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Monday, December 31, 2007

Phil Simms speaks

Phil Simms on Sunday morning WFAN segment had plenty to say about the Giants et al:

1) The better teams have multiple ways to win. A team like the Pats has ~7 (this is not science, just a random #) ways to beat you. If they have 7, the Colts have 5. And by implication, teams like the Giants have 1 way to win, to play perfect in all facets of the game.

2) The Patriots are opportunistic. They went back to Moss for his TD bomb in Q4 THE PLAY AFTER Madison limps off the field. And when Dwight Freney of the Colts leaves their Pats game for a breather earlier this season, the next play called was a TD bomb to Moss. They knew each time that that was the moment they needed to go for it.

3) Jacobs does a lot of the little things that impress. He forces defenses to adjust to his size and style when tackling, and whenever an opponent has to do that it helps you. He falls forward for the extra yards whenever he can.

4) TB will give the Giants a VERY different defensive look than the Pats. They are a faster team with better coverage. You need to (pound) run the ball on TB.

5) Very kind words for Boss, and positive a "dynamic" Bradshaw.

6) Re Dallas, teams are catching up to their offensive schemes.

7) Re Green Bay, he is not a big believer in the Pack. "Fragile." Admits to being surprised by them; feels they have overachieved and is implying (reading between the lines) that come the playoffs they will be vulnerable because they have already stretched themselves to their potential. (I suppose you have to say that this is also a ringing endorsement of the job McCarthy has done in getting so much out of that team.)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

the madness of coaches

I just saw three plays at the end of the half of the Skins-Boys game that were collectively like fingernails across a blackboard.

1) With ~ 9 secs left in H1, skins have ball at Boys 3 with no timeouts. What do you do? You throw one pass into the end zone and kick the FG if the pass is incomplete. (Fassel would have Kerry Collins throw the ball into parking lot D4 to make sure he did not lose the FG, but that is another story for another day.) Todd Collins throws the ball into the flat, and by some miracle the RB cannot make the catch because the ball is off target, or else they lose the 3 pts because there are 3 Cowboys defenders ready to make the tackle well before the goal line. This is Gibbs's mistake, period. See Andy Reid if you need clarification on why.

2) With the FG made on the next play, there is 0:01 left on the clock. Mistake #2 comes to the skins because they squib the ball but are boner offside. Wade Phillips makes a great call and figures out that instead of rekicking, he can accept the penalty, tack it on at the end of the play and get one more play at 0:00 because of the penalty.

3) Now it is Dallas's turn to play genius. You have the ball at the Skins 35 with 1 play, what do you do? KICK THE FG! Unless the Skins made a trade with the Bears a few hours earlier, they do not have Devin Hester back there, so there is zero risk, and within the kicker's range. Instead, they run a hail Mary play, Romo gets sacked, and winces off the field in pain, when he was prob done for the next two weeks anyway after halftime.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

NE 38 NYG 35

You have to play 4 quarters to beat the best teams in the NFL. The Giants played great for the first three quarters, lost that urgency in the 4th and the end result reflects that.

Manning and the entire team came ready to play, and a lot of good things came from this game. On the bright side, this was the best performance the Giants gave all season. Yes, 38 warts and all, it was a very good team showing for the Giants, something they can certainly build on.

The Patriots offense is potent on any day, and with the lack of turnovers you need 4 quarters from your offense. When the Giants got the ball in Q4, all of a sudden the wheels came off. A fumbled snap by Manning, a deflected ball at the line of scrimmage, a time out has to be burned (which we could have used in a big way), all within ~3 plays. And then the next possession when we can maintain tempo Manning overthrows his receiver for an INT. But make no mistake, THIS WAS A VERY GOOD GAME FOR MANNING. He showed us what we need to see, and we need to see it for 4 quarters, not three, and more consistently going forward. It is something to build on. It certainly is a performance that he can take into Tampa Bay and go toe to toe with anyone in the NFC in these playoffs. And that goes for the entire team. There were some sloppy moments in the 4th quarter that still irk me, like that 15 yard penalty on the kickoff, the Toomer holding penalty negating a good gain, the embarrassing slowness once again of the hurryup to snap the ball w/o watching the game clock go into single digits. But there were so many positives... Boss played well, Steve Smith was a factor, Hixon has speed on kickoffs (I assume Bradshaw was out.. he was 'questionable' w injury). Burress is looking a little better.

Rob points out that Manning was doing well when not blitzed, and when he got blitzed later in the game he had more trouble.

I thought the Giants were not getting breaks on many calls... (1) Ross was pushed off in the end zone by Moss on his first TD grab, should have been offensive pass interference but he is never going to get that call. (2) And speaking of Moss, on a big pass play earlier, he leg whips a defender and does not get called for tripping. (3) Webster also gets called on a marginal interference call when he was 'tight' w his receiver. That reverses a big sack too. (4) Wilfork tries to poke Jacobs in the eyes (which he will get fined by the league for but does not get 15 yds for in the game!). (5) Brady ran out of time and they didn't call it. (6) Umenyiora was held a couple of times in a flagrant manner.

The Giants suffered some injuries in this game, but the bottomline is that if they can play well in all three phases of the game like tonight, they can be competitive. You have to like them next weekend vs TB now, that is an easy takeaway. And the Giants and Bucs players know this.

NYG 21 NE 16 at halftime

Oh my goodness... the Giants have played a complete half on all sides of the ball. Let us see if they can play a complete game on all sides of the ball for the first time this YEAR! THE GIANTS HAVE COME TO PLAY.

The only thing that has gone really wrong so far is injuries to Mitchell and O'Hara. Thanks to the NLFLNetwork for pointing out how all 5 NYG Olinemen had not missed a single start this season, what an evil eye hex on us, and I was groaning immediately. Two quarters later O'Hara goes down.

Pats game tonight

It has been pointed out that for the past four weeks the weather conditions in NYG games have been less than stellar. Fair enough. So let's give Eli a little rope and see if he can hang himself when the winds are a little more manageable this evening and the weather is much more benign in Tampa. He should be able to get better results- no place to go but up from the last few outings.

As for the Pats, the amount of ego involved in this exhibition game (it affects zero outcomes in playoff seeding for ANY teams in the AFC or NFC) is ridiculous. Boston/New England fans are insecure crybabies when they are losing and arrogant when they are winning. The best team in the NFL right now is the Pats. While I am not rooting for anyone on either side to get hurt this evening, it would be rather IRONIC to see ANY Pats players get hurt and miss that playoff run. Getting the perfect season is so much less important than winning the Super Bowl. It would be fitting for a team, its coach and its fans that have so much ego let this perfect season trophy be their undoing. This team should be benching their starters after the first quarter at most, and at a minimum they should be starting their second stringers. But they are on a mission to destroy as many teams along the road to the Super Bowl as possible, so who am I to argue with that?

Re the Giants, I will concur with Carson in the previous post. The Giants have not played a complete game all season and clearly need to work to improve. We have seen so much poor execution and lapses everywhere, that this team is in no position to take a game off.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Harry Carson speaks about Pats game this Saturday

Carson: “I don't think the Giants are in a position to be resting people. They're still trying to get better. These guys still need to go out and play a complete game and eliminate mistakes as they go into the playoffs. They really need to hone their skills even better. Just making the playoffs shouldn't be a big deal. It's about advancing in the playoffs, that's the thing." Carson conceded that it would be wise to limit nicked-up players, but added: “In terms of resting people wholesale, I think that's crap."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NFLN Blinks

The NFL (NFLNetwork) blinks by taking the Patriots-Giants national and simulcasting on CBS and NBC. Do we still have to listen to Gumbel? He is so awful, I am giving serious thought to putting on Bob Popa on WFAN and shutting off the sound on the tv. But back to the NFLN, I guess making every man woman and child pay an NFL tribute of $8.40/year isn't exactly working out. What a joke. Now that the NFL capitulated, how long is it going to be before they either drastically reduce their monthly fee request from cable or just go premium like they should have done in the first place?!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Giants- in full enigma

Finally got a chance to watch a tape of the Bills win. Nothing has changed.

1) So the Giants give up another TD in their opponent's first possession. Not a good place to start. This has happened in 5 of the last seven games (Dallas game after the bye, Vikings, Bears game, Eagles, and now Bills game). Digging a hole is not exactly a good way to have success against good teams.

2) Daryl Johnston was right on the money when he commented that Amani Toomer lifted this team out of the early 14-0 hole. But the Giants had BIG HELP from the Bills-- a) the aborted Bills punt b) the Feagles roughing the kicker 15 yarder to enable the drive to continue (NEXT play TD, talk about a swing). POINT- decent execution by the Bills keep us in that deep hole. The Giants deserve credit for making the Bills pay for their sins, but this is a microcosm for how the Giants slip by weaker teams...


3) Fox mentioned a great stat- that Bradshaw had exactly 6 carries from scrimmage before this game. That is pretty damning. Everyone is yelling "what took so long?" We saw his ability in PRESEASON. (There were numerous other entries along the way too.

4) I will not beat the Manning-dead-horse anymore. You have to be blind to miss how Eli is killing this team. Eli did some good things with connections to Toomer in h1, and it was not his fault that Steve Smith drops a 50 yarder which would have set up 1st and Goal. But his 4 turnovers were another killer. Read Vaccaro if you want to pile on some more.

5) Gilbride was playcalling pretty well this season until his consistent lack of use of Shockey in the passing game and other items started creeping in. The goal line set (and the entire red zone, for that matter) is primetime TIGHT END time. Also, why use Droughns exclusively in this short yardage area? They might as well put him in a junior high school hallway with "kick me" slapped on his back. And why does Coughlin go for it on fourth down when they were unable to punch it in 3x in a row? That is a very simple rule-- if you cannot get the ball in with three tries from ~goal line, you kick the FG. Coughlin took the 3 vs the Skins and it was the right thing to do again. These are the costly mistakes that come back to haunt you in closer games vs better opponents.

6) Cofield disrupting screen plays, Hedgecock making good seal blocks for Jacobs/Bradshaw, Wilson doing a lot of open field tackling... among the quiet contributions.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Was unable to view the game here in Philadelphia....

So we hear that Bradshaw (before the 88 yd run) told his linemen in the huddle that if they made their blocks he would score a TD. Isn't it ironic how Eli Manning applauds Bradshaw, saying that that is the kind of confidence you want in your RB?!!! How about seeing that kind of confidence and leadership from our weakest link QB?

Yep, Coughlin's job and new contract are all but sealed. Reese needs to help Coughlin by giving him a second (VIABLE) choice at QB.

The comparisons are being made to the Giants '84-'86 run, since this is the first time the Giants are in the playoffs for 3 consecutive years. That is where the comparison WOEFULLY should and WILL end, because this ain't no '86 year. Everyone today in print who is pointing out this accomplishment in the same breath ought to be shot. That we MAY win our first playoff contest w Coughlin by beating the mediocre Bucs is an embarrassing reminder that the squads of the mid 80's were competing for CHAMPIONSHIPS, not their first playoff success.

Heard that the game's tone changed when Pro Bowl Left Tackle Peters left with an injury in Q2. Yes, that is some loss. His story is incredible. McNally (remember him? he was Fassel's Oline Coach) was (well, er) incredible in taking slop and turning these guys into makeshift linemen. McNally took a raw college player w considerable skill at other positions and turned him into a Pro Bowl lineman! And a LT no less!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

From Buffalo to Troy

1) The Giants need to win this weekend or they are out. Why? Because two of the three (Vikes, Skins and Saints) teams rate to be there at 9-7 by the end of the season and THE GIANTS LOSE MOST IF NOT ALL TIEBREAKERS. And of course we know the Giants are not beating the Pats.

2) The good news for Giants fans is that they are somehow favored this weekend in Buffalo. Go figure. But as I mentioned when they were similarly favored over the Bears in Chicago, the money has figured out that the Giants are winning this weekend. At least that is my interpretation.

3) Was #2 good news? If you subscribe to the ultimatenyg philosophy that the Giants should be playing for a championship, not anything less, then the answer is NO. This is because the Giants have only a slightly better chance of winning the Super Bowl than I do of becoming President. And that also means that Coughlin and Manning are entrenched. Sure, it will be wonderful to watch us play and beat the TB Bucs and then get all worked up about fantasies of beating the Cowboys, but somewhere in there the train will crash, we will get that miserable draft pick and have to deal with a new Coughlin contract and more of the same warm porridge.

4) Heard another internet news reporter refer to LaRon Landry doing the same things at safety for the Redskins this past week that Sharper did for the Vikes... he did something radical- he watched Manning's eyes. He broke up at least a few long pass plays.

5) Did you hear that Spagnuolo has been mentioned on some short lists of potential new head coaching prospects? This is John Fox redux. I like Spags thus far, and would take a chance on him over Coughlin. At least we'd be one coach closer to Eli losing tenure.

6) Cowher? Fox? Garrett? Spags? Bring it on.

7) I am sHOckEd to hear that Parcells left yet another person at the alter. I loved him as my coach but he is one big P****.

8) Osi Umenyiora is the lone Giant voted to the Pro Bowl. Arnie comments that maybe our players are not as good as we think they are when only one of us can get honors.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Paul Schwartz put together a masterful summary of the Giants Enigma.

In fact, he cuts through the confusion and calls it exactly how it is. Inside the piece he delivers another gem of a stat that I salivated over when I heard it- "When they actually catch the ball, Giants receivers usually go straight down, as they don't have a single player in the top 40 in the NFL in yards after the catch." Add that little ditty to Manning leading the league in INTs, balls deflected at the line of scrimmage, and that stellar passer rating of 72.6, and you get the richest tenured person in America. That yards after catch (yac) was what turned Joe Montana from a very ordinary 3rd round draft choice into a Hall of Famer. HE HIT HIS RECEIVERS IN STRIDE. Imagine where our receivers (and Pro Bowl TE) would be if they were hit in stride? We would have an offense! But instead, we have to listen to guys like Tony Siragusa insult our intelligence by saying that Eli Manning is a very good QB who gets a bad rap. The day after Darren ("I Love New York") Sharper retires, go ask him how good a QB Eli Manning is. In the meantime, 31 other teams spend all their time praising Eli. That 72.6 rating is what punches everyone else's meal ticket. Nothing like a little mediocrity to make the NFL world go 'round. Thanks Schwartz for lifting the haze of this "Smoke Screen" and calling it like it is.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wash 22 NYG 10

Don't worry, Shockey is fine. It is the Giants that are ill.

Stop the excuses, we are a very ordinary team. Beating Buffalo next weekend is not a lock by any stretch. And the Pats will not be laying down for anyone even if they have homefield sewn up. So the Giants are now potentially looking at 9-7 and they will need some help if that is the case. WHO CARES?!! We are going nowhere whether we are in the playoffs or not.

The number of mistakes made by the Giants last night would take forever to list. So you have to assign blame on the coaches if the offenders were far and wide, which in this case it most certainly was. Pierce said the Redskins wanted the win more than the Giants did. Okay, now that we have that settled, why?

Once again it comes back to the lack of urgency from Manning. His receivers were awful last night, dropping many of his passes. But last night I sure missed Kerry Collins' firm and tight spiral. No it was not Manning who dropped that sure TD pass to Toomer. But it was Manning who threw more deflected passes, and he leads the league in passes deflected at the line of scrimmage, a TELLing stat about his problem with giving the defense too much information.

Shockey out for season-- a big problem? It would be if we were actually playing to our potential and if he were the center of our offense and the center of our team. He is the most dominant player on our squad yet will not be missed. Why? Because he is wasted by Coughlin. Not wasted by Gilbride, wasted by Coughlin. In 4 years with Coughlin at the head, be it Hufnagel or Gilbride, Shockey's numbers have been below where they should be. He takes two men with him on pass routes and one on blocking assignments, so where should he be? Last week he got ONE pass reception for FOUR TOTAL YARDS. This week he got TWO for EIGHTEEN yards. Ridiculous. So he won't be missed (except in the running game, ironically).... get another TE who can block and you have replaced the Coughlin Shockey TE.

It would be interesting to see if the Bills can beat us. Maybe someone wants it more than we do. If so, we would finish 9-7 and the questions would seep in again about Coughlin. How is this possible after being 9-4 and 7-3? Because we do not protect home field and the fans have every right to boo them. We were favorites vs the Vikings and lost. We were favorites vs the Skins and lost. Shame on them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Special Teams Video

The Top 5 NY Giants Special Teams Fakes

What jumps out at you? That ALL 5 were in the Parcells regime. And what was such a mind blower was #1, a play I totally forgot about. But the point here is that Fassel and Coughlin have not tried a single INTENTIONAL fake in the past ELEVEN years! You have to keep teams honest, stretch their players, maybe it forces the opposition to have certain people on the field in case of a fake that will not be able to help the other 97% of the time on routine kick/punt coverage. As an example, when Hester is back at the goal line on a FG attempt, fake the kick and try 11 on 10! A missed FG is going to be spotted 7-8 yards behind the line of scrimmage, so what do you have to lose? Show me a team with tendencies, a team that is predictable, and I will show you a team that gets beat. Another good time to do a fake is near the end of the half/game, because often the opposition cries Uncle and calls for a timeout because they are unprepared. That is one timeout less they will have, which is the difference between winning and losing in the NFL. Just ask the Eagles and Bears the past two weeks.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Some perspective on 9-4

You are your record. 9-4 certainly makes this a respectable year, and you have to give Coughlin a lot of credit. His players are playing for him and he has their respect. In many years 9-4 would lead to a division win or a bye. Not this year.

1) The Giants have not beaten any team that currently has a winning record.

2) The Giants have not lost to anyone who currently has a losing record.

3) Eli Manning leads the league with 17 INTs.

4) The NYG defense is 7th in the NFL in yards allowed per game.

5) The Giants are in the bottom third of the league in TO ratio with -7. This reflects the fumbles by Jacobs, the Manning INTs, the softer secondary not generating INTs.

6) The Giants are in the bottom ~quarter of the league in penalties, a very good stat which (in my opinion) speaks directly to the respect that Coughlin has gotten from his players this season. This may also be a windfall from cutting Petitgout, because when your #1 offender is gone, everyone else cannot hide behind him.

7) I like to trash Manning wherever I can, but let's give him some credit for all of those off-sides encroachment penalties he is drawing with his hard counts.

8) The Giants lead the League in sacks. And considering the third best team in the league is 12 sacks behind them, we are easily the most dominant defensive line in the league when you consider #4 above.

9) The Giants are 5th in the league in time of possession.

This team can be very special if Burress gets healthy and Manning plays with more consistency. The defense has been consistent and solid. Special teams have been improving. The offensive line has been mostly solid. There is upside to this team, but until they can play a complete game on all sides of the ball, the Giants will not be a serious contender.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

NYG 16 PHI 13

The Giants defense played a very good game and played courageously in limiting Westbrook.

But this game should not have come down to Akers missing from 56 yds at the end of regulation, deflected off the right post. Once again the Giants escape with wins against weaker teams because the opposition does not capitalize on our mistakes the way better teams (which beat us) do. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. WE ARE SLATED FOR THE WILD CARD, JUST AS WAS MENTIONED ALMOST A MONTH AGO.

1) The Giants went into the prevent offense and prevent defense and if the Akers FG is just slightly left we are all ranting at how it kills us. The fact that it came down to that is disgraceful and unacceptable. This is how losers lose. This is not how you build a championship. Winning teams get the first down when they have the ball with ~1:30 left at midfield and a 3 pt lead. They end the game right there. Instead we do the run-run-run-kick. Here, have the ball. AND we are SO LUCKY that Madison does not get called for a delay of game by holding Westbrook after the play is over. That would stop the clock, it would give them 5 extra yards. It would give them another play or two, and we are in OT or we lose in regulation.

2) Remember what Jacobs said after the Jets game? Click this link to refresh your memory. So this time after coming back from injury he puts the ball on the ground for two turnovers. UNACCEPTABLE. UNACCEPTABLE. He played at less than 100%, got strength and effectiveness as the game wore on, but he killed us with those fumbles. The Giants defense bailed him out.

3) Droughns MUST score on that large run where he gets tackled at the 1. Any other RB shakes the tackle long enough/has enough speed/stiff arms enough to get into the end zone. When we have FOUR tries at the end zone and fail, Coughlin makes the right decision to kick the FG. Nice miss by Eli on the pass to Shockey which fails to get us the TD.

4) Manning (who had an ~8 yard scramble today) should be running when he has the field wide open. He does not do that enough and it would aid the offense in more ways than just the big pickup.

5) Burress is not enough of a deep threat. He played a great short game considering that his injury gives him so little mobility. After the game he said to Siragusa that after all this time his ankle is beginning to get better. At face value that would be HUGE. But I saw little in the game that made me think he was any healthier than previous weeks. If he were healthy he would have had 237 yards, not 137 yards.

6) Diehl has been overachieving all year yet Trent Cole got to him with 2 sacks. One of them pushed us out of FG range. We have been very fortunate to have health this year at OL and would be wise to get a LT to eventually move Diehl back to guard. Diehl goes up against the opposing team's best pass rusher and gives up the majority of sacks. It is a very tough job and he must be commended for being a 5th rounder that has not missed a single START for us in 5 years. But he is a nice guard, not a tackle. Reese should be reminding himself of this in the offseason when he is looking at free agents and his draft needs.

7) What more can you say about the defense? They really settled down after the first TD. Westbrook was contained well. Dahl and Johnson recovered well as starting rookie safeties. With the exception of that offsides penalty on Johnson it was an impressive day for the kids.

8) Toomer was down by contact. Period. Daryl Johnston's opinion that Toomer fumbled was wrong, and he tried to backtrack by saying it was a judgment call, he knew he was wrong, the officials called it right. Next play TD to Burress, BIG SWING.

9) 1st and Goal from the 6, and a pass over the head of Shockey (who had two steps on his defenser) and another pass behind Burress for a second chance at the same TD. FGs on the road lose games, certainly against the better teams.

10) And finally the Manning moment. His boosters will say he did enough for us to win. His (ultimatenyg) detractors will point out that while Manning makes the check read to Burress for the score, there are still way too many points left on the field by this mediocre QB. Manning admission after game: "Shockey should have had two touchdowns today." Same Eli. Caretaker.

11) 9-4 is a mirage. It is nice enough to get the Giants some respect as postseason entrants, but we are not a crisp team that has played up to its potential for a single game this season. It hides lots of problems which are in our way to getting a championship. It is enjoyable to beat Philly, but I have not seen anything today that makes us any closer to being a championship competitor since our loss to Dallas (..which confirmed that second class status).

Saturday, December 8, 2007


1) Kudos to Harold, who points out more Coughlin foibles. Some mention that the FG required at the end of the Bear game was such a tangible risk, that it is a PAT distance which our kicker can miss, thus making the strategy of burning down the clock and taking the PAT FG somehow riskier than giving them the ball with 1:33 left AND 1 timeout. Harold points out that (a) between the extra couple of seconds you get before they even reset the game clock, there would have been ~ 3 seconds left, not 15 seconds, thereby ELIMINATING the kickoff to Hester altogether and ICING the game completely. (b) IF COUGHLIN WAS SO WORRIED ABOUT THE PAT AS A LIABILITY IN THE WINDY CONDITIONS ETC.., WHY DIDN'T HE GO FOR THE TWO AFTER THE TD SO THAT WE WOULD BE UP BY 6 AND MAKE THEIR PAT (IF THEY SCORED) AN ISSUE???!!! At that point we were up by 4, and 4 or 5 makes no difference, 6 can make a difference.

2) That trade we made in the offseason to get Reuben Droughns? We gave up Tim Carter, who has been lighting it up in Cleveland... 7 catches this SEASON and 1 TD reception. Not. The only irony of that trade is that we were so loaded at RB that we had to trade Ryan Grant to the Packers for an undisclosed draft pick. Marvelous was quick to point out that losing Grant was bad for us.

3) With Pierce (likely) out, Wilson out, it makes the Westbrook problem even more acute. And as long as Burress is ailing and cannot stretch the field, that makes the Eagles' aggressive fronts more of a matchup problem than normal. Hope I am incorrect, but realistically you have to like the Eagles tomorrow. Speaking of hope, at least McNabb is back... that is a plus for us!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Joys of Philly

One Giant player reminded us of what makes this weekend a special one in the NFL season... "Just the proximity, it's so close, I think they really try to stick it to you when you come down the highway," C Shaun O'Hara said. "It's always fun driving into the stadium to see how many people are eager to drop their pants to say hello." And so it is every year when you play the Eagles. Some people think the entire season hinges on beating Dallas, or beating the Skins. Me? I cannot stomach the Eagles. And it all starts with their fans, some of the unruliest in the league. The things that come out of these peoples' mouths can take the paint off a car. Each year at Giants games we see all kinds of fans. Dallas fans are loud and proud but mostly well behaved. Skins fans are quieter and still mostly civilized. Some of the worst fans are Jets fans. They come from Long Island, where half of them are inbred, so what do you expect? They bring their road rage and ugliness to the Meadowlands and cheer on women at halftime to bare their bodies like the class acts they all are.

Then come the Eagles fans. The worst. By far. Not even close. Each year that I am at the NYG-PHL I would estimate that there are more fights in the stands than the other games I see COMBINED. Easily. These people are the same ones that caused the Vet down in Philly to build the first NFL jail in the bowels of that stadium. They then brought in the first Judge to regularly dispatch justice on the drunken lot.

So it is that we play Philly again this weekend, down at the Linc. Michael Strahan on Eagles fans: “I think their fans are probably the meanest people I've ever been around, so it's nice to beat Philly.”

Amen. As a realist, I do not like our chances with Westbrook in the lineup (look what happened when he was not!) this coming weekend. But let's remember a few moments- Strahan catching that deflected interception and running it all the way back for a victory in OT... Burress taking the ball into the end zone in OT last year when Manning audibled at the line on single coverage.

One of the greatest sounds is the silence of a bunch of Eagles fans.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Manning by the numbers

YEAR QB Rating Ranking
2007 Manning 74 25
2006 Manning 77 18
2005 Manning 76 23
2004 Warner 87 14
2003 Collins 71 25
2002 Collins 85 T7-15
2001 Collins 77 17
2000 Collins 83 12
1999 Graham/Collins74 26
1998 Kanell 67 25
1997 Kanell 71 27
1996 Brown 61 31
1995 Brown 73 22
1994 Brown 73 21
1993 Simms 88 4

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Coughlin is a Meathead 21 Bears 16

You have 1:37 on the clock, first and goal from the 2, Bears 16 NYG 14, what do you do? Meathead Coughlin runs the ball in for a TD on first down, assuring the Bears of arguably their best chance for winning the game. TAKE A KNEE! Force them to burn their last remaining time out. TAKE ANOTHER KNEE! Now there are 0:55 left on the clock. Run the ball on third down and if you score a TD there are 0:50 secs left. If not, the clock keeps running to 0:13 for 4th down where you are left with the equivalent of a PAT gimme FG to win the game. Instead, we kick off to the Bears with 1:33 and they still have one timeout! INCREDIBLE. When a team is down by 1 or 2 pts with enough time left and 1st and goal from the goal line, the clock is now your biggest adversary, not the other team. Does this sound familiar? Holmgren in SB XXXII let Denver walk in with 1:47 because he knew he needed the clock to score again. Pick one of the three choices: A) 21-16 with 1:33 left and the Bears w/ 1 TO B) 21-16 with 0:50 and the Bears with no TOs C) 17-16 with 0:13 and the Bears with no TOs. I pick C with a second possibility of B. Slam dunk.

Back to the rest of the game, same "2Q" Eli, who cannot play a complete game. In this game he was putrid for the first 3 quarters, throwing 2 INTS and a fumble. We had a turnover net of -4 and won because the defense was terrific. Feagles and the specials were great, limiting Hester all day. Still it was the sloppy Giants who will lose this same game to a better team because the better team will not have a wide open WR get missed for a TD by Grossman, the better team will not have Hester drop a TD pass etc... Separately, the referees reversed an incompletion to Toomer which they (correctly imo) ruled a touchdown.

Somehow the Giants managed to win a game they clearly SHOULD have won. They are 8-4. Just like last year, we have warm porridge and are going to be playing 2008 with a draft pick in the low 20's, a loss in the first or second round of the playoffs, and Meathead Coughlin as our head coach. I think Coughlin has done a decent job this year but it is moments like these with 1:37 left where I know he is not taking us all the way, or if he does, it is despite his presence there on the sideline.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bears Preview

I just saw Kimberly Jones on "This Week in Football." She is one of the beat writers, and reports something from earlier in the week that I did not see.... seems that Eli Manning on Monday was asked about the 3 balls batted down at the line of scrimmage and was queried about them (in addition to the 4 INTS). Manning was apparently willing to admit there might be something to the Vikings following Manning's eyes. Ya Think?

This attention this week to Eli's flaws might give him some religion this weekend vs the Bears. QB RELIGION. Thou shalt not stare down a Wide Receiver for too long before getting rid of thy football. If Manning can clean things up a little, the rest of the team can play better and will indeed bounce back with a win. Let's see if we can get ONE game from Manning. The Giants should not be favs this weekend, so I will respect that and believe the Giants will win.

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