Which Giants team will show up? The Giants
have alternatively looked dominant (Caroline, SF, Green Bay) and awful, (Cincy,
Pitt). The Giants, at their best are better than just about anyone else’s
best, giving Giants fans hope that they can run the table in the. The
Giants were far from dominant in their last minute comeback against the
Redskins last time around. However, the Giants tend to be good at making
adjustments after the game. Robert Griffin III, is an out of the typical
box player and their running of the option at this level is not what teams
typically see. Last time they played the Redskins, Eli played very well with the expception of
two big interceptions. Expect Eli to clean that up and to have a big day.
Expect defensive adjustments to help keep Griffin and Morris and their option
play under control. Road games are always tougher but the Giants play
well on the road and seem to have figured something out last week. This
is a huge opportunity for David Wilson, to finally show what he has after
complaining all year abbot his lack of an opportunity. I’d like to see
the Giants hit him with some screen passes as he can do a lot of damage in the
open field. A big part of last week’s win was the return to the three
safety look. This required a healthy Kenny Phillips. He was
reinjured last week and his status is unknown. The Giants will pull
this out with another Manning 4th quarter come back and win 24-23.
What a difference some rest makes. The Giants almost left for dead, after back to back losses to a good
Steelers team (the one that still had Roethlisberger) and a mediocre Bengals
team, are suddenly being talked about as championship material again after their blowout win over the Packers.
I was admittedly surprised by it as the Packers were playing great football and
the Giants had not looked good for over a month, even in close wins over the Skins and Cowboys.
I don’t buy into the whole November jinx. Sometimes events are just coincidental. This was an all-around team
effort, where the Giants jumped on them early. The crowd was into it from early on despite the first very cold weather game the Giants have played this season.
Kenny Phillips, returned to the Giants defense and it made a big difference. I know Stevie Brown
had a number of interceptions in his absence, but the reality is that opposing
tight ends had big games against the Giants’ in Phillips absence. Also, Phillips size allows them to get away
with a 3 safety look that they liked to play last year with Deon Grant. That is probably the Giants best unit
(which will be even more improved when Jacquan William’s returns from injury. At one point Phillips left with a knee injury. He was slow to get up, but sounded optimistic it was not major and that he would play in the big game the Giants have against the Redskins this coming Monday night.
The Giants have had games before where the end of game rushing stats have looked good but they really only had a couple of games that they consistently got push from the offensive line and looked really good running the ball. It’s unclear why this was, but if they can figure it out they should bottle it. Bradshaw looked good
all night running and looked even better on his big screen play on their opening drive. Brown looked good running the ball as well but broke his fibula. Ironically some of the fans were chanting for rookie David Wilson to get into the game at that time, since it was a 4 score game in the 4th quarter. This is not how we would have liked to have seen it happen, but with Brown will probably be out for at least the rest of the regular season. In light of Borwn's absence, Wilson will need to step up. There is talk of signing another running back, but I have always been a big fan of second year player D’arell Scott who should now get into the rotation.
The defense was also surprisingly good. Nobody shuts down the Packers and the
Giants did that. Corey Webster had a nice early interception after being beat deep by Nelson on an opening drive
touchdown. Despite this one play Webster was one Giant who really struggled. This is no longer an aberration. Rather it is a worry. He can now be added to the list that include Osi, Tuck, and perhaps Canty, of
guys who will probably not be back next year given their salaries versus their contributions. I’d love to see Will Hill get more playing time. He seems to do well when he is out there, but it’s not often enough.
It is interesting that since talk started about Victor Cruz’new contract, he has been horrible. He was one of the league’s top receivers until the contract talk started a few weeks ago and since then has not had a good game. If the Giants committed to something they may regret it. If they did not the last few weeks proves that while a good receiver he is not an elite one in the class of Calvin or Andre Johnson or probably even the
next level down. He should get in the neighborhood of $5-6m a year and not the $9m per that he was probably
Cause for concern?
Eli’s final numbers were good in terms of touch downs, interceptions, and yards, but his completion percentage (16/30), was nothing to be happy about. It was mostly because of a large number of drops (something that should
be correctable) and because they kept going for the corner end zone fade play to Nicks every time they got down in the red zone. That play just doesn’t seem to work. Why don’t they try it with Barden? That is exactly where you want to use a 6’5 receiver.
Super storm Sandy and other events have taken the column out for
the past 2 weeks. We will back in full force next week. One quick
comment about last game and a quick preview of today’s game against the
Bengals. Much has been written about the Giants loss to the
Steelers. It was a bad loss and Manning has been in a tough slump.
There is much blame to go around for last week’s loss on both sides of the
football. One guy who has not been blamed, but was largely at fault is
Tom Coughlin. Given his 2 superbowls in 5 years he is considered above
criticism, in some circles. It is generally fair but he made one
egregious error right before the end of the first half that was under
noticed. On a third and long with about a minute left in the half from
the 33 yard line he called a pass play. It went incomplete, stopping
the clock. The Giants attempted and missed a 50 yard field goal,
Pittsburg got the ball back, and drove down the field for a field goal of their
own. Of course they only need about 40 yards to get into field goal
range. Coughlin needs to analyze expected value formulas better.
Firstly, statistically a third and long has a low probability of success
and even if successful the odds of scoring a touchdown were still not super
high. However, with the Steelers in a prevent defense a 4 yards run on
third and long was easily achievable. Had he called that play, there was
still a chance of a run turning into a first down (a small chance but a chance)
and more importantly it would take a 50 yard field goal into a likely 46 yarder
or less which probably takes the attempt from a 50/50 proposition to an 85%
likelihood for Tynes. As importantly, the clock would have run down so that in
the case of a make or miss, it would have left very little time for the Steelers
to drive for their own field goal. That underappreciated decision to pass
the ball resulted in a 6 point swing, one more than the margin of
Giants Bengals preview:
The Giants have been playing poor football for a while now.
They benefited from sloppy play by Dallas early and a fortunate pass to Cruz
late against Washington but both of these games could have gone either
way. The last 2 matchups in particular were against very solid passing
defenses. Manning is clearly in a slump but is too good of a quarterback
to stay in one for long. The Giants are a relatively healthy team with
enough pride to go in and beat a mediocre Bengal team in Cincy. Expect
Manning to break out of his slump in a big way and for the Giants to make
enough adjustments on defense to hold the Bengals in check. They will get
their points but not enough to keep up with the Giants. The Giants will
have success passing going against a poor pass defense and the Giants use the
pass to set up the run. This will allow the running game to get going as
well. We are hoping to see David Wilson get some carries. Watching
the Bucs Martin (chosen one pick ahead of Wilson) explode for a huge day last
week hurts. The Giants will win this game 31-24 with Manning throwing for
over 300 yards.
Ari has been an avid Giants fan since 1979. He attends many home games and has attended the Giants last 2 Superbowl victories. This blog will talk about anything related to the New York Giants. Ari also blogs about the New York Knicks, at http://www.ariglassknicksblog.com