NFL Week 6: Giants vs. Bills, Game Notes

October 16, 2011

NEW YORK – I’ve mentioned how I truly felt this was a must win game for the Giants. I wrote an entire article about this a few days ago. The Giants must have read it because they were able to get the win today by beating the Bills 27-24 in a battle. After losing to the lowly Seahawks last weekend, the G-Men needed not only a moral victory this weekend but also another “W” in the standings to keep their playoff hopes within reach. The Giants were also without some key players today including RB Brandon Jacobs, OL Chris Snee and DE Justin Tuck, all sitting out due to injury.

This was really an entertaining game to watch. I thought I was going to have a heart attack at certain points in the game because it was filled with so much drama. The first half of the game was going back and forth. The Giants gave up two huge plays that made up the majority of the Bills offensive production. Still, both teams went into the locker room tied 17-17. The second half was equally entertaining and saw the game go back and forth once more with both teams being tied 24-24 with under two minutes left in the game. The Giants had the ball at the end of the game and drove down the field to the Buffalo 1 yard line. The Giants were unable to score a TD but K Lawrence Tynes knocked a FG through to give the G-men a 27-24 lead. That was all they would need to secure the victory and improve to 4-2 on the season.

The Giants definitely needed this win as they head into the bye week next weekend. The players need the rest and the team needed this win to keep up in the NFC. They are still committing too many penalties and will need to work on that during the break. Giants fans will have to endure the hated “bye week” and try to pretend they are interested in the other NFL games. They will be rooting for whoever plays the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins, you can count on that.

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

QB Eli Manning – Manning seems to be improving week to week. He had another solid game and finished with 292 yards 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s. His one TD pass was called back.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw is a beast and might have had the best game of his career today. He finished with 104 yards rushing, 26 yards receiving and 3 TD’s.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks led all receivers with 96 yards on 4 receptions. He was quiet most of the game but still contributed.

CB Corey Webster – Webster gets my defensive game ball for coming up huge in this game with 2 INT’s. Nice to see C-Webb playing well out there.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Who still thinks Osi isn’t worth elite money? You’re crazy! Osi had another good game and finished with 1 sack.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi was balling today and had a solid game. He finished with 1 sack and 1 forced fumble.

S Antrel Rolle – Rolle was all over the field as usual and making plays. Fans love this guy and I can see why.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a nice game and finished with 56 yards. He had a nice TD late in the game but couldn’t hold onto the ball.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – How do you Spell JPP? B-E-A-S-T! JPP had another great game and finished with 1 sack.

LB Jacquian Williams – The rookie LB had a quieter game then he normally does. He is still going to be a force in the NFL.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs had to sit out his second straight game due to a knee injury. Get well soon Brandon!

WR Victor Cruz – Cruz continues to make big strides and had another game where he saw extended playing time.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck had to sit out another game due to his neck injury. He will get the bye week next week to rest more.

LB Michael Boley – Boley is awesome and led all defensive tacklers for the G-Men. I love this guy!

S Kenny Phillips – Phillips got a bit banged up in this game but played through it. He had a solid game today.

TE Jake Ballard – Ballard is quickly becoming one of Manning’s favorite targets. He had another great game and finished with 81 yards.

CB Aaron Ross – Ross had a good game and made some nice tackles out there today.

LB Greg Jones – The rookie LB Jones had another quiet game today as Big Blue was trying out a 4-2-5 defense.

C David Baas – Baas was able to return to the field this week after missing last weeks game against the Seahawks.

P Steve Weatherford – The Weatherman continues to pay dividends after the Giants brought him on board. Great punter.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes made two of his three FG attempts and made all three of his extra point attempts.

Giants Defense – Despite giving up some huge plays and a ton of yardage, the Giants finished with 3 sacks, 2 INT’s and 1 forced fumble.

Giants Offense – The Giants offense had a great game today. I really liked how they spread the ball around and made plays when they had to.

Giants Special Teams – The special teams played a pretty good game despite allowing a blocked FG attempt by Tynes.

What did you think about the Giants performance against the Bills this weekend?

RD –

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NFL Week 5: Giants vs. Seahawks, Game Notes

October 10, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants needed to beat the Seahawks in order to start the season at 4-1 and gain some serious ground in the NFC. They were not able to do this and lost 36-25 in a heartbreaker. Everyone expected the Giants to win this game, even though the Seahawks statistically had a better defense then Big Blue. The achilles heal for Seattle was the fact that they also had the worst offense in the NFL, ranked dead last at 32. The Giants drop to 3-2 on the year and have to figure out how to recover from losing to the worst offense in the NFL.

The Giants defense had been a bit shaky in the backfield so far this year and I thought the Seattle game plan would be to continually throw the ball back there and see what happens. I was correct and a 2nd string QB took us to town. I mean the Seahawks couldn’t do worse then being dead last right? So they had nothing to lose by playing “Hail Mary” football. My pre-game advice for the Giants was to concentrate on the defensive backfield and let the defensive ends do their thing. The game was going back and forth like a playground ride and the players went into the locker room at halftime tied 14-14. I was sure the Giants would come out fired up for the second half but it never panned out that way.

In the end, it looked liked the Giants would prevail but then the wheels came off in the 4th quarter. It is hard to describe how it all went down because it was such a confusing game to watch. The turnovers and penalties did nothing to clear the fog of war from my eyes either. It was another sloppy game for both teams and really annoying to watch on TV. The Giants will need to instill some discipline in their game plan before the second half of this brutal schedule starts. Elite teams will capitalize off those errors and run up the score on Big Blue. I’m sure Coach Coughlin will be preaching discipline in their next practice session.

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

QB Eli Manning – Manning had a better game then the final stats show. He finished with 420 yards 3 TD’s and 3 INT’s. Two of those INT’s were not his fault.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw had a good game and finished with 58 yards on the ground and 27 yards receiving.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks was quiet most of the game but still finished with 65 yards and 1 TD.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck did not play in this game and is on the mend from a recent injury.

S Antrel Rolle – Rolle had his usual hard hitting day and finished second on the defense in tackles.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a good game and finished with 56 yards and 0 TD’s.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP continued his monster season by finishing with 2.5 sacks. The guy is a beast!

LB Michael Boley – Boley had a great game and was all over the field as usual.

TE Jake Ballard – Ballard was balling and finished with 72 yards and 1 TD. This guy has come a long way.

C David Baas – Baas missed playing in this game due to injury and boy did the team see a difference. There were a bunch of botched snaps in this game.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi has been on fire since returning to the field and finished with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

LB Jacquian Williams – The rookie LB led the team in tackles once again this week and seems to be the steal of the draft for Big Blue thus far.

WR Victor Cruz – Cruz had a break out game by finishing with 161 yards and 1 TD. He has come along nicely since being injected into the starting offense.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi was lining up all over the field and finished with 1 sack. It’s fun watching this guy play the game.

S Deon Grant – Grant had a nice game and was administering some hard hits out there. He also finished the game with 1 sack.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs had to sit this game out due to injury and I think the team missed him in the running attack.

LB Greg Jones – The rookie Jones had a quiet day but still seems to be improving week to week.

CB Aaron Ross – Ross and the backfield had a rough day but Ross still managed to grab 1 INT.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes made 1 FG and both of his extra point attempts. No complaints from me about his season so far.

P Steve Weatherford – The Weatherman had another good game and continues to be a bright spot on Special Teams.

Giants Defense – The Giants let the worst offense in the entire NFL beat them and put 36 points on the board. If you look at their final stat line, it wouldn’t appear that way. They finished with 6 sacks, 1 INT and 2 forced fumbles.

Giants Offense – The Giants offense was having a tough time putting points on the board and their running game seemed non-existent. They had a decent game that could have been better.

Giants Special Teams – The achilles heel of Big Blue did the best they could once again. Still coming up short of acceptable game play.

What did you think about the Giants performance against the Seahawks this weekend?

RD –

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NFL Week 4: Giants vs. Cardinals, Game Notes

October 2, 2011

NEW YORK – The G-Men traveled all the way across the country to Arizona to play a pretty good Cardinals team today. After beating up the “Steam Team’ Eagles last week and improving to 2-1 on the season, the Giants needed this win to gain some ground in the NFC East. This was a tough battle between two teams and neither team wanted to lose. The Giants pulled out the comeback victory late in the 4th quarter by the score of 31-27. The G-Men improve to 3-1 on the year and this was by far the most entertaining game to watch so far this season.

The first half was pretty sloppy by both teams and considering the Giants were playing up and down football, a bit embarrassing. The first quarter was all about the Cardinals and they seemed to be pushing the Giants around. The Giants came to life in the second quarter and changed the momentum going into the locker room at halftime with a 10-6 lead. The Giants could have very easily have been losing the game at this point but some key defensive plays allowed them to jump ahead. Arizona came back to life in the third quarter and scored pretty quickly to give them the 13-10 lead. But the fourth quarter is where all of the action happened with both teams combining for 28 points and 21 of those points going to the G-Men. Giants fans were going crazy on twitter when they realized the Giants were actually going to win.

This was really a very exciting game to watch as I mentioned before. The only thing that concerns me is the fact that Big Blue had some trouble with a team they were supposed to beat easily. I’m not taking anything away from a really tough Cardinals team that played their hearts out but I had the Giants winning this game by 10 points. The other issue that caught my attention was the amount of penalties Big Blue had again. They finished the game with 7 penalties for 55 yards and really need to work on their discipline. The Giants will play the Seahawks at 1PM EST next weekend at home.

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

QB Eli Manning – Easy Eli kept his cool and finished with 321 yards, 2 TD’s and 0 INT’s. Manning has played extremely well the past 2 weeks.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks led all WR’s and had an outstanding game finishing with 162 yards and 1 TD.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw ran hard as usual and finished with 39 yards on the ground, 11 yards in the air and 1 TD.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck was not able to play in this game and had to watch from the sidelines. Get well soon Justin!

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a quiet game but that was expected in his first game back after a concussion.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi was the second leading tackler in this game and seemed to be all over the field. Great game for Kiwi.

DE Dave Tollefson – Tollefson had a great game and finished with 2 sacks. This guy has become an invaluable asset to Big Blue.

LB Greg Jones – The rookie Jones quietly had a nice game and finished in the middle of the pack with tackles.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi returned to the field for the first time this season and all he did was record 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Welcome back Osi!

RB Brandon Jacobs – Brandon was having trouble getting it going on limited carries but still finished with 18 yards and 1 TD.

S Antrel Rolle – Rolle knows the Cardinals very well and had a great game by leading all tacklers and getting 1 INT.

LB Michael Boley – Boley continues to be the strong, young veteran leader who just continues making big plays.

TE Jake Ballard – Ballard had a nice game and finished with 33 yards and 1 TD. Congrats on the TD Jake!

C David Baas – Baas had a good game despite getting a little banged up early in the game. It looks like he was a solid signing this offseason.

WR Victor Cruz – Cruz continues to make noise on the field and finished with 98 yards. He also had a weird play in the 4th quarter that Coach will question.

LB Jacquian Williams – Williams had his first quiet game of the year. Keep an eye on this guy and watch his star rise.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP had a quiet game by his standards and some think it is because he had to switch sides on the defensive line when Osi returned.

CB Aaron Ross – Ross had a decent game and is doing the best job he can do for Big Blue.

P Steve Weatherford – The weatherman had another good game and fans are starting to really like this guy.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes had a good game and finished with 1 FG and he made all 4 extra point attempts. He was also banged up in the 2nd quarter when a player ran into him.

Giants Defense – The G-Fense had a very good game finishing with 4 sacks, 1 INT and 1 forced fumble.

Giants Offense – The Giants offense started the game a bit slow and sloppy but finished strong and thats really all that matters right?

Giants Special Teams – This group had a decent game but still needs a ton of work.

How would you rate the Giants performance against the Cardinals on Sunday?

RD –

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New York Giants Final 53 Man Roster Analysis

September 4, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants have missed the playoffs for the past two years straight. Do you know what happens when an NFL team fails to make it to the playoffs in back to back seasons? Change happens. Passionate fans have been expressing their concerns or displeasure with the Roster moves that were made. I feel bad for the players that did not make the roster because I know they worked hard to shine. But I will not criticize GM Jerry Reese for having the guts to make bold changes after two down seasons in a row. There are a lot of new faces on the team this year and fans had to say goodbye to a few of their favorite players. If anyone thinks that Jerry Reese or Tom Coughlin made these moves to hurt the team, they are simply out of their minds.

The most surprising area of the team in 2011 will be the four rookies playing the linebacker position. A lot of people expected a big free agent signing to help out this young group but it did not happen. In fact, Reese kicked the table of conformity over completely and chose to keep four rookie LB’s (Herzlich, Jones, Paysinger and Williams) on the roster. I understand that player injuries forced a lot of the player moves made but the linebacker group is purely taking a shot in the dark at glory. I’m confident this young group of players have the talent to excel but they have to believe it themselves. It is going to be very exciting to see these guys flying around the field and making plays. My best advice to the rookies is simple, study the playbook as much as possible. Once your brain catches up to your body, you are going to be dangerous. The Giants have never had an Offensive Rookie of the Year and the last Defensive Rookie of the Year for Big Blue was LB Lawrence Taylor in 1981. Someone needs to fire up these youngsters to shoot for the ROY goal.

Were there some surprise moves made? Of course there were, like every single year there are. One move that wasn’t a surprise to me was P Steve Weatherford replacing P Matt Dodge. Dodge was given every chance to make improvements this year and will probably end up being a very good NFL punter, just not this year. That forced the Giants to make the hard choice of letting him go. I wish the kid well in his career and I’m sure that he will land on his feet someplace. The Giants special teams are just terrible and any roster shake up for the sake of improvement is welcome. Some were surprised by QB David Carr taking over the backup role for QB Eli Manning and QB Sage Rosenfels landing on the IR list. This is another smart move in my opinion because of the uncertainty surrounding the new offensive line. The G-Men need to be sure they have enough QB’s on the team in case the unthinkable happens. The running backs and wide receivers are two of the bright spots on the team and will be fine this season. However, the tight ends could end up being a problem. Reese will have to address this group sooner or later if Beckum or Ballard do not play well.

The cornerbacks and offensive line will need to step up the most this year. For obvious reasons we need the offensive line to gel together quickly and begin to play relaxed football. They need to feel confident that the man beside them will know their role and responsibilities. The cornerbacks were decimated by injuries this offseason and a couple of the guys will find their roles increased two-fold. If these guys can give the defensive ends enough time to reach the opposing quarterbacks, things will be fine. I’m extremely confident in the last line of defense with our safety group and their ability to deny any touchdowns if the CB’s get overwhelmed. Rookie S Tyler Sash has had an outstanding preseason and deserves his spot on the roster. DC Perry Fewell is smart enough to know how to use his guys the right way and will most likely get creative with the backfield this year.

In conclusion, I expect the Giants to make it back to the playoffs this year. It will be tough getting through that schedule but I think the injection of so much young talent will blend nicely by mid-season. Players will answer the call and step up big time in order to get Big Blue back where they belong in the postseason. The regular season starts in seven days.

What are your thoughts about the Giants final Roster? Do you think this group has the talent to return to the playoffs in 2011?

RD –

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Giants Make Hard Choices to Cut Down to 53 Man Roster

September 3, 2011

NEW YORK – This is always a very difficult time of year for the Giants coaches and staff. I’m sure they would have loved to have kept everyone on the team but it just isn’t the way things work in the NFL. The Giants were forced to cut a bunch of players today in order to cut down to the mandatory 53 man roster. Head Coach Tom Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese can finally exhale after making some very difficult decisions but I’m sure they will also monitor the careers of the players they cut. This is one of the most difficult parts of the job for these men, without question. Having to tell a man that he didn’t make the team, when you know he has given you 110% on the field is a terrible chore but a part of the business. You can view the final roster here Roster or simply click the roster tab on the top toolbar of our website.

Fans were speculating all week about who would be cut and who would make the team. I try not to get into those conversations out of respect for the players but I will answer a direct question if someone asks my opinion about a player. When you’re looking at all of these guys on paper and see you one or two at a certain deep position on the team, you have a pretty good idea if they will be on the final roster or not. A perfect example is the defensive end position. The Giants literally have four guys who could be starters at the position with DE Justin Tuck, DE Osi Umenyiora, DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DE Mathias Kiwanuka (he is a hybrid, I know). Trying to make the Giants final roster at the defensive end position would be a herculean task for any player. There were some cuts that were surprises, like there are every year and some cuts that sting a little more then the others.

I would like to personally wish the players well, who did not make the cut. It’s a shame that everyone can’t make the team based on their hard work and desire. It is never fun saying goodbye to a player who has given his all. Keep your head up and keep working hard. It might not be your time today but dreams do come true! Don’t give up!

The Giants will face the Washington Redskins next Sunday 9/11/11 at 4:15 PM EST for their first regular season game. Be sure to come back and check out our “Game Notes” each and every week throughout the season.

Were you surprised by any of the cuts made or with the Giants final roster?

RD –

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Giants Offensive Line is the Elephant in the Room

August 2, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants have been outstanding at the offensive line position for many years now. These guys have done such a good job protecting QB Eli Manning, that they have become almost an after thought. Fans could always rely on those guys to do their job and NFL fans acknowledged their superiority by voting the big guys into multiple Pro Bowls. We now find ourselves in an interesting predicament and completely unfamiliar territory with having to be concerned about the offensive line. Yes, the offensive line is the elephant in the room that nobody has talked about at length. If Eli Manning is going to continue his Iron Man streak for the most consecutive regular season starts, the offensive line is going to need a seamless transition into the new season.

One of the biggest player moves that really made me nervous was the acquisition of QB David Carr. I mentioned this is a previous article but I would like to explain to you why I am nervous. Eli Manning hasn’t really needed a true backup QB so far because he has proven to be extremely durable. A quiet tough guy if you will. With all due respect, Jim Sorgi and Sage Rosenfels aren’t exactly they guys you want running your team for any long period of time. Are the Giants concerned about Manning’s safety with this new offensive line? Do they lack confidence in the new group who will be taking over for Rich Seubert, Shawn Andrews and Shaun O’Hara? Are they concerned with the depth at that position if one or two guys fall to injury? Or did GM Jerry Reese just see an opportunity to sign a quality player familiar with the system?

The starters most likely will be William Beatty, David Diehl, David Baas, Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie. The others include Mitch Petrus, Adam Koets, Kevin Boothe, rookie James Brewer and newly signed Chris White who appear to be the primary backups. There are a handful of other players on the team who will be competing for a role on the offensive line but the players I just mentioned appear to be the front runners. This is going to be the year that certain players will have to step up. I know that is an overused term but it is quite literally what will need to happen in 2011 for the Giants to stay competitive. Some have speculated that Seubert, Andrews or O’Hara could return and play for a smaller contract. With the Giants issues with the salary cap, it is a possibility but unlikely at this point.

In summary, I am very concerned about the offensive line this year. I have faith in the players talent but the lack of experience concerns me. I am also wondering how long it will take QB Eli Manning to become familiar with a new center in David Bass. If those two guys can’t get on the same page quickly, the team is going to be in trouble. If not for the salary cap issues, I would like to see the team bring in another veteran to help out this very young offensive line. Even if it were just to add depth, I would feel much better.

Are you concerned about the Giants offensive line for the 2011 NFL season?

RD –

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New York Giants Continue to Reshape Team with More Moves

July 27, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants had a wonderful day by any measure of success in obtaining undrafted rookies yesterday. However, they also caused some waves among Giants fans by releasing some “fan favorite” players. After the news broke about the teams plans to release C Shaun O’Hara and OL Rich Seubert, the team followed up with more bad news by not coming to terms with OL Shawn Andrews. That means three offensive linemen have been cut or released in one day. This has left fans scratching their heads because it was very evident that the offensive line needed help before these cuts. They did re-sign OL Kevin Boothe to a two year deal but he is primarily a backup. The Giants have also reportedly agreed to terms with OL/C David Baas (6’4″ 330 pounds) who played his first six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Fans have come to trust GM Jerry Reese and I’m sure he has a plan but this is asking for a whole lot of trust.

Fans awoke today to more bad news, when they read that DT Barry Cofield will be leaving the team and going to the Washington Redskins of all places. Reports have him signing a six year deal with the division rival. This is another move I just don’t understand. Barry Cofield had become one of my favorite players because all he did was shut his mouth and do his job. The coaches must have seen something that I didn’t because Barry appeared to be the only steady rock in the middle of that defensive line. I truly wish him well and hate that he will be playing across the line from us for at least six years.

The Giants have been working hard to re-sign RB Ahmad Bradshaw and believe it or not, the team had been talking with WR Plaxico Burress for much of the day yesterday. Coughlin even came out and said he did not mind speaking to Burress, which he will do today. I’m not sure how realistic it is to think Plaxico will return to New York after all of the bad things he said about not wanting to play for Coach Coughlin but crazier things have happened in the past. It is unclear who the G-Men will target in free agency after clearing up some cap space by releasing all of these players. They may have to just sign all of their own players and only get one or two free agents off the market. The Giants have just placed the offensive linemen position on top of the “need” chart by making all of these moves. I’m very surprised they didn’t take measures to replace them prior to announcing the cuts. That only tells me that GM Jerry Reese must be targeting at least one big time offensive lineman from free agency. The madness is far from over so stay tuned for more updates fans.

Are you surprised by all of the player moves Big Blue has made so far?

RD –

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