Archive for the ‘Patriots’ Category

A view from the other side

February 14, 2008

Simmons from ESPN on his Patriots’ loss. A view from the other side. These were the people who gave us no chance. Giants fans talked about these types in the two weeks leading up to the game; as much as we did not want to think about the emotional letdown of a Giant loss, we knew that a Patriots loss was going to be the equivalent of an atomic bomb for all of their fans. Simmons captures the nuclear fallout and allows Giants fans to relive the moment in full splendor. Yep, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Where did you see that one?

It is easy for us to understand that Simmons missed the big elephant- the Patriots offensive juggernaut could not do the things it had done all season because the Giants pass rush was disrupting their game.

One more thing- his ‘castaway’ simile was poetic genius. Simmons captured the intensity of our joy. Impressive awareness for someone who could have easily been overwhelmed and consumed by his own dismay.

The Sports Books in Vegas …

February 4, 2008

From one of the Las Vegas Strip’s managers at a sports book: “Congrats to all believers. You can forward to Dr. Rob and all other Giants fans. The books got slaughtered. Not only was the money right but the moneyline bets came in too. I knew we had a chance when the two biggest bets today were $100k -12 and $60k at -420 on the moneyline for the Pats. You might wonder how the book got slaughtered? The majority of the bets today and all week were on the Giants. A special shout out to Ron. Great call!”

What others are saying about Bradshaw

February 2, 2008


Mike Vrabel: “He is a great back and he is one of those guys who is gaining confidence each time he carries the ball. Bill (Belichick) loves him. He shows film of him, he gets his helmet knocked off and runs through three guys and says: ‘That’s a pretty good 6-yard run.’ He’s right.”

Junior Seau: “He’s not showing all his game. He’s got a great upside. He hasn’t played a full season. There’s more to his game than you think. He’s going to be a great player.”

Bill Belichick: Bradshaw is a “key player to stop. He gives them a spark when he touches the ball. He has good quickness, he has good power, good vision. He’s a good cutback runner. He made a huge play there in the draw play against Green Bay. I know it got called back, but they had him for no gain, he broke a couple tackles, used his quickness to break out of there and went the distance – 50 yards or whatever it was. Bradshaw is a good back. … He’s a threat to go anywhere on the field.”

Jim Brown, Hall of Fame RB: “(Bradshaw) could be the guy who decides the game.”

Ronde Barber: “That kid is going to be great. We kept on hitting him and pounding him and he kept going forward, fighting for yards.”

Reggie Torbor: “It might sound crazy, but in some spots, he’s harder to tackle than Brandon (Jacobs).”

For the Giants and Bradshaw, the Future is NOW. Speed kills. Use it or lose it. Get this guy the ball as much as possible and win the game.

Super Bowl quick takeaways

February 2, 2008

A list of reasons for why the Giants will lose the Super Bowl:

1) The Patriots offense is as good as the ’99 Rams, maybe better.
2) Tom Brady is one of the best QBs of our generation.
3) Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches of our generation.
4) The Patriots have too many ways to win a ball game.
5) Umenyiora and Burress- talk is cheap.
6) A Pats win means the ’72 Dolphins crybabies can finally go away.
7) Is Coughlin/Gilbride ready for primetime?

A list of reasons for why the Giants will win the Super Bowl:

1) The Giants played NE already and know what it will take to win.
2) Toomer and Strahan: The Giants are here to win the game.
3) You cannot plan a ring. Seau and Barber both get denied.
4) The road warriors are on the road.
5) Confidence.
6) 18-0. The bigger they are the harder they fall.
7) The Patriots defense is the chink in the armor.
8) This team is resilient. Bruschi on the gmen: “…incredible mental toughness.”
9) 1990 analog.

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.

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.

The Kiss of Death, national version

January 23, 2008

I am not sure what is worse, a Blezow best bet or an SI Cover. Favre was put on the cover just a week ago after the Seattle win. Groan. Cringe. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

The 2 week layover

January 23, 2008

Is the two week layover good or bad for the Giants?

They are the hot team, so conventional wisdom argues that they want to play this weekend. Nope. Incorrect.

They have been going full throttle for 11 weeks straight with their last 3 obviously on the road, and they could use a ‘home game’ this weekend. I am reminded of the Giants-Ravens Super Bowl 7 years ago. A #1 seed with the bye vs a wild card winner that played 3 playoff games, the last two games on the road. The Ravens needed some rest and (in retrospect) many felt that the week off benefitted the Ravens more. The Steelers also won the Super Bowl after winning 3 wild card games and getting the 2 week layover. So the precedent is there for the wild card winner to benefit more.

The only reason to think it will hurt the Giants is that you believe they will lose their edge and not have that focus which has gotten them into the big game. I can only counter that with a sense that this team is confident and they still feel they have a lot to prove. They know their job is not over by any stretch.

In the meantime, guys like Pierce, O’Hara, Burress, Madison, Ross and McKenzie all played through injuries and they will benefit from an extra week off. Seubert, despite having an MRI on a knee sprain, says he will play. Maybe they can get Dockery back. I do not think this layover does anything but help the gmen. Now if you are going to mention the TMZ report about Brady wearing a boot, his leg would have to be broken in 3 different places in order for him to be out of the Super Bowl if it were being played now, this weekend, or next weekend.

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. “That’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.