Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Giants: I'm officially worried


When I read in the papers that the OL just has to restore some pride and block better next week, you can count me as officially worried. When you see the OL-men use the same lame excuse that I used in my first post - that it is a hard place to play, it's so loud, blah, blah, I want to yuke. It's OK for me to say that, but not the players. I remember the last time the Giants went to Indy, with Kerry Collins at QB - he threw for 300+ yards, a bunch of TDs to Toomer, who had 200+ yards receiving, if I remember correctly. Was it noisy that day? I still remember the first play of the 2nd half - a flea flicker with Tiki Barber taking a handoff and flipping the ball back to Collins who hit Toomer for a long TD. Was it noisy in the stadium that day?!? I understand that the noise makes it harder to block because of the silent snap count, but for an OL-man to bring it up as an excuse.... and then quickly say it is not an excuse, just an explanation, I have to worry. The OL played poorly and were dominated by the Colts DL. There are a few possibilities: (1) the OL is really as bad as they looked and the Giants offense is going to stink; (2) the Giants OL is really very good and just had an off-night; (3) the Giants OL was once good and is now slipping - they are not horrible, but are far from great and the Giants offense and season will be limited by how much they can do.

Unfortunately, I think choice (3) is the likeliest explanation. The truth is that the Giants OL was never a great, dominant unit filled with powerful, athletic players. Rather, they were moderately-talented and exceeded their talent level by working hard, playing intelligently and working cohesively. Those last few attributes still may hold, even though we have all seen a bunch of blown assignments on blitz pickups lately. But if their talent has slipped just a little bit because of age and injury, and they can be dominated phyically and athletically by opposing DLs, no amount of hard work and cohesiveness is going to make up for that. So I suspect that the Giants OL will have a mediocre season. They will stand up to the mediocre DLs and have trouble against the teams that are a little better, especially from the purely athletic point of view. This is what happened Sunday night. I don't think Freeney and Mathis are great players; they are very good, somewhat one-dimensional, but not great. However, they are pure speed rushers / athletes, particularly the type of player that I assert can give the aging / slightly declining Giants OL some trouble. If this analysis is correct, than the suggestion I made in the last post, about making some changes in the lineup, by getting Andrews in the lineup or Beatty when he comes back from injury, is the only way to work out of the predicament.

Jacobs: Time to go

I like Brandon Jacobs - he is defintiley a different style RB than others that there are in the NFL. The entire league is going to speed, both in the running game as well as the passing game; Jacobs is a power RB in a speed league. Therefore, you could say that he gives the Giants a unique edge, a dimension that no other team has. He won't be as fast as the pure speed guys, but if he is fast enough, quick enough  and smart enough at hitting the holes to use his power, then he can be a real weapon. However, if he is a hair too slow, then instead of becoming a weapon, he becomes a liability. I thought he looked good in preseason and was hoping he would get his touches and carries. However, once he starts pouting and throwing his helmet, it's time to go. Re-sign Andre Brown and get DJ Ware into the game as backups to Bradshaw.

He threw his helmet into the stands and said it was an accident. He didn't mean to throw it in the stands. He did intend to throw it.... it's just that he did not intend to throw it in the stands. Great excuse. The helmet is hard and is a weapon. He's lucky it didn't gravely hurt someone or even kill them. I think this is much worse than the Plaxico Burress incident, because Burress did not intentionally shoot the gun, it went off by itself. I certainly understand that Burress was carrying the gun illegally and I'm not saying he should not have been convicted. I am just saying that Jacobs actions, in turns of potentially causing harm to others were more reckless and egregious.

Imagine a case where a person takes a gun into a public place and intends to shoot it at the ground. At the last minute, before he is about to shoot harmlessly at the ground, his hand slips, the gun points upward and he shoots instead into a crowd of people. Can his defense be: "I was trying to shoot it at the ground not at the crowd of people".  I don't think so - if he caused damage or injury to someone he would be 100% guilty and if he was lucky enough to miss everyone in the crowd and not cause injury, it would still be some kind of crime... reckless endangerment, or some such thing.

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