Archive for September, 2007

DE-FENSE. . . DE-FENSE. . .

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

“Even if we get a lead late, the other team will simply go down the field and score.” – Bill Kohut, fanatic Giants’ fan.

 Despite that quote from me a week ago (and several times late last season), I actually believed the ‘Skins weren’t going to score on Sunday and force OT. You could just see the defense was playing well. Hats off to them, as they really only gave up a touchdown (the offense was mainly responsible for the other 10 points) and made a great goal line stand to win the game. There were several positives. Great to see Kiwi ON THE FIELD on third down. The idea is to have your best players on the field, and having him stand on the sidelines on third down plays during the first two games wasn’t what I envisioned when he was moved to LB. Eight tackles and 1.5 sacks for the second year pro. Move the guy around and have offenses adjust to this. He saw time at DT along with Tuck giving the Giants what could be a fearsome third down pass rush. We even blitzed a corner (Madison) who came in untouched for a pressure. Perhaps this unit will start to come together. Good to see first rounder Aaron Ross in the game and around the ball. Webster was benched in the second half and thank goodness for that.

The offense struggled in the first half (two turnovers) which was the real reason for the 17-3 deficit. Dropped passes also didn’t help matters. But they buckled down in the second half and converted, at one point, 7 of 7 third downs which led to the comeback. Spearheading that was Manning, who despite two picks, played really well and made some big time throws. Manning took them down the field twice resulting in two rushing TDs by Reuben Droughns to tie the score. Then Plaxico made up for his first half blunders by literally snatching a Manning slant pass and galloping 33 yards for the go ahead score.

From Bad To Worse

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

The matchup couldn’t have been better. You’re 0-1 heading into your home opener. You gave up 45 points last week and are hosting a team that didn’t score an offensive touchdown and has nearly zero weapons. Just what the doctor ordered. Then you proceed to give up 35 points. Simply pathetic and embarrassing. Even more embarrassing than that was the look of the defensive unit as the camera panned the bench. Just sitting there, no anger, no nothing. Strahan shaking his head, that even looked fake.

The good? There wasn’t much. Manning played and did a good job, as did the offensive line. And Derrick Ward continues to prove he is a legit NFL back. Not a starter mind you, but a real good number two. Gibril Wilson, who I am not a big fan of, looks to be the only player on defense hustling and making plays. Coughlin keeping his cool. Second week in a row I was impressed that he didn’t blow a gasket. Hell, I threw my remote twice.

The bad. Dumb penalties by Toomer and Shockey (although the Shockey one shouldn’t have been called) that cost the team potential TD’s. Missed 34 yard FG. I said I was worried about the snaps from center and this is now two weeks in a row a mishap has occurred.

The f**cking ugly. The entire defense. How can this unit be this bad? Even with a new system, this was the Packers who have nothing, I mean nothing on offense. They have three rookies on the OL and we couldn’t get a sniff of Favre even when blitzing. Mitchell looks horrible on his drops. Even Pierce looks lost. Webster is playing like this a Sunday intramural league. Butler is always in the picture…..after a completion!! I have the same feeling I had over the last eight games last year. Even if we get a lead late, the other team will simply go down the field and score.

I’ll give it two more weeks (quarter of the season) before I start calling for lineup changes.

Looking To The Ol’ Ball Coach For Some Wisdom

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

“You’re never as good as you look, and never as bad as you look.” – Bill Parcells

The defense can take this quote and post it all over the locker room. But man were they bad versus the Cowboys. The defense generally resembled last year’s team. Play decently on first and second down, they give up third down conversions in the easiest of fashion. Where was the so-called “Eagles” style of defense? I surely didn’t see it. I know the defense will play better, because it simply can’t get much worse. And this is a continuing trend of Giants teams really struggling early in the season over the last four seasons. See 2004 in Philly, 2005 in San Diego, last year in Seattle, and last night (all pretty good offenses slicing the defense, all on the road). James Butler and Corey Webster appeared to be having the most trouble, while Kiwi was taken to school by Witten.

“You’re never as good as you look, and never as bad as you look.” – Bill Parcells

Eli Manning was the best quarterback on the field last night. Sure Romo threw for more yards and was game MVP, but don’t mistakenly think Romo was better. Manning was zipping and delivering the ball on time to every receiver. The O-line did a good job protecting in a hostile environment and the Giants showed depth at running back in the form of Derrick Ward after the injury to Jacobs. Burris was a total mismatch with the Dallas secondary and Toomer did a nice job in his return from an injury. Now the Giants aren’t scoring 30+ points every game. But we knew they had talent and it showed last night. Anyone who looks at that game as doesn’t think Eli is going to be a really fine QB just doesn’t like the Manning’s. Getting Smith, Moss (was he inactive?), and Bradshaw involved more will make them even more dynamic. Let’s just hope Jacobs isn’t out too long.

Let’s Get It On!!

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Wow, I haven’t written anything since the draft, so it’s been awhile. But with my summer baseball season ending in early August and having just returned from vacation last week, I am pumped for the start of the 2007 season.

The Giants had a very good camp, not in terms of win and loses, but rather team continuity. The team really seemed to bond and appears unified. There was less talk of how good they are and more emphasis on the task at hand, namely training camp and getting ready for the season. Malcontent Tiki Barber still tried to drag his dirty laundry through Albany, but Eli quickly fired some zingers back and had the support of his teammates, a great sign. And even Strahan’s planned holdout didn’t adversely affect the team.

So how does the team look going into the opener versus Dallas? I would be concerned about the secondary, only because they have some big time inexperience there, especially at the safety position. The good thing is the front seven looks to be strong (and have some depth), and a secondary’s best friend is a pass rush which the Giants should be able to generate. The defense looked shaky at times during the preseason, but I think they’ll be okay as they adjust to a new coach and get that pass rush going. Another area of concern is the field goal unit, and not just the kicker. The Giants lost long snapper Ryan Kheul, one of the best, early on in training camp and it looks like they’ll rely on a pair of rookies to fill that roll. So many games are close in the NFL…the kicking game is really important.

Positives? Eli’s performance. I keep saying we aren’t going to see his best for a few more years, as he grows into the position, and it appears he is becoming more and more comfortable. He had a terrific camp. The receiving corp and running back positions also appear deep, giving Manning a lot of options. I’ve gone on record as saying Jacobs is the next Larry Johnson, and I still feel that way. I also like the Bradshaw kid. He’s going to return kickoffs and I think he could be that Dave Meggett/third down back I was wishing for in the draft. And the D-line looked good and should be the strength of the defense.