NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: G-Men Take Care of Business in The Jets' House of Blues.
SNOOPY BOWL - I
After a crushing loss to the Redskins, I pretty much left off thinking the Giants just better show up against the Jets and make the final showdown with Dallas matter otherwise there would be all kinds of hell to pay. And as the game drew closer, I still found my team a little too confusing for me to predict anything heading into Week Sixteen. So what I wound up doing was reverse engineering my way through last week's win over the Jets. That's right. My own team confused the bajabbers out of me, so I put myself in the Jets' shoes and figured things out that way.
Prior to game-day game, in N.Y. Jets; A Clash for TITANS - I asked if Mark Sanchez was up to snuff heading into this game? But I also asked if the two headed Offensive Coordinator Schotty-Moore can find the right plays to suit his touch? The answer I gave on the first question was no; Sanchez wouldn't be up to snuff. And we found out the answer to the second question as to whether the two-headed monster would dial up plays tailored for Sanchez was a resounding NO; with fifty-nine pass attempts and a total of eighty-nine futile plays from scrimmage piled up as evidence.
Then in N.Y. Giants - Eve of Frustration - I said, even with a suspect (Giants') 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. ....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. And he didn't. And by throwing the ball fifty-nine times, the Giants chances of winning sky-rocketed.
Ultimately in my weekly PIGSKIN picks I said, I have no idea (who'd win the game). Both teams have pluses and minuses that cancel each other out. So when I put this game in the hands of the quarterbacks, I side with Eli.
Okay fellow Giant Fans, why so preoccupied with the Jets? Well, because as I pointed out in N.Y. Jets - Living in a Big Blue World, how on the one hand the Giants did what they needed to in order to win, and on the other hand the Jets did everything possible to lose that game. So as a Giants fan who now has his playoff aspirations on the line versus Dallas, I'm concerned by the fact as I just stated, the Jets did more to lose, than we did to win.
The Victor Cruz touchdown was a busted play amongst two Jet players. The tackle should have been made. And if the Jets hadn't veered so far off their game, I think it could have been a much different game. On a day Eli Manning only completed nine of twenty-seven passes and threw an interception, and a day when the Giants Offense as a whole had thirty-four less plays from scrimmage than the Jets did, their quarterback failed to do better.
As part of thirty inconsequential pass completions, Marc Sanchez' two interceptions were pass attempts into the abyss and deserved getting picked-off. Marc Sanchez also held on to the ball way too long and gifted the Giants with at least two of their five sacks and a fumble (recovered). A second fumble came off a bad snap with the Jets threatening from the two yard line. That fumble kept the Jets off the board. And a Giant sack of Sanchez in the end-zone conversely put points on the board for Big Blue.
WHAT THE GIANTS DID WRONG ON OFFENSE:
The number of three-and-out possessions is keeping almost every team in games. The failure to consistently get first downs has resulted in the Giants losing the time of possession battles more frequently. It's continually resulting in teams far surpassing us in plays from scrimmage. That in turn lends itself to exposing the Defense.
Kevin Gilbride resorted to the same losing formula that waisted everyone's time during the Redskins game. There was never an attempt to establish the run in the first half. With numbers almost identical to the week prior, Gilbride called for eighteen passes and just seven running plays during a 10-3 first half.
Furthermore, I didn't agree with the reinsertion of David Baas at center. I thought the combination of Kevin Boothe at Center, with Mitch Petrus and Chris Snee at the Guards was working very well. With David Baas at Center, the middle of the Line has been closed to the running game. Saturday's game was no different. Except for one big rush Ahmad Bradshaw busted off Center, all the Giants success came running off the Tackles. Ahmad Bradshaw and D.J. Ware found daylight running between Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie. Brandon Jacobs found his daylight running off David Diehl. Throughout the first half however, Kevin Gilbride insisted on running up the middle when it clearly wasn't there.
WHAT THE GIANTS DID RIGHT ON OFFENSE:
For starters, Kevin Gilbride finally turned to the run once he found out Eli was going to have a bad day. After the first half, the running game turned up the heat. The trio of Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, and D.J. Ware combined on twenty-five rushes and 116 yards. Two of the three Giants touchdowns came on the ground. And Bradshaw should be given a special mention for running with power. The final splits between plays were twenty-seven passes, and twenty five running plays.
The Giants may have only had fifty-five plays from scrimmage, but they still averaged over six yards per play. Thank Victor Cruz for that. He had a 99 yard touchdown grab that padded the stats. But he also became a Giants record breaker. The day was also a measure of satisfaction after a week of verbal jousting with Darelle Revis.
And well, whether I disagree or not, with David Baas, the Offensive Line gains a measure of depth again.
WHAT THE DEFENSE DID WRONG:
For the second straight week, the Defense took a too-many-men-on-the-field penalty. This week's directly led to the Jets' first touchdown of the day.
In dire need of a defensive stop with 8:13 left in the fourth quarter, after just trucking over Marc Sanchez on a first and ten play, second and twenty became third and twelve, which became a first and goal after a Giant penalty. Sanchez ran a bootleg in for a touchdown.
Lastly, the Jets running game was building steam until they got derailed by their own coach.
That concludes a very short list. That can only mean good news.
WHAT THE GIANTS DID RIGHT ON DEFENSE:
For having a quarterback throw the ball fifty-nine times with thirty completions, and for a team that ran eighty-nine plays and held the ball for thirty-six minutes, the Giants defense limited to the Jets to 331 total yards for the day. The Secondary didn't get lit-up, and instead intercepted Sanchez twice.
The Giants' Pass Rush made it's triumphant return to dominance sacking Mark Sanchez five times for a loss of thirty-two yards. The pass rush also caused the Jets' Center to mis-snap the ball in haste causing a fumble at the Giants' two yard line which the Giants recovered.
The Defense also scored two points with a Safety against Sanchez which pretty much ended the Jets' last stand. Chris Canty was the one who got a hold of Sanchez. And thus closed out the game for the Giants in a formidable manner.
Perry Fewell's unit did their job well Saturday considering the amount of time they spent on the field as the offense could only generate first downs at a 26% clip.
N.Y. Jets - A Clach for TITANS
N.Y. Jets - Living in a Big Blue World
N.Y. Giants - Eve of Frustration. But For Who?