From the desk of: DO IT FOR THE DUKE
Time to get RAM Tough Week Two Preview.
NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: We Actually Ran the Ball More Times Than We Passed! Alleluia.
IF SAM BRADFORD THREW FOR 300 YARDS, PERRY FEWELL BETTER THINK OF SOMETHING QUICK.
Faking injuries? Really? Is that how to slow down another team's offense? Is that what Perry Fewell had his unit practicing all week? I forgot at what point they tried that bush-league move. But the fact is, aside from the points the Giants were putting on the scoreboard, St. Louis was outplaying the Giants in the first half.
The score after the first quarter was 7-6 Giants. After the first half of Football, the score was 21-6 Giants. So why am I about to get so down on Big Blue? Because a lot of what I saw over the first two quarters were rather inept; marred with Giant recurrences of what ails us.
Take our first offensive possession. I don't care about balance! And I told you that's part of Gilbride's simple-minded tricknology. Here's the sequence:
PASS 1st play ~ 15 yds. Eli to Manningham.
RUN 2nd play ~ Bradshaw, 7 yard rush.
RUN 3rd play ~ Bradshaw, 6 yard rush.
PASS 4th play ~ Incomplete; Eli attempt to TE.
RUN 5th play ~ Bradshaw, 15 yard rush.
It's now 1st and 10 at the Rams 37 yard line. Eli is 1-2 so far, and Bradshaw is 3 for 28 yards rushing. Instead of continuing to just pound the ball, Coach Gilbride chose this moment to strike. From the Rams 37; OK....fine enough. That said, there's no hind-sight at work here. But you know I preach throwing the ball is very risky and most of the time in Gilbride's case, unnecessary. Rushing netted 28 yards on three plays. I say stay with what works until the Rams proved they can stop it. Establish the run, by running the damn ball.
PASS 6th play ~ Eli attempt; Interception.
Coach Gilbride chose to go the predictable 50/50 method and dialed up Eli to Manningham. Eli lost sight of the safety and also under threw the play. Result? - INT. This one was purely on Eli though. The play was still there if Eli had gotten that pass over the top and in stride.
On the Rams first possession, Sam Bradford found an abundance of wide open receivers and got the Rams all the way from their own 14 yard line down to the Giants' 1 yard line. The Giants held with a goal line stand and St. Louis settled for three.
The Giants second possession was basically a three and out; except that Rams fumbled the punt and Big Blue recovered. It almost didn't matter because the Giants put themselves into a 4th and 4 situation, and went for it. If not for a defensive interference penalty on St. Louis, the Giants don't wind up scoring seven on a catch by Hakeem Nicks.
Next time on the field, Sam Bradford did it again. He shredded our secondary like they were junk mail and got the Rams all the way to the Giants 17 yard line; result - defense holds again and Rams settle for another field goal.
Giants 7; Rams 6
Brandon Jacobs finally touches the ball. But Giants go three and out on their first possession of the quarter; another non-conversion on third down. Eli got blitzed; we punt. That's fine.
Next; Rams ball - Sam Bradford continues to find receivers between the trees called the Giants Secondary. Then St. Louis suffers a brain lock and lose a lateral fumble. Michael Boley was smart enough to recover the football and run it in for a Giant touchdown.
Score ~ Giants Offense 7; Giants Defense 7; Rams 6.
Midway through the second quarter, Coach Gilbride started ignoring the running game again. We were like 0 for 6 on third down conversions, and Special Teams was doing their typically bad job. But somehow during that, Gilbride; Eli; Manningham; and Hixon, called; threw; and made some very interesting bobbling and tipping riddled receptions. Dominick Hixon's TD catch made the score 21-6 Giants, as they went in for half-time.
So, at what point would you consider the Giants to have been in control of this game thus far? Sam Bradford and the Rams were going through the defense like saloon doors in Dodge City. Their problem is they are still a rebuilding team. Yet they were making the Giants afternoon difficult. The defense bent; but didn't break. So there's some consolation with that.
Sam Bradford picked up where he left off. But again, the defense held the Rams to three points.
Giants 21; Rams 9.
The Giants mounted a ten play drive that made the score 28-9 Giants. Happy right? Well..., no. There were 6 pass plays called with two incompletions. They ran three times. Then the scoring play was Brandon Jacob's 9 yard rumble; the fourth rush of a ten play drive. Ten plays only took 5:30 off the clock.
Why did that matter? Because Sam Bradford was still throwing for over 300 yards in this game and threw a late touchdown to make it a 28-16 game before the third quarter ended. He pretty much moved the ball at will against our secondary. Their problem is they couldn't run the ball against us. But the Rams are having a hellish time getting the ball in the end zone to begin with. Their failure to score has been more about their shortcomings than it was our ability to hold them to three field goals. It's sad but true. And our vaunted Defensive Line? - Two sacks (Tuck and JPP).
The was no scoring in the FOURTH QUARTER.
The Giants running game wound up rushing the ball 35 times for 131 yards and a touchdown. Eli Manning took away from that total with some negative yardage on four runs of his own. For his part, Eli passed the ball 29 times and connected on 18 for 200 yards; 2 TD; 1 INT.
Take away Michael Boley's touchdown return, and say St. Louis converts one of those field goals into a touchdown. It's a different game isn't it? Sam Bradford proved to be a problem for the Giants. The Rams actually amassed more offensive yardage than the Giants did. And as I said, the Rams couldn't run. Two turnovers didn't help their cause either.
In the end, a win is a win, no matter how ugly they are. We've avoided the dreaded 0-2 tar pit from which there was no saving our selves from. But I'd hardly call this game; and this showing against the Rams, impressive. The fact that Coach Gilbride ran as much as he did is promising. Coach Perry Fewell has a lot of work ahead of him before we get to Philadelphia.
# Brandon Jacobs rushed for his 50th career touchdown; ranking him second all time in Big Blue history.