Giants-Eagles Week 5 Thoughts: ‘Meltdown at the Meadowlands’

I was nervous that after the way the first four weeks of the season have gone that the Eagles might present us with something like a “Miracle at the Meadowlands Part II.” But it actually ended up being worse. Much worse. I should have seen the “Meltdown at the Meadowlands” coming with the chance to save the season.

The Giants’ season is over. Yes, I’m finally ready to admit that. I don’t care that they’re still only two games back in the division with11 games to play. The Giants aren’t mathematically eliminated and with the Eagles and Cowboys leading the division at 2-3, they likely won’t be for some time. But how is a team that’s 0-5 and been outscored 182-82 and given up at least 31 points each game and just lost to Nick Vick (half a game of Michael Vick and half a game of Nick Foles) going to get it together by Thursday and then go into Soldier Field and win a game? They’re not.

Thinking, writing and talking about what happened on Sunday makes me feel like Lloyd Christmas watching Harry and Mary drive off, but let’s get to the Thoughts, none of which were positive about the Giants.

– “I think at the end of my career, I’ll be in the Hall of Fame. I know myself, and I know (when) I have guys around me that feel the same way, which I feel I do. When I get my opportunity, the sky is not the limit. I think it’s past that. You have to believe in yourself to do good things. This is how I feel.”

That’s what David Wilson told Newsday last October. At the time he had 87 yards on 15 carries and the memorable fumble on Opening Night against the Cowboys that got him benched.

What else did he say back then? Oh, not much …

“I’m like birth control. You have to believe in me. Like birth control, 99.9 percent of the time I’m going to come through for you.”

It didn’t end …

“I never know when that opportunity is coming, and that’s why you have to stay prepared. But when I do get that opportunity, I’m going to get lost in the moment and keep it going. Once I get my chance to go out there and play football and do what I do, I’m not going to want to let go of that.”

On Sunday, Wilson found the end zone for the first time this season and after giving the Giants a 7-0 lead, he completed back-to-back backflips. That’s right. Not one backflip, which would have been ridiculous enough for the way his season and the Giants’ season has gone, but TWO backflips, which was embarrassing for him, the Giants and their fans. But I guess when you have 146 rushing yards on 44 carries after five games, you can do whatever you want.

– It’s scary to think the numbers Eli Manning would put up and the amount of wins the Giants would have if any receiver could catch a perfectly thrown deep ball. Why won’t you catch the ball Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle? Why?

– Does Victor Cruz know that every time he doesn’t catch a ball intended for him it’s not because of pass interference? It’s awkward for everyone watching the game to watch Cruz throw a temper tantrum in the middle of an NFL field and stomp and stammer when he’s unable to make a play on a very catchable ball when it’s his fault and not the defender’s.

– Trumaine McBride had a chance to make two game-changing plays. He didn’t make either of them.

The first play was a missed opportunity to down a punt on the Eagles’ 1 in the first quarter, which led to the ball rolling into the end zone for a touchback. McBride beat the ball to the 1 and was just sitting there waiting for it and once it got there he fanned on it.

The second play was a missed interception on first-and-10 from the Eagles’ 29 that McBride let go right through his hands like Domenik Hixon trying to make a catch in the 2008 playoffs. Instead of an interception that would have given the Giants the ball with a 7-6 lead, DeSean Jackson hauled in a 56-yard catch that set up a LeSean McCoy touchdown three plays later.

So thank you, Trumaine McBRide. Thanks for showing up to MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

– Only Brandon Jacobs could fumble without getting touched or bumped or hit. That’s right Jacobs put a ball on the ground despite making contact with nothing except the air of MetLife Stadium.

Jacobs has 48 yards on 22 carries this season and his longest run has been for seven yards. Tom Coughlin doesn’t trust David Wilson, Andre Brown still has a broken leg and Da’Rel Scott is no longer a Giant. Good thing the Giants didn’t sign Willis McGahee when they had the chance.

– After all of the second-half collapses over the last decade and whatever the eff this season has been, it’s still hard to call for Tom Coughlin’s job because of those two February wins over the Patriots. But if Coughlin continues to make coaching decisions like he did against the Eagles, he’s going to make it easy for his job status to be put in jeopardy.

On the Eagles’ second possession of the game, the Eagles failed to convert a third-down attempt on third-and-9 from their own 48. A five-yard run left them facing a fourth-and-4 from the Giants’ 47. But an offensive holding penalty was called on the five-yard run and instead of declining the penalty and forcing the Eagles to punt or risk going for it on fourth-and-4 at basically midfield, Coughlin accepted the penalty, giving them a third-and-20 from their own 37. Now maybe Coughlin hasn’t seen every Giants-Eagles game during his tenure as Giants head coach, but 100 percent of the time the Eagles have faced a third-and-impossible, they have converted. So it was no surprise that Vick took off for a 34-yard run in a drive that would end with a field goal. Here you go, Philadelphia, here’s three free points!

And then there was the disaster at the beginning of the third quarter. The Eagles led 19-7 and Foles completed an 11-yard pass to McCoy on third-and-10 from the Eagles’ 27 for a first down, but replays showed McCoy might have not had possession when he went out of bounds on the catch. So what did Tom Coughlin do? He called timeout to give him more time to make his decision. (Goodbye first of three timeouts in the second half of a game you’re trailing 19-7 to save your season!) And then after getting extra time to make a decision, Coughlin challenged the play, putting his second timeout at risk in a 12-point game on an 11-yard pass that would have only given the Eagles a first down at their own 38. Now it looked like Coughlin was correct in challenging the play, but why risk two timeouts for one 11-yard play? And why risk it when no one ever has any idea what the ref is going to say when he emerges from under he good? Of course the play was upheld and the Giants lost two timeouts on one play.

– Eli Manning had three intentional grounding penalties. Not three intentional grounding penalties in a season. Three intentional grounding penalties in one afternoon.  And on top of that, Eli graced us with three more interceptions to bring his season total to 12. Eight touchdown and 12 interceptions in five games. No big deal, right?

Yes, several of the 12 interceptions have been unusual, but Eli isn’t doing himself any favors by trying to make a play on every play when he would be better suited taking a sack or throwing it out of bounds rather than trying to make throws underhand or with his left hand or letting balls go into triple coverage. I like to pretend that late in these games when Eli feels the pressure and an impending sack and doesn’t see anyone open for a reasonable throw he just screams, “Eff it!” and lets one fly as far as he can. The problem is all of these “Eff it!” throws are finding the other team.

– Hakeem Nicks’ effort getting on the field with the clock winding down on the Giants’ season on the play in which he didn’t correctly run his route leading to the third interception was … it was … just … like … ah who cares? It was a joke, that’s what it was.

– Trailing 36-21 with about three minutes to play and facing a fourth-and-28 on their own 19, the Giants punted. It didn’t matter if it was fourth-and-1 or fourth-and-10 or fourth-and-28 or fourth-and-99, the Giants waved the white flag. No, they most likely weren’t going to convert a fourth-and-28 (unless they were going against their own defense) and they certainly weren’t going to come back and win the game, but they didn’t even try. They gave up. After five games, I’m doing the same.