Monday, January 9, 2017

Beckham a No Show, Giants Get Clobbered by Packers


Well, at least Odell Beckham and the Giants receiving corps can go to Miami this week with no problem.

The chickens came to roost for Beckham and the Giants, who carried themselves with little regard for their opponent all week and it came back to bite them. This is what they got and deserved. 38-13. A total beatdown. Boatgate did not play a role in deciding this game at all, even if people think it did.  Rather the Giants were totally outclassed, outplayed and outmatched against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

But the same Giants football team that made light of Beckham's Miami trip, will have to relive "boat-gate" courtesy of the media and fans alike tonight, tomorrow, all off-season, and even next season too. Like their neighbors the Jets whenever their former coach Rex Ryan did or said something ridiculous only to have it blow up in his face, the Giants are going have to eat their humble pie.

Let's break this down piece by piece.

Odell Beckham Jr. The 3000 lb gorilla in the room got bigger and bigger the worse Beckham played on Sunday. He recorded only four catches for 28 yards. He was targeted 11 times, and dropped four passes. Two of those drops came early in the game. The first one came on a third and five at the Green Bay 35, which cost the Giants a first down and points. Later in the quarter, Manning had Beckham deep down the sideline for a touchdown, but the receiver had the ball bounce in and out of his hands. Instead of six points, the Giants had to settle for three instead.

After that we didn't see much from Beckham again. He was double-teammed most of the night, and whenever he did get the football it was either off his hands or out of his reach. With each drop and incompletion that went his way, you could hear the throng of social media hounds pounding their collective keyboards on Twitter, trolling the wide receiver.

It didn't get better for Beckham after the game. Reports surfaced that he had a locker room tirade that included smacking his head against his locker and punching a gigantic hole in a wall. Here is the photo below:

It's getting so bad on Twitter right for Beckham that people are putting sad Jordan's in that gapping hole to mock him.

Beckham is clearly not handling the adversity well.  This moment is another in a long line of troubling moments for the Giants superstar. From his feud with Josh Norman, to his tirade on the field against the Redskins in week 3, to his blasting of officials after a Week 16 loss to Philadelphia, Beckham is both the games most talented and most troubled player. Someone needs to help this young man before he becomes the subject of a 30-for-30.

Giants Defense: For most of the first half, the Giants defense was outstanding. They absolutely shutdown one of the hottest offenses in the league with a designed four man rush and zone coverage. Aaron Rodgers had nowhere to throw early on. He was sacked three times, and was throwing balls all over the place just to avoid the Giants pass rush. Statistically, the Giants held the Packers to 49 yards of offense with 5:06 to go before halftime. Then, things fell apart ...

Aaron Rodgers caught fire and couldn't be stopped: Things fell apart for the Giants when Rodgers hit Devonte Adams down the sideline for 31-yards to the Giants seven-yard line. It was the longest pass play of the day for Green Bay, and settled down an offense that looked flustered and lost. Two plays later, Rodgers found Adams again for the touchdown to give Green Bay a 7-6 lead.

Right before halftime Rodgers killed the Giants once and for all when he heaved a Hail Mary into the end zone that was caught by Randall Cobb in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Cobb had both feet in bounds when he stretched above three Giants to catch the football. It was a spectacular play, and ultimately was the backbreaker that Green Bay was looking for.

Eli Manning and the Giants didn't do enough in the first half: This goes back to all the drops that Beckham had, but he wasn't alone. All of Manning's receivers were letting him down in this game, including Sterling Shepherd who had a big drop in the first half as well. The Giants rolled up 198 yards of offense in the first half, but had only six points to show for it. That is not going to get it done, especially when the opposing quarterback is a future hall of famer in Aaron Rodgers.

Mike McCarthy almost gave the game away: With 6:08 to go in the third quarter, Green Bay had already failed to convert a third and short at their own 42-yard line. Instead of doing the reasonable thing and punting the football, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy decided to go for it, and it almost cost him dearly. The Giants stuffed Ty Montgomery on the play and got the football back in great field position. It didn't take Eli Manning long before he found Tavarres King for a 41-yard touchdown to cut the Packers lead down to 14-13. That was as close as Big Blue would come the rest of the night.

Rodgers put the Giants to sleep: After the Giants cut the Packers lead to 14-13, most teams would wilt under such circumstances. The Packers aren't most teams, especially with Rodgers under center. Rodgers guided the Packers on a four-play 63-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 30-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Randall Cobb that pushed the Packers lead back to eight, 21-13. It was like the Giants touchdown never happened.

Did Bobby Rainey go to Miami too? New York later screwed up big time when Bobby Rainey decided to field a kick-off that was destined for the sidelines. Instead of letting the ball bounce out of bounds for a kicking violation that would move the football to the New York 40, Rainey fielded it at the Giants three-yard line and stepped out of bounds. Of course the Giants would go three-and-out on this possession.

Now the Packers were on the march again, with Rodgers getting the Packers within range for a Mason Crosby field goal to make it 24-13.

Goodnight Folks: The fourth quarter proved to be no contest. The Packers dismantled the Giants will at this point with two more touchdowns to blow the game wide open. Rodgers continued to toy with the Giants. He connected Montgomery on a 34-yard pass play to move the Ball to the Giants 36. Two plays later he hit Adams again for a huge first down on third and nine at the Giants 23, and capped off the 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Cobb to make it 31-13.

Aaron Ripkowski would score the final touchdown of the night on a one-yard dive over the goal-line, completing a nine-play, 55-yard drive that ate up almost six minutes.

Final Stat Line: Even though he was sacked five times, Rodgers threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns in the 38-13 win for Green Bay. Dvonte Adams and Randall Cobb each had over 100 yards receiving. They needed that kind of effort because Jordy Nelson left this game with a rib injury. There is even concern for Ty Montgomery who left this game after getting twisted up on a tackle in the third quarter. The Packers would love to have everyone healthy for Dallas next weekend. Stay tuned.

For the Giants, Eli Manning played well. He threw for 299 yards and didn't throw a pick until the games final minute. Odell Beckham Jr. wasn't the only boat gate player who had a bad day. Victor Cruz was held to just 30-yards on three catches, and Roger Lewis had no catches. Only Sterling Shepherd had a good day of the "Yacht Club."

What's Next: A lot of heat on the Giants on Beckham Jr. The Giants have a clear image problem that they must address. From the Josh Brown fiasco that was poorly handled to Beckham's misbehavior, it was not a good year from a PR standpoint. They need to rein things in. Ben McAdoo will get bombarded with questions on Monday and all week about "boat gate" and this defeat. This will be a big moment for the young head coach. He has to handle this well. As for Beckham, the guy needs help. If he doesn't control his emotions, New York City is going to eat him alive and he will find himself playing elsewhere when he becomes a free agent in two years.

On the field, the Giants must address their lingering issues with the offensive line and running game. Neither was good enough this year. They also must address the back-up quarterback position, and likely find a replacement for Victor Cruz who is a free agent. Defensively, they have to keep this group together. Another year under Steve Spagnuolo, and the Giants could lead the league in D next year.

A look ahead at the Giants 2017 opponents: Home: Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, L.A. Rams, Seattle, Detroit, Kansas City, San Diego. Road: Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, Arizona, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Denver, Oakland.

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