Archive for the ‘Tom Brady’ Category

Week 1 review

September 8, 2008

The loss of Brady for the year is quite devastating. Seismic. I thought their defense was suspect (aging LBers and thin secondary), so now you have to realistically think the curse of the SB bridesmaid will continue.

The blitzkrieg of the Eagles and the Cowboys was impressive. Considering that Dallas did it on the road vs a credible team means more, but none of us should jump to huge conclusions on one week in the schedule. It certainly means something, but only the next few weeks combined with that will tell us just how significant these teams’ chances are. The Eagles play Dallas on the road next Monday night… that should be a good one to watch.

The Bears defense was always good when it was HEALTHY. Guys like Brown and Harris were dominant, so it is only a question of whether they can reestablish that Pro Bowl form assuming they do STAY healthy. Last night we got to see that old Bears defense.

Is there any doubt that the presence of a guy like Brett Favre changes the outlook of a team? There answer is NO, there is NO doubt. So for 3.5 quarters they look fine, are up 20-7 on their way to a win, and then the Prevent Offense and Prevent Defense arrive. The Prevent Offense is the complete opposite of why you have Favre. Everyone can say- ‘oh, but it did not matter, they won 20-14,’ but that is not how it works. It works with QUALITY WINS by more than 10 points so that you do not have to worry about something stupid happening at the end of the game, like a jump ball being come down with in the end zone by the WRONG player. This time it was a Jet, next time vs a better opponent it will be by the opposing player. WHY mention this on a Giant blog? Because if the Giants hung on to win that game 20-14, I would have been going nuts the same way. There is simply no need to make the game that close… all you need to do is play the game with 5 minutes left the same way you played it for the first 55… but NO, Mangenius does the R-R-R-K routine. Forget that he has an experienced professional at QB. Instead the Dolphins are a play away from winning that game. Disgusting. I do not care if it is with 3 minutes left in the Q3 of a playoff game in SF in Jan 2003, if there is 0:14 left vs Dallas on Monday night in Sep 2003, if there is 9:27 left vs Dallas on Jan 13, 2008, these are the ways you lose games. PLAY 60 minutes. Not 42 minutes, Not 59:46, Not 50:33.

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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.

Manic on Manning

March 7, 2008

Thanks to Matt Medved of ‘Sports Matters’ for supplying today’s picture.

Toggle to Manic Mode: Eli Manning’s stature is on the rise.

Yes, in total manic fashion, a month after we have stopped playing football, we are shifting into another gear to inflate the already high opinion of Eli Manning.

Cynics out there are already groaning. They are pointing out that the same bipolars who were trashing the guy for every sin just months ago are now going gaga in the same inordinate way. Perhaps.

My reply? That was before I saw a replay of the Super Bowl.

We noted in yesterday’s post that David Diehl (whether tired or not) became a human turnstile for Adalius Thomas in the final drive. So the conclusion from yesterday’s evidence is that the Giants can use a Left Tackle so that Diehl goes back to Guard.

But what about the SECOND CONCLUSION?!… The stock price of Eli Manning has to be going north. Thomas was in his face constantly, and Manning was still putting the ball out there accurately right in front of the pressure. He got chased from behind by Thomas on a few of those runs RIGHT too, or else he would have done even better. If Manning does not get all of that pressure from Thomas he would have been off the charts good.

There were some questions (by others) about Manning’s worthiness as Super Bowl MVP. The implication was that the defense (specifically Justin Tuck) deserved it because w/o the defense he is not even in the position to win the game. But after seeing Manning harassed by Thomas almost every play, it is HANDS DOWN clear that Manning was the deliver of victory in every way possible. If he did not have the CONTINUOUS BREAKDOWNS IN PROTECTION, he would have been far more effective in leading the team to a TD (if that is at all possible). It also points to the other widely held understanding that the Patriots did not lose this game- The Giants simply wrested the game away from them. And the replay of that final drive shows it was Manning who was largely responsible for that. Football is a team sport, and eleven players get a drive done. But upon further review, Manning picked this team up and carried everyone.

There is a very good article about Manning in coldhardfootballfacts.com. Their thesis? That this was the only sub-2 minute drive for a championship where a TD was NEEDED for victory. Unitas needed three points for a tie. Starr needed three points for a tie. Montana needed three points for a tie. Manning needed a Touchdown for the championship and nothing less would do.

Hmmm.. Starr, Montana, Unitas… with Manning going up against…Brady. Are you noticing a pattern here? Manning seems to be hanging out with some pretty impressive company. Speaking of good company at QB, how many players went through the Gauntlet of Garcia (4 Pro Bowls), Romo (2 Pro Bowls), Farve (9 Pro Bowls) and Brady (4 Pro Bowls)? That is FOUR Pro Bowl Quarterbacks. 19 Pro Bowls. Two future Hall Of Famers. Two future Hall of Fame Quarterbacks who will arguably be considered amongst the Top 10 QBs of all time. Now obviously Manning does not play AGAINST these Quarterbacks. His defense is the unit that faces them. But at the end of the day, he must do more against those teams than those Quarterbacks do against the Giants; he faced them all and won.

We have stated before that Eli Manning has a free pass for life because he has delivered a championship to the Giants. How much more can he accomplish? He has the ability to play as big as he wants in the biggest of games. The legacy he leaves for the Giants is in his hands.

Phil Simms Super Bowl Recap

February 6, 2008

From Simms:

1) Brady was valiant. He took a beating and fought through to the end. He gave the ball to the defense with a 14-10 lead before the 2 minute warning.
2) A lot of NFL current QBs who were at the game were quietly and privately just a little more than happy that Brady got put on his a**. (They are a little tired of being compared so poorly to the anointed one, who so often has much better protection than they do.)
3) The Patriots CANNOT let the Strahan sack happen- it puts them out of FG range. Simms did not single out any one player/coach.
4) The lightning-fast playing field helped the pass rush.
5) Tuck was the unsung hero. Giants got a bargain in their new contract that he just signed.
6) The playcalling when the Pats are about to score at 10-7 to make it 14-10 was not good enough. You have to work the clock down and use the fact that if you fail to get a TD that at least it is 10-10. I think Phil was thinking that if you threw underneath (for a sure completion) or ran, that you could push the ball closer and burn clock– too much time was given to the Giants.
7) The Giants’ run thru the playoffs was unbelievable… Phil thinks it was the hardest run ever.
8) The Manning pass and catch by Tyree was one of the greatest plays in football ever.
9) Re the pass rush in this game, it is important to understand that hidden in the W17 game was that the Giants were VERY CLOSE to getting to Brady. Brady was just barely getting the ball off and Simms felt if the turf speed or any of a number of variables changed, that the Giants would get to Brady easier this time. The pass rush affects so many things- you cannot get to Moss downfield anymore. Lack of run means the playaction is not going to work, and w/o playaction you cannot buy the extra time to freeze safeties and allow runners to go longer routes. The longest pass play was 19 yards.
10) On the final Burress TD catch, CB Hobbs is not to be faulted.. it was a blitz and they teach the CB to go for the first move on the blitz because you have to assume the QB will not have enough time for the second move’s route. The Giants did great because they picked up the blitz and Eli went exactly where you have to go to on that defensive play call.
11) Giants controlled pace of the game and outplayed the Patriots.
12) Boss play broke the tempo of the game.
13) The Giants and Cowboys are the two most physical teams in the league. Old Time Giants Football.
14) They do not do instant replay of the scrum on a fumble because they do not know when the whistle blew. (Today we heard that the Patriot who fell on the ball lost by Bradshaw admitted he did not have control of the ball when Bradshaw went under his body and popped the ball out to regain possession.)
15) The stock of TB, DAL and GB rises because of how the Giants played NE.
16) 20-20 hindsight: the drive before the end of the half vs Dallas to tie the score defined the Super Bowl run of the Giants.