We sports fans are a provincial lot. You know the drill. Our players are the best players. Bad things that happen only happen to us. Scan the blog sites that follow other teams and you will find posts that easily could have been written about the Redskins. Take the New York Giants, for example.
The G'ints and 'Skins are both 1-2 since their Week 13 game. Washington fans are attuned to that level (painfully), but the primal scream out of Jersey shouts psychic pain. We wondered about the mindset of the G-men and their fans. So we turned to our Bloguin colleague Andy Furman at Ultimate NYG for a few answers.
Redskins Hog Heaven: The Giants were flying high three weeks ago. Now they need help to make the playoffs. What happened?
Ultimate NYG: What happened is that they played two playoff teams in Green Bay and Philadelphia and found out that poor coaching does not beat competent teams.
RHH: Which back-up player made the strongest case to be a starter next season?
UNYG: OL Shawn Andrews, if he can stay healthy. FB/H-Back Bear Pascoe.
RHH: Is DeSean Jackson that good, or does the Giants special teams just suck?
UNYG: Both. Our special teams coach, Quinn, must be giving out s***** favors to Coughlin in order to keep his job. If Coughlin manages to keep his, watch how Quinn will be fired just to make it look like Coughlin is on top of things and everything will be better. But meanwhile, the Specials problems have been going on for a while and Coughlin has only had one good Coordinator in 7 years (DC Steve Spagnuolo, now the Head Coach of the Rams). Out with one bad coordinator, in with another.
RHH: Are the Green Bay Packers that good, or were the Giants still reeling from the home loss to the Eagles?
UNYG: Neither. Yes, of course the Packers are a good team, but not "that" good. The problem is that the Defensive Coordinator (Perry Fewell) has schemes that include off-coverage and the Tampa2. These are passive schemes that do not work against good QBs like Peyton Manning (38 points) and Aaron Rodgers (45 points). I was counting on Fewell to realize this and adjust vs. the stronger QBs, but he did not and we saw the result. CB Terrell Thomas says we were outcoached. CB Terrell Thomas, a good press corner and normally a model citizen, was called for a personal foul penalty, acting out his aggression and frustration vs. a Green Bay WR. Connect the dots.
RHH: What surprised you most from preseason to now?
UNYG: How weak the NFL would be in 2010. It is a wretched stink bomb of miserable garbage teams. You have two entire divisions (AFC West and NFC West) that were fortunate to play each other and give the NFL's toilet 16 wins to redistribute amongst themselves. Otherwise, their cr*ppy records would be even worse than cr*ppy! But the reason why I mention this is that it affects the Giants in that they have feasted off of even more garbage than I have anticipated. So the Giants at 9-6 are a mirage. "9 wins" approaching possibly 10 if they win Sunday is meaningless when you consider that the Giants are 1-4 vs. playoff teams this season. Before the season began, I said the Giants had 10-6 talent and 6-10 coaching, thus I predicted an 8-8 year. Well, the only thing that has surprised me is that the NFL is so awful (look no further than Dallas and Washington in their own division) that it inflated their wins by 1 or 2 games. Other than that, the coaching staff still holds them back and needs to be sent packing. They should have been sent packing last year, but Mara loves Coughlin.
RHH: What is your prediction for the Giants-Redskins game?
UNYG: You should link to our post from today, "Locker Room Dissent" in order to understand the dynamic of the game on Sunday.
It boils down to whether the players show up. In my mind, I really do not care whether they do or they do not. Unfortunately for the Giants, it has nothing to do with whether they win or lose. The coaching staff has failed the team, so why does it matter that they beat a franchise moving to the 3-4, who has lost its most talented player (Haynesworth) and emasculated its QB (McNabb).
BONUS QUESTION: Does Tom Coughlin keep his job if the Giants miss the playoffs?
UNYG: I certainly hope not. People can miss the point, seeing the grass being greener in NY-ville, that we have no right to complain about 9-6, but if you had the talent we had in this garbage year of the 2010 NFL, you'd be on the doorstep of a Super Bowl and the coaching staff says, no thanks, go next door and see if anyone else wants it. And that is far worse, missing an opportunity for a title. Those chances are rare, and the Giants had more than enough talent to vie for one this season. Coughlin's teams have had second half implosions in 2008, 2009 and once again another spiffy in 2010. He is the oldest coach in the league, and it is time to get younger, win or lose this weekend.
Thank you, Andy. Follow the New York Giants on http://www.ultimatenyg.com on the Bloguin Network.