Thursday, December 10, 2009

Know Your Enemy - NYG


The Rematch

The Giants are on a 1-game winning streak. That's hot for a team that had fallen on hard times. Very hard times. The Giants beat Dallas 31-24 and raised their record to 7-5. That keeps them in the hunt for the division title and a wildcard berth.

Prior to the Dallas game Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan made some lineup adjustments. He put Osi on the bench and made Kiwi the starter at RDE. Chris Canty took over as a starting DT. CC Brown was benched at Safety. Jonathan Goff was made the starting MLB.

The changes worked, to a certain extent. The defense played better, but still gave up 400+ yards and 24 points. The defense is just not strong in the middle of the field. Losing Kenny Phillips at S really hurt.

There is a lot of talk about the Giants being a fired up team right now and possibly ready to get on a roll. I'm not buying that. I watched the Dallas game. The Giants got very lucky. They scored 4 TDs. Look at them:

* 4 plays, 74 yards, TD
* 4 plays, 28 yards, TD (after fumble recovery)
* 1 play, 74 yards, TD
* 79 yard PR for TD

Is that us or the Giants? New York is a ball control team. They like big plays, but also want to stay on the field and pound the rock. They had just over 21 minutes TOP vs Dallas. Most agree that is an overrated stat, but not for teams that built around controlling the ball. NY is such a team. They did win the game, but didn't play Giants football. They only had 23 snaps in the 1st half. That should normally be 30-35 for them. I'm sure Tom Coughlin is frustrated by this.

Some random notes from the game:

* Eli was only 11-25. He threw an INT in the end zone, but that was on a downfield throw.

* Steve Smith was very good across the middle. He came up big on 3rd downs.

* Speaking of 3rd downs...Dallas was 9 of 17. Wow.

* Jason Witten caught 14 passes. A few came late in the half vs a prevent D and then late in the game, but he still had a good day working the middle.

* Domenik Hixon ran the punt back 79 yards for a TD. He was okay, but Dallas' tackling was horrid. I can't stress that word enough. The Cowboys have been quite good on STs this year, but that was flat out despicable. 2 guys semi-casually reached for Hixon. 2 others were out of position and had to dive. At least they did their best effort wise.

* The long TD came on a short pass to Jacobs that he took down the sideline for the score. Brandon did a good job of running on the play, but Dallas once again showed no sense of urgency on the play.

* Ahmad Bradshaw returned to action after missing time with bad ankles (what, is he preganant?). He led the team with 47 rushing yards and brought some speed to the offense. He fumbled once and had the ball come loose a second time. He was able to re-secure the second one. I'm sure Coughlin will have him carrying a ball this week. And I'm sure our defenders will try to strip him all game long.

* The Giants played terrific run defense. Dallas wasn't able to get push or to get anything going. The DL and LBs all had a hand in the run D. DBs also helped out quite a bit. Dallas had some short passes that didn't work well either. The Giants basically attacked everything in front of them. They tackled very well.

* The Giants only had 2 sacks, but they got regular pressure on Romo with their blitz package. DBs were especially effective at coming free off the edge.


OFFENSE --- There isn't much to say about this group. We know these players very well, from Eli to Jacobs to Steve Smith to the OL.

DT CHRIS CANTY --- Hurt early on, but now he's played in 4 straight games. Showed some good quickness off the ball.

PASS RUSHERS --- Kiwi had an active day getting in on 6 tackles and forcing a fumble. Osi was still quiet. He did recover the fumble, but a guy with his ability should be more of a playmaker. Tuck is still the guy I fear.

MICHAEL BOLEY --- Emerging as a good player now that he's healthy. Can make plays behind the LOS and also has some coverage ability.

AARON ROSS --- Former starter at CB has battled injuries all year long. He's now a S coming off the bench. Not a permanent move.

AARON ROUSE --- Former Packer has played pretty well for the Giants and become a solid starter. I don't have a good feel for him in coverage. I'm curious if he can handle our WRs on some deep routes.

DEREK HAGAN --- Emerging as a good STer. He's among the leaders in tackles and had a good block on the PR TD last week.


The Giants can beat us on Sunday. They have the talent to pull that off. They also have the toughness and mettle to do it. Tom Coughlin coached teams might lose in December, but it won't be for lack of effort.

I don't think the Giants are "back" after beating the Cowboys. That game told me more about Dallas than our friends from Gotham. I still don't see the Giants team that wins the battle up front and pounds you all game long. This is the bizarro Giants. Brandon Jacobs takes a screen pass for a long TD while Bradshaw leads in rushing. Rookie LB Clint Sintim and S Aaron Rouse have sacks, but Osi, Kiwi, and Tuck struggle to get QB hits.

Sunday night will be interesting. The Giants see a chance for redemption. The Eagles just want to take care of business and bury the Giants. That should make for a heckuva game.


Cliff said...

Aaron Rouse couldn't cover at First Colonial. He couldn't cover at Virginia Tech. He couldn't cover in Green Bay. And he can't cover now.

If Reid wants to listen to the little demon on his shoulder this game, by all means, throw it in Rouse's direction.

Boyboy said...

The G-men will be fired up, especially if Dallas loses earlier in the day and this game is for first place in the division. We'll just need to weather the storm early. Red zone offense is going to be key too. Akers has always struggled in the Meadowlands (what kicker doesn't?) so we can't be settling for FG attempts.

I'd like to see the Eagles stay creative near the goaline. PA passes haven't worked well down there, in part because teams key on it against us. That will continue to be the case until we prove we can pound the rock into the endzone. I also HATE the PA rollout down there. You already have limited space vertically, so why cut that limited space in half? I know it's a generally safe play...if the receiver isn't open, throw it out the back of the end zone. But still, I'm not a fan.

With all that being said, we shouldn't have too much of an issue moving the ball on offense. I see Weaver and McCoy being productive in the running game as the Giants will try to take away the big plays in the passing game. Try they might, but we have too many weapons and their back 7 isn't very good. If we give McNabb time, they're in trouble -- but the same can be said every week.

As for the defense, don't give up the 3rd and long conversions. It's been an issue lately against QBs not named Chris Redman. Sean Jones is coming around and getting Jordan and Hanson back will help. Oh...and pressure Eli.

Eli w/ Burress = good
Eli w/o Burress = average
Eli w/o Burress + injured foot = mediocre+

He'll toss up some gimmes so we need to be ready to catch them. One final thing on defense, keep getting those hands up if you're not going to get to the QB. I'm sure part of our success at deflecting passes last week was Redman, but it was the first game that I saw a noticeable increase of our rushers getting their hands in the air.

Stephen said...

I worry about big blue catching a bit of confidence from their win over Dallas. NYG seems to be the kind of team that needs to be feeling confident in order to play well.