The New York Giants Jekyll and Hyde act continues with one week remaining in the season and the Giants’ playoff hopes dangling by the thinnest of threads.
A lot of attention has been paid to the offensive struggles of the Giants this season, but the defense has played horrendously almost all season, with only a few exceptions. Missing tackles, blown coverages, penalties and an inconsistent pass rush have plagued the Giants all season.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell has not gotten the best efforts from his personnel and his schemes have been shredded by opposing teams.
The Ravens took apart the Giants defense, holding the ball for 39:21, rushing for 224 yards (a season high for them), converting 11 of 18 third downs and running a total of 81 plays for a total of 533 yards. The Giants, on the other hand, had the ball for only 20:39 and compiled only 186 total yards.
When the Giants defense needed a stop, they couldn’t get one, even allowing a 3rd down and 20 conversion that saw tight end Dennis Pitta make the grab amidst three Giant defenders. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce each had over 100 yards and Joe Flacco looked like Joe Montana.
The Giants defense has been banged up most of the year, and even when healthy, they haven’t performed well.
Tom Coughlin’s job isn’t on the line like it may have been last season, but some of his coordinators’ jobs might be. Neither offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride or Perry Fewell have had good years. Some of that might be due to injuries and suspensions that have ravaged both sides of the ball, but that is never an excuse as almost every team is banged up, especially this time of year.
If the Giants fail to make the playoffs, the blame will have to fall somewhere, and it won’t be on Coughlin. My guess is Gilbride will be the sacrificial lamb this time around. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if both men came under increased scrutiny if the team fails to make the playoffs. Someone has to be held accountable.