2011 Preseason Game 4: Giants vs. Patriots, Game Notes

September 2, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants played their final game of the preseason last night against the Patriots. The game looked like it would be a blowout early in the 1st quarter as the Patriots first team players jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead within the first six minutes. Of course, the Pats were playing against the Giants second string players, because the first string guys never saw the field. The first half saw a lot of sloppy play and even the 3rd quarter was a bit slow but you could feel the momentum shifting. But then in the 4th quarter, the Giants starting working into a groove and were able to pull out the comeback victory by the score of 18-17.

The Giants were getting beat in most areas of the game and all over the field for the first half of football. It was very difficult to watch, as many fans expressed on twitter last night. They went into the locker room at halftime with the score 17-3 and fans were expecting it to be a long night from that point on. But there were two rookies who brought them back from the ledge by scoring a TD and 2-point conversion in the second half. RB Da’Rel Scott scored on a huge 65 yard TD and WR Jerrel Jernigan who pulled down a tough 2-point conversion in the 4th quarter. It was a crazy up and down game but the Giants finished strong, which is exactly what the fans, coaches and players needed. I am very glad that these young players pulled themselves up from being down and pulled out a huge moral victory. The game also saw LB Clint Sintim go down with a bad knee injury. My thoughts and prayers are with him.

The Giants Tweet-Nation was out in full force last night and anxious to discuss the game LIVE with other Giants fans. The G-Men continued their program of letting fans have their tweets show up on the TV during the LIVE game (Fans be sure to add #GiantsGame to your tweets for a chance to have them show on TV) and some of the faithful were lucky enough to find social media glory. Congrats to all of you who were on TV last night!

I would be lying if I did not admit that the first three preseason games were mostly disappointing even thought the G-men outscored their opponents 54-50 and had a nice win against the Bears. The biggest area of concern has become the special teams. They are simply atrocious. I expect big changes to be made with this group before the regular season starts in 9 days. If not, I predict the team will lose no less then two games because of the poor play on the special teams. I understand that injuries have effected the team (for three straight years in a row now) but that does not excuse the absolute collapse of the Giants special teams group. I cringe during each and every special teams play during the games now. Mark my words about losing no less then two games because of special teams. I do not think they should use WR Jerrel Jernigan as a returner anymore either, keep the kid on the roster as a WR and lets see what he can do.

The Giants must be down to their final 53 man roster by tomorrow and will face the Washington Redskins next Sunday (9/11/11 at 4:15 PM EST) for their first regular season game. Playtime is over!

Let’s take a look at some of my notes from the game. 

QB Eli Manning – Manning and the rest of the starters sat out this game in order to rest up for the regular season, which starts in 9 days on 9/11/11.

RB Da’Rel Scott – Scott is simply electrifying and he gets another game ball from me for his performance. He finished with 114 rushing yards and 1 TD and 2 receptions for 20 yards.

S Tyler Sash  – Sash once again led the defense in tackles and also caused a forced fumble. I think he has earned a spot on the roster from my perspective.

QB David Carr – Carr had a shaky night but still managed to finish with 116 yards 0 TD’s and 1 INT’s. He should be fine in his backup role this year.

WR Domenik Hixon – Hixon put in some work at WR and finished with 33 yards. I would like to see him take over the returner duties in 2011.

RB Andre Brown – Brown had a very nice game and is deep into the RB competition for a roster spot in a crowded backfield. He played hard last night.

LB Jacquian Williams – I would like to introduce you all to the rookie Mr. Williams who had a huge game. He was all over the place and finished with 3 sacks on the night.

CB Brian Jackson – It was good to see Jackson back on the field and I hope this kid gets a real shot at playing time. He had a nice game and a forced fumble.

WR Devin Thomas – Thomas led all WR’s with 42 yards on the night as he continues to fight for a roster spot like many others. He also returned 4 kickoffs.

QB Ryan Perrilloux –  This rookie saw limited playing time but did go 3/4 for 22 yards when he was in the game.

CB Michael Coe – Coe is going to be a big part of the cornerback rotation this year and he had a nice game last night.

K Rhys Lloyd – The Giants continued to try and use Lloyd as a FG kicker, which he is not. He finished 1/3 on FG attempts for the night.

LB Greg Jones – The rookie Jones had a very nice game and finished with a sack to boot.

S Derrick Martin – The veteran Martin scored a TD on a fumble late in the 4th quarter. He was brought in to the team after the G-men lost 4 DB’s in a matter of weeks.

WR Jerrel Jernigan – Jernigan is not the answer for the return game in my opinion. He does however deserve at shot at WR. He scored a big 2-point conversion when given the chance to play WR.

P Matt Dodge – Dodge had another decent game and will learn his fate over the next 48 hours about his roster spot.

LB Clint Sintim – Sintim went down late in the game with a knee injury and had to be carted off the field. Another huge blow to the already depleted roster. Get well soon brother!

LB Mark Herzlich – The birthday boy Herzlich got a sack on his big day and continued to play very good football. This kid earned a roster spot.

DT Dwayne Hendricks – This big fellow and New Jersey native had a really good game and finished with 1 sack and 1 forced fumble.

The Giants Defense – This group finished the game strong, which is all you can ask for. They finished with 8 sacks, 0 INT’s and 3 forced fumbles.

What do you think about the Giants performance against the Patriots?

RD – nygreporter.com

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2011 Preseason Game 3: Giants vs. Jets, Game Notes

August 29, 2011

NEW YORK – The battle for New York is always a fun game to watch. This matchup has really heated up in recent years with the resurgence of the Jets over the past three or four seasons. They have become a good team but cannot seem to keep their mouths shut. It is this reason which has added some spice to a rivalry between two teams in the same city but not in the same conference or division. The Jets made the bigger plays tonight when it counted and won the game 17-3. Even though they won this game, the Giants will always be the big brother to the Jets. Everyone in the Tri-state area knows this, including the Jets fan living in denial. So after a crazy weekend where Hurricane Irene pushed back the start of the game, these two sons of New York went on the field and battled.

The first quarter was really slow. Both defenses were playing very well which caused the low scoring first half to end with a 7-3 Jets lead. QB Eli Manning had two interceptions before halftime which was surprising. He hasn’t seemed himself throughout the preseason so far. The Jets really couldn’t do anything against a tough Giants defense the entire first half. The Jets got a lucky return for a bunch of yards and a TD on a short field. Other then that, they really didn’t do much and the first half stats prove it. The Giants special teams had their worst game of the preseason so far and that is really saying something. I hate to say this but I think the Giants might have the worst special teams in the NFL. Another blocked FG and a couple of dropped balls by the rookie Jernigan are only a few of the things that went wrong. This group is the Giants achilles heel without question. The second half of the game was all Jets and the Giants could not score a TD to save their lives. They had a few opportunities to get the ball into the endzone but fell short each time. Brandon Jacobs getting thrown out of the game for fighting did not help. Especially just before a crucial drive from the Jets 1 yard line. The second half was no fun to watch at all and some fans were extremely vocal about their disappointment in the Giants performance. The Giants defense had no sacks or interceptions against the Jets tonight as well.

The Giants are a team that has no cheerleaders for a reason, they want to focus solely on football. So, it was strange to see Snoopy out on the field standing next to a Snoopy trophy which was the prize for the winner tonight. My how times have changed. Snoopy of course is the mascot for MetLife, who recently purchased the naming rights to Giants stadium for the next twenty years. I’m sure it is all in good fun but they may need to get a better trophy next year. These are grown men sacrificing their bodies on the football field and not cartoons out there. The Giants will play the New England Patriots next for their final preseason game on Thursday at 7:30 PM EST and will need to cut down to the final 53 man roster by Saturday. Hold on tight Giants fans, the regular season is right around the corner.

Let’s take a look at some of my notes from the game.

QB Eli Manning – Easy Eli just doesn’t look like himself this year. I’m not sure why. He finished the game with 200 yards 0 TD’s 2 INT’s and was also sacked twice.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks played much more in this game tonight then he has so far in the preseason. He had a good game and finished with 5 receptions for 71 yards.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw is simply the spark plug for the entire Giants offense. He had another good game and finished with 34 yards.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck was his usual force to be reckoned with before leaving the game with a burner. He is said to be fine.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Brandon provided a spark for the offense but also got himself kicked out of the game for fighting. He finished with 51 yards.

S Kenny Phillips – Phillips had a very nice game and it was good to see him around the ball so much tonight.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a nice game and finished with 36 yards. I expect a breakout season from him in 2011.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – I think I am more excited about seeing JPP play in the real games then any other player. This guy is exciting to watch and had a good game.

QB David Carr – Carr played a lot less tonight since the starters stayed in the game longer. He finished with 36 yards 0 TD’s 0 INT’s for the night.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi was having a very nice game before leaving with a minor groin injury.

S Tyler Sash – The rookie led the entire defense in tackles and is earning his spot on the roster this preseason.

CB Aaron Ross – Ross did a pretty good job tonight and will need to stay healthy in order to really help the team out in 2011.

WR Jerrel Jernigan – This kid had a long night and I really felt bad for him. Nothing seemed to go right for him as a returner. Keep your head up!

K Rhys Lloyd – Lloyd made one 34 yard FG and had another 42 yard FG attempt blocked. He is a kickoff specialist and should be used as such.

P Matt Dodge – Dodge is still having an up and down season but he seems better then last year for sure.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi is still on the mend from recent surgery and did not play in this game.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes did not play in this game as he is still on the mend from an injury suffered in the first preseason game against the Panthers.

What did you think about the New York Giants performance against the Jets?

RD – nygreporter.com

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2011 Preseason Game 2: Giants vs. Bears, Game Notes

August 23, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants faced the Chicago Bears on Monday night in the Meadowlands and played one heck of a game. The Giants won 41-13 but did not come out of the game without some bad news, some really bad news. By now, most fans have already read my previous article and know that Big Blue lost star CB Terrell Thomas for the year with a torn ACL on a freak play where DE Jason Pierre-Paul’s leg swung around and hit Thomas in the leg. There could not be any worse news then learning that you lost your No.1 CB for the year. I was surprised because Thomas walked off the field under his own strength and seemed ok. I truly wish him a speedy recovery and I’m sure that the rest of Giants Nation does as well.

The game started out slow in the first quarter but picked up steam from that point on. Going into the second quarter the game was tied up 3-3 and it seemed like fans would be in for a sleeper. But that changed rather quickly once the team started rolling. RB Brandon Jacobs was the spark the team needed to get going and after he scored his touchdown, the Giants never looked back for the rest of the game. The score was 20-6 by halftime and the Giants defense would allow only seven more points for the rest of the game. I’m not sure if this game represented the fact that the G-men have shaken off the rust or that the Bears are just an awful team but hey, a win is a win. This is only a preseason game, so I try not to get too excited but seeing some of those rookies perform so well has me pumped up. Rookie RB Da’Rel Scott gets my game ball. That kid can run like the wind and had the best play of the night when he ran the ball 97 yards for a TD late in the 4th quarter. I hope we get to see more of him real soon.

Fans can expect GM Jerry Reese to bring in a veteran CB sometime this week. I would not be surprised at all if he does so as early as today. With limited time left before the regular season starts, the team will need to bring the new guy up to speed in a very short period of time. The Giants have become very thin at CB and will need to remedy that as quickly as possible.

Let’s take a look at some of my notes from the game.

QB Eli Manning – Manning still looked very shaky out there and finished 8/16 for 78 yards 0 TD 0 INT.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw was his usual elusive tough self and finished with 15 yards on 5 carries during his short playing time.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks did not do much in this game and played very little. However, I expect big things from him once the regular season starts.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck had 3 tackles in his limited playing time. He will be ready to rock and roll once September comes around.

RB Da’Rel Scott – This rookie is fast. Scott introduced himself to the football world with a 97-yard TD run late in the 4th quarter. He had only 1 carry but made the most of it. Did I mention how fast he is?

CB Terrell Thomas – The team lost CB Thomas for the year with a torn ACL in the 2nd quarter. This is devastating news. Get well soon T2.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs was flashing some old school ball running last night and had a good game. He finished with 48 yards on 6 carries and 1 TD.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP was disruptive at times but NFL teams know about the secret now and will look to stop JPP at all costs. Good luck.

LB Mark Herzlich – The rookie LB got his first NFL INT last night and was a force on special teams. The more I see, the more I like this kid.

WR Victor Cruz – Cruz had a very nice game and led all WR’s with 40 yards on 3 receptions. He is another WR making a case to be the 3rd wideout.

P Matt Dodge – Dodge wasn’t awful last night and seemed to play with a chip on his shoulder as he was punting bombs.

LB Jonathan Goff – Goff had the lone sack of the night for Big Blue and had a good game with limited playing time.

TE Daniel Coats – New Giants TE Coats made a nice play late in the game and finished with 17 yards and 1 TD.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes did not play in the game and is on the mend from getting banged up in last weeks game against the Panthers.

RB Danny Ware – Ware scored the only TD in the 3rd quarter but needs to work on holding onto the ball.

K Rhys Lloyd – Lloyd had a solid game for a guy who doesn’t kick FG’s. He went 2/2 on FG attempts and 5/5 on extra point attempts.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a nice game and finished with 39 yards on 4 receptions. He should have a great 2011 season.

QB David Carr – Carr had an outstanding welcome home party and finished the night by going 9/11 for 84 yards and 2 TD’s. I’m glad he is back with the team.

WR Domenik Hixon – Hixon has been making a case for himself to be the third WR in my opinion. He finished with 13 yards and 1 TD.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi did not play in the game as he recovers from recent surgery. I’m glad the team will have him on the roster in 2011.

WR Devin Thomas – Devin did a really nice job returning kickoffs. It was nice to see somebody on special teams step up and play with pride.

What did you think about the Giants performance against the Bears on Monday night?

RD – nygreporter.com

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New York Giants: Playbooks of the Future

May 15, 2011

NEW YORK – Everyone has seen a photo of an NFL playbook. Some may have even been lucky enough to hold one in their hands (highly unlikely) and flip through the secret pages. The thing is as thick as a telephone book and must be guarded very closely by players. If a rival team happens to get their hands on your playbook, you would be in for a very long season. I was thinking about this old school way of doing business and wondered what the future holds for NFL players (can you tell I have too much time on my hands due to the lockout?) and the precious NFL playbook.

I began to wonder why nobody has suggested (maybe someone has) integrating the technology of the Madden NFL video games with actual playbooks? I am certain there will be pros and cons to doing something like this but heck, if the military is using video game technology to train the finest armed forces on the planet, it might not be a bad idea to look into it. Let’s face it, the players are spending quite a bit of time on their Playstation, Wii and Xbox consoles anyway. Why not make it somewhat productive? I can honestly say that I was the first person to suggest that “one day in the future”, coaches would send the plays into the huddle with microphones and headphones placed into the quarterbacks helmet. Of course, I was probably not the first person to invent the idea but I was certainly the first person to suggest it out loud among my friends back in the early 1990’s.

Imagine handing out CD’s to the players instead of those cumbersome phonebook sized playbooks. You could integrate true learning technology into the game that notifies a wide receiver when they run a wrong route or tells a running back when they fail to pick up a block. This would basically create an entirely new industry for the gaming world and put thousands of people to work overnight. The timing would be crucial and they would need to use CD’s that couldn’t be copied. There would also be an annual overhaul of the plays and new CD’s would need to be created before each season. They could even use secure internet connections that allow teammates to play each other in cyberspace (I’m not so sure about this idea yet), the way they do with other online games such as World of Warcraft or Call of Duty.

The term VP (virtual practice) would become a household name in America and the players might even enjoy studying their playbooks. Having a video game CD played on a dedicated TV in each players home can’t be anymore dangerous then leaving a huge playbook on the coffee table in the living room. If you take out the online capabilities, it would be virtually impossible for anyone to monitor the video game use. Each team would need to create their own “video game squad” that solely deals with individual team business. I’m guessing that this would be the area of most concern for teams. Can these video game creators be trusted and will they keep their mouths shut?

Do you think making playbooks into video games would help NFL players learn the plays faster? Is this something you think we will see come to fruition in our lifetime?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Can Fantasy Football Survive a Cancelled 2011 Season?

May 12, 2011

NEW YORK – I have been a fantasy football player since 1999. I have seen that industry grow into a $15 billion dollar a year beast. There are only a handful of websites that can claim to be big time in that industry. Among them are CBSSports.com, ESPN.com and NFL.com to name the big three in my opinion. If the 2011 NFL season is cancelled, I am sure that those three sports sites will be fine. But what about the smaller websites that offer fantasy games or the emerging fantasy sites people don’t know about yet? I’m sure this is the furthest thing on the NFL’s mind but it is just another issue that will arise from the 2011 lockout that has now reached 62 days.

Could the 2011 NFL lockout actually benefit the larger sports sites, by creating a monopoly on fantasy football by eliminating competition through attrition? I know there are a lot of people out there who could care less about fantasy football but the fact remains that thousands of people have jobs working on the game. The economy is bad enough right now without adding a few thousand more people to the unemployment line. Sure there will be fantasy basketball and hockey that will emerge in the fall but everyone knows the bread and butter of fantasy sports is football. If the NFL cancels the 2011 season, fantasy staffs all over the country will be cut in half or laid off. The reality of “no football” until September 2012 would set in immediately and effect the economy instantly.

Personally, I do not think they will cancel this season. The amount of money is so great that the players or owners will eventually give in. The players I feel bad for are guys like New York Giants DT Barry Cofield who get stuck in the middle. Here is a guy who has played his heart out since being drafted by New York and he could wind up getting the shaft over politics. Free agents are the walking dead right now with zero options. I am a big Cofield fan and hope the team does the right thing with him. We all understand it is a business but giving Chris Canty almost 3 times the money Cofield makes is a joke. I have nothing against Mr. Canty but even he knows Cofield had a better season then he did last year. There is no denying that fact. Barry Cofield is a Giant through and through and deserves some respect for his contributions to the team. Cofield expressed his frustration in an article this week that I found to be honest and truthful. What do you think about his situation?

Top New York Giants for 2011 Fantasy Football

1. WR Hakeem Nicks

2. QB Eli Manning

3. WR Steve Smith

4. NYG Defense

5. RB Ahmad Bradshaw

6. RB Brandon Jacobs

7. WR Mario Manningham

8. TE Kevin Boss

Would you add or subtract anyone from the list above? Do you think there will be a 2011 NFL season?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


2011 NFL Training Camp: New York Giants

May 11, 2011

NEW YORK – The 2011 NFL lockout has now reached 61 days and the powers that be still haven’t worked anything out. Fans are completely sick of this situation and I know a lot of them that might not watch another NFL game as long as they live. I have to be honest, I originally thought the lockout would be over before the NFL draft, I was wrong. The NFL has to realize they are really mucking up the waters with each and every day the lockout continues. It’s time for men to act like men and get a deal done.

It is now going to affect the real work. The OTA’s, minicamps, film work, weight room workouts, free agency and most importantly training camp. Training camp is clearly the most important of all the activities I’ve listed. Everything is backed up along the process line. I’m sure head coach Tom Coughlin will adapt to the situation as best he can. The Giants organization will not make excuses and they will absolutely roll with the punches. As a fan, I’m happy to see QB Eli Manning and a handful of players take matters into their own hands by practicing at Hoboken high school in New Jersey. They were the first players that I’ve heard of doing this, holding their own little training camp during the lockout. This will be their second week of “players camp”. I applaud these professionals for demonstrating how important it is to them to improve their game and prepare for the upcoming season.

Still, the importance of training camp cannot be understated. We are just about 90 days away from the usual starting dates for training camp. It is beginning to enter a very uncomfortable period of time for both the players and owners. Something has to give soon or they will face ruining the 2011 NFL season at a time when Americans are suffering more then ever. Americans are hurting on a biblical scale right now and the fact that the NFL is considering canceling the 2011 NFL season shows how out of touch they are with society these days. They have left teams with about 90 days to accomplish everything I listed above, which isn’t very much time at all, until training camp is supposed to begin. Let’s hope the front office can figure out how to make it work and applaud them for staying calm and cool during this madness.

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


Giants Coaches and Staff Keep Busy Prepping for 2011

May 5, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants staff and coaches are staying busy during the 2011 NFL lockout (55 days now). Head Coach Tom Coughlin was sure to point that out during his press conference earlier this week where he discussed their draft picks. Both GM Jerry Reese and Coach Coughlin expressed their desire to get the ball rolling and start digging into free agency. They cannot have contact with any of the rookies either until this mess is cleaned up. So they plan, they work on the schedule, OTA’s and opponents. They work on the playbook, and make plans for minicamp, and training camp. They watch video and try to decide who stays and who goes once the lockout is over. They are staying very busy working on what they can.

Coughlin was sure to add his opinion on players remaining in shape during this lockout. He said the players should be prepared to hit the field as soon as this squabble over money subsides. The Giants staff has their work cut out for them with re-stacking the boards, as GM Jerry Reese would say, with all of the college rookie free agents available out there, nevermind all of the pro players who will be ripe for the picking as they look for a new home. I am one of the people who thinks the team will get a veteran offensive lineman via free agency and possibly more additions for special teams. The possibilities could also include a tight end and a linebacker.

Fans who have been starving for any morsel of NFL news will have to wait a little longer. Of course, no one knows when the lockout will end, but I can pretty much guarantee it will end the moment the owners lose some significant amount money. That will be the beginning of the end. After almost 2 months of this lockout crap, I am beginning to sound robotic even to myself. I’m tired of talking about the same subject when there are so many other interesting things we could be discussing if the lockout were to end. Either get a deal done, or cancel the entire 2011 season, but stop holding the fans hostage. I’m sorry to put it so bluntly, but I’m on my last nerve with the lockout and ready for it to end one way or another. What do you think?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org