Archive for the ‘Bradshaw’ Category

SIzzle and Steak: Round 2 of the NFL Draft and the importance of the later rounds

April 27, 2008

Have you been noticing how the Eagles are trading more and more down into the second round? This is the football version of “Moneyball,” where value is seen more reliably in those less heralded second rounders THAT GET THE JOB DONE. In the Super Bowl for the Giants, when you sort the team’s reprentation of starters from the round where they came from, you would logically think that the first rounders outnumber the second rounders. But they do not. 3 first rounders, 7 second rounders. And the linked blog entry shows that over the previous administrations stretching all the way to 1979, the one constant is that the Giants do better in the second round, period end of story. Sizzle vs steak. Sizzle sells newspapers and draft coverage, steak sells championships. Add that Alford, DeOssie, Boss, Johnson, Bradshaw all came from (what is now) Day 2.

In reading up on the stories coming from the Giants “War Room,” I am continually struck by the pressure and emotion of the Round 1 pick vs the stories that come from the Round 2 and later rounds. There is always some ‘worry’ and stress about the big ticket not being there. Reese and Coughlin were allegedly holding their breath as they waited for each pick in front of them NOT to take Phillips. Yet I think this is why the Giants do not do as well in Round 1 as they do in Round 2. Objectivity is lost. They covet. They start getting married to the idea of which player they want and they get emotionally attached. That is much less so for later rounds where they have so many people ranked and have no clue who is going to be snapped up before they pick. So they play it by ear and are far more balanced. They are more value-oriented. And I have to think about Wonder’s positive bias for Terrell Thomas over Kenny Phillips, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL. Seven, count them, SEVEN former second rounders started for the Giants in the Super Bowl.

THE ROOKIES (Part II)

February 20, 2008

On February 2, a day before the Super Bowl, Ultimatenyg quickly ran through the rookies from the Draft Class of 2007, pinpointing them as a big reason the Giants were in the big game. With the Super Bowl in the record books, is there any doubt that the rookies were also a big reason the Giants WON the big game? They made an impact on the biggest stage of all.

Any credit given to the rookies has to start with the front office and Jerry Reese. All of the great successes in professional sports are due in part to the front office finding talent and getting the support players who allow those stars to excel. Men like Carmen Policy (blogger’s note- originally stated Eddie DeBartolo, the owner, my mistake), Bobby Beathard, Ron Wolf, George Young and the Rooneys are the lifelines for how these organizations can make championships possible not only once but again and again.

Ernie Accorsi set the table for Reese and Tom Coughlin by locking up a number of key players for a long time, simultaneously passing down a salary cap that was in very good shape. The Giants’ cap room is the best in the N.F.C. East and is in a very good position to keep Reese competitive with new signings where he deems fit.

Where Accorsi ended, Reese began. Reese was also the director of player personnel, so the result of the 2007 draft was going to fall squarely on his shoulders.

It was historic and seismic. Reese’s draft made him instant royalty. The first-year impact players became known as “Reese’s Pieces.” Super Bowl or not, Reese’s crop of kids made such a big splash that it was almost uncomfortable for him to accept such inordinate praise. He went out of his way to compliment the young group of players. He redirected accolades to the coaching staff for enabling the draft class to assist the team so positively and so quickly.

The new Giants were not all along for the ‘Parcells ride,’ where rookies are seen but not heard. With the exception of Adam Koets, every other rookie drafted (and even a few who were signed as UFAs) made significant contributions. This added up to a record number of rookies getting Super Bowl rings.

How do the Giants win if #1 pick Aaron Ross is not providing tremendous coverage all season? As soon as Ross started playing meaningful minutes, the defense tightened up. Everyone remembers the second half of the first Redskins game, but does everyone remember that that was the first time Ross stepped in to play corner? He was there knocking Marion Barber down with a separated shoulder. He was there to save the Jets game when the rest of the team was flat. He was not immune to getting beat, but he had mostly excellent coverage and could also be physical. Add that he played through multiple injuries, had Madison, Dockery, Webster and McQuarters rotating in and out with their injuries, and you can see how significant his efforts were in getting the team to a championship.

For a second pick, Steve Smith was almost all-world. If not for a midseason injury, he would have been putting up numbers all year. He caught four passes in the Super Bowl, none bigger than the play sandwiched between David Tyree’s helmet grab and Plaxico Burress’s game-winning TD. On 3rd and 11, Smith caught a pass in the right flat, came to a complete stop to avoid going out of bounds, ran another 3-4 yards up field for the first down, then went out of bounds to stop the clock. That kind of play would have been excellent for a seasoned veteran like Amani Toomer, but for a rookie who did not even play half the games this season, it was nothing short of spectacular. It will be overlooked in history, but Giants fans who appreciate the rookies will remember Smith’s grab and key first down as long as they remember the Super Bowl XLII win.

Jay Alford (#3) plays a tough position for any rookie, DL. But he was good enough to provide rotation relief among the veterans. And his entire career may already be remembered for the sack on 2nd down of the final series that buried Tom Brady and the Patriots’ chances.

Zak DeOssie (#4) put the finishing touches on the 1990 championship season’s analog by being the long snapper and impact special teams player for a Giants Super Bowl winner just like his father 17 years before. It was enough to bring Steve DeOssie to tears.

Kevin Boss (#5) filled in for injured TE Jeremy Shockey. His great hands made him an instant threat and kept defenses off balance as soon as he went into a route. The Boss catch-and-run for 45 yards at the beginning of Q4 of the Super Bowl ignited the offense and set up the first go-ahead score. Imagine a rookie doing what Welker, Moss, Burress and Toomer could not do! Boss’s chemistry with Eli Manning was so impressive that it forced others to question whether Shockey was already yesterday’s news. That conclusion is most likely unfounded, and the Giants are poised to reap many rewards from a two TE set with double threats.

Michael Johnson (#7a) filled in and started for the Giants when other safeties were hurt. He never lost his aggressiveness and was instrumental in the team’s drive to 6-2 earlier in the season. At one point he and undrafted rookie Craig Dahl were each patrolling the defense’s deep waters … a large responsibility that proved critical along the team’s path to a Super Bowl. Coughlin went out of his way to point out that it was Johnson who got the McQuarters nightmarish fumble vs. Green Bay knocked away so that Domenik Hixon (another great pickup by Reese) could recover the ball.

Ahmad Bradshaw (#7b), the last Giant pick, was taken only a few spots from the end of the draft. Bradshaw was featured early and often on ultimatenyg because his speed, cutbacks, quickness to the hole, north-south running, pass catching and ability to pound defenses was a total find. It took an injury by Brandon Jacobs (on top of Derrick Ward already being on IR) for Bradshaw to get up on the depth charts high enough to be seen. His impact on the team’s late-season and postseason drive was nothing short of stunning. In the second half of the Bills game W16, when everyone knew the Giants were running the ball, Bradshaw told his teammates during a timeout that if they made their blocks he would take it the distance. One snap and 88 yards later, he helped sew up the team’s playoff berth. The accolades he received from competitors was a reminder that Bradshaw can be special for quite some time if he remains healthy. His only weakness was a lack of experience and knowledge in how to pick up the blitz. This may get squared away in 2008’s training camp, affording him the opportunity to be the starting RB. He is that good.

The Giants made a very special run to collect their third Super Bowl title. It is next to impossible to envision how this could have happened without the major contributions delivered by this fine rookie class. As a group, they exhibited maturity and experience beyond their years. The draft of 2007 can be the backbone for many playoff runs to come.

Nobody asked me, but

February 9, 2008

We won the Super Bowl. We have been savoring this win for almost a week now. Everything is wonderful. There are no worts on this team. Or are there? Eli gets a free pass, I know, I know, I promise not to do the 56 game rip when he had a 74 QB rating and could not play consistent quarters let alone consistent games, playoffs et al…

What I speak to now is, before anyone anoints Gilbride, I have a few bones to pick. (1) What is this under-use of the TE? First it was Shockey, now it is Boss. At least your malfeasance is non-discrimatory. (2) And why is it that you never took Bradshaw out of mothballs? One again 9 carries for Bradshaw for 5 yds/per, Jacobs 14 carries for 42 yards… 3 yds/per. Hmm, like has been said before, in a game of inches, we see the difference in feet and yards. (3) On the subject of Bradshaw, ya think we might just have gotten LUCKY when a slow and lumbering Jacobs makes it back to the line of scrimmage and barely gets that first down on 4th and 1? Why not use Bradshaw so he can kick out if necessary- in fact a kick out and we get 10-20 yards or possibly a TD. (4) I heard some math- that 90% of the run calls were between the tackles…. what is UP with that? We knew that the NE linebackers had one weakness, slowing speed due to age. We practically played into their hands.

THE GAME DID NOT HAVE TO BE SO TORTUOUSLY CLOSE.

Coughlin spoke w Francesa today

February 8, 2008

Coughlin mentioned two rookie “unheralded” plays… (1) when McQuarters fumbles away one of those late punt returns vs the Packers, one guy from GB is trying to pick it up and flubs, and it is Michael Johnson who pops it out of there so that Hixon can recover. (2) In the Super Bowl, when Ahmad Bradshaw fumbles, he gets back his own fumble with cool resourcefulness.

When the subject of Tuck came up, Coughlin praised Tuck immensely and pointed out that last year when he got injured, the team really missed him and Michael Strahan.

Separately, nothing to do with this interview, they have an 18 minute version of Super Bowl highlights on NFL Films, and they showed that on the very first play of the game- a kickoff to Hixon, he only gets to ~near the 20 yard line. Hixon was face masked for SECONDS and it would have been 15 yards.

Divine Intervention

February 6, 2008

The stories coming out of this game are giving new meaning to the oft overused expression “Team of Destiny.” There had to be some sort of Divine Intervention at work here. Evidence? Hmmm…

1) The Bradshaw fumble recovery was nothing short of a miracle. Pierre Woods of the Patriots FALLS ON THE BALL. If this was ANY other game, the whistle blows, the play is over and the ref points his arm the other way for the turnover. But Bradshaw comes over (this period of time felt like an eternity in the pantheon of fumble scrums), sticks his arm underneath his body, pops the ball out of there and recovers the ball. According to an interview with Woods, he somehow never had control of the ball. It almost reminds me of an ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ episode where the ball is “blinked” to another location and everyone else is wondering how it actually became teleported. IF THE REFS CALL THE TURNOVER, NO ONE HAS ANYTHING TO SAY! All I know is I am whistling past the graveyard on that one.

2) The 45 yarder to Boss? Well, it turns out that that one was drawn up on the sidelines by Gilbride just minutes before it was used! We are playing sandlot football at the Super Bowl.

3) We now find out that somewhere in the Q4 Toomer busted (broke?) his hand, and he never knew until in the lockerroom when he was shaking hands with people.

4) The Helmet. The Great Escape. I do not know what they are going to end up calling it, but no matter because they will always be calling the NY GIANTS 2007 Super Bowl Champions. When I watch the tape of that play over and over I am still mystified by how the ball stays in Tyree’s possession despite being held precariously on the side of that damn helmet with ONE hand! How it does not somehow get jarred loose is almost as if G-d has a hand in there holding it in place. I still do not understand it. I see it but I do not understand it.

4a) How does this Manning kid get away from those linemen who have him in their grasp? Manning is not that strong and these linemen are not that weak. He had help from somewhere.

5) And then there is the revelation from Toomer- that David Tyree couldn’t catch a pass in (the last) practice the Friday before the game. The guy who couldn’t catch a pass in practice, the same guy who flubbed the TD catch versus Green Bay that was right in his arms. And now he catches THREE PASSES. One of which is a Touchdown. One of which is off his freaking helmet. The guy had 4 receptions ALL YEAR.

6) I am not even writing this blog until I go online this morning and start reading how Plaxico Burress, all healthy and ready to go (remember the 23-17 boast before boarding the bus, how he was “97%” healthy?), slips in the shower at the hotel the Monday before the game and sprains his MCL. He plays the game almost as a decoy on a sprained MCL and still catches the final TD. He had to be carted off the field to the lockerroom.

THIS SPACE LEFT BLANK FOR MORE MAGIC.

Phil Simms Super Bowl Recap

February 6, 2008

From Simms:

1) Brady was valiant. He took a beating and fought through to the end. He gave the ball to the defense with a 14-10 lead before the 2 minute warning.
2) A lot of NFL current QBs who were at the game were quietly and privately just a little more than happy that Brady got put on his a**. (They are a little tired of being compared so poorly to the anointed one, who so often has much better protection than they do.)
3) The Patriots CANNOT let the Strahan sack happen- it puts them out of FG range. Simms did not single out any one player/coach.
4) The lightning-fast playing field helped the pass rush.
5) Tuck was the unsung hero. Giants got a bargain in their new contract that he just signed.
6) The playcalling when the Pats are about to score at 10-7 to make it 14-10 was not good enough. You have to work the clock down and use the fact that if you fail to get a TD that at least it is 10-10. I think Phil was thinking that if you threw underneath (for a sure completion) or ran, that you could push the ball closer and burn clock– too much time was given to the Giants.
7) The Giants’ run thru the playoffs was unbelievable… Phil thinks it was the hardest run ever.
8) The Manning pass and catch by Tyree was one of the greatest plays in football ever.
9) Re the pass rush in this game, it is important to understand that hidden in the W17 game was that the Giants were VERY CLOSE to getting to Brady. Brady was just barely getting the ball off and Simms felt if the turf speed or any of a number of variables changed, that the Giants would get to Brady easier this time. The pass rush affects so many things- you cannot get to Moss downfield anymore. Lack of run means the playaction is not going to work, and w/o playaction you cannot buy the extra time to freeze safeties and allow runners to go longer routes. The longest pass play was 19 yards.
10) On the final Burress TD catch, CB Hobbs is not to be faulted.. it was a blitz and they teach the CB to go for the first move on the blitz because you have to assume the QB will not have enough time for the second move’s route. The Giants did great because they picked up the blitz and Eli went exactly where you have to go to on that defensive play call.
11) Giants controlled pace of the game and outplayed the Patriots.
12) Boss play broke the tempo of the game.
13) The Giants and Cowboys are the two most physical teams in the league. Old Time Giants Football.
14) They do not do instant replay of the scrum on a fumble because they do not know when the whistle blew. (Today we heard that the Patriot who fell on the ball lost by Bradshaw admitted he did not have control of the ball when Bradshaw went under his body and popped the ball out to regain possession.)
15) The stock of TB, DAL and GB rises because of how the Giants played NE.
16) 20-20 hindsight: the drive before the end of the half vs Dallas to tie the score defined the Super Bowl run of the Giants.

TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP!

February 4, 2008

Strahan- sacks, pressures, run stops, smelling out flat pass, giving this team the message that they were there in Arizona to WIN the game.

Toomer- Not satisfied with getting to the SB again. Returning from ACL surgery and making an impact on a regular basis. Yet another amazing toe catch from the sideline master.

Manning- FREE PASS FOR LIFE! He has delivered a Super Bowl Championship to us and can throw 4 INTS every game for the rest of his career and I will not care. He was Joe Montana tonight, his line should have read 3 TD and 0 INTS if not for a deflection. His scramble out of a potential sack and subsequent pass to…

Tyree- THE GREATEST PLAY IN GIANTS HISTORY. 3rd and 5, Manning about to get sacked and make 4th and long and the end of our Super Bowl hopes. THE HELMET. An earlier TD. He was the miracle. This eclipses Mark Ingram’s 3rd and 12 and Bobby Johnson’s 4th and 17. Not even close.

Burress- playing all season hurt, and then catching the final TD for the Super Bowl. If he is healthy he is getting 100+ yards per game for us and completely changing the game.

Pierce- the General on the playing field, making all the calls, always having the defense in the right place, making everyone around him better.

Smith- clutch catch after clutch catch. 3rd and 11 tightrope first down to the 13 yard line sets up Burress TD heroics.

Boss- what hands?!! 45 yard catch and run ignited our offense en route to the win!

Bradshaw- fighting and scrapping for yards wherever he could find them. I still do not understand how he got back his own fumble.

Jacobs- 4th and 1 carry on ‘the drive’ instrumental. This player’s blitz pickups this evening were the UNSUNG HERO OF THE GAME.

Webster- He slips on the Moss TD. But then he bats away a long pass to Moss on the final drive to effectively seal the win. Against all odds he is arguably sharing the MVP of the entire playoffs with Manning.

Tuck- 2 sacks, a fumble strip of Brady, constant pressure on Brady. The MVP of the game if Manning does not lead the final drive.

Umenyiora/Cofield/Robbins/Alford- in the trenches, controlling everything.

Diehl/Seubert/O’Hara/Snee/McKenzie- in the trenches, controlling everything.

Wilson/Johnson/Butler/Ross/Dockery- holding one of the most potent offenses to 14 points, bending but not breaking. TEAM.

PHIL SIMMS AND FINAL THOUGHTS ON XLII

February 3, 2008

I am not a very big Mike Francesa fan, but he did a beautiful job articulating all of the storylines for this Super Bowl. In a nutshell, this matchup has the ability to live up to the hype for the first time in a long time because of the 18-0 season of the Patriots. And if the Giants were to somehow pull off an upset, it would also imply an epic game and one of the biggest upsets in all of sports. So we are going to see some form of history tonight, and if the game is competitive it will be very special.

Phil Simms was on for an hour. Newer blog readers know that I think the world of Simms for too many reasons to list here, but suffice it to say that I respect his opinions and views immensely. Phil can be wrong- he picked the Raiders over the Bucs in the Super Bowl ~5 years ago. He also contended that the Giants were fine for being conservative on offense in Q4 vs Dallas, something I disagree with in a HUGE way.

Against Dallas (3 weeks ago) he thought the Giants would be competitive and had a chance at possibly winning the game. TODAY HE THINKS “THE GIANTS CAN HAVE A CHANCE TO BEAT THE PATRIOTS.” So his sentiments are eerily similar. What does that mean? It simply tells us that we are not completely subjective and biased for thinking that the Giants have a chance.

* Almost everyone he has spoken with thinks the Patriots are going to score in the 40’s and and are going to win easily, but that he is not of that opinion.
* It will be a lower scoring game than most think and it will be more competitive.
* The NYG are on an emotional high that he has not seen in sports.
* Two keys are (1) can the Giants DL be disruptive (2) can the Giants be more physical on offense.
* Has heard this fast turf is in excellent condition and will be even faster, which benefits speed.

In terms of the players who benefit from speed, this means Moss, Welker, Umenyiora and Bradshaw.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Win the game, win it ALL, win the SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP. Are we underdogs? Yes. But if we have that small chance to win, I want to win. I will leave it with the final thought from Michael Strahan after the Patriot loss in W17:
“It’s frustrating because when you have a team like this up against the ropes, you can’t afford to do that,” Strahan said. “I guess I am supposed to be happy that we are going to the playoffs and we played well and we came almost close but that is not good enough for me. I’m not out there to play and be fish food,” Strahan continued. “I’d rather be the fish. I want to eat it.” Beat the Patriots tonight and win the title!

What others are saying about Bradshaw

February 2, 2008


Mike Vrabel: “He is a great back and he is one of those guys who is gaining confidence each time he carries the ball. Bill (Belichick) loves him. He shows film of him, he gets his helmet knocked off and runs through three guys and says: ‘That’s a pretty good 6-yard run.’ He’s right.”

Junior Seau: “He’s not showing all his game. He’s got a great upside. He hasn’t played a full season. There’s more to his game than you think. He’s going to be a great player.”

Bill Belichick: Bradshaw is a “key player to stop. He gives them a spark when he touches the ball. He has good quickness, he has good power, good vision. He’s a good cutback runner. He made a huge play there in the draw play against Green Bay. I know it got called back, but they had him for no gain, he broke a couple tackles, used his quickness to break out of there and went the distance – 50 yards or whatever it was. Bradshaw is a good back. … He’s a threat to go anywhere on the field.”

Jim Brown, Hall of Fame RB: “(Bradshaw) could be the guy who decides the game.”

Ronde Barber: “That kid is going to be great. We kept on hitting him and pounding him and he kept going forward, fighting for yards.”

Reggie Torbor: “It might sound crazy, but in some spots, he’s harder to tackle than Brandon (Jacobs).”

For the Giants and Bradshaw, the Future is NOW. Speed kills. Use it or lose it. Get this guy the ball as much as possible and win the game.

Analysis of Super Bowl XLII

January 30, 2008

There are going to be many battles within this war on Sunday night.

WHEN THE GIANTS HAVE THE BALL:
1) Burress vs Samuel/Hobbs. There are two reasons why Plax opened his mouth with “23-17.” One is because he has S*** for brains. The second is that he is genuinely pumped to be in this game and feeling about as well as he has felt in a long time. He has a 7″ height advantage on these guys, played well against them before and he clearly has an.. EDGE NYG.
2) Steve Smith vs Randall Gay. I would normally say Gay has the advantage, but Smith is getting better every game and one would think he will make plays.
3) Giant OL vs Patriots DL. Wilfork is very important to this team, but the Giants have demonstrated time and again the ability to control the line of scrimmage. Pickup of Vrabel on the blitz is imperative… this is how they get to the passer. EDGE NYG.
4) Jacobs/Bradshaw vs Seau/Bruschi/Vrabel. Ability vs Experience. Jacobs has shown a tendency to fumble the ball after a layoff.. please protect the ball. Bradshaw’s speed is a HUGE advantage over this aging group of experienced veterans if the Giants are smart enough to leverage it often. EDGE NYG.
5)Manning vs Belichick. Belichick is smart and will not let Manning sit back there with time. He will mix up coverages a lot more than the Packers did, and do his best to confuse and fluster Eli. The old Eli would not be up to the task. The new Eli has shown he is because Gilbride has smartly mixed up playcalling (when they are not ahead in Q4) and made the game shorter so that Manning is not back there so long that he can have that turnover. Manning does best with LESS time and MORE reflex. He is best when he has to throw to a spot before the WR is there. I see no reason why Gilbride will change this- it is a quicker game and Manning does best in it. The edge will go to Belichick in deference to his myriad # of SB successes, but Manning can control this outcome if he keeps doing what has gotten him here. EDGE PATS.
6) Giants offense vs Patriots defense summary- Bradshaw and Burress have the distinct advantage that must be leveraged. If the running game gets on track, then Manning’s play action becomes lethal too. EDGE NYG.

WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL:
1) Moss vs Webster/double team- Any need for discussion? The Giants need to be physical and force him inside. Webster has improved but this is in need of help(doubling) and that means EDGE PATS.
2) Welker vs Ross- The Giants must be very physical here and do the 1991 Super Bowl ‘Andre Reed redux’ by kicking the living snot out of this player. He lives near the line of scrimmage on short stuff, so you have to pound him and disrupt the timing. Welker likes coming back to the ball (as all good WRs must do), and then he curls around to break the first defender’s tackle. It was really helpful that the Giants saw this guy already, because they know all about how he kills teams. EDGE PATS.
3) Pats OL vs Giants DL- Earth to Osi Umenyiora, Earth to Osi Umenyiora, come in please?!!! It is time for us to see Umenyiora make an impact. I know he is getting doubled, but he often gets singled too by Light, so GET TO BRADY please and cause havoc. This is the most pivotal matchup of the game. When Flozell Adams buckled in Q3 of the Dallas game, the Giants went from needing a miracle to win to getting that miracle and winning. Good pitching beats good hitting, good OLs beat good DLs. Strahan is going to play the game of his life. Will Umenyiora? I think not. The only hope for the Giants is Tuck on mismatches with a Guard. EDGE PATS.
4) Maroney/Faulk vs Pierce/Mitchell/Torbor. Maroney was held in check, but Faulk never is. Faulk must be blanketed or else he will kill you on those 3rd down conversions. EDGE PATS.
5) Brady vs Spagnuolo. Thank goodness for Spags. Otherwise this would not even be a contest and I would not be wasting my time typing this entire analysis. Brady is there with Montana and the great ones of all time. Spags and this Giant defense have seen Brady-Garcia-Romo-Favre the past 4 games, so the good news for the Giants is that they are not getting a shock to the system. Spags will put as much pressure on Brady as possible and Brady will still win. EDGE PATS.
6) Patriots offense vs Giants defense summary- The trick to beating the Patriots is to bend but not break here. They are going to score points. They just cannot score 35-40 points. EDGE PATS.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Tynes benefited greatly from making that big 47 yarder. Confidence is everything. Hixon and the kickoff unit put a great deal of pressure on the opposing team and they just get better and better every game. EDGE NYG.

COACHING:
Edge Belichick, EDGE PATS.

GAME SUMMARY:
Objectively speaking, the edge that the Giants offense has over the Patriots defense is not as great as the edge of the Patriots offense over the Giants defense. Specials will give the Giants a shorter field than the Patriots, but will that be enough? My two keys to the game are: 1) GILBRIDE MUST ATTACK EARLY AND OFTEN AND KEEP PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE PATRIOTS DEFENSE FOR 60 MINUTES.. NOT FOR ONLY 50:33 .. NOT THE LETUP WE SAW IN W17 WHEN WE HAD A LEAD. 2) UMENYIORA MUST GET TO BRADY. I will go out on a limb and say that if either of these two things happen the Giants will win the game. I do not think that that happens because I have seen Umenyiora mostly quiet vs the better Offensive Tackles these past 4 games, and I have not seen Gilbride use Bradshaw as much as he needs to and use the offense in the 4th quarter (unless they are behind).

It is there for the taking for the Giants. How badly do they want it? No one gives you anything. Championships are won, championships are not not lost. There is an opening here for the Giants to be physical and win, but everything must go right. You must be bold and not be afraid to lose. I have my doubts about what the playcalling will be like in Q4. We know that if you fall behind vs the Patriots it is going to be hard to win, so what if the Giants actually have a lead in Q4? Do you want a 3-4 pt lead vs Brady in Q4 and have Gilbride put the brakes on and think that R-R-P-K is going to win you a Super Bowl? He needs to understand that the only way you are going to deny Brady a chance to win is with you running out the clock, and that means keeping up the attack offense, getting first downs and keeping the ball until the game is OVER. How much respect do you have for Mr. Brady, Mr. Gilbride? No lead is safe, and if the Giants did not understand that from playing him already, then we deserve to lose. But if the Giants are able to realize that the best defense vs Brady is an offense that stays on the field ALL the time, then we do have a very realistic chance.