NFL Week 1: Giants vs. Redskins, Game Notes

September 11, 2011

NEW YORK – The 2011 NFL season has officially started Giants fans. I’m sure that most of you watched the Giants play the Redskins in DC today. Some football fans scrambled this morning to make sure their fantasy football teams had the proper lineups set and that there were no last minute injury updates. Some football fans broke out their lucky jerseys or made their favorite food before the games. All football fans honored the fallen of 9/11 in some way today, even if it were a small prayer or by attending a ceremony. America remembered the military and the fallen today. Never forget!

The Giants lost 28-14 to the Redskins in a game that was hard to watch at times. There were so many sloppy plays, after a very promising start, that I do not know where to begin. The best thing for Giants fans to do is just put this game behind us and look forward to next week when they play the Rams. Yes, it was that bad against a Redskins team that 99% of the experts said would lose today. The Giants start the season 0-1 and they have not even started the hard part of their schedule yet. After wins by the Eagles and Redskins, the G-men are officially in last place until we see what happens with the Cowboys game. The first half of the game saw a lot of back and forth action and it seemed pretty competitive, albeit sloppy. Big Blue went into the locker room at halftime tied up 14-14 and seemed to be building momentum.

Then the second half started and it all went down hill from there. One thing after another went wrong. The Giants were completely shut out in the second half and seemed to be playing tired football. I saw a lot of guys who appeared to be playing in slow motion. The Giants special teams are absolutely atrocious and need serious changes immediately. I have said that they might be the worst special teams in the entire NFL and I stand by that comment until they play better. The biggest surprise of the day was Redskins QB Rex Grossman balling on Big Blue for 305 yards and 2 TD’s. Nobody could have seen that coming. Giants QB Eli Manning had a rough day and was sacked 4 times with 1 INT. Manning has not seemed himself at all this year in the preseason or the regular season game tonight. I’m not sure what is bothering him but I hope he can focus on football and get back to the QB we all know he can be. The Giants also had way too many penalties in this game, finishing with 8 total.

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

QB Eli Manning – Eli did not have a very good game and finished 18/32 with 268 yards 0 TD’s and 1 INT. However, he did score on a 2 yard rushing TD.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw had a decent game and ran hard as usual. He finished with 44 yards and 1 TD.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks had a great game and he gets my offensive game ball. He finished with 122 yards 0 TD’s.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck was on the sidelines and missed the game while he is recovering from an injury. Get well soon Justin!

CB Aaron Ross – Ross had a pretty good game but doesn’t look 100% comfortable back there yet.

S Kenny Phillips – KP had a really nice game and was all over the field. He is going to have a solid year.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs ran hard but finished with only 29 yards. I expect a big year from the Bull this year.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi had a good game and finished 5th on the defense in tackles.

S Antrel Rolle – Rolle led the defense in tackles and had some very hard hits in the game.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP gets my defensive game ball for his outstanding game. He finished with 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble.

LB Michael Boley – Boley had a good game and finished with a fumble recovery.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had some big catches and finished the game with 49 yards 0 TD’s.

TE Jake Ballard – Ballard had a nice game despite getting banged up before halftime. He finished with 59 yards.

CB Corey Webster – Webster had a relatively quiet night but did his job.

LB Greg Jones – Jones had a pretty good night for a rookie being thrown into the fire. I like this kid.

WR Domenik Hixon – Hixon was a busy man tonight returning punts and seeing some time at WR.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes was 0-1 on FG’s due to a blocked FG attempt and made both of his two extra point attempts.

P Steve Weatherford – The “Weatherman” had a nice game I thought and fans must feel better with a veteran back there.

Giants Defense – The Giants D gave up 28 points to an inferior Redskins team but still finished with 4 sacks, 0 INT’s and 1 forced fumble.

Giants Offense – The Giants offense has some work to do and it starts with the play calling.

Giants Special Teams – Simply the worst special teams I can ever remember for the New York Giants.

Coach Coughlin – Coach Coughlin and his staff are making do with a depleted team and a young roster. There will be growing pains for certain.

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

RD – nygreporter.com

Never Forget 9/11

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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 – 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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Giants Plan Begins to Take Shape, Roster Moves Continue

August 18, 2011

NEW YORK – Yesterday was a good day to be a Giants fan. The Mike Francesa Show did their annual broadcast from Giants training camp. This is one of the better shows for Giants fans because we get to hear from everyone including owner John Mara, GM Jerry Reese, Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and a ton of other players. Although the practices are being held at the Timex Performance Center this year, Mr. Mara confirmed that the team will head to Albany next year to honor their agreement. This has been a hectic week for Big Blue and the team continues to make roster adjustments as the season nears. One of the biggest re-signings this week was S Deon Grant. Fans fell in love with Grant over his no nonsense approach to the game and veteran leadership. The Giants defensive backfield must look like a dangerous minefield to opposing offenses with all of the talent back there. I’m glad we don’t have to play against them.

I have a question for you. What do you do when your special teams have been atrocious for the past two seasons (2009, 2010) and look horrible in their first preseason game of 2011? You eliminate special teams from the game by signing a kickoff specialist that will boot the ball through the endzone and make opposing offenses start on their twenty yard line. Brilliant! Fans were scratching their heads when the G-Men signed a kicker this week, who doesn’t kick FG’s. Yes, you heard me right. K Rhys Lloyd was signed to help the Giants in the special teams department. Lloyd (5’11” 230 pounds) comes to Big Blue from the Carolina Panthers and is known for being a specialist that averages about 67 yards per kickoff. With the rule changes to kickoffs this year that state teams must kick from the 35 yard line, you can see what the team is trying to do. Replacing K Lawrence Tynes isn’t a bad idea but Lloyd has never kicked a regular season NFL FG, so it looks like he will be strictly a special teams weapon for kickoffs. It would be worth keeping Lloyd on the final 53 man roster simply because of how bad the special teams group has played. His roster spot is justified and I think he will be a welcome upgrade to the sloppy play as of late.

The Giants also cut S Cary Harris and WR Samuel Giguere this week, clearing up some roster space for other signings. The tight end position could be a real problem this season. The team might be better off just getting a blocking tight end until they are able to find one that can fit the traditional mold. The Giants did sign veteran TE Daniel Coats (6’3″ 264 pounds) last week and since he only has 30 catches in four NFL seasons, perhaps they intend to use him as that blocker I’m talking about. TE Jake Ballard and TE Travis Beckum should compete for the pass catching TE role. Another big move this week was the return of DE Osi Umenyiora to practice. The Giants need Osi on the team and I’m glad he was able to stick it out this year and honor his current contract. If Umenyiora has another season like he did last year, it will be impossible not to pay him what he is asking for. The guy deserves to be paid according to his on-field production. The Giants will play the Bears next on Monday night in the Meadowlands at 8 P.M.

Are you starting to feel more comfortable with the direction the Giants are headed in for 2011?

RD – nygreporter

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