We’ve all seen the Monday night affair from The Linc. It looked like a great crowd on hand for the game. And, since my boss at my “real” job is a Giants fan, it was especially sweet when he ducked me on Tuesday. But, even though the team moved into first place, it doesn’t have that certain “feel” to being a first-place team. The mistakes were many. The confusion still there. Six games into the season, that should all be gone.
Sam Bradford was unimpressive again, throwing three interceptions, two of them seemed to be headed right towards the team wearing the white jerseys. I even asked aloud at my home: Can Bradford really not differentiate between black and white? He threw way behind Darren Sproles on one drive. He badly missed Riley Cooper on another. Again, I’ll say it: I miss Nick Foles. I have the Sports Illustrated cover framed on my wall from the game against Detroit, in the snow. That certainly seems like a lifetime ago.
DeMarco Murray finally got traction, and finished over 100 yards. But, I have to say, I was far more impressed with Ryan Matthews. It just seemed as if he was an angry man every time he got the football. Not to say that Murray’s stiff-arm on Brandon Merriweather wasn’t fun to watch, but it just seemed as if Mathews was running as if he were trying to take over as the starter. If both Matthews and Murray can get in sync, I’d almost prefer a ball-control offense to an up-tempo one right now, because, clearly, Bradford isn’t the answer.
As the Giants opened the game, and used their own version of tempo to go straight down the field for a score, I was despondent. I reached for the remote, fearful it was going to be a long night. Then, something happened. I hadn’t seen it in five games, but, it happened. The defense was suddenly gripped by pride. Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, and Fletcher Cox showed up to play. It then inspired others to step up their game. And, the rookie, Jordan Hicks, came away with ten tackles. Good thing, since the linebacking corp is becoming depleted. I was fortunate to be able to watch Hicks’ college career play out at the University of Texas, and it seems he’s picked up the pro game faster than anyone really thought. Good for him. Byron Maxwell still gets penalized far too much to justify a 60-million dollar price tag, but, that’s just my opinion. Nolan Carroll did a much better job covering Odell Beckham.
So now, at 3-3, and in first place, the team travels to Charlotte, to face a very salty Panthers team, fresh off a thrilling win over the Seahawks at Seattle. I watched most of that game on Sunday afternoon. Carolina did not quit. At all. You could sense Monday night when the Giants finally quit, but, the Panthers never did. The Eagles should take note of that, and understand that their opponent this week, with a raucous crowd behind them, will be exhorting their team to remain unblemished. If a game can be classified as “must-win” on Week 7, this one is it. The Eagles need to be 4-3, heading into their bye week, before traveling to Dallas.
I’ll take being in first place. It just doesn’t have the feel quite yet. Talk to me after this Sunday night. We’ll see which team shows up to play Carolina.
Fly Eagles Fly!