Heartless Giants Let Panthers Pound Playoff Hopes
On a day that was supposed to be filled with great NY Giant memories as fans and players saluted the house that Wellington Mara built, the NY Giants football team laid down with the most uninspiring play I have ever seen.
Even with Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, arguably the best linebacker the NFL has ever seen and clearly the most dominant player to ever wear Giant blue, in the house, this squad could not find enough inspiration to stop the Carolina Panthers on “one” of their first five offensive drives.
The aftermath was just as gutless, as Osi Umenyiora, who is supposed to be one of the team’s defensive leaders complained about his playing time, lack of snaps, and the end of his career as a New York Giant.
Hey, Osi…you’re under contract, so how about you keep your emotions in check, learn how to play the run, and step up as a team leader. Tell the world you guys stunk today and that you and Justin Tuck are going to have a closed-door meeting and challenge this team to reach deep down inside to find the heart that is Giants pride!
In the Giants’ postgame show, former linebacker great Carl Banks said it best when he described this defense as a “pile of scrap.” It starts off with a small problem that isn’t fixed. Then you keep adding to the pile with another piece that isn’t fixed and soon enough you have a pile of scrap (i.e. tackling, pass coverage, run defense, pressure on the quarterback, film study…).
Banks, whose on-the-field play and current analysis I admire very much, spoke with pin-point accuracy as he described this team’s lack of pride and desire to give a little more. Banks said that even a good defense—not a great defense, a good defense—never takes a play off and always found the energy to give a little more. Every guy on the team should want to make a big-time play…a fumble recovery, a sack, or a tackle for a loss…anything!
He spoke of how Harry Carson was the first person at halftime to question lackluster play and challenged players to step up. He spoke of how Carson would take up a collection from players so he could buy a full-page ad in the paper to apologize to the fans for such embarrassing play as we saw today.
This team, especially on the defense, lacks leadership. These players accepted “coming out flat” as a tolerable excuse for getting embarrassed in front of tens of thousands of fans.
“Coming out flat” is not an adequate answer when facing playoff elimination. This was your season, your livelihood, and this game should have been played with a ferociousness that could not have been matched.
“Coming out flat” is not good enough for a team that prides itself on defense and constantly being the underdog! The tackling on this team is downright disgraceful. Instead of trying to arm tackle or body slam every player…Michael Boley, Michael Johnson, Aaron Rouse, and Terrell Thomas need to wrap up and take guys down.
Yes, textbook tackles don’t make SportsCenter.
On a day filled with Giant ghosts from the past…it reminded me of how this team seriously lacks an inspirational leader who backs up his words with great on-the-field play like Harry Carson, LT, Brad Van Pelt, Carl Banks, George Martin, Leonard Marshall, Jim Burt, Keith Hamilton, Gary Reasons, Pepper Johnson, and the great Michael Strahan.
I’m sure Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin will make changes after next week’s game against Brett Favre and the Vikings. This team needs a certain type of player. Antonio Pierce was that guy, however his skills have diminished. His days of showcasing a 15-tackle day and flying around the field are in the rear-view mirror.
Today’s performance and explanation of, “We came out flat,” is garbage.| 2009 NFL Playoffs, Antonio Pierce, Carl Banks, Carolina Panthers, Eli Manning, Giants defense, Harry Carson, Justin Tuck, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Boley, Michael Strahan, Tom Coughlin