NFL Week 2: Giants vs. Rams, Game Notes

September 20, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants faced the Rams last night on Monday Night Football. The game was pretty ugly as many expected but the Giants played a much better game then they did against the Redskins last week. It was still a sloppy mess of a game that leaves plenty of room for improvement. Coach Tom Coughlin could be seen pacing the sidelines in a rage on more then one occasion last night. Still, a win is a win and this was a win the Giants really needed. They improve to 1-1 on the year and will play the Eagles this upcoming weekend.

At one point in the game, I was wondering out loud how the Giants could possibly have the lead because they were playing so bad. The firs half seemed to go by in slow motion with one mistake after another. If not for the awesome play of the Giants defense, the results would have been much different. The Giants went into the locker room at halftime with a 21-6 lead. The Rams were much more competitive the second half and really exposed the Giants weak secondary. CB Aaron Ross was benched for a while in favor of CB Michael Coe, because he was giving up big plays. The Giants offensive line is giving up a lot more sacks then fans are use to seeing. They gave up another 3 sacks last night and will need to work on that or risk getting the franchise QB seriously injured.

The Giants defense was stout inside the red zone but were having major issues in the open field against the pass. The Giants dominated the time of possession by nearly 10 minutes and still had trouble getting first downs. It is tough to watch those “three and outs” happening so frequently. The G-men had way too many penalties again this week with 5 for 55 yards. The G-Men will need to correct a lot of their issues before facing the Eagles this weekend.

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

QB Eli Manning – Manning had another mediocre game but it was better then last week. He finished with 200 yards 2 TD’s and 1 INT.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw had a great game and finished with 59 yards on the ground and 45 yards receiving.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks had a relatively quiet night but still finished with 15 yards and 1 TD. Remember, he was playing banged up.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck had an awesome game and was all over the field last night. He finished with 1.5 sacks.

LB Michael Boley – Boley had a great game and made a heads up play in the 2nd quarter for a 65 yard TD on a fumble recovery.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP is a force to be reckoned with. He had a great game and finished with half a sack that he shared with Tuck.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs had a little spark in his step last night and finished with 50 yards on the ground and 17 yards receiving. He also scored 1 TD.

S Antrel Rolle – Rolle led all tacklers on defense and had 1 forced fumble. He is becoming a beast out there.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario led all WR’s with 56 yards but also went down with a concussion late in the game. Get well soon Mario!

LB Jacquian Williams – Williams was second on the team in tackles and had a very nice game for a rookie.

TE Jake Ballard – Ballard had a quiet night but still caught one pass for 13 yards.

LB Greg Jones – The rookie Jones was out there making plays but is still clearly raw and in need of more experience.

CB Corey Webster – Webster had a good game and continues to quietly do his job for Big Blue.

WR Domenik Hixon – Hixon had a nice game and finished with 29 yards and 1 TD. He also got hurt late in the game but was able to return.

RB Danny Ware – DJ came in and contributed late in the game with 22 yards on 3 carries.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi had a few nice plays and is laying out anyone who comes into his area.

WR Brandon Stokley – Stokley saw very limited action in his first game as a Giant.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes made all four of his extra point attempts and had no FG attempts.

P Steve Weatherford – The Weatherman had a nice game and I feel much more comfortable with him punting.

WR Devin Thomas – Thomas has been doing a pretty nice job with returning kicks and plays with a real fire.

Coach Tom Coughlin – Coach was visibly upset on the sidelines for most of the game but will put it behind him and focus on the Eagles this weekend.

Coach Perry Fewell – Coach Fewell is making lemonade out of lemons. His squad was hit the hardest with injuries and he is getting the most out of the players.

Coach Kevin Gilbride – Gilbride is calling plays too conservatively but it was better then last weekend.

Giants Defense – The bright spot for the team finished with 2 sacks, 0 INT’s and 2 forced fumbles.

Giants Offense – This group played much better but still needs some work.

Giants Special Teams – ST played better this week too but it still needs a complete overhaul in my opinion. From top to bottom.

What did you think about the Giants performance against the Rams? Feel free to leave comments below.

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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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 –

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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 –

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2011 New York Giants Wide Receiver Group

February 16, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants wide receiver group is one of the bright spots on the team. Along with being one of the bright spots of the team, it could also become a headache for the team. The reason is simple and it is the same question the team must answer every single year. Which six WR’s will be on the roster at the beginning of the season. The G-Men are solid with the starters that include WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Steve Smith and WR Mario Manningham. Those three guys will be on the team for sure. The problems begin to arise after the three starters. In a pool of talented young WR’s, who the heck do you keep on the team?

I expect a lot of people to have their own opinions about this subject and I respect them all. I can only give my perspective on what the Giants will do and who deserves to remain on the teams final roster. I expect one or two will end up on the practice squad if they cannot find employment elsewhere. The one thing that is blatantly clear to me now, is the fact that the New York Giants receivers are big guys. Not one of them are below 5’11” and the tallest guy is a whopping 6’6″. Sinorice Moss is no longer with the team and now the chatter has begun about bringing back Plaxico Burress. Burress coming back to the Giants is a possibility but highly unlikely. I wouldn’t mind seeing the team give him a league minimum contract for a year or two but I’m not sure how Coughlin wold feel about it.

Things are going to be very interesting for GM Jerry Reese this off season, that is of course assuming there will be a 2011 NFL season after the CBA talks. Recent reports say that the talks are not going very well at all. This is something that has fans ripping their hair out and wondering when the greed will end for an industry that makes about 10 billion dollars a year.

But enough about that, let’s take a look at the wide receivers currently on the New York Giants roster and remember this list could change due to trades or any other transactions in the near future.

2011 New York Giants Wide Receivers as of 2-16-11

1. Hakeem Nicks, 6’1″ 215 pounds – Nicks has separated himself from the pack to become the No.1 WR for Big Blue. If not for a injury in 2010 that caused him to miss three games, he would have made the pro bowl in my opinion. Look for him to make the pro bowl this year if he can stay fully healthy for the entire season. This man is a superstar.

2. Steve Smith, 5’11” 195 pounds – Mr. Smith ended the 2010 NFL season on the IR list and missed a total of seven games. This was a huge blow to the team and something fans do not want to experience again. The team and fans have come to depend on Smith in a big way and things were not the same without him. He is also QB Eli Manning’s favorite safety valve.

3. Mario Manningham, 5’11” 185 pounds – Super Mario has been improving each and every year since he arrived in New York. He put together a very nice 2010 season and finished 2nd on the team for WR’s. He was forced to miss two games due to injury but who hasn’t on the Giants the past two seasons. Manningham is arguably the best No.3 WR in the NFL.

4. Ramses Barden, 6’6″ 227 pounds – Fans are hoping that Barden has grasped the Giants playbook while he was sidelined for thirteen games and finished the year on the IR list. Now all he has to do is perform on the field. This guy was praised as the replacement for Plaxico Burress when he arrived. I think it was more because of his height then his talent. That is a lot of pressure to put on a rookie and he didn’t deserve it. Still, the time has come to perform.

5. Domenik Hixon, 6’2″ 182 pounds – Hixon did not play in a single game in 2010 and was put on the IR list (seems like a trend now I bet) during training camp. This really hurt the Giants return game on special teams and also eliminated a big target WR in special passing situations. He will be back in 2011 and the fans will be thankful for that.

6. Victor Cruz, 6’1″ 200 pounds – This kid was lightning in a bottle during the preseason and had fans sitting on the edge of their seats. He is a local kid from Jersey who made the most of his opportunity and landed a roster spot. Unfortunately, he landed on season ending IR list and did not get to shine in the regular season. If the Giants were to cut him, he would be picked up by another team the very same day. He has the aura of a playmaker.

7. Derek Hagan, 6’2″ 215 pounds – After the WR group was clearly decimated by injuries, as you have been reading, the G-Men called on an old friend to come back and help the team out. Hagan did a pretty good job for the seven games he was with the team. He finished 6th on the team at WR, despite not playing for half of the season.

8. Duke Calhoun, 6’4″ 205 pounds – Calhoun played in six games for the Giants but did not get the ball thrown to him very much. Almost not at all actually. He finished with 1 reception for 4 yards in 2010.

9. Michael Clayton, 6’4″ 215 pounds – Clayton was brought in for the same reason Hagan was, the team needed depth at WR. And like Calhoun, Clayton didn’t see the ball but one time for 19 yards.

10. Devin Thomas, 6’2″ 218 pounds – Once again, Thomas is a player that was brought in for depth after the rash of injuries crushed the WR corps.

11. Todd Watkins, 6’3″ 195 pounds- This guy was added to the reserve future list and is a complete question mark.

12. Samuel Giguere, 5’11” 215 pounds – This guy was added to the reserve future list and has seen limited playing time in the NFL.

13. Plaxico Burress, 6’5″ 230 pounds – This is clearly a wild card and something that fans have been talking about recently, now that his release date is close. Reports have come out that say Burress has been working out five days a week and looks in great shape. Will the Giants be persuaded into giving him another shot with the team? I don’t know but I think the man deserves another chance now that he has paid his debt to society.

If you had to pick only six of the above WR’s, who would you keep on the roster?

RD –

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