For the Giants, a feel good win in a lost season

Odell Beckham Jr. - (Image: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Odell Beckham Jr. – (Image: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

The Giants finally were able to stop the bleeding with a 36-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. It may not take much of the pain away from what’s been a miserable season, however it’s still something for the 4-9 Giants to feel good about.

The schedule was kind to the Giants, they came up against a team that’s just as bad as that are, arguably more. The Titans dropped to 2-11 on the season, so it’s not as if the Giants came out of this as world-beaters. At the end of the day, for the Giants, this win presents a rare chance to feel good about themselves.

Rookies Odell Beckham Jr. and Andre Williams had big performances, Beckham’s is nothing new anymore (9 catches, 117 yards, 1 touchdown), however it was a breakout performance for Williams. The running back ran for 131 yards on 24 carries.

It’s been a miserable season for the Giants, they hadn’t won a football game since defeating the Atlanta Falcons on October 5th, it’s been downhill since then.

With speculation surrounding the future of head coach Tom Coughlin, his coaching staff, and general manager Jerry Reese — getting a win for the first time in over two months was a much-needed breath of fresh air for this team, even if it’s just a temporary feeling.

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Rex Ryan, loyalty under fire

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan - (Image: Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan – (Image: Elsa/Getty Images)

Three more for Rex Ryan, three more games until he’ll most likely have to wave the white flag as head coach of the New York Jets.

The Jets, 2-11, are coming off an overtime loss in Minnesota that provided more proof why it’s time once again for a change.

When asked if he’s made peace with the thought of the end being near, his response sounded much like the bravado of the old Rex Ryan (Cimini, Dec 8th).

“I’m not conceding anything, man … I’m not going anywhere. I know I’ve got three weeks, and here we come.”

As bad as it’s been for the Jets, Ryan’s loyalty to owner Woody Johnson has been admirable. It’s reasonable to conclude that Ryan will be among those receiving pink slips from Johnson after the season, however Ryan’s still quick to shoulder all of the blame for what’s gone wrong.

I’ll say this much for Ryan, he’s as loyal a coach as there is out there, that could go a long way in helping him with his future endeavors. That’s if it comes to that, as expected.

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Jets give starting job back to Geno Smith

Geno Smith #7, Chris Johnson, Michael Vick #1 (Image:Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Geno Smith #7, Chris Johnson, Michael Vick #1 (Image:Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Jets, coming off an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills, are making another change at quarterback.

Head coach Rex Ryan, announced his decision to bench Michael Vick, Geno Smith will be the starter when the Jets play the Miami Dolphins on Monday night at Metlife Stadium.

Reports are surfacing that the decision to go back to Smith came down from team general manager John Idzik (Cimini, Nov. 26).

It’s not that Vick was ineffective as a starter, however he’s not the long-term answer for the Jets. It would be a surprise to me if he’s on the team in 2015.

The Jets are 2-9, having a miserable year, and most likely will fire Ryan at the end of the season. At this point, Idzik needs to find out once and for all if Smith’s worth keeping for the future to at least compete for the starting job next year.

Smith’s chances to prove himself worthy of being a starting quarterback in the NFL are fading away. He’s 1-7 this year as the starting quarterback, with a quarterback-rating of 27.6. He’s regressed in his development since being selected by Idzik in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

The Jets are giving Smith a national stage on Monday night to begin changing the minds of his doubters, including those on his team.

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Calvin Pryor, the New York Jets, opportunity, and the things that motivate us

Calvin Pryor - (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Calvin Pryor – (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

2014 hasn’t been the rookie season Calvin Pryor was hoping for. The first-round pick of the New York Jets has not played up to expectations, the Jets are a 2-8 team, and Pryor has now been demoted from his starting safety position.

Pryor’s poor play isn’t the primary reason the Jets are 2-8 this season, however it’s arguable the reasons behind his demotion shed light on some of the things that have gone wrong with them.

There were reports of Pryor missing multiple team meetings this season (Patra, Nov. 10), apparently it all came to a head this past weekend when Jets head coach Rex Ryan decided enough was enough. Pryor played only 13 snaps on Sunday against the Steelers, all on special teams.

Pryor’s response to being benched was one of admission and realization (Walder, Nov,12). He realizes when it comes to the expectations placed upon a hard-hitting, first-round draft pick out of Louisville, he hasn’t held up his end of the deal.

“I haven’t been playing the way I should,” Pryor said Tuesday. “That’s something I have to look at myself and tell myself and just go do better.” “Got a little chip on my shoulder right now. Kind of my back is against the wall,”

His back’s against the wall alright.

Pryor not only lost his starting job this past weekend, his replacement, Jaiquawn Jarrett went out against the Steelers and picked up two interceptions along with a sack. Pryor’s mistakes and poor judgement created an opportunity that Jarrett is taking full advantage of.

Sometimes it takes the strangest of events to motivate us into fixing what went wrong along the way. Pryor will have to work hard to regain his starting job, he’s a first-round draft pick so I wouldn’t count him out. However, he’ll need to use that chip on his shoulder to help navigate him through the first major crossroads of his professional career.

Anthony Rushing | @AnthonyRushing_



Leadership from the top is lacking with the New York Giants

Tom Coughin - (Image: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Tom Coughlin – (Image: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Ten weeks into the NFL season, the New York Giants are 3-6, heading nowhere fast. The narrative has been the same now for the past few weeks with the Giants, no passion and no heart. Injuries are an easy fallback for an excuse as to why the Giants have played so poorly. However, there also comes a time for accountability. That’s become no more evident than after how awful the Giants looked this past Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Injuries have robbed the Giants of their depth this season, they don’t have the talent to keep up with the league’s top teams for four quarters. What can’t be ignored about Sunday’s loss to Seattle was the way their defense was dominated.

The Seahawks ran the football down the Giants throat, rushing for a franchise record of 350 yards. It’s one thing to allow Marshawn Lynch to go beast mode for 140 yards and four touchdowns, however it’s unacceptable to have that along with quarterback Russell Wilson run for another 107 yards with a touchdown. The Seahawks averaged 5.2 yards a carry rushing the football through their first 8 games of the season, they ran to the tune of 8.2 yards against the Giants on Sunday. (ESPN New York, Nov. 9th)

The Giants defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed on Sunday.

Antrel Rolle, Jason-Pierre-Paul are the Giants defensive leaders, they have said all the right things this season as for why the Giants are where they are. However, this is beyond them. No NFL team should run for that many yards (that easily) against your defense. It’s no longer about the Giants not having the players, it’s now about leadership on the next level, the coaches.

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has to be held accountable for not having his defense prepared for Seattle.  The Giants are last in the NFL in defense, that’s not all on the players, it’s also a matter of game planning and adjustments.

Winning two Super Bowls has camouflaged a great deal that’s wrong with this team. The debate can be made that head coach Tom Coughlin’s message is no longer getting across with the players, maybe a new voice is needed. General manager Jerry Reese needs to also answer for the alarming inconsistency his teams have shown under his watch.

There is plenty wrong with the Giants that needs work after the season, addressing the leadership should be at the top of the list.

Anthony Rushing | @AnthonyRushing