Friday, October 30, 2009

Know Your Enemy - NYG


The Giants are 5-2. They opened the season with 5 straight wins, beating the little sisters of the poor. Then they went to New Orleans and got whipped. That was just the players having Saturday night fun, of course. The game...well, that was a whipping as well. The Giants got a major beatdown as the Saints offense was unstoppable. The final was 48-27. The Giants then shocked me by losing at home Sunday night to Arizona, 24-17.

Have the G-men been exposed or is this just a case of the schedule getting tougher and catching them off guard? The disparity between good and bad teams in the league right now is pretty amazing. You can easily get thrown off by playing the Chiefs, Raiders, Bucs, etc. I think Sunday will be a pretty good indicator of where the Giants really are.

Since they did play on Sunday night and we normally play them I'm not going to write about them at length. Quick stuff:

* The Red Zone has been somewhat of a problem. NY has had to settle for more FGs than they'd like. Lawrence Tynes is 7 of 9 on FGs of 20-29 yards. The averaged distance of his FGs is 32.8 yards. That tells you he's mostly kicking from the Red Zone.

* The fierce pass rush hasn't been so fierce. The Giants have 16 sacks in 7 games. That puts them on pace for 37 this year. Consider that they've played bad teams and almost always had the lead. Tuck, Osi, and Kiwi have combined for 9.5. That's not great, but the rest of the team isn't helping much.

* The passing attack is more big play than ever. They have a higher average yards per reception and higher average yards per pass attempt than us. 4 different guys have receptions of 40+. One is Bradshaw and his was a screen that he broke for a long gain.

* Surprisingly, 3rd/short situations have been a problem. You'd think that their O-line and a power runner like Jacobs would be virtually automatic. That hasn't been the case at all. I haven't seen enough of the plays to have a good feel for what the problem is. We stopped them twice in the playoff game last year on 4th/short.

PLAYERS (I'm leaving out the guys we know really well)

* WR Mario Manningham --- Young WR has gone from an afterthought to a productive player. He's put up good numbers, 28-439-4. Mario should be more polished than he is since this is his 2nd year. He runs sloppy routes at times. He has 7 dropped passes, including a TD from last week. 10 of his catches came in Week 2 vs Dallas.

* WR Hakeem Nicks --- I wanted the Eagles to take this guy in the 1st round. He's exactly what we need opposite of DJax...a tough, physical receiver. I'll watch the careers of him and Maclin closely to see who becomes the better player. Nicks is pretty hot right now. In the last 3 games he has 13 catches and 3 TDs.

* WR Steve Smith ---- He has emerged into a top flight WR. 45-594-4. He is sound, running crisp routes and making tough catches. He's also proven to be more athletic than I thought he would. Smith is deadly in the slot. He's very effective in the middle of the field. His production has slowed since defenses started paying him more attention. That just frees up Nicks and MM to make plays.

* RB Ahmad Bradshaw --- He was the #3 runner last year, but has become the #2 guy this year. He's got 40 less carries than Jacobs, but almost the same yardage. And he does have more TDs. Bradshaw is averaging 5.7 ypc. He is quick and elusive. Runs hard. Has pretty good vision. Makes good cuts. There is one area where he is struggling...pass protection. Bradshaw missed some assignment vs the Saints that really hurt the Giants. Bradshawn then struggled vs the Cards last week. He didn't run well. He caught one pass and lost 5 yards. He also lost a fumble. The Giants need him to get back to previous form to help their offense.

* WR Domenik Hixon --- He's gotten lost in the shuffle as a receiver, but got his job back as the KOR and PR a couple weeks back and has been terrific. He averages 29 yards per KOR and 14 yards per PR. Pretty good speed and he runs hard.

* Injured Guys --- The Giants have lost some pretty good players so far. S Kenny Phillips is done. CB Aaron Ross hasn't played. DT Chris Canty hasn't played, but he's getting close. LB Michael Boley has missed the last few games. Notice that all these guys are key defensive players.

* DL Justin Tuck --- He isn't putting up huge numbers, but this is the guy I fear. Osi has the big rep, but Tuck is the better player. He can play either side or inside. He can use quickness or power.

* Safety CC Brown --- He took over for Phillips. Productive defender who can hit and tackle. Not as gifted at coverage. He's 2nd on the team in tackles and has 3 FFs.

* CB Terrell Thomas --- He took over for Ross. Thomas is having a solid year. He leads the team with 2 picks and 8 pass break-ups. Big CB. Lacks ideal speed. Good blitzer.

* P Jeff Feagles --- I thought the fountain of youth was in the jungles of Florida, not the meadowlands of Jersey. Feagles is 237 years old, but continues to be a good punter. Almost half of his punts have been downed inside the 20. He doesn't have a great leg, but is accuracy and ball control are outstanding.


The Eagles put Omar Gaither on IR and signed RB P.J. Hill from the Saints Practice Squad. I like this move quite a bit. I wasn't a huge fan of Hill's last year when people talked about him as a draft prospect. I didn't think PJ had the ability to be a starting RB in the NFL. Guys like that slide down the board unless they are gifted receivers or returners. He isn't. Here are some pre-draft notes I had on Hill:

" Only a Junior. Hill caught me off guard when he declared. I think RBs with a lot of carries are smart to leave early, but Hill didn't have a great year. He's an interesting runner. He lacks speed, but surprised me with his lateral quickness. He actually looked more nimble than I expected. I don't know that he can ever be a starter in the NFL, but he could be a good role player. He is powerful when he lowers his shoulder and runs behind his pads. Ran for more than 3,900 yards in his career and scored 42 TDs on the ground. "

I like him as part of the Eagles backfield. Hill is the one thing we lacked...a power runner with some size. He is 5'10, 222. This is a guy that could be useful in short yardage or late in games. I don't know how much he'll get on field early on. This probably isn't a guy that Andy will force into action. Big Red will wait for the right situations.

One other thing I like about Hill is that we got him from the Saints. They've done a good job the last few years with RBs who aren't highly rated. Pierre Thomas was a UDFA that has developed. They've gotten Mike Bell back on track. They've also got some production from Lynell Hamilton.

PJ will need to contribute on STs if he expects to play. Hopefully he comes here with the right attitude and will do whatever it takes to get on the field. Kyle Eckel was a valuable addition for us last year in late November. Maybe Hill can be a good role player in a similar way, but for more of the year.

We do need another RB in the mix. They didn't give Buckley any carries last week. That caught me off guard. If they don't think he can handle the job then bringing in someone else was very smart.


Cliff said...

I've heard some people compare Hill to Ron Dayne. Of course, I think that's an obvious comparison because they're big and come from the same school, but what do you think? Is there more to the comparison than just Badger red?

Cliff said...

Oh, and Hill was arrested the month before the Draft on suspicion of DUI and fleeing the scene of an accident. Could this be a reason he didn't get drafted? He had such a good college career, I'm surprised nobody at least took a flier on him.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I think the Dayne comparison is fair. Both guys are short, thick, power runners. Dayne had a great career. Hill had a good career.

Remember, the Eagles did take a look at Dayne a couple of years ago. They brought him in for a visit, but nothing worked out as I recall.

Hill did have character issues that hurt his draft status. Now that he's an Eagle he is a changed man. I've heard him referred to as the Gandhi of former Wisconsin RBs.

Prem Prakash said...

Tommy, you say Hill is a guy that could be useful in short yardage or late in games. Isn't this what we have Weaver for?

Tommy Lawlor said...

Weaver can be a short yardage back, but then we need someone else to be the Fullback.

Now you can leave Weaver at FB and use Hill at RB.

I'd have no problem with giving some big guys snaps at FB. You could try a really big guy like Trevor Laws, or go for a LB like Trotter or Jordan.

I would love to see us have a real Jumbo package to use in some short yardage situations.

Jason said...

I mentioned this a few weeks ago when you were talking about the NFC East teams, but I honestly feel that early on, the Giants were overrated. I don't think they are a bad team by any means, but I do think they benefited from an easy schedule early on, and now that there schedule has gotten tougher, we have a better feel for what they can do as a team.

On offense, yes, they have a few weapons, but the reality is, they do not have a WR that scares a defense the way Burress did. Steve Smith has played well, but again, how much of that is him playing well against poor teams. Without the big threat at WR, Jacobs has suffered this season and thus far has not been the back he was the last few years.

On defense, I'll be honest, I was definitely afraid of them at the beginning of the season. They have the personal on the DLine to have a devastating pass rush. However, as you pointed out, that has not actually been the case. They have been handled reasonably well, and by some bad teams. The teams that have had offensive fire power have put up numbers against the Giants. Dallas put up 31, the Saints put up 48, and the Cardinals put up 24. Thus, these defense is not as great as I thought it would be and imagine many others thought as well.

Don't get me wrong, I am not calling the Giants a bad team, but I don't think they are nearly as good as they were being built up to be early on in the season. If McNabb can play consistently (which has been an issue recently), and our defense plays the way it has been playing for the most part, I think this is a very winnable game (with or without Westbrook).

Prem Prakash said...

"Now you can leave Weaver at FB and use Hill at RB."


"I'd have no problem with giving some big guys snaps at FB."

My memory is failing me, didn't we use a big a couple years ago on a couple short yardage plays? Who the heck was it?

Adam said...

Nick Cole I believe lined at FB along the goal line more than once in the past

Cliff said...

I think the Giants are really hurting from injuries. Because of that, I'd hesitate to say they were "overrated" early in the season. Think about the effect losing Bradley had on our defense (or at least what we thought our defense would be). The Giants haven't had Phillips, Ross, or Canty. That's like us not having Q, Sheldon, and Patterson.

Tommy Lawlor said...

We did use Nick as a FB. Good memory.

That would be an option if Stacy is good enough to play in short yardage at RG. I haven't paid attention to whether he's been on the field for short yardage so far this year. That's something to look for Sunday.

izzylangfan said...

I believe when the Eagles brought in Ron Dayne they were trying. To put pressure on Buck who was a free agent that year. Right after the Dayne visit Buck resigned with the Eagles for a near minimum figure.

Adam said...

I'm very confused with Stacey Andrews. I haven't been paying enough attention either to when he has been on the field.

Are they rotating him and Cole? If so what possible positive could that have when so much emphasis is placed on continuity and familiarity along the O-line. I understand he is coming off a pretty serious knee injuries, adjusting to the different position, new scheme and coaching. But he has paid pretty well to come here to be a starter along our line, I have heard next to nothing about why he is not in there. Is he struggling or is Nick Cole just plain better?

Adam S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam S. said...

I'm sure nobody cares but I added the "S." to my name because apparently there is another Adam posting here, although I've only seen him post once. To protect myself in case of potential moronic comments I added the "S"......good day.

Prem Prakash said...

Aparrently Sean Jones will be starting at FS. I was psyched when we got him and he's been great on special teams. He had a bunch of interceptions each year at Clevland and he's a big guy, which should help with tackling.

Cliff said...

Demps must've really fallen out of favor. Jones is good, but you'd think they would want a young guy like Demps to get all the experience he can.

izzylangfan said...

When the Eagles signed Sean Jones I checked out his stats and found they were roughly comparable to Dawkins in 2008 in terms of FF's and INT's. Jones had more INT's but still had some FF's. I know Dawkings was a great player in the box.  But teams took advantage of him last year on pass plays.  So when we signed Sean Jones I thought we had a guy who was good in the box and an improvement over Dawk in pass pro. Thus I was doubly surprised when first Demps didn't win the job, and then the experienced Jones didn't win it either.  The only thing I can think of is that some times it is harder to unlearn the old system than to learn one's first pro system with nothing in there to confuse matters.  But now that he has surmounted that challenge I expect him to be able to play at a very high level.