Saturday, December 24, 2011

N.Y. Giants ~ Eve of Frustration; But For Who?

From the desk of:   DO IT FOR THE DUKE


Put Your Muscle Where Your Mouth Is.

Dear fellow Giant Fans, -  I don't know what more to say.  As far as getting things off my chest, I'm all caught up.  The only thing left is to play this damn game.

Everything I've said and posted previously about:
The Coaching
The Offensive Line
The Running Game
The Secondary
And the Defense as a whole  ...remains relevant today.  I wouldn't change a thing now.  And so as to avoid being repetitive about things, I'd ask that you refer back to those posts for details.

Never before have the Giants taken on the Jets; or the Jets against the Giants; - depending upon which allegiance you subscribe to; where both teams have so much at stake.  It's a game in which both teams have everything to gain, along with everything to lose.  They're two desperate, wounded animals trying to qualify for the playoffs while team each is unknowingly more frightened than the other.  Who then is better than the stadium's corporate sponsor; Met-Life; to draw up and underwrite a policy for Saturday's  East Rutherford Riot.  For in the aftermath of this game, one of these two team's seasons which get played in the same house, will surely die. 

A bad game Saturday will prove too ruinous and effectively end either one of these team's campaigns for sure.  In which case for us Giants Fans, the New Year will either be ushered in leaving us feeling a little Green in the face, or thankful and calmed by a pleasant Blue sky above.  With a loss to the Jets however, there will be nothing left to play for and the end of the season will commence a time of judgement for many a man in Blue .  A loss will demand we enter the Giants' proverbial closets for the purposes of expelling some demons.  For this team played itself into this situation and quite honestly deserves to be up against the wall and be put under scrutiny. 

How did the Giants get themselves into this position?  For starters, there are two things the Giants have done well this season and two things only; throw the football and punt the football.  That's not exactly what you'd call a complimentary offensive attack.  The NFC East was begging for it to be dominated by the Giants.  But Big Blue chose to keep their division rivals in the hunt due in large part to woeful underachievement and a coaching staff unable to correct repeated, weekly mistakes.

Closer inspection says the Offensive Line had troubles which directly affected the running game.  The affected running game then conspired to keep our defense on the field.  And once the Giants' defense was on the field, the Secondary became every team's point of attack.  Teams were able to attack our Secondary with vigor, because the Giants' pass rush has all but disappeared.  The pass rush has all but disappeared because of injuries to Osi and Tuck.  But more than just those two individuals, injuries have taken a toll on this whole team.  And that's how we arrived at this do-or-die game against the Jets on Christmas Eve with the Giants in dire need of a gift wrapped win from 'ol Saint Nick.

If the Giants should win this game, there's still one more hill to climb.  I believe this team has a lot of talent on it.  When we do our things correctly, we can be a formidable team.  This team can beat anyone in the League.  That's why the season has been terribly frustrating.  They have a chance today to make all that irrelevant.  They have a chance to start anew today.  One win gives them life and an opportunity to extend their season deep into January.  Win or fail.  It's up to them.

*   *   *   *

The Met-Life Snoopy Bowl - I


The Giants' Offense versus the Jets' Defense:

If Coach Kevin Gilbride commits to the run, opens up effective play action, then picks his moments down field, the Giants Offense should win this battle.  But as we know, Kevin Gilbride has no idea how to play smash-mouth.  He has no idea how to manage a clock either.  His quick strike mentality has played into our Defensive malaise as well for he leads the league in longest pass attempts in the League.  But all his pass calling leads to too many three-and-outs or worse, lack of execution on third down conversions.  Eli is merely trying to execute the plays Gilbride calls.  So the message here is don't be greedy Coach!  Be patient with the run and let the game evolve through idiot!

The Giants will be inserting David Baas back at Center today.  I wholly disagree with this move.  David Bass has very simply not been up to snuff.  The combination of Kevin Boothe, Mitch Petrus, and Chris Snee has been an improvement up the middle of the Line and has revived the running game.  With David Baas at Center, the running game was running in tar.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  But as a pragmatist, that's the way I see it.

And this may sound cocky and out of line, but Antonio Cromartie and Darelle Revis do not concern me.  I believe Eli can still eat them up.  The Jets can't get to the QB unless they send extra people.  If Rex gets a little too blitz happy, Eli will find the open man.  And don't underestimate Eli's willingness to incorporate Bear Pascoe into the plan.  The Jets inability to cover any tight-end this season must be at a minimum explored even in the absence of Jake Ballard.

If we find ourselves needing late game Eli magic again, I'm willing to bet it will be because the running game didn't do it's job; be it Gilbride, Jacobs and Bradshaw; or due to the reassembled Offensive Line featuring Baas at Center, and David Diehl and Kevin Boothe having been returned to their former slots.

The Giants' Defense Against the Jets Offense:

Even with a suspect Secondary, I still dare Marc Sanchez to throw the ball.  And the more he throws the ball, the better the chances are the Giants win this game.  Shonn Greene is running the ball very well.  But the Giants have gotten substantially better defending the run since the beginning to mid-part of the season.  And so, I'm banking a quarterback still trying to get a firm footing in this league won't be able to carry the Jets on his back today. 

Most of Marc Sanchez' success has come late in games.  Otherwise, he's looked mediocre for three of four quarters this season.  If Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell finally grows a set of footballs and brings the house against Sanchez, the Giants win.  Period.  But his fear of getting burned deep is resulting in the Giants....getting burned deep.  His paranoid attempts at zone coverage are killing us!  Marc Sanchez is behind a suspect Offensive Line and has been taking a pounding.  He just might very well be gun-shy at this point.  That's why Perry Fewell must attack Sanchez early and often to dictate what the Jets' two-headed Offensive Coordinator; Schotty-Moore; will do next.

Attack, attack, attack!  Attack him early.  Then see what we need to do in the second quarter going forward.

That's it folks.  If the Giants can not line up, and to a man, beat the guy in front of him, I'll no longer be in the belief the Giants can win a Super Bowl.  But anyone can deduce that for our season will be over.  I'm done with schemes and plans, and planning.  I want Giants Football back.  I want them to be stronger than the Jet in front of them.  I'm done with logistics.  I want the Giants'  muscles where their mouths are.


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