Yes, this is a New York Giants Blog, but it is not every day that your co-tenant is out there looking for a new coach. And it is certainly not every day that Spags gets this much attention nationally. There has been a great deal of news on Brett Favre, not the least of which is that he has a torn biceps tendon that has likely been hurting his throws near season's end.
Separately, linked is a piece on the Mangini firing that I could not have said any better. Favre still has a shot with the Jets in 2009 considering the injury story, and how that was probably mismanaged too.
Wonder's head coach list for the Jets, in order of preference:
1) Bill Cowher. Cowher coaches a 3-4, which is the Jets' defense. And if there is one guy who knows that defense and can save Gholston, it is him. Cowher and the Jets are reportedly going to meet.
2) Steve Spagnuolo. We all know the story here. And the Jets have asked to interview Spags during the bye week.
3) Jim Schwartz. Defensive Coordinator for the Titans. Non-media town for 8 yrs as DC.
4) Steve Mariucci. Would bring the West Coast offense to the Jets, some of which is already there. Would only make sense if Favre is not severely injured (which was confirmed with the mild tear in the tendon) AND if they could groom Brett Ratliff. Wonder is HUGE on Ratliff, fyi, the next long term Jet QB, and a good one.
5) Josh McDaniels. Offensive Coordinator of Patriots. A political hot potato, given Mangini and Belichick and Parcells all coming from NE, so it is doubtful, but would work if they didn't concern themselves about that issue.
addendum: this was done Monday afternoon with links afterwards, Wonder likes Shanahan on this list also.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Yes, this is a New York Giants Blog, but it is not every day that your co-tenant is out there looking for a new coach. And it is certainly not every day that Spags gets this much attention nationally. There has been a great deal of news on Brett Favre, not the least of which is that he has a torn biceps tendon that has likely been hurting his throws near season's end.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wonder is convalescing, still in withdrawal from his Jets' implosion. He'll be back to posting eventually, but in the meantime I spoke to him last night and he was full of nuggets and his typical wisdom.
WILD CARD ROUND
1) MINN-PHL. Thinks Minnesota is 'live,' likes Minn +3 with Pat Williams playing, and thinks they have a (decent) shot at beating the Eagles. Like all of us, he understands how vulnerable the Vikings are on turnovers, so he says the Vikes have to RUN THE BALL. This will make Jackson's job a lot easier, less decisions, less opptys for mistakes. And you can run the ball vs the Eagles. Get behind Birk, Hutchinson and McKinnie and just run it. Make the Eagles blitz you and then dump the ball off, small ball, to Peterson, he beats one guy and it is either 20 yards or a TD. On defense, Kevin Williams will collapse pocket and Allen will be on the edge. And Westbrook is always one play away from injury. The DOME is why Minn has a chance vs the Eagles. Minn is playing with house money.
2) AZ-ATL. Arizona to beat the Falcons. This is another reason why it will be so good if the Vikings win.. not only do you knock out Philly, but also there is 0.0 chance that AZ will beat the Giants in the next round.
3) SD-IND. SD has a shot to beat IND. Some of it depends on whether the Tomlinson injury is serious or not. If not, Wonder likes SD a lot more.
4) BAL-MIA. Ravens will win. Miami does not belong in the playoffs, a weak 11-5 team. Separately, Wonder points out that next year you have to love the 'Under' for the Dolphins, their schedule is impossible in 2009. AFC East will have Bills healthier and better, Brady back. AFC South was difficult this year, Houston was a good 8-8 team, Jax was decimated by injuries, they will be back. NFC South is top to bottom a tough division, New Orleans was 8-8 in the basement, and then their two other opponents are Pittsburgh and SD with Merriman back. Good luck!
1) In the NFC it does not matter, form will hold and the Giants and Panthers will both win their games. If there is a prop to take these two coming out of the conference, then go for that.
2) Pitt to beat SD.
3) Titans to beat Ravens.
1) NYG-CAR. The Giants are the team to beat. Barring stellar play by one team or the other, the line should be ~ 3 pts, and the homefield will help the Giants win.
2) PIT-TEN. This is a coin toss. If they were playing in Pit it would be Steelers by 5 or 6 points. Collins to get rattled at some point, is this the spot? Either team can win this one.
Giants have the inside track here. Lots of things, injuries, too far away, but all things being equal will like the Giants. Much tougher game vs the Steelers, but if the Giants faced Tennessee it would be an easier matchup and an easier game.
Misc: Giants get the #45 pick in the draft from the Saints, as they will pick 1 slot higher in Round 2 because of the NFL Draft Tiebreaker Rules. (Separately, the NFL Draft tiebreaker rules are completely flawed. The subject only comes up once per year, but this is my opportunity to deprogram your brains from the Stone Age thinking of the NFL.)
Monday, December 29, 2008
You need not be a rocket scientist to already understand that we will likely be facing the Eagles. Having just seen Minnesota up close and personal, barely losing to them in the home advantage stadium without ~half of our roster, we were not impressed. Nor was the betting public, who make the Eagles a -3 FG FAVORITE IN MINNESOTA. As long as the Eagles show up, which they will, they will beat this team. They are perfectly suited for Tarvaris Jackson. Jim Johnson will disguise their looks and throw the blitz at this turnover machine. Jackson will get eaten up, make enough mistakes and the Eagles will head to the Meadowlands. If for some inexplicable reason the Eagles pull a boner (the worst enemy of Andy Reid is Andy Reid) and somehow lose to the Vikings, then all the more power to the Giants... Just expect the Eagles.
We will have plenty of time to analyze another Eagles-Giants matchup on Jan 11th. But for now all we will say is that the NY Giants' chances for seeing the Vikings again this season is nil.
On the other side of the bracket, the Falcons fly into Phoenix for a game with the Arizona Cardinals. I am sure you are not shocked to find that the Falcons are road favorites there too, -3. The rookie QB will have his moment in the sun, probably beat AZ (but I do believe AZ has a better shot of an upset than MINN does vs the Eagles), and then get his NFL wakeup call vs the Carolina Panthers.
So without getting too far ahead of ourselves, the joy of the bye is that you can fairly see how straightforward the path to the Super Bowl is. Probably face the Eagles. Probably face the Panthers. For those of you who are waving your finger at me for getting the gmen too far ahead of themselves, the Giants have been around the block enough times to know not to look past WHOEVER they face two weekends from now. All we are saying here is that this is not Everest. This is the NFL is 2008, and there is no one who the Giants are not capable of beating. If the Giants should face the Eagles and/or Panthers and lose to either one of them, they are not deserving of ANY consideration. But if the Giants play their hand properly, heal up, take one game at a time, properly game plan each opponent and play with the urgency of the playoffs, the Giants will be more than ready to not only get to the Super Bowl but go all the way. We predicted a Super Bowl victory for the Giants after the Eagles loss in W14 and see no reason why this cannot and will not happen.
Sidenote: in the next 13 days we are going to hear from media pundits about how the Giants have lost 3 of the last 4, how the Eagles (or Falcons) have won 5 of the last 6, how the Giants are not that great, blahblahblah. These people do not know what they are talking about. Fact: the Giants had a Plaxico hangover vs the Eagles, played a stinker, next. Fact: Gilbrown showed his illustrious talent in not adapting to the Cowboys or else we win that one easily. Fact: the Giants got their mojo back vs the Panthers. Fact: the Giants could have easily won yesterday if (to borrow a term from Simms) there was no money in the bank. With the exception of the Dallas game, Coughlin has done a very good job and the Giants are exactly where they are supposed to be.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
If we are going to have our choice of Kasey missing last week or Longwell missing this week, I take Kasey. And so it really did not matter whether the FG makes or misses today, it makes, this is purely cosmetic. The important thing out of this game was that the Giants played with plenty of second and third stringers and did fine. David Carr played behind a decent offensive line and did well. He hit Hixon (TD) where Eli missed him. Carr's mobility is good, it gives the Giants a little bit of that Hostetler dimension. I wish Manning would run the ball once or twice per game just to break the back of the defense. He is always given enuf daylight for that. We saw the TE move the chains on a few occasions; keep using that TE.. on the lone TD drive, it is a TE reception by Johnson which keeps the drive alive on a nice 3rd down pickup. Everyone out there who wants to run the ball down the opponent's throat must realize that you need that TE to extend these drives. Without it, they will not get the touches you want. Butler had some bad plays, but he almost (and should have) single-handedly won the game with his INT. Webster missed a pick-6, but played well. Moss looked very good. He has the speed to stretch the defense, not as big a target as a Boss for that long reception, but use him to keep the defense honest. You have to love those quick slants to these WRs, Manningham. As noted in the intragame comments, Tuck looked very good in stopping one drive for a FG and another on downs. Only loss was Sam Madison, who broke his ankle. Considering how many games he was inactive, this will not be a loss unless our secondary goes thru another injury run like last offseason. Ware looked good. The kickoff coverage is atrocious, put Tynes on the active roster so that we can get some distance on kickoffs. This was a freaking dome that Carney was kicking in, those pooch kicks are an embarrassment. I know we are all biased about the officiating, but I thought the Giants got screwed on more than a few calls today... this is why you have to shoot to get 'quality' wins (>10 pts) in the postseason because these refs couldn't buy a good call if their life depended on it. You can easily argue today's outcome was caused by the officials. Good thing it does not matter.
Summary: The Giants punched their time clocks today, they played hard, they had all subs in by the end of the game, NEXT. Well deserved and well needed rest, JacobsBossRossCofield all did not even dress, my bet is that all would have played if necessary. Kudos to Coughlin for getting the Giants in there with focus and out of there with their health, building on last week and getting ready for the postseason.
Separately-1: they switched to the Saints, up by 1, and then the kick by Carolina. Some of you may have been looking for Carolina to lose and drop to #5, but for my money, I was rooting for the Saints to get the extra loss and the better draft pick for us.
Separately-2: Dal vs. Phl for a playoff spot. I hope these two teams kill each other, go into quintuple OT and need Garrett and Reid to suit up.
Part I- Showtime Phil Simms
1) Dal-Phl. Philadelphia offense so limited, not going to be able to run the ball. Dallas will be able to get to McNabb. Romo has been borderline fantastic. He'll make the play, Dallas to win.
2) Pats-Bills. NE will move the ball, NE to win.
3) Denv-SD. SD has weapons at every position, Demver will try first to stop SD's pass, but SD will be able to run the ball and win the game.
4) Hou-Chi. Bears defense keeps getting shredded all the time. Plus, the Houston offense is terrific. Houston to win.
5) Also likes BAL, MIN, ATL, CAR, no comments in these games.
Phil Simms on Sunday morning. If you have his remarks, fill them in in the comments section.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
December 23, 1972. This game cemented my love of football. I was 9 years old. The Giants teams of the 1970s were horrible, and the playoffs meant the Steelers and the Raiders. What games, what rivalries! I looked forward to the divisional round of the playoffs with such anticipation, because all 4 games were going to be feasts. I was only 9, but something told me that the single elimination of football made the playoffs different and special. This one was a classic. Listening and watching it again, I am not sure what is better, the play itself or The Voice of God (aka John Facenda). Long live football.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Some very good links to check out, highly recommended Brandon Jacobs-NY Giants history.
The Journey of Brandon Jacobs. Interesting how some of the pieces of the puzzle come together.. all of a sudden a lot of the trash-talking in between plays seemed to disappear in the middle of the season, and now we know why. And now, if you notice, he is actually patting guys on the helmet after the play is over. This guy is easy to root for.
Marvelous, one of the original email group predecessors of the Ultimatenyg New York Giants Blog, was quick to point out what always struck him about getting Jacobs in 2005. "I have NEVER forgotten the words of our GM when asked how he felt his draft selections went... the KEY to this draft was getting Jacobs down there."
"The player I got the most excited over in two days was Brandon Jacobs,” Accorsi said. “The biggest worry that I had is that any time you have a chance to sleep on it and start looking at the board, size and speed usually catches people’s eyes. I was worried sick he was going to get picked.”
Accorsi was referring the resumption of the Draft on Day 2, when everyone could reexamine who was left on the board. Accorsi was nervous to the point of paranoia about someone drafting his nugget before him.
And a quick FYI to the Broncos.. Brandon Jacobs remembers you passing him in the 3rd Round for Maurice Clarett, so you better hope that he is not with the Giants next year because the Giants face you in 2009 and Jacobs has not forgotten.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
In Sunday night's recap, we highlighted the significance of Kevin Boss in this offense.
Wonder highlighted the need to get an offensive "rhythm" after Burress was lost for the season.
At this juncture of the season, three players who will have the opportunity to make an impact on the MARGIN are:
1) Fred Robbins, if he can get healthy.
2) Ahmad Bradshaw, if he can get touches as a 3rd down scatback.
3) Kevin Boss, if he can get touches.
Any of these three things will have a big impact on this team. But the low hanging fruit here is clearly Kevin Boss. Kevin Gilbride has to be wondering how he is going to make up for the loss of his best Wide Receiver. Give those touches to Boss. BOSS IS NOW THE GIANTS' MOST DOMINATING RECEIVING OPTION. Look at the difference he makes in a game.
In games where he has had 3 or more receptions, he has had a TD in those games 6 of 7 times. In games where he has had 1-2 receptions, he has zero TDs. The clear message is that this player turns 3's into 7's in the red zone.
In games where he has 3 or more receptions, the Giants are 7-0. In games where he has 2 or less receptions, the Giants are 5-3.
Now contrast those 33 receptions with the numbers from another second year TE, Mark Bavaro in 1986. This is a perfect example of coaching. Ron Erhardt looked at his personnel and said Joe Morris and Mark Bavaro. Boss is still under the radar, he gets singled. Keep using him, and use him MUCH more until defenses realize what we know. If he gets doubled, then you have even more reason to use him, draw a crowd on this guy and run the ball with only 7 in the box. Boss gets 2 receptions per game, Bavaro had 4 per game.
With Burress gone, this offensive personnel looks almost exactly like 1986:
1) a set of WRs without gamebreaking ability ("possesion receivers")
2) a second year TE with great hands
3) a running game that is near/tops in the league. (#6 in 1986, #1 in 2008)
4) a smart QB who can make plays (#13 in 1986, #14 in 2008)
5) a cohesive OL
The difference is that you have to recognize right now how things have changed, how Boss IS THE MAN FOR LEADING THE TEAM IN RECEPTIONS FROM HERE ON OUT. The running game needs Boss to keep the sticks moving so that the running game can keep pounding the ball. Gilbride has been deficient with the use of his TE, but with Burress gone he has NO CHOICE. If he does not use Boss more, it is a cardinal sin and a complete admission of failure to adjust. He got the ball to Boss 5 times and the result was a win. That is all he needs, 5 passes per game and the Giants will have another trophy.
Btw, Boss sat out practice, ankle. Rest him Sunday if he is not 100%... he'll definitely be healed in 3 weeks, and you can always play Johnson and Matthews in his place to keep the rhythm going.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
1) pretty expensive piece of snow
2) this talk about what to do with playing the Vikes is moot. Coughlin is going to rest the weary and he is going to play to win with the rest of them. Considering the number of areas the team still needs to improve in, it is what you have to do. Coughlin caught a lot of brown for the injuries in W17 last year, he'll catch the same brown again after this one too. Confront the brutal facts: the team still needs to improve.
3) Improvement? The Giants are #32 in kickoff distance, LAST place. They are #31 in net yards on kickoff distance.
4) Improvement? the LBers, throwing to RBs, offensive rhythm, pass rush, dropped balls, penalties, Diehl's pass protection.
5) Why is Feagles going to the Pro Bowl? Because he is #3 in the league in Punt return distance, and it is not because of our gunners.
6) Each division's non-divisional record:
NFC South 27-11
NFC East 26-11-1
AFC South 25-13
AFC East 26-14
AFC North 17-20-1
and the other 3 divisions are such schtick dreck, it will hurt my hands to type them.
The NFC East is 4-0 vs the NFC South.
7) Jaworski was asked: of the Titans and the Giants, which one has the edge in getting to the Super Bowl? Jaws' answer was unequivocal- the Giants, because of experience.
8) I am not sure who I'd rather see suffer more, Eagles fans or Jerry Jones. It's close though. Probably Eagles fans..
9) Giants +6.5 points this weekend, tells you enough about how they expect Coughlin to bench plenty of guys, specifically Tuck.
10) The gmen are the #1 seed, the Super Bowl champs, they have already done more than the 1986 and 1990 teams: they are in the playoffs the year after. They have a better record, they have the focus, resolve and pride to repeat. Enjoy every minute of this.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
1) Carl Banks on WFAN yesterday. I am beginning to think that Banks reads this blog for his material. You can argue that I listen to him on radio for mine (!), but I've got the big screen hdtv with the Madden comments on how dead the Giants are on 3rd and 10, so I am not that good!
2) In 1984, the first week of training camp, George Young calls Bill Parcells, tells him 'win or you are fired.' Parcells then called up players and told them he was cutting players and he specifically asked each of them individually if they were going to play for him or not.. the loyalty to his core group of players began.
3) Jacobs makes everyone better. Resilient bunch. Mentally strong, consistent. Force Delhomme to drive the team down the field. Gmen sacrificed pass rush for bend-dont break. Shut Steve Smith down for 2nd half. Giants wanted slugfest, which won out over the Carolina shootout. Giants needed to settle down, Ross near INT.
4) Banks talked a lot about the lack of the short pass leading up to the game.
"I give the offensive coordinator a lot of credit" (for making the necessary changes).
5) "Did you see Kevin Boss become a factor? The intermediate passing. He stayed in there, he blocked, he leaped out in the middle of the field and they hit him on some big plays and he kept the offense in rhythm. They did not do a lot of things in terms of playcalling that kept the team out of rhythm... They went with intermediate rhythm-type plays."
6) Hixon made some big plays. We are without Plaxico. We don't need you to make a spectacular (Plax) play, we just need you to make the Hixon plays.
7) Crazed Giant Fan was all over the poor playcall when Gilbride went to Hedgecock on 3rd and 1. Banks agreed.
8) The Giants will have to beat themselves in order for them to lose in the playoffs. If they continue to function as a team, they will be hard to beat. They are back on track. The teams that can bring pressure will give the Giants the most problems.
9) Jacobs, use him for 5 plays on Sunday and take him out. Tollefson and Bradshaw, get out there and play. GET HEALTHY. What is best for the Giants 2008 team is to get them rest and practice them well to keep them sharp.
10) It was painful, I had to sit through them talking Jets for like 40 minutes crying about the coaching staff. Tell me something we don't already know. We said it here many weeks ago, that the coaching staff of the Jets was the weakest link.
Monday, December 22, 2008
This was as gutty a performance as I have seen from this team since the Redskins W3 2007. The similarities were many- 2 consecutive losses, lots of doubters, a double digit deficit. When the Giants defense was getting manhandled early, giving up 3 TDs on the first 3 drives, down 21-10, there was no realistic way we were going to win this game. That this team came back from that proved so many things to us. But most importantly, the victory proved so much to themselves. It reminded them of what they have done this year in winning 11 games prior. It reminded them of what they have done last year, when they could come from behind and win despite so much adversity.
Victory tonight was icing on the cake. That the Giants somehow managed to tie the game was a mini-miracle. There were so many positives that were going to come from this game, and the recap was going to take that angle, the Patriots Week 17 Angle, where that loss was a BIG POSITIVE. If Kasay hits the FG, there is still a lot to be positive about. That the kick misses and the Giants go on to win in OT may very well be the luck needed to make this team go all the way. Wins like this galvanize a team. The Giants may have to play this team again, but they will not be afraid. They took this team's best punch, got knocked down, got back up and were the last team standing. The Giants got the confidence back that they lost when Burress was removed from the roster, and they are learning to how to win with who is left. Barber, Strahan, Umenyiora, Shockey, Burress? How many daggers do you put in this team? It keeps coming. The Giants have faced NINE consecutive teams with winning records, a combined 82-51-2. Every team took their best shot. The Giants are 12-3, they have the all-important bye to heal up, they have homefield through the playoffs. And they have the resolve and the resiliency of a team that is capable of anything they believe in.
THE POSITIVES WERE MANY:
1) The offense is back. Wonder talked about the Giants offense getting into a new rhythm now that Burress is no longer there. They did exactly that. They stayed with the run. But they were able to do so because, unlike in Dallas, down and distance was manageable enough. Manning held the ball less, threw into shorter routes, and this way there were not the countless debilitating sacks that caused horrendous 2nd and 3rd downs.
2) Eli Manning found his wind legs. He managed the wind, threw shorter passes, stepped into the passes, and threw the ball a little lower on shorter routes to keep the ball from sailing. This was important, dare we say vital, for Manning's confidence. And once again he led his team down the field to score near the end of Q4, got the 2 pt conversion pass to Hixon (what a play fake, we were sold on the ball being handed off to Jacobs along with all of the Panthers!) to tie the game, and then led them again in OT. Everyone knows that Manning is capable of anything at the end of a game. His confidence after the game was obvious: "You never know what the weather is going to be like here. We're used to playing in those cold and windy games and I would like to think we would have the advantage in some of those. I think it will be fun playing the games at home."
3) Derrick Ward, Brandon Jacobs and the offensive line were excellent in the running game. Gilbride gets credit for not giving up on the run. How do we begin to discuss the superlatives of Derrick Ward, who gashed this team time and time again, amassing 215 yards from scrimmage as the backup?!!
4) Gilbride found his Tight End! Kevin Boss lives. In my humble opinion, this was the real key to the game. In order for Ward to run his highlight film in Q4 and OT, there HAS TO BE BOSS first, moving the chains. It is the middle of Q3, 21-13 Panthers. The Giants have the ball at their own 16 yard line. When the Giants get into a 3rd and 10 after a 5 yard penalty, and Madden is sentencing the Giants offense to death (now that Burress is gone), we are yelling for Bossssss! And to Boss it went! And on the exact type of play that Witten and Garrett killed us on last week that we needed so desperately! One game late, but good enough to save us! Boss makes his chip block, then after the delay on the right side of the line, runs out across the middle to the left, catches a 5 yarder and runs for daylight, 11 yards, and the first down. Small ball, but an important first down. You need those types of plays to keep the rhythm, because how else can you keep going to the run? The Giants controled the ball for 8:36. 5 first downs. Ward with a big 22 yarder. And when it was 3rd and Goal from the 3, who was there to clean up and convert? Kevin Boss in the end zone. So many key plays.
Boss must become the 1986 Mark Bavaro of this offense. In 1986, the Giants WRs were nothing spectacular. Indeed, guys like Lionel Manuel, Bobby Johnson and Stacy Robinson couldn't shine shoes for most teams. How on earth did the '86 team keep the pressure off the loaded box? How did they move the chains? The answer was Bavaro, who LED THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS IN RECEIVING YARDS THAT SEASON. That is your blueprint for success, that is the rhythm they found. Everytime the Giants were in a big spot, Boss was the answer. Your TE can get you big plays all over the field, but especially in the red zone, and especially on third down. Let's remember, who was the player that awoke the Giants offense at the beginning of Q4 vs the Patriots in the Super Bowl? Kevin Boss for 45 yards. USE THAT TIGHT END to get you a fresh set of downs so that you can have that patience in the running game.
5) I admit to being wrong about Jacobs. The Giants need the moose more than I thought. He has that attitude necessary to impose your will on an opposing team. While I still want #44 to get lots of touches, 3rd down and red zone, it is apparent more than ever how the battering of Jacobs sets up Ward on the change of speed.
6) Gilbride made the adjustments. Even when the Giants tried a RB flare which did not work, it was fine, it was stretching the LBers. The gmen used the quick slants, the draws out of the shotgun, the TE delayed pass, mixing it up enough to allow the running game to keep going, pounding away at them.
7) Webster was once again excellent. He covered Smith most of the game, but Smith only had 3 catches for 47 yards, and on 35 of them it was a zone coverage (and more accurately, a failed blitz pass rush) that got beat, not Webster.
1) Still no pass rush. We'll be generous and put some of that on Tuck's leg, vomit and the flu. Without Tuck (who was valiant in effort) making an impact, you have to figure the DL becomes very average very quickly. Tuck and Robbins need two weeks off now to rest for Jan 10-11. Kiwi needs to watch tape of how Strahan does not try to overpower linemen on run defense, he sheds them.
2) To say our linebackers are mediocre is a compliment. Without Tuck and the DL at full strength, these sack of potatoes were victimized constantly. Spags gave them more help in the second half and it stemmed some of the bleeding. My kingdom for a LBer #1 in the draft. And #2 also.
3) Diehl has regressed. Is he playing hurt, or tired? If it is either, get him some rest, because he is not playing the edge nearly as well as he was playing earlier in the season.
4) Pierce is ineffective in coverage beyond a few yards past the line of scrimmage. He simply lacks the speed. On one key 3rd down conversion, a Panther player comes into the middle of the field PRECISELY where Pierce's zone of coverage is, and he still does not make the play. Unacceptable.
1) I thought when the Giants won the toss in OT, I would have taken the wind. Manning's reaction to the decision to take the ball almost looked like he agreed. But the team did not blink, and ran it down their throats.
2) To be filed under the category of why you do not bet: Let's say you took Carolina, taking +3 points. There is almost no chance in hell of you losing your bet at any point until the very end of OT. You're up 21-10, still up 21-20, then 28-20 in Q4. The only way you will lose is if by some miracle the Giants get a TD, get the 2 pt conversion, and then somehow win with a 6 pt TD in OT.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
1) Football is won and lost at the line of scrimmage. No excuses, about Robbins being hurt.
Yesterday we found out that Keydrick Vincent, a starter for the Panthers at Right Guard the entire season, has been placed on season-ending IR. Vincent is not a tremendous G, but as we know, communication is everything, so do you think Spags is going to mix it up and line up Tuck over that slot? Of course he will, of course the Panthers will be coached for that, but Tuck will be able to do some good things.
Also, DT Ma'ake Kemoeatu is either going to be out or playing on an ankle injury. So this is helping the Giants too. (Simms/Francesa imply he won't play, but I cannot confirm this.)
2) The WIND (20-30 mph tonight) is going to be another big factor this evening. Manning's lack of a tight spiral will be a liability once again.
3) Some of these games were wind, some were not, but in December/January the Giants have lost 7 consecutive games:
CAR 23-0, DAL 23-20, PHL 36-22, NO 30-7, WAS 22-10, NE 38-35, PHL 23-0.
4) Point #6 from Tuesday's post: "Dallas was playing hurt too, so we did not exactly lose to a great team ... Dallas is improved, but they are not great." Obviously we are not shocked by the Dallas loss to the Ravens last night. It just means even more validation for the critique of meathead's playcalling. To borrow an expression from Denny Green, THEY WERE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE, AND WE LET THEM OFF THE HOOK.
5) Click on the link in #4 above and watch the fake FG by the Ravens with 3 mins left in Q3. Great call- not because it worked- but because you have to do the unpredictable. The last time the Giants did an intentional fake punt or fake FG was BEFORE 1997, because I know Fassel NEVER did one and I know Coughlin NEVER did one. Parcells faked the FG in Q3 of the Super Bowl, and Rutledge converted it, which led to 7. In SF on Jan 20, 1991, Reasons took the snap on the punt, leading to a FG, enabling the Giants to beat them later on Bahr, 15-13. It sends a message to your team that you are here to win the game, you can only lose once. This Ravens special team success gave them the tempo to close out the game, forcing the Cowboys into gambling defenses.
6) Playoff picture. Dallas needs help now. IF Dallas can (1) win against Eagles W17 and (2) have any loss from TB or ATL the last 2 weeks, they are still in. Realistically, Dallas needs to have Minnesota win over Atlanta today. Otherwise, TB is not losing at home to OAK or SD, and ATL is not losing its last game at home vs STL.
New England is on a respirator. They can easily finish 11-5 and they are out of the playoffs. BAL will win next weekend vs CLE at home to lock up the wild card. IND has the other wild card. So NE needs to win the division to get in. NE needs the Jets or Miami to lose today AND that team to win next week vs the other.
7) Repeat after me, the Flex schedule is disrespectful of YOU the fan. It moves 77,000 fans' schedules. It makes people watch a game in temperatures that will be 10 degrees colder and 20 degrees colder wind chill. It makes people get to sleep by 1-2AM for work the next morning. And these are the people paying the "premium" of watching the game at the stadium. TV is not more important than the people at the stadium, and this is what drives the Giants to beg its fans to be loud. It is a quiet way of pleading for them TO JUST COME to the game. Very sad.
8) Mark my words, that crybaby Kraft is going to be all over the airwaves asking for more teams in the playoffs if his team finishes 11-5 and out of the playoffs. Tough browning brown. This is what makes the NFL so good, that you are taking only the best teams, it is tiered, each game is critical all season. Kraft cried in 2002 when his team was 9-7 and did not make it to the postseason, tough brown. Win 10 games. Hey, my first STRONG memory of the NFL was the Giants, 9-4, playing the LA Rams (blacked out) on the final day of the regular season, losing, finishing 9-5 and out of the playoffs. In retrospect, it made me love the NFL more.
9) TENN can play the same game with PIT. Two all pro DL are out for TEN.
10) When you play 11 men in the box, you can get a result for 80 yard TD run (which happened twice vs DAL). Dallas lost the game because they could not adjust to the Ravens defense.
11) CAR are a big play team. NYG this year is not a big play team. Field position bad for the NYG, 30th in dropped balls in the league. One of the most penalized. Giants will find a way to win, Simms points out the two losses on the line for the Carolina Panthers. Smith will make a big play. He will get open, will Delholmme make the connection?
Ultimatenyg comments of Simms:
12) You know Webster will be drawing this guy, Smith will make his opptys, how much can Webster limit the big play and stay with him? When Delhomme has the wind, look for the safety to give Webster a lot of help.
13) Giants are 6th in penalty yardage and 8th in the league in penalties. They averaged 4.8 penalties per game in 2007, they average 6.7 penalties per game in 2008. 2 penalties PER GAME. That is huge, folks, and entirely on the coaches. Some of the officiating has been HORRIBLE this season, and there are about a dozen horrendous calls that were not legit, but what does it say when your offensive leader, Pro Bowler O'Hara takes two stupid (after the play, away from the play) personal fouls? Selfish, and gives a green light to the rest of the team to take penalties the same way Petitgout's false starts were a cancer that REESE got rid of.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Mitch gave us the heads up on LT being on WFAN. Long, great. LT.
Parcells is about confidence, a vision of how to do things, you buy into it.
Parcells had the flexibility to roll with LT
'86 Giants beat the '90 Giants in a matchup.
We physically beat people up on the '86 team. From the point of 4th and 17, no team was able to play with us after that point in the season, men vs boys. (xtian, I think LT just vindicated me)
1st SB win you are excited. 2nd Super Bowl run was like the Giants last year, not the best team in personnel, played better as a team. Sweet year. Loves Phil, but with Hostetler that might have been why we won, he came into the mix late in the season, QB hurts teams when he scrambles, brought a new dimension, picks up that crucial first down at that time of the season, people are tired. (ultimatenyg note: you have to encourage Manning to run at least once per game.. if a severely restricted Romo and an older McNabb can do it to burn you, Eli must burn defenses this way too)
Super Bowl XXV: LT joked about how Parcells didn't scout out the hotel well, because there was a strip club across the street in Tampa.
On big games, we (the defense) never had to worry about being outcoached... Belichick was going to come up with something. He drew it up, concocted stuff, still amazes LT.
When Howard forces the fumble in SF to go to Super Bowl XXV, LT was in the right place at the right time to recover the fumble. He jokes, "I was in the wrong place my share of times too!" (For more of these stories, the bars, the drugs, the women.. a quick, fast and entertaining read- "LT: Over The Edge")
Learned in his junior year of college that he could be great. Learned that football is not about making every play. There are 5-6-7X a game, you are in a position to make the play, that is what you do, to change the outcome of the game.
On getting drafted second, passed over by the Saints..living in New Orleans?!.. I would have been in rahab 10 years earlier! Lucky for me I didn't get picked (by Bum Phillips)!!!
Parcells rode LT's butt every day in first training camp. "Trade me, cut me, whatever you want to do, but get off my back." That was the end, best of friends from that moment on. At the end of camp, Parcells called 6 veterans and LT into the (defensive coordinator's) office for a meeting, LT was wondering what he was doing in there. Parcells says to the entire group- everyone here in this room is in awe of (the things) you (can do). He hasn't played a single down in an NFL game yet! But Parcells was letting LT (and everyone else who was important) know that LT was going to be let loose on other teams. (My editorial remark here is this is one of the reasons why Shockey was wasted.. Shockey desperately needed a coach like Parcells who could LEAD HIM, put parameters around what was acceptable (touchdowns) and what not acceptable (demanding the ball, celebrating first downs, showing up your QB), someone who Shockey's pea brain could respect and understand that this guy understands my skill, return the play with focus on getting done what needed to get done. I could hear the conversation right now... Parcells: don't you give orders to MY quarterback, shut your mouth, stop worrying about him, I'll make sure we get u the ball, you catch the ball, let me worry about him. We see the nightmare that was Ray Handley.. when LT was on that team he had Steve DeOssie change the Rod Rust bullbrown read and react in the huddle to allow for LT to make the plays. Point is that I will go to my grave knowing in my heart that a coach like Parcells would have done tremendous things for Shockey. It is hard to see that now, with him being the idiot crybaby, but LT without a disciplined system, playing in a loser organization, would have quite possibly been a Chuck Muncie crackhead who made some Pro Bowls but then wasted his talent from lack of direction.)
Gholsten: Great body, what is wrong? Can't pick it up yet. When a guy is given a responsibility to do some type of coverage, he needs to know why he is doing that, how his role is going to help the defense on that play. Natural talent. Needs to recognize the (offensive) strengths. Once LT learned where the other defensive players were, when he knew where the other players were going to be, he could extend his range. Gholsten has ability. Get in film room, see what he sees, work on his concept of understanding what is going on. Everyone was learning the 3-4 at the same time when LT came in, Gholsten is going to be a helluva player. Compared this situation to DeMarcus Ware, how terrible Ware was (his rookie year).
LT wanted to know why he wasn't getting the concession for all the 56 jerseys being sold and worn in the stadium.
Only one LT. LaDanian Tomlinson, LT calls him "BLT," Baby LT.
3rd year, so hot, in Washington, needed an IV, his best single game performance probably.
Munoz, span of 3 years the linemen of Dallas.. so big, was trouble for him. James Wilder was one of the best RBs he played against, like Brandon Jacobs, not very fast, but by the time he got to the line, he was solid, by the time you get to the 4th quarter, you don't want to hit that guy.
His rookie year, offenses played him straight up. Defensive player of the year. Didn't play him straight up after that! SF and Washington had the 'G block' where the Guard would pull and pick him up. Slide of the TE. Chip block before going into route. Playing GB, trying to break Gastineau's record, and they beat him up so bad, 9 sacks for the team, but nothing for LT because they were throwing everyone at him. Parcells pulled him out to save him from getting hurt! (Funny what the brain remembers, because yes, LT had 20.5 sacks on the verge of gtg the record, but the team only had TWO sacks in the game!)
LT was (warning, editorial remark) surprisingly smart about not wanting to give Detroit the bailout money. Understood that banktruptcy was not a death sentence, that things needed to get straightened out there as opposed to throwing more money at it.
Earl Campbell can't walk, the NFL won't help him. NFL player pension is a joke.
LT made 2.5M in his best year. By the time he was retiring, free agency started, Mike Fox (who wasn't a starter) was getting 2.5M for Carolina!
LT plays a minimum of 18 holes of golf every day! (In the Simms interview (another good, long one, we'll have some remarks tomorrow), Francesa says that LT plays 36 holes EVERY day, a scratch golfer, and now getting good enough to scratch in pro-am tournaments.) LT hustles the current NFL players in golf, LOL! Brian Kelly, Al Del Greco, John Elway, Phil Simms all good golfers. Charles Barkley is bad, so bad that even Charles laughs at himself.
Team that he hated the most, disliked SF, they tried to finesse it. PHL, DAL, WASH, those were the good games. 11 on 11, best team won. Francesa inferred that Shawn Merriman reminds LT of himself.
That '89 lost season was the worst, the Flipper Anderson game. Everett s'd but against the Giants he lit us up. Second SB, no one saw it coming, that was what made it enjoyable... this was similar to Carl Banks saying how 2007 was just like 1990. The Giants players did not realize they could win the SF NFC Championship until Q4. DL did not start making its impact until Q3, and that was when the team started thinking that they has them on the run, they could do something here.
Giants OL of 2008.. this team reminds him of the '86 team. This team's doing a lot of good things, this is something (coming back from the prev year's success) that not even WE could do in those days. Tuck, Kiwanuka- these guys are athletes. Not a LB team, Osi and Strahan gone, very impressed with depth, wonders aloud how he could have done if he had that line in front of him.
Hitting Walter Payton was like hitting a wall of bricks, solid. Great person. Sanders Top 5. LT's Top 5 Running Backs of All Time: Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, OJ Simpson, Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Walter Payton. Yes, there are six here, but at different points in the conversation he would throw out Campbell, then he would have a hard time of picking 2 out of the last three on the list.
Neil Lomax was a tough SOB, he stood in there, took the punishment, stayed in until he delivered the ball. The NFC East had all the good QBs, White, Jaworski, Theisman, Lomax. Montana changed the whole game.
LT tells Strahan re the Giants sack record: (a) my first year they didn't count the sacks (b) I had not one but TWO strike years in '82 and '87 not to collect those sacks AND (c) they didn't rule stripped fumbles as sacks for the first ~ 3 years.
Ultimatenyg here: For those of you out there who are not old enough to have been able to see LT play, get some video. He was the single best NFL player I have ever seen, period. Not Giants best, not defensive best, THE best player I have seen ever. I have heard that Jim Brown was considered the best player of all time, and that may be true. But from 1969 to present, in my lifetime in the NFL, there was no one better. How many players CHANGED THE GAME? I'd argue one, LT. After coming back to the sideline after a successful defensive stand where LT changed his assignment in mid play with the typical great result, Parcells would ask in a confounded mixture of awe and dismay, "What did you do there? That wasn't in the playbook." .. LT would simply reply- "Well, then it should be!" LT rewrote the playbook. The best I have seen.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Fred Robbins was in practice yesterday. Boy do we need him. Of all the players out there who are hurt (yes, even Ahmad), Robbins is the single most important one to get back healthy. The comments on his blog are actually quite informative, taken at face value. (Also, referenced on the right side is a new listing of players' blogs that were added last week.)
November 5, 2008: "Playing with two broken hands is a piece of work, man. I broke them a couple weeks ago against the 49ers, both times making tackles."
December 2, 2008: "I hurt the AC joint in my shoulder in the Arizona game... I’m not complaining. My hands are healed up and my shoulder is coming along."
December 9, 2008: "My hands are better and my shoulder feels OK, the last few games every season you have to gut it out with some soreness. It’s nothing I can’t play with and it’s getting better day by day. That’s why we want to get that bye week and have time to heal."
December 16, 2008: "I definitely want to play. That’s the thing, the players always want to be out there on the field, but I don’t want to go out there too early and have a chance to reinjure my shoulder. I want to make sure I’m around for the playoffs, take some time as far as the healing process. I started having problems with it after playing last week. What happens when you have an injury is that you talk to the team doctor, they ask for your opinion, the doc says his opinion and the coach makes the final decision. Coach Coughlin said he wanted to make sure I was around for the playoffs. Health is a big issue and you want to make sure you don’t reinjure yourself. I’m definitely starting to feel better but it’s too early to say for sure whether I’ll play against Carolina. The strength in my shoulder just isn’t there yet, I can’t protect myself on the field and that’s not a good thing. I’ll probably know by the end of the week. Friday I’ll go out there and do some work on the practice field and see how it feels."
Thursday, December 18, 2008
For those of you who do not get the reference, on my blog profile I have a quote from Casablanca where the Nazis are trying to close up Rick's (Humphrey Bogart) Night Club.
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here," exclaims Captain Renault (Claude Raines), when coming up with charges to appease the Nazis so that the club can be closed. Renault is the local corrupt police officer who regularly takes payoff money from Rick, and the hypocrisy is laid on thick when the crupier coincidentally gives Renault his "winnings" (payoffs delivered thru a rigged roulette wheel).
Well, I'm shocked, shocked, to find that another outside voice of sanity asks aloud why on earth (or fire) #44 does not get more touches. Motown gives us a second nugget in the same day..
Matt Mosley: "For some reason, Tom Coughlin doesn't trust Bradshaw enough to give him meaningful carries. That's the guy who needs to touch the ball more. He's a game-changing player who touches the ball about three or four times a game. Makes no sense to me."
Would others find it shocking that we had a list of quotes from Super Bowl XLII eve on #44? No, I didn't think so.
Did anyone else NOT see the 16 yard slip screen they ran to this guy? Like maybe they should be using this guy as the scatback Dave Meggett-type to spread the defense and make the opposing defense account for him? Wait a second, hold the phone, Tom Coughlin was ON the coaching staff of the 1990 team with Meggett. I'm shocked!
If Bradshaw is playing hurt, limiting his touches, then at least be smarter about it and use him on MANY of those 3rd downs to stretch the defense and leverage those touches you CAN give him.
You're probably not shocked to know that the day that Osi Umenyiora was put on IR, we asked for TWO things: Kiwi back on the DL, and #44 starting in order to have a shot at winning another title without #72. Well, adversity is here (a little later than I thought, obviously) with #17 gone, and now we need some more help. WAKE THE BROWN UP. The championship is still within reach. Of course it is not too late.. it is 4 wins away. You lose one game-changer, use the one wasting on the bench, and while you are at it, (like everyone has suggested numerous times here already) put the other game-changer Hixon back on kickoffs to maximize the utility of this team. You can only lose once, so if you are going to go down, you might as well go down swinging.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Motown woke us up to a Michigan guy. His name is Carl Banks, and he called out Kevin Gilbrown on everything, even at two points by name. He speaks to the issue of rhythm that Wonder stresses. He speaks out to ALL the things we ALL said on Sunday night. He speaks out to all the things we said in the recap.
"From an offensive standpoint they need a defibrillator, because there is no rhythm to it. Not making use of their short and intermediate passes with their backs as well as they should. They are getting beat with the same thing they should be beating other people with."
Get a back in the flat. Move the chains. It is about moving forward. Stay in manageable yardage situations.
"Now comes the time to make the adjustments. When Eli had time to throw the ball, they were coverage sacks. Everyone is downfield and no one down short to dump the ball off to."
paraphrased.. "They put Bradshaw in as a WR, they did a slip screen... Not that huge of a challenge because of the talent they have. They've got more than enough. They've got guys with skill sets that they just have to find ways to utilize."
"It wasn't like they didn't know (that they would be without Plaxico and Brandon Jacobs)."
(quoted and paraphrased..) "How do you offset pressure? You have backs that can catch the ball. They have the same types of players as the ones beating them the past two weeks. Ward and Bradshaw are not as good as Westbrook but they are better than Choice and Barber and can do ALL of these things."
"I don't make a big issue of critizing Offensive Coordinators. WHAT IS MISSING IS THE UTILIZATION OF THE SHORT PASSING GAME TO TAKE SOME PRESSURE OFF THIS QB. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO COUNTER THAT (PASS RUSH) AND THEY HAVE TO LOOK AT HOW TEAMS ARE ATTACKING THEIR DEFENSE. IT IS THE SAME METHODOLOGY AND THEY HAVE THE PEOPLE THAT CAN DO IT." Garrett 20 Gilbrown 6. Wake the brown up.
Before the fans started voting in the Pro Bowl, it was actually a better assessment of talent.. your peers knew who was better than the outsiders. The fans now count for 33%, so the Pro Bowl is a little bit of a Beauty Contest. So last year when guys like Snee got snubbed, we noted it and moved on. This year, the Giants making the Pro Bowl are
I do not mind the offense outweighing the defense, but where the brown is Corey Webster? On the offensive side of the ball, the only person as deserving or more so is Manning and Snee. And at some points thru the season, only Snee. So that is life in the popularity contest section of the world. Heck, even the Giants media barely gave any attention to Webster until he got his new contract. The GMs know, money talks and Reese's money talked. I would not have given Carney the nod. Very reliable at modest range but he simply does not have the length on kickoffs to get my vote. Some are going to cry about Jacobs, but (lol, at the risk of encouraging Nature!) he did not play at a Pro Bowl level. When you get first downs on short yardage, when you make people miss and extend plays, that is what gets my attention. I know that in the Q4 when the defense is beat up, that is when you benefit from the big man, but a lot of RBs hit hard AND make people miss. Jacobs hits harder but doesn't.
Sidenote: Spags still has the "All Joes," Gilbrown still has more responsibility despite the loss of Burress.
Summary: I am sorry for wasting everyone's time with this comic book post. You could give us 25 Pro Bowl nods and it doesn't mean jack BROWN unless you win championships. Last year? 1 Pro Bowl nod and 1 Super Bowl, that is my kind of score tally. This year? 6 Pro Bowl nods and ??? Super Bowls? Those 6 do not mean ANYTHING. The only thing that we count on the Ultimatenyg NY Giants Blog is Super Bowl titles.
On other more important matters, Jacobs said he was ready last Sunday but was not allowed to play, and McKenzie's status for the Panthers is in question.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
1) Negligent- failing to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances
Incompetent- lacking qualities for effective action
Of the two, negligence is far more serious. It implies known neglect. Yesterday's post dealt with Gilbrown's incompetence. But the more I thought about it, Gilbrown allowing his QB to get sacked 8 times in one game is NEGLIGENT. How dare he not protect his QB if his OL cannot?! He put the entire franchise at risk, given that Eli Manning is the franchise.
2) Speaking of Webster, I have zero problem with allocating a lot of resources towards a good CB. Once again, Webster was very good Sunday. He was part of the answer, not a question.
3) Speaking of protecing Manning, where was the ref with the nonsense browning flag when Brady James body slammed Manning to the turf?? And they give Tuck a flag for something half as bad in the first Dallas game? Ridiculous.
4) Everyone who doesn't trust David Carr in there, just let Manning get sacked 8x per game and Eli will morph into David Carr. I saw Eli Carr out there Sunday night, come to think of it.
5) Perhaps I was not completely clear in my rant yesterday about Gilbrown. He is not the ENTIRE reason why the Giants dropped from 29 points to 3 points per game. This may be semantics, but to quantify in broad strokes, lack of Burress chops down some points, poor OL play chops down some points, not having that bully Jacobs chops down a couple of points. Gilbride cost the team double digit points. If they were able to have an identity, a game plan, an ability to adapt, the team could still manage to score 17, 20 points per game. The way the Giants defense was playing, that would have been enough to win.
6) Dallas was playing hurt too, so we did not exactly lose to a great team last night. Dallas is improved, but they are not great.
7) Mr. Platitude (Eli Manning) spelled it out after the game, wondering aloud : “Just because you miss one or two guys, we’ve got playmakers, we just didn’t get it done.” This is Mr. Manning being polite and saying that 11 men here still have plenty of talent to score more than 3 points per game.
8) Did everyone on the OL have the flu? David Diehl looked like he was sleepwalking on a couple of those sacks.
9) This team is banged up. It needs that bye in the worst way. Maybe this is part of the reason why the OL is not playing as well.. showing some wear.
10) I do not really subscribe to the theory that the Giants 'miss' Jacobs as much as others. As long as #44 is playing hurt, I admit Jacobs will be good to have back this weekend. Ward is not a big dropoff. The only point here to concede is that Ward is not the emotional leader that Jacobs is. If Bradshaw was 100% and being used properly by Gilbrown, no one would be missing Jacobs at all. In fact, Bradshaw would have delivered another Buffalo W16-type performance, in my incredibly biased opinion.
11) Reese did the right thing in not re-signing Jacobs. Yes, if he wants his services again he will have to pay more, but the only thing we learned from this year about him is that it is more true than ever that a 6'4" RB will get injured during the year.
12) To my long-suffering Chiefs fans out there... There are a few of you who visit Ultimatenyg New York Giants Blog. For these Chiefs folks, it is 40 years since Len Dawson. Alas, there is HOPE! Peterson was fired! (Anyone who would PAY to have Herm back must need a lobotomy.)
Monday, December 15, 2008
First, let me take a different approach then most of you. I applaud J.REESE for signing Webster, but until I learn the REAL details of the deal, I am NOT happy... $43M for 5 years ? Are you KIDDING me ? Granted, Webster is very good, but he's NOT UNBELIEVABLE...which is what you should get for that $$$...On the other hand, the possibility of an "uncapped" year may make this a very good signing, so I must give him a pass for the "extra" $$$..but if there is a cap, this is a desperate move..as for last night's performance, or lack thereof, let me say that I fully expected the Jints to lose...but it was the WAY they lost that worries me..as I stated before, the Jints MUST re-establish their offensive identity..they failed in EVERY way possible..granted, Andy's frustration with Gilbride is warranted, but it's NOT ALL his fault..the TEAM seems to have, as other posters have said, "lost their mojo"..the only way to get it back is to do 2 simple things against the Panthers: 1. RUN WITH AUTHORITY...the O-Line MUST PLAY BETTER...they got all the credit while running wild..they must now take some of the blame..they are just NOT controllin the line of scrimmage the way they were..and I don't want to hear about "8 in the box" b/c Plax isn't there..baloney...if you watch the tape of the last 2 losses carefully, the opp. D didn't "pack it in" and dare Eli to throw...they may have been a lit more aggressive, but that's the nature of Phila. and Dall when they're playing well... 2. Do as Andy suggested with a SENSE OF PURPOSE..that is, Gilbride MUST come up with game plans suited for our personnel..in this case, 3 and 5-step drops to quick slants or outs, or 6-7 yd passes to Boss underneath...also, I think we MUST start "flaring out" to our RB's with a greater sense of urgency..to not take advantage of Bradshaw in the open field is a huge mistake..get him the rock out in the flat !!! I hope the last 2 weeks make TC wake up and demand that of Gilbride..that being said, I still believe the NYG will come out this week with a renewed sense of urgency...they must do a better job in the trenches offensively, and if they do, I think they will defeat the Panthers..after that, they should REST the banged-up players...they don't need to be "on a roll" heading into the playoffs...
This game saw BOTH offenses have the same exact problem. Each team's offense had no running game, each team's defense could tee off on the pass rush, one team adapted and the other did not. In fact, the Giants offense had the better hand- Romo was beat up and hurting, almost immobile for most of the game. Yet the Dallas offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, made a simple adjustment: he started calling screens, quick passes, slip screens and draws. Our pressure was negated somewhat, not entirely, but ENOUGH. Enough to save Tony Romo's life and keep the Dallas offense operating after the Giants had 3 quick sacks. The Giants? Gilbrown was utterly horrible in the playcalling. Granted, the offense is trying to find an identity after Burress. But when your team cannot run (because the Burress safety is cheating on run duty) and the defense is going after the QB, you need to simply take the aggressiveness away from that pass rush. Quick slants, 3 step drops, slip screens, draws, TE dumpoff checkdowns above the line of scrimmage. Instead, we got long 7 step drops, and ...shocking... 8 sacks. The Giants had a rookie CB to pick on, but did not take (more) advantage of that. Manning took a beating tonight, and it was not all his offensive line's fault (although Diehl and Boothe were bad). His offensive coordinator cannot figure it out. Madden talked about how the WRs couldn't get away from press coverage. At the end of the game he mentions how the only runs that were working for either team were draw plays... duh, NATURALLY! Those are running plays that work when they are PASS RUSHING! This is life after Burress. Hixon vs Newman? I would ignore that altogether, or just try a quick slant for the 1:1 coverage.
We are going to hear all week about how the Giants are in trouble, that they have lost two in a row. And it is ENTIRELY on Gilbrown. He has enough talent to make this offensive unit adapt to the new world of life after Burress. Counting on Gilbrown for in-game adjustments is tantamount to a loss. Boss, Ward and Bradshaw could have been used so much this evening on short passing plays. When we saw how Witten could rumble for first downs by catching the ball 5 yards past the line of scrimmage, it was simply nauseating. When Gilbrown finally hits Bradshaw on a quick out pass in the flat near the end of Q3 that goes for 16 yards, we ask if Gilbrown is finally getting it. Nope, back to the Dallas tee off pass rush, where three plays later they blitz and the middle of the field is WIDE open. A small screen play and the receiver is still running! But instead it is another sack.
BOTH TEAMS WERE LEMONS TONIGHT. Garrett made lemonade, Gilbride was the lemon. The Giants could have and should have won this game easily. All they needed to do was play the same small ball with quick drops and passes right behind the box. This is two weeks in a row now. The Eagles got it done, the Garretts got it done. And we may be waiting until next season before Gilbrown figures it out. EMBRACE CHANGE. CONFRONT THE BRUTAL FACTS. Once again, this was not on the defense. They tired at the very end from lack of support. The Giants offense scored 0 last game, and 6 points this game. The brutal facts are that Gilbrown cannot adapt quickly. We need the bye desperately to heal guys like Robbins, Jacobs, (McKenzie?) and others who are playing hurt. If Gilbrown does not figure it out AND FAST, our season will end even faster. The good news is that this is not rocket science. The bad news is that my confidence in Gilbrown (which was never high) is falling with every series where he does not understand the need for a simple middle screen or TE checkdown. There is still plenty of time before the playoffs to get that offensive rhythm. We can beat the Panthers and all will be well. But only if Gilbrown stops trying to use a sledgehammer to sew a hem. I still believe in the Giants. I cannot say the same for Gilbrown, a man who took a team that was leading the league in 29 points of scoring AVERAGE per game and ground it to a total halt at 3 points per. Incompetent.
Summary: Jason Garrett would have won if given either team to coach. Kevin Gilbrown would have lost if given either side. And there is no way that a team loses one player and goes from scoring an average of 29 points per game to an average of 3 points per game. You need a catalyst to halt that kind of reaction, and his name is Gilbrown.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
For those of you who missed it, thanks Motown for breaking the story here only minutes after it came out. See comments in previous post. Corey Webster was signed to a new deal through 2013, 5 yrs, $43M, $20M guaranteed.
Considering the expansion of the salary cap, the ~8.6M/yr avg they are paying him is what it takes to get the deal done. Clements got $80M for a 10 yr deal. While his deal is not accurately reflected in this data, you can see that Webster is getting top 10 CB money, and when you factor in that front loaded bonus, it is top 5 money.
The bottomline is that Webster is young (26), entering his prime, and an 'outstanding' CB. Great job in locking him up.
1) Steelers-Ravens: Field Turf at Baltimore helps them, not the same as Heinz Field. Numbers DO tell the story for Pit defense, not a single team has put up 300 yds vs the Steelers this season. (ultimatenyg> Yes, but the Giants got into the red zone SIX times, were able to move the ball against them. Like Wonder says, Play Action against 8 men in the box. That was what got us 7 vs them in that last drive.) Romo took chances last week against the Steelers that he did not need to take. Roethlisberger has much more patience, plays within their approach. Both defenses are complicated. Simms likes Polamulu (over Ed Reed), makes the tackles also, defends the pass and is around the ball. Even though Simms is doing the game, you could tell in between the lines that he was leaning towards the Steelers because their defense is better and because Roethlisberger is the veteran and Flacco is the student.
2) Giants-Cowboys: Distraction for the Cowboys is real. In between the lines, players are calling out the coaches. That is when it is very bad. Jones means well, but when you get too close to the players, doesn't work. Players think they are part of the process, and it blurs the line of responsibility, where responsibility/roles end. This does not help Romo. Without Jacobs (who drives the Giants offense), that will be enough for the Cowboys to win the game. Dallas will not overpower the Giants OL, but they won't be run over because Jacobs not there. The Giants have time to fix their problems, need Hixon healthy, get Jacobs back, be ready for the playoffs. Next weekend, they will beat the Carolina Panthers, the Giants match up well with them in all 3 or 4 major categories and will win.
3) Jets-Bills: the Bills will shut off the Jets passing game. Bills too weak though, the Jets will win. Favre, take away Denver game, he is throwing the ball well, no one got open in SF.
4) Texans-Titans: Texans have a chance at home today. If Schaub can get protection, they will win. After Ryans and Williams, the Texans defense falls off too fast and will lose the game for them.
5) Simms MVP (at the moment) is James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers. "He makes 3 to 4 plays EVERY game." Francesa chimed in with Peyton Manning.
The Giants got dropped last week and are still hurt and undermanned. The consensus sees problems with the gmen, that the mounting loss of players is taking its toll. The Giants are a lot better team than they showed last week, so if they have been playing with (1) concentration and purpose all season, what do you think we are going to see from the (2) road warriors tonight (3) coming off a loss (4) playing Dallas? There is not a single doubt in my mind that the Giants will be ready for this game.. is there any in yours?! Addendum 855am.. Let me be clear about it: the Giants will win the game. Why? the Giants have every reason to lose the game, the Cowboys have every reason to win it. But I just heard from Emmitt Smith (who is one of the weakest sports commentators, not to mention a Dallas blohard) that he likes the Panthers now as his favorite out of the NFC. After one loss, the Giants ship is sinking! NOT! Ridiculous. I heard the expression, you are only as good as your latest at-bat, but this is ridiculous. This is the same team as a weAk before, except Toomer, Smith, Boss and Hixon are not going to drop their passes, Manning will be able to throw the ball all four quarters, and when Wade Genius puts 8 men in the box today, the Dallas secondary will get roasted.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
1. The main reason our pass rush has been weak lately is that we are NOT getting the push up inside..Robbins is not blowing up the pocket the way he was earlier in the season..as a result, the OT's can push Tuck, Kiw OUTSIDE, which forces their QB's to step up in the pocket...which, at least recently, has led to success for our opp...what do we do ? we either run stunts with Tuck looping around up the middle (which takes TIME) or, as I prefer, we randomly mix in blitzes RIGHT UP THE MIDDLE..do not let their QB be comfortable and "step up" inside...
2. The coaching staff MUST stay on Eli to use his LEGS when throwing, particularly in bad weather..he must STEP/LEAD forward with his LEFT leg "aiming" at his target...the superior footwork will enable him to be successful in the wind/cold..I actually believe there's a part of Eli that's "afraid" to step up and follow through b/c of the fear of banging his hand/thumb against a helmet as well as increasing the chance of taking a brutal hit...he must have FAITH in his OL to allow him to FINISH his toss....
3. Gilbride MUST get his offense to focus on PLAY-ACTION and short, timing routes in the next 3 games as they will be CRITICAL for our playoff run...win or lose, Eli must get COMFORTABLE with our game plan for the playoffs..and Toomer, Smith, and Boss must have expanded roles in the short/intermediate game..also, Hix MUST develop a better rapport with Eli in the 10-15 yd. range...the double moves/faking a skinny post/to complete a 15 yd out MUST be part of the plan...
4. These items MUST be addressed and implemented in the Cowboys' game...even if we lose, we MUST be "comfortable" and READY with our new identity (w/o plax) for the Panther game !!
go JINTS !!
Where do you find Phil Simms? You find him on the Showtime link, but you also find him here on the Ultimatenyg New York Giants blog.
1) NYG at DAL. "Dallas will beat the NY Giants."
"IF Dallas can make the playoffs (thinks they will), I believe they are a big time threat to the NY Giants because they are one of the few teams that are big enough and strong enough to just go in there and slug it out with them."
(Re last weekend's game) "Weather is the great equalizer of talent."
2) DEN at CAR. Despite the mon night hangover factor, likes the Carolina Panthers, big and strong and will find a way to win it.
3) TB at ATL. Veteran QB Garcia vs a rookie QB Ryan, going with the veteran QB, Tampa Bay.
4) BUF at NYG. Bills have speed but not showing up, Jets will have some success throwing the ball downfield and win a close game.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thankfully, the G-men staff have WOKEN up and smelled the roses!!..and let Jacobs HEAL...if he's ok, as I've said before, PLAY him in the ONLY game that matters-against Panthers...SPARINGLY...and then REST him until the playoffs...if he's not good to go next week, just let him rest the WHOLE way until the playoffs..and hope we can beat panthers w/o him..
(Warning, some might find the content of this video objectionable.) I know this is a New York Jets, er I mean New York Giants Blog, but this morning when the Senate voted down the Auto Bailout I decided to go to SNL to rewatch that video of them lampooning the auto execs. Instead I was s****d in to that other video, imo one of the best they have ever done. I am sure 90% of you have already seen it, but I don't think you'll complain about watching it again. For the other 10%, in the spirit of the season, Happy Holidays.
A little while back we did a post on Corey Webster, bringing attention to the quiet but great job he is doing at cornerback. Pastime and Mitch noted he becomes a free agent soon... The message here is simple: re-sign him NOW before he enters free agency this coming March. The Giants cannot afford to lose this player. I did not like losing guys like Wilson last season because they were part of the answer, not questions. At a certain price, all players ultimately become questions, and the Giants were totally outbid. But the same thing will happen again if Webster goes to the free market. There are other teams out there that will see a #1 CB who has 4 years experience, is 26 (will be 27 the day after free agency starts) and is in the sweet spot of his career. He knows (just as Wilson did) that you only get one good crack at that monster signing bonus and new contract, and this it. Only if you are a Pro Bowler do you get 2+ shots at that nice new fat contract. And speaking of Pro Bowl, what happens if Webster gets voted in this Tuesday? He is playing for the 11-2 Giants, he is playing the second best on defense next to Tuck, so why shouldn't he get the attention and possible selection? If he does, his price is only going to go up. If I am Webster's agent, I am telling him to WAIT until March. If the Giants wait until March they will find themselves $2M+ per year below the market, and Webster will probably choose the market. You only get one crack at the free agency market like this; if the Giants make this mistake, the player should leave and take the money elsewhere. Buy low and sell high.. this is the top of the market for a healthy 27 year old who can cover stars in the NFL. That will be a sad day..If I am Jerry Reese, I want him signed NOW to avoid that scenario.
Summary: We have two pathways, the Tuck blueprint and the Wilson blueprint. Sign Webster now because if he enters free agency it will likely be too late. Reese is smart enough to sign him. Is Webster's agent as smart as Wilson's? For our sake, I hope not.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
DON'T worry about tonight's game...the ONLY game that matters is next week when we host Carolina..IF we lose to Carolina, THEN and only THEN will we risk losing the #1 seed...IT doesn't matter if we lose to Dallas AND Minn the last week..and finish 12-4...we will still be the #1 seed as long as we beat Carolina...and both finish 12-4...the other "risk" is Tampa Bay..and if they run the table to 12-4, they win the division over Carolina as long as we BEAT Panthers...however, WE get the #1 seed over TB b/c of the 4th tie-breaker, "strength of victory"..we tie them with w/l % at 3-2 against common opp even if we lose to Dallas AND Minn...and we would have same CONF. record at 9-3...so root for da bears...
As for Bear-Saints tonight, the Saints are the ultimate home/away animal...great at home in the dome, and inept on the road....add in the freezing Chicago weather, and "da" bears should win easily...As great a coach as Payton has been in the past, we should thank our lucky stars for an absolutely TERRIBLE coaching job this year to maximize the draft choices !! GO BEARS !!
Ultimatenyg New York Giants Football Blog welcomes "Wonder" as its second blogger. This is meant as no disrespect to ANY OF US, but Wonder knows more football than anyone I know, met, anyone in the media, anyone period. Is this hype? No. Wonder is human, he makes mistakes, but he sticks his neck out, he puts his opinion out there, and his track record is excellent. His analysis and understanding of the NFL is outstanding and we welcome him to share his insights with us as often as he chooses. Please keep in mind Wonder is a Jets fan, but he roots for the Giants too and knows as much about the gmen as we do, probably more. You can only imagine what he knows about the Jets and THE OTHER 30 TEAMS, off the charts. Come draft time (essentially the day after the Super Bowl!) his commentary will be indespensible. GO GIANTS. GO WONDER.
1. Jints- the Burress distraction was bound to hit us at SOME point this year..better week 14 than in playoffs...as for our future, it really doesn't matter if we beat Dallas or not, except for the possibility of knocking them out of playoffs, which would be GREAT...however, that being said, Coughlin and staff MUST rest Jacobs..it was extremely poor "season management" to play Jacobs against Phila..we all know how much it hurts to plow into the line in the cold weather..all the bumps and bruises get accentuated....come January/Feb., Jacobs MUST be as close to 100% as possible...hold him out against Dallas, play him (if he's ok to go) against Carolina as that is the ONLY game left on the schedule that matters, and hold him out against Minn., so he has 3 weeks to rest.. I wouldn't worry too much about the Phila. game..I actually believe losing was a good "stress-reliever" given the recent events.. I am a little concerned about our pass rush however..it's great to make teams one-dimensional by stopping the run...however, if you let their QB sit back there w/o being pressured, our secondary will get annihilated unless the weather precludes passing...also, I believe we MUST game plan better re: the passing game... the Jints have, for the moment, lost their offensive identity w/o Burress..it is critical they get it back by playoff time..I'm not too concerned about the running attack as it's basically on cruise control..but the passing game MUST be smooth and in rhythm, particularly Eli's PLAY-ACTION to Boss, Smith..and Toomer MUST be more "involved" so Eli is more comfortable
Jets- Mangini wants to be a "belechick clone", i.e, an emotionless statue who expects his 53 players to be professionals who come to work each and every day and know their job..guess what ? this is FOOTBALL !! Your 53 have to bring INTENSITY and frankly, a little bit of craziness, each and every game...they are NOT salesmen at BARNEY'S where they are motivated by commissions and the customers just show up, etc..they have to BRING IT onto the field !! We all believe we know and understand football..trust me, the average viewer has no clue that on each and every play 11 players on one team are trying to kill the other 11 players with an amount of violence you cannot comprehend..as such, to expect your team to play WITHOUT emotion is self-defeating.. the best coaches get their teams "riled up" before the game.. have you ever seen Ray Lewis talk to his team on the sideline before a game ?? That's what we need..as for strategy, Mangini is approaching the Herm Edwards zone, where he plays NOT TO LOSE as opposed to PLAYING TO WIN !!...3rd and 2 on opening series after recovering an onside kick? you're on the 49er 38 yd. line..RUN JONES TWICE !! you can't show enough confidence to "go for it" on 4th down if need be ? why did you even bring in Favre ? to throw the ball SHORTER on the average than Pennington ? when was the last time, other than the AZ and Rams blowouts, that Favre actually completed a pass that he physically threw more than 20 yards down the field ?? Why isn't David Clowney ACTIVE? He's the only real home run threat the Jets have..do they EVER complete a 15 yd. "skinny post" or deep out ? Do they EVER go from shotgun with Leon next to Favre, and then motion Leon up in the slot to go 1on 1 with a LB with an empty backfield? How many passes does Reggie Bush catch ? When you have a ball control offense that relies on precision, you CANNOT afford ANY drops or mistakes...hear that Keller ?.. and what has become of the DEEP ball after PLAY-ACTION? remember when Cotchery caught a 56 yd TD on opening day off of play-action ? well ?
As for the DEFENSE, or lack thereof, Sutton and/or Mangini have NO CLUE and the D has NO IDENTITY..sure, for the most part they can stop the run..but how can any D that includes Jenkins, Ellis, Pace,and BT rushing the passer and Rhodes and Revis in the secondary, give up such a HUGE amount of passing yardage to SECOND RATE QB's like Hill? Go with PRESS COVERAGE and RUSH the QB, mix it up...do NOT let "him" get comfortable !! and for heaven's sake, can you figure out HOW to stop 2 basic plays:
1. crossing patterns "underneath" that go for 15 yds ; and
2. simple flares or screens to RB's or Wes Welker clones
Mangini should be kicking their butts and getting them so "mad" that they CANNOT WAIT to wallop someone (the BILLS!!) on Sunday...If I don't see INTENSITY and a pass rush with blitz packages on Sunday, the Jets will NEVER win out..which is what they MUST do as Pats will go 11-5...the Seahawk game will be REALLY scary, but IF they come out and play "JET FOOTBALL" on Sunday and crush the Bills, it will restore their confidence and get them ready for Seattle... I am VERY sure they will handle Miami in the cold and windy Meadowlands if it's for all the marbles.
Paul Schwartz points out that the Giants got 30 sacks in the first 8 games, and have gotten 7 sacks in the last 5 games. Is it because Robbins is not healthy and we miss that 4 man push w/o him? Is it a trend? Do other teams have a 'tell' on our blitz locations? Is it as simple as just getting Robbins healthy and everything else will be fine? While I have been in the latter camp, I am not completely convinced that there is not something else. Is Tuck playing with a nagging condition? His play is still pro bowl caliber but even our defensive star is seeing enough chips and doubles to make his pass rush less consistent.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Previously we outlined which teams presented the biggest obstacles to the Giants. A good QB with a good enough OL who had that TE could pick on our LBers/secondary.. the kryptonite to defeating the gmen. While I still subscribe to that theory, we certainly saw what the true Kryptonite was this past weekend. THE WIND.
Manning knows he has a problem with the wind. Before GB in the NFC Championship, he spoke with Vic Ziegel: Manning was asked about his greatest concern and, as expected, he mentioned the wind. "I think so," he said. It was one of his rare direct answers.
The Skins game in W15 2007. The Bills game in W16 2007. The Eagles game in W14 2008. People who want to say the Eagles broke the Giants code by loading the box w/o Burress only have half the story- they had help: (1) the Giants were flat (2) the WIND.
The bottomline here is that Eli Manning (who has a free pass for life for delivering us from 17 years of dearth) does not have a tight spiral. What he has in brains he lacks in that winter wind tunnel known as the Meadowlands. He is the polar opposite of Kerry Collins, the pea brain who can deliver the ball like a howitzer. (I always loved Kerry, I hope we play him in the Super Bowl.)
Is there a fix? Well, we already believe that Gilbride must use dinks and dunks in the short passing game when long passes are out of the question. If the opposition tries to take away that too then you simply have to go to your OTHER tallest option, Boss, and put it up there for a jump ball a la Burress.
SUMMARY: It took a confluence of factors for the Giants to get beat on Sunday. Considering how poorly the team played, it is not clear that the wind, in and of itself, is a 100% obstacle. Every other team will be studying for ways to beat the gmen, but if the Giants execute they will be tough to beat, wind or no wind. There simply needs to be more urgency in these wind games because effectively it SHORTENS the game and makes each possession more critical. Your offense realistically has little more than half the opportunities, and your defense can compound that (like Sunday in Q3) by not getting them off the field when you are supposed to. As Belichick and Parcells taught us in Super Bowl XXV, when you play AGAINST a great offensive team you need to get time of possession to win. IN 2008, WE ARE THE TEAM THAT HAS THAT POTENT OFFENSE that needs to get put on the bench by opposing teams. So elements like the wind are part of the recipe for shortening the game ON US. As long as Gilbride and Manning and the rest of the team are aware of that, they are already one step ahead. I know Coughlin understands this.. he was there in Jan 1991. When the chips are down in January, if there is wind and the Giants are playing at full tilt, I believe they have enough to overcome that and win the game.
Harold, one of the original people in the email group, asked this question yesterday... if the Giants win W17 vs the Patriots, do they win the Super Bowl vs the Patriots? None of us will ever know, but the point is well taken that this loss was a tremendous opportunity. This team is the same one that Bob Popa was lauding two weeks ago, so it will come back stronger from this and win it all. Those of you know I do not make outlandish or frequent predictions, so there it is, on the record.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
When you play hearts, there are 26 points for each hand. Each heart is worth a point and the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points. The object of the game is to come away with as FEW points as possible. So everyone is busy dumping the Queen of spades and ducking tricks to take in as few points as possible. But there is one wrinkle in hearts that makes the game very good... if you can manage to take ALL 26 points, you "shoot the moon," and then give everyone else 26 points (or subtract 26 from your score) when you succeed. It is aggressive- but if you are going to lose, you might as well lose while going down FIGHTING.
And so goes it in football, where you can take some chances at an opportune moment and shoot the moon, trying to win a championship title. It is more about attitude than anything else.
YOU CAN ONLY LOSE THE GAME ONCE.
YOU CAN ONLY LOSE YOUR SEASON ONCE.
TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT. GO DOWN SWINGING. SHOOT THE MOON.
And so it came to be that the 1990 Giants lost their first string QB and everyone knew that the 13-3 team was a little less than the best of the best. They had lost to the Bills, Eagles and defending Super Bowl Champion 49ers during the regular season, so there were more than a few obstacles to winning a title. Each team made the playoffs.
And then came the words of Everson Walls. It was an epiphany for me as a fan. He said: bring on the Eagles, we lost to them, bring on the 49ers, we lost to them, and bring on the Bills, we lost to them. Let's play all three this postseason and go through all of them.
It was brash. It was liberating. And it was necessary. This was Walls' version of shooting the moon. Take'm all on.
The Giants are 11-2 and we have theorized that perhaps the only team which still has the secret sauce for beating the Gmen is the Dallas Cowboys. Romo takes an above average offensive line and buys time, making the Dallas OL seem that much more effective. A Pro Bowl TE in Witten is the Giants achilles heal. We have seen this year that when a QB playing the Giants has time, our LBs/DBs look mediocre. If there is any team out there who has that Kryptonite, we believe it is Dallas. Do not be fooled by the mistakes, they will be a lot to handle. They were beating the Steelers IN PITTSBURGH with 7 mins left, 13-3, without Marion Barber, before they imploded. So do not underestimate them. BTW, for those of you who do, they are giving free money away (no they aren't), the Giants are +3 point UNDERDOGS.
BRING ON THE COWBOYS.
Road warrior special. Time to prove the naysayers wrong. People are already talking about how too many people have been lost from the Roster (Umenyiora, Burress etc..) for the Giants to hold it together. They will be proven wrong.
Knock them out of the playoffs this weekend. And if they make the playoffs anyway, knock them out of the playoffs again. The Cowboys will be a 5 or 6 seed as wildcards, they win their first game and likely will play the Giants as 1 vs 5/6 seed, the same way the Giants played Dallas last year. Everyone is thinking, the payback game, the media will be all over this one if it plays out that way, except this time you welcome it, you do not want it any other way. Why? Because you want to play the teams who are most capable. Think about it. When the Giants won their three Super Bowls they always had a tough road. In '86, the 49ers were arguably the best of the rest. And the Giants had already beaten the Skins twice that year, so the conventional wisdom was that it would be hard to win three times, yet they did. The road to Super Bowl XLII was through TB, DAL, sub zero GB and the 18-0 Patriots.
Do not duck Dallas, now or ever. Make your path as hard as it has to be in order to win a championship. Let others duck the Giants.. those teams will not even face the Gmen because they will lose before that. Bring on Dallas this weekend and AGAIN in the playoffs. If we do not get them because they fall apart beforehand, bring on someone else.