There were no shortage of football related story lines to explain the NY Giants loss to the Eagles on Sunday, but you won't read about them anywhere in the papers. Domenik Hixon's dropped deep ball on what was a sure touchdown pass in the first half is only the largest of a plethora of mistakes made by the Giants' offense. Their game was plagued by dropped passes and misguided misdirection plays. Cornerback Aaron Ross left in the first half with an ankle injury and did not return to the game. Brandon Jacobs left in the 3rd Quarter with an apparent reaggravation of his pre-existing knee injury, and the Giants were unable to control the ball - garnering just one possession in the Eagles dominated 3rd Quarter. Kenny Phillips missed an open field tackle at the line of scrimmage on Westbrook on his 30 Yard touchdown run. Steve Smith dropped a ball on a 4th down play that cost the Giants possession and put the tired defense back on the field. If it sounds like an ugly game, that's because it was.
So, why? The media offers us an explanation for the magic bullet that killed the Giants: The Media! That's right, the Giants were DISTRACTED by all of the media coverage this week. Why did Hixon drop that 50 yard TD pass? Clearly, he was daydreaming about Plaxico Burress. His focus was likely broken by a camera flash from the stands that Hixon immediately associated with the muzzle-flash from the barrel of Plaxico's glock. Aaron Ross's ankle injury that played such a big part in opening up the secondary for an Eagles' passing attack? Likely due to a lack of appropriate stretching and preparation resulting from Ross's near constant contemplation of the fragility of life in the wake of Plaxico's shooting incident. Jacobs' pre-existing knee injury? Aggravated by having to shoulder the weight of so much media coverage in the preceeding week. Andy Reid apparently remembering that Westbrook was on his team? He probably read it in some of the media coverage of Westbrook NOT shooting himself in the leg.
My point is that OF COURSE the media is going to say the Giants were distracted; because the implication is that they were distracted by THE MEDIA. Maybe if they stopped sucking their own dicks for a second, they would actually give the Eagles coaching staff some credit for developing a good game plan against a tough defense. They were able to keep the Giants defense on the field, mostly by converting on almost every key 3rd down play (likely because the media always mentions the 3rd down battle, and Andy Reid probably picked it up in the same story that mentioned Westbrook as a weapon), and it paid off in spades when the Giants couldn't muster anything resembling a pass rush in the 2nd half. Andy Reid should also be commended for calling all of the Eagles' first half timeouts during the coin toss, so as to prevent him from being able to throw a challenge flag and hurt the Eagles with his 0-24352362 challenge record. The Giants were clearly hurt by Burress' absence from the game, and that is something they are going to have to deal with going forward. But I do not believe they were hurt any more by his being out with a bullet than if he had missed another game due to his hamstring injury.