Archive for the ‘Kevin Williams’ Category

Rest for the Weary Interior Defensive Lineman

January 1, 2009
The Ultimatenyg Wife and Daughter made cookies for the New Years Party last night.

The rest will be a positive for the DL- an oppty for Tuck, Robbins and Cofield to get back to their early season energy with a few less bumps and bruises to contend with.

When we lost Osi in August, we knew that was a BIG hurdle to getting another title. Well, here we are. All it means is that the Giants need HELP. They need the offense to get more points. They need the kickoff coverage to help them with field position. Yes, they need the Safety to pickup the RB out of the checkdown, not Pierce. (Wonder agrees, says Pierce should not be on the field on 3rd and long.) They can commit a few less penalties. The Giants have enough to win it all, they just need to be a little tighter from here on in. Gilbride needs to get more than 21 points per game this offseason, it will NOT be enough unless guys like Robbins ARE BACK.

Like we have said before, IF ROBBINS IS BACK IN EARLY SEASON HEALTH, they’ll be on Broadway on Feb 2nd. But when did an interior DL ever finish STRONGER as the season wore on? I am willing to bet that that extra week off for Cofield may have saved him in ways we do not know. Interior DL is like playing Catcher in Baseball. The length of the season is a major grind. The physical demands every game wear you down like no other position on the field. It is not a coicidence that these guys get hurt and eventually cannot play well enough with their injuries and must take a week off to heal.

We looked at the 4 Pro Bowl picks this season (Haynesworth, Jenkins, Ratliff and Williams), added in Cofield and Robbins, and looked at their combined tackles and sacks in the first 11 games and then looked at the same stats in the last 5 games of the season.

Statistic First11 Last5
Starts 100% 84%
Tackles/game 3.1 2.8
Sacks/game 0.52 0.08

So the number of tackles this squad made dropped off by 11% per game. Given that the number of starts also dropped by 16%, you can argue that the run-stopping stayed consistent. But the total number of sacks plummetted from 34 in the first 11 games to 2.5 in the last 5 games, a drop of 84%. These guys simply lose their wheels. ALL OF THEM. I did not inspect the assists/solo tackles ratio, but anecdotally it looked like there were less solos and more assists in the latter part of the season.

EIGHT FOUR PERCENT. THE SACKS DRIED UP. COMPLETELY! For Robbins, his last sack came on October 19th. For Defensive Ends, they may come in “bunches,” but for Defensive Linemen, they come in the earlier part of the season. You can argue, but hey, he got injured! But injuries alone only would account for a 16% dropoff in production, which is almost exactly what we see from the number of tackles. And this dropoff in sacks was for all the probowlers, not just (the alternate Pro Bowler) Robbins.

One factor which cannot be ignored is that Robbins collected 5.5 sacks in his first 6 games vs. weaker competition with a winning percentage of 30.7%. In the last 10 games, the Giants and Robbins faced opponents with a winning percentage of 61.8%. So some of the dropoff in his personal performance may have been related to that variable.

The Giants pass rush misses the push from Robbins up the middle. All teams miss this, but it has been especially acute for the Giants. Even if Robbins does not get the sack, if he getting the forward push this will help Kiwanuka and Tuck because the QB will not be able to step up into the pocket. At this point in the season, all we need is the hurry, knockdown, push. Sacks just confirm the other three and generally cause change of possession.

Separately, if you have a site which tracks INDIVIDUAL HURRIES and KNOCKDOWNS for defensive players, pls let us know.

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Wonder on the NFL- Wild Card Round through to the Super Bowl

December 30, 2008

Wonder is convalescing, still in withdrawal from his Jets’ implosion. He’ll be back to posting eventually, but in the meantime I spoke to him last night and he was full of nuggets and his typical wisdom.

WILD CARD ROUND

1) MINN-PHL. Thinks Minnesota is ‘live,’ likes Minn +3 with Pat Williams playing, and thinks they have a (decent) shot at beating the Eagles. Like all of us, he understands how vulnerable the Vikings are on turnovers, so he says the Vikes have to RUN THE BALL. This will make Jackson’s job a lot easier, less decisions, less opptys for mistakes. And you can run the ball vs the Eagles. Get behind Birk, Hutchinson and McKinnie and just run it. Make the Eagles blitz you and then dump the ball off, small ball, to Peterson, he beats one guy and it is either 20 yards or a TD. On defense, Kevin Williams will collapse pocket and Allen will be on the edge. And Westbrook is always one play away from injury. The DOME is why Minn has a chance vs the Eagles. Minn is playing with house money.

2) AZ-ATL. Arizona to beat the Falcons. This is another reason why it will be so good if the Vikings win.. not only do you knock out Philly, but also there is 0.0 chance that AZ will beat the Giants in the next round.

3) SD-IND. SD has a shot to beat IND. Some of it depends on whether the Tomlinson injury is serious or not. If not, Wonder likes SD a lot more.

4) BAL-MIA. Ravens will win. Miami does not belong in the playoffs, a weak 11-5 team. Separately, Wonder points out that next year you have to love the ‘Under’ for the Dolphins, their schedule is impossible in 2009. AFC East will have Bills healthier and better, Brady back. AFC South was difficult this year, Houston was a good 8-8 team, Jax was decimated by injuries, they will be back. NFC South is top to bottom a tough division, New Orleans was 8-8 in the basement, and then their two other opponents are Pittsburgh and SD with Merriman back. Good luck!

DIVISIONAL ROUND

1) In the NFC it does not matter, form will hold and the Giants and Panthers will both win their games. If there is a prop to take these two coming out of the conference, then go for that.

2) Pitt to beat SD.

3) Titans to beat Ravens.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

1) NYG-CAR. The Giants are the team to beat. Barring stellar play by one team or the other, the line should be ~ 3 pts, and the homefield will help the Giants win.

2) PIT-TEN. This is a coin toss. If they were playing in Pit it would be Steelers by 5 or 6 points. Collins to get rattled at some point, is this the spot? Either team can win this one.

SUPER BOWL

Giants have the inside track here. Lots of things, injuries, too far away, but all things being equal will like the Giants. Much tougher game vs the Steelers, but if the Giants faced Tennessee it would be an easier matchup and an easier game.

Misc: Giants get the #45 pick in the draft from the Saints, as they will pick 1 slot higher in Round 2 because of the NFL Draft Tiebreaker Rules. (Separately, the NFL Draft tiebreaker rules are completely flawed. The subject only comes up once per year, but this is my opportunity to deprogram your brains from the Stone Age thinking of the NFL.)