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Archive for September, 2010

Giants give up big plays in loss to Titans

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

In a game defined by big plays, most went against the Giants who lost 29-10 to the Titans.

The Giants moved the ball well. Dodge didn’t even have to punt as they had 471 yards and 26 first downs. But the Titans defense came away with some big plays, forcing 3 turnovers. 2 interceptions (one bounced off Nicks hands and another was all Eli who made the highlight reels throwing with his off hand). There was also a Bradshaw fumble.

The defense actually played OK even though the Titans scored a bunch of points. I blame turnovers on the Giants offense and poor kick coverage (the Titans often had a short field to work with). Where the defense needed to improve was turnover production. You can’t expect an offense to never turn the ball over so your defense has to help you win that turnover battle.

In the end, the Giants lost the turnover batle 3-0, gave up big returns on special teams, missed 2 field goals (a 53 and a 44), took a bunch of penalties, and just didn’t make the big plays they were giving up.

One penalty was on Bradshaw who blocked low instead of hitting his guy in the chest (the guy was already being blocked). That penalty alone was worth two points and a turnover since it was in the end zone (went for a safety).

Just too many big plays for the Titans some they earned and some the Giants gave away.

Does the ‘Swagger’ Exist?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Think back to the approach of week three in 2007.  After two losses to the Cowboys and Packers, the Giants headed to Washington with few supporters behind a defense that allowed a combined 80 points.  While the 2010 team heads in to the week three with a win under their belt and having allowed “only” 56 points, there is a parallel to be drawn.  Both units started their respective seasons off with sub-par defensive performances under the leadership of a new defensive coordinator. 

Steve Spagnuolo, the current head coach of the St. Louis Rams, was struggling for credibility among the New York faithful after such a dreadful start to the 2007 campaign.  However, the goal line stand in Washington that sealed Bug Blue’s first victory set a tone for that unit.  They were matched up against a big, physical offensive line that paved way for one of the better two-back duos in the league.  On top of that, they were on the road.  That stand on the goal line created a swagger for a unit that did not care who they were up against, where they were, or what the situation was.  They simply lined up against their opponent and defeated them schematically and physically, time after time.  The leaders of the unit, Michael Strahan and Antonio Pierce, held their teammates accountable for their hustle, heart, and passion from start to finish.  They went on to win tough games on the road in record-setting fashion and we all know how it ended in Scottsdale, Arizona against arguably the best offense this game has ever seen.  The talent was indeed there but what brought in the results was, simply, their swagger. 

Perry Fewell has taken over a defense that also set records in 2009, but not on the right end of them.  Under Bill Sheridan, the Giants were giving up points in bunches throughout the year and it was the achilles heal to a team that completely fell apart during the second half of the season.  Fewell immediately caught the attention of the defense with his outspoken, go-getter approach.  We heard rave reviews about the intensity he brought to the team and considering the personnel upgrades on all three levels of the defense, things were looking up.  The talent is far better than what the Giants had in 2007 on this side of the ball, however they lack the swagger we saw #92 play with for years.  They lack the true leader on the field that gets everyone going, the guy that gets the most out of role players.  We are getting used to watching the unit get pushed all over the field and instead of putting an end to it, these New York Giants seem to accept it and hope that it ends, rather than putting an end to it themselves. 

Sunday afternoon will present an opportunity for these guys, behind their new defensive coordinator, to make an enormous statement.  Not necessarily about their talent, not necessarily about their scheme, but about their will to fight through adversity and play with attitude, with confidence….with swagger.  Chris Johnson is the most dangerous running back in the league the moment this defense loses their will to fight, he will find his way in to the end zone.  Someone needs to take he bull by the horn, look it straight in the eye, and throw it to the ground with anger.  When it gets up, do it again.  Antrell Rolle and Justin Tuck appear to be working on the leadership roles but the inconsistency needs to end.  I can understand the physical performance being up and down, but that swagger needs to be there at all times.  I have not seen it for a couple years now and without it, the Giants will continue to set records, just not the right ones.

Jets fan ‘Fireman Ed’ Anzalone = assault on Christopher Black?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

It goes to court in a week or so but I think we can be the judge and jury here:

Certainly nothing too serious but Fireman Ed does push the Giants fan a few times in anger it seems. I count 4 pushes from the Jets fan but I don’t see the Giants fan initiating contact until the end where he tries to bump Anzalone as he recovers from a push – pretty passive aggressive if you ask me.

I’m no lawyer but assault seems like a serious label for a push. If I get in a guy’s face I accept that he might push me. By pushing me he accepts I might hit back. That’s just the way it is. If Fireman Ed opened with a kick in the balls instead of a push then we’d have a problem and an assault charge.

And why NJ state police arrested Christopher Black and why he got banned from the Meadowlands is beyond me. If I were taking anyone to court it would be the dudes who arrested me (not the guy who pushed me). I mean is it against the law to get pushed around?

Giants no match for Colts

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

The Colts demolished the Giants Sunday night. The two teams didn’t seem to belong in the same league as Indianapolis outplayed the Giants in every way.

Indy’s pass rush overwhelmed the Giants – Mathis and Freeney had 2 sacks each. The Giants couldn’t pass or run – they scored zero points by the end of the first half as the Colts defense, abused last week) did the abusing vs. the Giants. The Giants couldn’t run or pass – Eli was 3 for 8 for 17 yards in the first half. The Giants seemed to play slightly better in the second half but the game was already over.

We’ve seen the Giants defense play like crap and then turn things around in recent memory – Spags first couple games come to mind. Dallas abused us and then Green Bay in 2007. Then in week 3 the Giants defense came to life and a goal line stand sealed a victory over the Redskins. The rest is history. We can hope that Fewell will get the Giants working on the same page and getting things done soon.

Why the offense sucked is another matter entirely. It’s hard to rationalize any hope we fans have that the offense will improve too.

The good news is that the Giants new punter, draft pick Matt Dodge, got plenty of practice and looked fine.

Interesting comparison by Reese

Friday, September 17th, 2010

When talking about his decision not to IR backup OT William Beatty, Reese talked about Steve Smith in 2007 and how they almost put him on IR (he missed 11 games) but then he came in on fire and lit it up for the playoff / Super Bowl run.

Here’s the Mike Garafolo article on this. Reese decided to keep Beatty on the roster even though he knew it meant losing Kehl (who was cut to make room for TE Bear Poscoe) who was a pretty hot commodity once released.

Why Kehl, the worst Giants linebacker on a pretty average linebacking unit, turned out to be so well-loved by other teams is beyond me but that’s another issue entirely.

Will Giants’ opponents learn to respect the middle this year?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Last year I whined a lot about how teams went over the middle at will on the Giants. Not so when teams play Ray Lewis and Baltimore:

By the way, Lewis is 35 and he credits martial arts for keeping his body athletic – he actually says train for life rather than football and for him that means martial arts cause it teaches your body to move in all different directions.

If he can stay healthy for a full NFL season while still scaring the crap out of anyone asked to go over the middle maybe there’s something to this martial arts stuff.

But now the big question: Will the Giants defense learn to punish people who go over the middle?

Giants earn messy 31-18 win over the Panthers

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

You like winning the turnover battle but when the other guys have 5 and the Giants have 4 something is wrong…

We knew special teams were a problem thanks to horrible coverage in the preseason. Now we see some blocked punts added to the woes…

We knew going with Boss as our only tight end was a risk – he got hurt as did Chase Blackburn (special teams captain for whatever it’s worth). Both those injuries could be problematic but gotta hope these guys are better soon.

Dodge wasn’t great or even very good, but the blocked punt was probably out of his control. Didn’t stop Giants fans from chanting “Feagles” – seemed like a classless move to me.

The defensive line seemed to play real well. They stopped the run and got after the QB. The offensive line, on the other hand, seemed to play poorly.

Kenny Phillips seems to be back. Terrell Thomas looked good with 4 passes defensed and an interception.

Eli an average QB who is grossly overpaid?

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

This Forbes article puts Eli in some unsavory company. The author’s argument seems to be that:

1. Manning’s passer rating has averaged a pedestrian 17th in the NFL over the past three seasons, with one Pro Bowl selection

2. If not for Giant receiver David Tyree’s helmet catch on a desperation heave, Super Bowl XLII would have become just another feather in Tom Brady’s cap

I can’t be bothered to average the past 3 years but 2009 is easy enough:
Tom Brady = 28 TDS 13 INTS 4,398 YDS 96.2 Rating
Eli Manning = 27 TDS 14 INTS 4,021 YDS 93.1 Rating

And Tyree’s awesome catch was a damn good throw so why pick on that play? Pick on one of Eli’s mistakes maybe!

On the surface, the author looks like a total moron, even putting Eli among QBs that got similar money and performed less. Jamarcus Russell got 31 million over the last 3 years, Mark Bulger (31 mil) and Jay Cutler got 36.8 mil. Would the author rather build a franchise around one of those guys?

I’m not saying Manning is the best player in the NFL or even in the top 5 or 10. But I do think he’s a top 10 QB – can you name 10 better QBs? He might be slightly overpaid based on that but not based on being the face of a franchise. However, he’s certainly not one of the worst salaries in the league.

Giants sign 8 to practice squad

Monday, September 6th, 2010

1) TE-Jake Ballard
2) QB-Rhett Bomar
3) DT-Nate Collins
4) OC-Jim Cordle

Edit – the following was possibly misreported
5) HB-Shawbrey McNeal (3rd down back, possible return man who was in camp with Chargers)

6) TE-Bear Pascoe
7) S-Sha’reff Rashad
8) CB-Seth Williams

Giants cut some well-known guys

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Like Jay Alford – I’m sure none of us will forget his Super Bowl sack in 2007. Injured last year and maybe not back 100% yet? Or maybe we just had too many guys at DT.

Guy Whimper – when drafted they said he had all the physical tools to develop into an elite tackle and he seemed to play OK when he came in off the bench.

Derek Hagan – our special teams have sucked all preseason but I thought he was one of our better special teams guys. But hard to argue when TC says, “we didn’t get many plays made out of the gunner position in preseason.” Sounds like undrafted free agent WR Duke Calhoun will be our gunner.

Rhett Bomar who looked good in flashes in the preseason. “Bomar’s progress has been outstanding,” Coughlin said. “He’s worked very, very hard. He did receive a lot of attention, he did make progress and he did show us what he can do.”

Bear Poscoe. The Giants have one tight end (Kevin Boss) and one guy who can’t block and hasn’t done shit (Travis Beckum). Plus as an h-back Beckum can’t really step in if Boss gets hurt.