Sunday, December 08, 2013

N.Y. Giants: California Dreamin' - May The More Desperate Team Win

From the desk of:  DO IT FOR THE DUKE

Trading for Eli Manning turned out very well for the Giants.
Today however, Philip Rivers may get the best of the Giants.

Looking At Week Fourteen Through A 1,000 Mile Stare.

A decade after The Trade, the San Diego Chargers and New York Giants share identical 5-7 records, and head into today's game equally desperate for a win.  A victory by either team may however prove inconsequential, as they both have underachieved enough to separate themselves from the rest of their respective conferences in the wrong way.  So, I'm afraid today's game amounts to nothing more than an east coast vs. west coach match-up in the Futility Bowl.

That lends itself to refocusing visions of the future, doesn't it.........?

Today, Eli Manning faces Philip Rivers, the quarterback he was famously traded to the Giants for during the 2004 NFL draft.  So how did former GM Ernie Accorsi's decision pan out?

With any luck, Eli will complete a five yard pass, and surpass 3,000 passing yards for the ninth straight season, of his almost ten year career.  With 3,600+ yards this season, Rivers has now accomplished the feat eight straight times.  To date, Eli has made 147 starts, and passed for 34,522 yards.  In the same span of time, Phillip Rivers has started 124 games, and has thrown for 31,524 yards.  Rivers only made four appearances in his first two years in the league.  Eli was thrown into the fire as a rookie.

Philip Rivers has led the league in touchdowns and passing yards once in his career, while Eli has led the league in interceptions twice, and is on pace to eclipse 20 INT's for a third time.  Rivers managed 20+ INT's just once in his career.  Eli has thrown more touchdown passes however, by a 226-212 margin, and has twice earned Super Bowl MVP honors.

Some say Philip Rivers is the better QB, but I think the Giants did just fine.  Would the Giants have won two SB's will Rivers at the helm?  Who knows,, and who cares.  Eli is our guy.  Nothing else matters.

On that note, let's address this next game against the San Diego Chargers.

With four games left in the regular season, the Giants hope to overcome a two game division disparity.  Winning five of their last six games tells us that they haven't folded the tent yet.  So, I guess we should hang in there as well.

Defensively however, this game spells trouble.  The Giants secondary is in shambles, and JPP will continue missing action.  Why shouldn't Philip Rivers carve up Perry Fewell's defense?  It might be best if Jason just sits out the remainder of the season.  If he plans on being a self-proclaimed "Beast" next season, he better get a head start now, and just heal up.

Meanwhile, at the other defensive end, Justin Tuck may be playing to remain a Giant next season.  Four sacks last week did little to change many minds, as RG3 almost begs to get sacked.  Tuck has four more games to show Jerry Reese more than he has over the last two years.  That's a lot of making up to do.

Offensively, Victor Cruz needs 60 yards to reach 1,000 for the season.  While he has a new deal that will keep him a Giant beyond next season, Hakeem Nicks does not, and may be playing his way out of New York.  There was a strong whiff of malingering blowing through Giants camp these last few weeks that does not reflect well on the Giants receiver.  Without him, the Giants clearly lacked their usual big play potential. 

But as we know, a backfield decimated by injuries, and poor offensive line play contributed to most of this season's offensive troubles.  Nicks just made matters worse.

The offensive line has played considerably better though, and it comes as no surprise to me that their improvement came at the expense of center David Baas.  Although Jim Cordle also suffered a bad break, James Brewer will get the continued look he deserves.  The return of Andre Brown makes it a little more difficult to decipher how well the O-Line actually improved, because Brown makes them look measurably better.  The combination of both factors and subsequent results however, speaks for itself.


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