John Fennelly, Lead WriterThe Giants’ win, although not a landmark victory by any stretch, was still a victory over a divisional opponent on national television. Put it this way, it’s better than losing. What came out of this game, you ask?
Well, we learned that Justin Tuck still has some life in those old legs. His four sack performance was either fool’s gold or a resurgence. He’s healthy, which is something he hasn’t been for years. The talk is the Giants needed to see a return to form from Tuck in order to consider bringing him back in 2014. That looks like a certainty now.
Jason Pierre-Paul’s shoulder kept him out of Sunday’s game and many believe the Giants should shelve him for the season. With Tuck, Kiwanuka, rookie Damontre Moore and Cullen Jenkins, the Giants can still piece together a decent rotation. The kid’s been through the mill this year. Perhaps shutting him down would be the best course of action. Tom Coughlin is not ruling JPP out, but yesterday he had no inkling of JPP’s status.
Will Beatty is not the answer at LT. He’s been getting beat way too often and has amassed seven penalties. He is clearly struggling and is not worthy of the $38 million deal the Giants signed him to before this season. The Giants may have to reconsider him at LT going forward. That would mean either cutting ties with him (don’t count on that) or swinging him over to RT, where rookie Justin Pugh has made great strides this season. But what becomes of Pugh, then? He’s not a LT, either.
Hakeem Nicks was targeted just twice vs the Redskins. His role in the passing game is becoming less and less. It’s true, the Giants are better with him, but how much are they willing to pay Nicks to play the decoy? He is another player who appears to be either leveling off or declining. His price is dropping and teams that may not have had a monetary appetite for him could jump into the free-agent fray in March and make a bid.
Jayron Hosley actually looked like a football player the other night. He’s been challenged by injuries for the better part of his first two seasons here but now, he’s healthy. He must make the most of his opportunity this year. His size still limits him to slot corner and drawing assignments against moderately-sized wideouts. As long as he’s not pitted against Megatron or Vincent Jackson-types, he might be ok.
For those looking to put Tom Coughlin or Jerry Reese’s head on a pike after this season, don’t count on it. If the Giants finish 8-8 or better, it would give them seven consecutive non-losing seasons together with two Super Bowl wins thrown in for good measure. No other duo in the NFL has that resume. Coughlin actually would have nine straight non-losing seasons if the Giants win out this year.
Granted, Reese has made mistakes in the draft and in free agency, but he’s also made moves that have worked well. He found Victor Cruz and Will Hill. He drafted Ahmad Bradshaw, Boss, Steve Smith, DeOssie, Manningham, T2, JPP, Linval, Nicks, Prince, Randle and Pugh. He signed Antrel Rolle and traded for Jon Beason.
No one wants to talk about that, though…and no one has come up with name to replace either man. Until then, please just stop it…The Giants are not firing anyone.