NFL Week 10: Giants vs. 49ers, Game Notes

November 13, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Football Giants have been on a roll lately. They are winning games and holding onto first place in the NFC East. They faced a very tough opponent this weekend in the revamped San Francisco 49ers. The Giants lost 27-20 and fall to 6-3 on the year. I was actually more concerned about this game, then I was about playing the New England Patriots last weekend (Giants won 24-20). The Eagles and Redskins lost in earlier games today and they drop to 3-6 records, while the Cowboys destroyed the Bills improving to 5-4. The Giants still have control of first place in the NFC East.

The first half of the game was all about the defensive teams doing work. This low scoring game had them going into the locker room for halftime with the 49ers leading 9-6. Starting 49ers RB Frank Gore had zero yards at halftime. Giants LB MIchael Boley left the game in the 2nd quarter and did not return due to a hamstring injury. Both teams were hitting hard out there and it seemed like either team could win this game as late as the fourth quarter. When they came out to finish the game, the 49ers received the ball and grabbed some momentum. This is exactly how I thought the game would go, per my pre-game final score prediction of a Giants victory 17-13.

The second half was more of the same, a hard hitting solid performance by both clubs. The Giants were able to take the lead in the 3rd quarter on a Mario Manningham TD. 49ers RB Frank Gore was knocked out of the game with a knee injury in the 3rd quarter as well. But then the 49ers started rolling and quickly scored two TD’s to take the 27-13 lead in the 4th quarter. There were a bunch of turnovers in this game (3 INT’s) and a bunch of penalties (NYG: 6-45) too. The Giants were able to rally, once again, late in the fourth quarter and quickly score a TD of their own. But it wasn’t meant to be for New York, when they could not convert on fourth down and gave control of the ball over to the 49ers with less then a minute remaining in the game. The end.

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

QB Eli Manning – Manning had another very good game. He finished with 311 yards 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s. Eli should be in Hawaii.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw was ruled out of todays game while he mends a recent injury. Get well soon AB!

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks was able to play today and he made his presence felt finishing with 41 yards and 1 TD.

DT Linval Joseph – Watch out, Joseph has put together a couple of good games in a row. He finished today with 1 sack.

S Antrel Rolle – Rolle continues to let his game do the talking on Sundays. He finished among the team leaders in tackles once again.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had another good performance and finished with 77 yards and 1 TD. This kid is a star.

LB Michael Boley – Boley left the game in the 2nd quarter and did not return. Fans are concerned about this hamstring injury. Get well soon Mike!

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP truly is a freak of nature athletically. I’ve never seen someone that big move like a cat. How many Pro Bowls?

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs ran the ball well but he is not Ahmad Bradshaw. He finished with 55 yards rushing and 17 yards receiving.

CB Corey Webster – Webster was very active in todays game and finished with 1 INT. We need more interviews with Webster.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi continues his exceptional play since returning from injury. He finished with 1 sack.

WR Victor Cruz – Cruz lead all WR’s in the game with 84 yards and has earned Manning’s trust at this point.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi was all over the field as usual. I’m very glad the Giants were able to keep him.

CB Aaron Ross – Ross continues to play well in the absence of Terrell Thomas. He finished tied for 2nd in tackles but left the game with a quad injury.

TE Jake Ballard – Ballard has a quiet game and finished with 35 yards. But they came at crucial times during the game.

S Kenny Phillips – Phillips had a solid game and was making some key hits out there. He was tied for 1st in tackles.

LB Greg Jones – The rookie LB was very active in todays game and did a good job out there. He finished tied for 2nd in tackles.

RB DJ Ware – Ware had to go to work and finished with 34 yards rushing and 34 yards receiving.

LB Spencer Paysinger – The Giants are fielding 3 rookie LB’s out there and they are playing well. Paysinger took over for Boley and did a good job.

CB Prince Amukamara – The rookie sensation still has not had his debut game yet. Some fans hoped it would be today but it was not the case.

RB Da’Rel Scott – Scott was used as the kickoff returner and did a good job in my opinion. Give this rookie time to play and he will only get better.

P Steve Weatherford – The Weatherman had another good game besides a flub he punted for 29 yards.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes had a solid game and finished with 2 FG’s and 2 extra points made.

Giants Defense – Both defenses played extremely hard today and the score reflects that. The G-Men finished with 2 sacks, 1 INT and 0 forced fumbles.

Giants Offense – The offense played a better game then the stats would have you believe. Manning is playing on another level this year.

Giants Special Teams – The Giants special teams continues to amaze me. I love the move to make rookie RB Da’Rel Scott a kickoff returner but to give away a meaningless onside kick in the first half? Embarrassing.

What did you think about the Giants performance against the 49ers? Don’t be shy about leaving comments below!

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 –

Please Support The Wounded Warrior Project by Clicking Here, You Are Not Forgotten!!

Twas the Night Before Training Camp, Big Blue in the House

July 28, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants made a few moves on the night before training camp. Fans expected to see a bunch of transactions but it seems like there were more negotiations, then there were signings. It was also an emotional day for fans as Rich Seubert, Shawn Andrews and Shaun O’Hara said their goodbyes to the press and fans. They have all said they would not mind coming back to New York if the right situation were to arise. It really stinks when you have to say goodbye to old friends but it is a part of life and a part of the NFL. The Giants also released FB Madison Hedgecock who appears to still have health issues. I would like to wish all of you well and the best of luck. Oh yeah, the Giants also released Tiki Barber.

Fans will get to see the players for the first time in a very long time tomorrow when training camp officially opens. One fan favorite, DE Mathias Kiwanuka, will be on hand since signing a new contract today. Kiwanuka reportedly signed for two years and should really heat up the Osi Umenyiora situation. Kiwi made the biggest splash in the news today, as fellow teammate Justin Tuck (new to twitter) decided to tweet the good news to Giants fans around the world. This is good news for the team and the defense as a whole. Kiwi is a dangerous man on the field and will bring intensity to every play. The Giants also signed rookie RB Da’Rel Scott to a four year deal. The Giants drafted him this year in the seventh round. This kid has been very excited to play and fans heard his name more then once at Eli Manning’s “player only” practices over the summer.

The Giants also signed 10 undrafted rookies today. Those players are LB Mark Herzlich, OL Jerriel King, FB Henry Hynoski, S David Sims, DT Martin Parker, LB Spencer Paysinger, DE Justin Trattou, DE Craig Marshall, S Jerrard Tarrant, DT Ibrahim Abdulai. The Giants have also reached out to former Giant punter Brad Maynard, which tells me that they may have had enough of the Matt Dodge inconsistency from last season. I feel bad for the kid but this is a “hit the ground running” league and if players don’t perform they are gone.

Here is a little poem to honor the occasion of training camp opening tomorrow.

Twas the night before training camp,

In the house of Big Blue,

Not a rookie could slumber,

Knowing the work they must do.

The Veterans were nestled,

All snug in their beds,

With visions of hazing,

And taping rookies to sleds.

Coach Coughlin won’t have it,

Because the drills must get done,

So say goodbye to Albany,

And the dorms filled with gum.

Jerry Reese will be smiling,

As he admires the young guns,

With a pacing Perry Fewell,

Reminding players to have fun.

All the boys will be there,

Eli Manning and Justin Tuck,

Pat Hanlon on his blackberry,

And fans to bring good luck!

Are you excited for the 2011 NFL season to start Giants fans?

RD –

Please visit and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!

Big Blue is Making Waves Early in the Free Agency Pool

July 26, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants have started making roster moves. The biggest signing of the day was Boston College star LB Mark Herzlich. This is a kid that seems to charm everyone he meets and he has also shown his inner strength by beating cancer. I do not want to focus too much on him beating cancer (awesome story) because I’m sure this young man wants to put that all behind him and focus on the future. I hope other sports writers will leave him alone about that too. Let the kid play football now.

Giants GM Jerry Reese continues to show why he is an elite general manager in the NFL by having a great morning in the free agent market. The collection of undrafted rookies he has made deals with all bring unique talents to the table. Of course, Herzlich was projected to be a first round pick before he got sick and I have been hearing a lot of good things about this fullback Hynoski.

I will list a few of the players below but this is by no means the complete list. These are just a few players the team has worked on this morning. You can absolutely expect the list of players to grow but I thought I would give our readers a taste of what the day has brought so far. You can expect the madness to continue throughout this week and all the way up until the season starts. The two biggest needs for Big Blue are linebackers and offensive linemen.

Let’s take a look at some of the players the Giants were able to grab today.

1. LB Mark Herzlich – 6’4″ 250 pounds, Boston College

2. FB Henry Hynoski – 6’2″ 260 pounds, Pittsburgh

3. DB David Sims – 5’9″ 200 pounds, Iowa State

4. DT Martin Parker – 6’2″ 303 pounds, Richmond

5. LB Spencer Paysinger – 6’3″ 235 pounds, Oregon

6. DE Justin Trattou – 6’3″ 250 pounds, University of Florida

Which player are you hoping the G-Men will re-sign out of the current Giants free agents?

RD –

Please visit and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!