It’s Election Day in the United States, which means I’m looking forward to defriending a lot of people on Facebook.
Granted, I could stomach discussions about politics, Ebola or string theory more than I could tolerate talk of the Giants-Colts game that infested my television set on Monday night.
The Giants got thrashed 40-24 and dropped to 3-5 on the season, dashing their hopes of winning 12 games. We all thought this was a 12-win team, didn’t we? Is there anyone out there who’d like to challenge that assessment? Perhaps someone with a red flag in their sock? No? Well then I guess it’ll stand, so on to the next play!
Welcome to Hero, Nero, Zero, where we recognize the accomplishments, insanity and ineptitude associated with the Giants-Colts game.
Hero: Chris Botti.
Prior to last night’s game, Botti played a spectacular rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner on the trumpet. Plenty of accomplished singers have belted out tremendous covers of the national anthem, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an instrument that can convey the majesty and solemnity of that tune better than a trumpet.
Just watch that clip, replete with cutaways to players and coaches. Eli Manning looks typically befuddled, Tom Coughlin looks typically respectful of the military pageantry. Andrew Luck looks annoyed by these artsy-fartsy types with their artsy-fartsy renditions. Reggie Wayne looks like he’s about to start sobbing, and Mark Bavaro looks 120 years old.
Nero: Giants’ playcalling.
When you fall behind big at home -- on the night when the organization welcomes back slews of former Giants to honor recent Hall of Fame inductee Michael Strahan – you can be forgiven for some questionable decisions. By questionable, I'd mean fake punts, statue of liberty plays, or a fumblerooski or two.
But trailing by 27 points with four minutes left in the third quarter, the Giants opened their “drive” by handing off to Andre Williams, who is built like a brick outhouse and runs just as fast.
Mounting a comeback does not start with a handoff to Williams; it starts by throwing the ball, in space, to Odell Beckham Jr., which finally seemed like a great idea once the game was completely out of hand.
End-arounds, bubble screens, slants, direct handoffs, whatever: The Giants’ best playmaker needs to touch the ball at least once per drive. He disappeared for long stretches in Monday’s game, a vacuum filled by numerous mentions of dropped balls by the likes of Preston Parker and Rueben Randle.
Zero: Luck for the Giants.
How many times did the Giants almost have a turnover in the game, be it a butt fumble that Ahmad Bradshaw snatched out of the air, an interception that was wrested away (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie losing out to T.Y. Hilton in the end zone) or a muffed punt that the Giants couldn’t recover?
The Giants forced no turnovers in Monday night's game, which prevented them from adding further to Andre Williams’ stat line: 12 carries, 22 yards.