Lughead Posted November 27, 2007 Share Posted November 27, 2007 O'Connor: Blame Coughlin for mess Monday, November 26, 2007 By IAN O'CONNOR RECORD COLUMNIST EAST RUTHERFORD -- Eli Manning is the most conspicuous pi, the Giant with the biggest "Kick Me" sign tethered to his rump. He looked like Fran Tarkenton out there Sunday, throwing touchdown passes to Vikings left and right. But in the blame game played after yet another heartless home loss to Minnesota, Manning didn't deserve to be sacked as much as his head coach did. Fact: In one day, Manning threw more scoring passes for the men in purple (three) than any Minnesota quarterback had thrown in 10 games. Fact: Coughlin had a worse day at the office by failing to honor the chief responsibility of any coach. "Obviously," he said, "I did a very poor job of getting them ready to play." Yes he did. And when your team loses by a 41-17 count to a band of sub-mediocrities like the Vikings, nobody wants to hear about that enthusiastic week of practice losing coaches forever raise as a shield to deflect the daggers spinning their way. The Giants kicked the ball out of bounds to start the game. Two plays later, they allowed Tarvaris Jackson a 60-yard home run ball to Sidney Rice. The same Tarvaris Jackson who entered with two touchdown passes, six interceptions and a quarterback rating of 55.5 for the season. No, Coughlin didn't have his Giants ready to play any more than he had them ready to play in that first-round game with the Panthers two years back. Manning was just the most miserable symptom of this larger ill: The coach can't handle prosperity. He doesn't know how to elevate his team. At 7-4, the Giants are just as likely to qualify for the NFC tournament as they are to do nothing once they get there. So on some level, John Mara had to leave Giants Stadium feeling about as sick as he did when driving away from that playoff meltdown to the Vikings' benefit in '97. Jim Fassel survived that one and ultimately landed in the Super Bowl by way of a blowout victory over those very Vikes. Coughlin? His surviving days are over. He barely made it to this season, after all. If he doesn't finally win a playoff game in his fourth year, he absolutely has to go. What makes anyone think the Giants will secure their first postseason victory since the 2000 season, other than the riffraff that passes for playoff contenders in the NFC? Their quarterback just made Minnesota relevant for the first time since its misadventures on the Love Boat. "Everybody wants to be significant," said Vikings coach Brad Childress. "That's the No. 1 reason people lose their jobs, because they're not significant." The Giants are a country mile removed from significant, and Coughlin is the one most likely to pay with his job. He was charged by his bosses to develop his alleged franchise quarterback-to-be, and on Sunday Manning looked Kent Graham bad. With brother Peyton in the house, eager to see kid brother slash and gash the league's worst pass defense, Manning was battered and bloodied beyond recognition. Against the Vikings in 2005, Eli watched only one of his four interceptions returned for a score. This time around Manning found his most reliable receiver, Darren Sharper, and spread the ball to Dwight Smith and Chad Greenway just for the hell of it. "They had a good plan," Eli said. Good enough to overcome the absence of Adrian Peterson, only the league's leading rusher. Good enough to send the Vikings' owner -- a Fairleigh Dickinson alum named Zygi Wilf -- up and down the sidelines in a funny little jig. Good enough to make this the first Giants' team ever to allow three touchdown returns on interceptions. By halftime, the fans were treating the Giants like the Knicks. The booing was well earned. In the end, Coughlin refused to take Manning out of the game. It was a petty and mean thing to do, more evidence that the New Tom is really the Old Tom in a fake mustache. Coughlin claimed he didn't see the purpose in removing his starting quarterback. "I just don't like that feeling," he said. "I wasn't going to do that to him, and I wasn't going to do that to me and us." Manning maintained he "wanted to finish the game," but he knew what his coach knew: The quarterback had no finish left in him. Coughlin assumed the role of a baseball manager punishing a shellshocked pitcher by leaving him stranded on the mound. He left Eli out there to get Purple People Eaten by the Vikes. Manning took an embarrassing, zigzagging 26-yard sack in the final minutes to add insult to insult. Wayward throws. Dropped passes. Blown assignments. Coughlin's dreadful third-and-3 decision to have the ball snapped to Reuben Droughns. What a complete waste of a perfectly good late November day. The Giants travel to Chicago, and then to Philadelphia, with neither date remotely resembling a gimme. So this year's 6-2 could become last year's 6-2 in a heartbeat. Between now and then, Coughlin has to get better. He tried firing up his team after a third-quarter field goal cut its deficit to 24-10, but all his fist-pumping and backslapping didn't make a dent. The Giants still don't know how to handle even the slightest hint of prosperity. Sooner rather than later, Tom Coughlin will pay the final bill on that. I knew this would happen the trickles of fire coughlin are being heard and soon they will be roars. Especially after we drop 3 in a row . Vikes, Bears and Eagles. and fall out of the wild card contention. GOD I hope Reese dont sign him to a long term contract now he should sit on it like last year wait to see how this funk ends. I mean how can you NOT have your team ready to play? Did you think the Vikings would just walk in and hand yo the game???? was Thursday Bowling day instead of "ELI THROW THE BALL TO A RECIVER AT PRACTICE SO HE CAN CATCH IT DAY"? "ELI THESE ARE THE ROUTES YOU AND THE RECEIVERS SHOULD WORK ON DAY? ARRRRGH this loss is more than bitter it is down right making me want to explode It will take a long time for me to forgive this team for this game (if I ever do) I am pissed at everyone on this team except the DL and Plax Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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