Archive for December, 2007

Phil Simms speaks

December 31, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the madness of coaches

December 30, 2007

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

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

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

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

NE 38 NYG 35

December 30, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYG 21 NE 16 at halftime

December 30, 2007

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

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

Pats game tonight

December 29, 2007

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

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

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

Harry Carson speaks about Pats game this Saturday

December 28, 2007

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

NFLN Blinks

December 26, 2007

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

The Giants- in full enigma

December 25, 2007

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

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

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

THE GIANTS MAKE MISTAKES AND MANY OF THEIR WEAKER OPPONENTS SIMPLY MAKE MORE.

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

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

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

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

December 24, 2007

Was unable to view the game here in Philadelphia….

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

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

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

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

From Buffalo to Troy

December 21, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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