Monday, November 3, 2008
It's Good to be King: a Substantiative Recap... I Think?
Thanks a lot Devo for putting pressure on me to write a "substantive recap." Its like I'm supposed to say something interesting, meaningful and/or logical. While that is at times difficult for me, I will try my darnedest to do so.
Its good to be king. For the first time in my non Yankee fan life, I can say that I root for the NFL's best team. I know that Tennessee is 8-0 and is not a team to be taken lightly. But, as many critics pointed out early on in the Giants season, who have they played? Green bay is an average team and some considered that a huge win. It beat a Colts team who is having a down year, so what? The Giants have beaten two teams that are almost assured a playoff birth in Washington and Pittsburgh. I know Dallas didn't have a real QB yesterday, but it didn't have to get totally demolished like it did. Nor does a team have to win 7 of 8 games it is supposed to win. Lord knows San Diego hasn't. Anyway, with that preamble, lets go to the grades shall we.
You almost never see a QB play as poorly as Eli played and his team still win by 21 points. However, such was the case at the Meadowlands yesterday. Eli had a strong first quarter in which he threw 2 TD passes. However, he was fairly horrid the rest of the game as he appeared to be rushing his throws and having tremendous problems holding on to the football. That being said, the rest of the offense was excellent. New York amassed 200 rushing yards, 117 of which were collected by the beast. (why is it that only Black players have animal nicknames? I wonder...). Boss is starting to become a legitimate receiving TE in the league which will only help open up the field for the Steve Smiths and Dominick Hixons of the world. Finally, the offensive line continues to be, by far, the finest unit of its kind in the league. It pass blocks, it run blocks and it keeps its QB's jerseys clean. You guys are G-ds to my people.
Again, I know that Dallas did not have any slightly respectable player at the QB position yesterday. But you know what? Tampa was not able to take advantage of that. As bad a QB as Brad Johnson is, he still has 2 great receivers and the best TE in football to throw to not to mention an all-pro running back in Marion Barber to hand the ball to. Big Blue totally shut him in addition to shutting down his offensive teammates who were healthy. Justin Tuck continues to be the best DE in the NFC and Fred Robbins continues his bid for what I believe would be his first pro bowl selection. Oh and as Devo said, Corey Webster has become a very solid #1 corner. Spagnuolo continues his mastery of opposing offenses and Antonio Pierce continues to be the best defensive QB in the bidness. This defense is my favorite part of any sports team I have ever rooted for.
Coughlin gets an A. He had the team ready and fired up in spite of the injuries to Tony Romo and Felix Jones. His team continues to have very few meaningful penalties go against them. That personal foul against Tuck, although absurd, did not come at a point in the game where its outcome was really in doubt. Gilbride gets a B-. As Devo pointed out last week, for a team as good as the calender year 2008 Giants, its offensive coordinator makes some odd choices. Kevin Gilbride, heretofor, K Gilb, has a penchant for fist down passes and 2nd down runs. He also runs every single third and short. These two trends in K Gilb's play calling continues to confound me. If you throw on first down and you have an incomplete pass; and then you run on 2nd down and long, you almost assure your team is in an undesirable third down situation. If you run on first down and get say 7-8 yards, you can open up the playbook on 2nd and short and go deep after a play action fake. In addition, running on third and short, whenever that situation presents itself, quite obviously allows the defense to load 8 in the box and commit to the run. A little ingenuity please K Gilb. You are fortunate you have such a talented offense and great defensive unit to make you look good. Finally, Stevey Spags. What else can you say, he's the best coordinator in the league by leaps and bounds. He has transformed the secondary from a huge weakness to a mild strength. He has gotten the Giants to be the best open field tackling team in the NFC. He seems to always call the right play. All praise be unto Spags. Oh, so Spags gets a A++