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SportsFootballGiants

Giants grades

Head coach Tom Coughlin of the Giants looks

Head coach Tom Coughlin of the Giants looks on before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Getty Images / Alex Goodlett

OFFENSE: D

Tom Coughlin summed it up best. "Point, points. The game is about points. Somehow. Some way." There were times when they were able to move the ball. Their 90-yard drive for their first touchdown was positive. But turnovers and dropped passes were too much for even an established offense to overcome, nevermind the Giants' young system. The Giants outgained the Cardinals in yards, 341-266, but only found the end zone twice.

 

DEFENSE: D

They finally got a few sacks (four) but for the second straight game were held without a take-away . . . even against a quarterback making his first start since 2010. They have lost their last 12 regular-season games in which they did not force a turnover. The Cardinals converted 5 of 13 third downs, including four of 10 yards or more. "The longer the yardage is on third down the easier it is for the opponent to make it," Coughlin groused. "I have no idea why that happens but it does." Six of the Cardinals' 21 first downs were on Giants penalties.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS: F

The Giants suffered back-to-back breakdowns when Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt for a touchdown and Quintin Demps fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Steve Weatherford, playing with a severely sprained left ankle, looked good early and should have had a punt downed inside the 5-yard line by Zack Bowman (who missed a tackle on Ginn on the touchdown). Rashad Jennings partially blocked a punt, which should have been a positive, but a penalty gave the Giants the ball at their own 18.

 

COACHING: F

Tom Coughlin brought out the old "Win one for Francis Scott Key" line that's been used for 200 years. If he thought the players would be inspired by the anniversary of the writing of the national anthem, he's losing his ramparts. Ben McAdoo actually did a nice job sticking with the run and finding balance. Perry Fewell sent a few creative blitzes. The decision to stick with Weatherford, though, was ill-advised in hindsight.

New York Sports