Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Giants: Odds and Ends

As I said in an earlier post, JPP was directly responsible for 8 points in the game, making his contribution huge, but there is another way to look at his impact. Cowboys had 12 possessions in the game and they scored on 6 of them - 4 TDs and 2 FGs. Of the 6 possessions that they did not score on, JPP directly stopped 4 of them.
  1. He forced the safety on the Cowboys second possession 
  2. He stripped the ball away from Jones and forced the fumble before the half on the Cowboys fifth possession 
  3. He got a sack of Romo on 3rd down to force a punt on the Cowboys 8th possession.
  4. He blocked the FG attempt on the Cowboys 12th and final possession.

On the Cowboys next to last possession, when Romo missed Austin on 3rd and 5, JPP also teamed with Canty to stop Jones for no gain on 2nd and 5, bringing up that 3rd and 5. That was not him doing it on his own and was not the play that actually ended the possession, so I am not giving him credit for that one. Nevertheless, 4 out of the 6 defensive stops go on his ledger. Unbelievable. I wonder what Fewell will do if/when Osi comes back. I don't care what they do with Osi, but if he moves JPP out of starting RDE position, I will scream.

It seems obvious to me that Fewell is out of his element, is in way over his head and is clueless at how to coach a  defense. The defense is getting worse as the year goes along, a sign that the players are confused, that the opposing offenses have figured out the Giants simple schemes and that he is unable to adjust to what they are doing to the Giants D. I know Giants have had lots of injuries on defense, but Giants are now playing 3 of the top 4 CBs that they had planned to use coming in to the year. The LBs should have matured a little bit by now and the Giants certainly have some talent in the DL. I am not saying Giants defense should be top 5 in the league, but they certainly should not be bottom 5. One way of looking at a coach is - does he make the players better or not - how would an average coach in the league do with these players. In my opinion, the answer is obvious and it is getting worse rather than better.

There is no getting around the fact that the OL is better with Petrus in at G. He is more athletic than Diehl, more mobile and has more of a classic G's body type. Diehl had a poor game against Ware at LT even though he didn't give up any sacks of Eli. That is more a testament to Eli moving some in the pocket and getting rid of the ball quickly against the weak Dallas secondary than it is Diehl's blocking. Don't be surprised if Diehl is fighting for his job next year.

With Osi out and Tuck banged up, with Boley back healthy, with Blackburn on the team and with rookie LB Williams playing a little better, there is no longer any excuse to play Kiwanuka at LB. He should be exclusively at DE. I know I have been whining about this all year, but it is more urgent now with the DL almost as thin as the LB corps.

My most un-favorite two offensive play calls for the Giants are the straight draw out of shot gun formation and the WR screen, usually thrown to the RB when he lines up first in the backfield and then goes in motion and lines up as a WR. It's not that I don't like the plays for any aesthetic reasons, it's just that they never seem to work. This week, Giants ran a fake off of that WR screen and it went for good yards. Eli pump faked to Ware, coaxing the DB that was lining up opposite Nicks to charge hard towards Ware. Nicks faked a block and then  ran a simple wheel route and was wide open for about 18 yards. This completion was right after the intentional grounding penalty on Eli and one play before the blitz/blown coverage/TD pass to Mario Manningham.

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