August 2006

A little late on the Daily Roundup reading today, so tide yourselves over with the following YouTube clips.

  • Because of his quad injury, Sinorice Moss has become somewhat of a forgotten man. But check out this Kiper-narrated ESPN draft profile on him. His coordination, body-control, and quicks are pretty ridiculous. Don’t forget about this guy…
  • I think these clips are relatively new to YouTube – at least I haven’t noticed them before. Here’s CBS’ intro to the 1990 championship game, back in the pre-Fox days when these things weren’t completely overproduced and disorienting. I used to get into these intros – maybe it’s just because I was younger and less cynical, but I also think it’s because they were just better.
  • And here’s Roger Craig’s fumble, one of the least talked about Hallelujah moments in Giants history. Everyone talks about Norwood’s missed field goal as the biggest opponent-mistake that year, but if you think about it, missing a 47-yard field goal on grass is not nearly as egregious as fumbling the ball when all that you need to do in that situation is… not fumble the ball. Especially for Roger Craig, an otherwise great player.
  • Now obviously, the play was really Eric Howard’s, but how in the world was LT there? I’m not a Yankees fan, but LT’s being there was kind of similar to Jeter’s cutting across the infield to corral that wayward throw in that 2001(?) playoff game against Oakland, when he did the back-hand flip to nail Jeremy Giambi at the plate. It was one of those moments when you simultaneously think “How in the world was he there?” and “But of course he was there. Leave it to him to be there.”
  • And Bahr’s field goal. Amazing how off-line this looked off the foot. Also amazing how shocked Candlestick is after he hits it. There’s really nothing more rewarding than a shocking road win, when the home stadium is in stunned silence and the only sounds you hear are the visiting Giants celebrating.
  • And Norwood’s missed field goal. The Bills are also utterly shocked — check out Kelly and Levy. There’s no other word for it. Nobody thought it would be the Giants that year.

I thought some of you might enjoy reading some of my recaps of the 2005 games. They’re long (around 3,000 words), so it might not be the best idea to read them at your desk and run the risk of the boss looking over your shoulder – nothing more obvious and awkward than the abrupt minimization. I suggest you print them out and read them at your leisure.

These are long, dramatic recaps. I’d like to think that the experience reading one of these is like watching an NFL Films Super Bowl Highlights episode. So in the famous words of a non-football New York icon, “Lie back, get comfortable,” and enjoy the read.  (And don’t mind the non-pictures — just a technical glitch.  There’s nothing wrong with your computer.)

He’s an eighteen year old from Fort Meyers, FL and the top high school back in the country. Off the field, the kid’s had some tough luck – by the time he was eleven he had lost both his parents to AIDS. But on the field…

There’s really no more helpless a feeling than not being able to watch the Giants. I would know: I went to college in Minnesota before DirecTV was as ubiquitous as it is today and was forced to rely on newspapers and Prime Time for about half the games. Pretty frustrating. But in the age of DirecTV, nobody should have to miss the G-Men because they don’t have access to the telecast. And whenever possible, Giants fans should watch with other Giants fans: there’s nothing worse than being sidetracked by some dude with a half-assed interest in the game who knows or cares absolutely nothing about Big Blue.

With this in mind, one of the goals of NYGMen is to bring the community of Giants fans together. Whether you’re traveling for work, visiting in-laws, or simply fleeing from law enforcement, we want to make sure that come Sunday, you’ll have a safe, friendly place to watch your G-Men. So if you know of a Giants bar, please drop me a line and we can spread the word. Hopefully, we can develop a nation-wide network of Giants-friendly zones.

Now that’s more like it. The Giants came out yesterday with an intensity and crispness that was lacking last Friday and dominated the Chiefs during the few series’ the starters played. On both sides of the ball, the Giants looked really good. Here are some impressions of last night’s game.

Disclaimer: Because I was traveling to Erie, PA to visit family, I couldn’t watch the game and instead listened to the WFAN broadcast. So all of my impressions are coming second-hand from Bob Papa, Carl Banks and company.

–The much maligned defensive front stepped up in a big way. On the game’s second play, Fred Robbins busted up a Larry Johnson run for a four-yard loss. On the next play, Osi Umenyiora got pressure on Trent Green and forced a weak, fluttering pass to Johnson. After a discouraging first series against Baltimore, the Big Blue D had posted a three-and-out. (All told, the Giants held Larry Johnson to 8 yards on 3 carries.)

–And then the offense went to work. Tim Carter picked up 20 on an end-around, and the G-Men swiftly moved downfield from there, both on the ground and in the air. Tiki looked good, Eli looked good (he went 11-14 for 80 yards), and the receivers looked good, especially Carter, who continues to play the best football of his life.

–The O-Line was also encouraging. They did an excellent job picking up blitzes and giving Eli the protection he needed to get into a good rhythm with the receivers.

–Interesting to see (or hear about) Eli throwing so many short passes. Last year, John Hufnagel’s “East Coast Offense” gained notoriety by finishing first in the league in yards per completion while sacrificing Eli’s completion percentage. Perhaps Hufnagel is trying to blend some West Coast rhythm and timing in so that Eli becomes more adept at checking off his primary options, something he clearly needs work on. I like it.

–On the touchdown to Toomer – a play that I’ve actually seen on Sports Center – the O-Line did a nice job picking up a Chiefs blitz, and Toomer was able to slip into an open part of the zone in front of a Chiefs linebacker. Eli was quick to see this and put it on the money for the score.

–The Chiefs moved it a little on the next series, but they shot themselves in the foot with a couple of penalties. Trent Green completed a pass to Eddie Kennison against Corey Webster on the drive’s first play, but Webster came back strong, breaking up a deep pass for Sammie Parker on third down.

–William Joseph made a stop on this drive, and Carl Banks pointed out that he looked “very active,” and that “it looks like he’s playing for his job.” The broadcasters kept talking about how Robbins and Joseph must have “read the headlines” and were responding with a better effort tonight. Our D-Tackles don’t seem to lack for talent. If they go hard, they should be okay, but consistent effort has always been the question with them.

But with Barry Cofield impressing during camp and playing well again tonight, we have at least three capable guys for those two positions. And the presence of Cofield should push Robbins and Joseph. We’ll see about Jonas Seawright – I didn’t hear his name, which doesn’t necessarily mean one thing or another.

Carl Banks was impressed with the pressure that the D-Line was able to get on Trent Green. He said that the Giants were able to consistently get pressure without blitzing, although he allowed that the Chiefs’ O-Line was pretty bad.

–Tiki came out a couple of plays into the second series, his work done for the evening. Brandon Jacobs replaced him and immediately impressed. He ripped off two runs, one for 12 yards and one for 9. Both of these runs were partially called back on holdings, but it’s still nice that Jacobs is getting some experience busting into the secondary.

–The Giants made some defensive subs on the Chiefs third series, and the subs looked good. Particularly Chase Blackburn, who made a couple of instinctive plays on the first two downs. Good to see. Blackburn didn’t look good last week, but he came back strong yesterday.

–The G-Men went to a no-huddle, shotgun offense on their third offensive series and continued to roll. Eli looked in rhythm with his receivers, hitting Carter and Shiancoe on a couple of passes. He was helped out by some fine pass blocking, Carl Banks noted. Jacobs broke off a nice 14-yard run, making a cut to the outside to spring himself for some extra yards.

–The drive ended with a Brandon Jacobs touchdown plunge, but I’m still not a big fan of the Jacobs goal-line thing. On the previous play, he looked awkward as he left his feet early and got stuffed.

–On the Chiefs next possession, the Giants defense – comprised of some starters and some key reserves – continued to look good. Corey Webster stuck his man on a deep ball for the second time in the past couple of series’, earning him kudos from the announcers. Mathias Kiwanuka made a physical and resourceful play when he lined up in an outside linebacker position, bull-rushed over the Chiefs’ blocking running back, and slapped the ball out of Trent Green’s hand for a fumble (which was recovered by the Chiefs.) Kiwanuka is learning fast – the ball-slapping move was straight out of Osi’s book.

–The announcers were raving about Gerris Wilkinson, who is savvy, instinctive, and versatile. The third-round pick could turn into a real steal.

–Ok, now for some bad news. Shawn O’Hara went out with a sprained knee. Hopefully this isn’t at all serious, but we always have Rich Seubert to step in at center. And Luke Petitgout left the game with back spasms. Petitgout’s false starts, holdings penalties, and recurring back spasms can be pretty exasperating.

–Rob Johnson didn’t look especially good. The announcers indicated that as he did in Jacksonville and Buffalo, he held the ball for too long on a couple of plays. Frankly, I don’t quite see the appeal of a quarterback with a bum arm who takes a lot of sacks. I know he’s a gym rat and all but…

–Jacobs fumbled, although the fumble was overruled on a Coughlin challenge because Jacobs’ knee hit the ground before the ball came out. This guy needs to eliminate the fumbles before we can think of handing him the post-Tiki reins.

–The announcers didn’t think that RW McQuarters looked good. If he doesn’t work out, we have other options at nickel and we’re well-stocked with return-man options.

And that’s about it. Again, I didn’t actually watch the game and I missed most of the fourth quarter when I was checking into the hotel. But on both sides of the ball, this was as encouraging a performance as we could have wished for.

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