Sunday, December 19, 2010

Giants Fumble NFC East

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-Digger's Daily-

The New York Giants (9-5) played strong football for a little more than 3 and 1/2 quarters this afternoon against Michael Vick's Philadelphia Eagles. During the week Giants pass rusher Justin Tuck vowed the team would "finish" without any let downs. Today, New York led Philadelphia 31-10 with 8:17 to go. One mistake after another... after another... and yet, another... led to the final mistake and 38-31 loss as time expired. "The Miracle in the New Meadowlands" was pulled off again by Philadelphia.

Players, assistant coaches and head coach Coughin all contributed to the newest Giants meltdown vs the Eagles. At stake was the NFC East division title. A win would have put the Giants in control of their own destiny at 10-4. A potential to win a much desired first round playoff bye loomed in the picture. It wasn't to be and "The Miracle at the New Meadowlands was born"

For those of you old enough to remember November 19, 1978 ... it's remembered by Giants fans as "The Pisarcik Fumble" and by Eagles fans as "The Miracle in the Meadowlands". All the Giants had to do to secure victory was for QB Joe Pisarcik to take a knee and run out the game clock. Instead he tried a handoff, fumbled, Eagles recovered and ran it in for a game winning touchdown. Today's game ended very differently but the result was the same. Another giveaway by the Giants.

Michael Vick ran for over 100 yards during Philadelphia's final two drives. With Philadelphia down by 14 points, they tried an onside kick. Apparently, the only people in attendance who didn't it with just over 5 minutes remaining were Giants coaches and special teams players. Philly recovered the kick setting up another score. Giants gave the ball back to Vick after 3 weak plays. Eagles tied it with 1:16 remaining.

Ultimate buffoonery rests inside New York's punters brain as time was running out in regulation. He was told by everyone on the sidelines (coaches and players) to punt the football out of bounds. Doing so would let time expire setting up a sudden death overtime showdown. So what does their rookie punter do? He kicks it right down the middle of the field to Eagles returner DeSean Jackson. 65 yards later the game was over. Implosion completed. NFC East lost. Eagles celebrate. Giants remain in stunned disbelief.
“I’ve never been around anything like this in my life,’’ Tom Coughlin said afterward. “It’s about as empty as you get to feel in this business, right there.’’
How quickly things change. In a New York minute the Giants went from being in 1st place to now fighting for their playoff survival. The road to the Super Bowl just got a lot longer. Rebounding from a home loss with so much at stake will not be easy. New York papers and local sports radio quick to sack coach Coughlin's and team. Defensive schemes invited and set the stage for big plays by Eagles offense. Giants offense went to sleep and couldn't make essential first downs. Special teams failed to defend an onside kick and brain blip by punter who failed to kick out of bounds. Fans want heads on a platter.

To make matters worse, New York put their divisional arch rival Philadelphia Eagles in the driver's seat. Philly's now squarely focused on winning home field advantage. These guys have the firepower to go all the way. The battle for NFL supremacy is wide open. Giants fumbled away NFC East.


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