NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin mentioned after Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers that he thought his team was in control of the game and he was shocked that they lost. After pouring over the tape of the game, the Outsider staff was unable to locate any point in the game that would qualify as the Giants being in control.
They had a brief three point lead in the first quarter — was this the moment of which he bespaketh? They entered the fourth quarter with a one point lead — perhaps this was considered a controlling moment? And a moment was all it was as that miniscule lead vanished quickly into a fourteen point deficit, which then required the Giants to score two touchdowns, survive three fourth down game ender plays, and win in overtime. Such a strategy of “control” surely should be questioned.
There is another interpretation available, Coach Coughlin. You was whupped, you whiny, East Coast wannabe.
This inability to credit the 49ers, rather than blame the mysterious confusion of the cosmos, is a long running NFL trend. Supposedly tough guy coaches like Coughlin and, in the past, Bill Parcells and Mike Ditka, just can’t stand to have their butts delivered to them by a West Coast vendor. Specifically the 49ers. The old 49ers won through finesse. This year’s version wins with trickery, which is a form of manhood robbery.
Oh, stick it, you cry babies. Coughlin even whinnied that they had more injuries than the 49ers. Gadzooks! You came to town with a game plan geared solely to stop our star running back, and that back was injured and on the bench the entire second half! And you still lost!
The heart of the matter is the concept of “intelligence.” Bill Walsh, and now Jim Harbaugh, are more intelligent, football speakingly, than guys like Ditka, Coughlin, and Parcells. It killed them to be out-thought, out-maneuvered, out-played. It killed them even more because everybody knew it — they was dumb and we was smart. It’s a Bluto thing. Ask Oyle.
The 49er offensive line, which has received almost no mention the past month, which is to say they are performing excellently, especially RT Anthony Davis, who has gone from a house hold growl to invisible, clearly won the battle of the trenches against the Giants. The Giants D-line is acknowledged to be the strength of their team. It’s awesome. But it was whipped. If the teams meet again, it will be whipped even worse. It’s going to be whipped for the next five years.
Just when the Giants thought they could match up with Green Bay, because they matched up with New England, they found out they were out-matched against the 49ers. Thunk. Season over. Good bye, Blue Men.
The 49ers have now derailed the dreams of four playoff hopeful teams this year: Detroit, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, and now the Giants.
Sunday’s game was a departure from the 49er run-first script this year. It almost seems like Harbaugh took the slights against his QB harder than the QB himself took them and decided to stuff his QB down the Giants’ throats. That may or may not have been the wisest strategy, but it was clearly an “I believe in you” statement from coach to player to team. And that kind of faith goes over big in a locker room.
Over in the other locker room, it was just “sniffle, sniffle, waaah, waaah!” Coach to players to team. Sheesh. Here’s a hankie, fellas. Run on home to Rexville and try to keep up.