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Giants/Cardinals Recap: Roundtable

 Oh boy, another loss.

This one perhaps more disheartening than the others. The New York Giants had won 15 straight games when leading at half time and for the life of me I can’ t figure out, with the lead why they didn’t run more in the early part of the second half.

That’s two straight weeks where I disagee with the general game plan, what’s worse was the excecution.

There is certainley a lot to discuss about this game, which was dissapointing to say the least. To discuss the issues with me are Andrew, Fuchs, and Mark Picucci.

Fellas:

One Statement: Initial Reaction to the game

Shizer. They had 2-3 opportunities to win or at least send it into overtime and the Giants offense lost in the one way Coughlin absolutely despises…. turnovers.

Surprsing loss, but due to a stunning lack of discipline

frustrating game to watch, nobody really played well and lots of mental mistakes

The New York Giants identity is a power running game, ball control game, and limiting mistakes.

PLAY GIANTS FOOTBALL!

One bright spot in the game however was Hakeem Nicks who scored a Touchdown for the fourth straight game.

Hakeem Nicks Touchdown was…?

 

 

 

 Lucky, but I’ll take it.

Right place in the right time, but Nicks has a knack (get it nick knack) for the ball.  He has been very impressive so far, and the Giants should think about starting him in front of Manning(no)hands pretty quick.

thing of beauty and a joy forever. But in all seriousness his concentration to get the ball into his hands and then take off like a bullet was thrilling…. it was kind of a lucky fluke but he was in the right place at the right time and did the right thing with the ball once he caught it so give him some credit too. My question is — if he was so wide open (looked like a 15 yard radius around him) why didn’t he get the pass in the first place?

 Games Ball Goes To….?
  Beanie Wells. Thought he looked like a poor man’s Adrian Peterson. Really impressed by him.

If I have to give one I would say Corey Webster, he at least held his receivers in check for the most part on Sunday

The Giants Defense… they held the Cardinals to punts on their last few drives to give the Giants a chance to tie or win. They did their job well all night, forced an early turnover and interception, got pressure when needed and held an explosive offense to well under 300 total yards – i thought they got back on track this week.

 

Brandon Jacobs played with fire and energy, and the team as a whole seemed to lack energy for long stretches of that game. Brandon Jacobs looks like he’s coming back to form…now only if we can get him the ball more.

One thing is becoming clear to me that the Giants are struggling vs good competition with their injuries, which is to be expected.

Really there are five main stays of the defense that haven’t played much at all this season Aaron Ross, Chris Canty, Michael Boley can all come back this year. Kenny Phillips and Jay Alford unfortuantely can not.

More important player coming back in the near future (hopefully): Michael Boley, Chris Canty, or Aaron Ross?

 

Boley. His ability in coverage and in the pass rush has been missed. But frankly, they need all of them back

 

 

would have to say Michael Boley hands down, the defense looks totaly different when Boley is on the field.  He was all over the place before he went out and is the only linebacker with big play potential right now. 

Great question — and I’m leaning toward Michael Boley because he takes away the underneath options a lot better than Blackburn and Pierce, he’s very fast and does well to stop the run and dump off passes to the oppositions RB’s.  My father has been dying to see Canty get in there and move some guys around, he’s got a point but I think Canty’s a close second and needs to get in shape. Ross will need to be in even better shape to play at a high level that is needed in the secondary and I don’t think he’ll be able to step into the Giants schedule and make an impact for several more weeks. Out of everyone, I think Boley is the most impactful player out right now that could step in an truly make an immediate splash.

I think the best player of the five is Kenny Phillips, but those who can come back I’m going to take Chris Canty. Boley is exceptional, but the linebackers are the same as they were last year for the most part  while the defensive line is struggling. Fred Robbins looks like he’s already wearing down from surgery. Rocky Bernard is not playing well and the interior Defense could use a huge boost which Canty could provide.

There are many theories as to what happened in the Giants/Cardinals game. Let’s turn to Fuchs for his thoughs.
What was the Key to the Giants/Cardinals game?
  I think it was the inability of the Giants to adjust to the heavy blitzing by the Cards. I’ve said it before, but to neutralize a heavy pass rush, you have to catch the D off guard, via play action, rollouts, draws. You have to take advantage of the over-aggressiveness. Giants didn’t do that.

I thought the offense excecuted poorly. I love Eli Manning and I love the ability of the wide receivers, and they are very young so we should have expected some growing pains. Their talent made their mental mistakes easy to overcome vs bad teams, but vs good teams it’s hurting the Giants. Becuase of their inexperience the Giants should be relying more on the ground game than they are.

Mark Said:

What was the biggest downfall of the Giants/Cardinals game?
 Two things stick out in my mind.  First off the field position battle was one sided. The Giants started deep in their territory and couldn’t move the ball leading to the Cards starting around mid field for most of the game.  Feagles for once was not on his game, his punts were short and off target all night.  Secondly I feel the beginning of the second half killed the Giants.  They went three and out for I believe three consecutive drives and couldn’t get anything going until it was too late.

Well said. let’s turn our attention to Eli manning.

How about Eli Manning’s performance on Sunday?
 
Being a Giants fan you are use to Manning having a couple of these games a year, so unfortunately we just have to deal with it.  Now he got lucky on the touchdown, Manningham should have had another one, the first int was a remarkable play by Cromartie, the second pick should have been caught and the third pick was his fault for sure.  I am not going to make excuses for Manning because he frustrates me sometime but being a Giants fan I take the good with the bad. 

  He played poorly, but not as poor as it would seem.  What’s frustrating is that the Giants still had chances to make plays in this game. The first interception was not really Eli’s fault. Sometimes defenders make great plays and Cromarite made a great play there, but the offense hasn’t made big plays downfield even though they have taken a lot of shots. Let’s start connecting on some of those, or stop wasting downs.

A big issue was turnovers and perhaps the most costly turnover was from Ahmad Bradshaw. Andrew loves Bradshaw and I asked him what he thought.

How about Ahmad Bradshaw’s game vs the Cardinals?

Let me say this — everyone fumbles now and again and people get frustrated when they’ve made mistakes. Bradshaw is an explosive type of guy and he’s still young and I think he’ll learn from this experience — I’m not ready to pull the plug on him like Fuchs is…. but a larger point that I want to make is that it was clear Bradshaw did not have the night that Jacobs did, and that was totally evident during very beginnings of the game. And this is what truly bothers me about the Giants static game plans — they switch up tactics at the wrong times based on data and reasoning they should have used in the moment 2 games ago. Yeah — put Bradshaw in early when Jacobs isn’t being effective in KC on the road. But when Jacobs is getting 10 yards a carry and steam rolling guys in Giants stadium in front of everyone’s delight – YOU LEAVE HIM IN!  That’s what people want to see! But they took him out and tried to fix something that wasn’t broke. It truly baffles me these unfounded personnel moves during the game. I’d like to see if Gilbride actually has a pulse during these games — because you can feel the energy emanating from Jacobs when he’s having a good game and that’s precisely when he gets taken out for no reason. Jacobs should have had 10 more carries last night, I don’t care about the deep ball or the score. When you see a guy trucking people every time he touches the ball, you keep giving the ball to him, end of story. He certainly could have gotten one more carry instead of yet another MADISON HEDGECOCK INCOMPLETE PASS.

 I was more made at Bradshaw until I read that once he was grabbed by the ankle he decided he was going to go to the ground (the right thing to do) but that he got hit before he made it down there. It happens.

Let’s see some more screens to Bradshaw moving forward though shall we. The next issue I wanted to talk about was the Giants much criticzed secondary.

 
How did you think the secondary played vs the Cardinals?
Not great. And you’re starting to feel the impact of the losses of Kenny Phillips and Aaron Ross. CC (can’t cover) Brown is really getting exposed in pass coverage. Teams are picking on him, and rightfully so. Corey Webster is still playing shut down defense, but teams are moving their wideouts around to get matchups against Brown. Giants would be wise to bring in a safety.

 

C.C. Brown looked foolish on the Antrel Rolle wildcat play. But man I didn’t know Antrel Rolle could throw like that.

The Bills should sign him to play quarterback to make effective use of their big play threats.

One advantage I thought the Giants had heading into the game was Feagles. Boy was I wrong for Sunday’s game.

How about the defensive line vs the Cardinals?
 
Again as last week they were unimpressive to me.  They had flashes during the game but can’t seem to get to the quarterback.  I am sure the injuries to Alford and Canty aren’t helping but they can only make so many excuses.  Something on this defense looks different right now and they better figure it out quickly before it gets out of hand. 

What about old reliable Feagles vs the Cardinals?
 
I read somewhere that that was part of the gameplan, to kick it away from Breaston. Still, a bit surprising to see that many bad punts from “The God”.

  Let’s call that an aberration and move forward. Another advantage in Special teams would be the Kick Return game.

How did the Cardinals keep Domenik Hixon in check in the return game…?

They just swarmed him, tangled him up early. Hixon couldn’t get anything going so clearly the Cardinals were aware of that threat.

I disagree. I thought the blocking wasn’t great (enegery again) and I also thought that the Cardinals took a calculated risk on kicking the ball on the ground all game. Sometimes that burns you because the coverage units over pursue or the ball goes out of bounds. Worked for them this past weekend though.

I said earlier I thought Chris Canty would provide the biggest boost coming back. Let’s see what Mark thinks about the defensive line from Sundays’ game.

They’re not playing great. Their DE are playing well especially Tuck and Kiwianukda but they need help at DT where they are not playign well. I think Tollefson is doing well as a situational pass rusher  as well, but that’s realy all he is.

One thing that irked me was Manninghamhands crucial drop I asked Fuchs about Manningham so far this season.

How is Mario Manningham Playing this season and in last night’s game?

Overall, really well. But last night Super Mario looked more like that dope Luigi — he ran some bad routes that were called out by Chris Collinsworth where he went up the sideline that unnecessarily stifled Eli’s throw, and he dropped a CRUCIAL touchdown pass that Eli put right in his hands from 35 yards out that really steamed my clams…. that’s the one play that if it was made would have clearly changed the outcome of that game

He’s young, super talented and makes stupid mistakes. He’s maddenginly inconsistent. let’s hope he has a few more great weeks in him coming up here before the Giants fall in a hole they can’t recover from.

let’s see what the panel had for final thoughts.

 

  
Anything else to add about the Giants/Cardinals game…?

I have an observation about the Giants offense this year that troubles me. We knew coming into this season that Eli and his receivers were working on the deep ball — he told us this much in camp. But Eli Manning went and tried to force several deep balls last night, and it didn’t pay off for the second week in a row. The Hixon interception was a prime example of a risk that needs not be taken that early in the game. The Giants were moving the chains with short passes and running the football — which is the ENGINE of the Giants offense as it were. When Eli repeatedly yanks down the throttle with these deep balls on 3rd and short — it doesn’t rev up the engine — it floods it.  This Giants offense thrives on steady acceleration over the course of the game. It is not a pot shot offense, nor should it be. The Giants have the tools and the talent to drive the field methodically and efficiently every single possession, steadfastly winding down the clock and dominate their opposition with the run and short passes to their receivers and tight ends.  But instead — it seems like the Giants feel some sort of pressure to introduce a diet of high flying aerial buffoonery the past few weeks to make things look interesting. But this new strategy certainly isn’t winning games that it should. My advice is that Eli revisit the 2007 playoff tapes and remember what it was like to repeatedly lead his team to victory under some very modest constraints — patiently and methodically spread the ball around with high percentage short passes, use your tight end a lot, and do not be afraid to run the football. In a sense, win games by playing Giants football.

 It’s go time now for the Giants. They had a great position. The Eagles lost to the Raiders and the Giants had a chance to gain a game here vs the Cardinals at home coming off a terrible loss and they couldn’t do it. It’s ab it troublesome.

This week isn’t must win, but it’s must play better for sure or we’ll be in a dog fight to make the playoffs this season.

Fent your frustrations or throw out some optimism to get some Giants fans off the ledge.

And as always, have a nice day, everyone.


 This is a hell of a time to have to go the Philly and play the Eagles.  The Giants are beginning to show some cracks in the armor and better get them patched very soon.  I would also like to see Rouse get a shot at safety pretty soon because it is becoming clearer every game that teams will attack Brown as much as possible.

  

 

 

My thought on Nicks touchdown was how impressive his speed is with the ball in his hands. He’s not a speedy straight line runner like DeSean Jackson is, he is however great with the ball in his hands. He out ran Dominique Rodgers Cromartie-one of the fastest Cornerbacks in the league, which was very surprising to me.

Let’s hand out the game balls.


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8 Responses to “Giants/Cardinals Recap: Roundtable”

  1. excerpt from today’s NY Post:

    “This is the perfect time for a reminder from Bill Parcells the day after Super Bowl XXV: “They call us predictable and conservative, but I know one thing — power football wins games.”

    The Giants (5.0 yards per rush last year, 4.4 this year) have lost their smashmouth identity, and as November and December rear their ugly heads, it is time to rediscover it.”

    I think we’re all on the same page here…. use that 3rd and short deep ball sparingly from now on.

  2. watch out Sunday

    if the Jints do not dominate the trenches, Philly can pull out a W

  3. Russo says:

    The giants need to realize they need to attack with more than just their front 4 before the 4th quarter

  4. CMH says:

    Will Sintim be healthy this week? We could use some fresh legs to blitz McNabb.

  5. Russo says:

    Not sure of his status. He wasnt on the injury list for last sunday. He looked great in preseason. It would be nice to see what he can do in reg season. It def cant hurt

  6. philly is always a tough go of things — its usually a toss up.

  7. Dave says:

    Look! The announcer at the game figured it out, and made several comments on it: Eli’s “Ohmaha” indicating that the next snap count was live, was a terrible idea. I think that cavemen could have figured that out. I wonder why they got beat by Arizona?

  8. […] Giants Roundtable, Part 1 and Part […]

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