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New York Giants Battered but Victorious: Monday Morning Hangover

September 17th, 2012 at 10:45 AM
By Simon Garron-Caine

The New York Giants are limping out of yesterday's 41-34 victory over the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers and only one word comes to mind: relief. In a game the Giants sure looked like they were determined to lose through three quarters, Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks took over in the fourth to drop Josh Freeman and Vincent Jackson and save Big Blue from starting in a big 0-2 hole.

'Eli Manning in Shotgun Formation' photo (c) 2011, Rajiv Patel (Rajiv's View) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

We're not going to lie: for much of the second and third quarters we did not think Big Blue was going to win. Most of you are lying if you say different. It really was a tale of two cities as Manning took over late after throwing for three picks in the first half; he threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns…in the fourth quarter alone. So, here we are at 1-1 with only a few injuries and a few more blown coverages to worry about and the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night to worry about.

Things we think we saw yesterday….

Eli Manning can still win games by himself.

He did it all last year and showed yesterday it was no fluke: this guy's got the ability to put the team on his back and march up and down the field for points when we need them. Sure, he threw three picks in the first half. But we're not going to sit here and complain about his performance. And neither should you.

The Giants cornerbacks are in trouble

When injury after injury piled up in the Giants secondary, we thought the one guy we could count on is Corey Webster. Unfortunately, Webster has gotten eaten alive the first two weeks and the rest of the guys who have been on the field haven't faired much better. There's room to hope, as Jayron Hosely works his way into the rotation, Prince Amukamara
regains his health and Michael Coe gets over the nagging hamstring injury…but they've got to get better if the Giants want to compete this year.

And the defensive line sure isn't helping

Compounding the bad play in the secondary is the complete lack of pass rush. Tony Romo and Josh Freeman both routinely had way too much time in the pocket and it showed in both of their teams' passing success. This writer is going to leave it to the analysts to figure out why the Giants aren't getting much pass rush…but will go ahead and say we wouldn't mind seeing a fifth and/or sixth body heading toward the QB more often than we have.

The injury bug strikes

We'll surely have more on this as we get MRI results back, but the Giants appear to have lost Ahmad Bradshaw and David Diehl for at least a while. Bradshaw is getting an MRI this morning after a scary neck (are there any other kind?) injury. No update on him, but who plays three days after a neck MRI? The early report on Diehl is that it is not a torn ACL, but again with the Giants playing Thursday, he's likely out at least this week.

Fortunately for Big Blue, the offensive line was much better in the second half when Diehl wasn't in the game and Andre Brown sparked some life in what has been a nonexistent running game. We may have a pair of BID's here, fellas.

What's next?

Not a lot of time to savor this victory (although it's the kind of ugly win I'm not sure we're all so interested in savoring) with us heading to Carolina to see Cam Newton and Steve Smith on Thursday night. The Panthers looked good dismantling the New Orleans Saints yesterday and mobile quarterbacks like Newton can give the Giants a problem. The Giants front four will have their hands full containing Newtown, the secondary will have their hands full with a speedy receiver corps and the front seven will also face a scary three-pronged running attack.

If the Giants defense plays the way it has the first two weeks, they might need another 500-yard day from Eli to pull out a victory.

Also…

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Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Josh Freeman, New Orleans Saints, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Steve Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tony Romo, Vincent Jackson

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49 Responses to “New York Giants Battered but Victorious: Monday Morning Hangover”

  1.  TuckThis says:

    Breaking news: the league said Schiano did not violate any rules and will not take any action.

  2.  norm says:

    One final point on the scab refs and then I’ll leave it alone (for this week, anyway):

    Ironically, I very much prefer the more laissez faire style of play that’s been allowed under the scabs than the far more anodyne makeover that’s been promulgated by Goodell.

    Scab ball is much closer to the NFL that I grew up watching – and still love much more than the Arenaball wannabe with pinball machine scoring that is today’s game.

    Much as I prefer the more rugged “anything goes” style of play, that’s not the game that the NFL has been marketing to fans, season ticket holders, and TV networks. Even more to the point, it’s not the NFL to which GMs and coaches have spent the past several seasons tailoring their drafts and preparation. Teams like Green Bay (and to a lesser extent, the Giants) who have done a great job adjusting their team building and player development strategies to a more finesse oriented league are now being penalized somewhat by the changes inherent in Scab Ball.

    On the other hand, the biggest beneficiary of it could well turn out to be the 49ers. Their throwback style of play – which I had written off as hopelessly out of touch with today’s game – could be just the ticket for success if the regular refs do not return.

  3.  NC Giant says:

    Dan –

    Wanted to point out a few articles back (“NYG Beat Tampa in Thriller – written by Paul Tierney) in the section about the “GOOD” A. Brown…he went to NC State…not Maryland as the article mentions. I realize Paul and everyone on the message boards know this but I thought you may want to edit it for the integrity of the site.

    I tried to figure out how to message you about this (not using the main blog) but could not figure out how to do it. Continued thanks to all of you for what you do and the news/articles/forum you provide to all of us.

  4.  demo3356 says:

    This is Everyone we have in house including Practice Squad. We become very thin at Tackle if Deihl goes out for a while Booth can play Tackle but he’s not very good there and that weakens us at 2 spots.. I bet JR has a bunch of Tackles work out tomorrow
    66 David Diehl OT
    75 Sean Locklear OT
    65 William Beatty OT
    73 James Brewer OT
    76 Chris Snee OG
    77 Kevin Boothe OG
    62 Mitch Petrus OG
    64 David Baas OC
    63 Jim Cordle OC
    60 Selvish Capers OG
    61 Scott Wedige OC

    •  norm says:

      Amazingly enough, I believe Joel Reinders is still available.

      Your move, Jerry.

      •  norm says:

        Pulling a sled laden with zillions of toys and one grossly overweight driver… landing and taking off from over a billion rooftops worldwide… and all of it done within the span of a single night…

        …how hard could blocking a 320 pound DE be compared to that?

        Bring back Reinders. Make it happen, Jerry.

      • I’ve been waiting for that one since the minute Diehl went down, Norm.

        Let me put out a feeler: if Diehl went on IR tomorrow and Kareem McKenzie showed up in shape and ready to play, do you feel:

        A) More secure than you do right now

        B) Less secure

        C) Not sure

        D) Indifferent

        •  norm says:

          I saw nothing out of MacKenzie last year to convince me that he would be of any use to this team right now.

          As awful as Diehl has looked, Kareem looked worse for most of 2011.

          Until I see evidence to the contrary, I fear he’s done.

        •  kujo says:

          How would I feel? Not sure.

          • I see your point. Let’s call Shawn Andrews instead!

            •  demo3356 says:

              While there was no way KAreem was getting re signed this off season at the salary he was accustomed to, after losing Diehl for a while and Dealing with Beatty’s back the Giants may call him and since he hasnt been signed by anyone else he ma answer. He’s not ideal but we are a back flare up away from Kevin Boothe starting at tackle.

  5.  norm says:

    If Diehl’s knee injury is not a season ender and is more of the 4-6 week variety, do the Giants still have the option of using the temporary IR designation for him? Or has that ship already sailed?

  6.  norm says:

    Gotta love the way Eli keeps everything in perspective:

    Only Phil Simms, who passed for 513 yards during a game in 1985, has thrown for more yards. But Manning wasn’t impressed.

    “If you count all my interceptions yards, I’d probably be No.1,” he joked.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/willis_giants_eli_column_VNVdhILaT1Cd6MSiUtuJoL

  7.  demo3356 says:

    Eagles take another hit to their OLine. Looks like they may lose their starting Center for the season. Thats 40% of their starting OL gone for the year. Vick may not last till week 8 this year

  8.  fanfor55years says:

    Here’s what drives me crazy about Fewell. It appears that in two games so far teams are choosing to double JPP, either double the opposite side defensive end or chip him, and in Osi’s case allow him to overrun the pocket and then grab him to prevent him from getting back to the QB who has stepped up into the pocket. They are overloading their offensive protection perimeter dramatically. So why isn’t Fewell sending blitzes up the middle more frequently? Even if they don’t get to the quarterback they will bother a guy like Josh Freeman or Tony Romo. And if nothing else they would force the offense to tighten up the middle somewhat, thereby giving more opportunities to the DEs in one-on-one matchups.

    Fewell has his ideas and he sticks with them. Zone cover in the defensive backfield last season that was a disaster for the first 3/4 of the season (and had been the year previously) and had the players publicly complaining about it until he finally changed up. Rush with 3-4 linemen and keep everyone else back (refusing to acknowledge that with the lack of a great rush, aided-and-abetted by an absence of offensive holding calls, even the least talented NFL quarterbacks will find open receivers after enough time or be able to throw deep off play action into single coverage because the play of Blackburn means a safety has to help or they cannot stop the run game).

    I’m afraid he is going to stick with Blackburn and stick with his philosophy, convinced that it’s all about execution and getting healthy. Some of that is true, but some of it is scheme.

    •  demo3356 says:

      I’m thinking it is the injuries to Thomas, Hosley and Prince that have him playing this scheme. He is afraid to send blitzers and expose Tryon to too much one on one coverage. Much like last year as the secondary gets healthier, he’ll get more aggressive

      • FF55 — Exactly. When he sent Chase up the midde it was the easiest sack we’ve gotten in years. It just seems like those obvious pass rush situations — 2nd and 15, 3rd and 9 — there’s never more than a four man rush.

        If the coverage was doing it’s job I wouldn’t be complaining. But it’s not, so I am.

    •  norm says:

      In the words of King Lear, “On that way, madness lies.”

      Hoping that Fewell will adapt a more blitz-oriented approach is like expecting Killdrive to stop calling 2nd and 10 draws or cede more autonomy to Eli in running the offense.

      You only court frustration when you expect a leopard to change its spots. I learned that lesson the hard way with Killdrive.

      Fewell is as averse to the blitz as Spags was enamored of it. His whole defensive approach is predicated on a strong four man rush. Which actually worked out pretty well by the end of last year when Osi got healthy and Chris Canty was one of the four men rushing.

      And, to be fair, it worked out OK yesterday for the first three quarters when the Giants D really only surrendered 6 points. It was only when the DTs got gassed in the fourth that the wheels really started to come off.

      Rather than fruitlessly hoping for Fewell to change his approach, I think the Giants really need to reassess their approach to the DT position until Canty comes back. This was always going to be a redshirt year for Austin, so I doubt we’ll be getting much help from that quarter. If Kuhn is unable to adequately spell Landfill and Bernard to the point at which they are no longer spent after three quarters, then the Giants need to send the German to the PS and bring in someone else who can.

      • Deeeeeeeeeeeeewayne Hennnnndricks!!!!!!!

        (To the tune of Leroy Jenkins, natch)…

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I don’t expect Fewell to change his approach. And demo’s point is well-taken, as is yours, but it also is a stubborn commitment to scheme even when it isn’t working.

        I’m just laying out the prosecution’s case. Right now I’m filing two charges. Refusal to show flexibility in scheme even when experience shows it isn’t working (even if it was “only” in the fourth quarter that we failed to apply pressure, which btw really wasn’t the case, and it was against a QB who I said well before the game would fold under pressure as he has his entire career from college forward…and I submit to the jury the absurdity of his refusal to adjust his coverage scheme in 2011 until his players practically forced it on him) is the first count. Refusal to recognize Blackburn’s shortcomings and DO something about it is the second count.

        •  norm says:

          Pass rush or not, the fact remains that for the first three quarters the Gianst defense still held to Tampa to just six points while the Giants offense gifted them 21.

          It’s hard to make a compelling case that the defense was inadequate when it was really only responsible for surrendering six points in three quarters.

          I tend to think many of the problems on D right now are more ones of personnel – or lack thereof: the injuries at CB and the lack of depth at DT.

          Although I agree with you 100% on Chase. He should be nothing more than a depth guy at this point, not a starter.

      •  G-MenFan says:

        Did Marvin Austin make it into the game yesterday? I was looking but couldn’t tell. You know, the usual retarded rote network coverage of the game.

        Zoom in for closeup of QB’s face. Stay with that while he calls signals. Can’t see anything else.

        Suddenly cut away to blimp shot. Ants running around.

        Zoom in for head shot of fans. Then coach. Then close up of QB’s face again.

        Repeat.

  9.  jfunk says:

    I think the defense played a lot better than they are being credit for yesterday. The Tampa offense did very little for the vast majority of the game.

    The 34 points make it look worse than it was, but 21 of those were squarely on the offense.

    The lack of pass rush is making me sick too, but overall that was a much improved unit compared to Week 1.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      They stopped the run. That was better. But they remained incapable of pressuring the QB, were wide open down the sidelines for deep balls against poor single coverage or faulty technique, and were also vulnerable, as always, to the pass into the middle zone (because Blackburn now looks increasing like Pierce did, incapable of covering that area).

      A LOT of adjustments still need to be made. I’m not panicked because they need time to get things right, but these are things that should start changing NOW, not in Week 10.

  10.  TuckThis says:

    I actually think the 49ers are one of the 2 best teams in the NFL….with or without the replacement refs. Yes, unfortunately the Packers are the other.
    Sorry. That’s my opinion.

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