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There were a lot of calls for leadership around Giants camp last week and it seems the team responded by finding inspiration in one of their teammates. The problem is that the player they chose was Brandon Jacobs.
The Giants spent most of Sunday's game mimicking Jacobs's behavior in Indianapolis last weekend and left with a well-deserved 29-10 loss to the Titans. Instead of showing heart and toughness during the game, the Giants were content to push and shove after the whistle, make mental and physical mistakes by the bushel and generally make Tom Coughlin look like a man captaining an out of control ship that has no chance to avoid running aground.
Compiling all the errors would take all day so we'll just stick to the highlights. Eli Manning threw a pair of interceptions, one on a drop by Hakeem Nicks and one when he decided to try throwing the ball with his left hand near the Tennessee end zone. Ahmad Bradshaw committed a chop block in the end zone, giving the Titans a safety, and then fumbled away another chance inside the red zone. Lawrence Tynes missed two field goals, receivers dropped other passes and, we're getting well used to this, tackles David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie offered no resistance to the players they were supposed to be blocking.
Both of those men also picked up personal fouls -- two in McKenzie's case -- as the undisciplined Giants found even more ways to shoot themselves in the foot on Sunday. Jacobs, the team's new icon, and Antrel Rolle also picked up such penalties. You never like to see penalties like that, but if they came as a result of an unbridled effort at least you'd understand. But since these Giants are unwilling to give that kind of effort and can't avoid the other errors, it simply reinforces the notion that this team hasn't fixed the problems that sank last season. That doesn't say much about the players, but it speaks volumes about Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese.
At least their defense showed some backbone on Sunday. The Titans struggled to move the ball all day and Chris Johnson was held mostly in check (his second touchdown came when the game was already over) by a unit that couldn't handle Joseph Addai a week ago. Kudos to them for making the right adjustments and this might have been a different result if the Giants offense didn't play like they were all lobotomized in some bizarre team-building exercise.
It's going to be another long week for the Giants and, much to Rolle's chagrin, it won't be much fun. A couple more weeks like this and the same will be true of the entire 2010 season.