Giants Show They Still Have Some Fight Left In Them
Roger Lewis makes the INCREDIBLE grab to setup the @giants WIN. #GiantsPride pic.twitter.com/YE9qsqlql5
NFL (@NFL) November 19, 2017
He sprung up and danced into the end zone, though he was down by contact. But the play was a perfect microcosm of the day. With nothing to play for, the Giants played their grittiest game of the season.
Instead of rejoicing over a gutty victory, you hear moaning from Big Blue devotees, who want the Giants to tank, NBA style, and get a top-three pick in the draft, where they can choose from a buffet of heralded quarterbacks, such as Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and perhaps the Heisman favorite, Baker Mayfield.
MORE: Eli Manning On WFAN: Giants Effort In Win Wasn Statement About McAdoo
But back to the game, which, under a wider lens, may mean nothing. But it really was miraculous. Not just because they beat a better club, but considering the conditions under which they did it.
Big Blue was in full mutiny, with suspended players who had no regard for rules or respect for head coach Ben McAdoo, others feeding quotes to the media under the banner of anonymity. We were hearing about players giving up on the season, about not even wanting to make basic tackles, about the iron fist with which McAdoo drills his players.
Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis (18) celebrates after making a long catch in overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 19, 2017, at MetLife Stadium. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Last time the Giants were home against a more talented team, they had two weeks to prepare for the Los Angeles Rams. And they were, to borrow a quote from Curtis LeMay, bombed back to the Stone Age. The Giants defense was littered with matadors, letting Robert Woods and Todd Gurley run with impunity. Perhaps the worst play of the season came that day, when the Rams scored a TD on a third down and 34 yards to go. On a screen pass, no less.
The next week was even worse. On the road against the 0-9 49ers, they made Carlos Hyde look like Jim Brown and did little more than salute San Francisco running backs and receivers as they galloped by.
Then this, a plodding, 12-9 football game, that had endless playoff implications for the Chiefs, who are sinking since their 5-0 start, yet nothing for the G-Men, except pride.
Speaking of pride, I noticed another thing about the Giants, or at least their fans. Driving home from Manhattan, I took the George Washington Bridge, then cruised south on the western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike. On certain Sundays, before you pay the toll, you can slip off the Turnpike and pass through this string of road that snakes through the Meadowlands, from which you can see the racetrack and MetLife Stadium.
After you twist around the complex, you e dumped onto Route 3 East, from which you can see the MetLife parking lot from literally 20 feet away. I was so impressed with the number of Giants fans tailgating, I yanked my smart phone from my pocket and started snapping pictures.
It was not just a Sunday, it was 10:15 a.m., three hours before kickoff. It was November. It was cold. We had just wiped ourselves dry after 18 hours of steady rain. And it was windy. 凡izard of Oz windy. There were hundreds of fans young men, old men, middle-aged men, boys and girls gathered on this concrete slab to prepare to watch a 1-8 team.
Giants fans tailgate outside MetLife Stadium on Nov. 19, 2017. (credit: Jason Keidel)
There were dozens of trucks and SUVs with the back popped open to unveil various, culinary machines, coolers, jerseys and Big Blue blankets. And, of course, footballs, which were tossed painfully back and forth, not a spiral in sight, the tornadic winds mutilating each throw into a failing, flailing pass that often bounced before it reached the intended receiver.
Maybe it means nothing to you. (Heck, I a Steelers fan.) But I was so impressed by the glee in the face of such gore, I clicked about 25 pics from my car and posted about ten of them to my Facebook page. (We don advocate texting or taking pics while driving.)
You remembered, at least for a few hours, why the Giants were supposed to be good this year. And why there an interminable wait for Giants season tickets. And why they play the games.