WEEK 78 – Play With Fire

Posted: November 29, 2011 by Keith Stone in 2011 Giants, football, Giants, New Orleans Saints, NFL

Saints 49, Giants 24

A big part of the Giants’ decline has been injuries. There’s no denying that. With a full squad, they play a much more competitive game last night. At the same time, they’ve failed to adequately adapt, both personnel wise and mentally. I don’t want to rehash last night’s game because it was ugly. The Saints are an offensive juggernaut and a smart team on top of it, so I knew the Giants’ weaknesses would be exploited, and they were. A lot.

The defensive line, once their biggest strength, again failed to make any headway, and the playcalling was again too conservative. The Giants won the Super Bowl and stopped the greatest offense of all-time not by playing perfect coverage but by bringing different types of blitzes. When you do that, it doesn’t matter how good the quarterback is or how banged up your secondary is, you’re not going to let the offense get into a flow like they did last night and the past few games.

On the O side, it was again the same story. Brandon Jacobs ran a little better but he still goes side-to-side way too much. When he barrels into the line, he’s going to pick up a few yards no matter what. When he goes to the sidelines, he doesn’t have the same effect. Even when all he does is hit the other players on defense hard, it softens them up for future plays.

Still, the Giants were content to go with their standard running game and 10- to 20-yard pass plays. I know they were shorthanded but it’s so easy for the defense when you don’t spread the field with a big play every once in a while. The one time they did, Cruz got open and scored a big touchdown. That first interception was also a killer. Eli made a decent throw but it was a bit short, Ballard mistimed his jump, and the defender made a great play. When you blow a touchdown that early, it sets a bad tone for the rest of the game. The Packers are next and while it would be safe to assume the game will be similar to this one, hopefully the Giants will be more freewheeling and play to win instead of not to lose.

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