Tuesday, October 12, 2010
NYG ~ Week 5 Big Blue Review
The Offensive Line did not give up a sack and they blocked the running game to a 100 yard-rushing game. Combined, Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs rushed the ball 26 times for 108 yards behind an O-Line still missing SHAUN O'HARA (lost to lingering injuries). DAVID DIEHL continues to play good soldier and had an effective day after having a tough go of it in previous weeks. Personal foul issues seem to have been resolved. The Offensive Line was a good looking unit Sunday.
AHMAD BRADSHAW "sprained some defensive ankles", for sure, shaking and baking as he does. He's not only elusive, quick, and can cut on a dime; he's so strong for his size. He's a compact, well balanced rusher whom many times it takes more than one tackler to bring him down.
BRANDON JACOBS deserves good mention as well. He's been quietly going about his job. The drama of being benched, the helmet toss, and rumors of wanting to be traded seem like a distant memory as well. Winning will do that, you know?! Coach Gilbride managed to up his rush attempts if only slightly to 10 versus 6 the week before. Jacobs is starting to attack the holes better, like Coach Coughlin asked. He is doing a lot less east/west running, punching through, where the O-Line creates their holes now. Increasingly you see Safeties making tackles on Brandon and not so much him getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage anymore. Some of that is due to the O-Line's improving play, and I definitely say Jacobs' renewed efforts are an equal part.
But...., but...but.... COACH GILBRIDE still needs to get Brandon Jacobs more carries. Brandon needs to grow into a game to have an effect. He isn't something you unleash for sudden impact.
ELI MANNING and HAKEEM NICKS are the Leagues' newest sensation.
Hakeem had himself a career day. He caught 12 passes for 130 yards, and two touchdowns. He tied Amani Toomer's team record for receptions at wide receiver in a game. And....and...His day could have been even better. There's little flaws in his game that experience and maturity will cure.
Eli almost got Steve Smith killed on another high pass. If Eli keeps putting his receivers in prone positions having to make them stretch out and come off the ground to make catches for him, he's going to get one of his receivers hospitalized. That's an adjustment and nothing really to be killing Eli about.
He had a stellar day. He attempted 42 passes and completed 27 of them for 297 yards and two touchdown. The key stat of the day? ~ No Interceptions.
I'm still having a hard time adjusting as a Giants fan. I still can't come to grips we are a passing team now. We are not the "Run-with-Power" ~ Ball Control ~ Eat the Clock team I'm accustomed to. Maybe that's why I have my issues with Coach Gilbride.
He sets up the run with the pass; not the other way around. He throws constantly. The Giants won this game 34-10...a 24 point lead did not deter Coach Gilbride from throwing the ball. He called on Eli to throw the ball FORTY TWO TIMES! Good grief! Eli threw the ball 42 times in a 34-10 win and threw for only 297 yards? That's Gilbride and that's what drives me crazy. He is still calling for pass plays late in games while the Giants nurse leads. I know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em... I get that. But he throws way too often when the situation doesn't call for it or worse yet, when the situation doesn't necessitate it. Is this being nit-picky of me coming off an all-around well played victory? NO! This is an old issue for me. But I will be fair. At 13:38 of the 2nd quarter, Gilbride called for a play to Hicks that resulted in a touchdown. It made the score 21-0 and was Hakeem's 2nd TD of the day. That play came off a Giants' called Time-Out. When it plays out like that, off the time-out, there is nothing you can say but,"Great Call"!
On the other side of the ball, the Defense backed up their dominating performance against the Bears with an even more impressive performance against a solid Texans team; less the "58" sacks.
The Defensive Line was stellar. Justin Tuck seems to be growing into his role. I'm not sure he really grasped that before. What? What role? I think he finally understands how influential he really is, or could be, on this unit. Recognizing it, I sense a change in his game-attitude already.
Osi Umenyiora is thriving, playing full time in the absence of M.Kiwanuka. Osi is also nursing a barking knee. He'll need some monitoring. Safety Kenny Phillips' knee has also been barking at him.
The much-maligned Line-backing Corps., is taking shape and creating their identity. None of them in particular stands out. But collectively they have strung together 8 very good quarters of Football. They have been exceptionally good along with the D-Line in stifling some very good running games (and that goes as well for the game against the Colts....that's right).
Over-all, the Giants defense is beginning to be spoken about as a dominant force. Right now it would appear injuries are working against the Giants. They've managed to roll with the punches. Perry Fewell and the players will only be getting more and more comfortable with each other as the weeks progress. Coach Fewell seems to have stabilized the highs and lows of this bunch. The low no doubt was the Colts' drubbing at the hands of Peyton in which Perry Fewell implemented his 6-defensive backs system. The high, of course was the "93" sack game we had against Da Bears. Somewhere in the middle is this Giants defense and I think they may be starting to really emerge.
Maybe, a surging Offensive and Defensive squads can rub off on the Special Teams Units because they are trying every one's patience. They were fairly bad again last game with regards to coverage. Penalties were their biggest infraction this time, not so much poor execution. Like past practice, I have not and am not going to start using Special Teams as a reason to hype Giants success or misfortunes.
Next: Looking at Week 6 and the Detroit Lions.