Tag Archives: perry fewell

Typical Giants

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There was a moment after the confetti had fallen after the New England Patriots had taken the slow death march off of the Lucas Oil Stadium turf after losing their second Super Bowl to the New York Giants when ESPN interviewed Justin Tuck sitting on the Giants bench.

Tuck was slouched over looking as if he couldn’t believe what just transpired. Not just the Super Bowl win, but just the Giants overall run. He was exhausted and confused. Exhausted after once again making Tom Brady’s supposed historic night a living hell, confused as to just how the in the hell the Giants were able to win a Super Bowl after the season that they just had.

You’ve probably read my last three articles pertaining to the Giants and they weren’t nice. I bashed GM Jerry Reese for not retooling the Giants properly after Steve Smith, Kevin Boss and Barry Cofield skipped town. I wanted Perry Fewell fired, I wanted our defense euthanized after the Saints debacle, after the Redskins loss in December I was done with this team. 7-7, losers of 5 of 6, this team had little hope of making the playoffs let alone winning a Super Bowl.

You know what I forgot about… It’s the New York Giants. No matter how bad they look, how poor they play, how much they make you want to hang yourself from the tallest redwood, they somehow find a way to figure it out.

This run was just typical Giants. Start off hot, lose a few well played games, go through a stretch where you look like a train wreck, put your backs against the wall, then go on a run where you look like the best team in football.

It’s maddening I tell you.

The same team that let Drew Brees run through them like a run away train is the same team that blew the doors off of the Atlanta Falcons and embarrassed them. The same defense that couldn’t stop Aaron Rodgers in week 13 beat him up and dominated him in the playoffs. The same team that lost four straight games to three division leaders and a .500 team beat every division leader and a dangerous 11 win team at home.

The team that looked like a discombobulated mess was the same team that even when Tom Brady was carving them up in the second and third quarters kept a cool head and finished it off in the fourth.

Last night’s Super Bowl win came with the normal heart attacks, sweaty palms and a few screams that come with watching the Giants play, but for the first time in my life of watching agame I was completely calm.

The front four wasn’t pressuring Brady, the offense wasn’t scoring touchdowns, Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw almost blew it with fumbles… But everything seemed perfectly fine.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve become used to this, or the fact that Eli Manning’s personality has affected not only the Giants team but the fans too. The same demeanor that Eli has been killed for since he entered the league is what won the Giants another ring.

Tuck spoke about it at length saying that even when the Pats offense was in a rhythm that he felt ok like nothing was wrong. Even when things were looking bleak everyone from the defense to the coaching staff to the offense was calm.

The offense which was known for its big play capability never forced the action. It was never forced into bad plays and took what the Pats D gave it even it was a field goal. Victor Cruz was a decoy all night as the Pats secondary doubled him at every chance, Nicks had ten catches mostly for first downs and nothing more (we’ll get Mario Manningham in a moment). It was all about patience and in a year after the Giants committed the most turnovers in the league, they wouldn’t budge an stayed patient.

For a defense that makes its living off of killing QB’s last night was a true test for the Giants especially it’s front four. Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyoira, Linval Joseph and others just couldn’t touch Brady. Give Bill Belichick credit for formulating a game plan to keep the Giants pass rush at bay. In the midst of Brady’s 16 straight completions there was rarely a white shirt in his face.

Fewell could’ve went back to the old Fewell and just started blitzing at will to get to Brady. Instead he let it all play out. He kept rushing the front four and keeping linebackers Michael Boley and Jacquan Williams in the middle of the field to protect against the run.

Eventually the pass rush did get to Brady as it forced his only interception of the game and his overthrow of Wes Welker which would’ve put the game away instead it forced a punt.

(side note: I know Cris Collinsworth said it was a bad throw, Skip Bayless and Rob Parker killed Brady for that throw… But Welker should’ve made that catch. When you get two hands on the ball you should be able to haul it in and he should’ve. For a guy that has 122 catches and is routinely called the best at his position those are the kinds of catches you have to make. Poor throw or not you are paid to catch balls like the one Brady threw.)

You saw the rest, Manning to Manningham made all of us believe that this game was the in the bag for the Giants (it’s not better than Manning to Tyree but it was just as amazing). Manningham makes two more huge catches, Ahmad Bradshaw scores a weird touchdown (honestly I’m with Coughlin on this one. He should’ve made a firm judgement on it but in the end six points is six points and field goals aren’t sure things). Then Tuck plants Brady in the ground for the second time leaving the Pats hopes up to a failed hail Mary.

Yep, typical Giants. It’s never easy.

At the end of the day it means different things for everyone in the organization.

It means Eli will finally get his props as being one of the game’s best QB’s and hopefully the NFL network will place in in it’s top 100 players this year.

It means that hate him or love him Tom Coughlin is one of the game’s best coaches by winning his second title. Rex Ryan may get all the buzz in the city but Coughlin is the top dog of New York. Sports Illustrated polled players before the season and Coughlin was voted as a coach no one wanted to play for. After his second ring is that really a wise assessment of him?

For Justin Tuck its vindication of sorts. He was criticized by for Giants Antonio Pierce & Michael about his toughness for not playing through a neck injury. Tuck had a bad season due to his ailment but in the end he was the engine that drove the Giants defense.

He was the only Giant to get to Brady and he did it three times, two for sacks, one for a safety. He came through when the Giants needed him most and with his second title he can take his place along side Lawrence Taylor & Strahan as the most important Giant defenders ever.

For Victor Cruz it means a new deal, for Brandon Jacobs it’s a ride off into the sunset as his days as a Giant might be done. For Manningham he will be forever apart of Giants and Super Bowl lore with his catch.

For the Giants in particular they are just plain old champions. After losing players to free agency and injury, having Plaxico rip the team and Coughlin after signing with the Jets. Losing 5 of 6 in sometimes pitiful fashion and having to run the table to make playoffs they pulled it off.

They are the kings of New York, kings of the NFC, and kings of the NFL.

Eli is elite, Coughlin is a legend, Fewell still has a job and I have a new championship T-Shirt.

When asked by the NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk why the Giants can’t play like they did last night all if the time Tuck just shook his head and said “I couldn’t tell you.”

Typical Giants.

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The Eagles Love To Torture Me

I hate the Eagles.

I remember when the New York Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 10-7 years ago on a Brian Westbrook punt return for a touchdown. I remember looking the television at Champps in Columbia, Maryland a if someone had just jumped up and roundhouse kicked me in the testicles and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t move, speak or anything. I remember walking to work afterwards in the most demoralized state that I had ever been in.

It was worse than the 39-38 loss in the playoffs to San Francisco where we blew a 24 point lead the previous year because this was a divisional rival and that loss began a slow painful death to our year. It was the end of the Kerry Collins era when he got injured and was then jettisoned out of town, it was the end of Jim Fassel as we lost the next eight games to finish 4-12 and it was the beginning of my absolute hatred towards the Eagles.

Yeah I know that they’re a divisional rival and the New York and Philly are supposed to hate each other, but I always had mutual respect for Philadelphia. This goes back to my old adage of how parents shape your sports life, well my mom at a point in my lifetime loved Randall Cunningham and how he darted through defenses in those pls green, grey and white uniforms just thrashing people and leaving linebackers wondering what happened. So I started liking the Eagles a little because of Randall and his unorthodox style of play (side note: another reason why fatherless homes suck, you get confused in your sports allegiances. Had I had my dad around he would’ve slapped some sense into me and told me that he would disown me if I like the Eagles in any way. You know like how I will if my kid ever wears an Islanders, Michigan or Red Sox jersey).

If it really is deja vu, then the Giants season will take the same turn it did in 03 after Westbrook's return.

Besides I hated everyone else in the division that had to be hated. The Cowboys and Redskins were like chopped liver to me and I want Troy Aikman and Darrell Green to die more than Reggie White or Keith Byars. My thinking was that since I hated those two I might as well like the Eagles because they have to play them like the Giants did, so I made my mom and i happy.

Then, well the Eagles got better than the Giants and I got older and began to learn regional rivalries. You can’t like the Eagles, their off-limits like every other team in your division. You have to hate them it’s only natural. I mean the Packers fans can’t like the Lions because it’s not a rivalry but it’s an interdivisional matchup. How crappy would you feel if the Lions made the playoffs thanks to a win over the Packers and they missed out on the playoffs? Exactly.

(the sad part about this is that living in Maryland totally jaded this rule to so many people. Starting about 2007 there were so many people claiming that they liked the Orioles and the Red Sox that I want to drown myself in the harbor. People gave me the same answer over and over “I like the Red Sox a lot but I’m still an o’s fan… Um no you’re not. 1. You couldn’t name one Neil Diamond song, 2. You have no Boston ties except maybe in seafood and 3. You never, ever, say that a team in your own division means just as much to you as the team you grew up with. Thats like if my buddy Scully said to me that he liked the Nats now but not if they play his Phillies… I would hit him with a skillet.)

So as Donovan McNabb and gang green rolled to 4 NFC title games and a Super Bowl I had to deal with the fumble brothers Kerry and Tiki, the beginning of the Eli era and Will Allen an Will Peterson who I still loathe to this day.

Then came my moment of glory, 2008 and the Giants Super Bowl win. Scully and my other Eagles buddy Andrew always try to discredit that win by saying Eli’s a bum the Giants got lucky and other phrases I’ve heard day in and out in my life, but all I did was point to my shirt and say that Donovan couldn’t do it in 4 and Eli did it in 1. I had all the material I needed. There wasn’t a thing that any Eagles fan could say to me about the Giants. I dont care about the 2008 playoffs loss. The fact that we got swept last year or anything. The Eagles got nothing on us… Until yesterday.

That 38-31 loss was the most heartbreaking loss of my life. Yes I understand the Yankees lost a 3-0 lead in 2004 an the Rangers blew a 3-1 lead against the Caps two years ago but like the 2003 Eagles loss those were slow painful deaths. This was at the alter about to get married having the band playing for ten minutes while waiting for your bride to come out, which she obviously won’t, bad.

We had the division wrapped up, a first round bye and legitimate Super Bowl shot all wrapped up and we threw it in the fire. I’ve never seen a football team collapse the way that we did and of all places it had to happen to me while I was in Boston on a personal holiday. It was almost the ballbuster of the trip, thank god Elizabeth was sitting next to me so I couldn’t go into full meltdown mode and she would think i was a nut.

Here’s all you need to know; the Giants absolutely dominated 52 minutes and 30 seconds of this game. We kept Mike Vick in check, stopped any big DeSean Jackson plays and threw all over the Eagles defense. It was 31-10 after Eli threw his 4th TD of the game and it was over, I told Liz it was over I even sent Scully and Andrew messages mocking that stupid E-A-G-L-E-S chant. I was thinking about the Packers next week and how we get the number two seed in the NFC… then this ridiculousness happened.

At 7:38 in the fourth quarter Vick hot tight end for a 70 yard touchdown because Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell stayed aggressive with a 21 point lead and Kenny Phillips tried to make a big play and failed miserably. 31-17 G-men. No problem.

Then the Eagles recover an onside kick, understandable… EXCEPT OUR SPECIAL TEAMS COACH DIDN’T HAVE THE HANDS UNIT OUT JUST IN CASE A TEAM DOWN BY 14 POINTS MIGHT WANT TO TRY AN ONSIDE KICK THIS LATE IN THE GAME!!!!!

(side note: my buddy Tara always says Scully and I should have our own ESPN show, I disagree because of games like these. Can you imagine me doing a show after this game? I’d get fined or fired because I would rip everyone in a series of f bombs.)

You think I was ticked, try talking to him.

What happens Vick makes a great play on third down because, again, Fewell takes another risk an fails. Three plays later Vick runs it in to cut the lead to 31-24.

At this point I’m not even paying attention to anything Liz is sitting there probably thinking I’m going blow a gasket. He told me her dad gets like that during Browns games so she probably was having a flashback. Poor girl.

Giants get the ball back and I’m praying we get first downs. We get one which leads to this new great moment in the play calling history of Kevin Gilbride: run on first down, pass play on second down which gets us an offside call, run, pass play, sack… ok WHY THROW THE BALL WHEN YOU RUN THE BALL AND KILL CLOCK AND MAKE THE EAGLES USE TIMEOUTS?!?!?! The pass plays cost us clock and a penalty. If we run the ball we kill the clock, game over done. Instead the Eagles get the ball with 3 minutes left.

After forcing another third down Vick runs 30 yards for a first down because Aaron Ross over plays him instead of containing him (at one point I wanted an Aaron Ross jersey, I’m glad I never got it). The two minute warning hits and Liz goes to call her mom, she’s seen this picture before apparently. One minute left Vick to Maclin, touchdown, tied game… Shoot me.

So instead of it being tied with seconds left, which should’ve happened if Gilbride had common sense, there’s a minute left, the Giants are so discombobulated we get nothing an get sacked with 14 seconds left.

Now the ridiculous part… Let me tell you how scared I am when Matt Dodge punts the ball, Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween scared. He’s terrible, I’ve watched him punt this year, league’s worst punter hands down… And he’s kicking to DeSean Jackson… Tom Coughlin tells him do what even Helen Keller knows to do in this situation with a guy like Jackson back there, kick the ball out of bounds. Easy right? He’s a punter, it’s his job, what does he do… Kicks the damn ball directly to Jackson… I’m not making this up.

As he returns the ball up the sidelines I immediately thought of the Westbrook return and how it killed our season in 2003. I knew our season was done, we won’t make the playoffs with two road games left, we won’t recover from this. The damn Eagles did it to me again. They ruined a promising season where the Giants should be going to the playoffs as a two seed and home field advantage. Instead we won’t make the playoffs it’s done.

38-31 Eagles win. When Liz came back she tried to console which led to me going into the bathroom and cursing Matt Dodge and his mother to hell. Of course this happens in Boston and I’m sure Scully, Andrew and every pats fan got a kick out of it.

The Eagles are now more hated in my house than the Cowboys or Redskins ever will be. They’re secondary to the Eagles who continue to torment me. Westbrook, McNabb, and now Jackson. If my mom or anyone influences my kid to like the Eagles I’m jumping off of a cliff.