Archive for the ‘Eli’ Category

Odds and Ends

February 7, 2008

1. Pats gave up 21 sacks during reg season, gave up 5 vs gmen in Super Bowl, the most of any game this year.
2. Season Low 14 pts of offense for Brady and Co.
3. NFL Total Access had Super Bowl XXV won by the Giants as the #1 Super Bowl of all time… where do they put Super Bowl XLII??? I know the game did not end on the Burress TD, but considering the Manning to Tyree, the 18-0 Pats, the most lead changes in Q4 of ANY Super Bowl, this one may have to eclipse it. I know it does for me.
4. All three Giants Super Bowl victories occurred with us trailing at halftime. (The fact that we are 3-1 in Super Bowls and were trailing in all 4 reminds me of Super Bowl XXXV, which I would rather forget.)
5. Let’s acknowledge that Barber’s exit was probably one of the reasons for Coughlin getting grief from Giants Mananagement about poor communication with players, followed by orders to start listening more to his players. And let’s go one step further and realize that Coughlin’s success in this area is a big reason why players ‘bought in’ and played so hard for him. So Tiki was a positive force for change, and might very well be indirectly responsible for some this year’s success.
6. Heard a few quotes: ‘Eli the Mann, Brady the Lady’ and ’18 Wins 1 GIANT LOSS”
7. Olivia Manning after Peyton was MVP of Super Bowl XLI: “Maybe next year it will be Eli’s turn.” Only a mother could say that. The rest of the football world laughed, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US! Mom was right. You cannot make this stuff up!
8. Speaking of Super Bowl Parents, Steve DeOssie met up with son Zak after the game and wept. 1990 ANALOG LIVES!!!
7. Giants fans parade serenade for #92: “One more year!” … for Spags: “Redskins suck!”
8. The Giants won the last 3 games by 4, 3 (OT) and 3 points. Had it all the way!

From Dr. Rob at the game:
9. Brady had open receivers all day, but the pass rush would not allow him to find most of them.
10. Webster and Ross still had pretty decent coverage but Brady was inaccurate.
11. On ‘The Helmet,’ Manning set his feet and threw a very good pass as a result- HE TOOK THE HIT! (ultimatenyg note- Old Eli throws this one off his back feet and does NOT take the hit.)
12. Manning has consistently been throwing when there are 8 men in the box and running when there are 7. (Kind of reminds me of the sound fundamentals of Tim Duncan, who is shooting with single and passing with double.)
13. On the Tyree TD, at least 2 or 3 players are frozen on play-action and that enables Manning to stick it in vs single coverage.
14. On the Smith muff that gets picked off by Hobbs, Ahmad Bradshaw saves a TD because w/o him riding the player out of bounds he has 90 yards of daylight. This is where u have to be at the stadium, because all we see is two slow linemen trying to take the angle.

SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!!!!! Pt. 2

February 4, 2008

I thought Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV were sweet. Super Bowl XLII’s victory is beyond anything I could have imagined. It is a figure of speech to ask someone to pinch you when you are having doubts imagining that reality is indeed exceeding anything you could have dreamed about, but I found myself doing that because the win was so surreal. We thought the Giants had a chance, but did any of us truly KNOW that we were going to come out winners tonight?! And when we went ahead 10-7 we thought it was possible. And when it was 3rd and goal for the Patriots at the 8 and a stop forces a possible OT, are we thinking win when Moss gets the TD? There is enough time left, 3 timouts. But can we go down the field? I just saw the replay and it was a Brandon Jacobs falling forward on 4th and 1 or else we are thinking of what could have been. Miracle play after play kept the drive alive. Manning getting out of that sack and then the scramble for….The catch by Tyree on the helmet?!!!! That play was better than Mark Ingram on 3rd and 12 in 1991! I never thought I would hear myself say that. And then the Steve Smith (okay, you are forgiven for the INT) catch for 11 yards and a 1st down. And then Burresssss in the end zone for TD!!! Comfortably NUMB! The rookie Alford sacks Brady to put them in the hail mary and the game is sealed!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!! ELI MANNING GETS A FREE PASS FOR THE REST OF HIS CAREER!!! THE GIANTS ARE SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!!!!!

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.

1986 1990 2000 Championship Highlights

January 27, 2008

1986 NFC Championship Video

1990 NFC Championship Video

2000 NFC Championship Video

1986 Super Bowl XXI Highlights

1990 Super Bowl XXV Highlights

Super Buzz

January 21, 2008

Deliverance from Corey Webster!
1) Ever wonder why Spagnuolo gets all the attention and buzz for a head coaching job and Gilbride gets none? Could it be the underutilization of Shockey to the point where his loss to IR is barely noticed? Could it be the underutilization of Ahmad Bradshaw, to the point where we now have Joe Buck and Troy Aikman even second guessing why he is not getting more playing time? Add “9:27 left” and the prosecution rests. Gilbride has done some nice playcalling this year, but then he hasn’t.
2) Spags is the man. I am still wondering how Ryan Grant and the vaunted Packer YAC (they led the league, more than the Patriots) was stopped COLD. The Giants DL had enough push to force Favre to get rid of the ball, almost too quickly in retrospect. Ever notice the in-game adjustments by Spags to tighten up the defense?! It has been like that for most of the year.
3) Maybe he was playing hurt, or maybe I am just out to lunch for not noticing sooner, but Butler runs the 40 almost as fast as Marvelous. On a good day.
4) Re the Pats… “We know how good they are,” Manning said. “But we also know what it takes to beat them. Hopefully we can make it happen this time.”
5) I mentioned in an earlier post last night, and it is worth repeating with the ultimatenyg megaphone: AHMAD BRADSHAW DID NOT EVEN PLAY VERSUS THE PATRIOTS.
6) Road Warriors to the end: The gmen became the first NFC team to make it to the Super Bowl by winning three playoff games on the road. 10 straight, an NFL season record. Note that the Giants will be raising ticket prices so that we can see them lose at home next year.
7) I could not look at the two FGs that were missed. My Tynes-meter was scary. And when he went to go out for the 46 yarder, I thought he had a better shot at it because there would be a little less pressure to make this distance. And Coughlin said that the FG unit RAN onto the field (grateful for an oppty for atonement), which was a good sign.
8) “It’s Giants football,” added receiver Amani Toomer. “We want to make sure our fans have some good, healthy blood pressure going into our games.”
9) When OT came, the Giants lost the toss and Favre got the ball. ‚ÄúThat’s what we wanted, trust me.” Pierce said. For the job Pierce and the defense did last night, I think you have to trust him. The tackle he made busting up the screen pass to the left flat when there were 4 blockers and 1 Giant was one of the most inspiring efforts of the game.

Preview

January 20, 2008

QUICK SUMMARY:
1) Favre and the GB WRs may make this a very long evening for the Giants
2) Our defensive line must pressure Favre early and often
3) The NYG Offense must score LOADS of points

The GB Offensive Line holds much of the outcome to this game. Let us remember that for almost 3Q’s of last week’s game, we were not able to get enough pressure to disrupt Romo. IF the Pack OL holds up better than that, Favre will have too much time and he will have his way with our secondary. You have to expect that. You have to expect a good OL to beat our good DL. This puts more pressure on our offense to score if you know that your defense will not be able to keep the Pack to something similar like 17-20 points.The conclusion here is that Favre/Grant/WRs will score between a minimum of 28-31 points and our offense needs to understand that. I have to believe that if Coughlin and Gilbride are in touch with our weakness in the secondary, then they will come to the same conclusion. I am heartened by some comments from Chris Snee made yesterday which indicate that the Giants have too much respect for Favre to go dillydallying at 9:27 left. That tells me the offensive thinking this week is to be as aggressive as they can possibly be. This is a start.

The Giants offense will need more speed in order to compete. Burress would normally have that but he is hampered. Jacobs has slowed as the season has progressed. Toomer is a possession receiver.

That leaves the kids. Steve Smith. Kevin Boss. Ahmad Bradshaw. Get the ball to these guys and spread the defense. Score points. Score more points. You will need every point in order to beat Favre and the Packers. These kids are not rookies anymore- get them as many snaps as possible.

With Jacobs it is IF he can get yards. With Bradshaw it is WHEN will he come in TO GET YARDS. The former is passive. The latter is active. ATTACK- BRING IT.

The Giants will need to score points. Blah Blah the weather- it will create turnovers or it won’t, it will hurt BOTH qbs or it won’t. No matter. Score points to win this game.

Summary: Assuming Burress is still not effective, we need the rookies to see more involvement. If we do not see that involvement, I do not think that the NYG offense will score enough points to win this contest. The only way that would change is if the defense is able to pressure Favre and make him make mistakes- which I do not see happening. I will be hopeful it can happen- I will hope to see Umenyiora earn that Pro Bowl bid, Tuck to earn that new contract, Strahan to earn that 4 week furlough this past August. If the Giants want to earn the title bid, this star-laden group must have impact and pay off the team.

Comclusion: Unfortunately the sober expectation is for a Packer victory. I believe in the Giants, but I think that the secondary is going to be asked to do too much. Maybe Ross and/or Madison surprise us. I am not counting on it. May the best team win, as long as it is the Giants.

Money Drive On Film, Banks on the Packers

January 19, 2008

Meat and Potatoes. We are going to run the ball. We know you know that we are going to run the ball. You try to stop us. This guy adds 1-2 yards per carry in value in a game that will come down to inches. That is called edge.

Here is a link to Carl Banks dissecting film of the Packers. Note how Banks (in the second play, a run) talks about going “fast and forward” and going “vertical” when running through the Packer DL and LBs. In the play chosen, the FB does not do a good enough job on the block. But if Hedgecock can seal the LB off, who do you think is getting through that hole faster, Jacobs or Bradshaw?

Two different ways to win on Sunday

January 19, 2008

Plan A for Winning on Sunday:

1) Plaxico Burress needs to help this offense in a big way, bum ankle or no bum ankle
2) Manning needs to protect the ball well
3) The pass rush needs to get a lot of heat on Favre
4) Between Madison and Ross (both will play) they have to be able to play decently
5) Special teams need to dominate the weaker specials of GB

Plan B for Winning on Sunday:

1) Get the ball to Bradshaw
2) The rest of the team executes reasonably well

Plan A is a much bigger challenge. It means Ross, Madison and Burress need to contribute meaningfully and I do not think/know if that happens. If the last three games are any indication (a) Manning seems to understand the urgency (b) Manning seems to play better vs better teams (c) the carryover of good play will help him. The Packers have a very good offensive line and that tends to neutralize a good defensive line… just as last week, I have my doubts that our line can get pressure on Favre. I believe our specials will play better than the Packers, but I do not think you can expect any large advantage here.

Plan B is the simple way to win. It lets the edge of Bradshaw’s speed and power take over this game. Our defense is hurt. It is going to give up points, more than the 17 miracle points it only allowed to the Cowboys (barring horrendous conditions causing turnovers etc..). Bet on that. So you need to make sure your offense scores a lot and keeps the Packer offense off the field. By now you should have gotten the message of this blog- Bradshaw is the key to the Giants’ chances for going over the top and securing this win.
We can win this game w/o Bradshaw getting a lot of playing time. But everything else is going to have to go very right. And if the Packers execute well they can kill us too this way. But this is the passive Giants, the team that tries to win by methodical step by step progression, waiting for something good or bad to happen. If Burress is healthy and Manning is playing well, the two of them can take over a game, 100%. But without that, who is your guy to assert our team’s will on them? The answer is #44. It does not have to be a complicated formula. Let him take over the game.

Latest weather forecast

January 18, 2008

Temp -5 to -10 below zero (this is colder than the NWS, which is still above zero)
Light winds 5-10mph
-16 to -25 windchill
No precip expected, though a few snow showers cannot be totally ruled out

Phil Simms on NYG-GB Part 1

January 18, 2008

I always like listening to what Phil Simms has to offer, because he is about as honest and objective as any professional out there. He is also very smart too. He asks great questions, he sees the game through a good lense. Last weekend, for example, he thought the Cowboys-Giants game was too close to call, that it would go down to the end, and he did not know who would win. He felt the Giants could win, but would not definitively go that far. That forecast was probably as accurate as anything I heard.

People may say he is biased as a former Giant, but he certainly handles his announcing skills at games he covers slightly more balanced than other QB announcers I listen to. He caught some heat last weekend from a guy named Eggars. Same bs from people who do not listen to him enough to appreciate the value of his commentary and the length Simms goes to protect his integrity.

I will wait for Sunday to hear his comments on Westwood One’s radio show with Francesa (~945AM EST), but prelim remarks are sampled by Serby.

“You’re big and you’re physical and you can run the football and you can rush the passer probably better than anybody in the NFL,” Simms said. “What is there to complain about? You gotta like your chances.”

The tone of his message on Sunday morning will be the most significant element. How forceful he is with his opinion will tell us a lot.