Apparently trying to start a blog while (a) finishing a grad class, (b) celebrating Thanksgiving, (c) Christmas shopping, and (d) getting grades in (I’m a teacher) wasn’t the best idea. Oh well…
NY Giants Report
As bad as things were against Denver, the Giants really turned it around against the Dallas Cowboys, winning 31-24. The Cowboys dominated statistically, but since this isn’t fantasy football, it didn’t really matter. The Giants won because the offense made some big plays, the defense shut down the running game and limited the big plays, and the special teams shined (especially on a 79-yard punt return touchdown by Dominick Hixon.
The Giants should have had more, but wide receiver Steve Smith dropped a sure touchdown pass from Eli Manning. It was one of Smith’s three drops in the game. On his Facebook and Twitters, Steve Smith held a contest for fans to choose his next touchdown celebration. Perhaps Smith was thinking too far ahead on that drop?
That being said, Smith is having an outstanding season. He’s second in the NFC in receptions and yards, and needs just three catches and 364 yards in the last four games to surpass Amani Toomer’s franchise season records. He also had a chance to be the first Giants wide receiver to go to the Pro Bowl since Homer Jones (the creator of the touchdown spike) in 1968. That being said, he’s currently not amongst the top vote-getters at WR. The fan voting only counts for one-third of the final results, so the players and coaches better do the right thing.
The Giants play the Philadelphia Eagles tomorrow. A win, plus a Cowboys’ loss to the Chargers, would create a three-way tie at the top of the NFC East. A loss would put the Giants two games back for the wild card with three games to play. Hate to say it, but I predict Eagles 24, Giants 13.
The LeBron Sweepstakes
Both the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks are expected to bid for LeBron James after this season. Nets’ fans look to LeBron’s friendship with rapper and part Nets’ owner Jay-Z. Knicks’ fans hope the lure of playing at Madison Square Garden is enough to get LeBron. But both teams have something counting against them…
They both stink.
Apparently the New York Giants were not happy about playing on Thanksgiving night. They tried to get out of it. They complained about it. It showed on the field. The Giants must have eaten a bunch of turkey before the game. The tryptophan would hopefully provide an explanation why the Giants slept through the game.
The short end is this. The defense couldn’t stop the Broncos from marching down the field. The offense couldn’t run the ball. The Giants lost 26-6, yet the score doesn’t convey how thoroughly they got spanked by a team that hadn’t won a game in a month.
I’m at a lost to find any positives about the game. The only one I can find is that kicker Lawrence Tynes was 2-for-2 on field goals, including a 52-yard kick. But let’s go down the list, shall we?
Quarterback (D): Eli Manning was not impressive. He had a number of throws that landed at the receivers’ feet, or over the receivers’ heads. Andre’ Goodman had three interceptions in his grasp, but failed to pull two of them in. Eli also fumbled in the fourth quarter, but when the defense knows you’re going to pass every down in a position of desperation, that’s not a big deal.
Running Backs (C): When you’re supposedly elite running game carries the ball just 16 times and averages 3.6 yards per carry, you’re in trouble. Brandon Jacobs continued his transition into the last Giant player to wear #27. Ron Dayne has returned the Giants’ backfield, ladies and gentlemen! I don’t understand why Jacobs isn’t just exploding in the line and using his built to push the pile. It seems to take him so long to reach the line of scrimmage, and he’s going down as soon as someone tries to take out his legs. Jacobs’ biggest run of the game was for seven freakin’ yards.
Danny Ware…I mean, DJ Ware (as he insisted to be called now; it stands for Danny Jr.) was decent. He only carried the ball six times, but averaged an impressive 6.8 yards per carry. Of course, he also fumbled early in the second quarter, allowing a turnover which the Broncos converted into a Knowshon Moreno touchdown. He left the game with a concussion.
Receivers (C): You’re kind of limited when your quarterback is struggling to get the ball to you. But the receiving corp didn’t help. The Broncos were playing a lot of man-to-man, yet Manning was having trouble finding an open receiver. Kevin Boss was coming off a career game, yet Manning only threw his way twice. Considering Boss caught both passes that came at him, I have to believe that he just wasn’t getting open often enough. Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks were the Giants’ two best receivers on the field, but both caught long balls that inflated their numbers.
Offensive Line (D): Last year, the Giants’ offensive line was one of the best in the NFL. Yet this season, with the EXACT SAME LINE, they allow way too much pressure on passing games, and don’t open any holes in the running game. Manning got sacked three times and got hit six times in all. Although some of the blame lies with Jacobs, the line’s inability to open any holes for him doesn’t give Jacobs a chance to build any momentum with his runs. I hate when the Giants run outside with Jacobs, as he’s a north-south runner, not an east-west. But I can understand the reasoning. The big hitters on defense are generally the linemen, the linebackers, and the safeties. If you can successfully get outside, you have a 264-pound back going against cornerbacks. It’s a dream matchup. But it’s useless if the offensive line isn’t allowing you to get any positive yardage on those plays.