Monday, September 15, 2008

A Giants Recap Part I: The Giants might have some good running backs and other controversial thoughts

In a day where there were many exciting finishes and close games, it was comforting to know that the Giants win was not one of them.

Location of viewing:

Blondie's a bar on 2nd Ave btw 92nd and 93rd st, with White Boy, White Boy Sr, and anywhere from 3-10 others, depending on the time of the game. The bar was recommended to me by my friend Julie, who said that she watched the Giants playoff run there. That kind of logic works for me.

The place itself is ok-lots of tv's, but no flat screens. Not to be a snob, but when a big part of your business is Saturday and Sunday football games, is it asking too much to keep up with the technology of the last 3 years and rock out with a full arsenal of HDtvs? As for food/drink specials, $12 pitchers of domestics, and allegedly good wings, but no food specials. (On a personal note, I'm trying to make this a wingless NFL season because as much as I enjoy football Sunday afternoons, Sunday Nite on the Shitter is not as much fun as advertised.) Anyways, let's give Blondie's a 7.5 out of 10.

Hey Devo, was there actually a game to recap?


-Consider this a Bizarro Eli day- When Eli was at his finest in the playoffs last year, he was applauded for "managing the game" and completing slightly more than 50% of his passes. Yesterday? He was 20 of 29, completing nearly 70% of his passes. Had he taken advantage of some lousy pass coverage by the Rams, he could have been 24 or 25 of 29 for 350 yards and 4-5 tds. That said, it's hard to argue with 3 touchdown passes, especially when they include 1 bomb, 1 traditional red zone td, and 1 18 yard screen. Diversity- not just for the work place anymore.

-Oh, and Eli needs to stop letting the play clock run down to 1 or 2 seconds. I know he's a Super Bowl MVP, but he needs at least 1 more ring before I can have faith in him avoiding a delay of game.

-The Giants have an obscene amount of depth at the running back and wide receiver slots. Let's start with the running backs, aka Earth, Wind, and Fire. There is only so many ways to say that these guys are amazingly f'in talented, but as a screwed-out-of-a-Pulitzer blogger, I'll try. The best thing I can say about each of these guys is that they all make the other two running backs seem expendable. Derrick Ward, who everyone wants to bury in place of Bradshaw, had another solid game, averaging roughly 7 ypc and remaining a solid screen option. At one point Ward and Jacobs were running so well that White Boy and I were joking that Bradshaw phoned the Virginia Department of Corrections at halftime and offered to start serving his offseason prison sentence in October.

-And then Bradshaw made his impression felt. After getting pounded by Ward and Jacobs for 3 quarters, the last thing teams want to face is a lil' bastard like Bradshaw who is as fast as any running back in the league and nearly breaks tackles as well as Ward and Jacobs.

-Oh, and the receivers? They're, uh, decent too. Toomer and Plax were getting consistently open all day. Not to be confused with Steve Smith and Domenic Hixon, who were also open all day. And seemingly everything thrown to Hixon was caught. Remember Sinorice Moss? He had a pretty decent week 1 and he should still be cut in the near future. Remember their 3rd round steal-of-a-pick Mario Manningham? Um, he'll get some playing time eventually. Maybe.

-And lest we forget, massive credit to the guys who make it all happen: the O-Line. Everyone talks about the Giants' D-Line as being one of the best in the game, but certainly the O-Line has to be pretty close to its equal. It just shows how important it is to have guys who are a) healthy and b) have played together for a few years at a time. White Boy and I agreed that on some of those longer runs, we could have each gotten 8 or 9 yards. That said, I think I would have taken a knee after 8 or 9 yards because I don't want someone to pull a Charlie Weis on me.

-Negatives? Sure, we got a few, even if it's nitpicking at this point.

1. To all those who said that the team would be better without Jeremy Shockey: Maybe the rest of the team is more productive and united and blah blah blah, but the fact is that Kevin "Great White Hype" Boss has no receptions through two games. This would be a problem but for 7 good to very good to great playmakers on offense.

2. The offensive play calling left a bit to be desired for the first 3 quarters. Is shotgun necessary? When you have two power backs in Ward and Jacobs, why not line up under center? And what was the Giants' beef against throwing under 15 yards in the first half? Did they need to consistently throw deep on every pass? The final score looks great but is deceiving; as late as the 4th quarter, the Giants were only up by 7 points despite outgaining the Rams 3-1. Instead of 13-6 the score should have been 24-6.

But screw it. One thing the Giants proved last year was in the NFL, it's important to get wins early in the season by any means necessary and style points only matter towards the end of the season. The fact of the matter is that most teams in the NFL can get 8 wins by simply not making stupid mistakes, including penalties, dropped passes, and most importantly, missed tackles. This team has done all that and then some so far. With their schedule and talent, the Giants should automatically get 10 wins if they avoid stupid mistakes and missed tackles. More on that in Part 2: Justin Tuck might be good and other controversial thoughts

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