Thursday, November 17, 2011

Giants: Eagles coming up - odds and ends

Giants fans were crazed about the loss of Steve Smith to the Eagles in FA this off season as well as loss of Kevin Boss to the Raiders. I don't think the Giants handled the situation properly with Boss or Smith. They should have either made them an offer to sign them or let them go, but not make an offer and leave it hanging out there until some other team matched it. Decide if you want them or not and what salary you want to pay, but don't let it hanging out there for weeks. But - there seems little doubt now that Reese made the right decision about letting the players go. Boss has been replaced by Ballard who appears to be a better player, or at least as productive for about 1/5 the salary. Steve Smith was thought to be not ready by the Giants and their team doctors for the start of the season and that he would not be ready until midseason at best. Eagles signed him, activated him and he has been in the lineup since week 1. But apparently the Giants were right in their assessment, he has not been physically ready and he has caught only 10 passes the entire year. Maybe he's ready now and he'll have a breakout game this week or soon. Last week a particular heaping of indignity was piled on him - in the 4th qtr, with the score tied at 14, Eagles had a 3rd and 20 at their own 20. Vick hit Smith over the middle about 18 yards down the field and Smith could have turned up field easily for another 2 yards and the first down. Instead, he just flopped down where he caught it, making it appear that he didn't want to fight and wanted to avoid a hit by the DB. Fans really hated that and booed him loudly. Maybe he's a double agent, planted by the Giants.

There is a really interesting website called which analyzes football statistics in very interesting ways.  Take a look at this TeamDefensiveStatistics which seems to indicate that the Eagles are best team in the league at playing pass defense against TEs and are among the worst in the league at pass defense against RBs. With relatively small sample sizes these may be a little misleading, but if they are indicative, it means that Ballard may have a tough go in the middle, while Ware and Jacobs may be assets in the passing game. Recall that in the first game against the Eagles, Jacobs caught a 40 yard TD pass on a wheel route over the Eagles LBs.It also seems to show that the Giants defense against the TE is better than the league average, so maybe they will be able to handle Celek. Without Boley, however, I still think it is an area of exposure for the Giants

This web site also seems to calculate that the Giants OL is the 8th best in protecting the QB as measured by a statistic they call allowed sack rate.

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