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Friday, October 31, 2008

Pat Hanlon: Burress will straighten out

Pat Hanlon, the Giants Director of Communications, was on Giants Online this week and offered some Burress remarks beyond the usual commentary: "I think you are going to see the actions of a man who is going to be a big part of this (push to another title). He is ready for the conversation about him to turn to what he is doing on the field."

Everyone mentioned that Burress admitted to making some mistakes, which universally is understood as the first step in correcting them. But Hanlon put some of his own credibility on the line, going on the record and saying that BURRESS IS NOW COMMITTED TO TURNING IT AROUND. He did not have to do that, but obviously as a pr guy he knows that he needs to contain the damage and repair the image if possible. Cynics out there will say that that is his job. My read on Hanlon is that the guy is too in love with himself to attach himself and his credibility to a sinking ship. He is as close to the situation as anyone, so if he is going to come out and say that Burress is now going to focus on the field, I believe it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's all about the line of scrimmage

McKenzie, Snee, O'Hara, Seubert, and Diehl (out of picture) break from the huddle.

3 Running backs who could start for many teams
4 Wide Receivers who could start for many teams
1 QB who is poised, confident, calm, making less mistakes, making more great throws
1 solid Fullback
1 Tight End with great hands who can even move a little in traffic


The stats are gaudy. The Giants are third in the league in (lowest) sacks allowed, slightly less than one per game. The #1 Rushing Offense in the NFL. The #3 Overall Offense in YPG. #2 in Time of Possession.

(Oh by the way, the team is 27th in the league in red zone efficiency. I'll let you connect that dot.)

Back to the offensive line, these guys have ALL been with one another for four consecutive seasons 2005-2008. Diehl 2003. Seubert (essentially back from injury in) 2005. O'Hara 2004. Snee 2004. McKenzie 2005. To say these guys have their communication down is an understatement. To watch them vs the Steeler blitz was impressive. Air tight. This is what I miss from pre-free agency, an offensive line that works as a unit. Continuity. Consistency. High level of play.

The Giants organization understands this, although I certainly had plenty of doubts about Accorsi when Fassel was around. They relied way too much on McNally to put together patchwork and ignored the OL for cap reasons. I contended that McNally's presence was a crutch for the organization, because the allocation of resources their dwindled with every successive miracle McNally performed. McNally was practically Dr. Frankenstein, manufacturing linemen in his basement. (Seubert was one those who still remains).

You have to give Accorsi/Reese/Coughlin the credit for their work over the past four years in trying to keep these guys together. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE FIVE MEN AS A UNIT ARE GREATER THAN THE SUM OF THEIR PARTS. And they would be the first ones to tell you that. Simms this past Sunday singled them out as the reason why the Giants would win the game. Indeed, they were the difference.

Lack of depth at Tackle is the only blemish on this story. As long as Diehl and McKenzie are healthy the Giants OL should be fine, because we saw that Ruegamer can come in and plug the inside.

Let's remember, the offensive line was the single most consistent unit last year also. And the OL is playing better than last year, if that is at all possible.

This weekend we get to see Diehl vs Ware. As long as the OL stays healthy the Giants are one of a handful of teams that can vie for the title.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

some Giant remarks

1) Is Bradshaw a fumbler? He fumbled 'twice' vs SF and one of them was the ground causing the fumble, so yes he fumbled once. ALL Season. 29 touches. NOT ENOUGH DATA to make a conclusion. If he had two fumbles on 29 touches, there 'might' be cause for concern, if he had zero that would not be enough data there either. Give him the ball.

2) Ward works for me as well. He's not as dynamic as Bradshaw but he is doing great, he hits the hole fast enough to get it done.

3) Jacobs is important, just not enough to get ~57% of the carries amongst the three of them.

4) I was out on an errand last evening and heard a caller on WFAN ask about David Carr. The host (I couldn't tell you his name) shot down Carr like a clay pigeon. Dismissed him completely, said the Giants were totally done without Manning. I would not go that far. The caller and host started talking about how he stunk at Houston, and all I can think is that these two bozos are clueless... Houston? The most sacks in history? Tom Brady would have gotten killed in Houston, and my grandmother could QB this Giants team with how well the OL is playing. (Tomorrow's post.) Of course Carr is a big dropoff, but he is much better than LorezenWrightWoodson et al. Our championship hopes would take a beating, but I think that the OL is playing so well right now that he would have a shot. Not a big shot, but a shot.

5) Speaking of OL, Diehl will be tested by DeMarcus Ware this weekend. He has trouble with the speed rusher, and Ware is at the top of his game (9 sacks). Just give him some help, because the rest of the DL for the Cowboys is not that great.

6) Tuck on the Cowboys: "They hate us, we hate them." That is about it.

7) If I am Coughlin, I have the comments from Wade Phillips (last January) on the bulletin board that the terd made after "the best team" lost.

8) Motown Blue Burke- the two back alignment works for me, but the problem is that you are thinking logically. We'll have none of that around here. Some of the people who want to get technical about it will tell you that (a) they use Hedgecock for the FB blocking duties and (b) Jacobs/Ward/Bradshaw don't want to block for one another. Jacobs can be your FB (hey, he'll get back to the line of scrimmage faster if he gets the call!), Jacobs can make punishing lead blocks anyway. ANYTHING TO SHAKE UP TENDENCY and keep'em guessing.

9) Witten has a broken rib but will play.Maybe Phillips can break another one. (and Wonder jokes the Giants should PREY the Cowboys actually are stupid enough to play him... they'll hit him in the ribs one time and maybe put him on IR for the rest of the season... logically the Boys should sit him for this one week and give him 3 weeks rest thru the bye.)

10) In that same link there is a quickie about Jerry Jones being nominated for consideration into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ya kiddin' me, right? He's an owner the past ~20 years who has been a good businessman and marketing guy for his brand. But Hall Of Fame? More like gall and shame. Mara got in after ~70 years of involvement with the franchise.

11) The gmen are -9 over the Boys. The Ultimatenyg most-hated divisional rival was/is/and always will be the Eagles, but I do admit to having a special interest in seeing the Boys get buried this weekend. Perhaps it is because not only does winning mean a lot for our chances, but I really do want to see Phillips and Jones out of the playoffs... at 5-4 things will get a little tougher for that Wild Card. We'll take a win by any score, but making a statement on Sunday would be nice.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nitpickers Convention

1) Al Sharpton on Serby.

2) Joe Namath on the Jets.

3) Ultimatenyg for two years on doing it right. Rule #21 anyone? (and that was after 4 downs in a row with the penalty, not 3.)

4) Rule #8 and Rule #16 were discussed by one of the Ultimatenyg blog's silent majority, Rob, a charter member of this blog from back when it was an email group of 15-20 Giants fans:

When the defense held Pitt on 4th down, we took over the ball with about two minutes left. One first down wins the game, and a play of 20 yards puts us in FG position.

Why not go for the throat and throw the ball on 1st down? The Steelers are expecting nothing but run. Line up for a run and throw the ball. Trust in Manning that if it isn't there, he will take the sack and let the clock keep ticking and force the timeout ANYWAY. That is the perfect situation to cross up the defense. And you will have no better chance to succeed.

Instead, after a futile 3 and out, you see Gilbride on the sideline with Manning happy that they are leaving the game in the hands of our defense. Why do that? Why not try to get that next score or even that next first down and win?

That is being aggressive. That is playing to win. Don't give them that last possession. The great coaches don't let their opponents have extra chances. They play to win and not to lose.

As for the red zone, why not try a few of those plays with AB/Ward. Speed to the corner is deadly. Plus if you have to respect the corner, you can't sell out to stack the middle. Let them have to gamble a little bit.

You make everything about you more potent when you are unpredictable. People are late getting to the point of attack, because they have to react instead of anticipate. The linebackers and safeties can't cheat up because they don't know if it is a run or pass and consequently, the first contact is a yard further behind the line, and there is more separation for a quality RB to make a cut.

Gilbride hinders the team. There is obviously something to lining up and punching someone in the mouth, but much like a fighter, there is a difference between a puncher and a boxer. A boxer can beat a puncher with strategy and technique. And it is much better to be a boxer and not always a puncher.

As for the Prevent Offense, granted Roethlisberger did not have the protection to "likely" pull off a miracle drive, but are you willing to take that chance? Would you feel the same way if Brees or Brady is back there? How many of you (the ones rolling their eyes for this being nitpicky) were there in the Meadowlands in October of 2003 when the Philadelphia Eagles had even LESS of a chance of winning the game than the Steelers (they had scored 7 points the whole game), and Fassel did the same thing, the RRRK. AND WE LOST!!! How? Because Brian Westbrook ran the punt back 84 yards (familiar distance? familiar punter?) for a TD. Game over. Bill Walsh never did the RRRK until the other team's second string QB was in the game and it was completely over.

Re the boxer, The boxer does the play action to the TE and finds him WIDE OPEN because the Steelers are selling out with every possible body at the line of scrimmage. Maybe THIS is why we were going nuts at HALFTIME about the playcalling? Maybe if you tried the same playcall in Q1 or Q2 you'd have (a) one or two more TDs and (b) one or two LESS bodies selling out in future plays in that situation so that you'd score on the run. Sometimes a little less punching and little more boxing makes you a better puncher too.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

New York Giants 21 Pittsburgh Steelers 14

Had it all the way. Not. Let's see if we can recap the midgame rants in one sentence: Gilbride, you s***.

We are midway through the season, Jacobs has already lost that 1/4 or 1/2 step I mentioned, and now he is a tremendous liability in short yardage and the red zone. Not to mention how predictable the playcalling is on top of that. There might as well be a neon sign blinking above his head> "IT'S GOING TO ME, GUYS!" When Ward started getting more touches in the latter part of the second half, you could see the offense stop the stagnation. Like everyone has commented here numerous times, this is no KNOCK on Jacobs. It is on Gilbride's delusional use of him when it is not working. And some of this he should have understood from the film room in NJ, not on Heinz Field. Jacobs matches well vs the softie defenses who are not ready for a fight. Against a physical team like the Steelers you still need to use him but not at the expense of Ward and/or Bradshaw. And will someone tell Gilbride to practice the dumpoff pass to the RB outlet on the checkdown? Ward and Bradshaw can kill teams like this with that stuff.

The officiating was HORRENDOUS. I will not go into the horrors of how we almost got completely screwed by the refs, because it would take a novella to list them all. Just understand that Gilbride's incompetence makes these penalties really hurt, and if we lose a playoff game (or a bye or a playoff spot) because of it, it will NOT be about the penalties, it will be about Gilbride putting us in a position where the penalties CAN cost you.

Once again, the defense played valiantly. Butler giveth (TD) and taketh away (hit for INT by Kehl). The Steeler offensive line was seriously exposed by our pass rush and blitz. GOOD. Pierce was all over the field, he looked like he was back. If I were to mention all of the good players in today's game from the defense it would be too lengthy. But at least let's give a special shout out to unsung Tollefson.

The Giants OL was fantastic. Same old story, Gilbride is dealt the most amazing hand in the world, he has the straight on 5 cards and checks. He can run the ball and he can pass the ball, but instead he does what is predictable so that the defense can have a decent chance at stopping the poor playcall. How many times did he violate the Ultimatenyg tell, running on second down and 10 or less in a normal game environment after a first down pass? (He did it at least THREE times that I can recall.) If we are calling the plays from 600 miles away, ya think the Steelers might know what is coming? Ya think?

By the time we reach near the end of the game and we have been to the red zone about 6 million times (okay, so this was the 6th), OMG,




I am shocked to find him wide open in the end zone. Surprise, surprise, surprise Sergeant Carter!

Please do me one favor. Do not credit Gilbride for turning it around on that last drive for the TD. Do not give him the credit for waking the F up. When I saw that smile on his face standing next to Manning, like, look at me, ain't we great?! I wanted to wipe that freaking smile right off his face. He is still so clueless, he probably thinks he coached a good game. SIX TRIPS TO THE RED ZONE???!!! YOU S***. You did exactly what we feared you would do, you piece of terd. The Giants won despite you. Take some responsibility for scoring and WINNING games instead of putting it ALL on the defense. YES, we have said it before and we will say it again and again. You can score 40 points EVERY SINGLE GAME. YOU COULD HAVE SCORED 40 today against a 'so-called' elite defense because your offense is loaded and it does not matter! It used to be Eli last year that was the weakest link, and we could understand how the offense would be as inconsistent as our emerging QB. NOW, it is Mr. Gilbride, Mr. Meathead, you are the weakest link on this offense and this team. Thank goodness we win despite you.



IF WE LOSE THIS GAME, it will not be anyone's fault on defense.
IF WE LOSE THIS GAME, it will all be on Gilbride wasting his offense.

3rd and short, the Giants hand off the ball to Jacobs, he is the WRONG RB, Ward OR Bradshaw would have made the first down. Typical Gilbride. GILBRIDE=VOMIT.

4 possessions in the red zone and 3 FGs...why? The answer is because..

they have the wrong running back in the game when they get into the red zone. Why did the Giants convert last week on 4th and 1 vs SF in the red zone? They brought in Bradshaw. EITHER WARD OR BRADSHAW NEEDS TO BE IN ALL THE TIME WHEN IN THE RED ZONE. Jacobs plays into the strength of this PIT defense which is slower and more physical. Jacobs is not the threat to this team and Ward and Bradshaw would be killing this team. I cannot keep track of all of the things that Gilbride has done wrong, but that has to be at the top of the list. Mike Martz would have 24 points already. Gilbride is a MORON. MEATHEAD MEATHEAD MEATHEAD.

I just spoke with Wonder: "The Giants are thoroughly outplaying the Steelers and they should still win this game, despite all the blown opptys so far. Re your analysis of Gilbride et al, kudos, you have it right."


Phil Simms from London

Francesa: "Giants offense has not been crisp" (read between the lines, he says the Giants are the best team in the NFL right now, so that implies they are underachieving, hello Mr. Gilbride.)

World Series: they let the game start at 10:07PM after a 1:30 rain delay. The game ended at 1:50AM. Another fabulous job by MLB. What a freaking embarrassment. So many things that went wrong here. Why is the game starting at 830PM in the first place? They cannot postpone the game because there are not enough warm days left in the calendar because of all of the dilution and playoff games. And what about the simple fact that a 5-4 normal 9 inning game takes 3:43 mins? One large joke. A World Series game ends at 1:50AM. Pathetic excuse for a major league sport. This is your championship and the game ends at 1:50AM! Hellloooo??!!


1) Sean Payton great playcaller. Brees terrific, protected well. Saints defense is the problem.
2) Saints have a lot of guys who have tested positive for this steroid cover. Impact from losing McAlister would be huge. (As Giants fans, perhaps it happens sooner than later, so that we see the team implode and get the higher #2 pick.)
3) For both Ben and Eli, they both will see blitz pressure. Both can do well if they get the protection. The 2 teams are very equal except in one place, the Giants OL. The Giants OL is a BIG difference, and that is why "the Giants will win the game."
4) Colts will not come through vs the Titans on Mon night. Titans DL (read: Haynesworth) is overpowering... if they are overpowering against everyone, they will certainly be overpowering vs the Colts OL, so the Colts will lose.
5) Buffalo comes into MIA and will lose to MIA. Buffalo got dominated by the Raiders for 3.5 Qtrs, so it is hard for me to anoint Buffalo when I have not even seen them 'dominate' someone else.
6) Francessa reminded everyone that it was Phil Simms who quickly said when Romo first got hurt that Romo had to lay off playing, to rest and heal that injury or else he risked not getting ready to play. And how now the Cowboys have finally come around to that thinking and are holding Romo out until after the bye (Nov 16).
7) Dallas will not have the passing game vs the Bucs because the Bucs play very well in pass coverage. This means Dallas has to run the ball and be physical. "Dallas does not outhit anyone." Conclusion- TB will beat Dallas in Dallas this weekend.

some odds and ends

1) in 2007, the Giants were in the bottom third of the league in penalties with ~5 ppg. In 2008 they are 4th with 7.5 ppg. Not good. Those stupid personal foul penalties are killing us, two (Burress, O'Hara) in the last game alone. Both are 100% selfishness. 4th in the league is back to Luke Petitgout days, that has to be cleaned up.

2) Burress is going to play... so does he give the gmen a great game today in his first visit back to Pittsburgh since coming the Giants? I'd like to think so, but we have not seen him and Manning on the same page since his suspension. I am cautiously optimistic he can get it together for this game.

3) With Santonio Holmes out, this means we are going to see a lot of Heath Miller. Miller is a very good TE. If we want to bump and run on Ward, that means Ward can get some over the top help. Which leaves the strong safety for Miller. Miller was the one who roasted Sammy Knight in the playoff game vs the Jags this past January. You have to expect we will be hearing his name called.

4) Pierce and Diehl have practiced and are "probable." That means they are playing.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

That uneasy feeling?

How many of you out there have this uneasy feeling about the game on Sunday? This is really the start of the season in my eyes, and I would have to think that EVERYONE understands that, including the Giants team. I spoke with Marvelous and asked him for his perspective- he was uneasy about the game and listed his concerns:

1) Eli has not been new Eli the past few games (Yes, agreed, Mr. Berenson, we did highlight the batted balls, an Old Eli hallmark)
2) Gilbride's playcalling
3) Linebackers

The LBers are one of need and historical neglect. Kehl is playing okay, but he has not been tested, and the Steelers offense will test him, bet on it.

But back to (1) + (2), what is the common denominator there? I think I have the answer, something we have mentioned before--- LACK OF URGENCY. The playcalling is simply not in attack mode. We saw it in attack mode (correct me if I am wrong) twice this season.. early against the Redskins, and when we were behind 20-16 vs the Bengals with 5 mins left. The Giants offense, including Eli, want to attack. Sometimes they are not put in the position to do so. On the road it is harder to audible a play change at the line of scrimmage, lots of noise. Will Gilbride have the right play calls for a Steeler team that is aggressive in setting the tempo and tone of the game? Gilbride is spotty. He has grown a pair from time to time. But his reluctance to attack on offense and dictate the terms is what gives me that uneasy feeling. You tell me the odds of Gilbride attacking on offense, and I will tell you the odds of us winning this game.

p.s. attacking does not mean less running, it means unpredictability, it means spreading the field, it means going to your TE on a 25 yd post seam route, it means a well-sold screen pass out of the backfield to burn the Steeler blitzing.

p.s.s. no Burress? no problem. Hixon gives the offense a different look.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Steelers

3 point dogs this weekend. Last year I always liked it when the Giants were dogs. They always played better. When they were the favorites (like home vs the Vikes, Washington) they stunk it up. When they were on the road, they went to work. So I like this.

This game is going to be awfully physical. If the Giants work for 60 minutes this is going to be a fun game to watch.

Wonder: "I like the Steelers to win the game. Giants have a better offensive and defensive line than the Steelers, so it does not make any sense to like the Steelers. But they are coming home, emotion and Big Ben will be the reason why. Holmes and Ward will have a good game. I was extremely disappointed in the Giants not pressuring the Cleveland OL. If Kiwi and Tuck do not pressure Big Ben it is a problem. The Giants OL has not yet faced the kind of blitz packages they will see from the Steelers. Everyone sees this as a close game, but I do not. This game will be determined by turnovers, whoever gets them will win 27-13. The Giants have NOT gotten the turnovers this season."

Well, Wonder won't be popular here after that call, but remember he is unbiased and still likes our team's chances (overall). He just likes the emotion of the Steelers at home.

This game is a big test, the first one of the season for the Giants. The Monday night game was a stealth attack. Everyone had just finished crowning the Gmen and they were on their way to a perfect season. This time there are zero excuses. Play the game and win the game. If Pierce is healthy/playing* I will like them more. But to be fair, I don't think Parker is going to play (last word was he was going to play, but how effective coming back anyway?), so how can we have excuses? I will go against Wonder here because I think the Giants as road warriors know what it takes to win on the road and they will have the composure to play 4 quarters and win. Either way, we are certainly going to learn about the team on Sunday. Good test.

* addendum: interesting to note that Wonder would take the Giants +3 if they have Pierce playing, otherwise no bet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

crunch time

These first 6 games were pretty easy to call. Now the games (and predicting them) get harder.

See the poll on the upper right side. I promise that this vote will be a little more fun than the one coming up on Nov 4th.

Crunch time begins this Sunday. It is easily conceivable that as many as 6 of the 8 teams they play in the next 10 weeks (representing as many as 8 of the 10 games) will be playoff teams. So many teams will be knocking off so many others. Just like the Giants needed to step up their game last January (and did!), they need to step it up here for the rest of the season or else they will get mired in the pack. Let us know what you think of the rest of the season.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Need a TE?

Too late, past the trading deadline.

I guess it would have been humorous to watch and see how Gilbride would react to having a guy like Gonzalez... what would it take for him to realize that the TE causes all kinds of opportunities for your offense?

Question- Opposing safeties that face the Giants each week are worried about:

a) run support
b) Burress over the top
c) Boss
d) Gilbride's a joke, a+b

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gilbride- killing them softly

Let's make one thing clear quickly here- this Giants defense is not excellent. People who want to make a big deal about the 6 sacks did not watch the game. Yes, they stopped the run, but many pressures came later in the second half. Tuck made a big difference. But opposing offenses that are slightly better will double Tuck and have a good QB that will not make the myriad mistakes that O'Sullivan made (see Browns).

So let's look at my Gilbride voodoo doll.

Pass:Run ratio in each of the six games this season--

Patterns like these are a BIG problem. Remove the 43:23 Bengals game, where the gameplan was 8-9 men in the box and forced Eli to audible at the line of scrimmage to change the play (not to mention playing from behind and in OT, where the Giants were passing (with SUCCESS) from the shotgun/no huddle almost every play). Every other game has this orderly goal which other teams understand to almost maddening certainty. The Giants STRIVE FOR BALANCE TO THE POINT OF PREDICTABILITY.

The only thing more successful than the Giants great running game is the great passing game.

The only thing more successful than the Giants great passing game is the great running game.


You have a much better hand than Spags; at this point it is not even close. Take some more responsibility for winning games and throw darts at your playbook because the players on this team could run anything well. The only thing at this point that holds them back is your predictability by trying to maintain balance, almost on a play by play basis. Break tendency, do it differently, at this point you are the only thing that holds this team back. Try your TE, he has better hands than anyone we have seen since Bavaro. Try Ward and/or Bradshaw in the slot. Did you see Ward rumble for 35 yards on a short pass? Bradshaw on 4th and 1? You have an offensive line that can run block and pass protect, stop wasting it with measured responses and start attacking. All I KNOW is that that offensive coordinator on the other side of the field (MIKE MARTZ) would have the Giants offense scoring 40 points EVERY GAME. This is not an offense that needs to be obeying the speed limit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

NY Giants 29 Niners 17

The Giants got the pressure in H2 and then O'Sullivan started making the mistakes. The Giants were sloppy. The 49ers were sloppier. The Giants will not win next week if they play this sloppy. 10 penalties for the Giants? I lost track. (Just checked, it was 11.) That O'Hara penalty from one of your leaders has me going nuts. Selfish from a team leader. Instead of 1st and goal from the 8, it is 1st and 10 from the 23, and then the 4th down FG gets blocked for a TD the other way. The result is different if it is FG from inside the 8 yard line (or dare we get a TD?!). Instead, we keep SF in the game. An example of the Giants being a much better team than the 49ers, but not executing in so many places and making too many boneheaded mistakes to let them stick around. The Giants deserved this victory, but there were many alarming things we saw:

1) First half lack of pressure
2) Defense extremely vulnerable in pass protection when the pressure is not there
3) Lack of pocket integrity (Roethlisberger will KILL us if we do not contain)
5) In normal game flow (ie not 2 min drill, or NYG playing from behind in H2) Gilbride predictably calls a RUN on second down and anything less than 11 yards after a first down pass.
6) Ross vulnerable on deep route double moves.
7) Bradshaw must protect the ball better, especially at the end of runs.
8) Burress must contain his emotions, if he spends half the effort redirecting his concentration away from the refs and toward the game, he'll be fine and we'll be fine.
9) Way too many batted balls on Eli's throws.
9) I won't even count the Special teams blocked FG nightmare, that should be correctable.

Examples of Giants LUCK:
1) Wide open Bruce missed by O'Sullivan, he might still be running if the ball is put in there.
2) Morgan wide open, drops the ball for a 50 yarder.
3) On Burress TD, Boss should be called for interference penalty but is not.
4) Burress fumble at beginning of game is not called, it was clearly a fumble, looked like he took a zillion steps after the catch, instead called incomplete pass.
5) Blackburn held Gore (Q1) when he released to go into a route, should have been a Giant penalty.
6) Ditto another play in Q2, Giants held RB out of backfield.
7) At halftime SF is killing us in the air and they call three straight running plays (to begin Q3), the last of which..
8) is a fumbled handoff, resulting in the first fumble recovery by Giants of the season, without us even touching them.
9) ANOTHER big Morgan drop on a beautiful throw.
10) The late game O'Sullivan self-destructions, too many to name.
11) SF horrible use of timeouts.
I am sure I missed a few, but the point is if the SF Niners execute, we are in deep trouble in/lose this game. Obviously the two Johnson INTs in the first half have to give credit for good play, but better decisionmaking and we are not getting either of those.

1) Manning
2) Offensive Line
3) Toomer and Smith
4) Justin Tuck H2
6) Second half pass rush
7) Dallas S*CKS!

17-10 at the half

Let's give the Giants credit credit for stopping the run, but they have not been able to stop the pass because of .. NO PRESSURE. 2 sacks by giants misleading because those were coverage sacks. O'Sullivan has O'DAY back there. 3 step drops are effective, and on the 7 step drops he finds Morgan for TD, to name just one of many. If not for the TWO PICKS by JOHNSON, we can be losing the game thus far. Last year vs this team it was an Osi-sack-strip-fumblerecovery-TDrunback that was difference, so this is a battle once again. Plax is certainly doing a big job of adding to the 'volatility' of the offense. Either he is gtg 30 yard penalties or he is giving them. Loved the 4th and 1 to Bradshaw at the 10 yard line, TD 2 plays later. Manning playing VERY WELL, his receivers with a few drops.
Summary- stop the SF pass, get pressure.

Phil Simms for Week 7

Phil Simms is on WFAN with Francesa's 'NFL Now' via the internet at ~945AM E.S.T., for all of you out-of-towners who can't tune in. Today he snuck in at ~925AM and we missed the first few minutes. Here is a summary of what he commented on this weekend:

1) Marvin Harrison was written off too quickly. If the Colts repeat what they did last week, Simms will be (more of) a believer in the Colts. Packers do not have the running game to challenge the Colts weakness (run defense with Sanders hurt).

2) Aaron Rodgers impresses Simms.

3) Romo- practicing and playing with the broken pinky delays the healing process, confusing to Simms. Brad Johnson should just get in there and get it done for them, which he can and will do. Re the breakdowns in protection by the Cowboys OL in the AZ game, Romo holds the ball as long as anyone in the NFL, it puts pressure on the OL to hold their blocks longer, has resulted in Romo fumbles and sacks.

4) Simms has been a big Derek Anderson supporter, so it was an I-told-you-so moment. It was about a healthy OL, given time. Simms' general message: good players who lose good/healthy players around them need to be judged in that context.

5) Titans- Young coming back, he was not exactly supportive of his role and Collins (referred to as '5'). Simms thinks Young will be back as the starter at some point this season. Collins still has it. He has liabilities but he can get it done if he avoids the throws done after missing the hit and throwing off balance.

6) Patriots- where does the explosion and impact come from? They do not have a top premier pass rusher. The passes that Casell threw to Moss were not Casell's fault. Moss was breaking the route and essentially freelancing. Matt Casell did not go through his progressions, bailed and ran with the ball too quickly. (Francesa says Moss is a ticking time bomb, he will explode sooner than later.)

7) SD-Bills game, a big question mark. Jamal Williams important on the defensive line for SD. Chargers getting healthy. But Chargers have not proven they are good on the road. Simms leaning Bills.

8) Panthers have fight, despite loss to TB. Saints defense not there, not as good as TB's. Believes the Panthers will beat the Saints.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

read between the lines

Ultimatenyg blog monday night: "The main problem this evening was that the anchor of the defense (its pass rush) was not present. We had seen this to a degree in the Bengals game, when the blitz was not effective."

Schwartz NY Post: "If there is anything to sweat, it's a defense that is starting to feel the after-effects of losing its most gifted lineman, Osi Umenyiora. The Giants haven't hit the opposing quarterback in two games."

Tom Coughlin (re the DL pass rush): "There has to be a lot of self-analysis there."

Is it just effort? The guess is that maybe someone on the defense is giving away a 'tell' when the team (rushes/) blitzes the QB*, making it far easier for the opposing offense to be efficient in their protections.

Publicly, the Giants are talking about lack of execution, lack of being physical and opposing teams using 3 and 5 step drops. But ONLY ONE HURRY, NO SACKS? From the #32 rated offense??... there has to be more.

*About 70% of the way thru, Schwartz implies that the self-analysis that Coughlin was referring to may very well have been Cleveland figuring out what the Bengals figured out on the blitz pickups. Let's hope the Giants have that ironed out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ahmad Bradshawlics Anonymous Meeting

The following is a parody OF THE AUTHOR (and all others like him) and is not meant to belittle any other people or group of people! Enjoy...

Let's kickoff the first ABA meeting.

I'll start, My name is Andy and I am an Ahmad Bradshawlic. (Brad-sh-aw-lic) It's been 3 games since I have seen a Bradshaw TD. I admit that I cannot control my desire to see Bradshaw carrying the ball. It is not safe when I am in front of the television set on Sunday. I found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of frustration and hopelessness that I did. I found out that I had these feelings because I had the disease of Bradshawlicism.

I decided to try and face up to what Killdrive had done to me. Here are some of the questions I tried to answer honestly. If I answered YES to four or more questions, I was in deep trouble with my desire to have a Bradshaw running play. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.

44 Questions

What is Bradshawlicism?

It is an illness shared by Giants fans like me and you, who need to see Bradshaw playing a lot more.

How can I tell if I am really a Bradshawlic?

Only you can tell. But if you were watching the Seattle game and were not happy with Jacobs running for 44 yards, that you thought that Bradshaw would have been finished dancing in the end zone and already selling peanuts in Section 139 by the time Jacobs got tackled, then you are probably a Bradshawlic.

Can a Bradshawlic ever watch a Giant game 'normally' again?

As far as we know, no, you cannot cease to be a Bradshawlic.

I can avoid a need to see Bradshaw for a game or two in between great runs and pass catches out of the backfield. How can I tell if I need help?

It's how you watch a Bradshaw play, not how often you watch one, that determines whether you are a Bradshawlic. Do you think that every time he touches the ball that he can actually break it to the house? Is this feeling brought on by knowing that you won't see him again for another game after this handoff? If so, it sounds like you are probably are.

Others say I am not a Bradshawlic. But my need to see Bradshaw seems to be getting worse. Should I join ABA?

The Bradshawlic has a problem with his or her unwillingness to admit that Ward and Jacobs are playing really well. They know that Bradshaw can be in the slot, that he is the best pass catcher out of the backfield. They ask themselves why they can't have Bradshaw on third downs. The important decision - am I a Bradshawlic- has to be made by the Giants fan.

Won't everyone know I am a Bradshawlic if I come to ABA meetings at Ultimatenyg?

Anonymity is and always has been the basis for the ABA Ultimatenyg program. Most fans hitting the site have no particular objection if word gets around that they have joined a group that allows them to control their obsession with getting Bradshaw on the field.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wonder at Week 7 for the AFC

NFL guru Wonder on all the happenings around the NFL, the trade deadline, etc:

1) Patriots lost on Sunday because the Chargers did what you have to do to beat that team, PASS THE BALL. With Wilfork, Seymour and Warren, they are stout on run, but it is their secondary and aging LBers that are where they are vulnerable, and SD did what you have to do to beat them, they passed the ball.
2) Jets- This team has no identity. I put 5 wide and let Brett run the offense, but the problem is.. what happens in December when it gets cold and windy.
3) Jets defense is terrible. If I am playing against the Jets, I throw a combination of 50 bubble screens and short pass plays that turn into 8-10 yards every play. The Jets cannot stop that.
4) Titans are not good enough to go far in the playoffs, their offense is too pedestrian. No WRs, Mason and that is it. I'm selling them short.
5) Steelers offensive and defensive line not like they used to be. Not sold on them. They can beat bad teams. Timlin gets them ready to play, they don't give charity, but they will lose at crunch time.
6) Bullish Chargers. 3-3, Rivers playing well, won w/o Chambers. Were in a state of shock w Merriman, now that they are past that, they are learning to play w/o him.
7) Cargo will help Colts run defense. Serviceable, will clog up middle, not a Kris Jenkins, but compared to what they have he is an improvement. Manning is gtg better. OL will get better as they get healthier. This is a fighter which could have gotten knocked out, 0-4, instead Goodell called the refs and told them they cannot have Peyton not in the mix. They lived to fight another round, another day, and they have life. Both Titans and Colts should make the playoffs.
8) AFC East still wide open at this juncture. I believe only 1 team is coming out of this division.
9) SD, Pit, Tenn, Colts, AFC East winner and ??? look
10) Colts-SD in AFC.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wonder on the NFC at Week 7

NFL guru Wonder on all the happenings around the NFC, the trade deadline, etc. Tomorrow, Wonder on the AFC.

1) How much did the Giants players bet on the Browns? The Giants simply did not come to play. The only unit that showed up and played well was the offensive line. I blame Coughlin for not having them ready to play.
2) Please, do not ever mention Aaron Ross in the same sentence as Darrelle Revis again.
3) The Cowboys are in DEEP TROUBLE. Pacman Jones suspended indefinitely, Romo out, Newman sports hernia, AllPro Punter Briar out, Felix Jones strained hamstring (probably/maybe out thru the bye). Deep trouble.
4) Giants play the Boys before bye, you must win that game, if not there is something wrong with your team.
5) Why oh why did the Giants NOT take Gonzalez for a 3rd or 4th rounder? The first bad move I have seen Reese make.
6) Dallas gave up too too much for Roy Williams. 1,3,6 for him and a 7? The Lions did well. And with Romo out, he won't be in synch with his QB until late enough in the season that it diminishes the need at the deadline. Jones must have thought that with the Giants losing last night that he could still go for it, but Jones paid too much, desperate. No one else in the league makes that trade except Jones, Jones was bidding against himself.
7) Hasselbeck is hurt again, Arizona is breezing into the playoffs.
8) Wonder sticking with his orig opinion that Skins are still going to have hard time. Boys will be 5-4 at the bye, they need to go 5-2 after bye, the best they do now is 10-6. That skins loss is going to kill them on the tiebreakers.
9) Eagles have a shot at 7-3 to finish 10-6.
10) Giants will finish 11-5 (or if they play really well 12-4) and win the division.
11) Minn (I told you so) has Gus Frerote. GB still is coming out, 9-7 wins that division. If I am wrong it is Minn coming out. Tiebreakers will be scary.
12) Saints- Colston and Shockey losses hurt. Saints sb breezing 6-0 yet are 3-3. Lost to Washington and Minnesota, had no business losing either. Against Denver that FG costs them the other. They should still come through. With Dallas taking the pipe (and not having a very strong record), this opens up Carolina/Saints for a second wild card spot.
13) At this point it is Giants-AZ or Giants-second place NFC East team for the NFC Championship. Giants-AZ regular season game is going to have a lot of playoff ramifications for home field, byes, playoff games.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Browns 35 Giants 14

The main problem this evening was that the anchor of the defense (its pass rush) was not present. We had seen this to a degree in the Bengals game, when the blitz was not effective in H2 of Cincy. But here, Anderson had all day all game. The Browns mixed in some misdirection just to keep the Giants off-balance, and the result is that even those 8 zillion penalties were never a problem, as we could not stop them worth a lick. The Manning INTs were certainly a problem, costing the gmen plenty. But that won't be the long term issue- the longer term issue is whether the defensive line is just having a bad evening or there is something more. When the DL is ordinary, our weakest unit on the team (LB, and certainly exacerbated by Pierce's injury) cannot support them enough. The Browns came to play, the Giants made enough mistakes to lose, NEXT. Spags has a lot of work to do in figuring out what has happened in the Bengals (second half) and Browns game to stop our pass rush.

Misc- Webster is playing very well. Why did Jacobs hold the face mask on the blitz pickup? The Giants did not need a hurry up but they could have moved to the huddle and line of scrimmage to pick up the pace a little bit more. I like to see Manning run once per game, it was a nice one to move sticks in Q3.

Summary: DL pressure, Eli's eyes. Every week is Super Bowl week for our opponent, welcome to the world of defending a title.

Cleveland 17 New York Giants 14 Halftime

Grateful grateful grateful we are not down by a lot more. What they did not mention on the Edwards bomb to the 4 yard line was that Ross was in single and the safeties were both up at the line of scrimmage, making it like ~9 men in the box. Anderson has to go to his WR there, and Edwards made enough of a move on Ross to shake him. If thrown a little further, it is an easy TD.

Big penalty gives us that second score, whew, or else we are -10 at half. Gotta give a lot of credit to Manning, who delivers in crunch time in the 2 min drill. Ever notice how the offense goes on attack mode when the Giants need it? That is because Gilbride is calling a game more similar to that of the Bengals game early, when he is trying to patiently have a good ground game.. at the cost of an attacking offense that is not taking the (passing) game to this team. Problem is the running calls are very predictable, 1st down incomplete pass early, so second down is a handoff and the entire world knows it, so it gets 4 yards. And 2 of them are from Jacobs falling forward.

Manning INT early when Giants were driving in Q1 was (as Jaws noted) the old Darren Sharper centerfield telegraphed safety pickoff. Manning must look that safety off or else we go back to the 4 INT Viking days.

Without Pierce the defense is lacking. And even with him, we are not pressuring Anderson enough. I saw some pressure, but MOSTLY Anderson has all day to find his 2nd,3rd or even 4th option. Our blitzes are gtg picked up well too, so if Anderson has too much time we are going to be a very ordinary defense.

Steve Smith is money.

Monday Morning Quarterback

1) Just when we were all saluting the conquering of the NFC East over all comers, the division drops two of three games to the lowly NFC West. Message:
>you cannot letdown (Skins) in the NFL
>if winning is the best deodorant, then losing is the best magnifying glass (Dallas)
>just win baby (Eagles), it does not have to be pretty

2) Baseball is a joke. How many of you were up to see the TB Devil Rays win in 11? At 1:30AM? After 5 hrs and 30 mins of playing time? My response to anyone who is going to try to defend the insane behavior of MLB is to ask- what good is a good game if NO ONE IS THERE TO SEE IT? It is bad enough that these games start in the evening and kids don't see the end, but it is even more pathetic when grownups turn the tv off too. Keep diluting the game. The long term economics of this game will enforce some discipline on this situation, but I expect that discipline to come only after a major crisis. Anything short of that and the 'players vs owners' will point fingers when both are in need of major concessions to SAVE THE SPORT. They can start with a real commissioner.

3) George Young quotes from Saturday's Ultimatenyg blog post will be featured today in the NY TIMES FIFTH DOWN.

4) Have you looked at the NFL standings this morning? The Giants have an opportunity this evening to separate themselves from the pack in a big way with a win. I hope they were paying attention to what happened to the Skins, because the message is clear to get your business done.

5) Do the Giants mail it in this evening or do we get to see the Road Warriors, Act 12? Obviously fading the roadwarrior is a costly mistake. If this team is 'guilty' of anything it is that this team fights for respect more on the road than at home. They also have enough pride to not lay an egg on Monday night. So forget the X's and O's on this game, if the Giants show up they win comfortably, if they don't it will be a Bengals-type of adventure. Where have you heard that one before?

6) It is not what is being said, it is who is saying it. So when Matt Ryan's stock price is rising, it is more important for me to know who is saying it than what is being said. This got my attention.

7) In the attached link from (6) above, notice the "head-scratching" remark about the squib kick? Where have you seen the SAME SITUATION AND SAME RESULT? How about that famed squib floater that trickled out of bounds at the Meadowlands vs the Cowboys on Week 2 Monday night 2003 vs Dallas? Play 60 minutes! They get the ball at the 44 yd line, freaking stupidity! This is the special teams version of the prevent defense. The only thing it prevents you from doing is winning the game. The clock runs out by the time they have any chance for a pass play to put them in enough range for a FG kick. This game is not that complicated... the risk of a return for a TD/great field position is far less than GIVING them enough field position for the 1QuickPassWin. Respect your special teams enough to let them do what they do EACH kickoff. It's not like the FALCONS had HESTER.. you do! Frightening.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

most unfortunate

Video of Cowboys highlights

Video of Redskins highlights

nothing like watching two of our faves lose on the last play. :-)

Is Dallas taking on water? Francesa nailed the Skins game, said this was a trap game for them, and boy was it ever. You also have to imagine that the Rams players were probably playing for Haslett a lot more than Linehan. It is not who you play but when you play them.

After just reading the comments (previous post) from James Allen, I think I am going to watch the video highlights of the Dallas loss one more time.

Phil Simms this morning

1) Colts could be 4-0 or 0-4. At 2-2 they are very fortunate. Peyton Manning healthy, these first 4 weeks were like training camp for him. He needs to be more mobile this year, moving more because he has two rookies on the OL that force him to move sooner than he would like.
2) Ravens face the Colts in the game that Simms covers. Big OL. Offense is too tepid, needs to take a few more chances to open up, relies too much on the strong defense. Simms says a FG will decide the game.
3) Gonzalez trade? The Giants' offense is focused more on the WR, the TE is more of an outlet only. Would be surprised if the Giants gave up enough to make the deal happen. He did qualify it earlier by saying 'why not' do it if the compensation is not too great.
4) Single Wing is a fad. It mixes up your offense to break tendency, but this will not be a new trend and will remain limited.
5) Rivers changed his throwing motion, reverted back to rookie mechanics, his pass lost accuracy and strength after the first two weeks. SD is beat up.
6) Redskins are playing with spirit, energy and toughness. Athletic, they play fast. Saw it in Dallas and saw it once again in Philadelphia. Faster and tougher than the Eagles. 'Amazing' what Zorn has done.

TE Tony Gonzalez to the Giants?

Chiefs and Giants have been talking about trading a draft pick for Tony Gonzalez. Either way, we'll know by Tuesday.

I'd do it for a 4th rounder because he gives us the depth and insurance that we do not have at the position. Remember, our 4th rounder is like a 5th rounder from all others because our record at this point is likely to send the draft slot to near bottom.

Devil's advocate: The best reason not to overpay here is that Gilbride is a serial underutilizer of the TE position. If Boss gets hurt, just use more of Hixon/Smith/Bradshaw as receiving options.

Gonzalez is quality, he has 21 receptions this season, he is under contract, he still has 2+ seasons left in the tank. A late 4th rounder sounds reasonable to me, good insurance for Boss. All things being equal I would rather allocate resources at Left Tackle or Linebacker, but it is what it is. Reese's offer of a 6th rounder means he is probably only thinking 5th rounder, which the Chiefs would be smart not to take.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

George Young speaks

This week, Plaxico Burress came back. (Pat Hanlon, quoting the late) George Young: "We are not in the business of well-adjusted human beings."

Here are some more quotes from the former GM of the Giants...

On Bill Parcells: "Bill knows what defense he'll call during the second series three games from now. He doesn't know what he's doing in his own life three days from now."

On Parcells' unscheduled departure in May 1991: "I wasn't happy Bill left, not at all."

On hiring Ray Handley: "My worst decision."

On his new job in 1979 at the Meadowlands: "It's a funny place. Everybody's named either Vinny or Whitey."

Young on player agents: "The three characteristics that I hate most in a person are arrogance, mendacity and greed. And these guys have all three."

Another word used by Young to describe agents- "Cockroaches."

On the feud between Tim and Wellington Mara: "I'm just Irish enough to know that you don't take one side or another, or they'll both turn on you."

On his head coaching personnel decisions: "Always hire somebody you know. That way you have a good idea of what the person's like. No surprises."

And some more of his insight on hiring: "You hire somebody with a high energy level. And something to prove."

On picking Phil Simms with his first pick as the new Giants GM: "You've got to assert yourself. You just can't be reacting to what people think you should do. You don't often wind up with a great arm and the intelligence to go with it. It's the kind of opportunity that might not occur for another two years. When you get it, you've got to take it."

On picking LT with the #2 pick in the 1981 draft: "I thought they would take George Rogers, the Heisman Trophy running back, but I didn't stop sweating until they did."

On picking his heir apparent, Ernie Accorsi: "He knows who to talk to, and he knows who not to listen to."

On passing up driving a Mercedes Benz that was offered to him: "(Legendary Steelers owner) Mr. Rooney drove a Buick all his life. That's good enough for me."

On players- "It's about the money. And when they say it's not about the money, then it is definitely about the money."

On Karl Nelson considering a choice of careers after playing football: "too well-adjusted to coach."

"There's one big difference between college and pro football. In college you have your name on the jersey for four years and you graduate. In the pros, the name on the jersey may be the same for nine or 10 years but the athlete isn't the same guy."

As for his place in sports, he knew he would be remembered as: "..the other George in New York."

On going down to Washington DC to visit the White House after winning Super Bowl XXI: "It's nice to be here surrounded by the Secret Service instead of by the Redskins."

One more thing on George Young... for those of you who have read "Good to Great" by Jim Collins, you will know that the great companies (/franchises) have succession plans that are built to last and not built to fail. Young hired both Ernie Accorsi and Jerry Reese. This third title has some of Young's hand in it. Considering he drafted Strahan and Toomer, perhaps more.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Revealing remarks about Jacobs and Bradshaw

There is nothing like the words of an opponent. When you hear them say something on the margin, you pay attention:

You can be sure heading into Monday night's game in Cleveland that Brandon Jacobs and the Giants offensive line will take notice on comments made by Browns defensive end Corey Williams. This from Paul Schwartz:

Williams said toughness had nothing to do with Jacobs' big-play ability. "It's a zone-blocking scheme that lets him run and pick a hole," he said. "There ain't nothing physical about them."

Williams, acquired from the Packers for a second-round draft pick, said Jacobs tired in last year's NFC Championship.

"We were hitting [Jacobs], and he was slowing down," Williams said. "He left the game. They let the Bradshaw kid come in. He's really the one who killed us."

The NY Giants Ultimatenyg football blog has been the unofficial home of Ahmad Bradshaw, wondering aloud why he does not get into the starting lineup for some time. We also acknowledge that Bradshaw has been the positive recipient of Jacobs 'softening up' the defense for his delayed entry. But we still have to keep hammering at the evidence. Everyone sees the explosive ability in Bradshaw except the Giants coaching staff.

Perhaps it is part of a genius master plan to play Jacobs and Ward until they get hurt, and then have the 'little' guy take us to the house in playoffs crunch time when everyone else is worn down and/or injured. I respect that a great deal. What I do NOT respect is Bradshaw returning kickoffs- if and when he gets hurt, that madness will make me blow a gasket. We have been stating it clearly that we expect Jacobs to slow down later this season because the punishment he dishes out also takes its toll on his own body... especially considering he is much taller than normal for a RB and thus has to run a little too tall. The only RB I have seen who could consistently run 'tall,' not get hurt, and last a (hall of fame) career was Eric Dickerson. At least Jacobs lowers his shoulder when impact is coming.

Sidenote to Corey Williams- You may be big enough to not be intimidated by Jacobs, but none of the back 7 look forward to that kind of punishment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

NY Giants Math

Want to know what expected value is? It is the probability times the value of the outcome. So if we want to figure out what the record of the Giants is going to look like this season, we can (a) estimate the point spread in each game (b) convert that to a percent probability from the corresponding moneyline odds (c) add up the individual games ... for the final record of the Giants this season.

0 pt favorite = 50%
-3 = 60%
-4 = 66%
-7 = 75%
-10 = 81%
-14 = 88%

at CLE, -7, so 75% moneyline odds
SF -13 = 87%
at Pitt = -3 = 60%
Dallas -4 = 66%
at PHL pick'em = 50%
BAL -7 = 75%
at AZ -6 = 72%
at WSH pickem 50%
PHL -6 = 72%
at DAL +2 = 43%
CAR -7 = 75%
at MINN -6 = 70%

You can dispute these lines, but they are generous guesses based on a growing sentiment that the Giants are regarded as the #1 team in the league RIGHT NOW.

The manager at a prominent Las Vegas Strip Hotel Sportsbook: "I think your numbers (lines) are too strong on the Giants. Though they crushed Seattle, lines generally don't move much game to game without key injuries. The biggest mistake bettors make is placing too much emphasis on the last game. Before last week the Giants would not be favored on the road as big as you have them in most cases, hence 11-5 or 12-4. I feel 13-3 will be enough to get home field this year and yes, the Giants are capable if they remain healthy. 14-2 is not realistic."

Even if there is one line or a few which are slightly off, it will not impact the net result significantly. Adding up the individual numbers yields 7.95, rounding to 8. The gmen are 4-0 currently, so the implied final record would be 12-4. That is a probabilistic best guess. You can easily make up your own math, saying there is no way the Giants are losing a particular game, so it is not 75%, it is 100%. But just remember the Bengals game for why there is no such thing as a lock on anything. "That's why they play the games." Does anyone here think 12-4 wins the division? I think it probably does not. This is a statistical guide to what things look like at this exact moment. For example, AFTER the games were tabulated, news came out that Newman has a sports hernia and may very well be out for 6 weeks, thus missing the first game coming up. By that point the Dallas defense can be vulnerable to the air attack and bump the odds a few points.

Summary: 12-4 looks like a realistic statistical mean based on expected value and 'slightly' aggressive from the sportsbook's perspective.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What does a 38 point victory mean?

Is the margin of victory by the Giants significant in and of itself?

Thomas George's more national perspective on the Giants' win.

We looked back at the two Giants championships in '86 and '90 to see if there were any parallels to what is going on here. The answer is pretty much no. In week 6 of '86 the Giants beat the Eagles 35-3, but beyond that, the point is that throttling the Rams and Seahawks does not mean dominance or a championship. Just remember back to the Patriots last year, how they kicked a** for umpteen weeks in a row until the Eagles and Ravens began to unravel the code begun by the Browns in how to beat them. The Giants had two cracks at them and made the last one count.

We have seen how you can dominate one team one week and the next week those 38 points mean zero to your score. When the Bengals were a play away from beating us in regulation, that Rams blowout didn't mean a thing.

Here is the good news- The Giants are getting experience at blowing out AND having to return to earth next week to play another opponent. In this regard, it is helpful. The professionalism, experience and confidence of this team is something special. They can make it happen because they have totally bought into Coughlin's need to have this team improve every week. This point has been made before, no need to belabor it.

So now the Giants take to the road. Good. Nothing like 'road cooking' for this team to get back to its roots of success, the focus and discipline of playing 60 minutes of road football. That is where it began. This team's self-respect and respect for the opposition implies as few letdowns as possible. Considering that the team is only 1 game ahead of two divisional rivals, one would think that they have no luxury for trying to mail it in ANYWHERE.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

That seismic shift you felt on Sunday..

.. in the NFC East was the Redskins beating the Eagles on the road. Stunning. Although it can be easily explained: Westbrook is the X-factor for that team. He's healthy, the team wins. He goes down and the team loses. It explains a great deal of their inconsistency as a team. What is so hard to track is that he often plays hurt or (like yesterday) starts and then gets hurt. Over the past 5 years, when healthy, Brian Westbrook has been one of the 5 most valuable players on offense in the league.

FALLOUT: with the Redskins (a) having played all 3 road games (b) 4-1 (c) having a weak schedule ahead, getting in the playoffs looks very manageable for them. Winning the entire division is within reach too unless they lose to the Giants at home later this year (and the Giants continue their winning ways). This is a game of musical chairs where there will be three there and 4 teams. The Eagles at 2-3 are not done by any stretch. The last 4 opponents they have played have a combined 15-5 record, so the fact that they blew 3 of these games does not mean they are finished in any way. It just means that they have an enormous amount of pressure in their remaining divisional games to go at least 2-2, if not 3-1. If they go 1-3, imagining them catching up to the other 3 teams is hard. It would mean they would need to blank the rest of their schedule and go 10-6. We said this earlier this season, it will take 10 wins to get into the playoffs from the NFC.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stretch the field

Two weeks ago vs the Bengals:
a lot of 8-9 men in the box
plenty of run calls for Jacobs
<10 yard passes mixed in

Yesterday vs the Seahawks:
7-8 men in the box
plenty of run calls for Jacobs
all kinds of passing plays mixed in

Not only was the offense more suited to the defenses being utilized, but most importantly the GIANTS STRETCHED THE FIELD. It was not as if the Bengals had Deion Sanders and Darrell Green back there. The Giants have the proven ability to throw the ball >20 yards to stretch the defense. Opposing defenses have to know you can and will test their manpower down the field, softening up the shorter routes and the running game as well. Not rocket science. You know all of this. Some others sometimes take a few extra quarters to remember.

Phil Simms argues this point all the time, sounds like another 'Rule' is coming.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New York Giants 44 Seattle Seahawks 6


This was a clinic against a team that is not that bad. The Giants simply dissected them and took them apart piece by piece. Fantastic. Bravo. Great HOME performance for the fans, who have not seen a QUALITY win like that in a while. Great post-bye performance. So many great contributions from almost everyone on the squad (those that did not simply were not on the field or dressed).

1) Eli Manning was excellent. He was like a kid playing a video game, doing as he pleased with complete control and confidence, which stemmed from...

2) the Offensive Line, which was incredible. Pass, run, it did not matter. McKenzie out with concussion, no problem. It was so bad that the play action had Manning sitting back with all day to go anywhere he wanted. The pulling guards and blocking on the move were textbook execution.

3) HIXON! I am shocked! Not! We have been saying here on the blog that Hixon is ready for prime time ever since he broke out with some Toomer toe sensational receptions versus Cleveland in preseason.

4) Moss! This praise for one player after another is going to get tiresome. Limited snaps obviously went way up this game and he made the most of them, with 2 TDs and a lot of fine play. (Why bother mentioning how well Toomer and Smith played when that is like old news bread and butter?! Okay, okay, Smith had a fantastic sideline grab of a high Manning pass.)

5) Jacobs/Ward/Bradshaw. Plug and play. Scary.

6) Defensive line. They shut down the run, they put the pressure on, Spags had Tuck coming from the inside to mix things up. Kiwi even beat Jones in garbage time. (In the last 5-10 minutes why weren't the starters ALL benched already?!!! There is 7 mins left and I am looking at Diehl, Snee, Seubert and O'Hara, get them out of there. Granted it was nice to throw Carr a little bone, but NEXT.)

7) Webster/Ross. One looked better than the other. (Webster got called for a holding penalty early which was a figment of the zebra's imagination. Not only was it NOT a penalty, it was excellent coverage to boot.)

I could mention a half dozen other positives, but completely unnecessary. This was a surgical demolition of a team that was 1-2 and in need of a win. Gilbride was great in attacking from the start, stretching the field.

This 15 yard penalty rule on the face mask is pissing me off. If you look at the face mask they call you for 15. It is getting out of hand. Guys hands incidentally slap the helmet as their hands and arms get moved by the OTHER TEAM, and the flag goes out. This rule has to change.

Oh my goodness, the road warriors go back on the road. Hixon will be out with a concussion and we'll have Burress back. WR Hydra. NEXT.

Jeff Fisher, Phil Simms on WFAN

Jeff Fisher: hands full with Baltimore today. Rookie RB Chris Johnson doing it everywhere (run, catch, protect). Rotating him and LenDale White, don't wear them out. Collins having fun, enjoying everything. Can't buy his experience. OL is protecting Collins, a (huge) key. Baltimore is not asking a great deal of Flacco. Flacco is going to be a fine QB. The Tenn OL will have a good test today.

Phil Simms:

1) The fallout from Dallas loss is magnified in this town. Washington extremely clever. Some of the defenses the skins did caught them off guard. Dallas defense is LOADED, production is not there from LB etc.. so that has Simms wondering. Zorn has polished up Campbell really well. Overall team speed of Washington was impressive. They (specifically the Washington secondary) outran the Cowboys.

2) Colts run defense is awful (and that is being charitable to them!), without a healthy Sanders, adios.

3) Giants at this juncture are #1 in league. Giants can beat you in a lot of ways. Feedback from the Bengals on Giants was impressive.

4) NFC East has it all. All of them can do it. All teams are physical, QB play is good up and down the division, and they all hit the QB on defense.

5) Likes Titans over the Ravens. Nonetheless, impressed with Ravens.

6) Yes Favre looked a lot more comfortable, but the Cardinals pass defense was terrible.

7) SD: Jamal Williams, Rivers, Gates, LT.. core of team did not practice in preseason, need time to be at full strength. Given the time to get to full strength, SD can be a top team. Tremendous physical talent. Without Merriman, SD lacks a 'closer' on defense. With Merriman, believes they would be 4-0 instead of 2-2.

8) Cardinals vs a 4-0 team at home, important game. Bills allow you to play with them, don;t knock you out, that is why AZ has a decent shot. Suspect on the Bills, not buying them as a 4-0 team.

9) Jags vs Steelers- both teams are undermanned vs where they were in the playoffs. Rashean Mathis is the best CB in the league, and he is out. Steelers will win. Steelers need to keep Roethlisberger healthy, Simms wants Roethlisberger to stop trying to make a play every single play or else he will not survive the season.

10) Rookie Sedrick Ellis of the Saints looks VERY good, but hurt. Minnesota can overpower you, strong line play. Saints can beat the Vikings by spreading it out (note to Giants fans when we play the Vikings later this season... Spread it out vs this team and make them man you).

11) Winning is about big plays. You have to push defenses by passing downfield, stretch defenses. (Are you paying attention, Gilbride?)

Wonder at Week 5

Wonder comments on the NFL. NY Giants comments sprinkled in.

1) a fan of Jason Garrett, and yet thinks he got outcoached this past weekend vs the Skins. Dallas needed to go to counters, draws and reverses to battle the overpursuit of Washington, and they simply did not make the adjustments. 9 running plays? with that offensive line? they were outcoached.

2) the Dallas defense ("like I said after the W2 eagles mon night game") is over-rated. You give up 37 points to the eagles and then you let Washington control the ball like that? bad. It is not about the players. Schemes are not good.

3) Add (1) and (2) --> Wade Phillips is the weakest link (something Ultimatenyg has been arguing for a while).

4) Colts have a gigantic amount of injuries

5) Justin Tuck was terrific in laying the blame squarely on Burress and saying it was deserved. Vocal about responsibility. On the money.

6) Eli Manning will get better. If he can be more accurate in putting the ball at the right angle and right stride (read: be like Joe and Tom) he'll go to the sky.
Get the ball to Ahmad Bradshaw out of the backfield in stride and the right angle. Get the ball to Steve Smith in stride and at the right angle and watch his yardage go up too.

7) Pittsburgh's problem? No Alan Faneca.

8) Not sure what is wrong with Asante Samuel, but now that he has gotten beaten ('like a drum') in Chicago and Dallas, we have to start watching closely if this is the exception or that more inconsistency is the rule.

9) The titans and bills are the most overrated 4-0 teams imaginable.

10) If Jeff Fisher is coaching the Cowboys, they don't lose to the Skins.

11) The Skins, despite the big win this past week, are NOT going to make the playoffs. The Eagles, Giants and Cowboys are all making the playoffs.

12) The Eagles will kill the Skins this weekend.

13) How the Eagles lost to the Bears... unbelievable.

14) The NY Giants are the best team in the league right now. (re their weak schedule thus far..) You can only beat the teams you play. Was there EVER any doubt that your team was going to drive the field and score vs the Bengals to go up 23-20? Not in mine. And that is what the good teams do. Ultimatenyg was dead right with the Gilbride analysis. Gilbride will make the adjustments and figure it out, he is not great but he will get it corrected. Simply stated, the Giants are the most well-rounded team in the league right now. There might be some better defenses and a few better offenses, but the Giants have strong units in both categories.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Seattle Preview

1) Perhaps the biggest thing in the Giants' favor is the fact that BOTH teams are coming off a bye.
2) With Seattle 1-2, they will be a little bit more ornery and cannot afford to lose the game. How much urgency do the Giants bring to this game to counter the urgency of a team that will be severely punished for losing? In the team's recent past, the Giants have NOT had urgency at home.
3) Bobby Engram and Deion Branch will be back for this game.
4) Plaxico Burress will not.
5) The Giants won't be able to hear the crowd noise from Seattle, because it will dissipate somewhere over Montana.

Trying to make predictions in these games is very easy: if the Giants show up and play 60 minutes (Rams) they will win comfortably, if they play footsie w/o urgency (Bengals, second half vs Skins) they will make the game close and/or lose.

Friday, October 3, 2008

the Steeler connection

The Steelers were thin at RB, and then on Monday night Ray Lewis made a legal but nasty hit on rookie 1st round RB Rashard Mendenhall that put him out for the season. So now the Steelers are shopping for a RB, and guess who they have been looking at? Giants RB Danny Ware. Do not give this guy up in a trade without getting MORE than just a token draft pick. Ask for a 3rd rounder. Why?

1) The Steelers are desperate because their style of play is a ball-control offense that limits the number of times Roethlisberger throws the ball. Last season they were 3rd in the league in rushing attempts per game. This year they are still running the ball and they want to keep it that way. So make them pay.

2) We have 5 RBs if you count Droughns. Just because we CAN trade him does not mean we should just give him away. But it does give the Giants flexibility.

3) WE PLAY THEM LATER THIS SEASON. So only trade him away to this team if they are going to PAY UP. If the Steelers find another stooge to help them with a cheaper solution, so be it. But there is no reason for us to help this team to give us a loss later on... unless we know we are going to get MORE than what is fair.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Ravens and Steelers

Did you miss the Ravens-Steelers game on Monday night? The Giants play both of these teams later this season; both will be a handful. They both play solid defense and make you earn your points. Neither has a dynamic offense... they get it done by having their defenses force you into mistakes and then shortening the field so that they can take advantage on a small porch. Watch the video for Flacco's poise and presence, as well as his rookie mistakes. He looks like he has game. Ray Lewis thinks his team is live because they can play on both sides of the ball. To me they look a year away, but since they play defense anything is possible. Just look at the Giants last year. In fact, it is Ray Lewis who sites Strahan when comparing his own crusade for a title.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Ultimatenyg power ranking is in the header of the blog. Just look up at the top. ^

Power rankings are ridiculous. At the start of last year's playoffs, the Giants were 10th out of 12 remaining teams, and after the season was over and they had won the championship, they were ... FIFTH! Yes, 5th to start the new season. Well, with Dallas losing, the Giants having squeaked out the win at home vs Cincinnati a week earlier and another week going by idle, they are finally ranked #1 for the first time in recent memory. Let them be ranked last as long as they win the championship. We have said this before and will say it over and over... the NFL is not about beating Dallas that season or getting to the playoffs or drafting well or being competitive or anything else except one thing... WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS. In the Super Bowl era they have THREE, that is how we keep score. That is the ultimatenyg power ranking system. See the top of the blog? Three titles. That appearance in Jan 2001's Super Bowl? As far as I am concerned, a nice year but no title, so NO CHAMPIONSHIP. Ask anyone from Buffalo if they would trade the 4 appearances in the Super Bowl for ONE title? Do you even have to guess the answer?!

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