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New York Giants Monday Morning Hangover: Plenty to Nitpick After 41-27 Victory Over Browns

October 8th, 2012 at 10:00 AM
By Simon Garron-Caine

'Justin Tuck' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Yes, the New York Giants beat Trent Richardson and the Cleveland Browns in what turned out to be sort of a blowout yesterday, a 41-27 victory that featured great games from Ahmad Bradshaw, Eli Manning, Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle. And sure, it elevates the team into a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East division lead.

But let's be honest, the Giants have beaten the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3), the Carolina Panthers (1-4) and the (0-5) Cleveland Browns…and they messed the bed both times they faced a decent team (who both happened to be division rivals as well). Yeesh.

So in an effort not to again make the mistake we (and apparently the Giants) made after throttling the Panthers, we're not going to sit around and congratulate the team over the shellacking they gave a winless team. Instead, we're going to drink our coffee and commiserate about the weaknesses the Giants are still displaying as a far tougher and more important slate of games roll onto the schedule.

Among our chief concerns is this: while the Giants offensive line finally showed yesterday that they are capable of controlling the line of scrimmage, the defensive line has yet to show they can come remotely close to doing the same. They failed to register a sack yesterday and Brandon Weeden had way too much time most of the day.

And Trent Richardson, who said during the week that watching tape made it obvious he could run on Big Blue, ended up being absolutely right. The stories this morning will say he was "contained" because he only ran for 81 yards on 17 carries, but Richardson broke more tackles than we care to count yesterday and was nearly unstoppable in the first half going for 67 yards. The only reason he was "contained" is because the Browns got behind and had to throw.

So yes, Bradshaw ran for 200 yards. And yes, Eli connected three times with in the end zone with Victor Cruz. But we're not too happy that when reading the sports section this morning, all we're seeing are jubilant headlines like this: Big Blue Rookies Show Their Worth On Offense. And this: Giants Shut Up Browns' Richardson. And this: Bradshaw's Performance Quite The Rush For Gmen. And this: Eli Hits Cruz Control When It Matters Most.

Okay, so they beat up the 0-5 Browns. The defensive line remains a huge problem and the Giants aren't going to get very far against the better teams they are about to start facing if they don't get to fixing the problem.

Also…

Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Eli Manning, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Trent Richardson, Victor Cruz

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43 Responses to “New York Giants Monday Morning Hangover: Plenty to Nitpick After 41-27 Victory Over Browns”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    +1

    But the season is young, and Canty is missing. I think we have to wait until November before we declare the defensive line a disaster area.

    • Don’t think I did that. Didn’t condemn them. Just want to remember that in the midst of what might turn into a huge shoulder patting session, the D-line has been the one weakness this year that has been apparent in every game, and hasn’t shown signs of improvement.

      There’s plenty of time and plenty of talent and plenty of reason to hope and think it can improve, but it’s the one thing that absolutely must improve and, at this point, it’s going to have to start happening sooner rather than later.

      Canty might could be a big part, but he’s only one part.

  2.  Chad Eldred says:

    You’re right on the money concerning Trent Richardson. My thought midway through the first half was that if we don’t get ahead by a substantial amount, this guy is going to eat us alive. Fortunately, we did and he wasn’t able to.

  3.  njm0m says:

    Lets hope the Giants aren’t as pumped up about this win as headlines are. It was a good win, but they were supposed to win. The o-line has looked really good and the defense well I’m still waiting for them to show up.

    I’m hoping the 9ers are a little to pumped up after a beat down on the Jets and Buffalo. Their fans are all ready starting with the smack talk.

    In the mean time I’m going to enjoy my Monday morning since both the Giants and Yankees won.

  4.  Chad Eldred says:

    I would go even a bit further and say that the defense in general is a problem. I’m hopeful that the unit as a whole will get better as the season progresses, but we have shown some major weaknesses and a lot of inconsistency among all of the units. It has been a long time, in fact quite possibly this is the first time ever, that I would grade our special teams performance significantly better than the defense.

    •  njm0m says:

      specials were looking great up until I said that exact thing on Saturday and they laid a stinker yesterday. People blamed Dan for jinxing Tynes last week, well I take full blame for specials not looking so special yesterday.

    • Yeah but it’s understandable in the secondary, you have young contributors like Coe, Hosley, Prince and Brown.

      The front four is most important for a few reasons: all the big names (Osi, Tuck, JPP) are there, they have the reputation/they are what our defense is supposed to be known for, and the D-line is where games are one and lost: they can shut down a running game with good play and harass a quarterback into making the secondary’s job much easier.

      Get the front four right and everything falls back into place.

  5. One possible solution to the defensive end problems: Mathias Kiwanuka with his hand on the ground more often.

    Look, Kiwanuka is still clearly a difference maker and, while a good linebacker, we all know he can bring a really physical presence to the DE position. And, for once, there’s plenty of talent at the LB position behind him (especially if/when Rivers gets healthy). I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Rivers, Williams and even Paysinger (who played pretty darn well in short yardage situations last night), especially since we’re not talking about taking my man Kiwi off the field.

    Think about it, JPP and Kiwi as your first down guys, Tuck and Osi as your third down guys. It’d be a heck of a healthy rotation, everyone would be fresh and be in the game at times suited to their skills, and you’re opening up room to play for good players like Rivers and Jacquian Williams.

    And, if you ask me, Kiwi can be a real difference maker setting the edge in the run game. Something we’ve really been lacking.

    •  Nosh.0 says:

      Yeah man I couldn’t agree more. He has some ver good games at LB but the dude is a pure DE. That’s his trade and that’s what he was brought here to do. If they don’t do it this year they need to move him back in 2013 to help replace Osi.

  6.  njm0m says:

    I just looked at the previous losses and besides being divisional teams each game the Giants only scored 17 points. I think the key to a win is right there. They can’t rely on the d showing up so they better score more then 17 stinking points.

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    Defensive front is playing poorly. Doctor’s prescription = Chris Canty + slow introduction of the young guys into the defensive end rotation for about 10 snaps per game (total between whichever of them are dressed)

    Linebackers stink. Doctor’s prescription = Keith Rivers plays a lot of snaps and Jacquian Williams and Chase Blackburn lose some of theirs

    Corey Webster stinks. Doctor’s prescription: Coach Webbie up, and make the corner position increasingly about Amukamara and Hosley as season proceeds, especially against speed receivers

    Safeties making poor reads and taking some questionable angles. Doctor’s prescription = get KP back ASAP and work hard with Brown and Hill to get them up to speed, recognizing that they will inevitably make some mistakes on reads and angles and try to make up for it with pass pressure

    Perry Fewell playing passively because he doesn’t trust his coverage. Doctor’s prescription = Tom Coughlin telling him that, especially while trying to bring along a young secondary, they absolutely NEED help from a great pass rush and it is actually MORE risky NOT to send an extra rusher when you’re not getting pressure on the quarterback than it is to do so and force him to make quicker decisions. These youngsters need experience before they start playing their keys and reads correctly in 95-99% of the plays. It will not happen overnight. THEY have to be covered for, and laying back, passively, and allowing opposing quarterbacks time, is a prescription for disaster.

    Take the medicine. It may make things worse at first, but the patient will be cured.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree. But it’s not certain to work. While some of us liek myself might have undervalued Canty I don’t think he’s this good. The DL struggles are more than missing him. I do think the young DEs likely Tracy should get 10-15 snaps but our improvement still are based on the big just simply playing better.

      I think LB wise Kiwi and not Williams need to lose snaps. A lot of the Blackburn issue is we need more speed and a better player in space. I think Kiwi has many of the same struggles. The main issue is Rivers can’t stay healthy so until he does for prolonged period it’s hard to make any real changes besides maybe Herlich at MLB.

      On Fewell. I don’t know if I agree it’s more risky not to blitz more right now. I think our best bet is trying to be a bend but don’t break defense. We have to limit big plays and play good redzone defense. Once we have everyone healthy I think then we have more options to be play differently on defense.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    I think yesterday has tons of positives. Randle really stepped up. I think Eli went to him on purpose early and he answered the bell. That’s a really positive sign. Hixon also is showing the form that once made us think he could possibly be a #1 WR. He’s not that but he’s a solid #2 and a very good #3 when healthy. I think Randle’s emergence is important because we still don’t know the deal with Nicks while Hixon and Barden have shown durability issues.

    I give Bradshaw credit because I don’t think he had that game in him anymore. While clearly the OL blocked better, he has much better vision than I have seen in a while. Still though with some of those holes Wilson would have scored several long TDs. I though TC missed a chance to give Wilson some carries to close out the game. While 200 yards on 30 carries sounds good, it’s not sustainable for Bradshaw. AB could have had 23-25 carries. I say this because we are worried about him long term. In addition, Wilson needs to have more real carries when he runs into the teeth on a defense for 3-5 yards. Given the margin, the carries AB already had and the score this would have been a good game to get Wilson 6-8 4th quarter carries.

    I saw a few posts that credit the OL but not enough praise for their play. Eli has had a clean pocket for the most part this season and the OL is a huge part. But now they have also figured out how to run block better. If they continue to play like this we are the best offense in the NFL. Beatty is earning several 100k every start.

    One thing that helps us vs SF is our OL is a superior unit that the one we had in the last SF game. If we give Eli even say the time he had vs Philly I think he picks a part their secondary which is still their weakness. I also think Bennett assuming he plays provides the LBs with a different threat and requires much more respect than the playoff version of Ballard.

    I really love when we face this type of game. The way SF played the last 2 weeks it appears they are the team everyone thought. We are a banged up team that lost to the 2 best teams we faced. They have been pointed to this game since they lost. The Giants are just walking into a bad situation. We will also likely be down some key players like KP and Nicks so that even makes this a tougher task. It sounds a lot like what analysts said when we faced NE in the regular season last year. I like our chances a lot to win this game. It’s just who our modern day Giant team is, a team that when things look the worse plays it’s best.

    For all the Barden talk I don’t understand why people can’t see we are just really have quality depth at WR. Barden is probably our 5th best WR but that doesn’t define if he’s solid or good because on the Jets right now he would be starting and possibly on some other teams too. Barden is a player than can help us if needed this year. Barden is good enough to provide a better than Hagan like presence at WR. He might not be used once everyone returns to health because with Randle’s emergence he’s our 5th best WR. But if he has to play we’re fine. I think Jernigan will prove to be of value to next year but right now he’s our 6th WR and hopefully won’t see the field much if at all because it would mean a lot of injuries.

    •  BLU-82 says:

      I sort of agree on Barden. Yeah, he can do some things for us. As you said, quality depth. But if he plays, I don’t think we’re fine exactly. Look at the Philly game, imo he played dreadful and it was largely because of the physical play of philadelpia’s corners. With the carolina game, he played well but as has been mentioned- against a secondary which laid a stinker.

      That isn’t the sole reason he, or we, did well mind you. But I do think the fact that there was virtually no game tape on him probably helped a lot, and might account for why the panthers were torched so badly by him.

      I think he can contribute, and I hope he does continue to elevate his game. I guess what I’m saying is JAG’s can be quality depth when you’re talking about the 5th/6th WR spot.

      •  BLU-82 says:

        Also agree 100% on Wilson- I was really hoping he’d see some 4th Q carries, and think that might’ve been a missed opportunity. Really glad to see him run for that TD- he really is FAST.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Well that’s a large divide here on 101. I think Barden did fine vs Philly. I don’t think I would have going against 2 top CBs and attacking those players. But he made some plays vs them and they made soem against him. It doesn’t seem that we took advantage of the match ups by attacking NA and DRC with Barden.

        Again with Carolina, Norman is their starter and not a nickel CB. He’s not the best starter but is of the quality of many nickel CBs that Barden should face.

        The point is he’s not a scrub or bum as some have said. I don’t know if he’s good, solid or a JAG. The point is he can play well enough that our offense is fine if he has to play.

  9.  CaryYankee says:

    The SF game will show what this team is. If they can hang with them I’ll feel good that they aren’t just an 8-8 team that isn’t worthy of the playoffs.

    The DL is problem #1. I think Canty was an underated part of the D as a DT who can rush the QB. Tuck and Osi have been invisible against good caliber OTs.

    I love Chase Blackburn but this was a good game showing why we can’t count on him as a starting LB. Richardson abused him the most from what I saw. He can’t complete with elite RBs (and TR is there). He’s not to blame for the TD pass though.

    David Wilson needed that TD Run. I am hoping he provides the Offense a super-charge late in the season like when Bradshaw did when he was a rookie. Just let him run inside!

    •  Levito says:

      SF’s offense looks way more dangerous than last year. Sure, the 9ers played 2 bad defenses in a row, but they didn’t just beat them, they dismantled those teams. I’m hoping they let it get to their heads a little. But Alex Smith is playing the best ball of his career, and Vernon Davis is a monster as usual. On top of that, the running game is finely tuned, Crabtree comes up in big spots, and that Manningham guy can make a play when needed. And oh year, that defense is no joke. The Giants will have to be firing on all cylinders to keep this one close. Eli will have to be lights out, and he can’t get hit like he did the last time these 2 teams met. A continued strong running game and maybe some of Eli’s targets coming back would go a long way.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        The Giants will have to be firing on all cylinders to keep this one close? Really? I think even our own fans underrate the talent and big game ability of this team. We are going there to win the damn game. We are good enough even without some injured players to beat SF in SF.

        •  CaryYankee says:

          I wish I could be as positive as you! Eli will throw for 5000 yards this year but the state of the D-Line has me concerned. I believe SF has the best OL. Our D-Line should have broken Vick and beat up Wheeden as well. It didn’t happen, not even close. I don’t have the confidence it will turn 180 degrees next week.

  10.  Dirt says:

    The Giants didn’t beat Cleveland yesterday, Cleveland beat themselves.

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