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Archive for September, 2006

Where is the Big Blue defense?

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Mike Garafolo writes that the secondary looks confused because Brent Alexander is no longer telling people what to do. This supposedly came from a few Giants players who didn’t want their names used. My firs reaction was to dismiss this as pure craziness, but Will Demps, who replaced, Brent Alexander, is trying to take full responsibility for not getting communication in the secondary down. I still don’t get it. Why don’t the players know where to go without the free safety telling them what to do? Either the defense is too complicated or the players are too stupid. Or am I missing something?

Emmons will miss some time (anyone think he’ll be back next year?) so we’ll either see Brandon Short or Gerris Wilkinson at WILL. Maybe we’ll see some beginner’s luck with Wilkonson, similar to what Gibril Wilson experienced when he came on for an injured Shaun Williams his rookie season.

Onto the defensive line, Strahan is making little sense these days. He says Osi played well against Walter Jones, even better than last year when he had 8 tackles and 2 sacks. Strange. Anyway, the defensive line knows what to do: “Michael and Osi Umenyiora hurry the quarterback and you have several quarterback hits, so it’s like getting singles and doubles instead of the home run,” defensive line coach Mike Waufle said Tuesday. “That’s what we’re trying to solve. It’s not brain surgery.”

If the defensive line does their job, and if the secondary figures out their job, and if the linebackers start showing up (including whoever replaces Emmons) we’ll be in good shape. That’s 3 too many “if”s if you ask me.

Tim Lewis speaks on Giants defensive problems

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Here’s the text of Tim Lewis’ conversation with reporters. He knows the problems – let’s hope that’s half the battle.

He says we’re blitzing just under 40% of the time. I don’t see it, but maybe he’s counting some 4 man rushes as blitzes. For example, when he drops Strahan into coverage and brings a linebacker instead. He also says Arrington is blitzing more often than I would have thought. I thought he was invisible because he was lost in coverage. If he was actually trying to blitz and getting nothing done, it might be time to try someone else at linebacker.

Anyway, if you go to Giants.com you can get videos or transcripts of interviews with the various Giants coaches.

Who to blame for the Giants being crushed by the Seahawks?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Here’s a Seattle game recap that reminds us Seattle had their way with the Giants. Our defensive ends did nothing; Osi’s big game against Walter Jones last season was a fluke.

Eli gets the blame for the Giants offensive struggles, although some people are blaming Plaxico Burress. Coughlin said Plax was playing hurt, and Plax is owning up to his mistakes. Let’s hope he keeps his promise: “I chose to go out there and play and that was the outcome of the way I played,” he said. “You best believe that when I come back in two weeks I’ll be ready.”

On defense, I already mentioned our defensive ends not showing up for the game. Tim Lewis also gets some blame. This article outlines some of the Giants problems on defense. It’s about Tim Lewis getting fired from the Steelers. Seems he had the same problems then:

Lewis, however, mostly utilized a three- or four-man pass rush, preferring to stay in two-deep zone coverages – often called cover-2 – to minimize the risk of long pass completions.

Lewis decided to be more conservative on defense after the Steelers chose not to replace either of their starting cornerbacks, Dewayne Washington and Chad Scott, after they had below-average seasons in 2002. But by protecting them, the Steelers had far fewer sacks – 35, down from 50 a season ago – and far fewer disruptive plays by their defense.

The cover-2 schemes also left the middle of the field exposed to running plays up the middle and to short pass routes.

I’m no defensive coordinator, but I will say that we need to bench Arrington or blitz him because he is useless in coverage. And do something about the middle of the field. Guys are supposed to be scared to go over the middle but Giants’ opponents are probably begging their coaches to let them go over the middle against us. That’s not the Giants defense we know and love.

The Giants need to make some changes

Monday, September 25th, 2006

“It wasn’t good,” Kubiak said of the Texans defense. “We’ll have to take a hard look at what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and who we’re doing it with. We’ve got a long way to go.”

Let’s hope that the Giants are taking an equally hard look at their defense. I know the Seahawks are better than the Redskins, but giving up 35 points in the first half is inexcusable.

Of course the NFL is a strange place. The Giants end up scoring 27 unaswered points in the 4th. They almost made a game out of it.

“Sometimes you’re going to bend. And the important thing is not to break,” Jets coach Eric Mangini said of his defense. “Obviously, we want to improve on the bending part.” The Giants need to bend and break less in the first half. It looked (same as last week actually) like no one wanted to play football until after the half.

Clearly the Giants can play. Clearly we do have some talent. That’s not enough unless we can solve the riddle of the past two weeks and put together 4 quarters of good football. At least Tom Coughlin is angry now during his press conference. He has to make some changes.

Giants need to push the tempo on offense

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

With any luck, the Giants will soon be pounding on the Seahawks. The offense with the best tempo might be the offense that puts more points on the baord. Seattle always breaks the huddle in a hurry. The Giants weren’t nearly as up-tempo until they started kicking ass in Philly last week.

Let’s see if a more confident Eli can make the Giants offense more efficient.

Other than the ones I’ve linked to, good articles are in short supply today. If you need to pass the time, here’s an article about Kate Mara that makes it hard not to like her.

Giants passing game vs. Seatle Seahawks

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

In Shockey’s New York Post blurb, he says he’ll be healthy enough to get the Giants offense going against Seattle’s tough defense early. Of course, maybe Toomer and Burress are more likely to get things started. Steve Serby thinks that the Giants offense can win the Seattle game for us. He also says that they have to because the defense isn’t getting the job done. He’s not wrong. At least the giants defense knows they need to improve.

Health on offense is becoming a concern. Moss can’t get on the field. Plax missed a practice because of his back. Shockey’s ankle hurts. Carter missed a practice. Obviously we don’t need Moss (can’t miss what you never had) but we do need Burress and Shockey. Carter too unless you want to see Jennings and Tyree out there. Of course, Seattle’s defense thinks their short corners are up to the challenge.

Giants offense vs. Seahawks defense

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

I wonder how much noise the Giants will have to contend with in Seattle since last year we had so many false starts. The NFL also wants to know if the crowd noise is legit. Of course the lineman themselves don’t blame the crowd noise; they blame encroaching defensive lineman. Hopefully the officials will call the game fairly.

Here’s an interesting article from a Seattle perspective about how they’ll need to pressure Eli Manning to help out their under-6-foot corners. To do that they want to take an early lead and force the Giants to pass. We have to establish the running game.

It won’t be easy against the Seahawks because their defense has been playing real well. Julian Peterson has 2 sacks already, but he also has had way more chances to rush the QB than Arrington.

Good articles on the Giants beating the Eagles in the Miracle at the Linc

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Bob Glauber is focusing on the negative, “nine penalties, only one sack, eight sacks allowed, just 87 net yards in the first half, and a Plaxico Burress-Luke Petitgout shouting match on the sideline over the poor blocking. For three quarters, they absolutely stunk, and they knew it.” He does mention that the Giants have the right attitude to correct their errors.

Paul Schwartz wants to see more no huddle offense from the Giants. It does seem to work so it makes sense to me. I also like going 3 and 4 wide because the other teams have to take their best run stoppers off the field and very few teams have 3 or 4 decent corners.

Speaking of Plaxico Burress and Luke Petigout, that seems to be a non-issue.

Rick Cleveland has some nice things to say about Manning:

Critics, including NBC’s John Madden, have continued to compare Eli unfavorably to older brother Peyton. Madden kept stressing in the Colts-Giants broadcast that little brother is not as accurate a passer as big brother.

You ask me, that’s like saying Mt. McKinley is not as high as Mt. Everest. True, but Mt. McKinley is still up there in the clouds. For the record, through two games, the two Mannings’ statistics are remarkably similar. Eli: 51-for-77 for 618 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Peyton: 51-for-77 for 676 yards, four TDs and one interception. Peyton’s passer rating is 103.1, ever so slightly higher than Eli’s 101.5.

Gary Myers also focuses on the positive, Eli Manning’s performance. Manning is clutch.

Mike Garafolo reminds us that our team sacrificed their bodies to fight for the victory over the Eagles.

I wonder if Eagles fans actually believe the lies their scumbag players tell, like when Akers says he didn’t mean to hit someone without pads on. Obviously it was an intended cheap shot but I’m sure he wishes he had tried to cheap shot an older, smaller coach. Of course, Eagles fans thought they’d start the season 4-0 which shows how they’ll believe just about anything, no matter how insane or obviously wrong.

Speaking of bastard Eagles, there’s a picture of McKenzie getting kicked in the nuts in the giants locker room. Luckily, the foot didn’t make solid contact. Jim Johnson is sticking up for Trent Cole, the assclown who kicked McKenzie in the nuts. I’m still waiting for the NFL to fine Cole – it sure didn’t take them long to fine Burress for throwing the ball into the stands after his TD reception.

Stay tuned – I’ll try switching my focus to the upcoming Seahawks game next.

Giants beat Eagles in overtime thriller

Monday, September 18th, 2006

First, let me just say that the Eagles are scum:

But their fans get what they deserve, a need for Pepto Bismol. The Eagles also have some potentailly very bad news on the injury front, but I feel sorry for the guys who got hurt. I feel even worse that it wasn’t Cheap Shot Dawkins who got hurt.

And (speaking of getting hurt) we Giants fans have a thing or two to be proud of. These Giants are fighters, not quitters:

In the end, Tiki Barber had to have X-rays taken of his battered left arm. Amani Toomer’s body was so spent he needed two helpers to simply remove his uniform. Jeremy Shockey could hardly walk as he limped in for a shower.

We Giants kept fighting even though we didn’t expect to win. We played until we couldn’t play anymore, like Amani Toomer who collapsed on the final play of the game and didn’t even see Plax’s TD. He needed 4 bags of IV solution after the game.

We didn’t give up and we won. Hearts of champions. Sure there was plenty of reason for misery during much of the game and maybe I’ll talk about the offensive line and Arrington in coverage and a few other things later in the week. But this is one we can enjoy.

Giants offense vs. Eagles defense

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

I found this interesting tidbit in a slightly old Newsday article about Eli Manning and the Eagles defense: “There is a new wrinkle in the Eagles’ defensive approach that Manning noted in the game tapes. They used more dime coverage (two extra defensive backs) rather than the nickel defense (one extra back) they favored in the past. In those sets, Dawkins was used as a linebacker.”

If Lito Shepherd doesn’t play, and I think he’s been ruled out, that dime defense should be stretched pretty thin. I like our offense’s chances in this matchup, even if the Eagles defensive line is a bit bigger and harder to push around than the Colts.