Archive for the ‘Eli Manning’ Category

More observations

September 23, 2009

1) Papa and Banks reviewed the Dallas win with a 23 minute recap. Good stuff.

2) Vaccaro has a nice piece on how Manningham got to the place he is currently in. He mentions the Wonderlicht score; concerns about MM’s ability to learn the offense were there. What Vaccaro did not mention was how Manningham got hurt in training camp in 2008. That is a big setback for ANY rookie. They need to get up that learning curve. But for Manningham, it was a death spiral. He spent the rest of the year trying to play catchup, never learning the offense.

It wasn’t until the offseason that he had the opportunity to make progress- he needed TIME. Our first BIG clue was given by Gilbride, which was passed along on June 19th at Ultimatenyg. We saw in preseason how he was being coached on the field by Manning in where he needed to put his body. But just as importantly, we saw in preseason that beautiful separation he seemingly gets on EVERY play. Manningham’s ascendency to the X receiver will not be without some ‘growing pains.’ But the way this NY Giants blogger sees it- THE MORE HE PLAYS THE BETTER HE GETS. By the end of the season he will be much improved. And wait until he has another camp- I’ll go on record and say that as long as Mario Manningham is not injured, he will be a tremendous WR in 2010.

3) “THINK“- As Manningham plays more, he will be thinking less.. that is when it will get scary, because he just went for 150 yards and was actually thinking out there. Thinking takes time. Not sure who said it (Simms?), but the paraphrased quote is that in the NFL, you want (defensive) players to think because that slows them down before they can actually make the play. For offensive players like MM, you need their moves to be automatic. This game is not yet automatic for Mario Manningham. When his game becomes automatic, lights out, he’ll get even more open than now because he’ll be making the right reads.

4) What is good for Manningham should be good for Corey Webster (and the other CBs) too. Practice makes perfect.

5) It is nice to see Vacchiano talk so candidly about some items. Vacchiano is an example of a beat reporter who has a lot of things to say but holds back because he needs to appear unbiased and get his access. This was caught late yesterday and belatedly linked it to the Tuesday remarks on Phillips, which were similar in vain.

6) I concede. How many of you out there in football land saw the Dolphins vs the Colts on Monday night? I saw the end of the game, and my estimation of Tony Sparano just went down a peg, maybe two pegs. Here is the setup:

MIA has the ball and is driving, 3rd and 6 from the IND 30 (4:33 to go), score tied. What do you do?

To say the Dolphins ran was not correct. It was more like a dive to CONCEDE the end of the possession so that they could get a few yards extra to make the FG more manageable. WRONG WRONG WRONG. As soon as they did that, I was going nuts. If the Giants did this, you can bet your sweet buns that Nature and I would have been throwing a hissy. It is tantamount to Fassel kicking the FG on 3rd down. But there were 4:33 to go, an eternity for Peyton Manning. And what about that Herm (un)Edwards line- YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME. How about trying to actually get the FIRST DOWN???! What a radical concept. How about still trying to score SEVEN on that drive. Pathetic. They kick the FG, which incidentally would have easily been good from another 5-10 yards, having hit the back net. Peyton dissects the Dolphins (and Gibril Wilson, who got roasted multiple times) and scores 7 in a heartbeat, so amazingly the Dolphins actually have time to put a drive together, but clock management was abysmal and the Dolphins lost. The replays of the game all focused on the clock management, but the Dolphins sin was on the previous possesion when they conceded.

Enjoying this win one more day

September 22, 2009

I know a lot of you hate Dallas, making this a particularly sweet win. So let’s enjoy this one a little more before moving on.

So many great comments yesterday.. we’d need 3 blog posts to recap them all.

1) I liked Dallas to win the game on Sunday, especially if Kenny Phillips could not play. Thankfully we did not see a lot of CC Brown. Given how important Phillips was (even playing HURT!), is there anyone who thinks we win that game WITHOUT him?!

2) The two things that held me back from calling for a Cowboys victory were:
(a) the road warriors. One blog commenter emailed with a remark that Eli Manning’s 5 best games have come on the road. This is just a guess, but I’ll hypothesize that this is indeed logical because Eli is the un-QB, the guy who is so laid back that you have to check to see if he has a pulse. Maybe when he is on the road he has to focus more on running the team, crowd noise and all. Remember him playing the Chargers in Qualcom 4 years ago, to all of the venom and noise from the crowd that did not take well to being spurned at the Draft Altar? That was his first whale of a game. Lambeau field in the playoffs? He just seems to focus more in the hardest playing conditions.
(b) Wade Phillips. If you flipped a coin a week before the game and gave this guy his pick of either team to coach, he could lose it for either side you gave him. When was the last time you felt his team overachieved? Simply stated, you are never out of it when he is on the other sidelines. Right now he seems inexorably tied to the misfortunes of Romo, but maybe it is the other way around.

3. The crew at ESPN (Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Ditka, Johnson and Carter) had a little bit of a lovefest for the Giants last night. But this is where you have to appreciate the national perspective. They noted how the Giants got ripped to shreds on both sides of the line of scrimmage, but were stepping over themselves to point out how the Giants know how to win. This was a hallmark of the Parcells teams. They talked about the “look” of Eli on that last drive, that you just knew he was going to take the team down the field. I’ll tell you who else “knew” … Marvelous. He sends an email to three people as the final drive is beginning: “We have 2 plays to make 6 yds. Giants will NOT kick if we are stopped on 3rd down. NOTE–Giants are GOING to WIN this game.” Sometimes you just know.

4) A few words on the good teams finding a way to win. How many times were we on the losing end of that kind of game where we win everything EXCEPT the game? You take these games and YOU MOVE ON. How many of you remember a game the 1990 Giants played against the Cardinals in Week 6? The Dominant Giants were 5-0, playing the 2-3 scrubs of Phoenix. Except the Giants came out as flat as a pancake, working so hard to be 5-0 and then about to lose to schtick dreck, at home no less, 19-10. It was ugly, pathetic. But out of nowhere with very little time left the Giants drive down the field and score to make it 19-17. They need the ball one more time, somehow they get their hands on it and make a 40 yarder with ~no time left on the clock to win the game. The Giants had NO BUSINESS WINNING THAT GAME, yet they did. The Giants got whooped for the first ~55 minutes and somehow pulled it out. Far be it for us to draw too many parallels between that game and this one two nights ago. We’ll leave it with the understanding that teams that win championships will win games like this along the way.

5) Defense wins championships. Is Sheridan going to be able to fix it, coach these guys up? As long as you are winning now and improving, you can get into the playoffs and hopefully be playing the best football at that time. The Indianapolis Colts in 2006 had a garbage defense but won enough with Peyton to get to the playoffs.. then Sanders came back just in time to help fix the defense and the rest is history. We need our players back/healthy and then we’ll see if they can gel.

6) The play-as-you-go payment plan is still in effect. We now play 3 teams that are 1-5 (and the one win coming from 2 of the teams playing one another). If anyone saw the destruction that the Saints delivered to the Eagles, you’ll know that Week 6 is where this season really begins and we can start truly assessing what is under the hood.

7) The question posed by Nature on (who is all around better than Osi at) Defensive End is answered by Wonder:
Justin Tuck, Mario Williams, Julius Peppers, Jared Allen, Schobel (BUF)…REAL underrated…John Abraham, WHEN HEALTHY, is a STUD…Ogunleye (CHI), and so far Odom (CINC) has been a BEAST…Avril is “on his way” in another year or two…love Freeney’s motor… Ty Warren MUCH BETTER RUN STUFFER and can pash rush if in a 4-3…still like SEYMOUR better all-around…also, Vandenbush is REALLY GOOD…and Jason Jones is Titans’ “next up and coming stud DE.”

Abraham is not my guy, he disappears too much. Schobel was on TV last Monday night vs NE, he is stuck in that no-name market; if he were in NY he would be Knighted. So interesting to see Wonder single out the 3-4 DEs who would have such an easier time as a 4-3 end. Playing anywhere on the DL in a 3-4 is the most thankless job. Speaking about DL, did you guys see how NT Jay Ratliff roasted us alive on Sunday night? He could not be stopped, he took our OL to school. The Giants have trouble with these disruptive NTs. If it starts at the DL, then the DL starts at NT.

8) Eli brilliance was worth revisiting. Wonder asks us- how many times did Brady get sacked on Sunday? Zero. How many times did Eli get sacked? Zero. But look at how Eli had no happy feet, completely calm, confident. Wonder could not stop raving about how well Manning played. In this blogger’s opinion, some of the Eli over Brady comparison from W2 is a Wade Phillips vs a Rex Ryan blitz. Ryan has that unpredictable ‘Ravens’ scheme. Mike Martz broke down the film and compared Eli’s calm leadership of the offense to that of Kurt Warner. We’ll throw one last bone to Bradshaw- look at how he picks up the blitz perfectly on this drive.

NY Giants 33 Dallas 31

September 21, 2009

This was a great win, warts and all. Yes, there are a multitude of problems that need fixing, but there were MANY positives gained from this victory. We have been saying since the middle of preseason that the defense needed time to come together- they are buying time with wins. Phil Simms said before the game that the Giants defense gives up the big play and that that would cost us the game. Well, he was right, but he did not know that the Giants would have a +4 turnover ratio. Dallas beat themselves with those turnovers, so DO NOT try giving back this win with all the warts we had. Collect a nice win, move on to next week, fix the problems, get PEOPLE BACK HEALTHY and improve the defense.

The GOOD
1) The Giants have their #1 Wide Receiver, his name is Mario Manningham (10 catches for 150 yds) and to quote Al Michaels, he is their “budding star.” Look over to the right side of the blog and give yourselves a pat on the back- you saw Mario Manningham as the breakout WR for the Giants this year, LONG BEFORE ANYONE ELSE. (Okay, let’s throw a bone to Peter King, he was there too.)
2) Eli Manning (330 yds, 2 TDs) was tremendous. Cool as a cucumber in the 2 minute offense. Evaded pressure with poise in the pocket all night. He did it all.
3) Steve Smith (10 catches for 134 yds) is the Rock of Gibraltar. You can lean on him, clutch, reliable, money. Did you see that move he put on Scandrick for the TD? He left him in a different zip code.
4) The Bruce Johnson INT for a TD is how you win on the road. Make impact plays and make the home team pay for their mistakes. That was a huge lift for the team because this game could have been a rout early, the way that Dallas was dominating. Antonio Pierce is slowing down on defense but he changed the defense when Romo audibled and that set up Johnson.
5) Pass protection was good. Wonder and I disagree on this one. Wonder felt the protection was not good and that Eli Manning’s pocket presence did it all, that there were plenty of times Dallas guys were getting through. There were no sacks, that is GOOD enough for us.
6) PLUS FOUR TURNOVER RATIO.
7) Ahmad Bradshaw was a jack of all trades. Picked up blitzes, pushed the pile, got respectable yardage when Jacobs was having trouble.
8) The defensive secondary did enough things well to be on the other side of Romo going for 13 for 29 with 3 INTs. Romo may have been tied with Eli for the Giants MVP, but the DBs played well in pass coverage. Phillips was playing hurt or else this unit will look better in run coverage. We could have used Gibril Wilson out there to clean up all of the run defense mistakes.

The Bad
1) OL run blocking did not get the surge. Wonder asks aloud if these guys have lost something from last year. Jacobs likes getting the handoff about 28 yards behind the line of scrimmage so that he can have a running start and a head of steam, but the problem is that he was getting greeted at the line of scrimmage too often and the plays look too slow-devloping.
2) Kickoff returns
3) Kickoff coverage

The Ugly (aka “warts”)
1) RUN DEFENSE was GASHED repeatedly. The DL was blown off the ball, Osi overpursued (creating wide gaps), our LBers are too slow. Boley was gassed and was out there far longer than he should have been, considering it was his first game back. Yes, it was hot and hurt both DLs, but there is no excuse for 251 yards. Would we have been aided by rotation with Tuck and Canty? Yes. But it has to improve.
2) This game, like the Redskins game, could have been over much earlier in the evening if the Red Zone offense could do better that 0 for 3 for 2 FGs.
3) Gilbride did not call Kevin Boss’s number ONCE in the red zone. Instead, in this mission critical area, we get balls thrown to Hedgecock and pitchouts to Bradshaw
(See Rule #5, AGAIN!). Brilliant. NOT.
4) If Tuck’s injury is serious.

Yes, the Giants were dominated at the line of scrimmage. When you have difficulties running the ball AND you give up 251 yards at the point of attack, you will not survive for very long if that does not get straightened out.

We have been complaining about the inadequacies of Kevin Gilbride for over a year now, but it has gotten so bad that even Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth now are talking about it on National TV.

Re kickoffs, each team was getting a runback of ~22 yards per kick. But their kicker makes us start from 2 yards inside the endzone while ours (thanks to Tynes’ weak leg) makes our coverage of kicks start from the +10 yard line. So we get out to the 20 and they are at the 32. Bad.

With all of this, the game is still in the WIN column. GOOD FOR THE GIANTS. COLLECT THE “W” and move on to the next game. Thankfully the playoffs do not start for another 16 weeks, so there is PLENTY OF TIME TO IMPROVE. We need time to heal. We need time for Boley to get his legs. We need time for Canty, Ross, Dockery and Sintim to get back. This win was well deserved and well earned in a great fight. The most exciting part of the game is watching Mario Manningham grow up before our very eyes. This has very good long term implications for the team.

They’ll walk through a wall for you

September 15, 2009

1) We talk about how the difference between teams #1 thru #26 in the NFL is not very large. Intangibles like coaching and emotion can make a #26 play like a #1 and we have numerous examples of coaches who turn good teams into underachievers in crunch time (think Marty Schottenheimer, Wade Phillips). It is only Week 1, it does not mean anything YET long term, but they are playing for Rex Ryan so far.

2) Wonder and I discussed the red zone problems. Everyone knows this is not a new problem. Remember the Steelers game last season? 1 for 6 in the red zone, the lone success at the end of the game on.. PLAY ACTION?! The Giants were 0 for 3 on Sunday vs the Skins. SAME STORY.

So what is going on? When the Giants are down by the goal line in 3rd and 1 from the 1 or thereabouts, Wonder reminds us of Marino to Bruce Hardy. The Dolphins would play action OFTEN. Fake handoff into the line.. Marino would hit one of his plethora of putrid and slow Tight Ends in the back of the end zone for a (usually) wide open TD. The Dolphins LIVED on this. And it made their run attempts more effective because it created doubt in the minds of the opponent about what they were going to see.

Part of the problem here is (my apologies for being redundant) predictability. You are not making the job of the OL any easier by using play action infrequently. Wonder swings to the other side of the coin… USE IT OFTEN. PRACTICE IT OFTEN. PLAYERS LOVE ROUTINE. They get comfortable executing it and they want to do it. It should be a staple of your offense, not an exception. Use play action with Nicks, Smith and Boss. And you benefit Eli too, because he needs to be comfortable executing this OFTEN. Wonder is so right about this.. Eli gets very good when he is comfortable back there. You can see a player like him who is long on smarts being every bit as effective as any other QB with this kind of play.

Manning offered this on the topic of 3rd and short: “Coach talked a little bit about it today – we just assume that on third and short we are going to be able to run and be able to get it. We have to throw the ball a little bit more possibly in some of those situations. But down there, we’re a team that is going to be physical, we have a big back, and we should be able to get that surge and should get a first down in those situations.”

3) As for short yardage woes of the Giants to run for 1 yard, be it red zone or otherwise, Wonder suspects it is scheme. Where is the design trap? He puts half the blame on the OL and the other half on Gilbride. He does not put the blame on the RB.

3a) When I asked him about the (Rule #5) pitchout in the red zone, he completely agreed, but noted one minor exception which actually bolsters the rule even more. He said the one time it actually works is when you have a two back set, you fake handoff the ball to Jacobs going right and then very quickly pitchout to Bradshaw on the left side. Everyone including the safety are frozen on the right side and the other RB can usually walk into the end zone. Fwiw, the Giants do not have Jacobs and Bradshaw in a 2 back set.

4) I was ribbing Wonder on Manningham; he is not conceding that one so quickly. But he did tip his hat to Corey Webster. “Impressive” job on Moss.

5) Injury update: “Coughlin said rookie wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot) and running back Danny Ware (dislocated elbow) will probably be sidelined a minimum of two weeks and then be evaluated week-by- week.”

6) The Gatorade bath of Sheridan at the end of the game was good to see. Pierce: “He (Sheridan) was deserving of it. (He) called a great game and we went out and executed well.”

7) The fake FG that the Skins scored a TD was Coughlin’s fault. He called for an all-out block.

Giants 23 Redskins 17

September 14, 2009

For those of you who watched, you know the final score was not indicative of the way the Giants outplayed the Redskins. This was a very good win for the Giants in every way except the injuries.

1) Just like the Giants lost to Philadelphia last year in W14 20-14, the Skins got beat by the Giants in much the same way. Both games saw a special teams TD at the end of the half (punt block by Giants, Skins fake FG), both teams got off the schnide at the half after getting outplayed, both teams scored a late TD w/o much hope of winning and both teams lost by 6. This time we were on the other side of that type of game, a nice win.

2) Every win is a good win early in the season while the defense comes together. We’re buying time.

3) Did Mario Manningham look like Plaxico Burress out there, or what?!! He looks so good against single coverage. He has the separation. He has the moves. 3 catches for 58 yards. Eli Manning on Manningham: “He has a lot of talent, a lot of ability.”

4) How many times have we mentioned what great hands Kevin Boss has, that he is the secret weapon for the entire season?!!! 3 catches for 62 yards. 1 of those catches was an improvised checkdown from Eli, so Gilbride DOES NOT get points for dialing this guy up. HE NEEDS MORE THAN 2 CALLS OF HIS NUMBER. If Manning and Boss have to go over Gilbride’s (vacuous) head to get it done with more checkdowns, more power to them. At least Gilbride had him out in a route, that is an upgrade from chaining him to the line of scrimmage every play.

5) The Rules For Winning in the NFL… Rule #5- Pitchouts do not work in the red zone. So there it is, the pitchout to Bradshaw on 3rd and short, stopped for no gain. Red zone efficiency was a problem last year and it will continue to be a problem when you make blatantly BAD playcalls like this one. Folks, this was written years ago, the observation has been made from over decades of anecdotal evidence. It is a slow-developing play that is being called in an area of the field that has no luxury of time. Next.

6) DeAngelo Hall taketh and giveth away. He is an opportunistic Cover 2 cornerback that is in the right place at the right time for his INT, but he missed the tackle on Mannngham’s TD and he gets roasted by Steve Smith for the big catch (3rd and 5, 26 yard reception) in Q4 that seals the game.

7) Eli Manning was very good today. He had one delay of game when he got to the line with 10 seconds left on the playclock that was his fault. The fumble turnover was a face mask 15 yarder that the refs conveniently missed. The INT was reminiscent of him throwing off his back foot in the end zone of the Eagle playoff game last year to Asante Samuel. This time a tip was needed to cause the INT, but it still was a floater which started the same problem. (Even Eli himself notes how he has to step into that throw. See transcript link in (3) above.) Otherwise, he did a great job everywhere else and was the leader of a strong offensive performance. You can’t put the red zone woes on Manning. The score is a much wider margin of victory if he has help there (see points 5 and 12). Marvelous said before the game that he loved Eli today, and boy was he right on the money. Eli was particularly sweet on the Smith 26 yarder when he looked off the safety before threading the needle on a great pass. That pass was money and the setup was just as important.

8) Let’s throw a bone to the USC boys. Terrell Thomas got nicked on one Randle El play but did fine otherwise. Steve Smith was 6 for 80, a big part of this win.

9) Defense Wins Championships. We saw a lot of uneven play from the defense, but this was EXACTLY WHAT WE EXPECTED. We KNEW the defense was not going to be air tight today by any means. Simms also alluded to it this morning. This is a work in progress. But in the meantime, we will single out three players who were noteworthy:
a) Tuck, who stopped the Redskins after the Hall INT set them up at the 11 yard line. A loss of 6 on a run play on 1st down. A sack on third down. That is how you win games and win championships, with impact plays like that. That is LT-glory-days defense.
b) The Osi-Trifecta. The sack-strip. The fumble recovery. The TD. We were transplanted back to 2007’s 49er win. A good omen. We miss those plays. Nice to have him back.
c) Corey Webster. Let’s read Santana Moss’s line stat from today: 2 receptions for 6 yards. I do not give a rat’s a** who goes to the Pro Bowl at CB, I love Webster, the silence from his corner of the field is deafening.

10) We’ll talk about the injuries as we get more definitive information. As we understand it right now, Ware is the serious one and the rest do not look as serious but need more eval.

11) Cooley 7 receptions for 68 yards. You have to know that the Giants are vulnerable to a good TE. We see Witten next.

12) Let’s not get too crazed this early in the season about the playcalling. We’ll make it very simple for now- get Boss more involved in the red zone.

13) Canty is going to see more work next week. He did fine this week in limited snaps.

14) CC Brown was garbage on the last TD. Is there anyone better out there we can get at Safety? We threw out some ideas of Bernard Pollard, Emanuel Cook, Kevin Kaesviharn and Brian Russell. I’d bring them all in for tryouts and put one on the roster to compete with Brown. At the moment we have ONLY three Safetys. Why does this guy have a free pass?

15) Osi, this may sound like nitpicking, but pls no Leon Lett’s with the ball as you are about to cross the goal line.

Carl Banks comments on the Giants

September 13, 2009

Carl Banks was on WFAN Friday with Roberts and Benigno. Go to the middle (~55% or 60% of the way through) of the audio clip to start listening to the section on the Giants.

Quick summary: Giants should be a playoff team, the back 7 of the defense has the question marks and the upside to determine the fate, good or bad, with the team.

Banks believes the WR issues are overblown. He specifically singled out Nicks and Manningham as having breakout potential.

On Hakeem Nicks: “He’s a fighter now. I like the way he fights back and makes tough plays.”

On Mario Manningam: “Mario Manningham is a guy who Eli Manning HAS to get adjusted to… If you watch Ocho Cinco- the best route runner in football. He gets in and out of cuts great. This Mario Manningham has the potential to be that because he is in and out of his breaks. He is ..starting to run crisp routes, but he’s got quick feet and he runs a screen or an out cut.. ELI HAS TO TRUST THAT THIS KID IS GOING TO BE OUT OF IT. He’s got to throw the ball, can’t wait, because he’ll be behind him.”

On the Linebackers, very positive remarks on Wilkinson IF he can stay on the field. Wilkinson can play all three LBer positions and is MORE ATHLETIC, smart. Especially with Boley still out, who do you want covering the TE or the RB in passing situations? Carl Banks trusts Wilkinson’s speed. The LBers are younger, but they are better than last year.

Xtian correctly remarks that technically speaking, yes, the LBers are not ‘younger’ with Clark and Pierce out there. The assumption here is that Clark is a placeholder and Pierce is slowing down (especially as each season continues).. the very near future of the LBers will be looking something like Sintim/Boley/Wilkinson/Kehl. The Giants need this move toward the younger and less experienced LBers because they have more range.

Is Manning Bedrock?

August 27, 2009

There is no escaping the injuries now. With little more than 2 weeks and 2 more preseason games before Week 1, the injuries are now centerstage. Of course the finality of Andre Brown and Jay Alford is known. But what of Robbins, Boley, Canty, Ross, Pierce, et al. What of the others who have missed enough practice time like Webster, Snee, Seubert, Phillips? If the Giants do not heal up quickly and get ready for primetime, then 2009 will be like 2008. That would be sad, because there is every reason to believe that the pieces are there to go all the way. We said after the Bears loss that there is no need to panic, it is just preseason. Believe that. Believe that the Giants will clean up their execution issues in preparation for the Jets. Believe that enough of these pros who are hurt will do whatever is necessary to be ready Sept 13. Believe that the losses of Alford and Brown, while larger than most Giants fans realize (DEPTH, PREPPING FOR EVEN BIGGER CONTRIBUTIONS THAT GET DELAYED BY A YEAR), will not be harmful to a Super Bowl run. Believe that this team’s bedrock (Webster, Jacobs, Tuck, Umenyiora, Snee, and yes .. Boss and Bradshaw) will be there.

Notice the trouble in putting Manning in that category. What do you get with Manning? 2007’s postseason or 2008’s postseason? 2007’s regular season or 2008’s regular season? Manning continues to be an enigma. If he can play with the consistency of 2008’s regular season and 2007’s postseason, wow! Still others will argue he just needs the latter, that the Giants are good enough to get into the playoffs, let’m squeak in and then go on the road so that we keep the guy OUT of the Meadowlands. Is this season going to boil down to the play of Eli Manning? Is it fair to say that the “ultimate” reason we won and lost in 2007 and 2008 was always about Eli?! We’d like to think that that is utterly simplistic in a team sport with numerous coaches and too many other invaluable contributions. But that is not entirely clear. The one thing that is clear is that we need everyone healthy first before Manning can then decide our fate. This sounds like a poll question- does Eli deliver for the Giants in 2009? The answer may very well determine the outcome of this season. If you have the answer to that question, please do share.

MM

August 25, 2009

Mario Manningham gets out of his break quickly and gets that separation that you crave. So it is time for the QBs to make practice perfect and start hitting this guy in stride. Those WR fears will melt away IF that happens. Watch the replay of Manningham on that pass that Payne breaks up in Chicago Sat evening. It is only one play, but it is part of the problem and represents part of the solution when corrected and executed.

From Garafolo on his initial writeup:
Coughlin might breathe easier when he sees Eli Manning’s numbers: 7-for-10 for 62 yards. But he’s just as likely to throw down his remote control when he looks at the tape of the first drive and sees how Manning missed Mario Manningham on third-and-7.

“Yeah, that’s me,” Manning said. “He ran a good route, we had the good coverage, I just didn’t throw it far enough near the sideline.”

The Giants need Eli Manning more than ever. Maybe when the DL is healthy and the defense is dominant, Eli does not have to carry the team. But with Robbins and Cofield trying to come back from injuries, with Canty nursing a hamstring tear, Alford gone, this team needs execution and fast. LIFT THESE YOUNG WRs UP, Eli. They may not be Plaxico but they are good enough for a consistent passer.

Eli Moneybags

August 6, 2009

1) Eli Manning is set to get a 6 yr deal worth ~$97M. That’s a lot of hospital birthing centers. Reese: “He’s a good football player.” But therein lies the rub. We have been saying all along, he’s a GOOD player. Not great, good. Those were Reese’s words, carefully chosen- “good.” Someone please explain to us why “good” gets you the highest salary in the NFL. Eli is deserving of a lot, but there are ~1700 players in this league and Eli Manning does NOT deserve the #1 salary in the league.

2) Someone please order me a pizza. But is it possible to get one for less than $90? Like we said before, for this kind of money, buy your ticket without the frills and get over to Il Mulino after the game. The food is slightly better. I’m not that sure what a good restaurant is in Dallas, but it is not going to be as costly as a $90 pizza. But then again, it all makes sense. You better be selling a lot of $90 pizzas to pay for the Romos and Mannings of the world.

NFLN previews the Giants

July 20, 2009

NFLN video link previews the Giants for 2009.

Jamie Dukes smartly downplays the issues at WR. Between all of the talent they have, there is no reason why they cannot get it done this year. If they do not, it is either because of injuries, Gilbride or a combination of both. Moss is playing better, Manningham is playing better, Boss needs lots more touches, Nicks looks like he make a significant rookie contribution, and Hixon and Smith have already proven (when healthy) they have the game.

What is missing is a serious discussion of two items.

1) LBer. The injury to Boley sets this unit right back to 2008. Where is the speed? Where are the impact plays? Where is Pierce after midyear when he slows down? Sintim pulled a hamstring in OTAs, so he better be very healthy and very active in camp. Kehl? Waiting for GodotWilkinson?

2) Lack of depth at Safety. Knight and Butler are gone. Johnson and Phillips should be fine. But this unit always had rotation, and now there is CC Brown and that is about it folks. If they stay healthy, okay. If they do not, trouble.

And as a footnote Giants fans, if #10 can play at a consistently high level for an entire season, the Giants can collect a title ‘EASY.’ In 2007 Manning played at that consistently high level for 5 consecutive games. It was the right 5 games. So let’s start putting some pressure on Eli Moneybag$. When he signs that contract to be the highest paid player in the NFL, he better know the responsibility needs to be there. Jerry Reese said so.