Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bears game review

I was so ill about the loss of Terrell Thomas that I couldn't bring myself to watch the game again and review it. Aside from the loss of his skill for the Giants, which makes the team weaker, it is a real tough break for him. It''s his second ACL injury and there is a greater risk that he may not be able to come back at full speed. To make it worse, of course, is that this is his contract year. I finally got around to reviewing the game, in fact did it a few times and there is a lot of stuff to report.

The good news first:

Beatty played very well as did David Baas. The OL is starting to come together and could be a strength of the team. Beatty completely neutralized Peppers. Giants ran the ball fairly well against a very strong run defense.

Jacobs looks better than he has in a few years. He looks leaner and quicker and still packs a huge wallop when he makes contact with a potential tackler. His TD run was a thing of beauty - he juked and left a S in the dust, then was hit by two guys at about the 8 yard line, easily shrugged them off like he was swatting flies and went into the endzone standing up. Bradshaw looks like he is trying too hard - trying to justify his contract by scoring a TD on every play. As a result, he dances behind the line, and runs backwards looking to evade a tackler and hit a home run on every carry. When it works, everyone says oooooh. But there are too many zero or negative yardage plays with him. Giants have other competent RBs on the team and even if Bradshaw has a good year, they may regret signing him to such a big contract.

Aaron Ross played better than he has in 2 or 3 years - what can only be called propitious or fortuitous timing with the loss of so many CBs. He was excellent in pass coverage and made some really nice plays in the running game also.

Linval Joseph looks great at DT and Canty also looks great. Both are huge and quick with good technique and a good nose for reading the offense.

The young LBs look good to me: Jones and Herzlich in particular. But Tracy also looks like an athlete. Herzlich was a real find and if he recovers to 100% physically, he will be a real good player.

ST look much improved - Devin Thomas is a threat and the punt and kick coverage was much better than it's been. When did the Giants ever get a 70 yard kick return and blocked punt in the same game. Herzlich and Mark Clayton are excellent ST players.

Giants did not get any sacks but had good pressure on Cutler, causing the Bears to go to a lot of 3 step drops and screen passes.

On the weak side - Kenny Phillips looked awful. He looks slow and/or is not anticipating the plays well. There are long throws being completed over his head, which is not good.

Eli was OK against the Bears, but just doesn't look sharp this training camp. I don't want to rationalize this too much and sound like an Eli apologist - but there are a lot of new moving parts to the offense. Maybe it's just taking some time to fit everything together, but there's no denying that he hasn't looked great and the offense just doesn't seem to have any sizzle.

Interesting thing about the Giants - I have been saying for a while that the Giants have a lot of depth, a lot of very good players, but not that many real stars. Maybe this is reflected by the fact that the starters did pretty well in the first half, but the subs dominated their opposing numbers on the other team in the second half.

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