Monday, November 27, 2006

The Night They Drove Tom Coughlin Down

Allow me to channel my inner Peter King for a moment:

I think I just saw Tom Coughlin get fired.

Seriously, this fourth quarter was more than bad. I was watching agape, unable to fathom the horror. It was like that Calvin and Hobbes Sunday strip where Calvin imagines a guy in a lonely cabin... right on a major fault line! And a freight train jumps its tracks and an airliner hurtles earthward and he's just about to strike a match even though there's a gas leak!

It was so bad that the announcers kept forgetting to mention some of the boneheaded things the Giants were doing after gaining their 21-0 lead - which, in order, ran something like this:
  • Manning throws off back foot;
  • Burress fails to defend against a pass only the defender can catch, then tries to bring him down like he's tackling a cactus;
  • Walker hits Young out of bounds on fourth down, when he's already stopped short;
  • Big punt return;
  • Brain-lock play on fourth down (again) where Young is wrapped up, pushed backward a yard, and then inexplicably let go to run for the first down -
(Seriously: the guy just LET HIM GO, like it was touch football. Play to the whistle!)
  • - Manning off the back foot AGAIN (shying away from contact), interception (with only 40 seconds left)
ANNNNND - the kick is good, Tennessee wins 24-21, and Tom Coughlin is cooked. OK, not officially, at least not as of 10:30 this morning. Seriously, though - how can he possibly keep his job? He's done. Dead man coaching. The Titans didn't outplay the Giants at the end of this game. The Giants had two stops on defense on fourth down and gave them away. This was a litany of titanic mental and technique errors and that lands squarely on the coach. It's 12 weeks in, and veterans like Burress shouldn't be lolligagging, and Manning, a third-year starter by now, should be stepping into his throws and be game-aware enough to toss one into the stands instead of forcing it. (At least he's got the Manning Face down perfectly, but you can't coach that.)

So the Giants were 6-2, first place, with the rookie-led Cowboys and the staggering Eagles in their rear-view... And bang, now they're Rutgers. Even Rutgers isn't Rutgers anymore. The Giants ought to break out the red throwbacks next week and complete the trade.

And hey - I hear that Jim Fassel is available. Not that he should have been fired in the first place, but still, it's nice to get a chance to fix certain things in life.

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