Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Giants Recap Part 2: Justin Tuck Might Be Good and Other Controversial Thoughts

So, if the Madden franchise mode has taught us anything, it's that two sacks, an interception, and a defensive touchdown will give you defensive player of the week honors. So here's to you, Justin Tuck, NFL Defensive Player of the Week.

And what can you say about this defense that hasn't already been said? They were fantastic. They gave up one long run/screen to Stephen Jackson and the long TD to Torry Holt. Against a Rams team that still has some offensive weapons, even if they have nothing else, that's an impressive performance.

And I'm sure the referee had a better view than those of us at home on that Torry Holt TD, but it sure looked like Kenny Phillips had the INT. And while here, let's talk about 1st round pick, Kenny Phillips. Yesterday I mentioned that if a team doesn't miss tackles, it's going to win a majority of its games. So far this year, this Giants team has been fantastic at making open field tackles. And it seems that more of them have been made by #21, Kenny Phillips, than any other Giant. This kid has a helluva future with this team-with Brian Dawkins getting older, Roy Williams still unable to defend the pass, and Reed Dougherty not being very good (RIP Sean Taylor), it looks like the Giants will have the best safety in the NFC East within two years. Another solid pick by Jerry Reese. (Note: Mahatma correctly points out that Kenny Phillips is a free safety while the other players are strong safeties. Mahatma can also go fuck himself. Next issue!)

One of the big questions heading into the season was whether Corey Webster was going to return to his sucktacular form of '05 and '06 or whether he was going to continue kicking ass and taking names like he did in the stretch run last year. Granted, it's early, and the Giants still have not played any quality teams yet, but it seems as though the quality Corey Webster is here to stay. Good to see.

By the way, with Orange New Jersey's own Jay Alford's sack of Marc Bulger, the Giants are 3-0 in games where Alford gets a sack. (He sacked McNabb in the Giants' win in Philly last December. I'm not going to bother telling you when his second sack occurred.)

And as great as Justin Tuck has been so far this year, let's not forget the prime beneficiaries of Tuck's success, Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield. These unsung DT's, along with Mathias Kiwanuka should see their stats increase as Tuck begins to get Osi-like respect from offensive coordinators.

As someone who is a professional cynic, this is more praise than I'm comfortable with. Let's go to the Negatives:

1. As great a game as Tuck had, Kiwanuka was fairly invisible. Was it because he had to go against former all-pro Orlando Pace? Was he hurt more than he was letting on by Chris Samuels' cheap shot at the end of the Washington game? I don't know, but I wouldn't mind seeing him making more of an impression in Cincy's backfield next week.

2. Look, the defense has been very good so far, and they've missed no more than a few tackles thus far this season. But some turnovers would be nice. I suppose the interceptions will come soon enough from the secondary, especially with Carson Palmer coming to town next week. But it would still be nice to see more big plays from this unit. Am I writing this as a Giants fan or an owner of the Giants D/ST in two fantasy leagues? Well, let's just say a little from column A, a little from Column B.

All that said, good win by the Giants, and let's keep it goin, Big Blue!

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