Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Would the Giants Take the Chance on Plaxico Burress?



Jim Mancari
BGB Correspondent

I have heard in various reports that former Giants' wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the leg, may be released from prison early.

The 34-year old receiver was a huge part of the Giants' Super Bowl run and their 11-0 start for the next season until, of course, his illegal firearm shot off in a night club.

I was a huge proponent of the punishment he received. He caused the Giants so much bad publicity that the wheels fell off that season in a one and done situation against the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs.

Now it appears Burress wants to make a comeback and Giants GM Jerry Reese has already said his team will have interest.

What level of interest that is, is uncertain. But I do know this: With Steve Smith coming off an injury and eligible for free agency, the Giants are going to need a backup plan.

Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham cemented their roles on this team this season. Both have big play capability.

Steve Smith was Manning's favorite target on third down, and it was obvious that Eli missed Smith down the stretch.

Derek Hagan had a few decent games and should see some time next year but in a limited role.

The Giants lack a big, bruising wide receiver who will go up and make that big catch and can then turn it into a big gain.

At one point, this description fit Plaxico Burress perfectly. However, what can we expect of Burress two years removed from the league?

Keep in mind also that he is 34-years old and probably doesn't have too much left in the tank.

Here is how I would like the Giants to handle this situation:

Assuming there is football next season, I'd like to see the Giants sign Burress to a one-year deal but with the ability to cut him after training camp. If he shows he can be productive on the outside, he deserves a second chance simply based on how good he was when he was here and healthy.

Michael Vick received a second chance and look how he turned out. Granted, he is a few years younger than Burress, but there is no reason why Plax cannot do the same.

I'd say the risk is worth the reward regarding Plaxico.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Big Giants Boom's Annual Grades (Part Three)



Frank Gray
BGB Editor

In our final part of this three part series, the staff at Big Giants Boom will be offering their overall thoughts on the season that was for the New York Giants. We will also be handing out grades to the separate units and the team as a whole.

Offense

Jim Mancari- Like I said, if it wasn't for the turnovers, this offense could have received an A grade. Manning threw for 31 touchdowns which was the first time since Y.A. Tittle that a Giants' QB threw that many. Despite their injuries, the receiving core made some big plays at crucial times. Hakeem Nicks established himself as a playmaker, and even Mario Manningham showed he can handle the work load of an NFL receiver. The team sorely missed Steve Smith, but if they can resign him, they should have a strong receiving core again next year.

But the turnovers cannot be overlooked. In the two game collapse to the Eagles and Packers, every time the Giants were driving, they seemed to turn the ball over. This trend cannot continue if the Giants ever plan on getting back to the postseason.

Grade: B

Defense

The front four of the Giants certainly lived up to the legacy of great Giants' defenses. Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty, Barry Cofield and even rookie Jason Pierre-Paul all showed their athleticism and speed in putting pressure on opposing QB's and clogging up the running lanes.

The linebacking core and secondary, however, needs some work. Every team has missed tackles, so I won't even touch on that. But when the front four do a good job of containing only to see the secondary fail to come up and make the stop, that's bad.

Individually, Terrell Thomas and Antrel Rolle had pretty good seasons. Rolle is actually heading to the Pro Bowl. But the secondary time and time again surrendered the big third down conversion to keep an opposing drive going.

Grade: B+

Overall

While the team finished 10-6 and was alive on Week 17, the fact that they could have locked up playoff spots in two consecutive weeks and did not will overshadow any successes from the 2010 season.

Turnovers and poor decisions in crucial spots ultimately led to the Giants' demise. In a year where Dallas was a non-factor in the NFC East, the Giants had every chance to capture the division crown, and they let it slip away.

I'm glad Tom Coughlin will be returning as head coach. He is one of the top coaches in the league, and it's not his fault that his team insists on turning the ball over.

This team has the pieces to be a perennial contender in the NFC. They need to player smarter football however if they plan on regaining the glory of their 2008 miracle run. Under Coughlin's leadership and continued drive to improve, the New York York Football Giants will return to the promised land in the near future.

Grade: B

Offense

Alyssa "G-Men Girl" Franklin
- For the offense I would have to say that I am a little bipolar on the situation. On one hand I am happy that they were able to score and step up to the plate when the injuries of Smith and Nicks occurred. However, tipped balls, miscommunication with the receivers, interceptions, fumbles and dropped passes leave me baffled.

I cannot put all of the issues on Eli. It was a collective effort of everyone from coaches to players. Coach Gilbride to me really needs to go. He is safe with play calls and doesn’t take the necessary chances that need to be taken in situations. I would suggest “How to not fumble” classes for Ahmad and Jacobs.

They have a great offense. It would just be nice to see some issues cleaned up and get a OC who can come in and get some new things going and utilize all the great talent that the team has. I hope to see that in the offseason they can get that accomplished.

Grade: B+

Defense

As for the Defense, I was pretty much pleased with the overall dynamic of the group. Perry Fewell came in and gave us a new look of a defense that was powerful and dominating. If I had to fix a major thing with the defense, it would be learn how to do more man coverage in the Secondary.

I don’t like seeing zone and the corners being 2 yards behind the WR to allow a catch and yards after the catch. That shouldn’t happen. Also they need to learn how to finish the fourth quarter. I could see the momentum start to slow down by that time and that is not when you want things to happen.

They have to keep up that speed and domination though the whole game. Start out fast and end fast. Even though both games to Philly were lost I do see some pride in knowing the Giants were the ones to set the blueprint in stopping and containing Vick. May not mean much but I take pride in knowing they were the ones that did that.

Grade: B+

Overall

Overall I was happy with the team this year. I know a lot of people may think that it was not a great season. I don’t see that even if they didn’t make the playoffs. A 10-6 season is a heck of a whole lot better than the way the season ended last year.

Don’t get me wrong they dug their own grave and couldn’t get themselves out when it mattered and that is the disappointing part. But what I do see is a team that I believe can clean up the mistakes, make some changes and get back to the big show.

Grade: B-

Offense

Adam Carman- They need to work on staying healthy and holding onto the ball. But they did a decent job with a bad situation when considering all of the injuries.

Grade: B+

Defense

This unit still struggles over the middle but made huge gains from last year.

Grade: A

Special Teams

I had to grade this group by themselves. Matt Dodge wasn't the worst; the coverage never got there and Lawrence Tynes can't kick a touchback to save his life. They hurt the team overall.

Grade: C-

Overall

The team needs fewer turnovers on offense and less big plays given up on defense, as well as extensive work on special teams. Still, a solid year that gives hope for the future!

Grade: B

Offense


Frank Gray- Though Eli Manning had a career high 25 INTs, he also had 31 TDs to go with them. He had a season of extremes that was caused by injuries all around him. His most reliable receiver, Steve Smith, was taken away from him half way through the season. It is no coincidence that he led the NFL in third down INTs.

Perhaps he felt he had to force the issue on that particular down more than any other. That down is usually when he looks to Smith. Without that option, Manning had to try to connect with someone one that he felt less comfortable with. This is not a good thing for a QB in the NFL.

The result is usually bad, as was the case this season. Out of his 25 picks, nearly half of them were tipped. That, also, is a combination of poor mechanics by Manning and poor route running or poor ball skills by his receivers. With the addition of a healthy Smith next year, that will not be an issue.

The running back tandem of Jacobs and Bradshaw was extraordinary. They provided the balance that one wants to see in the running attack. The only trouble was that they had trouble holding onto the ball in key situations. They put the ball on the ground far too much.

That buried the defense into defending short fields. More often then not, it ended up with three points for the opposition. If they hold onto the ball, the balance is unstoppable. This past season, however, they stopped themselves more than any opposing defense did.

Grade: B

Defense

The Defense was stellar at times and star-struck at other times. They were a defense that provided a pass rush for the first time in two years. Under Perry Fewell, they improved. However, they did not prevent total breakage.

Whether it was in coverage or in missed tackles, this defense had times when they struggled mightily. They are missing the dominant presence of versatile linebacker. For a franchise that has had that for decades, it is a gaping void. They also lack the big play in the secondary.

Though they had a good season, this secondary could be better. Too many missed tackles and times of looking clueless against opposing receiver routes, lead up to poor play and defensive leaks that don't get fixed until the off season. Thus, here we are. This defense has the potential to be a top tier unit in the league. At times this season, they were. For now, they get a high grade, but not as high as some would suggest.

Grade: B+

Overall

The team as a whole fell short. They mainly did so because of a lack of focus and a lack of intensity. When they needed to make the plays, they didn't. That led to needing other to help them. They didn't. Many will blame Matt Dodge in Week 15 against the Eagles. When he punted to DeSean Jackson, who eventually returned it for a game winning TD, it led to a domino effect.

However, I see coaching as more of a problem in that situation. To be honest, the Eagles were out of time outs. Why didn't Coughlin call for a series of runs and take it into over time? That indecision led to the bad punt and the return by Jackson. The following week, they were smoked by a Packers team that obviously were hungrier than they were.

In the end, you win as a team and you lose as a team. Therefore, the Special Teams' inability to provide any spark or flicker of good starting field position factors in as well. The opportunistic Defense that broke at the most inopportune times factor in too. The Offense that coughed it up for Coughlin when they needed to hold onto it, must be tallied in the grade also. With all of that said, the team as a whole gets a generous, but well earned grade from me.

Grade: B

The staff at Big Giants Boom thanks all of our readers for logging on throughout the season. We also want to remind you that we are not done just because the season is. We are here all year round. Please follow us on twitter, facebook and make sure to tell a friend to do so. We appreciate it. As always, Go Giants!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Big Giants Boom's Annual Grades (Part Two)



Frank Gray
BGB Editor

We continue our review of the New York Giants' season with a look at the Defense and Special teams units. We will break down each unit by position and give our grade for their performance this past season. In the final part of the series, we will conclude with our staff's thoughts on the team's performance overall. Let's continue now with the Defensive Line and Linebackers.

Defensive Line/Linebackers

Chris Cintron Sr- Well folks, here we are, another end to another wonderful season of giants football. I have the privilege of grading our linebackers and defensive line. Before I begin, I want to thank the staff of BGB for allowing me to voice my opinion through the season. It's been a heck of a ride. Full of hopes, excitement and disappointment. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we ended up with the latter.

The greatest thing about our sport is that we get to start all over again. So let baseball season hurry up and start and get to the the All Star Game, cause that's when I really start getting excited again for another season of New York Giants Football. Lets begin the grading.

I'm gonna combine our defensive line and linebackers. Which I think work together as a unit. I thought they did a wonderful job. We saw the return Osi. After an off season of wondering if he would return as a giant. He picked up his game and was back in the saddle again. Mr. Tuck saw his best season. I think all the Subway sandwiches were his lucky charm. So keep on making those 5....5 dollar...5 dollar foot longs.

If memory serves, we knocked out 5 QB's this season. Not that I wish harm to anyone, but I wish it could have been more (Michael "puppy love" Vick on the top of my list). Overall, with the help of our linebackers, for most of the season, we stopped the running game on most of the teams we played once we found our rhythm.

It was a slow start at the beginning of the season. But once the units started to understand the new Fewell system, we began to show what we could do as a defensive unit. I don't care what anyone says. The linebackers and D-Line held this team together this season.

When our offensive could score, our defensive keep us in the game. When the offensive could get it together, we kept the opposing team at bay. As far as I'm concerned, these two units were our team this year. But as we all know, things fell apart at the end of the season once again.

The longer the season went on the more we started letting up. It came to a head at the second with Philly. how can a team score that many points in 7 minutes. Okay, let's not go there. No sense in crying over spilt milk. But the proof is in the pudding.

Overall, I give our LB's and DL a "B" for the season. I'm sure the problems we had will be addressed during the off season. All we can do is pick up the pieces and move forward. Happy off season to all and for the rest of the playoffs, GO JETS

Grades: B (for D-line and LBs)

Defensive Backs

Adam Carman
- Last year this unit boasted names like Michael Johnson and C.C. Brown. They also left unanswered questions like, “What’s a safety?” and “Who was supposed to cover that guy?” New defensive coordinator Perry Fewell had done wonders with the secondary in Buffalo. Many were anxious to see how the offseason additions of Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant and the return of Kenny Phillips would play out.

What became obvious almost from the beginning was that while Rolle received the greatest noise (something he augmented by giving controversial press conferences every week), it was Deon Grant who had the biggest difference. The man just seems to know where the ball is and attacked it week after week, even dashing across the field to make big tackles.

Rolle, meanwhile, made a name for himself as an extra pass rusher, disrupting opposing quarterbacks’ timing. Terrell Thomas led the team in tackles and interceptions while Corey Webster continued to demonstrate shut-down ability. Kenny Phillips was not as efficient as one might like, but he generally played well.

Fewell’s approach has been described as “bend but don’t break.” His secondary occasionally gave up big plays, and there were fewer interceptions than there should have been. Rolle and Phillips need to get better in coverage. They were caught out of position far too many times (the most recent being Rex Grossman’s 65-yard TD pass or the Brent Celek TD that sparked Philly’s comeback) but this unit showed great improvement over last year. If the Giants draft another safety and keep Grant and Rolle on, look for big things in 2010.

Grade: A-
MVP: Deon Grant.

Special Teams

Alyssa "G-Men Girl" Franklin- I can’t in all good faith give Special Teams anything higher than a C for their performance this year. I thought maybe I could grade on a curve but it’s just not happening. Why? Well DeSean Jackson is my answer.

I can’t sit here and put all the blame on Matt Dodge. I can put a large part of it on the defense for allowing it to come down to that point. However, when you go and look at replays and you see Jackson fumble with the ball and actually drop it and there isn’t a defender within 5 yards of him that sets me off. Not only have that but all the blown tackles allowing Jackson down the field.

Up to that point Special Teams has done a better job in the last half of the season but that game just shot it all down for me. I have seen great tackles and great field positions and I hate that I am putting my final grade on one play but that possession sealed a lot of things for us.

Our Kick/Punt Return got a little better. I don’t understand why DJ Ware didn’t get more time with returns because he did a great job at proving that he could run the ball. Hopefully Hixon will come back better and ever and help in me giving Special Teams an A+. Without Hixon, though, this group is very average.

Grade: C

Kicker/Punter

Jim Mancari- Lawrence Tynes had a strong season for Big Blue this year. He connected on 19-of-23 field goals, which is 82.6 percent. He doesn't necessarily have the biggest leg in the league, but he proved to be a consistent offensive weapon.

The problem for Tynes was that when a team turns the ball over, especially in the red zone, they squander points, even if it's only three via a field goal. He played in 15 games so that averages to 1.5 attempts per game. If the turnovers improve for the G-Men, Tynes will have more opportunities to put points on the board.

And now to punting...

Oh Matt Dodge, what are we going to do with you?

Sometimes you look like the reincarnation of Jeff Feagles and Sean Landeta combined. But other times your look like your helmet is on completely backwards and you have no idea what you're doing out there.

In Dodge's defense this year, it is extremely difficult to replace arguably the greatest punter in the history of the game in Jeff Feagles. As fans, we were so used to Feagles placing a ball perfectly within the 5-yard line, no questions asked.

However, this year with Dodge, fans held their breath even as Dodge was catching the ball. There's no doubt that he is a work in progress.

Yes, everyone will always question what he was thinking when he punted the ball to DeSean Jackson in the collapse to the Eagles. And yes, we will all remember Coughlin chewing him out on the sidelines after that play.

What we won't remember (but should) was that Dodge was in the top-10 in the league in punt average, net yards per punt and punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

If he can make better decisions at crucial moments in the game, he will be a serviceable punter. I'm not saying he will turn into Feagles tomorrow, but he has a strong leg and the ability to place the ball where he wants it. He just needs to execute.

Grade: B (average of an A- for Tynes and C+ for Dodge)


Please log on tomorrow for the final part in our three part series. We will be offering our final thoughts on the season and giving the team an overall grade.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Big Giants Boom's Annual Grades (Part One)



Frank Gray
BGB Editor

The New York Giants season is over, as we all know. They must now look toward free agency and the draft. They must address issues like coaching staff decisions and personnel changes. Before we, at Big Giants Boom, focus on those stories, we must take a look back.

Our staff will be offering grades for the New York Giants performance this season by position and overall team play. In the first part of this three part article, we will delve into the Offense. We begin at the helm, with the Quarterback position and working our way down.

Quarterback

Adam Carman
- Eli Manning had another career year. As I predicted, he hit 4000 yards again (the only Giants QB to do this twice) and 31 TDs. The much-publicized drawback, of course, was the career-high 25 interceptions. This is a problem of course that needs to be fixed. Turnovers are always costly, and the 2010 Giants became the first team in league history to lead in both takeaways and giveaways.

Nevertheless, some perspective is needed. Manning played this season with a shuffled and reshuffled offensive line and a corps of receivers whose most experienced player was out injured half the time and only in his third season.

By the end, the Giants receiving corps was boasting names like Derek Hagan, Michael Clayton and Evan Thomas: players who had not even been in the league the week before the Giants called them up. Even Nicks and Manningham, however, while showing improvement, also displayed how green they were.

Balls frequently bounced off their hands and into the arms of opposing DBs. Take incorrect route running and band ball handling out of the picture and Manning’s TD numbers rise and interception numbers drop.

Take away the obvious and Manning’s quest for Giants greatness continues. He displayed leadership on a team rocked by injuries and was always looking to make plays for his team. He has things to work on in the offseason, especially communication with his receivers, and the ability to slid.

But even with everything else, he completed 63% of his passes. If he did not have so many interceptions, those would be Pro Bowl numbers. He’s not just a good quarterback, he’s a great quarterback who is only going to get better.

Grade: B+

Running Backs

Jim Mancari- One of the major stories coming into this season was how Brandon Jacobs would handle losing his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw made big play after big play the last few years, and Tom Coughlin finally gave him the shot as the featured back.

Bradshaw got off to a roaring start, which caused Jacobs to kind of be the forgotten man. However, despite Bradshaw's early success, he developed a case of "fumbleitis" causing Jacobs to regain the starting role.

Combined, the two backs rushed for over 2,000 yards and 17 TD, which is about one per game. They averaged about 130 yards per game. Jacobs adapted well to his new role and still managed to average 5.6 yards per carry.

The problem this year with the entire team was turnovers. Eli Manning was forced to throw the ball more than normal because his backs kept putting the ball on the ground. Naturally, this caused Eli's interception number to sky-rocket.

Seven fumbles from Bradshaw is downright unacceptable. Though Jacobs only had two, we will never forget Clay Matthews coming from behind and stripping Jacobs after breaking a long run in the loss to Green Bay.

The X-factor for the future is D.J. Ware. He did a solid job in the return game later in the season, but that falls under special teams. He may factor more into the offense next season. He could be the 2011 version of the 2007 Derrick Ward.

Grade: B+ (If it wasn't for the fumbles, it could have been an A)

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Alyssa "G-Men Girl" Franklin- This season made it very hard to grade the WR’s. On one hand they did a great job in stepping up when big play guys were injured but then on the other hand missed assignments, dropped passes and tipped balls make me want to almost give them a C+.

The beginning of season was a great window of the future of our WR’s but after the Steve Smith injury followed by the Nicks injury it was obvious that Eli was struggling with his 3rd down and big play guys missing.

I will give a special grade to Derek Hagan. Some people may want to disagree with me but this guy really surprised the heck out of me. He went from on the couch at home to coming out and being someone that Eli could rely on.

Don’t get me wrong Mario Manningham stepped it up as well. There are just some things that need to be corrected and I believe they will get a handle on the issues once the season starts up again.

WR Grade: B-

You know with the Tight Ends it could have been better but it could have been a lot worse. I have been a lil up and down on this bunch. I have seen Kevin Boss have better seasons but he still think he is a great player. He is one of the strongest guys on offense.

Some people may disagree but I have seen this guy take a hit after hit after hard hit and be able to get up and get back to the line. This year wasn’t the best for the TE’s as far as scoring but in blocking they stepped it up with the damage we had in the OL.

We needed them to step it up towards the end of the season and in the passing game. I just wasn’t as impressed as I would like to be. I would have like to have seen one of these guys be a substitute blanket that Eli needed while Smith was out and I just didn’t see it happen.

TE Grade: B

Offensive Line

Alyssa "G-Men Girl" Franklin- The OL suffered a blow almost every week. The injury bug was persistent with this group and somehow they managed to keep it together and do a great job. It was a patchwork offensive line with guys moving around like chess pieces but they were able to protect Eli and create holes for the RB’s.

Eli went five games without being sacked. That says a lot about the great job that the OL stepped up and did. After seeing the lack of effort after the Indianapolis game I was worried that the injuries would prove to be too much but the coaches did a great job in placing the guys in the right spot to get the job done.

Grade: A

We will reveal our grades for the Defense and Special Teams in our next article. We will also include our final thoughts on the team overall in the third part. Please log back on then for the finale of the Big Giants Boom's Annual grades.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Giants Missing the Playoffs is a Good Thing: Three Reasons Why



Frank Gray
BGB Editor

The Giants put forth a valiant effort to end the season on a strong, positive note this past Sunday. Despite their strong finish, they failed to make the playoffs. In the end, they spoiled their chances and had to rely on hep that never came.

Fans experienced a myriad of from rage to disgust to depression. The players, themselves, were embarrassed and actually apologized to fans through media interviews. Though it left a bad taste in all of our mouths, missing the playoffs this year may not have been the worst thing for this team. There are three major reasons why.

First, the Giants were not the healthiest team finishing out the season. It is true that no team entering the playoffs is healthy after playing sixteen games, but they were in bad shape. Justin Tuck was hurting after a minor car accident on New Year's Eve.

Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara would have been out for the playoffs. Hakeem Nicks would have questionable for every playoff game. Of course, they would have continued to play without Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden, Victor Cruz among several others.

This team would have undermanned and hobbling into the playoffs to face a healthier team on the road. That scenario could have been potentially disastrous. Even if they had survived the first game in Philadelphia or Seattle, it would most likely been at a great risk of further injuries.

Second, this team needs to master certain things in order to play up their full potential. They can not lead the league in turnovers and expect to be an elite team. There has never been a dynasty, or simply just a super bowl winner for that matter, that has led the league in turnovers during the regular season. Good teams don't make a habit of handing away games.

It starts at the top with Eli Manning. He threw for 4002 yards and 31 TDs this season. However, his turnovers are a major problem. His 25 INTs became famous this season. Though 11 of them were tipped, still each one led to the offense on the sideline for the next play. Still, Manning is not stepping up in the pocket.

He is not making good decisions with his passes. He is not taking what the defenses give him. Why throw 30 yards down field on third down when you only need five yards and you have a running back wide open on a screen? A QB in the NFL must know the situation and take what he is given.

Even when he is not throwing, he is fumbling. He had seven fumbles this season (two of them while running). That is a total of 32 turnovers for just him. He threw 31 TDs. By himself, he is a -1. The offense as a whole had 13 lost fumbles.

This is not acceptable. It can be argued that Manning spent the entire season playing with a different receiver group and a different offensive line for almost every game. That may have led to the inconsistencies. It hurts his continuity. While that is a good argument and probably true, it still doesn't excuse it.

That will have to be addressed this off season if they expect to be anything more than a contender that just falls short. If that means a new Offensive Coordinator or a new QB Coach (or both), than the Giants must do what is right to fix the leaks. If they need a new voice to instruct their offensive leader to better the team as a whole, then they need to get it. They have to work on execution and fundamentals.

It is not just at the QB position. The offense as a whole must address holding onto the ball. That is a lesson learned in Pop Warner Leagues, yet they struggle to do so consistently. Until they think of ball security first, they can not take their team to the next level.

Finally, this team has weaknesses. In particular, they are weak and/or old at Linebacker and Offensive Line. They must get younger, stronger and deeper at all of the positions that these categories entail. If they entered the playoffs in the state they were in, they would have slipped further down in the draft.

They would have had a bad playoff run and nothing to show for it but a draft pick in the mid-twenties. That is not how a team is built. The very best players in the draft would be gone by then. That's not a big deal to a team more complete and deeper at key positions. For the Giants though, it is important. They need to build that depth.

If they were not in a position to make a good playoff run, then it is better to have a more advantageous spot in the draft order. That way, when they are in a position to make a good playoffs run, they will have the depth to go along with it. That's called being in a good place.

Overall, missing the playoffs may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I know many fans don't want to hear that right now, but when the dust settles, history will show it was for the best. The Giants will be better off.

This time next year, we could be having an entirely different discussion. If the Giants are healthier, have better execution of fundamentals at their offensive positions and have more depth at key team positions, they will be a fierce and competitive force in the post-season.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Blast From the Past

Adam Carman
BGB Assistant Editor


"They opened with three straight runs from Lewis Tillman, earning the Giants a first down. Smith, though, showed his ability to stop the off-tackle run as he consumed two blockers. Rodney Hampton managed to get by, exploding for a 40-yard run from midfield to the 10. After a Hampton five-yard run to the five, Giants fans started to show their frustration over the conservative play-calling.

"On a roll-out to the left, Simms had a lane to run for a touchdown. He didn`t take it, even though the Bills had no pass rush. He threw a pass that Bills DL Leon Seals batted into the air before Hampton caught it at the 2. Perhaps he was tired from all the pizza he had been eating." --When the Cheering Stops by William Bendetson and Leonard Marshall.

If I had changed the names in this excerpt to Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and Eli Manning, would you have batted an eye? You mean, light didn`t shine out of LT`s every orifice and not every move Phil Simms made was pure gold? The rose-colored memories have to end at some point. All the best Giants teams in history have had incidents where their fans have had reason to question them. Even the OC on the legendary Super Bowl teams was occasionally considered "too conservative." We can criticize bad performances, but at least make realistic comparisons. All teams are flawed. It`s not going to be so much the 2011 Giants playing without problems as finding ways to play through them, and it`s not always going to be pretty. But I see big things ahead. GO GIANTS!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Top Giants I Want Back (Top Giants I Want Gone)

Adam Carman
BGB Assistant Editor

Yesterday's 17-14 victory over Washington, 10-6 finish and exclusion from the playoffs on a Green Bay victory has sparked new rounds of grousing from Giants fans, especially after Seattle (whom the Giants destroyed earlier in the year) clinched the NFC West at 7-9 last night.

This is perhaps understandable, although myself the victory over Washington was all I was looking at. I consider 2010 a difficult but successful season in which the Giants made strides after the debacle of 2009.

Eli Manning became the first Giants QB to throw for 4000 yards twice and only the second to throw 30+ TD passes (of course, more dubiously he also tied a team record with Charlie Conerly with 25 interceptions, although at least ten were off tipped balls). Ahmad Bradshaw had 1000 yards rushing.

The defense led the league in turnovers and set an NFL record with 25 fumble recoveries (a year after giving up the most points in the league). All improvements, especially gained with a receiving corp pulled off lots in Iowa and a shuffled and reshuffled offensive line.

Nevertheless, the Giants have some things to work on. At this point it is quite possible a lockout will change what will happen next season, so it is uncertain exactly how long this offseason will be.

In the meantime, I thought I would kick it off by noting that there are several Giants I want to see back and several I hope I've seen the last of (unless they're lining up to play for Dallas next year).

STAY
Coughlin: solid head coach with the right attitude for this organization.

Dodge
: yes, I know, but the kid has talent and will to improve.

Smith
: should be number 1 receiver for years to come

Bradshaw
: he'll fix fumble problems and should be reinstated as starting running back

D. Grant
: most consistent safety on the team, just knows where the ball is

Pascoe
: brilliant blocker, decent receiver

Seubert
: offensive MVP in my book

Hixon
: I told you we'd miss him on returns and even at receiver

T. Thomas
: shutdown corner in the making

V. Cruz
: I want to see if he can translate his preseason success when it matters

Kiwanuka
: might be better transitioned to LB

GO
Tynes: he's been a hit or miss kicker for years, enough is enough

Quinn: ST has been an issue with the Giants for much too long

Blackmon/Reynaud: neither was a decent return man and you have to assume this handicapped the offense

Manningham: he displayed flashes of brilliance, but he is far too inconsistent to have the weight of the passing game on his shoulders; he can't run routes and he causes interceptions by not making the catch

Calhoun: we were told he'd be a good gunner on ST, but he continually missed tackles I could have made and allowed huge returns when the Giants could least afford them

Bulluck: made a lot of noise in the press but didn't do anything to help the linebacker corp on the field)

JURY OUT
Gilbride: generally I agree that he seems predictable, but every now and then he gets it right and I am not sure if adding a new OC would help or hinder at this point

Rolle: generally a positive, especially in pressure and short passes but got caught out of position far too often on the deep ball

Phillips: giving him a pass at the moment since he just returned from knee surgery

Jacobs: good when on but inconsistent

O'Hara/Diehl: might be time to call it quits

Boss: do you think he'll be over his concussion by next season?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Week Seventeen Recap vs Redskins (Win and Pray for a Loss in Green Bay)



Frank Gray
BGB Editor

The New York Giants (9-6) entered today's pivotal game against the Washington Redskins (6-9) in need of a few things to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. First, they needed to defeat the Redskins. Second, they need to root for the Chicago Bears to defeat the Green Bay Packers. Mission one: beat the Redskins. We'll get to mission two in a minute.

The Giants started the game controlling the line of scrimmage with their running game. Brandon Jacobs had a 27 yard run that set up a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. They soon took a tremendous hit to the offensive line when Rich Suebert injured his right knee. The running game did rebound though.

Jacobs scored a TD on the ground to give them a 10-0 lead after a nine play, 68 yard drive in the 2nd Qrt. The Redskins answered with a TD drive of their own. Rex Grossman hit Fred Davis in the end zone to draw with a field goal at 10-7 at the half.

The Giants started the second half by forcing the Redskins to go three and out. On offense, they wasted no time extending their lead. A two play, 95 yard drive was capped by a 92 yard TD pass from Eli Manning to Mario Manningham to make the score 17-10.

That score stood until the Redskins rallied in the 4th Qrt. Rex Grossman hit Anthony Armstrong for a 64 yard TD to draw within three points again at 17-14. From there though, the defense held and the Giants left with their fist mission accomplished. They defeated the Redskins 17-14.

On the day, the passing game was more effective than the running game. Eli Manning threw a TD and an INT (on another tipped pass), but had 243 yards passing. Mario Manningham caught 4 passes for 101 yards. Derek Hagan had six catches for 70 yards. They did not get their running attack going after they lost Suebert.

Ahmad Bradshaw totaled 30 yards on 17 touches (eight yards receiving, 22 yards rushing, 0 TDs). Brandon Jacobs rushed for 49 yards and a TD, but the running game as a whole combined for only 82 yards (including an 11 yard scramble from Manning). Jacobs' lone rushing TD tied him with Rodney Hampton for second in team history with 49 rushing TDs.

The defense won this game in the end. They combined for four turnovers (3 fumble recoveries by Osi Umenyiora, Kenny Phillips and Jason Pierre-Paul, one INT by Keith Bulluck). They had two sacks (both by Osi Umenyiora).

Terrell Thomas had 10 tackles (seven solo tackles). Every time the Redskins had a drive going to tie or take the lead, the Giants defense ended it by forcing a turnover.

The special teams unit did an okay job today. Lawrence Tynes was 1/2 in field goal attempts and 2/2 in extra points today. While Matt Dodge averaged 41.6 yards punting. The return game was decent but did not stand out in a good or bad way.

The Giants finish the season with a 10-6 record. The Chicago Bears fell short on mission number two though. Jay Cutler threw an INT to end the game as the Packers held on to defeat the Bears 10-3 and hold on to the last playoff spot. This is the second consecutive season the Giants will miss the playoffs.

Though they stumbled toward the end, they did finish strong in their final game. They had key injuries and lost opportunities all season and it finally caught up to them. For the complete box score from the game, please click here. For video highlights, please click here.

The Giants enter the off season with several questions now and do so as spectators. There will be questions about their coaching staff. There will questions about health. Most importantly, there will be many chances to examine what went wrong and what went right for this team this season.

They certainly have many good things to build on for next season. Until then, it will be a tough six months until the summer camps open up and we all see how the prospects they draft in April pan out. Of course, Big Giants Boom will be here all year round to help you get your fix on Giants football.

Team Stat Comparison


NYG
WSH
1st Downs1420
Passing 1st downs
914
Rushing 1st downs
45
1st downs from Penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
5-163-12
4th down efficiency
0-00-2
Total Plays6166
Total Yards325385
Passing243318
Comp-Att
17-2926-44
Yards per pass
8.47.2
Rushing8267
Rushing Attempts
3220
Yards per rush
2.63.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-21-3
Penalties2-244-25
Turnovers14
Fumbles lost
03
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession32:2027:40

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year From Big Giants Boom!!!




The staff of Big Giants Boom would like to take the opportunity to wish all of our readers and fans a safe, healthy, prosperous and happy new year. We also want to thank each one of you for reading so faithfully.

May 2011 be filled with good fortune and reason to cheer for the Giants and their fans worldwide. May the year begin with a February parade in New York City and end with our Giants preparing for another playoff run this time next year.