Positively Gruden, Lions at Giants: Unbelievable! Annihilation! Most Dramatic Ever!
Welcome to another rendition of Positively Gruden, where we chronicle the top cheers, compliments, and commendations from America’s favorite fawning former coach. This week’s Lions-Giants clash yielded an impressive array of Grudenisms in the first half, before petering out in a lackluster second half. Not even Gruden can keep up the positivity with the Giants sieve of an offensive line, stone-handed receivers, and red zone futility squandering opportunity after opportunity. Before that, though, Gruden showered effusive praise across the board, before ultimately settling one of his beloved NFL tropes, the mythical “old school” football player. There was also a comment that would have even made Jordan Rodgers smile.
As always, top Grudenisms are ranked on a sliding scale of hyperbole, vivid imagery, and outright absurdity.
19. “I’ve had a lot of Lions as my grinder. I just like the way they play. They play every down, and they’re unselfish.”
18. On Matthew Stafford, “Not only can he run, this man can throw it into any zip code you want.”
17. “You cannot let Stafford out of contain or you’re in trouble. Not many guys playing better right now than Stafford and this Lion offense.”
16. On Evan Engram, “This man is intelligent, he won the Ozzie Newsome award at Ole Miss, and he’s quite the route runner.”
15. On Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, “These two pass rushers are as good a combination as you’ll find in the NFL. That’s a bad combination for everybody else.”
14. “Vernon is one of the best. He’s a powerful guy that can really disrupt the run. And he can come off the edge with a bull rush. He’s got great effort and stamina. He plays 95% of the snaps, he causes penalties, he reeks havoc down after down.”
13. After another Vernon stuff, channeling his inner Cajun Man, “That’s not penetration, Sean. That’s absolutely annihilation.”
12. “Darius Slay…makes an unbelievable play.”
11. More rhyming, “That’s big play Slay. I like that name.”
10. On the Heisman voting, “Jason White beat Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning. That’s some good trivia.”
9. After an 88-yard Jamal Agnew punt return (which was admittedly pretty awesome), “You won’t see a punt return this good for awhile. That’s a great catch. Unbelievable open field run.”
8. After a patented Eli Manning ‘chuck it and hope’ that somehow worked out, “That was one of the truly great throws you’ll ever see.”
7. “I love Glover Quin.”
6. “Ziggy Ansah is taking [Ereck] Flowers to school. Is he a freak of nature, did you see him in the hotel last night?”
5. On Jarrad Davis, “This man is wired like a 1975 throwback linebacker. He’d play the game for nothing, Sean.”
4. “You see T.J. Lang coming out of nowhere sticking up for his quarterback. That’s one tough GUY. Number 76.”
3. “When you get guys like [Rick] Wagner and Lang, veterans that can come in here and MAUL people on the right side on your line, that’s a good deal. Look at these two guys, they look like old-fashioned Detroit Lions. They look like old school ball players.”
2. With a final non-sequitur in the closing minutes, “I don’t want new technology. I want my old remote. I want better technology.”
1. After a Matt Prater field goal, channeling Bachelor host Chris Harrison, “12 in a row for Prater. That’s an amazing. That might be the most dramatic field goal I’ve ever seen made.”