Thursday, December 22, 2011

Giant: Jets game preview II

A few days ago, still cast under the depressing pall of a miserable loss to the Redskins, I published a post that matched my mood and pointed out three things that I did not like about the match up against the Jets. Reviewing that post briefly, the match up problems that I foresaw were: (1) Giants strength, their passing offense, will be going against a strong pass defense unit led be CB Revis. Furthermore, the weakness of the Jets defense is their run defense and their inability to cover TEs in the middle of the field, which are both things that the Giants are not well equipped to take advantage of, with poor running game and injured, average TEs. (2) Jets weakness, their offense, will be buoyed up by going against the worst defense in the NFL, our beloved Giants. If the Giants defense can make Rex Grossman look like Joe Montana and Vince Young look like an NFL QB, even Sanchez will move the ball against it.  (3) Giants offense has had trouble this year in games where the opposing DL swamped the Giants OL. I'm thinking of the Eagles game and the Redskins game as prime examples. If the Jets blitz and get a pass rush, it could further cut into Giants offensive productivity.

That's the bad news, the glass-is-half-empty kind of approach. However when I woke up this morning, the sun was shining, it was so warm that I was able to walk outside and get the morning newspapers without putting on a coat, so somehow I have a sunnier disposition today and I will try to put on my rose colored glasses and find some other match ups that go in the Giants favor.

Jets OL vs. Giants DL:  Giants DL has been far from dominant this year, but they have had their moments and have showed that they can play well at times. Jets OL has been spotty this year, particularly at the RT position with Hunter. Slausson and Moore have been good at the G positions but not overwhelming. Giants have to find a way to exploit this advantage. They need a big game from JPP on Ferguson at LT but need Tuck, Kiwanuka, Tollefson or whomever plays against Hunter to beat him up and disrupt the offense. Other teams have kept extra blockers in to protect against the pass rush and are sending fewer receivers out in pass patterns. Because Giants secondary has been so poor, the many-defending-against-few hasn't helped much. Fewell has been reluctant to blitz much this year, electing to play coverage more often. This doesn't seem to have worked and it might be wise ofr Fewell to get more aggressive with his blitz and pressure packages these last few weeks of the season. In any case, the Giants DL vs. Jets OL is a good match up for the Giants.

Giants OL pass blocking against Jets DL: Jets DL has not put a big pass rush on this year. Their success on defense has come from coverage in the DB-field. The truth is that the Giants offense has been successful in virtually every game this year when the OL has pass blocked well. When the OL was beaten up by a pass rush, specifically in the Eagles and Redskins home games, the offense did poorly. But with Baas coming back, maybe the pass blocking gets better and Eli has time to hold the ball and make plays in the passing game.

Giants 3rd WR against Jets secondary: Revis is a great CB and Cromartie has talent on the other side. However, after those two, the Jets pass defense is not as strong as its reputation. Figure Revis will try to take out Nicks and Cormartie will try to handle Manningham. That leaves Cruz in the middle against Wilson, who is beatable. If Beckum is healthy, I would take some shots down field with him , but Cruz in the middle could be a big weapon this week.

It's amazing how the outlook changes in the NFL week to week. After the close Packers loss, Giants fans were pumped up. After beating Dallas, Giants fans were REALLY pumped up. Then, after losing in ugly manner to the Redskins, Giants fans are really deflated. Let's try to remember that the Giants are not playing the '85 Bears or the Montana led 49ers. This Saturday they're playing a team that is 8-6, with as many holes and flaws as the Giants have, with a vaunted defense that gave up 45 points to the Eagles last week and has not beaten a decent team all year. I am not saying this is an easy game for the Giants - especially because Rex Ryan is a good coach who will motivate his players to step up and protect his back from all the trash talking he has been doing. But, it is far from an unwinnable game also. Giants have a chance.

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