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Mikefan - Gamegirl Reviews
Game 5
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Giants 0 0 0 3 3
Cards 0 14 0 0 14
Preview E-Giants Recap ESPN Recap ESPN Stats

Well, what did you think Gamegirl?
"You asked, so I'll tell you. Jim Fassel is not motivating this team.
There's talent, but nothing comes of it. The gameplan is cautious as though they play every game 'not to lose', and they way they're playing, you'd almost be embarrassed if they somehow made the playoffs.
There were way too many penalties in this game that stopped drives, and that goes to coaching.
They get gun-shy and fold the moment things go bad, like after Collins was intercepted in the 2nd quarter, for the rest of the half they had him handing off most of the time as though they didn't trust him anymore.
That was real good for his confidence. That's the way to spark an offense. The game was already over at that point, and the Cardinals and Giants players all knew it."

Don't hold back on us Gamegirl.
"Very funny, but that was not an easy game to watch. Once again, the defense gives up only 14 points and we lose. Somehow it's almost like it's their fault for not creating turnovers. Who is running the offense anyway? Is it so hard to score a touchdown in this game? What the heck is wrong?"

What do you think about the quarterback situation?
"I don't know who they should start. I'm no lover of Kent Graham or Kerry Collins. Collins had things moving at times but then it would fall apart with penalties. They way they run things it might not matter who the quarterback is. They're playing so bad that I'm starting to watch the Jets now! Speaking of quarterbacks, I had to chuckle when I saw Dave Brown come in. What's going on here?"

What about next week against Dallas?
"Well, I know they lost to the Eagles today, but that was almost expected.
Look how we got their (the Eagles) confidence up when we played them the week before. Any team that plays the Giants feels real good about themselves afterwards. We play them all so cautiously, it's as if we respect them more than any other team in the league, as though they were the powerhouse of all teams.
The Giants are real ego boosters for other teams.
It all goes back to that playing not to lose concept. I really don't know. The Giants have a lot of things to figure out and it's a good thing it's a Monday night game coming up. It gives them a little extra time to work on it."

OK Mikefan hit us with what you've got.
Kerry Collins may not drink anymore, but a lot of Giants fans are after losing that game. Aside from being one of the most boring games I've seen, it was disappointing in so many ways.
In my preview article, I said, "Kerry Collins is no rookie to this game. He's started 49 games in the NFL, and led the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game in 1996."
I don't know about those 49 games, but Kerry looked every bit the rookie out there on the field. He didn't really seem to have the awareness that Kent Graham has as to what's happening around him.
A good quarterback develops that sense of timing and a feeling that things are about to go wrong within the very next second.
They know when to bail from the pocket, and when to protect the ball.
Kerry doesn't seem to have that going for him right now.

What about Gamegirl's comments?
Gamegirl was right when she talked about what appeared to be a lack of trust in Collins gameplay after that 2nd quarter interception. I noticed that too.
Before that, they had Collins mostly throwing on first downs.
After that, first downs were for handing off to Gary Brown. Unfortunately for the Giants, Collins was moving the offense better when he was passing on first downs.
In the second half of the game there were a lot of delay of game penalties. All last week I heard about how this guy rushes people out of the huddle and moves things along. How did those penalties happen?
If this all sounds rather harsh criticism based on just one game appearance, remember, Collins did also fumble one away against the Eagles last week, but let's forget all this and chalk it up to rust from warming the bench too long.
What do you get with Kerry Collins when he's all that he is supposed to be? His real numbers from when he was very much an active player are 51 career touchdowns, and 65 career interceptions, and he was known to be a bit careless, fumbling the ball in the pocket.

Any other thoughts?
I would say that the receivers weren't getting free enough, and the play calling was lousy. On the very first drive, Collins was facing a 3rd and 7 and found what Kent Graham finds a lot, no one open.
He did what Kent Graham does a lot. He took off for it, but 7 yards was too much to ask and they had to punt.
On the next drive Gary Brown got nothing, Collins completed a nice pass to Pete Mitchell for seven, and then on the 3rd and 2 they did the play I hate the most. They pitched it back to Charles Way.
Because of the pitchback, Way has to travel 8 yards just to make the 2 and he got stopped. Unless the other team fears you for doing lots of flea flickers, all you do with that play on short yardage, is give the defense more time to move up and stop you.

You told us before there was something that really got to you?
I was almost in shock when the Cards attempted that 53 yard field goal with about 8 minutes left in the 2nd Quarter. I thought there was some mistake, but it was just the total lack of respect they had for our offense.
If they missed it, the Giants would have great field position, and they did miss it! The Giants are down 7-0 and the Cardinals gift them the best field position they've had all game!
How do the Giants handle this insult? Instead of cramming it down the Cards throats, they call running plays, passing only to make 3rd downs and when that doesn't work, Brad Daluiso tries a 42 field goal which was no good, wide right.

How about the defense?
They were great as usual. Whenever they get burned they come right back. I was really impressed when at the start of the second half, the Cards return the opening kickoff 51 yards to the NY 46.
The defense stops them cold and they have to punt. Giving up only 14 points in a game is certainly acceptable and they did their job.

Last thoughts?
The Giants should have challenged one play against the Cards where they recovered the ball near the sidelines. It was too close to let go by, and would have been worth the timeout loss if it wasn't overturned.
At the end of the first half, the Giants had a chance to use some time outs and maybe pick up a field goal, but they let the clock run out.
Near the end of the game the Giants went for some foolish 4 down and long plays and should have taken the field goal instead to bring them within 8 points which is within one score of striking distance.
They should start Graham against Dallas next Monday night.

Some Stats and stuff
Receiving -
Ike Hilliard 5-78, Amani Toomer 5-34, Pete Mitchell 4-30, Tiki Barber 4-23, Charles Way 3-17, David Patten 1-10, Howard Cross 1-9, Gary Brown 1-1

Rushing -
Gary Brown 18-67, Kerry Collins 4-23, Charles Way 5-10, Tiki Barber 1-7
The Giants had 8
penalties for 52 yards.
Collins completed 24 of 38 passes for 202 yards and one INT.
Christian Peter came up big and blocked Chris Jacke's 34 yard field goal try in the third quarter.
Tiki Barber had a good day returning kickoffs and receiving.

Defense - Tackles-Assists-Sacks (unofficial)
Jessie Armstead 8-4-1.5, Phillippi Sparks 9-0-0, Keith Hamilton 5-4-0.5, Jason Sehorn 6-0-0, Cedric Jones 5-0-1, Corey Widmer 5-0-0, Michael Strahan 2-3-1, Robert Harris 2-1-0.
They held the Cards to only 31 yards rushing, and 206 total yards.
The Cards were only 2 of 13 on 3rd downs conversions.

For the Cards -
Dave Boston caught 8 passes for 101 yards, including a leaping 11 yard TD catch with 25 seconds to go in the first half.
Plummer completed 13 of 19 passes for 156 yards and a TD.

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