NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL:
Big Blue Needs Their Four Linemen Of The Apocalypse,
Not The Four Ponies Of Mediocrity.
The schedule makers are clearly no fans of the Giants. Big Blue started the season on a Wednesday night, then waited ten days before playing in Week Two. They've since had to prepare for this quick four day turn-around and a Thursday night road game in Carolina. Meanwhile, the Panthers are coming off a Week Two home game and have had nothing to do but sleep in their beds and practice for the Giants.
Among the waiting will be Cam Newton. He must be salivating at the chance to take his turn lighting up the Giants Secondary. In Week One, Tampa intercepted Newton the same way they intercepted Eli. To a lesser extent than Eli, Cam Newton still lit-up Tampa Bay for three hundred-plus yards, albeit in a losing effort. But with an old nemesis; Steve Smith; as his top receiver, and playing against the current state of Big Blue's Secondary, the odds of Newton having a fine day increase immeasurably. Fully expect Cam Newton to target the Giants Corners early, often, and being successful all game long. The trend continues....
Look for Cam Newton to run like hell also. The Giants haven't been able to stop that either. Newton is actually Carolina's top rusher so far. DeAngelo Williams will surely have say over that shortly. With the way the Giants have played against the run these first two weeks, DeAngelo just might get righted against the Giants. He had a decent game running the ball in Week Two after getting shut down in Game One.
I'm not exactly sure where the Giants are going wrong against the run. I think it might have to do more with a lack of discipline than other factors. I do not see them, as they say, sealing the edges. Tampa and Dallas didn't exactly run the ball up the gut. The Giants have given up big yardage when runners bounce outside, where the containment has been lacking. Actually, the middle has played surprisingly solid defense. If anything, the Giants have been strong against the pass up the middle as well. Save for JPP, Giants sacks have predominantly come from the Tackles in Week One, and from middle linebacker last week.
This is another one of those match ups that riddles me with anxiety. The Panthers have given the G-Men fits over the years. This is perhaps Carolina's best edition. And as we speak, the Giants Offense is being decimated by injuries. Hakeem Nicks is now listed as out for Thursday's game. He will join David Diehl, Domenick Hixon, and Ahmad Bradshaw as non participants.
Defensively however, aside from Terrell Thomas and Chris Canty, the Giants still have most of their key personnel on the field. Eli bailed the Giants out last week and will be without the NFC Offensive Player of the Week Thursday evening. Therefore against the Panthers, victory is dependent upon the Four Blue Linemen of the Apocalypse. It is their turn to rise like Giants, and enough of this playing like the four inconsequential ponies of mediocrity. The only unit with no excuse for under performing is the Defensive Line. They are all healthy. As I'll include Mathias Kiwanuka in this, Justin Tuck, Osi, and JPP, need to get their hands on the quarterback far more than they have and dictate this game. Maybe they are getting held, or double teamed, or have underperformed, or are getting outplayed. What ever the case, all that needs to change Thursday night. The Secondary may not survive without them.
Two time Super Bowl winner, Corey Webster, is starting to remind retro Giants fans of Elvis Patterson. In the first two home games of the season, the old familiar waft of burnt toast has returned to fill the air of East Rutherford. Corey Webster is flat out getting lit up. Last season, the Giants ultimately got to the bottom of their coverage problems. But unlike the first half of last season, this year's dilemma is not a system issue. Corey just looks bad. Thursday night he will be tasked with covering Steve Smith. Good luck with that.
Meanwhile, it was right cornerback other teams were supposed to exploit. Go figure. Prince Amukamara will most likely play tomorrow evening. But in my eyes, he officially has re-prove himself; not that he ever has before. He is still a former #1 draft pick. So he needs to finally step up and play like one. Although that might be a little difficult to achieve this week. He is still a compromised player. But for Thursday night's game at least, he may be the lesser of two evils. Reason being, Michael Coe is also leaving a lot to be desired. And Jayron Hosely........ Basically, the Secondary is, as it was, and will continue to be - they are in trouble. I think the only real chance they have of improving is to just play, and try to grow together over the next three games before the Giants face the Niners.
Maybe the first road trip of the season is a good thing. There is a lot of quality time and bonding that takes place flying between cities. Maybe the Secondary can talk and find some common ground to move forward with. Perhaps over a game of cards or something, Tuck, JPP, and Osi decide it is time for them to wreak havoc again. Lord knows there is much Eli needs to discuss with Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan about the game. But overall, the first road trip gets everyone moving together in the same direction after two weeks of going home in their own cars.