Friday, November 19, 2010

Giants: Eagles and random thoughts

Eagles are fast at every position on offense including QB. If there is one DL that has the athleticism and speed to at least challenge Vick, if not completely stop him, it is the Giants DL. (You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him.)

Perry Fewell has gotten a lot of credit early in the year for the resurgence of the Giants defense. I am glad to give him credit, but two of the three Giants losses are directly attributable to Fewell getting out-coached by the opposing team's OC. It is one thing for the opposing offense to come in with a plan that you didn't expect or plan for, but you have to realize what's going on and make adjustments on the fly to address the unexpected. Against Indianapolis, Fewell expected the Colts to pass-pass-pass and sent in a 3 S, 2 LB alignment with only 6 players near the line of scrimmage to stop the run. Peyton saw the "soft box",  took what the Giants defense was giving him and he toasted them. It took Fewell until late in the 3rd qtr to change things up, by which time it was way too late.

Against the Cowboys, Kitna was max protected often and the Giants did not go to any pressure packages or different coverages on the back end to challenge them. The one time that the Giants did blitz a LB, the Cowboys read it perfectly, called a screen pass right behind it, which went for 71 yards and a TD. When the opponents hit you for a big play or two, you give them credit or write it off to a blown coverage. When they run 7 plays of more than 24 yards, then they are consistently out-scheming you and it is more about coaches than it is about players.

I thought punter Matt Dodge had things straightened out but he reverted to form last week. When he was punting from deep in his own territory he twice shanked a 30 yard punt. When he was out near midfield, he twice nailed a 55+ yard punt into the end zone, so the net on the punt was 20 yards less. With the Eagles dangerous team speed, Giants cannot afford to give up field position. Giants need a good day out of the punter as well as out of Tynes and the kick coverage teams.

Giants have to be physical with the Eagles. Eagles are faster, Giants are bigger. The DL needs to smack Vick around a little bit and be rugged and tough with him. I am not saying that they should be dirty, but they have to rediscover the swagger and be physical with him.

Statistics are funny - Vick has been sacked 15 times this year and Eli only 12 times, while Eli has played all 9 games to 6 by Vick. I guess this means Eli is more elusive in the pocket than Vick is.

What are we seeing with Vick? Is he on a short run of excellence and he will revert to form? Or are we seeing the emergence of one of the best pure athletes in the NFL finally marshal and control his incredible physical talents and channeling them towards being one of the great QBs in the league. I suspect he is on the rise, because Reid was very anxious to stick with him and announce that he would be the starter after he saw him perform in just a few games. Reid is a great offensive coach and recognizes what he has.

I guess Reid knew what he was doing when he traded McNabb. What are the Redskins thinking by giving McNabb that extension? Unless they outright cut him at the end of the ear, he is going to get lots of guaranteed money from the Redskins. McNabb looks terrible and the Redskins are another 2 years away of rebuilding their roster before they are any good. That's not a team that you want an aging QB for. It was a dumb move to trade for him and it is a dumber move to give him a contract extension with lots of guaranteed money.

Everyone is making a fuss over the Jets being lucky during their winning streak and saying that they are not really such a good team. I disagree - just win baby - that's all it's about. In 1986 when the Giants won their first Superbowl, they had a lot of close games that were decided by a break or two, by a lucky play here or there, but nobody on the Giants was apologizing for winning those games. Anybody remember the game up in Minnesota that year? I think it was week 10 or 11 in the season; Giants were down 20-19, a little over 1 minute left, and the Giants had a 4th and 17 at around midfield. Simms hit Bobby Johnson for a 20 yard gain down to the Vikings 30 yard line, right on the sidelines so Johnson could go out of bounds and stop the clock. Giants moved it a little closer and Raul Allegre kicked a winning FG as time expired. Giants won a few more close games that year where they were outplayed but survived. It's just about winning the games, not style points.

A few weeks ago when the Giants beat the Cowboys I made a fuss on this blog, posting  that the Cowboys were not really a talented team, as everyone had judged. I saw them with major holes in the OL and in the DB-field. The fact that they covered up the holes and came up with a game plan to beat the Giants does not change my assessment. Their DB-field is awful and the Giants had no trouble at all moving the ball through the air against them. Two soft offensive penalties nullified 2 Giants scores and gave one to the Cowboys for a 21 point swing. Cowboys covered up their OL weakness and hit a bunch of big plays against the Giants. Maybe they are better than I gave them credit for in my earlier analysis, but I stick by my assertion that they are not a great, talent-stocked team. Let's see how it goes the rest of the season.


Yankel the Nachash said...

Bobby Johnson! No. 88.
I remember that game vividly. And i was 9 years old. Didn't they also have a big Monday night comeback against the Niners that year? I think Bavaro dragged half the niners D, including Ronnie Lott, on a big third down.
Anyway, you reminded me of the awful defensive playcalling against the Colts earlier this year and now I think we have no shot and I wish we had Spags.

wolfman said...


That Bavaro play was indeed a 1986 MNF game against the 49ers. It was late in the year, maybe early December if I remember correctly. Both teams were very good, headed for the playoffs and this was thought of as a preview of a possible playoff match up. Giants were down 17-0 at half time. They came out in the 2nd half intending to be tough, get back in the game and send a message to SF. On first drive of the 2nd half, Giants had a 3rd and long. Bavaro caught an ordinary looking pass over the middle short of the first down. He carried the entire 49er secondary and a few LBs, probably about 7 guys in all including all world S Ronnie Lott, about 20 yards for a 1st down. It so inspired the entire team, that the Giants scored 3 TDs in 2nd half and would have had another if not for a sloppy fumble at the goal line on a 4th drive. The defense completely shut down the Montana led 9ers and Giants won 21-17.

I guess the message was effectively sent, because they did meet in the playoffs that year and Giants won 49-3.