Monday, November 10, 2008

Stop me if you've heard this one before: The Giants are good...A Giants/Eagles recap

A few thoughts about Giants/Eagles while looking up the average weather in Tampa in February...

Location: Blondie's on UES.
I started going to this place because I have a few friends, including White Boy, who live in this area, and a lady friend of mine, Julie watched the playoff run here last year. The atmosphere is solid in general. (except there was some Douchebag who kept shouting 'Er-ic Lin-dros!!!' after the Eagles took the lead) But I'm starting to question why we keep going to a bar that doesn't have real substantive drink or food specials ($10 domestic pitchers) or any high-definition tvs. That said, I'm 3-0 here and 0-1 in other sports bars this season, so Blondie's it remains. Let's recap the game, shall we?


There's a phrase that describes 3 running backs, each of which average more than 5 yards per carry: the best offensive line in football. If this running game keeps up, I'm going to have to start illegally downloading some Earth, Wind, & Fire songs. Could I have done without all of the fumbles? Absolutely, but if there's one thing that my boy Atiim Kiambu Hakeem-ah has taught Giant fans, it's that fumbling problems can be overcome by good coaching. And it's probably easier to teach a running back to not fumble than to average 5+ yards per carry, so I'll take it.

And Eli was his usual self: unspectacular, but good enough to get the job done when it was necessary. He tends to panic unnecessarily when teams blitz, dumping off the ball more quickly than necessary, but it's still pretty tough to complain about the results. Sure, he threw a bad interception to begin the game, but the Eagles have a solid defense, and props need to occasionally be given to them.

Oh, and if the Eagles were able to score with more than a minute left, I have no doubt that Eli would have set the Giants up for a game winning score.

Time to fellate the O-Line one more time. This team has faced the Steelers who are either at or near the top of the league in sacks, and the Eagles also have a bruising pass rush this year. And they combined to sack Eli once.

I think I've said this before, but Eli's career seems to be heading in more of a Phil Simms direction (good, smart, occasionally spectacular qb who will win games) than a Peyton direction (great qb, great stats). That said, if Eli continues to play at a Phil Simms level, he will have more rings than his brother. I don't want to get into an Eli/Peyton argument other than to say that I'm quite ok with Elisha.

So here' s my question, given that teams are going to start gearing to stop our running game: teams are going to have to start putting 8 guys in the box against this running game, no? If that happens, how is Plaxico not going to be one on one occasionally? And if Plax is doubled, and there's 8 men in the box, that leaves Toomer, Smith and/or Hixon going against a linebacker or safety, no? But then if you bring Toomer, Smith, and/or Hixon into the game, you can't keep 8 men in the box, right? Look, NFL defensive coordinators probably have better answers than me for those questions, but I'm just saying, the Giants offense creates obscene matchup problems for defensive coordinators.


And in breaking news, the Giants D isn't exactly a virtual bye week for opposing offensive coordinators either.

For a game in which the Giants pass rush didn't sack McNabb, he sure had a lousy game, especially in the first half. Without Desean Jackson, who truly is a unique player, the Eagles wouldn't have scored more than 20 points.

And screw it, some detractors (See: Mahatma) have said that the Giant secondary is only good because of their pass rush. But what if the secondary is actually good? They didn't give up a whole lot of big plays, and that was without the front 7 registering a sack. And nice to see Grandpa Madison get his interception, filling in for Dockery. I've said it before, I'll say it again-there's no way that Madison got so bad this offseason that he's worse than Dockery this year. Erroneous.

Remember Brian Westbrook, most dangerous RB in the NFL? Sorry for the off-week, fantasy owners. He'll be back next week. Oh, and you may not want to start either of the Rice/McGahee combo this weekend either. By the way, the Giants can stop the run too. Especially on 4th down.

Maybe it's this Giants defense or maybe it's just an indicator of how far McNabb's star has fallen, but I never felt that the Giants were going to lose this game once they pulled ahead for the final time. Even on their final drive, I had a feeling that a Giant CB was going to make a play to save the game, even if I'm not sure which one would do it. That said, I'll take a 4th down stop by Chase "Devo" Blackburn.

And what's the deal with McNabb being unable to conduct a 2 minute drill without being winded? Sure, he may spend a lot of time scrambling, but I don't remember this being a problem for Steve Young Michael Vick or other running qb's.

Special Teams

Nothing new to report here, just another game of Feagles pinning the opposition inside the 20 for a good amount of the game and Hixon breaking a touchdown that was called back due to a block in the back. Business as usual for this underrated unit.


So we can get on Gilbride for always putting Eli in shotgun, including shotgun draws that everyone knows are coming. Or we can realize that Gilbride's awful play calling has helped the Giants put up 36 points on the Eagles. All in all, I'm going to stop giving the coaching staff crap until we lose another game.

Big Picture
As I said last week, if this team isn't going to lose a road game at night to a damn good Philly team, when the hell are they going to lose? The Giants may or may not go 15-1 this year, but I don't see them having a tougher game on their schedule than at Philly on a Sunday night. Anything is possible, but it's tough to imagine the Giants not winning the division, with a lead of 2 over the Skins and 3 over the Cowboys and Eagles. For that matter, as tough as the Giants schedule is, it's tough to imagine them being worse than 13-3, 12-4 worst if injuries are kept to a minimum. I'd be surprised if they weren't the #1 seed for the playoffs. I know the #1 seed prediction isn't shocking, given their 8-1 record, but it's still nice to see in written form.

And not that it has anything to do with anything, but....

Say hello to your College Hockey #1 Boston University Terriers!

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