Around six and a half minutes into the Giants-Vikings game last night, I realized the Giants had already turned the ball over and committed 4 penalties, Already. To make matters worse I had to listen to ESPN’s John Gruden drool all over the Viking players and their coaches. If one was taking in his first ever NFL game, one might think Sam Bradford was the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Oh, and Odell Beckham had another emotional outburst that led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting. It was an ugly game that wasn’t as close as the 24-10 score indicated.
The Giants committed two turnovers, a Dwayne Harris punt muff and an Eli Manning interception, that led to 10 Minnesota points. They committed eight penalties for 69 yards, many of those early in the game when the Vikings were building a 14-0 lead, and the defense didn’t apply any pressure nor did they (for the 4th game) generate a takeaway. Bad.
On offense, Eli Manning completed 25-of-45 passes for 261 yards, and one interception, and zero touchdowns. Orleans Darkwa ran 12 times for 48 yards. Bobby Rainey had four carries for 22 yards and seven receptions for 43 yards. Paul Perkins had an electric catch-and-run play on a 67-yard screen pass, setting up a fourth-quarter score that got the Giants within 17-10. Victor Cruz caught five passes for 50 yards. Shepard had four receptions for just 30 yards. Beckham had a string of 28 games catching at least four passes snapped as he caught just three passes for 23 yards. With all that, the Giants were just 2-of-12 (17 %) on 3rd down, and 0-for-2 on 4th down. Ten points won’t win many games.
The Giants failed last night. Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra used to say “it gets late early out there.” There is time for the Giants to get this right. To get back on track. Let’s not overreact to a game in Minnesota against a quality team that was always going to be difficult to win. Still, the Giants need to play better — and soon, Real soon — or it will get late awfully early in the 2016 season for them.
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