A very ugly, uninspired, fortunate 13-10 victory Sunday for the New York Giants over the Miami Dolphins.
Let’s review, ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ style.
Kudos to …
• Brandon Jacobs: Ran roughshod on the Miami defense, carrying 23 times for a carerr-high 131 yards. On that muddy, awful track the only question is why he didn’t have 30-35 carries.
• The Offensive Line: Pretty much pushed the Dolphins around all day. Plus, Rich Seubert’s leaping ‘rebound’ of a Jacobs’ fumble turned out to be a big play.
• Fred Robbins: A sack and a couple of other key plays during the game for Robbins, who has been a forgotten man on the Giants defensive line this season.
• Sam Madison: Six tackles and a potential touchdown pass broken up in the end zone. Madison has played better this season than most anyone had a right to expect.
• The Wembley Stadium crowd: They were decked out in all kinds of NFL team jerseys, they were loud, they sat through the rain and they suffered through a miserable football game. Gotta give ‘em credit.
Unfortunately, that’s about it when it comes to good performances. The list of ‘Wet Willies’ might take a while. Let’s get started.
Wet Willies to …
• Kevin Gilbride: With the Giants firmly in control at halftime, 13-0, with the team running the ball at will, and with Eli Manning suffering through a horrid day, Gilbride got pass-happy in the second half. Three straight incompletions to open the second half, and several other passes that should never have been called. The game would never have been close if Gilbride had just pounded the ball down the Dolphins’ throats. Instead, his play-calling was the biggest reason Miami got back in the game.
• Eli Manning: His worst game as a pro. Eight-for-22 for a career-low 59 yards. He also threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off in the second half, but got bailed out by a very questionable Miami penalty. The only good play he made all day was his 10-yard touchdown scramble.
• Lawrence Tynes: Yes, the field was lousy. Yes, it was raining. Yet, there was no excuse for Tynes’ missed 29-yard field goal. He simply lined up badly and shanked it. I will be very surprised if Tynes is still the Giants kicker when they face Dallas in two weeks.
• Antonio Pierce: Another pitifully stupid late hit penalty, this one late in the game that helped Miami during its comeback. I wonder what Antonio’s excuse will be this week. One thing I know for sure. He won’t stand up, say he screwed up, and promise it won’t happen again.
Tom Coughlin could not have been happy with what he watched Sunday. There were seven penalties that seemed like about 17, including three straight on one fourth-quarter drive where they were just trying to run out the clock. There were about a half-dozen dropped passes. There was a host of missed or bad tackles. There was the bad play-calling. There was Eli’s bad game. There was another poor kick by Tynes.
Yet, thanks to the fact that the Giants were lucky enough to be playing the winless and totally inept Dolphins, there was a sixth straight victory.
The Giants are now 6-2 and host division-leading Dallas in two weeks.
The Cowboys won the first game, 45-35. If the Giants don’t play better in two weeks than they did Sunday, Dallas will lay an even worse beating on them.