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New York Giants Must Play Smart, Return to Basics in Order to Stop Annual Slide

December 8th, 2012 at 10:45 AM
By Jen Polashock

Not everyone can handle rollercoasters and extreme rides. Some thrive on the thrills. The reactions to the journey of New York Football Giants’ annual/seasonal rides aren’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

'Playbook' photo (c) 2010, AJ  Guel - license:

Those that have been following this team for longer than the tenure of the collection of the four Lombardi trophies know that this current team is still the one of the best and most exciting that has been built. It’s just…different.

It’s been written before that the NFL is ever-changing: personnel, uniforms, equipment, speed, and schemes. To expect what the team was about even a handful of years ago isn’t realistic all of the time.

While the Giants’ defense is still predicated on the pass rush, it isn’t only about that (or stats). Sacks and quarterback hits are awesome to the rabid defensive-minded fan; it’s fantasy to expect them every game/ facing every league quarterback, as it is to expect to blitz every one too.

The Giants’ offense has been built (properly) around QB Eli Manning. While this side of the ball has always been centered on the ground and pound, #10 has brought a new “air” to Big Blue not really dominant since the Jim Fassel/Sean Payton/Kerry Collins era. We all know how that ended. Things are more cerebral now as well as much more complicated.

Speaking of Payton, Sunday’s New Orleans Saints will be without him, but his system is still in place in New Orleans and his time with blue is still with him in experience handed down to his players.

"I understand the importance of taking care of the football," Saints QB Drew Brees said. "Certainly the last two weeks there have been an inordinate amount of turnovers. That's something that can't happen and something I have to fix. We're playing the defending world champs in their house, and the last three don't mean anything unless we win this one. The Giants have played in these types of games – playoff games before the playoffs. That's kind of the situation we're in."

The New York Giants aren’t the only ones with their “backs up against a wall.” They’re playing at home against a team that needs a win.

If anyone remembers what Brees and his weapons are capable of, it’s defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell. Last year’s ultimately ugly debacle in the Superdome preempted Fewell’s serious rant towards his defensive players. He’s still frustrated.

“Obviously, we want to close out and be able to finish games. The opponents executed better than we have,” Fewell said. “My frustration is our execution. I think we’ve been in position to make plays to get off the field and do that. And we could not do that.”

Players are taking their own spin on it and backfield vocalist S Antrel Rolle is taking his usual, extroverted December soapbox position.

“I think we just need to get back to being a little nasty, having a nasty attitude,” Rolle said. “Like I said, don’t do anything that’s out of the line of football, but have a little nasty attitude, get a little bit more dog in us, and go out there and play the game. Play the game physical, play the game tough, play the game hard, and we’ll give hugs and kisses after the game. But while that game is going on, we respect no one. And that’s how the game of football needs to be played.”

That attitude ‘Trel is calling for needs to come out on all three sides of the ball. Play elementary football. Play loose. Play flawless on the lines of scrimmage. Play smart. Play Coughlin ball.


Tags: Antrel Rolle, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Football, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Sean Payton

8 Responses to “New York Giants Must Play Smart, Return to Basics in Order to Stop Annual Slide”

  1.  James Stoll says:

    Is it possible for the giants to play smart?

  2.  kinsho says:

    Am I the only one not worried here? The Saints play style suit our strengths here. It doesnt get much simpler than that, though not having Kenny Phillips around will hurt us here against the air game.

    I expect the Giants to wipe the Saints by more than two scores.

    •  dremac82 says:

      Based on what exactly… Can you be more specific?

      •  kinsho says:

        In no particular order, here are my reasons why we’ll dominate this game:

        - The Saints rely on the passing game and the screen game to move the ball down the field. The run game isnt great by any means.

        - Drew Brees is nowhere near as mobile as a Michael Vick or RG3. Nor is he even as elusive as Tony Romo.

        - The Saints had one of the best offensive lines in football last year. Now with the loss of Carl Nicks and some injuries, the line is vulnerable to our pass rush.

        - The Saints defense is one of the worst in the league. Even with a former Giant like Spags at the helm calling the shots, Eli has grown by leaps and bounds ever since they last worked together. Expect a reinvigorated passing game with a good run game here.

        - The Saints always play a step or two below their potential in open-air environments.

        - Drew Brees has been playing uncharacteristically poorly lately. Perhaps he’s in a bit of a funk like Eli was earlier in the year?

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    I know the conventional wisdom around here has been that the problem has been primarily on offense, and the offense has definitely taken a step back for a variety of reasons.

    But I think the defense and the special teams have been bigger problems of late. Over the last three games the Giants have allowed something like a 42% conversion rate on third downs. Not only does that kill chances of stopping teams cold, but it also generally results in the offense having far worse field position when it gets the ball and fewer “favorable possessions”. You cannot have a defense that allows teams to march downfield and, at worst, pin the Giants deep after a punt, at best get scores that consequently require the Giants to get a lot more conversions of Red Zone possessions into TDs when their personnel and scheme is not really structured to do that consistently.

    And the special teams have not been getting us favorable field position, largely despite the kickers dong a fine job. The blocking, the coverage, and the returns have simply not been good enough. If were TC I’d start telling Weatherford to just kick everything out-of-bounds except when instructed otherwise. And I’d put a number of starting players on the coverage teams (and take Ramses Barden off the field because the guy does absolutely nothing out there on special teams).

    So, yes, the offense needs to find a way, but if the defense was playing well (the measure of that is NOT just how many points they allow….measuring that way is one of the reasons I find most football stats totally useless) and the special teams were playing as well as they did earlier this season, we’d be in a lot better shape. Hell, however else you want to look at it, the special teams DID cost us the game against the Skins (one bad snap, two incredibly costly penalties that put the offense behind the 8-ball in regard to field position in the second half, one during a return that would have almost guaranteed three points that we never got).

    I’ll end with this: when your offense is struggling because your best receiver is playing hurt, and you cannot find a consistently useful #3 wide receiver, and your running game has been up-and-down, YOU CANNOT AFFORD A BEND-BUT-DON’T-BREAK defense. The offense cannot carry the team as it did most of last season and early this season. They need help, from the defense and the special teams, and they have not been getting that.

    •  James Stoll says:

      The entire team has been louder since the Sf game, except for the GB game
      That’s 6 lousy performances in the last 7 games
      Typical Coughlin led team.
      More bad football than good
      Right now the odds are 2:1 the giants finish 7-9
      1:3 they finish 11-5
      1:2 they finish 10-6
      Even money 9-7/8-8

  4.  dremac82 says:

    They will lose this game because TECHNICALLY it doesn’t count them out if they don’t win. They’ll just need help. it’s not quite a must win and I think they know that. Until it turns into that I think they’ll mail it in.

  5.  GmenMania says:


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