Monday, December 29, 2008

Vikings post mortem

Ugh. Giants lost. Who cares. Giants ran the ball fairly well, but Eli was not sharp. He missed Hixon twice on deep balls that could have been TDs. It will be important for Eli to connect with Hixon on deep throws in the playoffs in order to get balance in the offense and move the defense off the line of scrimmage.

After watching the game again tonight, I was actually fairly impressed with how well the Giants ran the ball. Vikings have one of the top 3 run defenses in the league, they moved extra defenders up to the line of scrimmage to stop the run and Giants still ran for 140 yards or so.

Carr looks like he has some talent.

Defense was fine, but you have to be a little concerned about the long plays that the defense seems to be letting up every game.

Very impressive sequence for the Giants happened right at the end of the half from the perspective of coaching, clock and game management as well as execution. Vikings had a 3rd and 1 at about the Giants 40 with about 30 seconds left in the half. Vikings ran a play and Giants stopped it for no gain, but the Vikings got called for an illegal motion penalty. If the Giants had accepted the penalty, Vikings would have had a 3rd and 6, would have run two plays and run time off the clock and Giants would not have gotten the ball back with only 30 seconds left. So Giants coaching staff declined the penalty bringing up a 4th and 1. Vikings went for it on 4th and 1 because they were too far for a FG and there was little time left in the half, so Vikings thought that the Giants would not have time to hurt them. Giants Tuck stopped Tavaris Jackson for a 2 yard loss and because there was a change of possession, the clock stopped with 27 seconds left in the half. Eli completed 2 to hixon for 35 yards, both sideline patterns where Hixon was able to get out of bounds to stop the clock and they moved the ball down to the 25 where Carney hit a 42 yard FG as time expired. If the Giants had played with the same sense of urgency the entire game they would have won by 3 TDs.

The only kick Carney missed all year (that wasn't blocked) was the last one of the year that could have given the Giants a 5 point lead and forced the Viking to go for a TD instead of FG at the end of the game.

Ward played well. I know everybody loves Jacobs, but both Ward and Jacobs are FA's and I am not sure the Giants wouldn't do just as well with Ward as with Jacobs. Danny Ware got some carries and you can't judge anything on 2 carries for the year, but I think I see why coaches are high on him and he will probably be the third back in the 3-headed-backfield next year.

The refs were once again ridiculous in this game. Phantom holding call on Snee took away a 30 yard run by Ward. Phantom holding call on Diehl combined with a penalty on Koets on the same play for not reporting as eligible wiped out 35 yard TD run by Ward. Best of all, however was the blatant holding call by the Vikings LG against Tuck on Peterson's 67 yard TD run. It was a very good tackle. He grabbed Tuck with both hands on the outside of his shoulder pads and threw him to the ground right at the point of attack making the huge hole for Peterson open up.

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