New York Giants rookie punter Matt Dodge became the scapegoat for Sunday’s fourth quarter collapse against the Philadelphia Eagles when, with just seconds remaining in regulation, he inexplicably kicked the ball directly to one of the league’s best return-men, DeSean Jackson.
By now you’ve seen the highlight, Jackson muffed the punt but still picked the ball up and raced into the end zone, completing a 28-point fourth quarter that sealed the NFC East for the Eagles.
Dodge’s mistake was inexcusable, but it’s even more unforgivable that he’s still on the team, and that falls on Coach Tom Coughlin. Dodge, a seventh-round choice out of East Carolina, has been a comedy of errors this season, and though he’s been better lately, he should have been cut months ago.
Yet Coughlin has stubbornly retained his enigmatic punter and it finally cost him a game. The coach has an unusual attachment to the talented rookie and insists that patience will pay off in the long run.
But time is running out. The Giants can still make the playoffs with a win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday. But if they lose, Coughlin’s job could be in jeopardy.
Giants’ management has publicly scoffed at the notion that Coughlin could be shown the door, but with Bill Cowher potentially waiting in the wings, that could change without a playoff berth.
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