Archive for the ‘Manning’ Category

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.


January 17, 2008

This is very simple. Start Bradshaw and you win the game. Until that last “prevent offense” possession, Bradshaw was in for exactly TWO series. The Giants scored on BOTH series. So Bradshaw was in for 2 series when the team scored 14 points and Jacobs was in for 4 series where they scored once (the opening drive). Bradshaw completely opens up the offense to going inside, outside, dynamic passing (remember, it was a pass to Bradshaw finished up at the 1 yd line that set up the go ahead score). Play Bradshaw and win the game.
It is going to be single digits Sunday. Wind chills will be sub zero. No, NOT ICE BOWL conditions, but enough to make your team run the ball to win the game. Keep Manning’s throws down to a manageable “changeup” and put the ball in Bradshaw’s hands as much as possible.

Right now in Green Bay they are in love with their defense. They think they are in very good shape because they stopped Seattle. Seattle had no running game. Bradshaw changes our running game from good to GREAT.

Bradshaw enables you to do so much more with the ball than Jacobs. Jacobs has had a very fine season, but he is playing hurt, and has lost a half step from the wear and tear of multiple injuries. BRADSHAW ENABLES YOU TO BOUNCE PLAYS FROM INSIDE TO OUTSIDE. He will sustain drives by getting first downs and positive yardage out of plays where they were initially stuffed for no gain because of 8 men in the box. Bradshaw ran for a TD when there were 8-9 men in the box in Buffalo because he is so fast that he can break through the secondary if the Packers are not careful. EMPOWER THE OFFENSE. Take the game to them. Win the game on YOUR terms. You can be passive and predictable. Or you can be dynamic and unpredictable. Get the ball to Bradshaw and win the game.

Serby on Bradshaw 1/7/2008

The team that goes out and grabs the game is the one that wins this. No one gets handed a championship. If the Giants want to elevate their game to one which puts them not only past the Packers but past the (the slower and aging defense of the) Patriots also, you have to shoot the moon and play your rocket fuel. Go for it all. Do not leave anything behind. Leave it all out there on the field and WIN the game instead of asking questions on Monday morning about what could have been.

Weather update, injury update, random comments

January 17, 2008

Injury Update:
Sam Madison (abdominal) and Kevin Dockery (hip flexor) did not practice today. Aaron Ross participated in the workout on a limited basis. Ross wore a harness on his shoulder. He said he will wear a less-cumbersome brace in the game. “I can still move, I can still intercept the ball,” Ross said. “Things I need to do I can do. I’m getting treatment three times a day. It’s feeling a lot better. I have a good range of motion. By Sunday I should be a hundred percent.”

Weather Update:
Single digits, Wind 10mph… (wind chill would be -10F assuming 5 degree temps).

I keep reading random stories from friends that are great to share. Andy L remarks that even his totally sports-ignorant wife was able to figure it out that the game was won when a roar was heard two flights up in his home. Charles says that apparently his reaction to the McQuarters INT was so delirious that the cat took a few hours to come out of hiding. My loudest reaction of the night? A yell that shook the house when Webster dropped that easy INT pick.

Video link

January 16, 2008

This one’s for all of you out there who can’t stand Dallas as much as I can’t stand Philly. Giants Celebrate Win Over Dallas, Romo, TO, … Thanks Mike. (disclaimer- some might find the content in this video immature, childish, stupid, classless, objectionable… AND YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!)

Manning Improvement

January 16, 2008

Some raw Manning stats:

Games 1-15: 19 TD, 19 INT, passer rating 70
Games 16-18: 8 TD, 1 INT, passer rating 123

Also note that the last 3 weeks have been against the 4th, 2nd, and 9th rated NFL defenses. (fyi GB is the 11th ranked defense, the Giants are the 7th ranked defense.)

Manning has played in 59 games. In his first 56, he had TWO games this caliber. 2 out of 56. And now 3 excellent games in the past three starts. For ideas on what has happened to manifest this change, click on the link to an earlier post which discusses the Manning Pump Fake.

This is the story of why the Giants are here. Yes, there are 44 other guys that suit up each game, and football is a team sport. But Manning’s contribution as QB has been volatile, from game to game, from quarter to quarter! In the past three games all of that has gone out the window. We have seen Manning lead his team down the field to score TDs before, but perhaps not in the same game that he also threw 0 INTs as well. The games are getting more complete.

Those who have been regular readers of this blog know that we think the change came from playing against people like Ronde Barber. They jump routes and get INTs, and Manning led the league in INTs and knew he had to do something. The pump-fake changed it all. On the 52 yard TD to Amani Toomer in Q1 of Dallas, Manning calmly looked to the right side of the field before going to the left side and getting the ball to him. He was not doing that regularly the first 15 games. If Toomer was his first target, that means he was looking off one side of the field. I do not believe that that was the case, but if it was then it was helpful in giving Toomer adequate space. More likely he was simply going through his progressions and found his safety blanket… but going down the list of his options was not done well by Manning either, so this is improvement too. (Last year he would have hurriedly looked to dump the ball off to Barber.) All I know is that Toomer got the ball with space, so he was already moving with the ball when he broke the pivotal tackle attempt of Henry and went the distance. If Manning is locked on him the way he seemed to be games 1-15, I do not think the play has a result the way it does. The smallest things in football are the difference between a play that works and a play that doesn’t in the NFL. Fractions of a second. Manning is getting those fractions of a second right now and he needs to keep doing what he is doing. The best QBs (duh, Favre and Brady) do this ALL NIGHT LONG. They go through all of their progressions, they look off defenders, they pump-fake to get separation for their WRs, they telegraph as little as humanly possible.

Speaking of telegraphing, we have another safety to be wary of this weekend, Atari Bigby. He covered so much ground in the Seattle game that Daryl Johnston was almost lovestruck. The secret to his ‘success’ was a combination of good speed and playing centerfield with Hasselbeck’s eyes. He closed in on pass plays because he knew where the ball was going and was seemingly everywhere. If you want space between your receiver and Bigby, you better look him off SOME of the time or else he is going to lean on that tendency ALL of the time, just like Landry and Sharper have done to Eli in the past.

“He studied and he’s been able to utilize that to pull people out of position,” Tom Coughlin said with a chuckle before adding: “You’re seeing Tony Romo do the same thing if you look at tape.” Any QB who wants to survive in this league MUST do that or else their numbers and performance will suffer.

“The old Eli would have just fallen down and took the sack,” (Terence) Newman said. “But this guy is making smart decisions, dumping the ball off, keeping drives alive. He’s playing a lot better. We sure hope we can make him be the old Eli.” Sorry Terence Newman, you did not get old Eli. Let’s keep seeing the new Eli.

Two tickets to the NFC Championship in your locker

January 16, 2008

Dallas hadn’t won a playoff game in 11 years. TO told us to getcha popcorn ready. Jerry Jones put two tickets to the NFC Championship in the locker of every player before the game. Wade Phillips says that Dallas was the better team despite the loss.


As an appetizer, here is one of the first previews of what we will see this weekend.

Who is Kenny Holmes?

January 14, 2008

(1) The Giants played through vs the Pats and EVERYTHING has come from that game.
(2) How many of you remember Kenny Holmes? He was a defensive end signed as a free agent (from the Titans) to help us with the fact that Cedric Jones was a bust. Scene: my favorite game of all time, the 49er implosion of January ’03. We are depleted at DL but we are winning 38-14. Out goes Holmes in Q3 with an injury. Problem? Nope. You have an offense that can score at will. We know the end of the story- the prevent offense kills us. (It is 5 years later and I still need therapy from this game!)

So why do I mention Holmes? Because SIMILARLY, when ROSS GOES OUT IN Q3 and depletes an injury-ravaged Secondary so that we now have Geoffrey Pope (of the famed Practice Squad, now our nickel back, having NEVER PLAYED A SINGLE DOWN IN THE NFL), who do you want out there to win the game? Your offense with a few first downs to seal it or your injury-ravaged (and may I remind you, overworked, exhausted, minutes-challenged) defense? History may not repeat, but history certainly rhymes. ROSS:COUGHLIN as HOLMES:FASSEL. Play your offense for 60 minutes, and if your defense is depleted, PLAY IT FOR 70. STOP WITH THE BULLSH*T and win a championship.
(3) This was a sweet win to savor. After spending the better part of a day going over the game in my head, I have come to the sad conclusion that Wade Phillips is simply a bigger loser than Gilbride/Coughlin. We tried unsuccessfully to blow the game twice, at 9:27 left and 3:46 left. I do not believe in retread head coaches for expressly this reason. For every retread that finds his way (Belichick/Cleveland) there are a zillion other former coaches like Schottenheimer/Green/etc… that do not resurface to win the big one. (LOL, if Turner faces Coughlin in the big dance, I will happily eat crow this coming Sunday night!)
(4) Thanks to Peter F. who reminds us that later in the game, Gilbride was the genius running Jacobs wide and Bradshaw inside.
(5) Marvelous points out the insanity now taking place with Bradshaw still running kickoffs. Hixon is doing just fine, thanks! And it is further proof that our coaches have no freaking clue what they have in Bradshaw. Should we remind them what happened to Jason Sehorn in August 1998?
(6) Does anyone see the irony in Coughlin repeating his predecessor’s mistakes? I think TC has done a great job in so many ways, but he must wake up and realize that this championship is for the TAKING, not for the RECEIVING.
(7) Anyone notice that the two wild card teams which won this weekend were both the only ones which had seen their opponent before? I do not believe that is a complete coincidence, because one of the advantages of the bye team is more time to prepare… having played your opponent previously reduces the work and narrows the advantage.
(8) Consensus among Dallas fans is that Patrick Crayton’s mouth and dropped pass made him the goat.
(9) Just heard that Wade Phillips says that he felt his team outplayed the Giants and were the better team. He in turn blamed himself and accepted responsibility for the loss.
(10) With Glenn and TO coming back from injury, as well as the entire team taking off at the end of the season, it is being suggested that the team tired.