Xs & Os: A review of the Giants by Position

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


Rolling right and throwing off his back foot, Eli Manning should've tossed the ball away with 32 seconds left, knowing a turnover was the last thing the Giants could afford in their own territory. Manning instead underthrew a pass to WR David Tyree near the Tennessee sideline, one RCB Adam "Pacman" Jones intercepted at the Giants' 49 to set up the game-winning FG with 23 seconds to play. The play punctuated Manning's poor performance in the second half (two four-quarter interceptions, 64 passing yards). Bottom Line: What does he have to do to get benched?


Tiki Barber's final six fourth-quarter touches accounted for only 11 yards. The Giants punted on those two drives, when they needed to eat up the clock. After being stopped for a two-yard loss on his first carry, Brandon Jacobs' final four touches in the first half accounted for touchdowns or first downs (two apiece). Bottom Line: Barber didn't deliver for the second straight week.


They were up 21-0 early in the fourth quarter, but WR Plaxico Burress' lack of overall effort cost the Giants a whole lot more than an interception. Burress stopped running for a pass Manning hung up, allowing Jones to pick it off. Burress' half-hearted attempt at tackling Jones enabled a 26-yard return, too. TE Jeremy Shockey sealed off ROLB Keith Bulluck just beyond the line of scrimmage, opening the big hole Jacobs ran through on the right side for a 10-yard touchdown that helped put the Giants ahead 14-0 with 12:22 left in the second quarter. Bottom Line: Why can't Burress try hard on EVERY play?


RG Chris Snee flattened DT Tony Brown to create the big gap Jacobs used to score a 4-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-one play, a score that helped give the Giants a 21-0 lead with 8:05 left before halftime. Bottom Line: Manning wasn't sacked and they created holes in the first half.


RDE Mathias Kiwanuka inexplicably let go of QB Vince Young's waist, thinking Young released the ball late in the fourth quarter. A sack on the fourth-and-10 play from Tennessee's 24 would've sealed the victory. Young exploited Kiwanuka's mistake by running for 19 yards. Young threw the game-tying TD pass four plays later. Bottom Line: Kiwanuka will be infamous for that bad decision.


MLB Antonio Pierce's initial contact prevented Young from scoring on a fourth-and-goal play from the Giants' 2 late in the second quarter. Two plays earlier, SLB Reggie Torbor withstood a block by RB Travis Henry and hit Young, causing an incompletion on a second-and-goal play from the Giants' 8. Henry had already run by him, but Torbor still reached in to strip him on a second-and-one play from the Titans' 49 with 10:02 left in the first quarter. SS Gibril Wilson recovered the ball at the Giants' 48. Bottom Line: This unit was the least culpable in the collapse.


A lack of awareness by LCB Frank Walker, who was positioned out of bounds when he hit QB Vince Young, cost the Giants an unnecessary roughness penalty with 10:51 left in the game. Young had gained just seven yards on the fourth-and-nine play from the Giants' 20. Walker's miscue led to the Titans' first score three plays later. He had his backed turned, but SS Jason Bell bumped WR Bobby Wade with his left forearm at the perfect time, preventing him from holding on for a 43-yard touchdown that would've drawn Tennessee within 14 points (21-7) around the midway mark of the third quarter. Bottom Line: The penalty by Walker was inexcusable.


MLB Chase Blackburn fielded Tennessee's odd onsides kick with three seconds left in the game. But instead of going down with the ball while CB Cortland Finnegan was tackling him, Blackburn threw the ball behind them. The mistake cost the Giants, who would've had the ball at the Titans' 43, a chance for one final fling for the end zone. P Jeff Feagles benefited from a lucky bounce, but his perfect 42-yard punt went out of bounds at Tennessee's 1 early in the third quarter. Bottom Line: Can anyone return kicks on this team?


Various players on this team too often do things that defy common sense, even when they're not committing penalties. The coaching staff cannot be absolved anymore for not preventing a persistent problem that may have finally cost them their season. Bottom Line: Tom Coughlin could suddenly be coaching for his job.

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