Week 9 – Indianapolis @ NY Giants: Monday misery in MetLife

“We won’t have him going forward…We move on.”

It’s an all too familiar line from Tom Coughlin this season and one he must be getting sick of.

It’s now almost 8:30pm on Tuesday night and quite frankly I am surprised I haven’t received a phone call from a 212 area code. The way things are going, the New York Giants injuries are piling up and they might have to start seriously looking at expat Aussie writers now residing north of the border if they are any hope of filling out their 53-man roster. My ringtone (this is no joke) is the Sunday Night Football tone, so it seems like the stars could all be aligning.

While the Giants routinely succumb to beating after beating on the scoreboard, their players continue to be crippled by season-ending injuries to key players with cornerback Prince Amukamara just the latest to join the IR. The “out for the season” group now includes top tier Giants Victor Cruz, Walter Thurmond, Jon Beason and Amukamara, while leading rusher Rashad Jennings also continues to miss games.

Big Blue had the week off in Week 8 so they had over two weeks to prepare for Andrew Luck and the Colts to come to MetLife for Monday Night Football. At no point during this clash was it apparent that New York had 15 days to prepare. From the outside looking in, we can presume the coaches were diligently scouring the game film for tendencies and identifying Colt weaknesses to exploit, but the end result looked like Roger Goodell had imposed some crazy new preparation ban on the Giants. (Hey, he’s banning everyone for anything these days).

Andrew Luck used the #MNF platform to prove – once again – that he’s the next big thing at the quarterback position, tallying his seventh consecutive 300-yard game and adding four TDs for good measure. Luck’s four TDs were to four different receivers and the Colts continue to have one of the most devastating receiving corps in the NFL, an area New York would have liked to claim during the pre-season hoopla.

Perhaps worse for Giants fans was that on the night that the club honoured Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, the line “once a Giant, always a Giant” was being blurted out across MetLife Stadium as former G-Men Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks cut up the defense.

For the Giants, the run game continued to splutter, by committee this week, with Madden 12 coverboy Peyton Hillis looking the most promising of the running backs still standing. Hillis only carried the ball four times but was also effective in the passing game, grabbing five catches and offering Eli a consistent target that wasn’t available elsewhere.

Manning threw for 359 yards and two TDs, but most of that came with the game decided, and despite his good work many drives were crippled by dropped catches. Giants receivers dropped eight of Manning’s passes. New golden boy Odell Beckham Jr. had 156 yards on eight receptions, by far his best game. The score finished 40-24, flattering the Giants, with Indy easing up after leading 40-10 early in the fourth quarter.

On the defensive side of the ball, Robert Ayers Jr. continues to play well above his 2 year, $3.75m contract and was the lone disruptive force from the crouch position. Jacquian Williams, the Giants leading tackler, was outmatched in coverage against a couple of Luck’s favourite targets, tight Ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, yet Williams battled on through the adversity.

Since Week 5, New York has run into a hot Nick Foles in Philadelphia, a hot Tony Romo in Dallas and a hot Andrew Luck in New Jersey and looking forward on the schedule makes you slump in your chair and throw your hands on top of your head with despair. Week 10: NYG @ SEA. Week 11: SF @ NYG. Week 12: DAL @ NYG. Oh boy!

I’m still expecting a call up but I’ll give it another 24 hours; maybe Coach Coughlin lost my number when he transitioned over from BlackBerry to iPhone.

Nov 3
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ (77,975)

Indianapolis 3 13 21 3 – 40
NY Giants 0 3 7 14 – 24

Passing: Eli Manning (NYG), 359 yds, 2 TD’s
Rushing: Ahmad Bradshaw (IND), 7 car, 50 yds
Receiving: Odell Beckham Jr (NYG), 8 rec, 156 yds
Pigskin Almanac “Archie Manning/Oliver Luck” award: Andrew Luck (IND)

About Cody Royle

A Melbourne-native, Cody packed up and moved to Toronto, Canada in 2009 largely to be closer to the NFL and his beloved New York Giants. He now coaches the Canadian Aussie Rules team and can be found tweeting @codyroyle.

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