Monday, September 19, 2011

N.Y. Giants ~ Week Two; Time To Get Ram Tough

From the desk of:  DO IT FOR THE DUKE


Within a matter of thirty-five seconds or so, my son and I captured the essence of tonight's game against the Rams.  Upon me getting home, it went some thing this:

Son ~ Why the hell am I so worried about the Giants tonight?
Me ~ You should be.
Son ~ Why?  ...It's the Rams.
Me ~ That's right.  That's exactly it.  We're playing the friggin' Rams.
I should end this post now.  But what follows is what I started last night, and before I ran into Jr. this afternoon.

New York Giants:  WEEK TWO vs. St. Louis Rams
Rams' Coach Spags Knows Exactly How To Beat Us.  The Question Is, Can Perry Coach Fewell Beat Him To The Punch?  And Part Of The Answer Is,  ...Only If Coach Gilbride Keeps The Ball On The Ground.

There's looking bad.  There's losing.  Then there is looking feeble while losing badly.  And the ultimate invitation for abuse is to look feeble while losing badly to an inferior opponent.  The atmosphere around the Giants is already as such that they can ill-afford to have any of the above happen to them in their Met-Life Stadium Home Opener; and on Monday Night Football no less.  And yes; this is only Week Two.  Oh, - and it's only against the team who's head coach who was our Defensive Coordinator during our last Super Bowl; the same one we never wanted to see leave.  I digress.

But because of the way the Giants ended last season; this year's pathetic pre-season display; followed by a full frontal flashing of everything the Giants do badly in Game One; well then, the lack of general confidence might be warranted heading into Monday Night's game against the Rams.  The problem for the Giants started for them in Week One.  They Lost.  They travel down the turnpike to face division rival Philadelphia in Week Three.  So naturally, the Giants flat out can not afford to have anything go wrong for them in Week Two.

Very simply, they need to be in full control of Monday Night's game from start to finish without any noticeable outbreaks of feebleness or folly.  Just eeeking out a win and looking unimpressive doing it, will not do.  Do we need a blow-out or a shut-out?  No.  We just need the Giants to execute plays and do what they're assigned to do effectively.  Leave no doubt who is in control of the game even if the Media calls it old; methodical; plodding; football.  Just plod well.

Execution of plays; eliminating blown assignments; and just good tackling should be enough to win.  Right?  Easy to say, but that's what the staff coaches.  The players need to follow through.  Well..., at least the healthy ones do.  Even depleted by injuries, this team is still good enough to take care of the Rams without having to make us sweat the outcome late in the fourth quarter.

Confidence?  The only way to make the unhappy, happy; and gain confidence is to win.  That's how you make problems disappear.  You know that.  I know that.  The Giants need to be crisp; sure; effective; and consistent.  They then must dominate and finish off a lesser opponent in the most convincing way they can muster.  Turn the fourth quarter into Giant Football.  Do that, and rumblings for Tom Coughlin's head and Jerry Reese's job will subside and lessen the distractions around Big Blue.  Calls for both their heads and those kinds of reactionary knee-jerk demands don't jive in the Big Blue world.  Matters are handled within the context of stability here.  So think of something else.  I'll agree in saying there is much to chose from when it comes to gripes though.

Control; - Ball control; clock control; and self-control.  We need to implement and stay committed to the running game and let it take it's effect over four quarters.  Fourth quarter clock management with a running game; that's been pounding away all day; keeps the pigskin in our hands, and our defense out of harms way.  Commit to running, and our third down conversions will improve.  I'm sure of it.  So will Play Action; and eventually, downfield will open up also.

OR PUNT!!  There is nothing wrong with playing a game of Field Position.  Oh that's right.... Our Special Teams moonlight as the Keystone Cops in their spare time.  Sorry.

We need the Offensive Line to build on a decent Week One start together in order to make these things happen for Kevin Gilbride's sake; to preserve the division standings; and for all our sanity too.  Give the O-Line time to work.  They need an opportunity to develop a rhythm.  But more importantly, they need discipline and creativity from the Offensive Coordinator.  And we need Gilbride to pick and choose Eli's big moment a little more wisely.  The Rams will be giving us chances, so just relax and pounce on the opportunity as it presents itself.  And in the mean time, pound the damn ball for a change.

What happened last week; when Brandon Jacobs had a preposterous One Carry! the second half against the Skins, can not play out that way again.  In that second half, Kevin Gilbride all but gave the Rumbling Duo of Jacobs and Bradshaw the rest of the night off.  Keep that up, and be assured, it will be Gilbride who will be released by the Giants and find himself unemployed; not Coughlin or Reese.

On the other side, I fully expect Coach Spags to exploit our linebackers.  I would.  If he keeps them busy and gets them flustered and running in all directions, the Giants just might very well be playing catch up football; and then there goes our own running game too.  There is an over-reliance by the Giants on the defensive line and the sack.  And if I know Coach Spags, he's going to instruct his O-Linemen to let the Giants rush as deeply into the backfield as they want to be.  Can you say Draw Plays and Screens?  Then it's, we come!

The D-Line might get to Sam Bradford; maybe even often.  But what good is it if the Secondary; a flaky secondary for some time now; has a repeat performance of last week?  Coach Spags knows our Secondary very well.  And with our propensity to give up big plays down field, hitting Bradford often still may not get it done.  The guy can still throw a football very well.  And if he makes six or seven very good to great throws, we might be done.

For this game, don't give me any Perry Fewell flap.  Coach Spags taught most of these defensive players almost everything they know. 

And that's why I'd be worried about tonight's game.

So I guess I'm putting the spotlight tonight on both our Offensive and Defensive Coordinators.  Coach Gilbride is tasked with reintroducing the running game into Giants Football.  And Coach Fewell is tasked with not letting Coach Spags expose our weaknesses too badly and making us look like an utter joke.

Let's Go Giants!


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