Are You Adequately Prepared For Some Football?
It's been about 8 months since the Giants played their last game, and I've forgotten how cruel this game is. There is nothing worse than watching a team march up and down your home field, totally powerless to stop it. Nothing. I mean, even when you're getting dominated by a starting pitcher in baseball, you always can hope that he'll get tired, his pitch count will spike, and he'll be gone. In football, getting overwhelmed by a great offensive team is just miserable, prolonged agony.
Well, fortunately for the Giants, they were able to stop the bleeding pretty quickly after a first quarter of getting beat up by interminable, clock-devouring drives. The good guys managed to hold the damage to 6 points, at least giving the team a shot. Eli made the plays when he had to, and had the ball in his hands down a mere 2 points against one of the top teams in the NFL with under 5:00 to go. All very good things.
But that's where the fun stopped. Funny thing about football is how you can have an incredible see-saw of emotions within a 10 second span. Like yesterday, with 3rd and 2 on the Giants' own 18, 4:14 to go, needing only a FG to take the lead, the following occurred:
Eli throws complete to Carter - first down. Yes!
Flag on the play. No!!
Pass interference. YES!!!
OFFENSIVE pass interference. What the FUCK?!?!
NBC shows replay of "penalty." WHAT THE FUCK?!?!!?!
I've watched a lot of football, folks, and I don't recall ever seeing a more bullshit, ticky-tack push-off call in such a crucial spot. If the ref lets that go, it's first down at the 37 with only 4:00 to go, with the Giants riding a wave of momentum. Who knows what happens. Total. Horse. Shit.
Brutal loss, but here are some huge positives:
(1) Brandon Jacobs. WOW. Wasn't it just 8 months ago that this guy was a short-yardage guy who couldn't get short yardage? Yesterday he's running around out there like Eric Dickerson crossed with Mark Bavaro, plowing over and through people, hitting holes, and picking up yardage in huge chunks, looking confident and aggressive. Wow. I am VERY excited about this. We could have a thunder and lightning situation on our hands again - but for real this time.
(2) Tiki. Has not lost anything from last year. The Colts just could not stop him. If this keeps up the ground attack could be ferocious.
(3) The O-Line. A good day. Eli wasn't hurried too often, he was never sacked, and the Giants picked up nearly 190 on the ground. A very good day.
Of course, the negatives were there too, other than the final score. Eli was pretty good overall, but made some head-scratching throws. The new acquisitions, Madison and Arrington, didn't make much of an impact at all. And NINE offensive penalties at HOME?!? That should NEVER happen. And can ANYONE in the secondary catch a ball that hits them in the hands? If even ONE of those picks are caught, we have a whole new ballgame.
But I do think that this team showed that it's for real, and it should be a real bloodbath next week in Philly. Godspeed, Big Blue.
Speaking of bloodbaths, yesterday's Mets game was the first game all year that I can unequivocally, 100% tell you that I didn't give two shits about. In fact, if yesterday's loss knocked Trashball out of the playoff rotation, it was a great day for Met fans everywhere.
But now that Sunday Night Football is behind me, I can focus on the clinching that's to come in the next few days. Hopefully Peyton Manning won't be on the mound in Florida.