Xs & Os: A review of the Giants by Position

Here is a breakdown of how each position faired in the game against Chicago.


Eli Manning's high throw to Tim Carter, a pass FS Chris Harris intercepted at the Giants' 47, cost the Giants, still down only 11, any chance at a comeback with 10:53 left in the game. Manning's throw was short to Plaxico Burress down the Giants' sideline, and LCB Charles Tillman intercepted it at Chicago's 44 midway through the first quarter. Bottom Line: Manning made many more mistakes than they could afford.


Tiki Barber changed direction deftly at the line of scrimmage and raced 46 yards to Chicago's 8-yard line, setting up Brandon Jacobs' second TD, which got the Giants within four points (24-20) with 3:26 to play in the third quarter. Jacobs cost the Giants 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff by putting the ball under his jersey after scoring a 1-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. Bottom Line: They weren't the problem.


With the Giants down 24-13, TE Jeremy Shockey beat MLB Brian Urlacher for a 15-yard reception down the middle of the field. The conversion on third-and-10 completely changed the momentum of the game, as Jacobs scored an 8-yard TD two plays later. Each of Burress' four catches went for first downs. Bottom Line: They missed Amani Toomer.


RDE Alex Brown blew by LT Bob Whitfield and stripped Manning early in the fourth quarter. The ball rolled out of bounds, but the Giants lost 14 yards on a play they started at Chicago's 29. Whitfield blatantly held Brown, but still couldn't prevent him from stripping Manning midway through the third quarter. LDE Adewale Ogunleye recovered the fumble at the Giants' 21 and the Bears went ahead 24-13 four plays later. Whitfield was flagged for holding, backing the Giants into a second-and-19 predicament from their own 27 late in the first half. They settled for a 40-yard Feely FG three plays later. Bottom Line: They're going to appreciate Luke Petitgout plenty while he's out.


With the Giants down 24-20, DT Fred Robbins overpowered LG Ruben Brown and sacked QB Rex Grossman on a critical third-and-nine play from the Giants' 40 early in the fourth quarter. Robbins ran right up the middle to provide pressure on Grossman, RDE Mathias Kiwanuka intercepted his pass and returned it 32 yards down the sideline, to Chicago's 1 early in the first quarter. Jacobs' TD put the Giants ahead 7-0 on the next play. Bottom Line: Robbins is playing Pro Bowl-caliber ball.


TE Desmond Clark got between WLB Gerris Wilkinson and MLB Antonio Pierce, and was wide open in the end zone for a 2-yard TD catch that helped put Chicago ahead 24-13 with 5:35 to go in the third quarter. Bottom Line: Pierce was all over the field (15 tackles).


LCB Corey Webster reached around with his left hand and stripped WR Muhsin Muhammad inside the Giants' 5, a fumble FS Will Demps recovered at their 2 early in the third quarter. RCB Sam Madison got turned around and slipped, allowing WR Mark Bradley to catch a 29-yard TD down the Bears' sideline, which got them within three points (13-10) with 35 seconds left in the first half. SS Gibril Wilson shed FB Jason McKie's block, reached back to strip RB Thomas Jones behind the line of scrimmage and recovered the fumble at Chicago's 31 with 24 seconds left in the first quarter. Blitzing RCB R.W. McQuarters was held in the backfield by Jones, but still stripped Grossman on a third-and-five play from the Giants' 35, forcing a punt midway through the first quarter. Bottom Line: There were too many coverage breakdowns in the second half.


Their personnel package is different than on kick returns, but there wasn't a player in position to make a tackle on Devin Hester's 108-yard return of Jay Feely's missed 52-yard FG early in the fourth quarter. Chad Morton returned a booming Brad Maynard punt 36 yards down the Giants' sideline to give them the ball at Chicago's 31 with 6:17 left in the first half. Feely kicked a 40-yard FG to end the drive. Bottom Line: The aftermath of Feely's FG miss was devastating.


Tom Coughlin's call to try a 52-yard FG wasn't wise with 11:49 to play. Feely hadn't made more than a 46-yarder this season and hadn't attempted one longer than 47 yards. The call cost the Giants the game, as Hester returned the short kick 108 yards for a touchdown that gave Chicago a 31-20 lead. Bottom Line: They blew a 10-point lead at home.

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