Excerpt: "Jason Pierre-Paul sounded angry on Sunday when he was reminded that the Giants have been here before. He didn’t care that their current plight is almost identical to the one they faced one year ago. “That don’t mean nothing,” he insisted. “That was last year. I’m tired of hearing it.”
He should be, because he’s right. This isn’t last year, and these are not last year’s Giants. As much as Tom Coughlin wanted to “Build the Bridge” from the Super Bowl to this season, all he has so far is a Bridge to Nowhere. Yes, the still-defending champions control their destiny and yes, they were 7-7 and up against the proverbial wall at this point last season. But has this team given reason to believe it is about to embark on another magical run?
Certainly not lately. Maybe not since its 26-3 win in San Francisco way back on Oct. 14. The Giants did have that 38-10 victory at home over Green Bay four weeks ago, but that’s starting to look like an aberration in their dismal 2-4 second half.
It is, to use the word Coughlin used Monday, “baffling” that this team has slipped to this point, with most of its championship pieces still in place. Its only hope seems to be suddenly, miraculously flipping a switch and finding its championship form.
“They don’t have any choice,” Coughlin said. “If what we really want is right there for us, there’s only one way to get it. It’s not by playing like we did (Sunday).”
It seems clear something is missing with these Giants. Here is a short list of what the they need to rediscover if they really want to make another run:
1. PASS RUSH
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell claimed his “strategy” kept defensive linemen from getting sacks against the Saints two weeks ago, but that fails to explain the rest of the season. Pressure on the quarterback has come in flashes. Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora have just 15½ sacks between them.
Last year at this point, Pierre-Paul had 13½ sacks on his own.
It’s hard to win a Super Bowl without one monster on defense whom everyone fears. And the importance of a pass rush can’t be overstated. Other than Eli Manning, it is the biggest reason why the Giants have two championships in the last five years." Read more...