Thursday, October 10, 2013

Can Big Blue turn it around? Or is it too late?


A Thursday night match-up with the Bears could bring the Giants to 0-6, or it can possibly start a turn-around to a more positive second half.

Shale Briskin
BGB Assistant Editor

Words cannot thoroughly describe how bad the Giants have been in the first 5 weeks of the 2013 season. The Giants have looked lost and very prone to making critical mistakes at the worst moments. There have not been any certain areas that have struggled that much more than other areas. Pretty much everyone from the front office to the coaching staff to the offense and defense are all at fault for the disaster that has occurred.

Well actually some words could describe some of the reasons why the Giants have played so poorly. Offensively, the running game has been nearly non-existent, with David Wilson coughing up fumbles and getting hurt. Brandon Jacobs' return has not been the biggest boost either because he simply is not the same player he once was. 

Because of this, the Giants have had to rely heavily on the passing game. Eli Manning has made his fair share of mistakes with interceptions, while Victor Cruz has played well and Hakeem Nicks has not had as many opportunities for receptions. Reuben Randle and tight end Brandon Myers have both been serviceable, but none of them have lived up to their full potential yet, for a reason beyond their control. That reason would be the diminished offensive line that has already allowed Manning to get sacked 15 times in 5 games. 

Back when the Giants won the first of their two recent Super Bowl championships, they had a veteran offensive line that consistently gave Manning great protection in the pocket. Even in their other Super Bowl season in 2011, Manning still had very good protection, but this current offensive line is a far cry from the past. Center David Baas and right guard Chris Snee have both been hurt and fellow veteran offensive lineman David Diehl has missed time with injuries as well. The replacements simply have not gotten the job done and the Giants rank 29th in the NFL in points scored as a result. Only the fellow winless Steelers, Jaguars and Buccaneers have scored fewer points.

The offense has been bad, but the defense has been just as bad, if not worse. The Giants have given up 182 total points thus far, which is the most in the NFL. The defensive line has not provided enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks and offensive lines, while the linebackers and defensive backs have all underachieved as well. The Giants rank 26th in yards allowed per game, 22nd in passing yards allowed per game, tied for 27th in rushing yards allowed per game, tied for 20th in interceptions, and 31st in sacks. These numbers are usually not going to lead to wins, more often than not. The Giants' defense has been a complete mess and regardless of what kind of injuries there may be, everyone on the Giants' defense needs to really step up and turn this team around.

I for one am not surprised that the Giants have had various issues, but I never expected things to get this bad by now. This really goes to show the work that general manger Jerry Reese will need to do in the offseason. He has not done much in years to really improve certain positions, like running back, offensive line and especially linebackers. If the Giants can get a top-five draft pick in 2014, they should use it on a game-changing running back or linebacker to really solidify such areas of concern that will not improve themselves on their own. Reese's known philosophy of drafting the "best player available" may have worked in recent years, but right now, it could be time for a change in direction.

Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin both do not deserve to get fired, being that the duo put together the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl champion teams. They should both get at least one more chance to turn the ship around and hopefully some lessons can be learned on how to put together a better team.

Speaking of Coughlin, a lot of people apparently think that because the Giants have been so bad, that means he needs to go. I couldn't disagree more. Coughlin has been a model of excellence for coaching and he will not be Hall of Fame bound for nothing. He has had some very successful teams in his ten seasons with the Giants and at this point, he should be able to coach until he is ready to retire. He has earned that kind of distinction among head coaches. It would be a travesty if he is not brought back in 2014.

All this stuff about the future will be discussed when the time is right. For now, the Giants have a big game tonight against the Bears and we will see which Giants team will show up. Will it be the same team that has underperformed for over a month? Or the team that has played brilliantly in the postseason when they won their two recent Super Bowl championships? Hopefully, we will see the latter tonight!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New York Giants Preseason: Gimme Moore

DeMontre Moore blocks a punt attempt in the first Quarter of the New York Giants preseason game vs Pittsburgh last Saturday night (photo courtesy if AP)

Alyssa "G-Men Girl" Franklin
BGB Featured Columnist

DeMontre Moore made quite an introduction for himself on Saturday night in the game against Pittsburgh. There have been many good things coming out of camp about how raw his talent is and how he is impressing the coaches. Praise in camp is always good but, as always, you have to prove yourself in game time situations, especially when you drop to the third round in the draft.

The third round drafter showed great promise for the future of the New York Giants pass rush. The departures of both Chris Canty and Osi Umeniyora have left many questioning how great the defensive line will be or can be. To be quite honest, Canty and Umeniyora's performances were as lackluster as the rest of the defense last season.

Promise has been shown to how good the defense can become. Now granted, after one game I shouldn't get too excited about the kid, however, I had these feelings after seeing how Cruz performed in preseason and, well, we all know how that turned out. I am just saying.

DeMontre Moore has shown that he has power and speed. His block on the first punt of the game showed that and he was all over the place during the game making tackles and putting tons of pressure on the Steeler QB's. That is one of the major things that the Giants failed to do all season last year.

Moore wasn't the only reason to have a little hope in our defense this season.Tyler Sash made his entrance into the season with an impressive game with a safety and a fumble recovery.

The offense was a little slow with a quick three and out after the blocked punt but it wasn't long til Eli and Victor Cruz showed their continuing magic and didn't miss a beat with a 57 yard TD.

There are three more preseason games to go and several practices left before the beginning of the season starts against the Cowboys. There is a lot left to prove with rookies, newcomers and guys who are coming off injuries or less than stellar performances.

The Superbowl is scheduled in our house this year and every Giants fan wants to see the Giants playing in MetLife Stadium in February. The quest for five starts now whether its preseason or not.

This is where the Giant organization finds the winners that can help that quest become a reality.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New York Giants 2013 Mock Draft

Isaiah Kristian Matte
BGB Contributor


With the first round of the NFL draft a day away, here's a look at the players the Giants most likely could be targeting in their spots.


1-19: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia.
The Giants have been needing to draft a linebacker in the first round for years and haven't done so since Carl Banks was taken 3rd overall in 1984. This former safety has gotten in trouble before, but it hasn't stopped Jerry Reese getting a guy with red flags (see Manningham, Bradshaw, Austin, even Hakeem Nicks). He can cover tight ends and even slot guys with ease, also had 115 tackles in a shortened season due to a 4 game suspension. He needs help in his run defense, but he's a Fewell type of player.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State; Bjoern werner, DE, Florida State, Johnathan Cooper, G, UNC (if he falls), Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC, Shelden Richardson, DT, Missouri, DJ Hayden, CB, Houston

2-49: Margus Hunt, DT, SMU

He will be 26 years old once the season starts, but he's got a long football shelf life since he's a former track and field athlete (shot put) for his native Estonia. He's an absolute freak of nature at 6'8, 277 pounds, versatile as he also can play DE, and has an 84 inch wingspan. Patterson and Jenkins were good signings for the Giants, but Linval Joseph needs a partner to play with on the line.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State, Larry Warford, G, Kentucky, Kyle Long, OT/G, Oregon, Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana, Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama, Jamie Collins, DE/LB, Southern Mississippi

3-81: Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M

Speedy, smart and sure handed slot option in case Victor Cruz doesn't humble himself enough or needs to leave to find greener ($$$) pastures. He was arguably the MVP in the game against Alabama, helping Johnny Manziel defeat the current Goliath of college football last season.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers; Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia; David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State, Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati

4-116: Dallas Thomas, OT, Tennessee

Finally, a guy who can play guard and tackle to spell Diehl if needed. He's one of the most underrated prospects in this draft.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas; Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers; Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU; Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma; Shaun Williams, S, Georgia; Brian Schwenke, C, California;

5-152 - David Bass, DE, Missouri Western

Division 2 superstar with some speed. he had 56 tackles for a loss and 39 1/2 sacks in his four year career at that school. He's raw but could work his way into an underrated rotation with Adewale Ojomo and Adrian Tracy. I see this as a Jerry Reese type of pick.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: AJ Klein, ILB, Iowa State; Akeem Spence, DT, Illinois; Brandon McGee, CB, U of Miami; Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State, Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama

6-187 - Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky

Had 3 sacks against Alabama last season, which is an accomplishment, considering how good that offensive line was in the league last year. He, however, is coming off a torn ACL. The Giants love pass rushers and this dude gets after it. He is also a lean 250 pounds. He's still really quick and has good technique. Another Reese kind of pick.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Luke Marquardt, OT, Azuza Pacific; Stepfon Jefferson, RB, Nevada; Denard Robinson, WR/KR, Michigan

7-225 - Zeke Motta, S, Notre Dame
7-253 - Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Jordan Rodgers, QB, Vanderbilt; Jeff Baca, G, UCLA; Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State; Jordan Kovacs, S, Michigan


Monday, April 22, 2013

Ranking the Giant's 3 Biggest Draft Needs



Shale Briskin
BGB Assistant Editor

The 2013 NFL Draft is less than a week away, which means that John Mara, Steve Tisch, Jerry Reese and company need to figure out how to build around their current roster for the upcoming 2013 season.

After barely missing the previous postseason, the Giants have decided to go in a different direction. Longtime players such as Ahmad Bradshaw, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty and Martellus Bennett are no longer on the team and the Giants will now to select a group of draftees that will fill at least some of those spots.

The Giants will have all of their regular 2013 NFL draft picks, which includes the nineteenth overall selection, plus a compensatory pick after the seventh round. It will be fascinating to see how the draft will unfold for the Giants in a matter of days.

Here is a ranking of the three areas the Giants should focus on the most during the draft.

3. Tight End

Ever since Jeremy Shockey departed the Giants after the 2007 NFL season, the Giants have struggled to find a long-term solution at tight end.

Bear Pascoe is currently the Giants' top tight end, but ideally, Pascoe is a better second tight end or blocking back for the Giants' offense. In other words, the Giants' offense would likely perform better with an upgrade at tight end.

The Giants could try to draft Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame in the first round, or they could wait until later rounds to select another tight end such as Zach Ertz of Stanford, Travis Kelce of Cincinnati, or Vance McDonald of Rice, among others.
 
 2. Middle Linebacker

Another position the Giants have not been particularly strong at for a few years is middle linebacker. The Giants have not had a reliable middle linebacker since Antonio Pierce's playing career, which ended after the 2009 season.

The 2013 draft class of inside linebackers is not particularly strong, with Manti Te'o of Notre Dame being the top inside linebacker available. The Giants could choose to select Te'o, but with his off-field controversy still fresh in the minds of many people, he could be a high risk-high reward choice.

If the Giants choose to go in a different direction in the first round, they could wait a few rounds to select Kevin Minter of LSU, Kiko Alonso of Oregon, or A.J. Klein of Iowa State, among others. Regardless, inside linebacker is one area the Giants must try to find an upgrade at. Usually, this would be a top priority for the Giants, but in this particular draft, the Giants have one other need that is even larger.

1. Running Back

With the departure of Ahmad Bradshaw, the Giants will need to find another running back to replace Bradshaw's presence. Bradshaw wasn't the biggest running back out there, but he was intense and always played very hard.

The easy answer would be to say that David Wilson could fill Bradshaw's shoes, but with the way NFL offenses have changed, the Giants could use another running back to compliment Wilson's smaller size and faster speed. Today's NFL offenses are almost always designed for at least two running backs to fit into.

 The Giants had been doing this for years with Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. But now, the Giants will have to find someone new to play alongside Wilson as they move onto a new chapter in the team's history.

With all this being said, it would be wise for the Giants to draft one of the larger running backs in this year's draft. It does not necessarily have to occur in the first round, but maybe in the third or fourth rounds.

Le'Veon Bell of Michigan State, Christine Michael of Texas A&M and Latavius Murray of TCF are three big running backs that could fit the profile of what the Giants need going forward. It would be nice to see the Giants draft one of those players.

For more on the Giants and the NFL draft, please visit this link. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1613589-ranking-the-giants-3-biggest-draft-needs
 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New York Giants 2013 Schedule: Why Not getting the Spotlight May Help

Eli Manning runs off the field in Metlife Stadium last December after defeating the Eagles in the Giants final game of the season. Photo courtesy of USA Today


Frank Gray
BGB Editor

February of 2012: Fans remembered it as if it were yesterday. The Giants made another improbable playoff run and sealed it against the New England Patriots . Again. Fast forward just a little more than a year later and the Giants are no longer in the spotlight of the NFL.

When last seen, Big Blue was walking off the field after trampling the Philadelphia Eagles in what became an over-hyped divisional laugher that meant little to either team except to serve as a fitting farewell to Andy Reid's Eagles tenure.

This week, the NFL releases the 2013 schedule as the team prepares to turn the page. According to NFL.com, there is a teaser article that presents their "13 best games" of the upcoming season. Only one (Broncos at Giants, "Manning Bowl") contains the Giants. In fact, the list compiled by their website seems like more of a farewell tour for Peyton Manning than anything else.

We know the teams the Giants will play. We just don't know the venues, times or dates yet. That's what Thursday's schedule release is all about. Until then we do know one thing. The Giants have one of the easier schedules in 2013. In fact, only eight other teams have a lighter schedule than the New York Giants.

With a lighter schedule to play, the Giants should not be expected to be focused on and that is just fine by them. The two title runs they made in recent years were both in seasons in which they were not favored or thought of to do very much by various media sources.

Once again, the media is enamored with the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, the same-look Dallas Cowboys and resurgence of the Washington Redskins and the recovery of their young QB. They completely ignore a Giants team that is redoubling their efforts and beefing up the D-Line.

Failing to make the playoffs last season left a bad taste in the Giants mouth. They will be refocused on the business of winning. Media sources ignore that fact. That's fine by Eli Manning and company.

If no one is talking about them, they play the underdog role extremely well.