The Giants defense has gone from a group that put together one of the great games in league history against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII to a gutless group of underachievers. Yesterday was just another example that proves this point.
I understand that there is a decent chance the Packers may get a field goal with the ball on their own 20, 58 seconds left in the game and a timeout in their pocket. They have the undisputed best quarterback in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers leading their offense and that’s with Tom Brady and Drew Brees both having excellent seasons. But to let the Packers get into field goal range on two plays spanning 50 yards is pathetic. The Packers have one time out, which they were only going to use to stop the clock before a potential game winning field goal. Why then would you not make sure that any play the Packers make stays in front of you?
On the first play, rookie linebacker Jacquian Williams let Jermichael Finley catch the ball and turn up the field when he had the sideline as an extra defender. Williams needs to make sure he is in position to at least push Finley out of bounds. To let him catch the ball and pick up an extra 15 yards running up the sideline is inexcusable. On the second play, cornerback Will Blackmon let Jordy Nelson get behind him for an easy 27-yard completion. The question here actually should be why the hell is Blackmon, a fringe 53 man roster player at best, covering the Packers second best receiver with the game on the line. Either way you can’t let Nelson get behind you. You’re better off holding him and taking the ensuing five-yard penalty.
No heart, zero game awareness and you have yourself a gutless defense. The Giants still have a chance to make the playoffs, especially with the Cowboys somehow losing in Arizona (Jason Garrett, freezing your own kicker on a game winning field goal is not usually a good use of a timeout), but the Giants defense will surely figure out a way to screw their team out of a playoff spot.
Through one game T.J. Yates seems to be an upgrade over Matt Leinart simply because he produces more big plays in the passing game for the Texans. While Yates only completed 12 of 25 passes in yesterday’s 17-10 victory over the Falcons seven of the completions were for 10 yards or more. By contrast, only one of Leinart’s 10 completions last week, before he injured his shoulder and left the game, was for over 10 yards and only six were for more than five yards. If Yates can continue to make the defense respect him Houston will cruise into the playoffs as AFC South champs and have a fighter’s chance in a home playoff game, even against the likes of New England, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Mike Pereira brings nothing to Fox’s telecast as the official in-game challenge expert. All he does is confirm what is obvious on the screen to any reasonably informed NFL fan. It’s actually insulting that Fox thinks we as fans can’t figure out if a play should stand or be reversed. It’s also a slap in the face to the broadcast team since a big part of their job is to analyze the game and that is being deferred to Pereira on pretty much every challenge. Fox Sports, do everyone a favor and cut Mike’s mic on challenges.
If I had to give a team the edge in the race for the last wild card spot in the AFC it would have to be the Jets. New York is the only team that can win all of their last four games. Cincinnati can’t say that with Houston and Baltimore on their schedule. Same for the Titans, who have to play Houston too, along with New Orleans. Oakland has to go to Green Bay next week, which is an automatic loss. Denver’s schedule is manageable outside of the New England game but the Tim Tebow magic has to stop sooner or later doesn’t it? Even if it continues they would then likely take the AFC West, leaving the wild card spot open. I don’t like the way the Jets are playing and I don’t believe they will be playoff road warriors for a third year in a row but as of right now the 6th seed is theirs to lose.
A Staff Writer for RotoExperts, Tamer Chamma is a two time top 50 Finalist in the WFAN Fantasy Phenom contest as well as a weekly guest on the SiriusXM "RotoExperts" morning show. Tamer is also a fill-in co-host for the show. You may contact Tamer @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @RotoExperts_TC