Giants Home Opener a Total Joke

Eighty points? Are you kidding me? Yes, through two games the mighty Giants defense has surrendered the absurd total of 80 points.

And it hasn't exactly come against the Colts either. The Packers could barely move the ball opening weekend against Philly. All they needed was a little bit of New York hospitality and generosity and Brett Favre was back looking like a 27-year-old quarterback again.

The 80 combined points serve as the most points the Giants have allowed during their first two games since 1966, when they tied Pittsburgh, 34-34, and lost at Dallas, 52-7.

"We don't want to be one of the worst defenses in the league so we won't settle for it," DT Barry Cofield said.

Unfortunately that's much easier said than done. Right now, it's hard to envision many defenses – save Cincinnati and Cleveland, of course – that could make fewer plays than the Giants. And all this coming against an offensive unit hardly littered with superstar talent. Favre was throwing to the likes of James Jones and Donald Lee and some rookie named DeShaun Wynn averaged five yards a carry against the Giants defense.

Favre threw for 286 yards and three TDs and you got the feeling that he could have had plenty more than that if he actually needed it. He completed 29 of his 38 pass attempts and hit on 14 in a row at one point. In other words, his guys were open all day long.

"We have to be able to go out there and execute the little things," Sam Madison said. "One little thing happens and it starts to go downhill."

"We can't be scared to make mistakes," Kawika Mitchell added. "Everybody has to rally, come together and come to the ball."

A week after getting blitzed by the Cowboys to the tune of 45 points, the Giants graciously handed Green Bay another 35.

"I don't know if we made any progress," Osi Umenyiora said after the debacle.

No, none at all. There was certainly no progress made by the Giants defense. If anything, the Giants regressed from game one to game two.

On the offensive side of the ball, New York reverted to its usual silly drive-killing miscues and penalties. Three trips inside the red zone netted nary a single point. While Derrick Ward was able to run the ball pretty well, and Eli Manning played well enough considering he was coming off a week when he didn't even practice, the Giants still couldn't finish the job.

"We can't kick field goals," Kareem McKenzie said. "We have to score touchdowns when we have the opportunity. We just have to get better."

"We obviously left too many points on the field," Amani Toomer added. "We are not where we are supposed to be. We have to put more points on the board. We've got to go back to square one and figure something out. I really don't have any explanation for it."

The worst part of it all was that neither did Tom Coughlin.

"There is no explanation for it," he said.

However, Coughlin kept his chin up after the game.

"I think we are a better football team than we have shown," Coughlin said. "Obviously I don't have any real grounds for saying that; it is just a belief. I do believe we are all in it together and I do believe that we are all embarrassed."

As well they should be.

* * *

Forever linked in NFL history ever since Brett Favre laid down to give Michael Strahan the all-time single-season sack record back in 2001, the duo sure do appear to be heading in opposite directions.

Favre became the NFL's all-time winningest quarterback by leading his troops past the overmatched Giants.

"The all-time in anything in this league is something monumental to achieve so we gave him the game ball," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "149 victories. I think that speaks for itself."

In typical Favre fashion, he deflected any praise coming his way.

"What you have done in the past is the past," he said. "I thrive on the fact that I have played in a lot of games and if they want to say that I have won that many, great.

"I'm not going to sit here and lie to you, I am not going to turn it down, but I have always been about team. That hasn't changed."

After more than a month-long ‘break' from training camp, it's hard to say that Michael Strahan is especially ‘about team' these days. And if so, that has definitely changed. And it would be even more difficult to say that Strahan hasn't been affected by missing the entire preseason. He's basically been a non-factor during the season's first two games. He only chipped in one tackle against the Packers and dropped what would have been a certain interception, which could have been a game-altering play.

"I was surprised," Strahan said. "I should have caught that."

While no one in the Giants locker room would even think about blaming Strahan for the club's total lack of pass pressure, there's no question New York should be able to expect more from its defensive captain and leader than one tackle.

Favre, 37, and Strahan, 35, are both rumored to possibly be playing in their final season. After Sunday's mismatch, perhaps Favre, who has his club 2-0 and thinking playoffs, should consider extending his Hall-of-Fame career. On the flip side, while two games do not a season make, Giants fans must be wondering if their defense would be any worse right now had Strahan decided not to come back.

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