Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nice Catch Hayes, Don't Ever F$!kin Do It Again: A Giants/Bengals Recap

Watching this game from Section 327, I couldn't help but think of Lou Brown in Major League talking to Willie Mays Hayes after Hayes makes a fundamentally awful catch in their first game-Good win Blue, don't ever fuckin' do it again. Thus, let us call games like this, when your team wins but gives a horrible showing a "Lou Brown" game.


Look, I'm not going to get on the coaching staff real bad for calling a pass versus a run; a play call is only as good as its effectiveness. But I will get on the coaching staff for the TYPE of runs and passes called. Kevin Gilbride had a hard-on for running Jacobs wide and having Eli throw short. When you have short yardage and a running back as big as a linebacker, is it asking too much to have him simply run up the middle? It's a simple philosophy, and it's going to work more than it's going to fail.

And what's the deal with the passing plays? Last week Eli was only throwing deep balls. This week he was only throwing short passes. Notonly were the receivers, in a tribute to the Jim Fassel era, not getting open. Their routes only took them 8-10 yards downfield. Let's not confuse this week's performance with the Rams game, where Eli refused to throw a ball 8-10 yards down the field and only threw passes of the 30-40 yard variety. Is it asking too much to find a happy medium? At least they opened it up towards the end of the 4th quarter and let Eli go long.

Speaking of the passing game, have I mentioned how much I like Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon? These guys simply don't miss passes that are thrown near them. There's not much more that you can ask out of 3rd and 4th receivers with a combined 3 years of experience. In time, these guys will be starters. Hopefully in the Meadowlands.

And Hixon is a stud returning punts. He usually makes the first guy miss, generally has a return of 30+ yards per game, and is going to break one within the next 4-5 games.

But it was a bizarre game for the running backs. Jacobs didn't have any long runs, but he did make opponents pay with his shoulder whenever they tried to take him down. One thing that I've come to accept with the Giants running game: Derrick Ward isn't a sexy back. He doesn't run people over like Jacobs and he doesn't run by people like Bradshaw. But he breaks enough tackles and makes enough people miss that he should be touching the ball about 10 times per game. Bradshaw may get screwed in the long run, but Ward is too valuable running, blocking and catching screens to not see action. That said, the Giants may have to trade Ward this off season for cap reasons if Jacobs gets a deserved and expected lucrative contract extension.

It was basically a tale of two O-Lines. They looked great pass blocking, giving Eli all the time he needed as the Bengals didn't record a sack and maybe hit Eli 3-4 times all game. Equally important, there were no holding or motion penalties on the O-Line. But next time, it would be great if they could open up a few holes for Earth Wind & Fire.


Didn't you used to be the Giants Defense?

A weird game for the defense. First of all, the stat sheet shows that the front 4 pressured Palmer all day, registering 6 sacks and helping Devo's Dumbasses secure a victory over Mahatma's Carson's Vagina. And this is good and well, but for a game with six sacks, it sure seemed like Palmer had time to deliver most of his passes. Of course, it helped that the Bungles stole the 2006 Washington playbook, allowing Carson Palmer to be Mark Brunell, spending most of his day throwing short, high percentage passes. To the Giants credit, they caught on to the wide receiver screens by the end and started stopping them for a loss. Unfortunately, by this time, T.J Douchemanzadeh had torched our defense. 12 catches by an opposing WR is never a good thing, but I'll say this much: better him than Ochenta y Cinco. (THAT is how you say 85 in Spanish, not Ocho Cinco. As someone who took Spanish in high school and can ask for the bathroom and not much else, even I'm offended by Johnson's stupidity.)

The defense came out of the gate on a mission and shut down the Bengals on their first series, getting to Palmer for two of the six sacks. And then they didn't step up until Coach Madison made a solid pass defense on 3rd down in OT.

One interesting thing to take out of this game is three sacks by Cofield, Robbins, and Kiwanuka, with one apiece. Clearly, teams are starting to gameplan for Tuck the way that they used to plan for Strahan. When this happens, the rest of the line will benefit, as they are each too talented in their own right not to. The theme of this story, and for that matter, the '08 season, is that the Giants' D Line is going to be very difficult to game plan against, even when the team sleepwalks through the game. And that brings us to...

The Negatives:
Remember when you guys used to score touchdowns in the red zone? Praise Allah for that 4th quarter TD to Boss. Not only did it save the game, but it was the first time all year that Eli was able to throw a short touchdown pass. The red zone offense has been pretty bad so far this year. And the blame for this goes to everyone, from the play calling, instructing Jacobs to run wide from the 2 yard line to Eli not finding receivers in the end zone. That said, the Giants have a bye week and 3 games against relatively lousy teams in which to find their mojo.

Defense- SUS ownership rights to the SUS reader who can identify the dude in the Giants secondary with an interception this season...Give up? The answer is no one. The only pick this year has come courtesy of Justin Tuck. While the '08 edition of the secondary is probably one of the best since Sehorn was healthy, it still is going to have to make plays and pick of a pass every once in a while in order to change the momentum of the game. That said, the secondary is very good at making tackles, something that certainly can not be said about previous editions of the G-Men secondary.

And lastly...Great, the Giants won. Seriously, until style points become playoff position tiebreakers, the only thing that matters in September is staying healthy and getting wins. But one thing I had in common with Big Blue on Sunday was that we both looked like we didn't care about the game and couldn't wait for it to be over. I had a meal of Indian food at 330am after a night of drinking. What was your excuse Big Blue?

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