Archive for September, 2007

Mixed Signals

September 29, 2007

Every week I like to track the NY Post sentiment as a negative indicator, and just as importantly the picks of Blezow. This week it is a mixed bag, with 7 out of 10 on the Eagles and (uncharacteristically) Blezow in the minority with the Giants. Those items by definition are mitigating. So why do I share this info when it is “confused?” Because you need to read the previous post to understand the same confusion we all have about this team. We wonder if we are going to get the team that lost the first 2 or won the third, the team from the first half last week or the second half? I am very interested in seeing what we get Sunday night. They will surely pick on Ross- I would. How effective is Westbrook? Burress? Ward? Those three have been a huge part of their team’s offense and all of them are going to play hurt. Too many questions… let’s sit back and enjoy the uncertainty.

1/3rd full or 2/3rds empty?

September 25, 2007

Well, to be fair the Giants have played two of only 4 teams in the league that are undefeated. The Cowboys and the Packers are both 3-0. I was not impressed by either team. But this past weekend these teams laid waste to the Bears and the Chargers… does this strengthen the Giants knowing they did not lose to also-rans? At this early stage I would have to give the team the benefit of the doubt. No, this does not absolve the pass coverage. But it does make us rethink our assessment. Can Ross provide an uptick over Webster (who was benched in the H2)? Can we see more of the pass rusher in Kiwanuka instead of the LB? Is this a bonafide renaissance for Manning? Before we get too excited, we will be quick to remember the first half gaffes and the special teams insanities of field position given to the opponent at the 50 seemingly every time. What I can say is that I have seen wins like the one on Sunday before, and they can turn around seasons at ANY juncture, be it W3, W13, week-whatever. Giants-Eagles. I predicted the Giants would not win either contest this season. I will stay with that prediction. But with the way Manning is playing, they are in every game, and that I did not know when I made that prediction before the season began. Sound like I am hedging? Yep.

NYG 24 Skins 17

September 24, 2007

The ugly: special teams, the first half, Corey Webster.
The bad: ill-advised INT by Manning, Diehl beaten on speed rush for turnover, ~6 dropped catch-able balls.
The good: a nice win, a tremendous second half, Kiwanuka going forward as a DE vs the QB (2 sacks) as opposed to backward in LB coverage, Eli Manning showing yet more consistency, Burress w some huge catches and a tremendous TD run (after catch) to win the game.

Repeat after me, Coughlin and Reese: Kiwanuka is a DE.

I still feel we are on course for a 6-10 season, but if Manning can play like this for 16 games we are going to be a force to be reckoned with with a new head coach.

skins game

September 21, 2007

Last week the Blezow indicator worked to perfection again (he has taken the Gmen twice and we have gone down in flames). This week he has taken the … Skins! There is hope! Well, okay, not that much hope, because we only have 5 geniuses out of 10 on the Skins, so it is less than perfect. Plus we all know the Skins can win and not cover. So the Giants have a number of ways of still losing this game.

For those out there betting, we have a lock for you this weekend! All 10 out of 10 Post geniuses have the Jets over the Dolphins. Admit it! You like the Jets to get their first win too this weekend, beating up on the hapless Fins. Yet you also liked the Eagles on Monday night vs the Skins, so fess up! Take the fins.

how ugly?

September 20, 2007

In yesterday’s Star Ledger they had a scout (I cannot find the link, sorry) who dissected the defense. The scout concluded that Spagnuolo was not the problem, that the personnel could not stay with the opposition given whatever coverage they were in. So it really boiled down to LBs/CBs/Safeties in coverage not getting it done. The scout politely implied that this problem is not going away.

Yesterday and today we had a number of armchair head coaches who offered their advice on how to fix at least some of the problems. I will offer one piece of advice which I offered last year. Fire Coughlin.

While we are on the topic of adminstration…. Reese is going to get his share of the blame. (1) He is already getting the heat for his post-draft boasting of how he faked everybody out with the LB need, because the Kiwanuka move is killing them. They needed a LB. You do not take #1 draft pick impact players and change their position. (2) Wait until one or two OLinemen get hurt and we find out that not only did we lose a LT when Petitgout got cut, but that we also lost depth. (3) The secondary mess he inherits we will give him the pass on. He knew he had a problem there and went out and got a #1. But what about free agency? (4) Strahan should have been fined the max. They rolled back ~half of the fine, so that Strahan could spend the first few games getting into football shape. Very nice.

All of these items were mentioned on this blog BEFORE the season started.

Two bagger: Pack 35 Gmen 13

September 17, 2007

You need two bags for this one… the first is to vomit into and the second one is to put over your head in embarrassment. Do you know how bad this is getting folks? Charles W., the eternal optimist, is not sure if we are going to win a(nother) game this year. In truth, we have two pro bowl pass rushers who have been silent, and our secondary and linebackers are making too many mistakes. OUR DEFENSE IS TERRIBLE. And once again our discipline crumbled like a house of cards. There were rumors of a Bob Whitfield sighting out there. The only thing missing was one of his trademark headbutts, because we had personal fouls, delay of games, unnecessary roughness, you name it. The 2006 Coughlin disease is alive and well, Mr. Mara. And this is all in GAME TWO! It gets late early around here. Usually I would go into deep analysis of what is working and what is not, but I’ll save you a lot of time- Manning and the offensive line are working, and everything else is one large stench. At this point I would be happy if our record tanked, Manning was the bright spot for our future, we got the top pick in the draft and Cowher came in and straightened out this mess. I’ll be going to 4 more games, so if my math is correct that means I will need 8 bags.

Packers Home Opener

September 15, 2007

The Giants are pick’em this weekend. Eight of the 10 NY Post geniuses (including Blezow, ALWAYS in the majority) have the Gmen, and to make matters worse 4 of them have them with the best bet. GROAN. What did these people see that I did not see? They have hope. They hope (1) Manning will play (2) the secondary can play better, since it is hard to imagine them playing worse (3) Kiwanuka will go back to the defensive line because with Joseph gone and Umenyiora out (?) Coughlin will have no choice but to end this experiment (4) homefield is the tonic for victory.

I hope for a pass rush. That is where we have the skill players to make the impact, and that will be the way we can cover up the multitude of sins in the secondary/strong side LB.

Goodell’s punishment

September 14, 2007

Belichick was fined $500,000. The team loses a 2 and 3 if it does not make the playoffs and it loses a 1 if it does. The punishment on the team should have been greater to get the attention of everyone in the league. By the way, note how Belichick did a faux mea culpa: “..our use of sideline video had no impact on the outcome of last week’s game. We have never used sideline video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress.” Translation- the Jets were onto us too early for us to get much video, and we use the video to pick off signals in future games after we finish studying it and cataloging it. The guy is a snake and does not have any class.


September 13, 2007

Either today or tomorrow the NFL will report its findings: the Patriots were videotaping the Jets’ defensive signals. What now surfaces is all kinds of other alleged illegal activity by this team… that the Packers complained to the league last year about the same kind of activity, and that at least two teams, the Bills and Chargers, have also accused the Patriots of committing the NFL’s version of illegal wiretapping.

Note that Goodell warned all teams this summer that they were on notice that all of this activity must end. If that was a declaration of amnesty for the past and stringency for the future, let the stringency begin.

Goodell has come down much harder than Tagliabue on Pacman Jones. I would like to be commissioner for a day; the Patriots need to be punished severely for this. It would make your head spin what I think they should get… the loss of ALL of next year’s draft picks, with the first round pick going to the Jets and the rest of them being voided. Maybe that would get the attention of this team. Apparently Goodell’s warning did not.

Why so harsh? Because professional sports has been getting more than a few black eyes lately, and Goodell has proven that he can be the man to clean things up. Steroids in baseball, doping in cycling, NBA referee point fixing… NFL spying. The integrity of the games we watch is everything, and without it it is nothing. Belichick has already apologized and will issue a statement after the NFL issues its findings. What about the 26 year old videotaper? He is obviously a puppet under orders by higher ups to perform such activities. Whoever was the originator of the order to perform such activities should be banned from the league. If it was Belichick, goodbye. If it was an offensive coordinator, goodbye. And if that guy wants to fall on the sword and not give up who told him to do it, ban him and fine the team extra for hindering the investigation into the matter.

Dallas 45 NYG 35

September 11, 2007

We outlined questions going into the season. Kiwanuka was an enormous liability in his new position. Our secondary is weak. These items contributed significantly to our loss and are not going away easily.

I am cautiously optimistic that (injuries aside) Manning can improve- that would be great..let’s see him perform this way for an entire season.