Here’s Justin Tuck on the Giants’$2 29-10 loss to the Titans yesterday: “If you watch the tape without the penalties, you’ll say we were up 35-0 or something like that.” The numbers sort of back him up: The Giants gained 200 more yards of total offense than Tennessee, and Eli Manning threw for more than three times as many yards as Vince Young, with a higher completion percentage, too. (Yes, Chris Johnson ran for 125 yards, but that was on roughly 125 carries. The Giants backs actually averaged more yards per carry than Tennessee did.) Considering how badly the Giants were outplayed in Indianapolis, these aren’t insignificant accomplishments.
Of course, here are some other categories the Giants also led the Titans in: penalties, personal fouls, and penalties that resulted in a safety, thus negating a huge passing play in a tie game. (That Ahmad Bradshaw chop block proved to be especially devastating, as the Titans would score on the next possession to extend their lead to 19-10.) Tom Coughlin’s teams aren’t supposed to be undisciplined. Yesterday, the Giants were undisciplined to an almost comical degree.
Which isn’t to say the Giants didn’t make some mistakes beyond all the penalties: A wide receiver once again tipped a catchable ball, resulting in an interception — it’s fascinating to watch which passes this receiving corps catches, and which they don’t — and twice they turned the ball over inside the Titans’ six-yard line, including an ill-advised left-handed pass by Eli Manning that was predictably intercepted.
Peter King says that Tom Coughlin warned his players last week that the Titans would play dirty. It didn’t help. And as you can imagine, Coughlin’s job security is being questioned all over the place today. (Big Blue View rounds up the day’s Coughlin stories, including one that suggests Bill Cowher could be a candidate to replace him.) The Giants next play Chicago and Houston, teams with a combined record of 4-1. This could turn real ugly, real fast, both for Coughlin and for his team.