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View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011 - 3:10 P.M.



RoanokeFan
12-15-2011, 09:45 AM
<u><font color="#ff0000" size="4"><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">H</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">R</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E </font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">N</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">O</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">W</font><font face="Verdana" size="6"> T</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">H</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E </font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">N</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">W</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">S</font>

</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">

<u>I WILL BE TRAVELING TO CONNECTICUT TOMORROW ON THE FIRST LEG OF MY ATTEND THE REDSKINS GAME. TOMORROW'S NEWS MAY BE SPARSE OR NON-EXISTENT.</u>

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

FORMER GIANT BARRY COFIELD SAYS ELI MANNING "A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ANIMAL NOW" (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/former_giant_barry_cofield_say.html)

Excerpt: "What Barry Cofield saw from Eli Manning in Week 1 was pretty much the same
guy he saw during his five seasons with the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants).


What Cofield sees on tape now is a changed quarterback.</p>


"He’s a completely different animal right now. He’s playing unbelievable,"
the Redskins' defensive tackle told D.C. area reporters today, via our buddy<a href="http://www.csnwashington.com/pages/ohalloran"> Ryan O'Halloran of
CSNWashington.com</a>. "If he would have played that well last year, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2010/12/once_atop_the_nfc_east_giants.html">we
might have given Green Bay a run for their money</a>."</p>


That was the one backhanded compliment in a series of statements in which
Cofield talked up the Giants' offense.</p>


"They have two receivers that should be Pro Bowlers in my eyes (Hakeem Nicks
and Victor Cruz) and (Jake) Ballard has come out of nowhere," he said. "They
have a completely different look about them. They’ve become a passing team, it
seems, but last week you see (Ahmad) Bradshaw and (Brandon) Jacobs get back
involved. They’re a top-five offense that’s a problem you have to deal
with." Read more...</p>GIANTS' WIDE RECEIVER MARIO MANNINGHAM SAYS HE PROBABLY WON'T NEED KNEE SURGERY (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_wide_receiver_mario_man.html)

Excerpt: "On Wednesday, I was doing advance work on a story for Sunday, so I needed
Jorge to run around the locker room like a lunatic and cover all of the bases.
He did and shipped me a bunch of quotes for <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_kenny_phillips_says_def.html">today’s
notebook</a>.


So what’d I do? I forgot to add a key quote he got from Mario Manningham.</p>


The Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants)’ wide receiver, who told
reporters a few weeks ago <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_mario_manningham_says_i.html">he
might need season-ending surgery on his knee</a>, now says he won’t need such a
procedure.</p>


“Probably not,” Manningham said. “I don’t even think about knee right now.
You want to ask me anything about the game, I’ll answer you but I don’t have
anything to say about my knee.”</p>


Last week, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_face_cowboys_with_hakee.html">Manningham
said his knee had improved</a> because he was intent on getting in good leg
workouts instead of simply working out to just to say he did. His improved
health is great news for the Giants, who also <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_wr_victor_cruz_becomes.html">have
a pair of 1,000-yard receivers (Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz)</a> for the first
time in team history.</p>


“You’ve got to run all your routes like you’re getting the ball. We do that
anyway,” Manningham said, adding: “In our head, we know the ball can go
anywhere, no matter where the play’s supposed to be going. It’s just how (Eli
Manning is) playing this year. The ball can go anywhere.”</p>


The Giants are hoping the ball will go anywhere against the Redskins’ defense
on Sunday after it wasn’t that way in<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/09/giants-redskins_a_look_back_to.html">
the teams’ first meeting on Sept. 11</a>. Statistically, it was Manning’s worst
game of the season (18-for-32 for 268 yards and an interception) and is one of
only two games this year in which he didn’t throw a touchdown.</p>


“We’re trying to beat everybody, we’re trying to smash whoever,” said
Manningham, who had a 47-yard touchdown against the Cowboys on Sunday but also
dropped one before Brandon Jacobs scored the game-winner. “We don’t really care
what their record is, the record doesn’t mean nothing, they beat us.</p>


“They beat us on an emotional day but it is what it is. We’re going to be
ready on Sunday.” Read more...
</p>GIANTS' ANTREL ROLLE CONTINUES TO DEFEND HIMSELF OVER BLOWN COVERAGE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_antrel_rolle_continues.html)

Excerpt: "It had been three days since the play occurred, but Antrel Rolle, playing the
role of lightning rod he’s secured since becoming a Giant, was still fuming
about the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ blown coverage on Dez
Bryant’s 50-yard touchdown reception Sunday night and the criticism hurled at
him afterward.


The safety, well-aware of NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth’s assessment of the
play during the broadcast, continued his shots at commentators and vehemently
defended himself.</p>


“You have these analysts that figure like they know exactly what’s going on,”
Rolle said. “And I’m not criticizing them and honestly in a lot of situations I
may understand even what they see, but don’t sit there and put someone on blast
saying, like for instance, ‘Oh, Antrel Rolle got barbequed.’ Get out of here
with that, man.”</p>


This hasn’t been the first time in his brief time in East Rutherford that
Rolle hasn’t shied away from publicizing opinions most players wouldn’t. He has
guaranteed a least one victory — against the Green Bay Packers last season — and
virtually guaranteed another this week when he stood by his opinion that the
Giants would beat the Washington Redskins 99 out of 100 times. (The Redskins
beat the Giants to open the season.)</p>


The willingness to speak his mind, surely to the chagrin of the organization,
has included criticism of teammates and coaches.</p>


“I don’t say things for feedback,” Rolle said. “I say what I feel and,
honestly, what it is at the end of the day.”</p>


Last season, he publicly criticized his teammates for a lack of leadership in
the locker room and Tom Coughlin for the team’s schedule during road trips. </p>


In response, Coughlin told Rolle that his door is always open for suggestions
and, instead of allowing the relationship to deteriorate before even allowing it
to establish, it appears as though Rolle took him up on the proposal.</p>


“He’s been a very, very easy guy to talk to,” Coughlin said. “He makes it
easy for you. He’ll come upstairs and visit with me. He’ll come and sit down and
talk. He wants to do it the right way, believe me. He wants to do things right
and be good.”</p>


Wednesday, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/antrel_rolle_says_hes_not_at_f.html">Rolle
reiterated that he wasn’t at fault</a> for leaving Bryant wide open, which
teammates confirmed. Rolle said the call was for a Cover-3, meaning he was
supposed to move forward as he did." Read more...</p>GIANTS' KENNY PHILLIPS SAYS DEFENSE "NEEDS TO DO OUR PART" (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_kenny_phillips_says_def.html)

Excerpt: "Kenny Phillips believes his knee was healthy enough for him to play this past
Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.


And then, after a pause, the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)
safety added, “I think.”</p>


Translation: He wasn’t, though his competitive nature told him otherwise.</p>


“That’s how you’re supposed to think,” Phillips said. “But I felt pretty good
out there.”</p>


Phillips returned to practice today and worked in a limited capacity. He said
he will be back on the field for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.
Given the breakdowns in communication in the secondary since he left the loss to
the Packers with a sprained knee, that’s a positive development.</p>


Eventually, the Giants must eliminate such crucial mistakes and start bailing
out the offense, as opposed to vice versa.</p>


“The offense is doing a great job of putting points on the board and keeping
us in games. We definitely have to step up and do our part,” Phillips said. “We
can’t let those guys down. They’re working extremely hard over there and guys on
defense, we want to be great. We just have to get it done.”</p>


The Giants have allowed 49, 31 and 34 points in their last three games
(excluding the defensive touchdown by Green Bay) and now rank 27th in the NFL
with 26.8 points surrendered per game. Even the 27 points they gave up against
the 49ers last month are the most San Francisco has scored since Week 5 (48
against the Buccaneers).</p>


Of the bottom nine teams in the league in points allowed, the Giants are the
only one currently in a playoff spot. They’re also one of only three teams with
a winning record to have a negative point differential (minus-25).</p>


They’ve held only four of 13 opponents to fewer than 20 points and simply
haven’t played a dominant defensive game all season." Read more...
</p>JETS' COACH REX RYAN TAKES A JAB AT GIANTS, REFERENCES DESEAN JACKSON'S PUNT RETURN (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/jets_coach_rex_ryan_takes_jab.html)

Excerpt: "When asked about the return skills of DeSean Jackson, Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/) coach Rex Ryan took a playful jab at the
Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/), who saw their <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUr_oXh6h_o">2010 season crumble at the
hands of a 65-yard Jackson punt return as time expired</a>.


"I think there are people around here that might be able to answer that
question better than us," Ryan said, referencing the Giants.</p>


A win over Philadelphia that day would have put the Giants in control of
their own playoff destiny but instead sent them on a miniature spiral,
eventually costing them a chance at the postseason. The Giants had been up three
touchdowns with eight minutes to play. </p>


Ryan said that it changed the landscape of the playoff picture that year and
agreed that, even though Jackson's punt return numbers are down significantly
this season, he still has that same play-making ability. </p>


"Let's face it, he doesn't make that return, Green Bay doesn't even go to the
playoffs last year so he is that kind of guy — game on the line, he can break it
any time. The average doesn't look that great this year but he's one of those
guys where you have to hold your breath every time he gets it. He is a special
returner." </p>


Here's a look at what Ryan is talking about ..." Read more...
</p>GIANTS' KENNY PHILLIPS RETURNS TO PRACTICE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_kenny_phillips_returns.html)

"UPDATED WITH INJURY NEWS FROM PRACTICE


With all of the miscommunication issues since Kenny Phillips went down, it’s
a good sign for the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants) they’re
getting their starting safety back today.</p>


Phillips, who missed Sunday’s game against the Cowboys with a sprained knee
suffered a week prior, returned to practice today. He was fully participating
and that's a good sign for him to play against Washington on Sunday.</p>


Since Phillips went down against the Packers, the Giants gave up two
touchdowns on apparent miscommunications between Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster
– one against Green Bay and another against Dallas on a 50-yard touchdown to Dez
Bryant. It’s unclear if either would’ve occurred had Phillips been on the field
to communicate the adjustment to Webster, who didn’t sink deep enough on the
Packers’ Donald Driver and, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/antrel_rolle_says_hes_not_at_f.html">according
to Rolle</a>, should’ve been deep on Bryant.</p>


Other injury news:</p>


--DE Justin Tuck (toe) wasn't practicing. He was a late arrival to the
session and took to a stationary bike on the sideline, "but I’m hoping he’ll get
going (soon),” Tom Coughlin said.</p>


--DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) wasn't seen during the portion of practice
open to the media and continues to seem like a long shot to play on Sunday.</p>


--C David Baas’ mysterious neck ailment will remain just that for now.
Coughlin didn’t shed any light on Baas’ issue but said he hoped the fact the
headaches aren’t listed on the injury report anymore is a good sign. “I think
he’s making progress, I do,” Coughlin said. Asked if the Giants would keep Baas
on the sideline when he’s healthy so as not to disrupt what the offensive line
has done in his absence, Coughlin said, “What we want to do is let’s get them
all back so we can (practice). He hasn’t practiced in a couple of weeks. We need
to get him back on the practice field and back in the groove and then we’ll make
those kinds of calls.”</p>


Today, Baas stretched with the team and then went outside where he ran some
sprints and did some light drills, an encouraging sign going forward for the
Giants and their major free agent signing.</p>


--RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) wasn't practice today, but that is expected. If he
doesn't practice on Friday then that will be when we know something is really
wrong. He was throwing passes to the other running backs during a drill, so
there's that.</p>


--TE Travis Beckum (chest) wasn't practicing and on Monday Coughlin said
he'll most likely have to play through pain. </p>


--LB Michael Boley (hamstring) wasn't practicing, but he's been getting the
same treatment Bradshaw has: practice on Friday, play on Sunday.</p>


--CB Derrick Martin (back) also wasn't practicing.</p>


--LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) missed Sunday night's game, but he was
back at practice today.</p>


--LB Mark Herzlich (ankle) has missed the last couple games and wasn't
practicing." </p><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS</u></font><font size="4"><u>
</u><font size="3">[/url]</font></font>

GIANTS' CHALLENGE IS TO STAY ON TOP OF MOUNTAIN AFTER SUNDAY'S WIN AGAINST COWBOYS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-lived-dangerously-season-back-haunt-article-1.991294)</p>

Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin) was in
the middle of a circle of Giants players in the locker room at Cowboys Stadium
moments after what could turn out to be the most important regular-season
victory in his eight seasons as the Giants coach.<a title="Antrel Rolle" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle">
</a></p>

Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle), <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a>, Hakeem Nicks (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hakeem+Nicks), Dave Tollefson (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Dave+Tollefson) and
Chris Canty (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chris+Canty) were in the
first ring around him holding hands.</p>

Coughlin was fired up as he praised his team for a “great, great job” and
coming up with “the final courage to pull this thing out” after the Giants
scored two TDs in the final 3:14 and then Jason Pierre-Paul (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Pierre-Paul)
blocked the tying 47-yard field-goal attempt with one second left.</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">


The coach and his players were kneeling when Coughlin pointed up and then
down with his right index finger.</p>


“You guys did a tremendous job, in the division, to take the star down off
the mountain, put the NYG up on top,” he said, in a video posted on the Giants
website, and his proclamation was greeted with loud approval. “Now, listen up.
You got to keep it there now. I mean, every one of these battles, every one’s a
struggle now.”</p>


The Cowboys’ famous blue star did come tumbling off the mountain Sunday night
as they fell back into a first-place tie with the Giants in the NFC East. And
for now, the NYG is technically on top of the mountain because the victory gives
the Giants the tie-breaker heading into the final three games. The players
enjoyed Coughlin symbolically removing the star and putting the Giants’ logo on
top.</p>


“I love it. I definitely love it. But we have to keep it there,” Rolle said
Wednesday. “That’s what’s important. You have to keep it there. You have to go
over and beyond.”</p>


But are these Giants good enough to stay on top? They are accustomed to
flying off the mountain in December like a wayward giant slalom racer . As far
as the Giants are concerned, thank goodness for the Cowboys, who haven’t
finished anything since 1995." Read more...<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/eli-manning-love-deserves-pro-bowl-voting-results-show-nfc-quarterbacks-article-1.991816">
</a></p>

ELI MANNING DOESN'T RECEIVE THE LOVE HE DESERVES IN PRO BOWL VOTING AS RESULTS SHOW HE IS FIFTH AMONG NFC QUARTERBACKS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/eli-manning-love-deserves-pro-bowl-voting-results-show-nfc-quarterbacks-article-1.991816)</p></div>

"Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning) is having
the type of season that might earn him some consideration for NFL MVP. But as
far as fans are concerned, he’s not good enough for the Pro Bowl.</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">


With one week to go before voting is closed, Manning is a distant fifth in
the voting among NFC quarterbacks. He has just 316,687 votes, which puts him far
behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Rodgers)
(1,263,045) and New Orleans’ Drew Brees (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Drew+Brees) (908,864).
Remarkably, he also trails Carolina rookie Cam Newton (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Cam+Newton) (508,552) and
Detroit’s Matthew Stafford (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Matthew+Stafford)
(451,469), too.</p>


Manning, who ranks fourth in the NFC in passer rating (95.5), fifth in
touchdowns (25), fifth in completion percentage (62.0) and third in yards
(4,105), could still get one of the three quarterback spots because fan ballots
(which can be filled out at NFL.com) count only for one-third of the voting.
Votes from players and coaches make up the rest.</p>


Manning’s teammates aren’t faring too well in the voting either. Only three
other Giants rank in the top five in voting at their position. Two of them have
been injured for most of the season — David Baas (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Baas) (who is third
among NFC centers with 139,668 votes) and Osi Umenyiora (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Osi+Umenyiora) (fifth
among NFC defensive ends with 148,768 votes).</p>


The only other Giant in the top five is Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle), who is
third among free safeties with 63,518 votes.</p>


The Pro Bowl teams will be announced on Dec. 27.</p>


FULL OF PRIDE
Rolle is on record saying that the Giants
would beat the Redskins “99” out of 100 times they play them. Redskins <a title="Rex Grossman" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rex+Grossman">QB
Rex Grossman</a> guaranteed the Redskins would win at least two.</p>


“It’s the NFL and nobody is going to beat anyone 99 out of 100 times,”
Grossman said on Wednesday. “I understand that there is a lot of pride in the
NFL and a lot of people go about their business with a lot of pride and ego. We
do the same thing.”</p>


The Redskins beat the Giants, 28-14, in both teams’ season opener this
year.</p>


SITTING ONE OUT
<a title="Kenny Phillips (Football)" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kenny+Phillips+%28Football%29">S Kenny
Phillips</a> was back at practice on Wednesday, giving some hope that he’ll end
up missing only one game with a sprained left knee. “I feel pretty good,”
Phillips said. “I think if I wanted to I could’ve played last week. I
think.”</p>


HEAD GAME
Baas did not practice due to a neck injury, but
the Giants no longer list him on their injury report as having “intense
headaches.” Is that a sign of progress “I would hope so,” <a title="Tom Coughlin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin">Tom
Coughlin</a> said. “I think he’s making progress, there. I really do.” . . . <a title="Mario Manningham" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mario+Manningham">WR Mario
Manningham</a> returned to practice and said he now will “probably not” need
offseason surgery on his troublesome knee."</p>

GIANTS' DEFENSE KNOWS THEY MUST RISE TO OCCASION ENTERING SUNDAY MATCHUP WITH REDSKINS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-defense-score-article-1.991797)</p>

"They have a quarterback on pace to throw for 5,000 yards, two 1,000-yard
receivers for the first time in their history, and they are scoring a remarkable
24.9 points per game. So it’s no secret why the Giants have climbed back into
first place.</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">


Just imagine how good they’d be if the defense gave them a little help.</p>


“The whole offense, those guys have definitely been coming through in clutch
moments and they’ve definitely been taking the load of our backs,” said safety
Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle). “I think
it’s time for us to return the favor.”</p>


“It’s been time,” safety Deon Grant (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Deon+Grant) added.
“But it’s definitely time now for the defense to step up.”</p>


So far, Rolle is right. The Giants’ offense - particularly <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a> - has carried this team and its 30th-ranked defense. The offense has
given the Giants leads all year, then watched the defense blow them, only to
rally - more often than not - in the end.</p>


Not that there’s anything wrong with winning that way. After a month of
losing that ended Sunday night in Dallas, the Giants (7-6) will take wins any
way they can get them. But it won’t be easy to keep winning, especially if the
Giants reach the playoffs, if the defense continues to be a liability.</p>


That’s why the players on defense insisted that beginning Sunday, when the
Giants play host to the Washington Redskins (4-9), they need to start turning
around their season.</p>


“We’re definitely going to get on the right track,” Rolle said. “This is a
great football team. And no matter how we’ve been playing in the past, we
understand that once we get on (the same) page we’re going to be a force to be
reckoned with.”</p>


“We know we have all the pieces,” Grant added. “It’s time for us to finally
put this puzzle together like it needs to be.”</p>


That might be easier than it sounds. A month ago in San Francisco, it
appeared as if the Giants had solved their problems against the run, but they
still couldn’t rush the passer. On Sunday night, in their 37-34 win over the
Cowboys, the pass rush was better, but the Giants gave up 139 yards on the
ground. The only consistent thing about them is a secondary that has been
shredded most of the season.</p>


And the stats say the Giants are getting worse, having given up an average of
465.2 yards and 32.8 points in the last four games.</p>


“I still think we have some things - a lot of things - we can improve on,”
said <a title="Kenny Phillips (Football)" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kenny+Phillips+%28Football%29">safety Kenny
Phillips</a>. “When we’re stopping the run, we give up a pass. When we’re
stopping the pass, we give up a run. We all just have to get on the same page. I
think we’re almost there.”</p>


They better be, because even though the Redskins are out of the playoff chase
and average a mere 17.6 points per game, they also beat the Giants in Week 1,
28-14. Rex Grossman (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rex+Grossman) even
threw for 305 yards.</p>


Chances are, the way Manning and the offense is going, they can do better
than that and still beat the Redskins no matter how the defense plays. But the
Giants have bigger goals, including a deep run in the postseason.</p>


At some point, they’re going to need their defense in top form to do
that.</p>


“We’ve been doing enough for us to be 7-6 and No. 1 in the division,” Grant
said. “Teams haven’t just been putting 40 points on us (every week). So we’ve
been doing enough, but it ain’t good enough. I know what we can be.”</p>


“The offense has been holding up their end of the bargain,” added <a title="Dave Tollefson" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Dave+Tollefson">defensive end Dave
Tollefson</a>. “We’ve got to hold up our end, too.”
</p></div></div><font size="4"><u>NY POST</u></font>

COFIELD NOTICES MANNING'S GIANT IMPROVEMENT (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/cofield_wishes_manning_giants_played_m45xe4YxrNGdv It7VIx2YL)

"Barry Cofield spent the first five years of his NFL career playing defensive
tackle for the Giants and in that time the only quarterback who ever started for
the Giants was Eli Manning. <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">


Cofield watched Manning help the Giants win the Super Bowl following the 2007
season and Cofield watched last year as Manning threw a career-high 25
interceptions and the Giants failed to make the playoffs for the second straight
season. </p>


Cofield, soon to complete his first season with the Redskins, was thrilled
back in the season opener when his new team beat his old one, 28-14, at FedEx
Field. The rematch comes Sunday at MetLife Stadium with the teams in familiar
positions. The Giants (7-6) are fighting for a playoff berth and the Redskins
(4-9) are finishing up another sorry season. </p>


It is Cofield’s job to study the opposing quarterback and he’s impressed with
that he’s seen from Manning. </p>


“He’s a completely different animal right now,’’ Cofield told reporters who
cover the Redskins in Landover, Md. “He’s playing unbelievable. If he would have
played that well last year, we might have given Green Bay a run for their
money.’’ </p>


Cofield also sees the Giants offense as changing and evolving from when he
was on the scene. </p>


“They have two receivers that should be Pro Bowlers in my eyes and [Jake]
Ballard has come out of nowhere,’’ Cofield said. “They have a completely
different look about them. They’ve become a passing team, it seems, but last
week you see [Ahmad] Bradshaw and Jacobs get back involved. They’re a
top-five offense that’s a problem you have to deal with.’’</p>GIANTS' TUCK STILL BOTHERED BY TOE INJURY (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/giants_tuck_still_bothered_by_toe_ycohCgJDQ5JIYRMr GRmYGK)

Excerpt: "At the start of practice on Thursday, there was no sign of Justin Tuck. <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">


After about 15 minutes, the Giants defensive end emerged, walking slowly, as
if he was in no rush to step up onto the stationary bicycle he was headed for.
If someone could look dejected as he walked, it was Tuck, who resembled someone
who just learned his trusted dog had eaten his beloved cat and, lo and behold,
inside the cat’s belly was what remained of Tuck’s favorite pet bird.</p>


Clearly, the new toe injury that Tuck suffered in last week’s 37-34 victory
over the Cowboys is bothering him quite a bit. He hasn’t practiced yet this week
and he has one more day to get on the field and convince coach Tom Coughlin that
he’s ready for Sunday’s game against the Redskins. On Wednesday Coughlin said he
believes Tuck will be able to manage the discomfort and play in the game but
that optimism might be unfounded, based on Tuck’s body language.</p>


Tuck has endured a miserable, injury-filled season, starting with a neck
problem back in the summer. He’s also been slowed with injuries to his groin,
ankle and now his toe. It’s likely he’ll be listed as no better than
questionable to play this weekend." Read more...
</p></div>
</div>
<div><div><div><div><div><div>

ELI BRINGING TEAMMATES ALONG FOR RECORD SEASON (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/eli_bringing_teammates_along_for_o5VLoi3FXVGAxH67j mBrQN)

"Dan DePalma doesn’t exactly look the part of an NFL receiver, which is why
one day during the summer a security guard did not let him onto the field at
Hoboken High for Eli Manning’s informal lockout passing camp. <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">


DePalma, from West Chester (Pa.) University and a native of Verona, N.J.,
jumped at the chance to catch passes from Manning and he did well to stick with
the Giants on their practice squad. As part of his job description, he attends
meetings each week when Manning hits the classroom with his receivers.</p>


“Watch him break down film, just remarkable,’’ DePalma said yesterday. “His
coaching points, what he’s looking at just makes everyone around him
better.’’</p>
<div id="intext_area_middle" class="intext_area narrow">
<div class="block ad wrap quigo">
</div></div>


<a href="http://www.nypost.com/blogs/giantsblog" target="_blank">UPDATES FROM
OUR GIANTS BLOG</a> </p>


It is not only impressionable NFL hopefuls who insist Manning is above and
beyond when it comes to helping those around him succeed. A longstanding axiom
with quarterbacks is only the truly elite are able to elevate their teammates.
There can be no argument that as Manning continues to assemble his career-best
season and is on his way to shattering most franchise passing records, he is
lifting up players who are also enjoying break-out years.</p>


Hakeem Nicks is a first-round talent, so his 65 receptions, 1,023 yards and
six touchdowns are expected byproducts of his skill level. Victor Cruz (/t/Victor_Cruz)(68 catches for 1,150 yards, seven
touchdowns) and tight end<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Jake_Ballard"> Jake Ballard
</a>(37 catches, 589 yards, four touchdowns) entered this season having never
caught a pass in an NFL game. The injury-riddled offensive line has lacked
continuity, the run-blocking has been sketchy and the running game, lately
showing signs of life, remains dead-last in the league.</p>


Yet Manning somehow has the Giants in first place, albeit with a record of
7-6 heading into Sunday’s game against the Redskins at MetLife Stadium. His
influence goes far beyond his gaudy numbers: 4,105 passing yards — already a
single-season Giants record — plus 25 touchdown passes and an NFL-high 15
completions of 40 or more yards, which is fairly staggering.</p>


The big things come because Manning takes care of the little things.</p>


“Certain instances in pass protection where we have multiple guys to look
at,’’ running back D.J. Ware said. “He’s watched so much film where he can get a
bead on what guys are going to do so he can put you in the place you need to be
so the blitz is coming right to you, you don’t have to search and look for it.
He’s right there saying, ‘OK, you got him right there,’ and it makes it a lot
easier. Just play, go out there and just hit somebody.’’</p>


In other words, leave as much of the thinking as possible to Eli.</p>


“A lot of people don’t realize how much of a student he is,” said Kevin
Boothe, who has excelled at center filling in for injured starter David Baas.
“Everybody knows he’s a smart guy when it comes to football, but he puts us in
great positions. Seeing blitzes and checking out of the play or running the play
to a different direction. Little things like that that we can’t see. We’re
sitting there and we’re wondering why is he doing that, but we trust him. We
know most of the time, if not all, he’s on the money.’’</p>


For the first time ever, the Giants have two receivers with more than 1,000
yards in a season, and someone had to deliver the ball to Cruz and Nicks.
Manning’s accuracy has never been better. He’s greatly reduced those sailing
passes that last season were too-often deflected into the air for interceptions.
Manning is also putting the ball in places where his receivers don’t have to
break stride, maximizing yards after the catch.</p>



Despite the evidence, Manning didn’t jump at the notion he’s making those
around him better.</p>


“Both ways, sometimes the guys around you can make a quarterback better
also,’’ Manning said. “Any time you have a quarterback in the same system for
eight years he’s gonna have good insight into what’s going on. Certain plays are
in and they have different reads, you can try to simplify it for a new guy or
say ‘This is how it mostly works.’ You try to teach ’em through film, teach ’em
through past experiences, things they maybe haven’t seen live ... where they can
do it right the first time and not have to make the mistake to get it
right.’’</p>COUGHLIN: TIME FOR 12TH MAN TO GET LOUD (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/tom_begs_fans_to_bring_us_on_home_60uLEiPV7cUg6AqO 7MsDgJ)

"Whether it was the Polo Grounds, where Charlie Conerly was the quarterback,
or Yankee Stadium, where Y.A. Tittle called signals, or Giants Stadium during
the Phil Simms (/t/Phil_Simms)era, the Giants have
largely enjoyed a tangible home-field advantage that was intimidating for
opponents and inspiring to the home team.<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 far that hasn’t been the case at MetLife Stadium, where the seats are
state of the art but the on-field product at times has been second rate. The
Giants are 8-6 since the building opened and a mediocre 3-3 this season,
including ugly losses to the Seahawks and Eagles. On paper that nullifies
whatever psychological edge the Giants might have playing their final three
games of the regular season in their home building.</p>
<div id="intext_area_middle" class="intext_area">
<div class="block ad wrap quigo">
</div></div>


<a href="http://www.nypost.com/blogs/giantsblog" target="_blank">UPDATES FROM
OUR GIANTS BLOG</a> </p>


The Redskins are in town Sunday, followed by a Christmas Eve showdown against
the Jets when the Giants technically will be the visitors. The regular season
concludes with the Cowboys coming east on New Year’s Day. The Giants, leaders in
the NFC East, may need to win all three to ensure a spot in the postseason.</p>


That’s why Tom Coughlin (/t/Tom_Coughlin)all but
made a public plea for Giants fans to step up their game during this final
stretch. </p>


“Our fans getting into this game, this time of the year, the excitement of
this time of the year, being in position, having all these games be very
meaningful, very critical, I think it’s very important that we’re home and I
think it’s very important that the 12th man really, really be excited about this
time of the year,” the coach said.</p>


It wasn’t exactly the “This is our house” speech in the movie “Rudy,” but
clearly the Giants head coach hopes the home crowd will give his team a lift
over the next three weeks. </p>


“Hopefully, it’s going to be a huge advantage for us,” he said.</p>


It hasn’t been thus far. The Giants, 5-3 at home last year, have lost their
last two homes games against the Eagles and the Packers, though the Giants view
those losses differently. They failed to match the intensity of the Eagles and
were whipped physically in losing 17-10 in November. But they went toe-to-toe
against the unbeaten Packers, who kicked a game-winning field goal with no time
left to pull out a 38-35 win.</p>


“After the Green Bay game, I think our fans are really proud of us,” said
receiver Victor Cruz. “They’re going to be behind us 100 percent. It’s going to
be loud and a great environment.”</p>


That would be ideal. This year’s elite teams have all been dominant at home
this year. The Ravens are 7-0, while the Packers and Saints are 6-0. The Jets,
Steelers and 49ers are 6-1, while the Texans and Patriots are 5-1. The Jets’
success at MetLife should be especially embarrassing to the Giants, especially
with all the preseason talk about taking over the town.</p>



Giants safety Deon Grant (/t/Deon_Grant)admitted
playing at home doesn’t mean much. </p>


“We don’t look at it as an edge,” he said. “We’ve lost games in our building.
We just need to focus on the game and take care of business.”</p>


It also doesn’t help the Giants that the three teams they’ll face to finish
the regular season are all familiar with MetLife. The Redskins are division
rivals who played here last January, losing to the Giants 17-14. The Cowboys
have played twice at MetLife, beating the Giants 33-20 in November 2010, and
losing to the Jets, 27-24, in the opening week of this season.</p>


Maybe playing at home simply boils down to this: </p>


“It’s just nice that we don’t have to get on the plane,” said defensive end
Dave Tollefson. “It doesn’t affect how you play. If we don’t play at a high
level, we’re going to get beat.”</p>REDSKINS' GROSSMAN FIRES BACK AT ROLLE (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/redskins_grossman_fires_back_at_P5T06e57aJx3eQO3PF 8dNO)
</div></div>
"After the Giants were beaten by the Redskins in the season opener, Antrel
Rolle said the Giants were the better team and would beat the Redskins 95 out of
100 times. Earlier this week, Rolle amended that prediction, saying the Giants
would beat the Redskins 99 out of 100 times.<div>


The two teams meet again Sunday.</p>


“It is the NFL and nobody is going to beat anyone 99 out of 100 times,’’
Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman said Wednesday on a conference call. “I am
confident about where we are. We haven’t finished games lately and we need to
finish and everything should take care of itself. I understand that there is a
lot of pride in the NFL and a lot of people go about their business with a lot
of pride and ego and we do the same thing.’’</p>


Grossman is again running the Redskins offense. He was benched earlier in the
season by head coach Mike Shanahan, who inserted untested John Beck into the
starting quarterback role. When that did not work, Shanahan went back to
Grossman. After a promising 3-1start, the Redskins have lost eight of their past
nine games.</p>


“I felt like I played well the first four games and I felt like I didn’t play
well the last game and got taken out of that game and John Beck came in and
played pretty decent,’’ Grossman said. “They stuck with him and when I got a
chance to play again, I had the same mindset. I had a breather there for a month
and then I got right back in there. Every time you go out there on the field,
you want to put your best foot forward so that you put so much time and effort
into each week that nothing really changes in terms of the turmoil that you have
gone through personally as far as being bench and then being a starter.’’</p>


When Grossman takes a look at the Giants defense, he sees something he did
not see in the opener: The emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul, who has supplanted
Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora as the star on the defensive line.</p>


“He is really their best pass rusher and best defensive player, in my
opinion,’’ Grossman said. “He has everything. He has power, speed, strength and
the other two guys that are big time guys have been hurt. They haven’t had a
full season to show what they normally can do and they are Pro Bowlers in their
own right. Jason Pierre-Paul is definitely a star in this
league.’’
</p></div>POST POWER RANKINGS: BEWARE OF GIANT TRAP (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/backpage/post_power_rankings_beware_of_giant_vPiwRgdINoriAv QtwNRd2M)

Excerpt: "The Redskins beat the Giants in the season opener and are a division rival,
and maybe that’s the best thing for the Giants. <div>


Under coach Tom Coughlin, the team has shown a propensity to let down against
the lesser teams in the NFL, which they did in a Week 5 home loss to the
Seahawks. But those factors may keep the Giants from sleepwalking against
Washington on Sunday even though the next two matchups against the Jets and
Cowboys will be much more hyped.</p>[b]12. Giants (7-6) (14) – For all the criticism he’s received
from fans and media, Brandon Jacobs may have saved the Giants’ season Sunday
night with Ahmad Bradshaw benched in the first half.
<div>


27. Redskins (4-9) (27) – Giants must concentrate on
stopping rookie Roy Helu, who has rushed for more than 100 yards in three
straight games." Read more... </p></div>PHILLIPS BACK AT PRACTICE (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/phillips_back_at_giants_practice_3vEEALQoMKJNU6z8Y fiPGL)

Excerpt: "Safety Kenny Phillips was back on the field Wednesday, an extremely positive
sign for the Giants when it comes to predicting his availability for Sunday’s
game against the Redskins.<div>


Phillips missed last week’s victory at Dallas with a strained medial
collateral ligament, a knee injury that often sidelines players 2-3 weeks.
Phillips was able to run last week but did not practice. He sounded optimistic
he would be able to return after sitting out one game and his presence inside
the team’s field house for practice suggests he is on the way back.</p>


That would be good news for a defensive backfield that continues to get
torched by opposing quarterbacks and receivers. The Redskins, with Rex Grossman
at quarterback, do not possess the weapons the Saints, Packers and Cowboys did
the past three games, but the Giants have allowed so many wide-open receivers
downfield that even Grossman could locate them if given the
chance." Read more...
</p></div></div><div><div><u><font size="4">THE BERGEN RECORD</font></u>
</div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><div>
[url="http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/Giants_say_Pierre-Paul_is_their_Superman.html"]GIANTS SAY PIERRE-PAUL IS THEIR "SUPERMAN" (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/Roberts_Antrel_Rolle_critical_of_Giants_defense.ht ml)

Excerpt: "They surrounded him in the airport.

<div id="storybody">

They snapped photos of him as he sat captive on his flight home.</p>


Jason Pierre-Paul could not escape the attention of fans even during a visit
to see his parents in South Florida following his dominant performance Sunday
night in the Giants’ victory over the Cowboys, as family and friends swarmed him
“talking about how I saved the game.”</p>


But it was some coming-out party for a man one teammate called
“Superman.”</p>


“I told him, ‘That was your spotlight. That was the game you showed the world
what you are all about,’ ” older sister Nadie Therlonge said in a phone
interview. “He showed what was inside him.”</p>


The 6-foot-5, 278-pound defensive end registered two sacks – one of which
resulted in a safety – a forced fumble, a team-high eight tackles and, of
course, his block of the potential game-tying 47-yard field goal in the final
seconds.</p>


His big moment just may have signaled his ascension to the role of the
Giants’ best pass rusher, surpassing veterans Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. And
maybe, just maybe, it also signaled that Pierre-Paul is on the road to
challenging the legacy of Lawrence Taylor, whom he admitted he has heard of, but
“I don’t know much about.”</p>


But the Giants (7-6) know they escaped Dallas with a must-have 37-34 victory
only because of Pierre-Paul, whose performance earned him NFC Defensive Player
of the Week honors. And they know they will need him to step up yet again in
their final three games, beginning Sunday when they host the Redskins (4-9).</p>


“We got Superman over here,” Dave Tollefson said. “As long as he keeps coming
to save the day, we’ll be all right. …</p>


“If you take him out of that game, how do we win it? I mean
honestly?”

Pierre-Paul – just 22 — ranks fifth in the NFL in sacks with
12½ and has 61 tackles in just his second season." Read more...</p>

<a href="http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/135637938_Tuck_and_teammates_a__Giant__help_to_clu bs.html">TUCK AND TEAMMATES A "GIANT" HELP TO CLUBS
</a></p>

"New York Giants football players hosted their annual toy and book drive for
the holiday season that benefited the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of Garfield (/garfield) and Lodi (/Lodi)/Hackensack (/hackensack).</p>

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, linebacker Mike Boley, cornerback Prince
Amukamara and defensive end Dave Tollefson signed autographs at Westfield Garden
State Plaza in Paramus (/paramus) on Dec. 5 for anyone who brought
in toys or books, which benefited the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs and Tuck’s R.U.S.H.
(Read, Understand, Succeed and Hope) for Literacy, an organization that raises
funds for books and other reading materials for the youth of New York and
central Alabama communities.</p>


The fund-raiser is in its third year benefiting the clubs.</p>


"It’s good to give back to the community," Tuck said. "I have a great
platform as a New York Giant to help the community in a fun way and to help the
Boys &amp; Girls Clubs. I’m tremendously blessed by this community as being a
Giant."</p>


Tuck described the fund-raiser as twofold because the toys are able to
benefit the Boys &amp; Girl Club members and the books and any reading materials
help his own organization, Tuck’s R.U.S.H.</p>


The Giants signed autographs for two hours along with Grammy Award winner and
WLIB midday host Hezekiah Walker. Members of the Lodi (/Lodi)/Hackensack (/hackensack) and Garfield (/garfield) Boys
&amp; Girls Club were at the event collecting toys and thanking the people who
donated.</p>


The event produced 22 large garbage bags filled with toys that were divided
between the three clubs — Lodi (/Lodi) and Hackensack (/hackensack) received 14 bags and Garfield (/garfield), eight.</p>


"It’s a good feeling," Amukamara, the first round draft pick for the Giants
in 2011, said. "I was always raised to always give back because I was given so
much and it’s a part of my faith. The fans do their part cheering for us and
this is a way for us to give back by showing our face and signing autographs and
taking pictures."</p>


Education and Teen Coordinator at the Garfield (/garfield) Club
Nicole Mendoza said that her club members enjoy being invited to the fund-raiser
every year.</p>


"We are happy to do it every year and the kids have a lot of fun helping out
and receiving the gifts and have the chance to thank everyone who donates,"
Mendoza said, adding that Tuck also invites the Garfield (/garfield)
club to participate in his two-day football clinic during the summer.</p>


Boys &amp; Girls Club representatives that were in attendance included Tom
Cattafi, president of the Board of Directors for Lodi (/Lodi) and Hackensack (/hackensack), Kim Cattafi, Lodi’s finance director, Dexter
Howard, program counselor for Hackensack, Mendoza and Keystone Club members from
all of the clubs.</p>


"I’m going to keep doing it every year and try to make it bigger and better,"
Tuck said about the future of the event."</p></div><u><font size="4">THE NEW YORK TIMES</font></u>

WEEK 15 NFL GAME PROBABILITIES (http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/week-15-n-f-l-game-probabilities-explaining-tebow/?ref=football&amp;gwh=2D6C55B904D19114EB191CF49BEBB1B8 )


<div id="entry-90859" class="post-90859 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-uncategorized tag-tim-tebow entry ">
<div class="entry-content">

How are the Broncos 7-1 behind starting quarterback Tim Tebow? If I plug the
Broncos’ offensive efficiency stats since Tebow took the reins into the game
prediction model, they come out as the 19th-best team and would be expected to
have just a .480 winning percentage.</p>


The simple reason for the 7-1 record is that the Broncos, and Tebow in
particular, are saving up their best performance for when it matters most — in
high leverage situations in the fourth quarter. That’s not easy to do. If it
were possible for athletes to pick and choose when they play best, they’d all
save up their best for when the game is on the line. Baseball players would all
have higher batting averages with runners in scoring position, hockey goalies
would play so well that shootouts would go on all night, and quarterbacks would
have insanely good stats in the red zone.</p>


Tim Tebow’s Win Probability Added (WPA) – the net effect that his performance
has on his team’s chances of winning each game – <a href="http://www.advancednflstats.com/2011/12/tebow-by-quarter.html">is
disproportionately high in the fourth quarter</a>. He’s a poor performer in the
first half, a mediocre one in the third quarter, but suddenly becomes a Hall of
Fame candidate in the fourth. Many analysts wonder what makes Tebow so good when
the game’s on the line.</p>


I like to think about things from the other direction, staring into the
binoculars backward. I want to know what makes Tebow play so poorly in
the first three quarters. Tebow didn’t have a single completion in the second or
third quarters of last week’s game against the Bears. Why?<span id="more-90859"></span></p>


Why does Tebow’s magical leadership not manifest itself until the end of
games? And why does it vanish in overtime? Is it simple luck-random variation?
Just as some players have crazy good numbers on turf or at night, some might
happen to have better numbers in one quarter of the game than the others. Or
could it be something more tangible?</p>


Perhaps opposing defenses are playing too soft with their fourth-quarter
leads. Maybe Tebow plays too tight until the necessity and urgency of trailing
in the fourth quarter allow him to play with abandon, a theory that is bolstered
by fact that Tebow has played relatively poorly in his three overtimes this
season. Is it by design? Perhaps the Broncos’ plan is to minimize errors and
wait for opportunities for big plays while relying on their defense to keep the
game close. Then in the fourth quarter, they roll the dice and become
aggressive. My hunch is that it’s some combination of the above. When we see an
outlier like Tebow and the Broncos, the cause is often a confluence of
factors.</p>


When a team is on a run like this, maybe we should stop trying to explain it,
and just sit back and enjoy it. Unfortunately for Denver fans, the Broncos
aren’t facing Caleb Hanie again this Sunday. They face Tom Brady and the
Patriots. Using the Tebow-only numbers mentioned above, the Broncos stand only a
34 percent chance of winning.</p>


I’ll also note that the injury-adjusted probabilities for Chicago and Houston
still make them favorites, 39/61 and 30/70, respectively. Here are the rest of
the probabilities for Week 15.</p>


(For information on the prediction model and its accuracy,<a href="http://www.advancednflstats.com/2011/10/prediction-accuracy.html"> see
this post.</a>)</p>
<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="310">
<colgroup>
<col width="64">
<col width="182">
<col width="64"></colgroup>
<tbody>
<tr>
<td height="19" width="64">Pwin</td>
<td width="182">GAME</td>
<td width="64">Pwin</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.26</td>
<td>Jacksonville at Atlanta</td>
<td align="right">0.74</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19"><font color="#0000FF">0.74</font></td>
<td><font color="#0000FF">Dallas at Tampa Bay</font></td>
<td align="right"><font color="#0000FF">0.26</font></td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.13</td>
<td>Carolina at Houston</td>
<td align="right">0.87</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19"><font color="#0000FF">0.24</font></td>
<td><font color="#0000FF">Washington at Giants</font></td>
<td align="right"><font color="#0000FF">0.76</font></td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.40</td>
<td>Miami at Buffalo</td>
<td align="right">0.60</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.30</td>
<td>Seattle at Chicago</td>
<td align="right">0.70</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.74</td>
<td>New Orleans at Minnesota</td>
<td align="right">0.26</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.64</td>
<td>Cincinnati at St. Louis</td>
<td align="right">0.36</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.66</td>
<td>Tennessee at Indianapolis</td>
<td align="right">0.34</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.83</td>
<td>Green Bay at Kansas City</td>
<td align="right">0.17</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.53</td>
<td>Detroit at Oakland</td>
<td align="right">0.47</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.70</td>
<td>New England at Denver</td>
<td align="right">0.30</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19"><font color="#0000FF">0.36</font></td>
<td><font color="#0000FF">Jets at Philadelphia</font></td>
<td align="right"><font color="#0000FF">0.64</font></td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.34</td>
<td>Cleveland at Arizona</td>
<td align="right">0.66</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.55</td>
<td>Baltimore at San Diego</td>
<td align="right">0.45</td></tr>
<tr>
<td align="right" height="19">0.70</td>
<td>Pittsburgh at San Francisco</td>
<td align="right">0.30</td></tr></tbody></table>


Brian Burke, a former Navy pilot who has taken up the less dangerous
hobby of N.F.L. statistical analysis, operates Advanced NFL Stats (http://www.advancednflstats.com/), a blog about
football, math and human
behavior.</p></div></div>
<u><font size="4">GIANTS 101</font></u>
</div>
GIANTS VS. REDSKINS: KEY MATCHUPS (http://www.giants101.com/2011/12/15/new-york-giants-vs-washington-redskins-key-matchups-2/)

"The Washington Redskins (http://www.giants101.com/tag/washington-redskins/) may be 4-9, and they may be banged up
– but the <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with New York Giants" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york-giants/" rel="tag nofollow">New York
Giants</a> haven't forgotten about week one of the NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/) season and
are looking for revenge in adding to the Redskins misery while helping their
playoff chances as they head into the final stretch of the NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/) regular
season. At first glance, it looks like a game that is far more important to the
Giants than it is to Washington. This is however an NFC East (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfc-east/)
divisional matchup, and we all know how physical and hard-fought everyone of
these games turn out to be.

Today, we look at some of the key matchups in the Giants big week 15
game.


<a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Jason Pierre-Paul" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/jason-pierre-paul/" rel="tag nofollow">Jason
Pierre-Paul</a> vs Willie Smith/Sean Locklear</p>


Willie Smith and Sean Locklear alternated drives last week in the first half
against New England, but Smith took over and played all the snaps in the second
half. This week, expect Smith to get the start and the snaps, but his job will
get a lot tougher against one of the most explosive young defensive players in
football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/) in
<a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Jason Pierre-Paul" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/jason-pierre-paul/" rel="tag nofollow">Jason
Pierre-Paul</a>.</p>


Coming off a signature game on Sunday night that will surely get the
attention of teams across the league, particularly the Washington Redskins (http://www.giants101.com/tag/washington-redskins/), Pierre-Paul has an opportunity for
another big game against the team he recorded two sacks against in week one, and
was extremely disruptive against the run.If Willie Smith doesn't get a lot of
help on that left side right from the start of this game, it could get ugly in a
hurry for the Redskins offense. And that's exactly what the G-Men want.</p>


Should the Redskins get behind in this game and look to spread it out and
throw the football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/),
you can expect to see a lot of #90 flashing on your screen and making big-time
plays for this New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/)
defense.</p>


Brandon Banks vs <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with New York Giants" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york-giants/" rel="tag nofollow">New York
Giants</a> Special Teams</p>


It will be another big test for the Giants coverage teams, who have handled
Dez Bryant, Randall Cobb, and DeSean Jackson well over the past few weeks. Banks
averages over 10 yards a punt return, leads the NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/) in kickoff return yardage, and will be the Redskins
biggest threat to make this football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/) game a dogfight heading into the final quarter.
New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/)
knows it can't give a battered Washington offense a field position advantage in
this game, particularly coming off the Redskins performance against the Patriots
which has given them a shot of confidence coming into this one.</p>


<a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Hakeem Nicks" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/hakeem-nicks/" rel="tag nofollow">Hakeem
Nicks</a> vs DeAngelo Hall/Josh Wilson</p>


In week one, the Giants had not yet seen the emergence of <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Victor Cruz" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/victor-cruz/" rel="tag nofollow">Victor
Cruz</a> and Jake Ballard, and were still limited in the passing game as players
grew into their roles in the offense. Naturally, the Redskins paid quite a bit
of attention to the Giants biggest threat on the outside in <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Hakeem Nicks" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/hakeem-nicks/" rel="tag nofollow">Hakeem
Nicks</a>. Still, #88 torched the Washington secondary for 122 yards, including
a huge 68 yard reception on a double move route that set up a Giants
touchdown.</p>


This time around, the Giants have an up and coming young playmaker in <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Victor Cruz" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/victor-cruz/" rel="tag nofollow">Victor
Cruz</a>, and Ballard has developed into a threat over the middle to go along
with their #1 guy in Nicks and the explosive big play threat in Mario
Manningham.</p>


It will be very interesting to see how the Redskins approach their coverage
to Nicks' side, as he is fully capable of dominating a football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
game when he sees one on one coverage. It is pick your poison with this Giants
passing game, and if N

GameTime
12-15-2011, 10:20 AM
Hey....thanks for the news Ro. Have a safe trip to Connecticut and enjoy the game on Sunday....</P>


</P>

RoanokeFan
12-15-2011, 11:33 AM
Hey....thanks for the news Ro. Have a safe trip to Connecticut and enjoy the game on Sunday....</p>


</p>

Thanks, will do. I'm expecting the Buckaroos to put this one in the W column. Then on to the next game.

Do you think the jets can beat the eagles?

giantscolombia
12-15-2011, 11:43 AM
thanks Roanoke for posting these!

RoanokeFan
12-15-2011, 11:45 AM
thanks Roanoke for posting these!

[B] You are very welcome

G-Men Surg.
12-15-2011, 11:53 AM
Thanks RF !

GameTime
12-15-2011, 12:04 PM
Hey....thanks for the news Ro. Have a safe trip to Connecticut and enjoy the game on Sunday....</P>


</P>




Thanks, will do. I'm expecting the Buckaroos to put this one in the W column. Then on to the next game.

Do you think the jets can beat the eagles?
</P>


according to Rex they can beat anybody....lol</P>


I think they can. Its up to Sanchez IMO.......</P>


</P>

VegasGmen
12-15-2011, 12:26 PM
Thanks RF great job as usual!

BigBlue1971
12-15-2011, 02:45 PM
Thanks RF !</P>


</P>


ditto!</P>


have a safe trip to the game this week Roanoke!</P>

RoanokeFan
12-15-2011, 02:46 PM
Thanks RF !

[B]

RoanokeFan
12-15-2011, 02:47 PM
Thanks RF !</p>


</p>


ditto!</p>


have a safe trip to the game this week Roanoke!</p>

Thanks, looking forward to another W

RoanokeFan
12-15-2011, 02:49 PM
Hey....thanks for the news Ro. Have a safe trip to Connecticut and enjoy the game on Sunday....</p>


</p>




Thanks, will do. I'm expecting the Buckaroos to put this one in the W column. Then on to the next game.

Do you think the jets can beat the eagles?
</p>


according to Rex they can beat anybody....lol</p>


I think they can. Its up to Sanchez IMO.......</p>


</p>

I shouldn't care I suppose but as long as the eagles are not mathematically eliminated, they could still a threat to our apple cart. I just want to beat the Redskins and Cowboys for the division.