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News, notes, rumors, and gossip: Saturday, October 20, 2912

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  • News, notes, rumors, and gossip: Saturday, October 20, 2912




    Giants' Eli Manning Is Upright and On Target Behind Offensive Line

    Excerpt: "They haven’t been rewarded with anything beyond a pat on the rear end and a “great job” from their quarterback. For now, that will have to do — Eli Manning said he takes care of his offensive line after the season with the appropriate tokens of appreciation.

    If his personal protectors up front continue their current pace, he’ll owe them plenty.

    Through six games, Manning has been sacked four times (none in the past three games), the fewest in the NFL, and the Giants have allowed a league-low five sacks as a team (backup quarterback David Carr was sacked in garbage time against the Panthers).Manning has used the premium protection to assemble the best statistical start of his career despite a rotating cast of wide receivers. He’s third in the NFL with 1,772 passing yards and seventh in passer rating (94.9).

    “That’s what we’re supposed to do,” guard Kevin Boothe said. “You know, it’s in our job description, so it’s not like what we’re doing is anything above and beyond what we’re supposed to do.” Read more...

    Giants' Hakeem Nicks Getting Close to 100%

    Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks practiced three straight days this week, the first time the wide receiver has done so all season. He’s listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Redskins, and feels like the increased practice load has served him well as he pushes through foot and knee injuries.

    “It’s feeling better,” Nicks said. “I feel like starting to practice on it would be the only way to break it back in and get it better, so I took that approach this week and got the green light to do it. So it’s definitely been getting better.”

    Asked if he was referring to the foot (which he broke in the offseason) or the knee (which he injured Week 2 against the Buccaneers), Nicks said both.

    Nicks didn’t go so far to say he feels the best he has since the start of training camp — players always feel the best before camp opens, he said — but he’s working toward 100 percent. He feels “a lot better” than he did last week against the 49ers, when he returned to the lineup after missing three games." Read more...



    Giants Could Activate Canty for Redskins Game

    Excerpt: " Chris Cantywill tell you that there’s still a layer of rust on his game, that he’s still finding his way in the Giants defense, after spending the first six weeks of the season — and all of training camp — recovering from a knee injury.

    But the Giants’ big defensive tackle will say something else, too:

    Even if he’s still rounding into form, he desperately wants to play in Sunday’s divisional showdown with the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium.

    “Any competitor is always looking forward to the opportunity to compete, so obviously I’m excited about the game on Sunday,” Canty said. “I’m excited about this week, the opportunity to prepare to play in a football game.”

    Canty is expected to make his season debut on Sunday after opening the year on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list following offseason knee surgery. While on that list, he was relegated to training by himself for the first six weeks of the season, and that only increased his appetite to return to the field.

    Canty was eligible to return to practice this week, and he returned to work with the Giants on Wednesday, practicing three straight days. Canty said he was “feeling good” after a full week of work.

    Even though the Giants have until Nov. 7 to activate Canty from the PUP, it seems likely that he will be activated this week. Tom Coughlin did not say whether the Giants had made a decision on Friday, but he did remark that the defensive tackle was in “outstanding shape.” Read more...

    Giants' Hakleem Nicks A Picture Of Health

    The Giants’ oft-injured wideout practiced for the third straight day on Friday. That marks the first time this season that Nicks has participated in three straight days of practice, and he says he will enter Sunday’s divisional game against the Redskins feeling “a lot better” than he has in recent weeks. “I feel pretty good right now,” Nicks said. “Getting my way back to fully 100%, that’s my goal every day, just to be better than I was the week before.”

    Nicks struggled to do that through the season’s first six weeks, dealing first with lingering pains from the surgically repaired foot he broke in May, then battling a knee injury. Typically, he would practice just once or twice a week, spending most of his time resting." Read more...
    Excerpt: "For the first time in a long time, Hakeem Nicks feels healthy.
    Giants Say They Have New Wrinkles In Defense To Help Corral Redskins' RG III

    Excerpt: "
    Chase Blackburn noticed it on Tuesday, as soon as coaches started presenting their game plan. The middle linebacker recognized pieces of the defense his Giants would use to counteract the Redskins’ option offense, saw the same fundamental schemes his team had used in weeks before.

    “We had some new wrinkles,” he said Thursday. “But still, the principles, there’s a lot of principles that are the same.”

    The entire Giants defense has felt that same sense of familiarity throughout this week, as Big Blue prepares to face Robert Griffin III.

    He presents a dangerous challenge to the Giants defense, a dual-threat QB who commands an option attack that churns out 394 yards per game.

    But the Redskins’ wunderkind does not present a new challenge.

    The Giants will enter MetLife Stadium on Sunday having faced - and prepared for - two other option quarterbacks in their first six games this season. And that, Justin Tuck said, has the Giants feeling “we’re a little more confident, because we’ve seen those option things.

    “It’s a lot of carryover, but we’ve got our tweaks in,” the defensive end said of this week’s game plan. “We’ve got some things to kind of throw them (the Redskins) a curveball, too.”

    “Everyone is probably a little bit comfortable seeing it,” added cornerback Michael Coe.

    Few NFL teams run the option, but the Giants have seen a steady diet of it the last few weeks. In Week 3, they got their first glimpse when they faced second-year QB Cam Newton in Carolina. And last week, they crushed a 49ers team that utilizes an option package for its backup QB, Colin Kaepernick." Read more...
    Giants Primed To Avoid A Let Down Against 'Skins

    Excerpt: "THE GAME:
    The Washington Redskins (3-3) vs. the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants (4-2) 1 p.m. ET at the Meadowlands.

    THE WEATHER: Hello, fall! It’ll be sunny with a temperature around 60 and winds of 10-15 miles per hour.

    WHAT IT MEANS: At this point you can assume every NFC East game means everything because the four division teams are separated by 1 ˝ games and would anyone be surprised if it’s like that at the end of the season too? Obviously the Giants are 0-2 in the division and since they may need the tie-breaker help at some point they can’t afford to slip to 0-3 – especially since that would include one loss to each division team. As for the Redskins, this is their first division game. It’s a good chance to see if they’re serious about staying in the division race.

    MATCHUP TO WATCH: Redskins QB Robert Griffin III vs. the Giants defense. That’s a much vaguer matchup than I usually like to give, but I really think it’s the best one. RGIII is a problem for the Giants because of the way he moves and creates things out of the pocket. The Redskins are running a version of the option offense and Griffin mostly throws short passes that he hopes will turn into big plays. But because he’s such a threat to run, the Giants need to be at their best along the line of scrimmage. That means the defensive ends need to “contain” better than they have in the past. They need to recognize where the ball is, whether Griffin is holding it or handing it off. And when Griffin gets moving and gets through the line of scrimmage (as at some point he undoubtedly will) it’ll be up to the linebackers and possibly a safety or two to minimize the damage. One missed tackle on the second level and it’s a good bet RGIII will be gone." Read more...







    Week 7 NFL Game Probabilities

    Excerpt: "
    Here are the game probabilities for Week 7.
    Pwin GAME Pwin
    0.29 Seattle at San Francisco 0.71
    0.39 Tennessee at Buffalo 0.61
    Washington at Giants 0.65
    0.28 New Orleans at Tampa Bay 0.72
    0.40 Dallas at Carolina 0.60
    0.33 Baltimore at Houston 0.67
    0.48 Cleveland at Indianapolis 0.52
    0.44 Green Bay at St. Louis 0.56
    0.32 Arizona at Minnesota 0.68
    0.36 Jets at New England 0.64
    0.24 Jacksonville at Oakland 0.76
    0.43 Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 0.57
    0.35 Detroit at Chicago 0.65






    Giants Look To Bring Road Success Home

    Excerpt: "Few NFL teams rule the road like the Giants.

    Since the start of the 2007 season – which ended with the first of their two most recent Super Bowl victories – the Giants are 28-15 (.651) as visitors. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the league’s second-best road record in that span, behind only New England (30-14). During that same period, the Giants are 25-18 (.581) in Giants and MetLife stadiums, the league’s 16th-best home record.

    The Giants are one of just five teams with a better road record than home record in those five-plus seasons. The others are Oakland, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington (interesting, isn’t it, that three of the five are NFC East teams)?

    So what gives?

    “I think this team is so built on the notion of backs against the wall that I think sometimes we’re kind of relaxed at home a little bit and that’s hurt us in games,” said defensive end and captain
    Justin Tuck. “We still feel very confident about our home crowd and how we’re able to win games at home. But we’ve had a little bit more success on the road in recent history.”

    “I was thinking about it the other day,” running back Ahmad Bradshaw said. “I don’t know what it is at home, but away, we feel like the pressure is on us and we play good under pressure. But at home, we just feel like a lot of things are just going to come to us. It’s not like we don’t work as hard or we don’t play as hard at home. I just feel like we get lackadaisical and we feel like it’s going to be handed to us.” Read more...

    GIANTS 101

    Improved Pressure From Interior Has Revitalized Giants' Pass Rush

    Excerpt: "
    During the week leading up to the game versus San Francisco, one claim was that the New York Giants’ non-existent pass rush was going up against the best offensive line in the league. Stats are always a favorite footnote for the media.

    Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewellknew that OL Joe Staley and crew were the primary strength of the San Francisco 49ers – it wasn’t QB Alex Smith or RB Frank Gore or even TE Vernon Davis. Without their o-line, they couldn’t do what they had been doing, so Fewell used this thought process and attacked with extra guys, speed, stunts and disruption. Pushing that line of scrimmage back and making it weak worked. As with any powerful configuration, once the foundation crumbles, the rest shall follow.

    Defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora were constants to rush on their sides, but what changed a bit is what’s been lacking: the big push from the DT position. Yes, injuries have limited this position. DT Linval Joseph is considered the on-the-field veteran (at 23-years old). While he is making some plays, he can’t do it all and instruct the raw talent of rookie DT Markus Kuhn. Kuhn is learning and receiving more reps each week, but he has more homework to do – especially against big uglies that can render him useless at times. DT Marvin Austin is slowly making his way back onto the field on game day, but admits that he sometimes thinks too much.

    Putting playmakers that possess speed and are disciplined in at their position was not something new for the Giants’ d-line. It just had yet to make an appearance. Using DE Mathias Kiwanuka and DE Jason Pierre-Paul in the middle created the push that was needed, but add those linebacker stunts from LB Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams. Who does “the best o-line in the league” account for? Especially when the backfield defensive backs are covering their playmakers well enough that the quick-release from the quarterback couldn’t even work – on Antrel Rolle’s first interception, Smith couldn’t see him (or much for that matter)." Read more...

    Giants vs. Redskins: Insider Report - The Robert Griffin III Edition

    Excerpt: "
    The New York Giants will see a new face on an old foe this Sunday in the Washington Redskins, as this will be our first of many, many looks at young Robert Griffin III. We've heard the book on RG3: lightning quick speed and all the tools to be a plus pocket passer, so we reached out to the guys at to find a little bit more about Griffin & Co.

    Our first question was about the pocket passing. We know RG3 can run; it doesn't take time to develop that aspect. But how is everything else coming along? Have there been the kind of accuracy and decision-making issues we expect form rookie quarterbacks? Justin Fiore from Redskins 101 says, well, not really." Read more...

    Giants Have Best Friday Injury Report We've Seen In Ages

    Excerpt: "We wrote after last week's game that the New York Giants injury situation was on the up-and-up, and while Friday's injury report still had a few big names on it (Ahmad Bradshaw, Kenny Phillips, Rocky Bernard), a closer examination confirms that the Giants are healthier than they've been all season.

    Don't believe us, let's take a look:

    Bradshaw, as we all know, got his foot stepped on last week and is sore. But this guy has a long history of missing practices to manage his perennially achy feet and he said himself he's good to go Sunday, so we're not worried.

    Phillips is the last remaining big ticket player missing in action; the only starter expected to miss this week's game. A big loss, to be sure, but they've played well in his stead and he's on the mend. That the team's biggest injury is likely only a few weeks away from returning is the biggest indicator that the injury situation is under control for now.

    Bernard, one might say, is also a starter who may not play this week. Like Phillips, though, Bernard's injury is not considered longterm. Besides, withChris Canty scheduled to come off the PUP list anytime now and Mathias Kiwanuka seeing snaps at DE and DT, it's unlikely that from here on out Bernard will be anything more than the rotational role-player that he was supposed to be anyway." Read more...










    Giants' "Secret Weapon" Takes Pride In Helping The Running Game Succeed

    Excerpt: "When it comes to the success of the Giants’ running game, this one unit–and no, it’s not the offensive line–is like a group of stealth bombers that largely goes unnoticed.

    The Giants’ wide receiver group, whose primary job is to catch the ball, is the running game’s secret weapon, the group of guys whose downfield blocking often can mean the difference between a 5- and a 15-yard run.

    This group is a large reason why the Giants, through six games, have 24 big runs of 10 or more yards, an average of four per game, which, at that rate, will put them on the course for 64 big-play runs—more than double the 31 big-play runs they recorded all last season.

    And of the Giants’ 2012 total so far, eight of those runs have gone for 20+ yards, the longest being a 40-yarder recorded by David Wilson against Cleveland in Week 5.

    Receivers aren’t necessarily paid for their blocking skills, but sometimes the pure motivation of helping out a fellow teammate is more than enough compensation for Domenik Hixon, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Ramses Barden, Ruben Randle, and Jerrel Jernigan.

    “We have some explosive running backs who run hard, some special guys you’re not going to see on every team,” said Barden, in his fourth season. “The way they run, you like to see them succeed, so if we can have a hand in their success, which is ultimately the team’s success, that’s something we’re going to take pride in and we’re going to do our best to give them every opportunity to make plays.”

    Although the receivers aren’t going “mano-a-mano” against 260+-pound defenders, their role as blockers isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

    “There’s an old saying that the (offensive) line blocks for first downs, but the receivers block for touchdowns,” said Nicks. “Once the running backs get past the line, it’s our turn to beat the defensive secondary who’s standing in the way of us getting a touchdown.”

    “It’s a tough job,” added Cruz. “We have to go in there and get the safeties that are sometimes ‘downhill guys’ who are bigger than we are so our running backs can get an opportunity to spring one. But we take a lot of pride in doing it.” Read more...

    Folger's Forecast: Giants vs Redskins

    Excerpt: "Maintaining the level of focus and discipline that the Giants displayed vs. the 49ers last week won’t be easy. Reading its own press clippings won’t help the team’s preparation either as it’s tough to fight human nature.

    On the plus side, the hype over Robert Griffin III –RG3– should get their attention, as should the Redskins’ sweep of the season series last year. Still, a Giants’ let down would not be unprecedented.

    The Redskins are an offense-driven team. Their defense gives up a lot of yards, especially through the air, but they don’t get blown out. Their quarterback has kept them in every game. Not too many people are giving them much of a chance this week. They’ll be “David” to the Giants’ “Goliath,” all of which makes Washington a very dangerous opponent.

    Giants on Offense

    We think the Giants’ offense is going to have to score a lot of points—probably more than usual–to win this game. We all know how strongly Tom Coughlin believes in balance. It seems the best way of achieving that is to throw early and run late. The Redskins will take their chances, but it’s accepted fact that blitzing Eli Manning is the wrong way to go.

    Thus, we think the Redskins will institute a conservative game plan, and try to force the Giants to be methodical. Manning will take the run if it’s presented to him, so expect another big rushing day from the Giants’ offense.

    André Brown could be back in the mix as the coaches really need to start limiting some of Ahmad Bradshaw’s touches. Bradshaw, who has a foot issue, probably won’t like it, but it’s the smart thing to do.

    Manning hasn’t taken many of the check down opportunities of late, but if the Redskins drop their linebackers and play soft, then Bradshaw and Brown should get some catches.

    We’re most intrigued to see David Wilson in check down mode, as getting the rookie the ball in space seems like a smart play. When these three backs are healthy, they have the potential of that great three-headed Giants running back group of 2008 that once took the league by storm.

    The Giants’ offensive line will be looking to continue their recent success, a resurgence that was sparked by the insertion of Will Beatty at left tackle. The five offensive line starters are playing well together, and with the added assistance of tight end Martellus Bennett, who is giving the team its best blocking at the position since Dan Campbell, they’re giving their head coach a legitimate chance to achieve that 50-50 run-pass balance that he treasures so much.

    The Redskins’ defense is still trying to overcome the loss of their best player, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is their only pass rush threat and will line up over Sean Locklear. Look for Bradshaw and Bennett to give Locklear a lot of help.

    Middle linebacker London Fletcher remains timeless; cornerback DeAngelo Hall remains very much a ball hawk; and ex-Giant Barry Cofield starts on the nose. Otherwise, Washington’s defense is a youthful, no-name group that is trying to make a name for itself.











    Canty's Status For Sunday Still Up In Air

    Excerpt: "The Giants have not made a decision yet on whether they will activate defensive tackle Chris Canty from the physically unable to perform list. Canty had offseason knee surgery.

    "I prepare like I'm going to play, that's a decision that's totally up to the coaches," Canty said. " Read more...

    New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins Revitalized

    Excerpt: "The New York Giants have been watching Robert Griffin III from afar.

    They've seen the highlight-worthy passes, the scintillating runs, and they've been so impressed that Osi Umenyiora has practically knighted the rookie quarterback, referring to him as "Sir Robert Griffin."

    On Sunday, they'll meet RG3 in person for what likely will be the first of many battles to come.The mere thought of seeing the Redskins' newest and brightest hope -- and perhaps the fastest quarterback in the league -- for several more years made Justin Tuck let out a big sigh."Yeah, yeah ... looks like it," Tuck said, of this being the first of many encounters. "It is amazing that [Tony] Romo is the least mobile quarterback now in the NFC East that I get to play."Tuck practically shook his head while saying that. Despite the fact that Washington swept the season series last year, Giants-Redskins hasn't had the same oomph or impact as the Giants' division rivalries with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles in recent years." Read more...









    Redskins WR Garcon "Long Shot" To Face Giants

    Excerpt: "
    Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahansays injured receiver Pierre Garcon is a ''long shot'' to play against the New York Giants on Sunday.Garcon missed practice a second day in a row Thursday, getting treatment for the painful swelling on the bottom of a right toe that has kept him out of three of Washington's past five games. He'll skip practice Friday, too." Read more...

    Week 7 Locks To Win - VIDEO



    Key Matchup: Redskins' QB Robert Griffin III vs Giants' Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell

    Excerpt: "Defensive coordinators still don’t know how to defend Griffin. Most teams have opted to rush four and play zone behind it, afraid of having the defensive backs’ eyes anywhere but on the backfield. With that approach, the results have been mixed. Although Griffin has thrown two interceptions with only two TD passes in 126 attempts, he’s completing almost 70 percent of his passes, per STATS LLC.

    On one of the few blitzes the Vikings sent at him last week, Griffin burned them with a 76-yard TD run. Overall on the season, Griffin has thrown the ball well, too, against five or more rushers: He has completed 17-of-24 passes with three TDs and no interceptions. Griffin’s poise in pressure situations has been obvious, and the only team to really rattle him was the Bengals in the first half when the Redskins had protection problems following the injury to OLT Trent Wiliams.

    Griffin also has benefited from the running of fellow rookie, RB Alfred Morris. A no-nonsense, one-cut zone runner, Morris has consistently gotten what is blocked for him and put Griffin in great second- and third-down situations. So, even in a game in which WR Pierre Garcon (back) might not be able to go, the passing options look to be in decent shape with the play-action potential and the increased roles for TE Fred Davis and WR Santana Moss of late." Read more...





    3FTO: Redskins @ Giants

    Excerpt: "This NFC East showdown features the 3-3 Washington Redskins traveling to the Meadowlands to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, who own a record of 4-2. This will be rookie QB Robert Griffin III’s first division game, while the G-Men have lost their first two division games to the Dallas Cowboys, at home on opening night, and to the Eagles in Philadelphia.

    The Redskins won only five games last year, yet two of those were against the Giants. Despite previously suffering through three years without a win against their New York rivals, the Redskins held Eli Manning to zero TD passes and forced four interceptions on their way to 28-14 and 23-10 victories. In another example of the scoreboard not telling the whole story, the latter win was actually the more dominant victory (the Giants would not lose another game after that embarrassing beat down).

    Will the Redskins continue to push around the arguably more talented Giants, or will things go back to the way they were during the 2008-2010 era? Let’s take a look at some matchups that will determine that answer."

    "The Giants’ pass catchers have to be excited about this matchup. Hakeem Nickshas been injured, which helps explain his mere 17 catches and one score, but will be suiting up for this game and must be accounted for. Victor Cruz has been Eli’s favorite target with 43 catches, nearly 500 yards, six TD catches and six forced missed tackles — the only thing that has stopped Cruz so far has been his drops (six). Elsewhere, a finally-healthy Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden have combined for 31 catches and 512 yards. Barden, however, seems to have fallen out of favor after a ridiculous offensive pass interference penalty at a critical moment in the Eagles game and has seen only three snaps since. Another target the Redskins will have to worry about is former Cowboy tight end Martellus Bennettwho started off hot with 15 catches and three TDs in the first three weeks, but has only five catches and no scores in the past three contests. Bennett has been dealing with an injury but is reportedly healthy, which is bad news for Fletcher and Riley especially. This matchup will perhaps be the most important factor in deciding who walks away with a victory."



    Bills, Redskins Fined $20K Each For Injury Report VIolations

    Excerpt: "
    The NFL has decided on fines for a pair of teams they believe violating the league’s procedures for reporting injury information.

    Buffalo and Washington have each been fined $20,000 for their violations. The Bills were fined for not listing defensive end Mario Williams on the injury report after he commented publicly about the left wrist injury that he said had been bothering him on the field. Even though Williams practiced fully and played in games, the league says the Bills should have put him on the injury report. Williams has appeared on the injury report the last two weeks." Read more...

    Last edited by RoanokeFan; 10-20-2012, 01:53 PM.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1