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View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2011 - 2:33 P.M.



RoanokeFan
12-13-2011, 09:42 AM
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</font></u><u><font color="#ff0000" size="4">THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER</font><font color="#ff0000" size="4">. </font></u><font size="4">

NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS IN </font><font size="4">FIRST PLACE NFC EAST</font>
<font size="4">

</font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font>

GIANTS' DE JASON PIERRE-PAUL NAMED NFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_de_jason_pierre-paul_na.html)

"Jason Pierre-Paul's biggest play of Sunday's victory over the Cowboys came on
special teams, but he was dominant enough at his regular defensive end spot to
warrant an honor there.<div class="entry-content">


Pierre-Paul was named the NFC's defensive player of the week for recording
two sacks of Tony Romo (one of which was a safety) and a forced fumble of Felix
Jones that led to a field goal. Pierre-Paul also led the team with eight tackles
(six solo).</p>


Pierre-Paul, who has 12.5 sacks this season and could get enough votes from
the players and coaches to offset not being on the fan ballot, joins Mathias
Kiwanuka (Week 9 vs. Patriots) as the only Giants named defensive player of the
week this season."
</p></div>
**

GIANTS' ANTREL ROLLE DEFLECTS BLAME IN SECONDARY'S BREAKDOWN SUNDAY NIGHT (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_antrel_rolle_deflects_b.html)

"On Sunday night, the Giants miraculously emerged victorious after overcoming
a 12-point deficit with 5:41 remaining in a must-win game against the rival
Cowboys. And to do so, Eli Manning needed to engineer two brilliant drives after
the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_pass_coverage_proves_pr.html">Giants
secondary was victimized for a 50-yard touchdown after another breakdown in
coverage</a>.<div class="entry-content">


On the play, there was some miscommunication between cornerback Corey Webster
and safety Antrel Rolle. Webster released Bryant assuming Rolle was going to
help out over the top. But Rolle jumped on an underneath route, leaving Bryant
wide open. </p>


In his weekly Tuesday radio interview on WFAN, Rolle deflected blame on the
play, saying "I was exactly where I was supposed to be" on Bryant's
touchdown.</p>


"I’m not saying I don’t make mistakes, because I do, but I’m going to be
where I’m supposed to be," Rolle said.</p>


The safety also blamed fans and commentators for jumping to conclusions
without knowing what they're talking about.</p>


"At the end of the day, there are just fans out there that don't understand
the ins and outs of football," Rolle said. </p>


"[Commentators] always want to point the finger like they know what they’re
talking about, but they don’t half the time," Rolle added, saying he was
speaking for players across the league. </p>


At the same time, Rolle said he knows everyone needs to be in sync every
play.</p>


"In order for us to get to where we want to get to, we need to be on the same
page at the same time."</p>


He added, "I'm not talking about the offense, I'm talking about the defense.
The offense has been saving us."</p>


Rolle said he cares about what fans and other people say about him because "I
take pride in my play."</p>


Some other bits from the interview:</p>


-- Rolle refused to comment on Ahmad Bradshaw and his suspension.</p>


-- Rolle said he's Jason Pierre-Paul's biggest fan and that the second-year
defensive end should definitely be in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.</p>


"I don't see anyone playing better than him, and that's across the league,"
he said. He's definitely the MVP of our defense, hands down."</p>


-- Rolle called Eli Manning "elite" and said his opinion of the quarterback
was cemented when in an interview Manning said he'd rather have the ball with
the game on the line than watching the other team have the ball in that
situation.</p>


"That dude, man, you can say whatever you say about him, No. 26 is No. 10's
biggest fan at the end of the day," he said.</p>


--As for this weekend against the Redskins, Rolle said he wouldn't guarantee
a win, but he didn't "plan" on losing either. When the interviewer brought up
Rolle's quote from earlier in the season after the Giants fell in the home
opener in Washington when Rolle said the Giants would beat the Redskins 95 out
of a 100 times, Rolle corrected him and said it was 99, not 95.</p>


After doing some careful math, it's then mathematically impossible for the
Giants to lose Sunday. But you didn't hear it from me."
</p></div>GIANTS' PASS COVERAGE PROVES PROBLEMATIC IN WIN OVER COWBOYS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_pass_coverage_proves_pr.html)

Excerpt: "Cornerback Corey Webster released Dez Bryant, thinking the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) were in zone coverage and therefore
assuming safety Antrel Rolle was going to pick up the dangerous Dallas Cowboys
wide receiver. Only Rolle didn’t. Instead, he jumped on an underneath route, and
quarterback Tony Romo found Bryant as lonely as he’ll ever be. Bryant then
pranced his way into the end zone for a 50-yard score, finishing off the routine
with Victor Cruz’s signature salsa touchdown dance.


And just like that, the Cowboys took what seemed at the time to be an
insurmountable 34-22 lead with 5:41 remaining in Sunday night’s key NFC East
contest.</p>


Of course, it turned out the deficit was not too steep for Eli Manning and
the Giants offense to overcome in the eventual 37-34 victory, but the breakdown
in the secondary was another in what has become a weekly trend for the Giants.
Last week against the Green Bay Packers, it was Webster who was at fault for
leaving Donald Driver wide open for a touchdown because he thought the Giants
were in man coverage when the call was a zone.</p>


“It’s tremendous. Grave concern,” coach Tom Coughlin said of his secondary’s
routine blunders. “The thing that I’m most discouraged about and disappointed in
is when we do have a breakdown in communication and we do have some type of an
error that gives up a big play. And that should not be happening and we’re
continuing to try to eliminate those things.”</p>


Rolle’s gaffe was the culmination of a long night for the Giants pass
defense, which allowed Romo to complete 21 of his 31 passes for 421 yards and
four touchdowns. From beginning to end, Romo had his way with the Giants'
secondary, frequently using his mobility to roll out of the pocket and find
targets on the run.</p>


Romo bought himself more time in the pocket with his feet before he found
Laurent Robinson for a 74-yard completion that set up Dallas’ go-ahead touchdown
on the next play early in the fourth quarter. It was the result of another gaffe
in the Giants secondary, this time by rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara, who
had given up a 40-yard reception to Robinson at the end of the first half that
allowed the Cowboys to take the lead with a field goal.</p>

On the play, Amukamara said the defense was in a Cover-2 zone and that would
usually mean he lets the wide receiver release to where a safety is over the
top. But the safety, in this case Rolle, was looked off by Romo and Amukamara
said he should have made the adjustment.</p>


“I should’ve stayed with my guy,” a dejected Amukamara said of the play.</p>


“I take pride in not letting guys catch the ball on me. It’s still a long
season; I still have a lot to learn. Even though it’s only my fourth
professional game, I still can’t use that as an excuse. I’m a first-round pick
so there are a lot of expectations, so I should be meeting them or exceeding
them.” Read more...</p>

GIANTS-COWBOYS: ELI MANNING &amp; CO. REACH SERIES OF MILESTONES IN WIN OVER DALLAS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-cowboys_eli_manning_co.html)</p>

Excerpt: "There were several significant individual achievements for the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) in Sunday’s victory over the Dallas
Cowboys. A look at some of them:</p>


•?Eli Manning’s 400 yards passing moved him to 4,105 on the season, eclipsing
his previous career-high (4,021) and the Giants’ single-season record (4,073 for
Kerry Collins in 2002). It was the third 400-yard game of Manning’s career and
the first time the Giants won a game with a 400-yard passer. Manning’s 21st game
of 300 yards or more tied him with Phil Simms for the franchise lead.</p>


•?Manning, who is averaging 316 yards per game, is on pace for 5,052 yards.
That would fall only 32 short of Dan Marino’s record, though Drew Brees, Aaron
Rodgers and Tom Brady are all on pace to pass Marino.</p>


•?One more for Manning: He started his 116th consecutive regular-season game,
moving past the Eagles’ Ron Jaworski. Only Brett Favre (297) and Peyton Manning
(208) have posted longer streaks.</p>


•?Brandon Jacobs’ two rushing touchdowns gave him 56 for his career, breaking
Tiki Barber’s franchise record of 55.</p>
<div class="entry-content">

•?Jacobs’ 12th 100-yard game (he ran for 101 yards) moved him into fourth
place on the Giants’ all-time list. The Giants are 11-1 when he rushes for 100
yards. (The only loss was Dec. 16, 2007, vs. the Redskins.)</p>


•?Hakeem Nicks’ 163 yards gave him 1,023 yards this season. He and Victor
Cruz (1,150) are now the first duo in Giants history to each record 1,000 yards
receiving in a single season.</p>


•?Cruz now needs only 194 yards in the final three games to eclipse Amani
Toomer’s single-season record."</p>

GIANTS' ELI MANNING AMONG ELITE IN YEAR OF THE QUARTERBACK (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_eli_manning_among_elite.html)</p>

Excerpt: "When Tom Coughlin was asked today why it’s been the year of the quarterback
in the NFL, he first pointed to two factors: the guys blocking and the ones
catching the ball.</p>


But Coughlin realizes it’s mainly a matter of special passers making special
plays.</p>


“It’s the quarterback,” the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’
coach said, “that is the major ingredient.”</p>


Coughlin should know. He has intimate knowledge of the top four in passing
yardage right now.</p>


One — Eli Manning — plays for him. The other three — Drew Brees, Tom Brady
and Aaron Rodgers — have recently picked apart his team’s defense.</p>


Brees, Brady and Rodgers are all on pace to break Dan Marino’s single-season
passing record of 5,084 yards. Manning, fresh off a 400-yard game against
Dallas, is in the same neighborhood and needs 980 yards in the final three games
to pass Marino.</p>


Coughlin isn’t quite sure of all factors leading to the inflated numbers this
season — more touchbacks, stricter rules on hitting defenseless players and the
continued crackdown on illegal contact and pass interference are all playing a
part — but he knows the guys throwing the ball are a big reason why.</p>


“You’ve seen, just over the last few weeks in the people that we’ve played,
the outstanding quarterback ratings, the way in which the league is blessed with
these outstanding players,” Coughlin said. “I can’t tell you exactly what it is.
I just know that the quality of play you’ve seen, the defenses are very
well-taxed.”</p>

DE Justin Tuck said in his weekly interview on WFAN he had
an MRI on his toe, which caused him to briefly leave Sunday’s game against the
Cowboys. Tuck didn’t divulge the extent of the injury and said he’s uncertain
for Sunday’s game against the Redskins but his gut feeling is he’ll play.</p>


DE Osi Umenyiora probably won’t join him. Early word, according to someone
informed of his status, is his recovery from a high-ankle sprain isn’t coming
along fast enough. The person, who requested anonymity because the Giants
haven’t commented on Umenyiora’s chances of playing, said he’s expected to miss
his third straight game.</p>


Coughlin wouldn’t guess whether safety Kenny Phillips (knee)
would be available this week.</p>


“You get excited and then you get a report and it’s not quite as positive as
you thought it might be,” Coughlin said in reference to Phillips and Umenyiora.
“Let’s just see how it plays out.”</p>


Coughlin lumped center David Baas (neck/headaches) into that group as
well.</p>


TE Jake Ballard (wrist) and LT David Diehl (hand) probably
won’t miss any playing time, though they could be limited in practice this week.
... TE Travis Beckum left Sunday’s game with an injury to the sternoclavicular
joint (the joint between the sternum and collarbone) in his chest and didn’t
return. Coughlin is hoping he’ll be able to play through any soreness."</p>

STEVE SMITH PLACED ON EAGLES' INJURED RESERVE, ENDING SEASON (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/steve_smith_placed_on_eagles_i.html)</p>

"The Philadelphia Eagles placed Steve Smith on injured reserve today, ending
the season for the former Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) wide
receiver, <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/giants/post/_/id/9318/smiths-season-ends-on-ir-with-knee-injury">according
to multiple reports.</a></p>


Smith suffered a bone bruise in his surgically repaired left knee. Eagles
coach Andy Reid said Smith's knee swelled up during the team's flight to Miami
on Saturday, and Smith was inactive for Sunday's game against the Dolphins. An
MRI revealed a significant bone bruise, Reid said. </p>


<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/08/steve_smith_spurns_giants_sign.html">Smith
left the Giants</a> in August, signing a one-year deal with Philly worth more
than $2 million.</p>


</p><div class="entry-content">

He had 11 receptions for 124 yards and one touchdown this season. The TD came
in the Eagles' 17-10 win over the Giants." </p></div>
</div><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS</u></font><font size="4"><u>
</u><font size="3">
GIANTS' QB ELI MANNING IS MVP OF NEW YORK FOOTBALL (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-quarterback-eli-manning-mvp-york-football-article-1.990632)</font></font>

"You look at the quarterback ratings right now and see that <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a> is ranked only seventh in the league, three spots behind <a title="Tony Romo" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tony+Romo">Tony
Romo</a>, two spots back of Matt Schaub (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Matt+Schaub) of the
Texans. Schaub, who has been out for the season since the 10th game with a foot
injury, threw fewer than 30 times per game and only 15 of those throws had been
for touchdowns. Manning has 1,600 more passing yards than Schaub and 10 more
touchdown passes.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


And what we take away from all that here in New York is simple enough: The
NFL needs new quarterback ratings.

Every week, every fourth quarter, Eli
Manning is keeping the Giants afloat this season. Anybody watching the team at
all knows that without Manning, the Giants would be right down there with Philly
or Washington. Talk all you want about the pass rush and the running backs.
Those performances come and go, like the tides at the Jersey shore. Manning has
been the one reliable beachhead, sturdy in every storm. Eli put himself up there
with <a title="Tom Brady" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Brady">Tom
Brady</a> at the beginning of the season, faced some mockery, then backed up his
words. If that isn’t quite Joe Namath (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Joe+Namath) guaranteeing
victory in the Super Bowl, his gumption deserves recognition.

Is he the
league MVP?

That would be presumptuous.

What you learn from this
game is that you need to watch a team and a player every week, live and breathe
with them for 18 weeks, before you fully understand the worth of any individual.
The Giants don’t own the Packers’ record. They don’t even have the Texans’
record.

You can just say Eli Manning is the MVP of New York football
right now. That much is obvious. Nobody playing at the Meadowlands is on his
kind of run.

It was only last year everybody was complaining about his
lack of poise, his turnovers. Now when something unfortunate occurs – like that
tipped screen pass for an interception in Dallas – Manning doesn’t unravel. He
rolls out, tosses the ball to the bench. He never points a fingernail at any
soul. Manning would make a great therapist. Calm to a fault, he talks through
problems with teammates and coaches.

“Eli comes to the sideline, puts it
in its place,” Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin) said
Monday. “Next time, he goes out there, rallies the troops, makes amazing throws
to the sidelines under pressure.

“It’s just his mental toughness,”
Coughlin said. “He’s not happy. He wants to control everything. Sometimes,
there’s things he can’t control. But he’ll get his nose right in the book,
discuss with Kevin (Gilbride) what can be done. ‘What do you see?’ Then he goes
back and directs traffic.”

A few years ago, until he won a Super Bowl,
you wondered whether a little emotion from Manning in the huddle would help
matters. Some quarterbacks infuse passion. Manning inspires quiet confidence. In
the end, that might just be more effective.

He directed two late scoring
drives on Sunday to beat Dallas, to transform a longshot playoff dream into a
realistic path. A home game against the Cowboys on New Year’s Day likely will
determine the NFC East, with the winter winds playing tricks on Tony Romo.</p>


It goes beyond that, though. The Giants now believe, they are quite certain,
Manning will engineer a late scoring drive when required. Doesn’t matter if a
screen goes bad or Mario Manningham (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mario+Manningham)
drops a perfect spiral in stride. The only question, it seems, is whether
Manning will leave too much time on the clock for the other side to score.</p>


“I think we’re more shocked if we don’t score at the end of games,” center <a title="Kevin Boothe" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kevin+Boothe">Kevin
Boothe</a> said. “(Manning) is pretty even -keeled regardless of situation, good
or bad. ‘Let’s get on with next play.’ He’s got a very short-term memory and it
rubs off on us. He’s a great leader. It’s happened so often. The majority of
games come down to the last possession. On offense, we want the ball in our
hands with a chance to win.”

Manning gives them that chance. Ratings
don’t."
</p></div>TUCK SAYS TOE INJURY IS MORE SERIOUS THAN HE LET ON (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-defensive-justin-tuck-toe-injury-serious-article-1.990625)

"Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck) admitted
that his latest injury, to a toe, was more serious than he had let on after the
Giants’ win Sunday night in Dallas. On his weekly WFAN radio spot Monday, Tuck
said he had gone for a MRI on the toe earlier in the day and had “no clue” if he
would be able to play against the Redskins on Sunday.


“I don’t know, I have no clue,” Tuck said about being on the field.
“Sometimes these things, they flame up for a couple of days and couple days
later you feel 100%. I am hoping that’s the case. The results of the MRI will
tell a lot. Going in every day to get the treatments and making sure I do
everything I can to do my part on the football field."</p>


Tuck said his gut feeling was that he would be on the field Sunday. That,
however, raises the question of at what level the defensive end will be able to
perform.
The injury clearly affected his play against the
Cowboys.

“Adrenaline did help in certain situations, (but) for the most
part, kind of felt like I was out there just to be the fourth man on the line,”
Tuck said. “I was out there on one leg.”

When talking about his toe, Tuck
sarcastically said, “Add it to the laundry list.” In this frustrating season,
Tuck has been hindered by neck and groin issues. In fact, he missed the first
game against the Redskins, Sept. 11, because of his neck injury and has missed
four games this season.

Sunday night in Dallas, however, Tuck admitted he
played through the pain, because the Giants’ defense had been hit so hard by
injuries. Never mind the five defensive backs the Giants lost for the season
before it even began, they were without defensive end Osi Umenyiora (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Osi+Umenyiora)
(ankle/knee), linebacker Mark Herzlich (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mark+Herzlich) (ankle)
and <a title="Kenny Phillips (Football)" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kenny+Phillips+%28Football%29">safety Kenny
Phillips</a> (knee) Sunday night. Defensive end Dave Tollefson (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Dave+Tollefson)
(knee) and LB Michael Boley (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Michael+Boley)
(hamstring) were playing through injuries.
As the defensive captain, however,
Tuck clearly felt an obligation to be out there with his decimated
corps.

“We’re already shorthanded. I knew Tollefson had a knee injury,
Osi was not there. I was just trying to fight through it and give them a body
out there,” Tuck said of his play.

Tuck said he did not recall when he
initially injured his toe, but believes it happened in the loss to Green Bay the
week before. He began to have trouble with it when the team returned to the
practice field on Wednesday.

“I didn’t feel it until midweek,” Tuck said.
“It wasn’t as extreme, but continued to feel worse through the week. It got
worse during the game."

Tuck, 28, has expressed his frustration with the
injuries this season. He has 24 tackles, 16 solo, and three sacks in nine games
in 2011.

He begrudgingly admitted that if the injuries continue to limit
him, he may have to take more time off.

“I don’t know. I am as stubborn
as they come. If I can get on the football field I will be there,” Tuck said.
“If it continues to go at this rate, it will get to a point where we will have
to be smart about it.

“The frustrating thing is that in the Green Bay
game I felt better than I had all year,” he continued. “It’s frustrating,
because you think you are getting over the hump and then another setback.”</p>FOR GIANTS' OSI UMENYIORA, LITTLE RELIEF FROM ACHING, MAY MISS GAME VS. WASHINGTON (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/aching-osi-umenyiora-ny-giants-relief-article-1.990580)

Excerpt: "The hits keep on coming to the Giants’ defense.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Osi Umenyiora (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Osi+Umenyiora) is
unlikely to play against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, according to a
source close to the defensive end.</p>


The source said the progress on Umenyiora’s ankle has “been more down than
up.”</p>


Umenyiora got hurt in the Giants’ loss in New Orleans two weeks ago.</p>


Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin) was
holding out hope that Umenyiora and <a title="Kenny Phillips (Football)" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kenny+Phillips+%28Football%29">safety Kenny
Phillips</a>, who also sat out Sunday night’s game in Dallas, will suit up
Sunday.</p>


“We’re hoping, but we’re going to have to wait and see. This stuff is
day-to-day,” Coughlin said. “You get excited and then you get a report and it’s
not quite as positive as you thought it might be. We’ll wait. It’s a little
early. We have (Tuesday) and, even treatment-wise, Wednesday before we get on
the field. Let’s just see how that plays out.”</p>


The Giants’ pass rush has been hurt by the loss of Umenyiora, with <a title="Justin Tuck" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck">Justin
Tuck</a> struggling due to his own injury issues.</p>


In other injury news, Coughlin said TE Jake Ballard (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jake+Ballard)
(wrist) and OL David Diehl (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Diehl) (hand)
should be OK. TE Travis Beckum (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Travis+Beckum)
(chest injury) will have to see if he can play through the pain. C <a title="David Baas" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Baas">David
Baas</a> (headaches) is also considered day-to-day.</p>


BLOWN COVER</p>


Coughlin is deeply troubled about the Giants’ secondary after Sunday night’s
win in Dallas.</p>


The Giants were torched by Tony Romo (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tony+Romo), with mistakes,
miscommunications and missed assignments costing Big Blue.</p>


“It’s a grave concern,” Coughlin said. “I can’t express that any more. We
continue to work with it. You have technical errors. You have just physical
breakdowns, where one person is able in a certain way to win on a certain play
over another.” Read more...
</p></div>NBC DROPS BALL AS IT GIVES PASSING ATTENTION TO NY GIANTS' COACH TOM COUGHLIN'S DECISION TO BENCH AHMAD BRADSHAW (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/nbc-drops-ball-passing-attention-ny-giants-coach-tom-coughlin-decision-bench-ahmad-bradshaw-article-1.990616)

"Any National Football League coach with a clue knows when to call timeout to
ice a field goal kicker. The maneuver takes neither intellect or skill.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


It does not take guts or commitment, either.</p>


That brings us to Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin)’s
decision to bench Ahmad Bradshaw (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ahmad+Bradshaw) for
the first half Sunday night against Dallas. Considering what was on the line in
Cowboys Stadium, Coughlin not bending his own rules — for anybody — was a
high-risk, low-reward maneuver. It certainly was more daring than standing next
to an official, calling a timeout, and hoping it would deposit Dallas kicker <a title="Dan Bailey" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Dan+Bailey">Dan
Bailey</a> in the deep freeze.</p>


Early in the game, Michele Tafoya (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Michele+Tafoya),
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” sideline snoop, reported Bradshaw’s rules
violation was curfew-related. At the end of the first half she asked Coughlin
“how difficult” it was to bench Bradshaw knowing the Giants wanted to run the
football.</p>


“He had a one word response: ‘Principles,’ ” Tafoya said.</p>


Considering what goes on in the NFL, the P-word is an anomaly. When mouths in
broadcast booths hear it they look at each other and say, “What?” Mostly coaches
are schooled, at least publicly, to pump up their players. Rex Ryan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rex+Ryan) has been accused
of overusing this sort of psychology.</p>


While Coughlin is often described as “old school” (his age is mentioned as if
it’s an impediment, especially inside the Valley of the Stupid), his methods
should be considered New Wave because so few coaches apply them. If Roger Goodell (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Roger+Goodell) had not
suspended Ndamukong Suh (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ndamukong+Suh) for his
Thanksgiving stomp, would Jim Schwartz (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jim+Schwartz) had taken
it upon himself to bench Suh for the next game?</p>


Here you had Coughlin not only sitting Bradshaw in the first half, but doing
so on a nationally televised game that wound up recording a 16.1 overnight
rating, the second-highest of the season for “SNF.” Locally, the tilt did a
bodacious 21.5.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


So, Coughlin’s discipline, his standing behind “principles,” affected
Bradshaw on two levels. He was deprived of the opportunity to play in the first
half and was thoroughly embarrassed in front of a huge national television
audience who heard him portrayed as a goofball.</p>


Besides discussing the benching, both Cris Collinsworth (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Cris+Collinsworth)
and Al Michaels (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Al+Michaels) presented
some history from Bradshaw’s controversial past, including how he was “kicked
out” of the University of Virginia before landing at Marshall University.</p>


Will Bradshaw get the message going forward?</p>


Neither Michaels nor Collinsworth attempted to answer that question. Nor did
Coughlin’s move inspire strong opinions from two voices never shy about
delivering the word.</p>


The closest they came was late in the first quarter when Collinsworth
characterized Coughlin as a coach with conviction. “When you break a rule you’re
not going to play even though it’s an elimination game for the Giants,”
Collinsworth said.</p>


Michaels then injected some historical perspective. “(Coughlin has been) very
consistent through the years whether it be with Jacksonville or the Giants,” he
said.</p>


Right then, it would’ve been nice if “SNF” brainiacs could have come up with
an instance when Coughlin benched a player of Bradshaw’s stature in such a
crucial game.</p>


Instead, the voices stated the obvious: That the Giants’ ground game is
better when both Brandon Jacobs (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brandon+Jacobs) and
Bradshaw are available. Collinsworth took it a step further, saying they asked
Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Sean+Lee) that if he could
take one player — Jacobs or Bradshaw — off the field, who would it be?</p>


“He said Ahmad Bradshaw,” Collinsworth said. “Tom Coughlin obliged him.”</p>


That’s it?</p>


There is a flip side to this, another opinion, that Coughlin was being
stubborn, dishing out the kind of discipline that could have led to a Giants
loss. Maybe they would’ve scored more points in the first half if Bradshaw had
been playing.</p>


Neither Michaels nor Collinsworth went in that direction, either. Nor did
they highlight the risk involved. What would the fallout have been if the Giants
had lost Sunday night and the media perceived Coughlin’s benching of Bradshaw as
having plenty to do with it?</p>


Those who were already calling for Coughlin’s scalp would’ve had another
column to write or a radio soliloquy to recite.</p>


None of the stuff would have included the word “discipline.” Certainly the
fact Coughlin is a man of principle would not have mattered, either. Instead
they would’ve said the coach put his rigid philosophy ahead of winning and
ultimately could become a collaborator in his own demise.</p>


A s for Michaels and Collinsworth, well, the current NFL environment may have
colored the Coughlin story, about a guy who sticks to his guns, more mundane
than magnificent.</p>


That’s just what happens in a league where a quarterback is said to be
touched by the hand of God.</p>


And the same field goal kicker gets iced two weeks in a row."</p>

BOTH THE GIANTS AND JETS SAY DESTINY IS CALLING THEIR NUMBER (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-ny-jets-destiny-calling-article-1.990578)</p>

Excerpt: "The Jets and Giants have played only one game against each other when it was
crucial to both teams.</p>

It was the summer of 1969, a few months after the Jets had shocked the Colts
in Super Bowl III. Even though the Giants were in the midst of an 18-season
stretch of not making the playoffs, the Jets were not considered champions of
New York until they beat the Giants, 37-14, in the Yale Bowl in the first-ever
meeting for bragging rights.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


There may never be a Subway Super Bowl, so the Giants-Jets game on Dec. 24
may be the closest it ever comes to happening. It could be the most important
Giants-Jets game since 1969.</p>


Three weeks to go and the Giants and Jets are in control of their own playoff
destinies. They have made the playoffs in the same season only five times and
not since 2006.</p>


After making a mockery of their goal to win the AFC East with three-game and
two-game losing streaks, the Jets have a one-game lead for the No. 2 wild-card
spot. Win out, finish 11-5 and they’re in, regardless of what happens to the
Bengals, Titans, Raiders and Broncos.</p>


The Giants ended their four-game losing streak with Sunday night’s wild
victory at Cowboys Stadium and now control their own destiny. Win out, finish
10-6, and they will win the NFC East.</p>


The problem is both teams can’t win out; they play each other.</p>


Not to worry. The Giants can lose to the Jets and still win the NFC East. The
situation is more precarious for the Jets with three wild-card teams just a game
behind them.</p>


If the Giants split with the Redskins and Jets the next two weeks and the
Cowboys beat the Bucs and Eagles the next two weeks, and then the Giants beat
the Cowboys in the final game of the season on Jan. 1 at MetLife Stadium, they
will each finish 9-7, but the Giants will win the division based on their
head-to-head sweep.</p>


Here’s another tie-breaking scenario in which the Giants can clinch the NFC
East before they even play the Cowboys again: If the Cowboys beat the Bucs and
lose to the Eagles and the Giants beat the Redskins and Jets, then the Giants
will be 9-6 and Dallas will be 8-7 going into the final game. Even if the
Cowboys win the final game to get even, the Giants will win the division on the
third tie-breaker: record in common games.</p>


They will have split the head-to-head, had the same division record (3-3),
but the Giants would be 8-4 in common games and the Cowboys would be 7-5.</p>


Common games is the third tie-breaker to settle division ties, moving ahead
of conference record a few years ago." Read more...
</p></div></div></div><font size="4"><u>NY POST</u></font>

<div><div><div><div><div><div>GIANTS' MANNING, JACOBS NOMINATED FOR WEEKLY AWARDS (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/giants_manning_jacobs_nominated_oGhirYn6aWzqo3zcSI 0PLM)

"Eli Manning and Brandon Jacobs carried the Giants offense last Sunday night
to a 37-34 victory over the Cowboys. Thus it comes as no surprise that Manning
and Jacobs are both nominated for this week’s FedEx Air &amp; Ground NFL Players
of the Week.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Manning completed 27 of 47 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns. Jacobs
carried the ball 19 times for a season-high 101 yards and scored two touchdowns.
This is the fourth time this season Manning has been nominated; he hasn’t
received enough votes to win the award. </p>


Manning, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan are finalists for the FedEx Air NFL
Player of the Week while Jacobs, Marshawn Lynch and Shonn Greene are finalists
for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.</p>


Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com/FedEx from 9 a.m.
EST on Tuesday through 3 p.m. EST on Friday to determine the FedEx Air &amp;
Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday on NFL
Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com." </p></div>GIANTS' ROLLE "VERY CONFIDENT" AGAINST REDSKINS (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/giants_rolle_very_confident_against_2zI6K06WU19RAv MdHvQxYL)

"After a 28-14 season-opening loss to the Redskins at FedEx Field, Antrel
Rolle was so disgusted that he said “We know the Redskins are not a better team
than us. If we played them 100 times they might win five.’’<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


That potentially-combustible quote on Tuesday was brought up to the Giants
safety during his weekly radio spot on WFAN. Rolle was given the chance to back
away from those comments with the Giants set for the rematch with the Redskins
on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.</p>


Did he really say the Giants would beat the Redskins 95 out of 100 times?</p>


“I said ninety-nine,’’ Rolle said.</p>


No, there was no backing away by Rolle, who was in a spirited and energized
mood after the Giants ended a four-game losing streak with their 37-34 victory
over the Cowboys. </p>


“I don’t plan on losing to the Redskins, I’m going to be honest with you,’’
Rolle said. “I’m not guaranteeing a victory, I’m not doing any of that, we got
to play the game come Sunday, but I’m very, very confident in this team and
very, very confident we’re going to get the job done, go out there and bring it,
bring it the way the New York Giants know how to bring it.’’</p>


Rolle did not discount the defensive issues that continue to hurt the Giants.
</p>


“Our season will be shut short if we continue to play that way,’’ Rolle said.
</p>


But he took great exception to speculation that he was to blame for blowing
the assignment on what turned out to be an uncontested 50-yard touchdown pass to
an uncovered Dez Bryant, a play in which Rolle and cornerback Corey Webster
clearly got their signals crossed. </p>


“The play with Dez Bryant, I don’t know if I call that communication error, I
don’t know what I want to call it, we don’t point fingers at each other but the
mistake that was made, it shouldn’t have been made,” Rolle said. </p>


“Which brings me to my other point. In this league every position you’re
going to take some sort of blame, which is fine. People say the only thing that
matters is what your coaches feel and your organization, which is fine, I
understand that. But I don’t see it that way, because there’s fans out there,
fans who really don’t understand the ins and outs of football, really doesn’t
understand coverage and things of that nature. Whenever there’s a big play and
you being the safeties, you’re always the one to get blamed and get
finger-pointed and it’s wrong.”</p>


The play gave the Cowboys a 34-22 lead late in the fourth quarter, and on the
telecast, NBC’s Cris Collinsworth said Rolle was at fault. </p>


“The commentators don’t know the coverage we’re in, they don’t know how we’re
playing our defense, they don’t know I’m disguising, showing a Cover 2 but I’m
really supposed to drop down and play a Cover 3,” Rolle continued. “It drives me
crazy, when I speak about this I’m not speaking about this only on behalf of
Antrel Rolle, I’m speaking out on behalf of people across the league.
Commentators always want to point the finger as if they know what they’re doing
and they know what they’re talking about but in reality they don’t half of the
time.</p>


“There was something wrong, which shouldn’t have happened. There’s no one
without sin in our defense. Everyone makes their own mistakes, no one’s perfect.
I take a lot of pride in understanding our defense in and out. I have to
understand our defense in and out, being the quarterback of the defense. I’m not
saying I don’t make mistakes, because I do, I’m saying if there’s a coverage and
I’m supposed to be in a certain area best believe I’m going to be where I’m
supposed to be. Like I was Sunday night, like I was against San Francisco, like
I was against the Packers. They say ‘Antrel Rolle got burned.’ No, Antrel Rolle
didn’t get burned, Antrel Rolle was exactly where he was supposed to be. Know
what the hell you’re talking about. There’s people watching on TV, the only
thing they know is what the commentators are telling them.</p>


“I’m not going to explain exactly what happened on that play but I can say I
was in the right spot, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Whether it was
Corey Webster screwing up, whether it was somebody else it doesn’t matter. Just
because I am the safety or Deon Grant is a safety or Kenny Phillips is a safety
that doesn’t mean we’re always supposed to be back deep. ‘’</p>


Animated and full of energy, Rolle was on a roll during the interview, unable
to contain his excitement as he heaped praise on Eli Manning and Jason
Pierre-Paul, the two players most responsible for carrying the Giants to a
comeback victory inside Cowboys Stadium.</p>


On Pierre-Paul: “All-around defensive lineman, I don’t see anybody playing at
a higher level than him. I mean that across the league. This guy does so much
for our football team. I don’t even think he realizes. He’s out there, he’s
playing care-free, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do and then some. His motor
is through the roof. This guy has been, he’s definitely the MVP of our defense,
hands down. I don’t think anyone comes close. He’s been that dude. I must admit,
I’m his biggest fan. I love watching that guy go to work, I love putting on the
film and I’m like ‘Damn, look at that boy go to work’ and I love his attitude
about it. </p>


“He should definitely be in that Pro Bowl. I don’t know what’s going on with
these fans voting but Jason Pierre-Paul definitely needs to be in Hawaii this
year, but hopefully he’s not there this year because we’re in a better place.
He’s a monster, he’s freakish. I laugh because I really don’t think he
understands how good he is.’’</p>


After praising kicker Lawrence Tynes, punter Steve Weatheford and the
coverage on special teams, Rolle was just getting warmed up for Manning.</p>


“I’m talking about that No. 10,’’ Rolle said. “That dude, man, you can say
whatever you want to say about him, No. 26 is No. 10’s biggest fan. I’m like
Deon, ‘I beeeelieeve in Eli.’ He’s saved us all year long, man. We definitely
have to keep him out of those situations. That guy is clutch. I don’t care about
giving him those compliments because I know Eli can handle that, he can handle
anything. He might not be the rah-rah rally kind of guy, he might not be like
me, he might not be as vocal as I am. But that dude is a leader, in and out, and
when it’s on the line. There’s one interview I heard this year and that when I
knew, I said ‘This dude got it.’ He was like ‘If the game is on the line I would
rather have the ball in my hand than for them to have it in theirs.’ That tells
me all I need to know about our quarterback.</p>


“Our offense has been outstanding, they’ve been saving us. I can’t speak
enough of how impressed I’ve been with the offense all year long, they’ve been
saving us. The defense hasn’t been getting the job done., which is
unacceptable.’’</p></div>CRUZ GUARANTEES GIANTS PLAYOFF SPOT (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/cruz_guarantees_giants_playoff_spot_ksbthvOimPd85J W0C3UQCK)

"Did Victor Cruz just do what it sounds like he did? <div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Cruz, having a breakout and potentially record-breaking season at receiver,
went on SiriusXM Mad Dog radio on Tuesday and guaranteed the Giants will make
the playoffs. </p>


Asked his gut feeling about the playoffs, Cruz said “Yes. We will be in the
playoffs.” Asked if that was a guarantee, Cruz said “Uh, yeah.” </p>


Asked if the Giants are going to get into the playoffs by winning the NFC
East, Cruz said “I think that’s the only way we’re going to be able to get in,
is to win the division, win these last three games and get in there.” </p>


The Giants finally broke a four-game losing streak with a 37-34 victory over
the Cowboys and next face the Redskins Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Giants and
Cowboys have the same record – 7-6 – but the Giants are in first place because
of the victory this past weekend at Cowboys Stadium."
</p></div>
**

<font size="3">GIANTS' DE JASON PIERRE-PAUL EARNING COMPARISONS TO LAWRENCE TAYLOR AFTER DOMINANT GAME AGAINST COWBOYS</font> (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-defensive-jason-pierre-paul-earning-comparisons-lawrence-taylor-dominant-game-cowboys-article-1.990612)

Excerpt: "Jason Pierre-Paul (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Pierre-Paul)
was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday night, from his first-quarter safety to
his game-ending blocked field goal. He made plays all over the field. He
single-handedly disrupted the Dallas Cowboys.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


It was a dominant performance by the second-year player. It was also
reminiscent of the game-altering performances of <a title="Lawrence Taylor" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Lawrence+Taylor">Lawrence
Taylor</a>.</p>


“I don’t think it’s too early to put him in that category,” said linebacker
Mathias Kiwanuka (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mathias+Kiwanuka).
“I think he’s developing into one of the great players in this league, not just
on this team. . . . As long as he continues to develop and mature in the way
that he does, he’s going to be great for a long time.”</p>


JPP may not be the next LT yet, but the defensive end is putting on a show.
His performance in Dallas Sunday night included a team-high eight tackles, two
sacks, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and the blocked game-tying field
goal attempt with one second remaining.</p>


He had been building toward that level. Two weeks ago, when the Giants were
blown out in New Orleans, Pierre-Paul — a first-round pick in 2010 — was singled
out by the coaches for his effort. His production had stalled, though, with just
one sack in his previous four games. Even defensive coordinator <a title="Perry Fewell" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Perry+Fewell">Perry
Fewell</a> admitted he was concerned that Pierre-Paul was starting to get
tired.</p>


He sure didn’t look tired against the Cowboys.</p>


“He had two sacks, a blocked kick, he’s running all over the place — he’s a
great football player,” said defensive tackle Chris Canty (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chris+Canty). “He’s a
guy that makes plays wherever they put him at on the football field. He’s
playing at an all-pro level. You can’t deny that.”</p>


With 121/2 sacks, Pierre-Paul is fifth in the NFL and fourth in the NFC, and
very likely will end up in the Pro Bowl even though he wasn’t one of the two
defensive ends the Giants put on the ballot (Umenyiora and <a title="Justin Tuck" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck">Justin
Tuck</a> were listed). He is getting notice, and extra
attention." Read more...
</p></div>TUCK COULD MISS NEXT GIANTS' GAME (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/tuck_could_miss_next_giants_game_xik7eenbpDdkFAkg7 9KxvI)

Excerpt: "Justin Tuck said he felt better against the Packers than he has all season,
but his good health did not last very long. <div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


The Giants defensive end said Monday on WFAN he hurt his toe during the week
and suffered a setback in Sunday's 37-34 victory over the Cowboys that could
keep him out of this week's game against the Redskins.</p>


“I have no clue,’’ Tuck said about his availability for that game. He is
awaiting the results of an MRI exam of his toe.</p>


Tuck played a reduced role, about 30 plays, as the Giants ended a four-game
losing streak, and at times there was discussion about keeping him on the bench
after his toe flared up. </p>


“A lot of times on the sideline we contemplated sitting me out,’’ Tuck said.
“Just tried to fight through it and give us a body out there.’’</p>


Tuck finished with no tackles in the game." Read more...
</p></div>GIANTS' DEFENSE A "GRAVE CONCERN" FOR COUGHLIN (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/defense_grave_concern_for_coughlin_suGli1p3T8u40UH PxTpQJO)

Excerpt: "Not long after the Giants achieved what had slipped through their fingers for
more than a month, the feeling of what comes next trumped what they had just
attained.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


“Great game for us,’’ guard Chris Snee said after the Giants, led by Eli
Manning, came back to beat the Cowboys 37-34 to slide ahead of the Cowboys and
into first place in the NFC East. “It would be a shame if we wasted this and
didn’t build on this. I’m very confident that we’ll do that, but Washington’s a
tough team. You saw what they did with New England. We’ll have our hands full
again.’’
</p>Especially with a defense that has been struggling weekly. Coach Tom Coughlin
said he has “tremendous, grave concern’’ about the defensive lapses, listing
“technical errors’’ and “physical breakdowns’’ that continue to provide the
opposition with gift-wrapped scoring plays.
<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">
It’s the way this season has gone. Rarely have they won in overly impressive
fashion. Take away the rout by the Saints and the other five losses were all
undecided until the frantic final minutes. They needed Manning to bail them out
of a 34-22 fourth-quarter deficit at Cowboys Stadium and, with overtime
beckoning, were able to exhale only after Jason Pierre-Paul, capping a brilliant
individual performance, blocked rookie Dan Bailey’s 47-yard field-goal
attempt.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


“It’s not about style points, it’s about having an opportunity to accomplish
what we set out to accomplish at the beginning of the season, which is win the
division,’’ defensive tackle Chris Canty said. “Right now we’re in pretty good
position, but we’ve got three tough ballgames ahead for us. Coach [Tom] Coughlin
started this year with the mantra of ‘Finish,’ so that’s our mentality for these
next three weeks.’’ Read more...
</p>LITTLE BLUE MUST COME UP BIG (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/time_to_avoid_giant_choke_UIdTw5Rpv6HUw41ZjggmXJ)

"The Giants are a flawed team, everyone has seen that. Just turn on the tape
and watch how they play defense in the fourth quarter, how receivers are turned
loose and run free through the secondary. Imagine what Tim Tebow (/t/Tim_Tebow)could do to Little Blue with a game on the
line.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


And at the moment they are still the best the feeble NFC East has to offer,
mostly because in Eli Manning they have the only elite quarterback in the
division and in<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Jason_Pierre-Paul"> Jason Pierre-Paul
</a>a young beast who can wreck games like some 290-pound Lawrence Taylor. And
over these next three weeks, they won’t have to leave MetLife
Stadium.
</p>There are no excuses now for the Giants, and only one message: Don’t choke
away the playoffs this time.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Win this division. You owe it to your fans. You owe it to New York. Because
sometimes it seems as if the Giants’ last big win at home was the 41-0
demolition of the Vikings in the 2000 NFC Championship game at Giants
Stadium.</p>


To wit:</p>


Jan. 11, 2009: Remember how<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Donovan_McNabb">
Donovan McNabb </a>picked up that telephone on your sidelines at old Giants
Stadium during the Eagles’ 2008 23-11 divisional playoff win?</p>


Dec. 27, 2009: Remember how you bid farewell to old Giants Stadium and to
your playoff hopes by letting the Panthers smack you around 41-9?</p>


Dec. 19, 2010: Remember how you let<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Michael_Vick">
Michael Vick </a>overcome that 31-10 deficit with eight minutes left at
shellshocked MetLife Stadium before Matt Dodge’s ill-fated punt to DeSean
Jackson? Both debacles were your Christmas gifts to your loyal fans. </p>


Giants fans had to watch the Road Warriors’ magic carpet ride to Super Bowl
XLII, remember, from afar.</p>


Shame on you if you let Rex Grossman come into your house and beat you
Sunday. Shame on you if you can’t beat the Cowboys on New Year’s Day if you have
to, whether you shut up Rex Ryan (/t/Rex_Ryan)and
the Jets on Christmas Eve or you don’t. Not that it wouldn’t be a nice little
Christmas present to Giants fans stuffing a sock in Rex’s mouth and wishing
apoplectic Jets fans a Mara Christmas.</p>


The Giants’ three most stirring victories this season have come on the road —
at Philadelphia, at New England and at Dallas Sunday night.</p>


Their two most appalling defeats have come at home to the Charlie Whitehurst (/t/Charlie_Whitehurst)Seahawks and to the Vince Young (/t/Vince_Young)Eagles.</p>


On days or nights when their secondary is so flummoxed its defensive backs
would have difficulty covering<a class="topiclink" href="/t/C.C._Sabathia"> CC
Sabathia </a>on a skinny post, when rookie Prince Amukamara would be better
served covering Prince Fielder, no one would be shocked if Grossman were to
light them up. </p>


“To get where we want to go,” Justin Tuck said on WFAN, “we’re gonna have to
rectify that.”</p>


Try as he may, JPP — Just Pressure the Passer — can’t get in the
quarterback’s face every time he drops back to pass. Osi Umenyiora returning can
only help.</p>


This wasn’t supposed to be happening under Perry Fewell’s watch. </p>


“Grave concern,” coach<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Tom_Coughlin"> Tom Coughlin
</a>said.</p>


The Giants — and Coughlin — are fortunate Manning is having his MVP-caliber
season. But should he falter, if he so much as has a pedestrian outing, the
Giants will be in big trouble.</p>


Coughlin, even with his neck on the line, reminded one and all what a man of
principle and integrity he is by benching Ahmad Bradshaw (/t/Ahmad_Bradshaw)for the entire first half for his
zero tolerance curfew violation. Brandon Jacobs lifted Coughlin up even more
symbolically than he did in the visiting locker room at Gillette Stadium with a
raging bull performance that at least took a smidgen of heat off the
irrepressible Manning. By no means are Coughlin and the Giants out of the woods.
Over the past two weeks, the Giants have showed us the fight and pride they
inexcusably left on the Superdome carpet. Hallelujah. Playing harder is what
every contender is supposed to now. Playing better is the mandate. Because if
you do not finish, you don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.</p>


Outlasting the Cowboys was a reprieve. Perhaps, if all these leaks on the USS
Coughlin are not plugged, it will prove to be nothing more than a stay of
execution for the coach. Because the Giants have had destiny in their hands
before and fumbled it away. And if they fumble it away again, in front of their
anxiety-riddled fans, they better understand that the choke’s on them.
Again."</p></div><u><font size="4">THE BERGEN RECORD</font></u>
</div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><div>
COUGHLIN APPLAUDS GIANTS' CLOSING ACT IN DALLAS (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/Coughlin_applauds_Giants_closing_act_in_Dallas.htm l)

Excerpt: "Trailing by 12 points with just under six minutes remaining against the
Cowboys, the Giants were seemingly finished Sunday night.

<div id="storybody">

That was until they found a way to do something Tom Coughlin has been
imploring them to do regardless of the circumstances since training camp: They
finished.</p>


In doing so, with a remarkable 37-34 comeback victory over Dallas, the Giants
regained control of their destiny going into the season’s final three games, the
results of which will determine the playoff fate of a team that lived up to its
coach’s mantra.</p>


“I think some of those guys on the other sideline thought the ball game was
over,” defensive tackle Chris Canty said. “But our football team knew that we
needed to finish. Coach had talked all week about, ‘Finishing, finishing’ – it
was going to be a 60-minute football game and that’s exactly what it was.</p>


“And at the end of the day, we made enough plays in the
last five
minutes of the ball game to be successful.”</p>


So instead of hoping and praying for help from others, the Giants (7-6) have
instead now put themselves in position to dictate who reaches the postseason as
NFC East champions.</p>


Beat Washington and Dallas – with a juicy Meadowlands showdown against the
Jets in between – and Big Blue will be heading back to the playoffs.</p>


And consider the irony: Last season came crashing down because of a special
teams play in the final seconds against the Eagles, while this season was
rescued in similar stunning fashion when Jason Pierre-Paul sealed the
much-needed win by blocking rookie Dan Bailey’s 47-yard field goal that would
have forced overtime.</p>


“I’ve always been a huge believer in you’ve got to take care of your own
business,” Coughlin said. “And whenever you start to drift and think that
perhaps other people are going to help you out, I think you get in trouble. We
realize how difficult each one of these games will be, but we’ve put ourselves
in position where, if we can take care of our own business, then what we’ve
wanted all along will present itself as an opportunity.”</p>


Coughlin also praised kicker Lawrence Tynes’ six touchbacks, calling his
performance “exceptional.” Read more...
</p>

GIANTS' NOTES: INJURED TUCK EXPECTS TO PLAY SUNDAY (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/135489813_Giants_notes__Injured_Tuck_expects_to_pl ay_Sunday.html)</p>

"Injury front </p><div id="storybody">Justin Tuck underwent an MRI Monday on the toe injury that caused him
considerable pain against Dallas and his status for Sunday’s game against
Washington is uncertain.


Tuck did say during his weekly radio spot on WFAN he was unaware of the
results, but his gut feeling was he would play against the Redskins.</p>


"I felt like I was out there just to be the fourth man on the line," Tuck
said in the interview with Mike Francesa. "I was out there playing on one
leg."</p>


Tuck missed the Giants’ season-opening loss in Washington.</p>


The vaunted Big Blue defensive front will likely again be without DE Osi
Umenyiora, whose ankle injury already has cost him two straight games.</p>


As to whether Umenyiora would play against the Redskins, a source told The
Record: "I doubt it.’’</p>


S Kenny Phillips did not play in Dallas because of a strained MCL in his
knee, but ran some last week and might be in line to return this week. TE Jake
Ballard (wrist) and LT David Diehl (hand) will likely be restricted a bit this
week in practice, but Tom Coughlin expects both to be ready to go Sunday. TE
Travis Beckum (upper chest area) is going to have to play through some pain in
order to be out there, Coughlin said.</p>



</p><h5>Passing legends </h5>



Eli Manning has 21 career 300-yard games – tying Phil Simms for the team
record – and after throwing for 400 yards against the Cowboys, he’s on pace to
break Dan Marino’s single-season NFL record for yardage with 4,105 this
season.</p>


Manning’s not alone, however. In fact, he is one of four quarterbacks on pace
to pass Marino (5,084) with Drew Brees (4,36

NY_Eli
12-13-2011, 10:46 AM
Thanks RF! Great stuff today. But I think the JPP-LT comparisons are ridiculous.

Let the guy play more than 2 seasons before you start comparing him to the greatest linebacker of all time.

BigBlue1971
12-13-2011, 11:09 AM
thanks much Roanoke! [B]</P>


feelin good bout this offense!</P>


if the d can ramp it up just one notch, we could be dangerous!</P>

RoanokeFan
12-13-2011, 11:40 AM
thanks much Roanoke! [B]</p>


feelin good bout this offense!</p>


if the d can ramp it up just one notch, we could be dangerous!</p>

At a time when the defense is in disarray we need a top notch defense and we have one. Thankfully the OLine has gotten a needed boost with Boothe and Petrus playing.

G-Men Surg.
12-13-2011, 12:07 PM
Thanks RF !

RoanokeFan
12-13-2011, 01:38 PM
Thanks RF! Great stuff today. But I think the JPP-LT comparisons are ridiculous.

Let the guy play more than 2 seasons before you start comparing him to the greatest linebacker of all time.

I agree about the comparison but right now JPP is THE defense almost exclusively

RoanokeFan
12-13-2011, 01:38 PM
Thanks RF !

[Y]

Cindy in INdy
12-13-2011, 09:37 PM
<FONT color=#0000ff>YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST!!!</FONT>

RoanokeFan
12-14-2011, 08:25 AM
<font color="#0000ff">YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST!!!</font>

Well, GEE, thanks [:)]