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Sunday, October 28, 2007

British Bums

We s***ed. Put this in the dictionary under U for Ugly. Madison shoulder (non) tackles. Tynes (I HATE HIM) misses a 29 yarder. Manning was awful, passing for 58 yards. His receivers were worse, w MANY drops, including Toomer TD gift-wrapped. The Brits don't have a monopoly on rain-soaked conditions, so I do not want to hear about that as an excuse. And btw, MANNING STILL TELEGRAPHS HIS THROWS. Just ask Safety Darren Sharper of the Minnesota Vikings, who picked off Manning three times from centerfield. Well, the INT was YET ANOTHER tipped ball at the line of scrimmage (deja Blue?!) because the DL watches his eyes all the way. KUDOS to the offensive line for once again controlling the game. They are easily the most consistent unit on the team. SHAME to Pierce for yet another unnecessary roughness call with another late hit. If I am the coach I tell him plain and simple, I will lose with someone else, I will bench you if I see it again. Why mention these items after a win? Because if we execute like this against most other teams in the league today we lose, and because there are so many correctable mistakes that (if eliminated) can enable this team to be truly special.

Btw, (1) thank you Jay Feely for all of your mistakes. Not mentioned on the telecast was the minor fact that Feely was offsides on his OWN onside kick! Yep, his left foot planted above the 30 yard line before his right foot made the kick. It was not even called. (2) U think I am not going to mention how the all the geniuses who piled on the Giants -9.5 got their comeuppance? NO FREE MONEY AFTER ALL. And let that be a warning to anyone allied with the Blezow lock of the week. All I can say is that I am glad the Gmen came out alive with a win.

respect for the fan

In 1981 the avg baseball game took 2:33 mins. In 2007, it took 2:51 mins, actually 6 mins less than it did in 1995. But World Series games for the last 10 years last 37 mins longer than reg season games. And in this year's World Series the 3 games have taken an average of 3:50 mins to complete (have not watched one minute, kiss my arse!). The game ends at 12:20AM AVERAGE!

I bring this up because Larry Stern of the NBA is thinking about something radical- no timeouts in the last 3 minutes of a basketball game. Stern is waking up and other professional sports leagues better pay attention- when you continue to water down the product the fan eventually figures out that 100% of something is better than 0% of everything.

Goodell- are you paying attention? Do not sell the product to the devil- expanding playoffs for more than 12 teams, longer games, flex schedules, they are all gimmicks which harm the greatness of the game.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

They are giving money away!

The Giants have won (and COVERED) 5 straight. The geniuses are predictably lining up at the cashier's window ready to collect before the race even goes off...

resident genius Blezow: "THIS one's easy, so let's just say it in the Queen's English: The Giants are going to kick the Dolphins' bums all over Wembley Stadium."

second in command Hondo: "Even the blokes in London know that Big Blue is going to kick the Dolphins' bloody arse."

Would it shock you to know that each of them have the Giants as "best bets," that Blezow makes the Giants his (anything but the) "Lock of the Week," that 9 out of 10 of the NYPost crew have the Gmen and 6 total have the Giants as best bets?

To be fair, this NYPost crew lined up to get down on the Giants vs Atlanta and collected.

THEY ARE GIVING MONEY AWAY! Oh brother. Scary is more like the word. And we heard yesterday that Zach Thomas won't play either, adding to the injury decimation of the Dolphins. The Giants SHOULD kick their "arse" but since I do not endorse such thinking I warn everyone that there is no such thing as a sure thing.

Go Giants! Win by 9 or win by 90, but just win.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the play-calling

The playcalling is not predictable. Amen. Give credit where it is due... Gilbride is mixing it up. Could he have the offense run through Shockey a lot more? Well, in a word, YES! But you cannot argue with the success he has had spreading it out, pounding other teams with the run (because our O-line is so dominant) and getting the ball to Burress and Toomer. So Shockey has to get less touches if that is happening. As long as it is working and we are winning, you cannot complain about that.

With Hufnagel I would groan because I knew what was coming and (worse) knew that that also meant that the assasins playing defense knew too. We would be in the red zone and first down would be the (stacked up) predictable run for 1 yard. Then we would get the predictable pass for 4 yds (complete or incomplete, no matter). Then on third down he would wake tfu and throw to Shockey, but at that point it was too late because now everyone and their mother knew that that was coming too. With Gilbride, I have not seen the tendency yet on any down at any place on the field, so that is good. The moment u r safe and predictable u r dead.

It does not hurt that our O-line is controlling the line of scrimmage. That makes play action work, and boy has Manning been deadly with play action. As long as Gilbride keeps the defense off-balance, we are in good shape. We won't likely get tested in London, but when we play Dallas and Chicago those defenses will test Gilbride a lot more and then we will see what we really have. So far it is UNPREDICTABLE!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

feast or famine

At the beginning of the season, whatever could go wrong usually did. Now, whatever team we seem to face crumbles before we arrive. Brian Westbrook, the offensive line of the Falcons, Alex Smith and now this week: Chambers traded a week ago and Ronnie Brown (their entire offense) out for the rest of the year with an ACL. Trap trap trap. It gets hard to have a trap game when these teams are simply not fielding competitive units. The Dolphins have the 27th ranked defense, and the only reason the offense gets ranked decently (top ten) is because they are busy racking up yards in scrub time. Now that their two best weapons on the offense are gone, all the Giants need to do is show a modicum of respect for the fact the Dolphins are in the NFL, and then beat their brains in. This game is very simlar to the 49er game. Execute, win the game, and get the hell out of there. (Btw, did I mention that the Dolphins are w/o their starting QB and Safety ...)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

NYG 33 49ers 15

Business-like win again. We all want this team to accomplish BIG things. While the effort was impressive, some things really bothered me. Do not mistake the message, that the Giants are becoming a very good football team because their offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage are dominating. IF YOU WANT TO SEE BIG THINGS, YOU NEED TO CLEAN UP SOME PROBLEMS:

1) TWO personal fouls on PIERCE?! That is not leadership by example. Two costly and stupid penalties that WILL cost you when it counts vs better competition.
2) A drop for a sure TD by Ward, bailed out by Toomer TD reception 2 plays later. Still, u have to make that catch. Our backfield RBs are not very good in the passing game. If they can hold onto the pass, they can really make this offense go from potent to lethal.
3) If Lawrence Tynes shows up dead somewhere, send the police to my address because I am probably guilty. This guy is killing us with his missed extra points and awful specials.
4) Speaking of awfuls, the blocked punt for a safety was ugly.
5) Eli Manning was not impressive today. Sure he lead the team to a nice victory, but (amongst other things) he missed a wide open Toomer, he threw behind Shockey, and he telegraphed a play from the start of the snap which was deflected and intercepted (killing an otherwise beautiful drive, and subsequently letting the 49ers back in the game).

24 of the 33 points scored today were off of turnovers. The offense deserves a lot of credit for converting them, but if the Giants want to make that jump from a middle tier team to a top tier team it must clean up these loose ends.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Was just listening to Russo on WFAN rip the Yankees for letting go of Torre. Look, Russo is a phony and fraud, and creates noise and controversy to generate ratings. He is in the advertising business, not the sports business. So he gets on his high horse (allow me to get on mine!) and says that Levine knows nothing about the Yankees and that Torre has brought this franchise to the playoffs 12 years in a row.


The Yankees are the single most successful sports franchise in the world. They have won 26 CHAMPIONSHIPS. NOBODY knows, cares, quotes, or gets paid to go to the playoffs except losers like Marty Schottenheimer. Parcells did not leave the Cowboys exultant about getting his team to the playoffs last season! He was miserable because he understands... it is about the ring...winning CHAMPIONSHIPS. Torre has not given the Yankees a championship in SEVEN years and that is not enough.

Every move a franchise makes must be for one purpose--- to win a championship. The Giants have not won a championship since Jan 1991. Unacceptable. I do not care if the odds are that you should win it once every 32 years because there are 32 teams. With that attitude the Jets are right on schedule if they win one sometime in the next ~15 years or so. NOT. And neither are the Giants. The schedule is that if you are not competing for a championship you are not worth anyone's time. So we discuss moves here on the blog with the understanding that the mission is a championship. That not getting a LB with the first pick in the draft since 1984 and that not even getting a LB #2 since 1991 is not the way you pursue a championship. And that making your #1 go from impact player at his natural position to ordinary in someone elses is madness.

Some people say it is a successful season if the Giants beat Dallas, or if they beat the Skins. I say it is successful if we win a championship.

to Plaxico or not to Plaxico

Burress will be going on 6 days rest for the ankle vs. 8 days for the prev contest. By his own admission, every day he is off the ankle is very helpful for recuperation. I think that between getting only 6 days and also getting Clements at corner, this will be Burress's first game getting shut out, a remarkable streak coming to an end. But if he can draw the assignment of one of the league's better corners, that will make the job of everyone else easier. So be it. Where it gets interesting is the following week (yep, not supposed to do that, that is how traps are created)... with the Dolphin trip to London. Do not send Burress across the pond. Inactivate him and give him 21 days of rest for DALLAS. Leverage the bye and the fact that Steve Smith will be back for that game. Let Smith take Burress's place on the roster. If we cannot beat the Dolphins w/o Burress, we are not going anywhere anyway, so give our star WR a chance to get that ankle some rest.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

7 questions, Part II

Before the beginning of the season, I asked 7 questions. Let's look at them one at a time.

Will Kiwanuka play well at LB?

NO. But we get a YES because the Giants have stopped the failed experiment.

Will Diehl play well at LT?


Will our shoddy secondary hold it together?

With the ascendency of Aaron Ross, the answer is yes. It is too early to pronounce the rookie as savior but not too early to think it is possible. So we answer this question as YES until we can play a competent team/QB that can really test these guys.

Will Manning be accurate?

I have been trying to figure this one out for almost 4 years. YES NO MAYBE, you tell me. The past few games we have gotten back on the Eli rollercoaster. Even this past week's solid Monday performance was marred by telegraphed passes which were batted down, and two INTs. He is improved but we wait for four consecutive quarters of consistency.

Will our RBs handle the pass-catching out of the backfield?

Thus far, NO.

Will our (now) thin OL stay healthy?

Thus far, YES. There was an article in today's NYPost lauding them. What scares me is what is behind these guys on the depth chart.... schtick dreck. If we had Seubert on the bench coming in I would feel a helluva lot better.

Will we find a kicker?


The tally: Counting the failed Kiwanuka experiment as a YES, we have 4 YES 2 NO 1 MAYBE. That we are 4-2 does speak to the congruency of the questions.

Manning is an enigma. I believe in Ross. I do believe that Ward and Jacobs (Bradshaw?) can improve and get more fluid out of the backfield on receptions. I do not believe in the kicker. That implies a final tally (barring items like injuries) of 5 YES 1 NO and 1 MAYBE.

You can see here that it points to the TWO issues which hold the Giants back from being a very good team... Manning's inconsistency and our special teams adventures. (Tynes' lack of distance/hang time was as much a culprit on the Leon Washington TD as anything else.)

ROSS MANNING SPECIALS. These are the variables left in determining the answer to our season. There is a very fine line here between mediocrity and greatness. Yes, this team can be formidible if a few things fall into place. And no, a little Manning inconsistency, specials nightmares and some injuries to our O-line and we go right back in the ash can. A few ifs and we are in excellent shape. Tiki Barber remarked today that we can be 12-4. Considering the garbage we play against, it is possible if the above items can fall into place.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

4-2... so now what?!?!

2/3rds full or 1/3rd empty. There are reasons aplenty to be optimistic and enough problems to keep our feet on the ground. Draw your own conclusions from the following observations:

Ongoing problems
1) We got the Eagles when Westbrook was out, the Falcons can drop passes galore, but what happens when we play the teams that can execute?
2) Manning still has trouble playing 4 quarters
3) Our special teams are abominable
4) Our RBs cannot catch balls well out of backfield

Reasons for optimism
1) We lead the league in sacks
2) We have the 6th ranked offense, with second most # of first downs
3) Only ~4 penalties per game
4) 9th ranked defense after horrendous start
5) The AARON ROSS FACTOR- when Ross has been in the game (over 12 Quarters in 4 games), the Giants defense has given up a NET total of 6 points!
6) The Feagles punting game is as good as ever
7) When Manning is on, we are difficult to handle
8) Our offensive line has been controlling the line of scrimmage all season

NYG 31 Falcons 10

Business-like game. Manning showed up, the Giants showed up, the Giants won a game they should have won. Early on we all know it was not so simple. But it was the offense which kept the pressure on, and the defense sealed it. Can anyone tell me what happened to Aaron Ross? Injured? Taken off field?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The crossroads of Atlanta

So now I have heard "trap game" used twice in as many weeks. To be fair, when the Giants were down by 10 pts in the 1st AND 2nd half vs the Jets, it sure looked like a trap. I feel that w/o Ross the Giants lose the game.. trap validated.

So is Atlanta a trap game? They are a 1-4 team with some lousy stats but very close losses (3 of them by a TD), which does imply that if anything goes right for them, they can win. But upon closer inspection (provided well by the media this week) the Falcons OL consists of two second string Tackles and even a rookie Guard too. So Alge Crumpler should have far more difficulty getting that deep route... who is left to protect the QB?

NO EXCUSES! WIN THE GAME! You are playing a garbage team in a garbage conference that is bigger garbage because they do not have an offensive line! Calling it a trap game is nothing more than an admission that we are not consistent enough to romp over a weaker opponent. And why would that be? Because once again we have the Eli Manning show, where each half we never know whether we have the poised leader or the deer in headlights.

If Manning shows up for 4 quarters this is NOT a contest, it is a demolition.

In telling fashion, 8 out of 10 NY Post geniuses have the Giants -3 1/2. Naturally Blezow is with them. But more alarming is the 'free' money that is evidence of SIX of them selecting the Giants as a best bet. That is scary because in all of my years of observing the geniuses I have NEVER seen SIX best bets on one team. Therein lies the trap. Maybe the Giants are up by 10 late and give up a scrub TD at the end to lose the cover. But if Manning 'plays' an entire game the masses are correct and the Giants do what they SHOULD--- manhandle this team.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

NYG 35 NYJ 24


1) Manning shows his inconsistent play, and the Giants as a result become inconsistent. We saw him play 4 Q's in G1-3, and in the last 2 games we have seen regression. Two quarters were good enough against a weaker opponent at home... as Manning goes so goes this team.
2) AARON ROSS!!!! Let's quickly say that he did not even start in the first half because he broke a team rule. Now that that is out of the way (and assuming it is non-issue going forward), THE GIANTS HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES A PLAYER! THIS DEVELOPMENT IS NOTHING SHORT OF HUGE. We have noticed the quiet impact this rookie having... that the defense has given up a total of THREE POINTS in EIGHT quarters that he has started. That is not an accident. He has been making plays and has been around the ball. And then today. I thought the first INT was huge. I thought the second INT was Sehorn-esque. If this guy can stay healthy and keep on improving, he is going to be a force. The Giants have not had an impact player in the secondary since 1997 with Sehorn before his ACL injury. And the last Giants defense to be dominant was in 1997. The ramifications of the Giants finding themselves a cornerback are enormous.
3) Wake me up from my Leon Washington nightmare.
4) Plaxico Burress continues to make impact plays.
5) I will defend Coughlin's decision to pass at the end of H1. I will not defend the pass by Manning into tight double coverage.
6) The Giants defense gave up 7 points this game. They are getting better. I was disappointed there were zero sacks, but they pressured Pennington enough to make it count.
7) Shockey must get more involved.
8) Jacobs made a startling admission in the post-game that he felt it was almost a foregone conclusion he would cough up the ball at some point, having been out for ~3+ games. Honest, but unacceptable. Both he and Ward did well otherwise.
9) Our kicker is not getting enough length on kickoffs. Our field position is a killer.
10) AARON ROSS!!!! Second mention for the impact he made on this game.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Jet game

The media did a good job this week of pointing out how Manning's QB rating has tapered off since the start of the season. I will stop there, cut thru the bs of the stat-chasing and say that Manning played well in the first 3 games and played like the Manning of 2006 against the Eagles. The point here is that if the Eagles had any health last weekend and we got that same Manning performance, we'd be 1-3 and woe is me. Manning better be more consistent than this or else we are once again screwed as he yet again becomes the weakest link. WE SHOULD HAVE WON 30-3 vs the Eagles. The score is incredibly misleading.

So now here come the 1-3 Jets. They will be 1-4 if the Giants are able to follow suit. That asks the Giants to put a death sentence on this season for the Jets. 1-4 is a huge hole. So we know the Jets will be ready to play. Will the Giants be ready? Some intelligent observers (Marvelous Monday, Carl Banks Friday) are calling this a 'trap' game. Makes sense. The Giants just won on the national Madden platform, they are no longer being told they s**k, and they are playing a weaker opponent. It comes down to the consistency we get from Manning. If he plays like weeks 1-3 we win, if he plays like Week 4 we will lose.

Monday, October 1, 2007

NYG 16 Eagles 3

There were a zillion takeaways from this game.

1) This was a very good win. You beat the Eagles and you take it any way you can get it.
2) Rob points out that Manning looked a little shell-shocked after the INT that was almost run back for a TD at the end of Q2. I agree. He was tentative in H2, the old Eli who is inconsistent and cannot play a full game. AND OUR POTENT OFFENSE SUFFERED.
3) I am not sure of this, but I think the Eagles intentionally rushed more to the side that Burress was on to block off Manning's vision and passing lanes on that side of the field. The Giants used this technique under Fox to stop opposing QBs from picking on Dave (swiss cheese burger) Thomas.
4) I am already having nightmares about Leon Washington running one back for a TD vs our specials.
5) The Giants defensive line scheme was great. They spread out their rushers, and then used Kiwanuka or Tuck or a stunting Umenyiora to create speed mismatches of our natural DEs vs their slower Guards/Center. Let's face facts... Tuck and Kiwanuka could start for most teams.
6) On the subject of Kiwanuka, he collected THREE sacks in a single game! Umenyiora's insanity of 6 overshadowed an otherwise stellar game by him. I still think back to that arrogant declaration a day after the draft how the Giants had 'fooled' the rest of the NFL into thinking we had to draft a LB when we had planned all a long to move Kiwanuka over there and no longer needed a LB. WHO FOOLED WHO?!!!! "KISS" = "Keep it simple, stupid." Find some sausage filler at LB and let Kiwanuka win you games at DE.
7) The Giants still need to handle the TE. We got lucky that LJ Smith was one of the five hurt, and this win does not hide the fact that we need another LB.
8) I like Ward more than Jacobs. Ward runs lower to the ground, cuts faster and sees the field better. Having Jacobs back helps us, but Ward has earned plenty of playing time.
9) Webster did not get beat at corner because Ross was there instead. The rookie looked decent and I was pleased to see him used on a corner blitz. Your corner needs speed to be used that way, so that is a good sign.
10) Illini Wek Diehl is holding up decently at LT. Cole was shut out- very big plus!
11) Our kicker is dreadful.
12) I think Umenyiora is healthy again.

Btw, in case you did not know, Jet fans are ugly and they cry like Red Sox fans. The Giants are -3. I hope Jets fans are still crying at 4pm Sunday.

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