Archive for the ‘Jacobs’ Category

Diary of a CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVE

February 9, 2008

Note links on separate plays to video where available:

NE 14 NYG 10 2:39
1st and 10 at NYG 17(2:39) Toomer to NYG 28 for 11 yards
1st and 10 at NYG 28(2:09) incomplete Burress
2nd and 10 at NYG 28(2:04) incomplete Burress
Two-Minute Warning
3rd and 10 at NYG 28(1:59) Toomer to NYG 37 for 9 yards
4th and 1 at NYG 37(1:34) Jacobs run to NYG 39 for 2 yards
1st and 10 at NYG 39(1:28) Manning run to NYG 44 for 5 yards
Timeout #1 by NYG at 01:20
2nd and 5 at NYG 44(1:20) incomplete Tyree
3rd and 5 at NYG 44(1:15) Tyree to NE 24 for 32 yards (Commentary from Tyree)
Timeout #2 by NYG at 00:59
1st and 10 at NE 24(:59) Manning sacked at NE 25 for -1 yards
Timeout #3 by NYG at 00:51
2nd and 11 at NE 25(:51) incomplete Tyree
3rd and 11 at NE 25(:45) Smith to NE 13 for 12 yards
1st and 10 at NE 13(:39) Burress for 13 yards, TOUCHDOWN
L.Tynes extra point is GOOD
NYG 17 NE 14
12 plays, 83 yards, 2:07 drive, 14:25 elapsed

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.

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.

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!!!!!

Bill Belichick gets it

January 27, 2008

From Today’s NY POST: “Patriots coach Bill Belichick mentioned rookie RB Ahmad Bradshaw as a key player to stop, which is quite remarkable considering Bradshaw barely played at all until the 15th game of the season.”
This blog has had a fairly consistent message for a number of weeks now- (1) get the ball to Bradshaw as much as possible, and (2) get him on the field because he stretches defenses and enables THE GIANTS to dictate the terms of engagement. In August, despite a sloppy preseason, we spotted something to get excited about- a rookie named Ahmad Bradshaw. He fumbled in W2 on a kickoff and was sent to the doghouse. He came back in W16 versus the Bills when Jacobs was hurt, and the team has not been the same since. His minutes have risen. TOO SLOWLY. Gilbride, the great misuser of talent, is waiting for years from now to use him? If Jacobs did not get hurt we would not even know if Bradshaw existed! (He was not even dressed for a number of games in midseason.)

THE FUTURE IS NOW! Next season this budding star RB could tear his ACL and his career is over, a footnote in Giants history, a trivia question in the back of a sports almanac. WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP NOW WITH BRADSHAW.

BUCK AND AIKMAN ASKED ALOUD FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR IN H2 OF THE PACKER NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME- WHY ARE THE GIANTS NOT GIVING MORE TIME TO BRADSHAW?

AND NOW WE HAVE BILL BELICHICK SAYING THAT BRADSHAW IS A “KEY PLAYER TO STOP.”

The Giants understand that you need to pitch a perfect game to beat the Patriots. The Giants have that perfect game, and it means maximizing your talents and playing Bradshaw as much as possible. This means playing Jacobs too, but it means 20+ touches for Bradshaw. Even when Bradshaw is on the field and not getting the ball, he is doing his work, pressing the Patriot defense to cover much more of the field due to his threat. BILL BELICHICK GETS IT. WHY DOESN’T COUGHLIN AND GILBRIDE?

Keep it simple- dictate the terms and win the game by playing Bradshaw.

Shockey and Barber

January 26, 2008

Addition by subtraction, so the theory goes. Utter horsebleep. Pundits like Mike Vaccaro would have you believe that since these two Pro Bowlers went away due to retirement/injury, that the fact that the Giants are in the Super Bowl is damning evidence of how these guys were not really helping the team win. Ridiculous assertion. Sometimes you have to wonder how they can come to such conclusions.

I was quick to take a slap at Barber at the end of preseason (see Point #4 in link) when the former Giant took shots at the Giants. As a professional, he should have moved on and become more objective. Instead he got s’d into the role of former locker room news source. Too bad for him and too bad for the Giants. The fact that his contributions to the team have to be defended here is simply because of the misinformation being put out by guys like Vaccaro who fabricate a day’s work off of the scantest evidence. What facts does Vaccaro use to support his conclusion? You got me! Read the article yourself, linked above. He says the record speaks for itself. He quotes three people, two of which are not saying anything at all about these players and the third who is merely giving an obvious report about the unity of the team. There is not one solid piece of concrete fact that demonstrates his conclusion.

I will do the opposite and list some points that perhaps can dispel this myth before it becomes accepted as reality:
1) Before the season began, I listed 7 questions the Giants were facing. Specifically NOT mentioned was the loss of Barber in the running game. The only thing mentioned was how the Giants running backs would do in pass-catching responsibilities. How could the loss of a 1500 yard Pro Bowl runner not be a question?… the answer was easy… the GIANTS WERE LOADED AT RUNNING BACK. In fact, in preseason I pointed out that the Giants had more depth at RB than I had seen in many years. And coincidentally, while everyone was bellyaching about the trade Reese made, giving up Ryan Grant for a 6th rounder, this blog has been putting out the word on the talents of Ahmad Bradshaw. DOESN’T REESE’S MOVE TO TRADE A PRACTICE SQUAD RB FOR A 6TH ROUND PICK OFFER AS EVIDENCE THAT THE GIANTS WERE NOT GOING TO SUFFER A LOSS FROM BARBER’S RUNNING PRODUCTION? That having Jacobs, Ward, Droughns and Bradshaw was going to fill the void? OF COURSE IT DID!
2) Evidence? 2006 Pro Bowl year by Tiki Barber. Giants get 134.8 yards per game in the rushing department. 2007 Jacobs and Ward carry the load. Giants get 134.2 yards per game in the rushing department. OTHER PLAYERS WITH TALENT STEPPED UP. The results were nearly IDENTICAL.
3) More evidence? ALL FIVE STARTERS ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE WERE HEALTHY THIS YEAR AND STARTED ALL SIXTEEN GAMES. With the exception of O’Hara missing the Tampa Bay playoff game, these 5 starters have started 5×19=95 -1 O’Hara miss = 94 starts out of 95 max! That is tremendous support for the team and tremendous support for the running game in 2007. This unit’s continuity continues to pay huge dividends for the team, so to insinuate that the loss of a RB is why the team might be doing better now than then does not fit with the other contributions taking place.
4) Speaking of the Offensive Line, if you want to compare 2006 to 2007 and wonder aloud about maybe where the REAL explanation is for success, perhaps it was REESE CUTTING LUKE PETITGOUT. I will be fair here and point out that I was surprised and confused by the move when it first happened. I was concerned about the loss of depth that move created, as it forced Diehl over to LT and now we no longer had the luxury of Seubert as a 6th man. Indeed, Diehl has been the weakest link to the line in moving over to the difficult position at LT, giving up the most sacks of anyone on the line. But in perhaps THE BIGGEST ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION, the GIANTS LOST THE MYRIAD NUMBER OF PENALTIES CAUSED BY THEIR LEADING OFFENDER, LUKE PETITGOUT! In 2006 the Giants were 11th in the NFL, with 101 penalties, ~6.5 per game. In 2007 the Giants were 27th in the NFL, with 77 penalties, less than 5 per game. THAT IS HUGE. 1.5 penalties EVERY GAME. That is Luke Petitgout no longer being with the team. Penalties KILL offensive drives. That is 1 or 2 less drives per game being killed. And at 27th in the league, it speaks to how the team has been extremely competitive in this area and putting itself in better positions to win.
5) Bill Belichick commented about the NY GIANTS a few days ago (video linked). His FIRST item mentioned for recent improvement in the team?… SPECIAL TEAMS, where he pointed out how in all three of the playoff games the Giants outplayed their opponent. Special teams field position was probably the single most important reason why the Giants beat the Cowboys. We march down the field to score at the end of H1 because of a good kickoff. Without special teams, the Giants could easily be watching the rest of the playoffs instead of playing in them, but Vaccaro would have you believe it is the absence of Barber and Shockey?
6) And what about Eli Manning? If there is one statistic that could be damning of Shockey, it is that Manning got a lot better after Shockey went down. But to draw that conclusion, it would be to ignore other much larger facts already discussed in previous blog entries (two of which are linked). Did Manning’s copious use of the pump fake during the Tampa Bay playoff game 3 weeks ago having anything to do with Shockey not being there? If anything, it would have helped Shockey AS WELL, giving that large TE more space and more of a target for Eli. Maybe some of this ascendency of Eli has more to do with finally getting a healthy 3rd quality WR in Steve Smith back, coincidentally right when Shockey WENT DOWN?!!!! Maybe it had to do with Plaxico Burress playing a lot better, having huge games versus the Patriots and the Packers. Was Shockey responsible for the 3 INTs and 5 fumbles in Buffalo by Eli? He was not even in that game!
7) Could this late season surge maybe be the HELP from Barber?!! Yes, it was Barber who bitched and complained about how late in the season players were fatigued. They had no legs left for the games because they were getting worn down by Colonel Coughlin’s relentless practices. The players were no longer fresh, and the 2005 and 2006 swoons were probably a direct result of this. Coughlin would not listen to Barber. But the Giants administration did- they told Coughlin to start listening to the players, and he reluctantly changed to save his job and created his ‘leadership council.’ One of the things that council of players has told Coughlin about is going a little easier in late season practices to save the players’ energy for the games on Sunday. Plaxico Burress SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED THIS when asked about the change in his head coach (video 1:20 time). Do you think that losing Barber and Shockey made this team the road warriors? Well, HAHA, maybe Vaccaro is right for the wrong reason- that Barber LEFT because he got tired of not being listened to by Coughlin, but that IN TURN forced changes to make the Giants a better organization… one which could now be competitive in December and January. So maybe we ought to THANK Tiki Barber for putting us on this road.
8) The best for last- rookie Ahmad Bradshaw…. could it possibly be that THE REAL CAUSE AND EFFECT was not Shockey going out in W15 vs the Skins, but W16 with Jacobs going out and Ward already on IR??? THAT, my blog friends, is when this offense really took off, when Bradshaw carried the second half offense in the winds of Buffalo when it could no longer throw a SINGLE PASS!

Maybe what we need to respect is the FACT that Football is an extremely complicated game with so many moving parts that it is impossible to assign differences in play to one or two variables. This blog could write a novella on the changes that have transformed this team. So to the Vaccaros of the world who want to take a quick and easy one at these Pro Bowl guys, either start giving us concrete facts or please stop with the wild throwing of paint on the wall and seeing what the public wants to see stick.