom, I will do just that when you admitted that you were the only one in the stadium not expecting the Eagles to do an onsides kick down two scores with seven minutes left in the game.
He claimed he wanted the regular return on the field because he didn’t want to give up field position. I get that, but can’t you have a fail safe? Something that will bail you out in case they pull a trick play? I mean, it’s not like when the Saints did it after halftime in the Super Bowl when no one expected it.
The good news is the players are backing up Dodge, all taking the blame for letting the Eagles back in the game. They all agree that it should not have even come down to a punt return touchdown, and that they let their fans down.
You can say that again.
The depressing thing is that Matt Dodge was actually having a good game otherwise, and will now go down as making one of the most bone headed plays in NFL history.