Friday, October 4, 2013

Scary prospects

Here are the scary things for Giants fans:

1. We're thrilled that David Diehl is making it back from injury and will solidify the OL. The scary part of that proposition is that Diehl has never been a great player, never been an all pro, whose best quality is certainly his versatility, not his overpowering strength as a blocker. Diehl was shuffled around to all the positions on the OL except for C. He has been a trooper, has done what's been asked of him, took a pay cut twice on the Giants. His contract called for him to be payed more if he was the starting LT and when he was moved away from that position, his salary was essentially cut. Second time was this off season, when the Giants told him he needed to take a pay cut or, presumably, he would be cut from the team. So someone who was on the bubble for making the team is now going to save the season? Yikes.

Note: My brother always likes to point out that without David Diehl, David Tyree and the helmet catch would not be part of our sports lore. It was Diehl who was unable to block Adalius Thomas (right this way Mr. Thomas, I believe you have a meeting scheduled in the backfield with our QB Mr. Manning) and set the great escape up for Eli. 

2. Brandon Jacobs has now been elevated to the number 2 RB on the team. This is a player that also never made a pro bowl, was cut two years ago because he was slowing down, signed by the 49ers, was injured and did not play the entire 2012 season, did not have a job in training camp and was only signed by the Giants when Andre Brown got hurt and David Wilson decided to start fumbling the ball. Now that Da'Rel Scott has been cut, Jacobs plays a more prominent role in the offense. I remember the Giants having OJ Anderson as a backup RB in the 1986 season - in fact he scored a TD in garbage time in the 1986 Super Bowl. He hung around a few more season, was also the back up in 1990 and because of some injuries, ended upplaying a much more prominent role than he or anyone else anticipated. But he was a pro, gained more than 1,000 yards that season and was the Super Bowl MVP in 1990. Jacobs is not in that class and the Giants have no backups like that on this team. Double Yikes!

3. Giants LBs have played better than anyone has given them credit for, though I think I am the only one that holds that opinion. Herzlich had a decent game last week and Paysinger is developing. Now, however the Giants seem to have some injuries at that position, though it's hard to tell how serious. The DBs have also been good. Prince A has lived up to his 1st round draft status and the off season goal to become an elite CB. Thomas, Ross and Webster have all played pretty well but now they all seem hurt to some degree or another. McBride had to play last week and actually did pretty well. The DL has been playing well against the run but now have injuries to JPP, Linval Jospeh and Cullen Jenkins. Against the Eagles, who run a football version of the Mike D'Antoni offense, you need depth on the DL to substitute, get a rotation going and keep the defense relatively fresh. It's hard to do that with all the injuries. Hankins and Damontre Moore will play some this week. It's scary when the best part of the team, the part that has been at least decent, is now hammered by injuries.

4. As bad as the defense was last year, finishing 31st statistically in the league last year, the weak performance was partially masked by the turnover differential in the team's favor. Giants had one of the better turnover differentials last year. This year, the numbers have reversed and the Giants are worst in the league in turnover differential through 4 games at -9, perhaps making things look worse than they really are.

5. The OC and DC have their set way of playing and they're very reluctant to change things up based on circumstances or personnel. This is a weakness for them. a good coach builds a plan around his players skills. But Giants still run the same offense with this OL and with David Wilson as RB as they did with a strong OL and Bradshaw/Jacobs/Ward as the power RBs. They still throw every ball down the field and have not developed a short passing game or effective screen passes despite the crying, obvious need to do so.


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