Friday, September 4, 2009

Giants: Patriots preseason game review

There are a few things to take out of this game. First of all, we can't get excited about how the starters did in the 1st quarter, because they were doing it against a team full of substitutes for the Patriots. Nevertheless, it was good to see them move down the field so easily for 3 straight scores, and it surely beats the alternative of struggling or having a mediocre outing against the other team's substitutes.

The good things: regardless of the opposition, the WRs can actually catch the ball. They continued to run good routes, get open and even made some outstanding adjustments and strong catches. I am particularly referring to the catch by Hixon on the 2nd TD drive and the catch by Nicks for the 3rd TD. Manningham also made some catches in traffic and caught a ball that came over his head and his shoulder on a medium depth flag pattern (not near the goal line, though).

Sinorice Moss showed why he is too good to let go and why he is occasionally in the coaches' doghouse. He scored 2 TDs on the first two balls that were thrown to him. One was a go route, where he curved to the outside and showed off his great speed. The second was a route where he had to cut sharply to his right to get away from the defender on a 15 yard route. He showed sure hands by catching a hard thrown ball in perfect form, in his hands, hands extended away from the body and securing the ball immediately. Great route, good catch. Then later, he dropped a ball on a curl route. He was coming back for the ball and instead of catching it and stopping, gaining whatever he could, he ran backwards, trying to get away from the defender and make a big play. Even if he hadn't dropped it, he would've lost yards from the original spot of the catch. Then later he was not on the same page with the qb, when Woodson threw an out route and Moss ran a go route. You can't be sure if that was the mistake of the qb or the WR, but it still shows that he makes occasional mistakes.

Coaches are right to focus on the little things and to coach the players not to make mistakes, assignment errors, etc. I get that - that's one of the things the coaches are for. But an occasional assignment error when it comes from a player who could be enormously productive is something I can live with, and I think coaches need to modify their thinking about this sometimes. They obsess about mistakes and sometimes forget about production. After watching Moss run by the Patriot second string DB's like they were college players, I remain mystified as to why they couldn't figure out a way to get him on the field last year to replace Toomer, especially after Burress went out. I sure hope Moss makes the team and the Giants carry 7 WRs this year. (See previous post on my proposed roster). To make my point by using a baseball analogy: I hate it when a batter overswings and strikes out when trying to move a runner into scoring position. I don't hate it any less when the guy hits .330 with 40 HRs than I do if the guy is a .250 hitter, but I am not going to take the .330/40 HR guy out of the lineup. I am going to live with the occasional mistake. If Moss can stretch the field and make big plays, coach him the best you can to avoid errors, but live with the occasional goof. It makes the offense more dangerous.

David Carr looked real good again last night. It was nice to see Boss catch some balls and make some plays.

There is good talent on the Giants DL and it is unfortunate that some of these players have to get cut. Clark, Evans and Douzable show some real talent. I had Tollefson making the team as the 4th DE, but Evans might squeeze him out for the spot. Whoever gets cut will likely get picked up and make an NFL roster this year. If Alford surprises me and is able to play this season, he will be on the roster ahead of all of those mentioned above.

Pierce looked fairly spry out there and it was good to see him run around, his foot apparently recovering.

I love Gerris Wilkinson's ability. Chase Blackburn started last night, but Wilkinson is a better athlete. He is big, very fast and capable. I hope he makes the team.

Eli mentioned a couple of times throughout training camp that Giants would use WR by committee. Giants should be creative and use the same philosophy with the WRs that they have used at DL and RB. A few guys all sharing the playing time, rotating in and running different packages of plays could be very interesting and effective. Slightly different styles of the WRs could confuse the defense and give them more to prepare for. More important, the WRs are then fresh all game long and can run as hard as they can on every play, knowing that they are only playing 1/2 the snaps or so.

I thought Beatty looked good playing with the starters in place of Diehl on the OL. Of course, he was playing against substitutes, not starters.

Bring on the regular season. Most of the prognosticators are picking the Eagles in the NFC East. I can't wait until Donovan McNabb has his first 2 INT day and fans start calling for Michael Vick. Goodell has reduced Vick's suspension and he will only miss 2 games. I heard that Goodell warned him to behave himself, because he will be watching. Vick is on a very short leash.

Mark Sanchez looks pretty good and I think the Jets are going to have a very good season.


Ray said...

I had to replay the first Moss TD several times before I was convinced he had both feet in bounds. He got the second one in, but just barely. It is a further indication of what you describe that the coaches do not like about him - he did not seem to realize that he was close enough to the sidelines to be at risk, and did not adjust his footwork at all.

Nevertheless, in a year when wr could be a major issue, I simply cannot see them cutting him. As you say, he would surely be picked up. I suspect it will be another more-of-the-same- year with him - occasional pt and some, but not major, positive impact. I do hope I am wrong about that.

wolfman said...

Moss was very close to going out of bounds on that first TD, you're right.

One other note - I expressed worry about the depth at S, but I thought CC Brown played a little better than in earlier preseason games. I still think this might be a position where the Giants scour the waiver wires next week and pick up someone.

It's really important that two NY franchises have players named "CC". (Sabbathia and Brown). That must be some kind of record.

Johnson, despite the stupid penalty on the late hit of the WR might make the team and might play some S.

Ray said...

Though Brown did play better (but not as well as Sabbathias been) I hope they pick up a safety. I worry about moving a corner over, because I am afraid Ross may be weeks from being healthy, and the other corners are also beat up, to some extent.

If Ross plays next week, I would expect the Redskins to use their Moss to really test him. Moss is so shifty that he would be really hard for someone with leg problems to cover.

wolfman said...

Good thought about Redskins testing Ross. I am very high on Terrel Thomas and Dockery can play also.

I'm more worried about Canty. He is central to the Giants off-season plan of refreshing the DL.