It’s Tuesday evening. Two days after the NFC wildcard game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers. Two. Days. Two days and people are still talking about this game.
Why is this an issue? In essence it’s not. Not really. There are games that will always be discussed. But, the reasons why people are ruminating about this game are not a reflection of the game itself, rather as issues that are a result of the a problem within the NY Giants. Yes, I said it. The Giants have a problem. And it might not be what you think.
Coaching. The two topics that armchair quarterbacks are posting about on social media and discussing around the water cooler could have been avoided with better coaching: Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary TD pass and Odell Beckham Jr.
How is that? I’ll tell you. Let us start with that Hail Mary.
Was anyone other than the Giants and non-football fans surprised to see that pass? I was not. I can not tell you how many posts I have seen in the last couple of days along the lines of “Wow! I’ve never seen anything like that!” or “Unbelievable! Hail Mary!” Any true and knowledgeable football fan can tell you this with 100% certainty: Aaron. Rodgers. Throws. Hail. Mary. Passes. Quite frankly, I have come to EXPECT them from him. When Rodgers is inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame (yes, I said when) his introduction will undoubtedly contain a mention of this skill.
We’ve all seen it. He feels pressure. He steps back. He shoots that rainbow. This is nothing new. It’s no secret that the Packers practice Hail Mary shots during drills. It’s a technique used to help the receivers. Rodgers just happens to be exceptionally skilled at this technique.
So, here in lies coaching issue #1. Why didn’t the Giants show up at Lambeau Field prepared for this possibility? Why didn’t they spend time practicing deep threats? Their defensive backs should have anticipated this. Honestly, I am more shocked when Rodgers is under pressure and does not shoot that bullet.
Moving on to Beckham.
The Giants lose. He punches a hole in a Green Bay stadium wall. He allegedly headbutts a locker. Isn’t this just an issue with Odell? How is this a coaching problem? Because McAdoo IS responsible for his players. Someone needs to reign-in Beckham’s emotions. Someone needs to guide, mentor and advise him. Isn’t it the coach’s responsibility to expect a certain amount of decorum from their players?
This behavior is not new. We’ve seen it the last couple of seasons: fights on the field, fights with kicking nets on the sidelines, etc. Don’t get me wrong. Beckham is an amazing talent in his own right. He single-handedly allowed me to win my Fantasy Football Championship title during his rookie year. He’s talented. He is. But he is also on a fast train to disaster. He is becoming a distraction and a hindrance. And, no…I’m not going to address the boat scandal. It’s inconsequential at this point. Just please, somebody, preferably a COACH help this young man. Please. Help him be remembered for his gifts, not his faults.
And…please take this post with a grain of salt. I’ve been a card-carrying member of the HAIL Nation for years (that’s a Washington Redskins loyalist for those of you who don’t follow the game). The Giants are my boys’ rivals. I don’t necessarily want to see them win. This is more about the fact that I hate seeing anyone make excuses for consequences they created.
Time to step it up Giants coaching staff. Do that, and things may be different next season. Maybe.