Saturday, December 10, 2011

Giants - Cowboys Saturday night look ahead

S Phillips out as anticipated. Tyler Sash will get some playing time tomorrow, maybe even play a prominent role. Fewell likes to use a 3 S look and with only 3 safeties on the team, that means he'll take some snaps on defense. Giants have 6 legitimate DBs, which is very thin, Giants will need a big effort from the LBs in pass coverage. If I were the Cowboys, I would do a  lot of passing and go to a lot of 3 and 4 WR sets putting pressure on the very thin Giants DB-field.

 DeMarcus Ware is hurting, suffering from a neck stinger. Those can be tricky injuries as we saw with Tuck and Bass of the Giants earlier this year. If at all possible, I am sure he will play, but if his productivity is compromised, it could be a big break for the Giants. Remember this is the injury that Tuck had earlier where Strahan and Pierce publicly urged and even scolded Tuck to get back on the field even with the injury. Tuck is the defensive captain, a responsible player and surely would have gotten on the field if he could have. Ware is the most dangerous and disruptive player on the Cowboys defense, if he doesn't play or the quality of his play is limited, it will hurt their entire defense.

Manningham has been practicing and is apparently ready to play. Giants will need to score points and having all the WR weapons is important. Baas is still out, so the Boothe / Petrus / Diehl alignment at C / LG / LT will remain in effect. They played reasonably well against the Packers, thought they did allow a bit of pressure in the passing game.

Enormous pressure on the Giants, but there is probably an equal amount or even more pressure on the Cowboys. They are at home, with the lead in the division that they took from the Giants in the last 4 weeks and certainly do not want to give up. If Giants lose, their season is effectively over. But if Cowboys lose, the Giants take back first place and the fate and destiny of the Cowboys playoff chances are out of their control.

Rob Ryan talked about how he wants to confuse the QB with his defense and how he expects to be successful in doing just that to Eli. Then in another interview, he talks about how much he respects Eli, how good he is, yada, yada, yada. He is obviously angling for a head coaching job next year and wants to play the coach-speak game and show the proper amount of respect for the players. Who knows, maybe he sees coaching the Giants in his future - ticking off the franchise QB might not be such a good idea if that is what he is hoping for.

It's funny that Ryan is coaching against Gilbride - you remember that his father Buddy and Gilbride were on the same staff in Houston years ago. Buddy coached the defense while Gilbride coached the offense. Ryan was closing on on a shutout for his defense and Gilbride threw the ball instead of running it and killing clock. Buddy was so mad that he punched Gilbride. I guess Rob Ryan doesn't love Gilbride too much.

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