Archive for the ‘Peyton Manning’ Category

If I were thin I’d be fat

April 20, 2009

One person I respect greatly who has always been a few pounds overweight once said to me: “Andrew, if I were thin I’d be fat.” It was a simple acknowledgment of who he was. He loves food and loves life too much not to enjoy the pleasures of eating… that if he ever worked hard enough to get his weight down, that he loves food too much to stay thin for long.

It can work like that in the NFL. You have to know who you are. If you play in a dome or in San Diego, you can play offense differently than you can in the Meadowlands. Try completely differently. In 1985, the Jets drafted Al Toon and the 49ers selected Jerry Rice six picks later. Wonder remarked that if Toon had gone to the 49ers and Rice went to the Jets, Toon would’ve been the Hall of Famer and Rice would have gotten killed. If New York had a Hall of Fame wide receiver, it wouldn’t.

So here comes Percy Harvin, WR out of Florida, who sees himself as a younger version of Panthers WR Steve Smith.

Florida. That should tell you something right away. Darting speed. Quick. Elusive. Harvin would be an excellent fit for the Colts. Could you imagine a darting receiver like that on the TURF, being able to get hit IN STRIDE by an accurate QB like Peyton Manning? In the track meet of a dome? Can you say YARDS AFTER CATCH?

Contrast that with a team like the Giants, where Peyton’s brother’s less than stellar accuracy and weak history with YAC would make Harvin look as if he’s playing in quicksand. I can see the color running out of your face, just as it did with mine. It’s the sad acknowledgment that NY has never been the WR nirvana we would like it to be. And that that prognosis won’t be changing any time soon. We pine for Braylon Edwards, not because we envision him getting back to the Pro Bowl. But just so that he can get 800-1,000 yards, get enough done out there to take the heat off the box. Take the heat off our coordinator. And take the heat off our less than accurate QB.

Yes, we have been ripping Eli’s accuracy the past few weeks, and it all started with Trent Dilfer’s candid admission about what it means for Manning to have that tall WR. Let’s call it an acknowledgment of what we have in our QB. He throws high, he throws behind, he does not throw in stride. Eli Manning is the NY Giants QB and he has delivered a championship to the organization. We just have to be frank about some of his limitations.

To his credit, Manning has learned about trying to place the ball where it cannot be intercepted. But this is not what you do to get the track meet started. How many of you heard the candid admission from Plaxico Burress on the winning Super Bowl catch? Burress essentially said that he was (routinely) adjusting his speed and his route to compensate for the inaccuracy of Manning’s passes. Obviously that one pass was more accurate than many others Manning has thrown, but if you watch it again, Burress is there waiting for the pass to arrive, slowing just enough to have it come in. And have that defender close the gap so that the tackle is made. Yards after catch.

The Giants’ Steve Smith would be a jitterbug for Peyton Manning with oodles of stats. For Eli Manning he is just another WR who happens to have the same name as the one Percy Harvin is trying to emulate.

Tomorrow- Draft analysis of RB, CB, TE, C, and Guard

Phil Simms Week 13

November 30, 2008

1) Burress fiasco– It will impact Giants in as much as they will miss Plax, but not past him. Plax won games for them. The team will be strong. It can hurt the team because there was an extra guy who was staying deep instead of worrying about the run. How many times did Plax make the key catch at the key time? MANY times. Separately, the Giants offense better than the Cowboys offense, but they will still miss Burress.

2) QB Matt Stafford from Georgia will likely be the #1 pick in the draft, QB Sam Bradford from Oklahoma will likely be #2. This is good news for the Lions, as they have 3 picks in the top 33, and everyone who is a JR will be jumping for the 2009 draft because they are afraid of the rookie salary clause changing in 2010.

3) Jets – Denver. Both QBs will handle the rain. Jets will not just line up and shut down the Denver passing game. (Raiders pass defense can do that to the Broncos, but the problem with the Raiders was the run defense.) Broncos/Cutler very good passing game, the Jets will not stop them, but they need to get a credible pass rush in order to slow them down. Hard to attack the Jets offense, great running game, formations, movement, the sheer # of plays, Favre is an unbelievable short thrower, all meshing together. Singled out Leon Washington and Dustin Keller.

4) Steelers at NE– The extra days for the Jets, fresher legs helped them vs the Titans, the Steelers have the extra days for this game. Pitt defense can cover WRs, what sets apart the pitt defense is their LBs (Woodley and Harrison). Moss buried the Dolphins last week when they singled him. Moss is still one of the best, he gets it done 1 on 1. NE can play 10 on 9 when Moss is doubled. Do it all game. Casell is now a better runner, he goes straight up the middle because of Moss being doubled. NE cannot cover in the red zone. Cannot pressure the QB consistently.

5) Re last weeks’s Colts-Chargers game…that timeout call by Norv Turner to decide whether to go for FG or TD was a disaster. In the pros, you cannot mismanage the clock like that, that is what you are paid to do in those moments. (Recapping, with 1:30 left, instead of letting the clock go down to 1:00 and kicking FG, the chargers call a TO, and then go for the FG, which gives Manning plenty of time to go down the field and kick the FG for the win, which is exactly what they did.Either kick the FG at 1:00 or go for it on 4th and 1 with 1:30.)

6) CLE-IND. Cleveland is a mess, they do not get it done in crunch time. Colts without Saturday and Sanders, but Phil still not ready to say that Colts can’t get it done because he has such a low opinion of Cleveland.

Wonder at Week 7 for the AFC

October 16, 2008

NFL guru Wonder on all the happenings around the NFL, the trade deadline, etc:

1) Patriots lost on Sunday because the Chargers did what you have to do to beat that team, PASS THE BALL. With Wilfork, Seymour and Warren, they are stout on run, but it is their secondary and aging LBers that are where they are vulnerable, and SD did what you have to do to beat them, they passed the ball.
2) Jets- This team has no identity. I put 5 wide and let Brett run the offense, but the problem is.. what happens in December when it gets cold and windy.
3) Jets defense is terrible. If I am playing against the Jets, I throw a combination of 50 bubble screens and short pass plays that turn into 8-10 yards every play. The Jets cannot stop that.
4) Titans are not good enough to go far in the playoffs, their offense is too pedestrian. No WRs, Mason and that is it. I’m selling them short.
5) Steelers offensive and defensive line not like they used to be. Not sold on them. They can beat bad teams. Timlin gets them ready to play, they don’t give charity, but they will lose at crunch time.
6) Bullish Chargers. 3-3, Rivers playing well, won w/o Chambers. Were in a state of shock w Merriman, now that they are past that, they are learning to play w/o him.
7) Cargo will help Colts run defense. Serviceable, will clog up middle, not a Kris Jenkins, but compared to what they have he is an improvement. Manning is gtg better. OL will get better as they get healthier. This is a fighter which could have gotten knocked out, 0-4, instead Goodell called the refs and told them they cannot have Peyton not in the mix. They lived to fight another round, another day, and they have life. Both Titans and Colts should make the playoffs.
8) AFC East still wide open at this juncture. I believe only 1 team is coming out of this division.
9) SD, Pit, Tenn, Colts, AFC East winner and ??? look
10) Colts-SD in AFC.

Phil Simms this morning

October 12, 2008

1) Colts could be 4-0 or 0-4. At 2-2 they are very fortunate. Peyton Manning healthy, these first 4 weeks were like training camp for him. He needs to be more mobile this year, moving more because he has two rookies on the OL that force him to move sooner than he would like.
2) Ravens face the Colts in the game that Simms covers. Big OL. Offense is too tepid, needs to take a few more chances to open up, relies too much on the strong defense. Simms says a FG will decide the game.
3) Gonzalez trade? The Giants’ offense is focused more on the WR, the TE is more of an outlet only. Would be surprised if the Giants gave up enough to make the deal happen. He did qualify it earlier by saying ‘why not’ do it if the compensation is not too great.
4) Single Wing is a fad. It mixes up your offense to break tendency, but this will not be a new trend and will remain limited.
5) Rivers changed his throwing motion, reverted back to rookie mechanics, his pass lost accuracy and strength after the first two weeks. SD is beat up.
6) Redskins are playing with spirit, energy and toughness. Athletic, they play fast. Saw it in Dallas and saw it once again in Philadelphia. Faster and tougher than the Eagles. ‘Amazing’ what Zorn has done.


September 18, 2008

1) Needell says to Coughlin: rest Kiwi’s ankle. It won’t happen, which is why I did not bother mentioning that Wonder said the same exact thing last weekend.

2) Fact: the 3 best teams in the NFL at the current time reside in the NFC East. That is a little easier to say with Brady gone, the other Manning missing all of training camp (not to mention Sanders out 4-6 weeks), SD off to its typical slow start, Jax decimated by injuries, PHIL to beat PITT this weekend …

3) Prediction: the NFC East will have 3 teams in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

4) Prediction: the NFC East will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

5) Another I-told-you-so from Wonder.. it took all of 2 games for the Vikings to bench Tavaris Jackson.

Around the League- Phil Simms style

September 7, 2008

Phil Simms is always knowledgeable and relevant. Some comments from this week and this morning:

1) Giants have a fast defense, powerful, still believes the Giants defense can get it done w/o Osi and Strahan. Expects Eli to be better this year. They can definitely get to the playoffs. The offense should be better than last year. Kiwanuka has that same look as Osi, will help them get it done.

2) Usually specials are crazy in first 4-5 weeks of the season because players trying to make the team are busy there in preseason. (This makes sense for explaining the Giants’ specials, which were sloppy early last year and were also weak on kickoffs in W1 this year.)

3) He says the Dolphins may present a challenge today against the Jets because their regulars in preseason were already playing specials- they’ll have an advantage there.

4) Thought Jets were going to be a playoff team BEFORE Favre was added to the team.

5) Ricky Williams is (still) the fastest guy on the field. Dolphins have a revamped defense, good offensive line. This is not a freebie for the Jets today at all.

6) With Gay and Samuel gone and them starting a rookie at CB, the Pats are vulnerable on defense. (This echoes Wonder, who says to throw at the Patriots and bet over in every game they play.)

7) Brady and Peyton Manning, despite not playing in preseason, will be able to win their team’s first games because they are not playing against good teams (KC, Bears). It is not who you play, but when you play them… if the Pats and Colts were playing tough W1 teams, they would have been more vulnerable.

Marvelous: The Top 10 Quarterbacks of All Time

March 5, 2008

We interviewed Marvelous, who has contributed to some of these blog pages occasionally to give us perspective on the game. He has been a Giants fan since the 1930’s. Marvelous was at the greatest game ever played, the Giants loss to the Colts in 1958.

Ultimatenyg: You were at THE game? You were at the greatest game ever played?

Marvelous: “Of course I was. I went to all of the games back in those days. I was at the ’56 Championship where we killed the Bears also. The ’56 win was a very boring game, one of the most boring I have ever been to.”

What happened at the ’58 game?

“I had a premonition that Unitas would win. WE HAD THE LEAD. WE HAD THE GAME. To this day it was the BIGGEST CRUSHING LOSS in all of sports in my entire life. I still do not remember the trip going home after the game.”

Marvelous, does the win this year in Super Bowl XLII make up for any of the pain of that loss? Does it heal any old Giants wounds?

“Absolutely. I never thought that we were going to win this game. I did not think we would win until it was BEFORE the 3rd and 11 play to Steve Smith. I was on the phone with my cousin Ron and I told him we were winning the game. This win was the biggest Giants win in history. The win this year was the single greatest biggest win of any team I rooted for in ANY sport. We won with chemistry. We were not the greatest team. But we were the best team that week.”

So you don’t think we were better than the Patriots?

“We were on that day. But I tell you with 100% certainty that we would lose if we had to play them again. The Patriots were stunned, they were sleepwalking.”

Brett Favre has just announced his retirement. Where do you rate him?

“He is definitely in the Top 10 that I have seen.”

Can you give me your top 10 QBs of all time?

Johnny Unitas is definitely the #1 QB of all time. Tremendous. Cool, the most relaxed QB ever. Always knew the time, had a great clock in his head. Tremendous accuracy, most feared QB, NO LEAD WAS SAFE. He always played better with more pressure. Him and Raymond Berry were the best combo of all time.”

Better than Montana to Rice?

“Oh yes. Berry was a freak. He had no speed. He would fail miserably in today’s combines. But he had hands. HANDS! Could not drop a ball. I do not remember him dropping a ball. He would make love to the ball.”

How would you rank the rest in the Top 10?

“I would have Montana #2 and Elway #3. I really cannot rank the rest, but in no particular order they would be Favre, Sammy Baugh, Otto Graham, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Terry Bradshaw, and Bart Starr.”

Honorable Mentions?

Sid Luckman and Norm Van Brocklin. You could argue for those two being there in the top 10. I loved Tarkenton but he did too much with his feet for me to consider him in my top 10 for QBs. Staubach was the smartest of any QB period. He was brilliant in managing a team. Namath did not play enough. And Bobby Layne was the toughest SOB out there.”

Thanks Marvelous.