Want to earn the respect of your team? Do what Ben McAdoo did. Because the Giants won Monday Night’s game because the Giants rookie head coach went to work on Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. And they won because McAdoo threw conventional wisdom away when he kept his offense on the field on 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line, trailing 20-14. And his team rewarded him — with Eli Manning finding rookie Sterling Shepard for what turned out to be the winning touchdown.
And that win punctuates a four-game win streak that keeps the Giants in the hunt at 6-3. And it’s a victory that came on the same night where his predecessor Tom Coughlin was inducted into the team’s ring of honor. No pressure there, Ben.
For a young guy taking over a blue-blooded franchise, McAdoo has done a really solid job — especially considering the circumstances. He survived Odell Beckham’s circus show. He recovered from the Josh Brown debacle – with some egg in his face, to be sure: but not the six egg omelets that GM Jerry Reese and owner John Mara were wearing.
And he’s protected his guys — sticking up for an underperforming pass rush with an epic STATS ARE FOR LOSERS blast, something he put into context last night after his guys got after Andy Dalton.
“When I say stats are for losers, what I really meant was you need to dig a little deeper… I thought we made a move early in the game and at the end it was good to finish it off.”
He’s right. In their case, the stats really DON’T tell the story. That defense is middle of the pack defensively. And near the bottom in sacks. But what the stats don’t tell you, is they’re a helluva lot better than they were last year, and while they’re not making all the plays, they’re making the big ones, when it matters most, including sacks in each of the Bengals’ final two drives when the game was in question.
In fact, they stopped the Bengals on their final five drives.
McAdoo’s already matched last season’s win total, all while putting out fire after fire through the season’s first 10 weeks.
And don’t look now, but the Giants are looking at games against Chicago and Cleveland — probably the two-worst teams in the league. That could get them to 8-3, a miracle considering they’ve actually allowed more points than they’ve scored this year.
Question, is how the hell are they doing it? They’re finishing games. Last year, they blew five fourth quarter leads. Now, they’ve won four in a row with an average margin of victory of 4 points. In other words, they’re winning the games this year that they would have lost last year. They’re finishing.
And maybe that’s ANOTHER testament to McAdoo. Because even if this guy doesn’t strike you as the most cerebral — that ‘stache and butcher cut looking more gym teacher than mad scientist, the dude is getting it done.
And as bent as Tom Coughlin was, and probably still is, even he has to admit, under McAdoo, the Giants are winning games now, that they lost the last couple of years under Coughlin.
At the time, you could have argued that firing a guy who won you two Super Bowls is not the right thing to do. And really, there was no argument that replacing him with an unproven, coordinator just to prevent him from jumping in the division, was absolutely the WRONG thing to do. But at 6-3 after another clutch win, no one is arguing those points anymore.