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Archive for December, 2005

Giants defense

Friday, December 30th, 2005

I’ve given up trying to figure when the Giants offense will come alive although Toomer said it would happen Saturday vs. the Raiders. Toomer is perhaps the best performing offensive player at the moment if you consider Tiki Barber’s off game (which we can blame on play calling more than on Tiki).

Anyway, to the defense. Emmons is out. He’s mad. Coughlin discussed the situation:

Q: We talked to Carlos Emmons yesterday. I’m sure as you saw, he was pretty upset and said he could’ve played this week and if necessary he would have definitely been back by the playoffs. Is that not the way you understood his injury to be?

According to the medical people, that was not the case. He was at high risk and was at risk of re-injuring. Carlos has been an outstanding player here and outstanding citizen. He’s a guy who had an awful lot invested in this season. He’s very disappointed, as I understand it. I didn’t read any of the columns. All I did was hear he was very disappointed, as was I and anybody in this organization. The simple fact of the matter, as I tried to explain it to you yesterday, is the game has to be played. We needed to have some linebacker help. We needed to go in the direction of the players that were injured in taking the medical advice at hand. We did that. It was not an easy decision. We made the decision and we move on.

That sounds reasonable to me so moving on. Torbor is questionable and Coughlin’s not saying whether he’ll play or who will play if Torbor doesn’t. So we speculate. I’d put Kevin Lewis in the middle where he has played an entire season, Nick Griesen stays on the wekside, and Pfifer or Alonzo Jackson on the strong side, perhaps rotating since Pfifer is better in coverage but may not be up to playing every down.

Lamont Jordan is out and the Raiders haven’t been running much, but the front 7 of the Giants will still have their hands full with Zach Crockett’s power running. We’ll see what happens soon enough…

Giants lose

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

Watching the Redskins offense outperform the Giants defense wasn’t fun, but the officiating made this game almost unwatchable.

I blame the Giants for this loss, because the Giants were outplayed. However I just don’t understand why the NFL can’t find better officials. Calling back Toomer’s TD with a phantom holding penalty was stupid. And this sort of thing is bad for the NFL because what should have been an xciting game pretty much ended early due to poor officiating.

I’m also not too crazy about roughing the passer on Alonzo Jackson. No hit, no foul. He touched the guy but that’s about it. The call against Tyree on the Giants first punt was wrong. Tyree was forced out. Officials who didn’t see this should be fired. They suck at their jobs. The non-call when Shockey was interfered with on the Redskins interception was also plainly visible.

But like I said, the Redskins outplayed the Giants. The Giants offense came up small, starting with the first play of the game and Plaxico Burress dropping a well thrown ball from Manning. Burress for probowl? I didn’t vote for him and I think everyone can see why. Without much of a running game, did anyone think the Giants could win? They just got beat by Washington’s front 7.

Meanwhile on defense, the Giants front 7 got beat. Not as badly as the offense but when your team’s strength is invisible (Osi Umenyiora especially). The decimated linebacking corps is no excuse. I don’t know who decided that Will Allen should cover Snatana Moss one on one, but that was a mistake. I don’t blame Will Allen either. He got beaten by a superior player. The coaches are to blame for letting it happen.

Then we have special teams. How many times did Chad Morton let the Redskins down a punt near the goal line? I give the Redskins coverage team credit and the Giants blockers some of the blame (they were totally outclassed by the Redskins coverage units) but Morton has to see the situation and catch the ball. Letting it bounce around with all the Redskins there to down it was a stupid mistake. He made the same stupid mistake again and again. Feely made a nice tackle on the blocked field goal, but why do I have to watch the Redskins block a field goal?

All in all while the first thing on many Giants fans minds was the very poor officiating, the Giants were outplayed today. If you’re the religious type, say a prayer for Chase Blackburn.

Giants linebackers against the Redskins and in 2006

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

The linebacking corps will likely be the same this Saturday against Washington as it was against the Chiefs with Blackburn in the middle, and Torbor and Griesen outside.

Blacburn is looking to improve on a performance against the Chiefs that satisfied Coughlin:

Is it just me

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

or is Don Banks not making any sense when he says:

Not a bad makeshift offensive line the Giants threw together for the Chiefs game. Maybe that bunch — which cleared the way for Tiki Barber’s club-record 220 yards of rushing — ought to be starting all the time, Tom Coughlin.

I just don’t see starting Whitfield over Petigout for an entire season. Do you?

Tiki carries Giants past Chiefs

Sunday, December 18th, 2005

Wathcing the Giants have trouble bringing down Larry Johnson was frustrating, but Tiki Barber outplayed the KC running back (who had a great game) with yet another MVP type performance. After Tiki Barber ran 29 times for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns what could the Chiefs say?

“He is a complete player,” said Chiefs’ safety Sammy Knight. “I think it is his vision and he has gotten a lot stronger than in years past. His cutback ability is probably one of the best in the league. He showed why he is one of the top backs. He did a good job of breaking tackles today, what else can you say.”

First, Shaun Powell from Newsday has a lot to say about Tiki. One of the key things to me is that the Giants stuck with the running game even though the Chiefs defense contained Barber early:

In the past, the Giants took this as a cue to start cranking up Manning’s arm. Instead, offensive coordinator John Hufnagel, who calls the plays, pulled a mild surprise and kept calling Barber’s number.

“We didn’t give up,” Barber said. “We could’ve gone pass-happy. But we found something that worked and stuck with it. I knew I would be in the open field at some point.”

Now, enjoy some great pictures on kansascity.com. A few show Tiki breaking tackles. Most are actually good for Giants fans. Then read the Mercury News which quotes Vermeil telling his KC players “Hey, you’re going to have to tackle that son of a gun (Tiki Barber). “He’s a great football player.” Barber proved that he is a great one (in my mind the Giants’ greatest running back ever) and broke numerous Chief tackles.

USA Today has one of the better articles on the game with bits of information about how Vermeil was so upset he was shaking after the game as he said “When someone sets an NFL or a career rushing record against what we thought was a very sound defense

Giants MLB has a high ankle sprain

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

Antonio Pierce is “week to week” and “doubtful at best” for the Chiefs. Our offensive line tackles are day to day and Shaun Williams is on IR. William Joseph also has an ankle sprain.

Ouch

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

I’m sure you all know the Giants won in overtime, knocking the Eagles totally out of the playoff picture (not that they had a chance anyway). Sad thing is they may have done the same to the Giants. Not knocking us out of the playiff picture, but lessening our chances for success.

Luke and Kareem our two starting tackles injured. Pierce injured. Joseph injured. No updates yet…

The other thing I didn’t like wathcing was the officials hurting the Giants. Take this excerpt from Coughlin’s press conference:

Q: Are you concerned, Jacobs got stopped twice on third-and-one. Are you concerned about that package and how he is doing it or anything?

A: No. Because I think he was in the end zone both times. Once he was for sure.

For sure. How did the officials make the wrong call and then not overturn it after the replay? I’m not usually one to talk about conspiracies or anything but that was just plain stupid. They should be fired on the spot for complete and total incompetence. Then we need an investigation to see if they are Eagles fans or are being bribed by Eagles fans.

05 Giants D vs. 86 Giants D

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

In general I agree with players from 1986 who say they had the more intimidating defense. However (and I know it’s hard to compare a 3-4 defensive line with a 4-3 line) I don’t agree with Marshall who says:

“I think as good a player as Michael Strahan has been in the system on a four-man line, I don’t think he or they could have ever matched up to what George Martin and I accomplished in a three-man line,” Marshall says.

He makes an unfair comparison since Strahan has different responsibilities in his 4-3 than Marsahll did in his 3-4. Sure Strahan wouldn’t have been as effective as Marshall playing next to Jim Burt. But would Marshall have 9.5 sacks and attract so many double teams in this defense? I don’t think so.

Giants vs. the blitz

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

How well are the Giants handling pass pressure this season? If you look at the number of sacks, everything seems fine. But look at the number of hits and we have a problem:

For the most part, the Giants have been adept at handling pressure this season. Manning has been sacked only 22times (ninth in the NFL), thanks in part to his ability to avoid the rush and in part to a much-improved offensive line. In fact, in nine of the Giants’ 12 games, Manning has been sacked two or fewer times.

Then again, according to STATS, Inc., Manning has been knocked down on passing plays 129 times this season. That’s the third-highest total in the league and represents 29.4% of the Giants’ 438 passing plays.

This comes from a Ralph Vachiano Daily News article about the Eagles defense and Manning’s growing pains as a prelude to the game that starts in a few hours…

NFL hits

Friday, December 9th, 2005

An interesting article about how defensive players feel something when they get a good hit (or a disgusting cheap shot as Dawkins got on Ike Hilliard) on an offensive guy.