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News, notes, rumors, and gossip: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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  • News, notes, rumors, and gossip: Wednesday, December 19, 2012



    Tom Coughln "Incredibly Proud" Of Victor Cruz's Visit To Family Of Sandy Hook Victim

    Excerpt: "Quietly, on his off day, Victor Cruz made a difficult trip to Newtown, Conn. There, the Giants receiver visited with the family of 6-year-old Jack Pinto, one of the 26 victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

    Cruz was Jack's favorite player, and the little boy was laid to rest in a No. 80 Giants jersey bearing Cruz's name.

    Cruz's gesture Tuesday -- on top of the phone call he made to the Pinto family Saturday night, and his tribute to Jack on his gloves and cleats in Sunday's game -- made Coughlin swell with pride.

    "Incredibly proud of what he's done. Incredibly," coach Tom Coughlin said today. "That family will remember that all their days. And somehow help to, hopefully, some of their grief might at least temporarily be spent in being able to embrace Victor Cruz." Read more...

    Giants' Kenny Phillips Returns To Practice, Ahmad Bradshaw Held Out

    Excerpt: " Both Kenny Phillips and Ahmad Bradshaw, both dealing with sprained knee injuries, have said they will play Sunday against the Ravens.

    At least one of them is in line to do so.

    Tom Coughlin said Phillips will practice today, but Bradshaw won't.

    "With Kenny we feel like he's rested and ready to contribute," Coughlin said of the safety, adding that he will be limited.

    Phillips originally suffered his sprained MCL against the Eagles in Week 4. He then aggravated it in his first game back against the Packers in Week 12. He played the next week against the Redskins, but in a limited role.

    He hasn't practiced since.

    As for Bradshaw, Coughlin insisted his participation in practice and in the game Sunday will be a medical one. The running back missed Sunday's game after he sprained his left knee last week and said on Monday that he believes thing would've been different if he had been on the field." Read more...

    Giants Are Consistently Inconsistent & More From Afternoon Tea With Tom Coughlin

    Excerpt: " NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin took the podium on Wednesday in a bit of a mixed mood. Obviously upset with the egg they laid on Sunday, he preached consistency from the get go. At the same time, he seemed pleased that the Giants still control their own playoff destiny. But…those darn injuries… They always take center stage.

    There were nine players on the pre-practice injury report, including Prince Amukamara (hamstring), David Baas (hip/shoulder), Chris Canty (neck),Ahmad Bradshaw (feet/neck), Hakeem Nicks (knee/foot), Tyler Sash(hamstring), Chris Snee (hip), Justin Tuck (shoulder) and Kenny Phillips (knee).Of those nine players listed, Bradshaw, Baas, Snee and Nicks will not practice. Phillips and Amukamara will. And the coach said he "thinks" Canty will as well.

    "We'd all love to have him play, but it will be a medical decision," Coughlin said of Bradshaw's week 16 status.

    As for the remaining two games, it's all about consistency, consistency, consistency and the need to have it on both sides of the ball. Accordingly, Coughlin says the team will need to rely on their captains and a veteran presence to steady the ship." Read more...


    Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw, Kenny Phillips In A Rush To Energy Back To Team

    Excerpt: "On Monday, Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw declared himself ready to go this weekend against the Ravens without a practice to test his sprained left knee under his belt.

    Tuesday, it was Kenny Phillips who proclaimed his sprained right knee healthy enough for him to return Sunday without a practice to draw upon.

    The safety has missed the last two games after aggravating his sprained MCL against the Packers in Week 12. Like Bradshaw, he didn’t make the trip to Atlanta and watched the Giants’ 34-0 rout at the hands of the Falcons on television. And like Bradshaw, Phillips doesn’t want to be a spectator any longer as the Giants fight for their postseason lives.

    "I’m 100 percent confident that I’ll be on the field this week," Phillips said in a radio interview on ESPN 98.7 yesterday afternoon. "Not sure which role that the coaches want to allow me to play, but whatever they allow me to do, I’m going to go out there and give 100 percent and try to be that spark for our defense these last few weeks."

    Phillips first sprained his MCL against the Eagles in Week 4. He then missed the next six games and returned against the Packers, allowing defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to use the three-safety package he relied on last season with Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown as the other two components.

    But Phillips aggravated the knee injury and couldn’t finish the game. He played a limited role the following week against the Redskins, but hasn’t practiced since.

    Watching from afar, Phillips said he saw a Giants team that lacked the necessary energy on Sunday in Atlanta.

    "That’s one thing I can’t explain," Phillips, the Giants’ first-round pick in 2008, said. "I think that’s why all of us at the organization are scratching our heads. We can’t figure out why one week we come out, we have that fire in our eyes and the next week not so much.

    "It’s not that we’re not practicing hard. It’s not that. It’s not that guys (are) not buying into it, but for some reason, since I’ve been here the last over four or five years, that’s just how it’s been. Up and down, up and down. I hate to say it, (but) I think a lot of the guys have gotten used to it. And we win when we have to. When we don’t have to, we kind of just go out there flat." Read more...

    Victor Cruz Visits 6 Year Old Shooting Victim's Family In Connecticut

    Excerpt: "Yesterday, Pinto was buried wearing a Cruz No. 80 jersey. Today, on a day off, Cruz made the trip to visit the grieving family.

    According to the New York Post
    , Cruz spent three hours with the family at their home and "dozens" of children were there. The report says the children left with Giants memorabilia.

    “Much love to the entire Pinto family," Cruz tweeted today. "Great people with huge hearts. I'm sorry again for your loss. Looking at life through a different lens.” Read more...

    Giants Waive Terrence Frederick, Re-sign Selvish Capers

    "The Giants announce that they've waived defensive back Terrence Frederick and re-signed offensive lineman Selvish Capers. Frederick had been added to the roster off the practice squad before the Atlanta game, when the Giants were down three defensive backs: Prince Amukamara, Kenny Phillips and Tyler Sash. It's possible today's roster move means the some of the injured DBs will be available this week."

    Ravens' Joe Flacco: "It Feels Like We're 0 - 14 Right Now"

    Excerpt: "The Ravens are 9-5 and almost assured a playoff berth with two games to go in a top-heavy AFC. But after a 9-2 start, they've lost three in a row and their stranglehold on the division is no more. The Bengals are just one game behind and face them in the season finale, in what could be a game for the AFC North title and, consequently, a home playoff game.

    So while they won't be as desperate as the Giants, who would make a trip to the playoffs unlikely with a loss, the Ravens have plenty to play for Sunday in Baltimore.

    The Ravens' plunge continued Sunday when Peyton Manning and the Broncos traveled east to extend their nine-game win streak with a 34-17 rout of the Ravens. They could've clinched the AFC North each of the last two weeks. Instead, they've kept the Bengals in the race.

    “We’re a 9-5 football team, and it feels like we’re 0-14 right now," quarterback Joe Flacco said, via the team's official website. "But that’s just the feeling that you have right after a game like this.”

    Flacco's inconsistent season continued. He was 20-of-40 for 254 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Most of the production, including the two touchdowns, came when the game was out of hand – the Ravens were down 31-3 into the fourth quarter.

    Like some Giants players were saying after getting blown out in Atlanta, safety Ed Reed was "embarrassed" with his team's play." Read more...



    Giants Insider: Big Blue Looks Stuck In Super Slow-Mo

    Excerpt: "Jason Pierre-Paul sounded angry on Sunday when he was reminded that the Giants have been here before. He didn’t care that their current plight is almost identical to the one they faced one year ago. “That don’t mean nothing,” he insisted. “That was last year. I’m tired of hearing it.”
    He should be, because he’s right. This isn’t last year, and these are not last year’s Giants. As much as Tom Coughlin wanted to “Build the Bridge” from the Super Bowl to this season, all he has so far is a Bridge to Nowhere. Yes, the still-defending champions control their destiny and yes, they were 7-7 and up against the proverbial wall at this point last season. But has this team given reason to believe it is about to embark on another magical run?

    Certainly not lately. Maybe not since its 26-3 win in San Francisco way back on Oct. 14. The Giants did have that 38-10 victory at home over Green Bay four weeks ago, but that’s starting to look like an aberration in their dismal 2-4 second half.

    It is, to use the word Coughlin used Monday, “baffling” that this team has slipped to this point, with most of its championship pieces still in place. Its only hope seems to be suddenly, miraculously flipping a switch and finding its championship form.

    “They don’t have any choice,” Coughlin said. “If what we really want is right there for us, there’s only one way to get it. It’s not by playing like we did (Sunday).”

    It seems clear something is missing with these Giants. Here is a short list of what the they need to rediscover if they really want to make another run:

    1. PASS RUSH

    Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell claimed his “strategy” kept defensive linemen from getting sacks against the Saints two weeks ago, but that fails to explain the rest of the season. Pressure on the quarterback has come in flashes. Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora have just 15˝ sacks between them.

    Last year at this point, Pierre-Paul had 13˝ sacks on his own.

    It’s hard to win a Super Bowl without one monster on defense whom everyone fears. And the importance of a pass rush can’t be overstated. Other than Eli Manning, it is the biggest reason why the Giants have two championships in the last five years." Read more...

    Bradshaw, Phillips Plan On Playing Sunday

    Excerpt: "
    The cavalry is apparently on its way for the Giants.

    Both running back Ahmad Bradshaw and safety Kenny Phillips, both of whom missed the Giants’ 34-0 loss in Atlanta on Sunday, vowed on Tuesday that they will be ready to play this Sunday in Baltimore. Bradshaw reiterated that “I’m playing” in an interview on ESPN, and Phillips said it’s “100 percent” he’ll be ready in an interview on ESPN Radio.

    Both players are dealing with sprained knees.

    Whether they actually are playing still remains to be seen. Bradshaw, on ESPN’s SportsCenter, admitted that in order to play he has to “get it through to Tom Coughlin and the training staff.” Coughlin said he wasn’t sure if Bradshaw would be cleared and said he would defer to his medical people." Read more...

    How The 9th-Seed Giants Still Control Destiny

    Excerpt: "
    If the Mayans are right and the world ends on Friday, then the NFL season is officially over. That's bad for the Giants because they are currently the ninth-seeded team in the NFC and they would miss the playoffs.

    Wait. What? How is that possible, you ask, after all those stories about how the Giants are still control of their own destiny? How could they be on the outside of the playoff picture now, but still be in control of their fate?

    It's a good and fair question. The answer is also long and complicated. So get comfortable and read on. Keep in mind though, the end result is still the same: If the Giants win both of their last two games they will make the playoffs. To understand how, you just need to navigate the NFL's complicated tie-breaking procedures ...

    Right now, the Minnesota Vikings are the sixth seed in the NFC and the Giants are ninth, even though five teams -- the Giants, Vikings, Redskins, Cowboys and Bears -- are tied at 8-6. The Redskins are the fourth seed. The Bears are seventh and the Cowboys are eighth. And it's all because, according to NFL tie-breaking procedures, division ties are broken first, then conference ties.
    So, the first thing the NFL does is figure out who is in first place in each division. The Redskins are in first in the NFC East on tie-breakers, so they get the fourth-seed. (The Seahawks currently hold the fifth seed in the NFC).

    Then the NFL works seed by seed, starting over each time, and always starting by breaking ties in the division. To determine the sixth seed they first eliminate the Giants (who lose the tie-breaker to the Cowboys) and the Bears (who lose it to the Vikings). And since the Vikings have a better conference record than the Cowboys, Minnesota gets the sixth seed.
    That leaves the NFL with the Giants, Cowboys and Bears as they start over for the seventh seed.

    Again they do division tie-breakers first, eliminating the Giants. And since the Bears beat the Cowboys, they get spot No. 7.
    That leaves the Giants and Cowboys tied as the NFL starts over for the eighth seed. And since the Cowboys have a better division record than the Giants, they get spot No. 8 and the Giants are spot No. 9. So how can the Giants be in 9th now, yet control their own destiny? " Read more...

    Carl Banks Not Afraid To Call Out NY Giants For Awful Loss To Atlanta Falcons

    Excerpt: "With 5:38 left in the fourth quarter, long after the Falcons had made the Giants quit inside the Georgia Dome, Carl Banks reflected on what was on the minds attached to the few ears actually left listening.

    “This one,” Banks said, “can’t be over soon enough.”

    The Giants could take solace in the fact that on radio you could only imagine how horrible their performance was in the 34-0 fiasco. Thanks to Banks’ and Bob Papa’s descriptions, visions of ineptitude were easily conjured. Their voices portrayed disgust, even contempt, for what they were watching.

    After all, like many of their colleagues, they believed history would repeat itself and the Giants would again play winning football with their backs to the wall. The all-knowing were certain the Giants again would “get hot late” and make a run. By mid-week, that theory will be resurrected by some in the media as a rallying cry before the Giants head to Baltimore.

    After listening to Banks and Papa on Sunday, that notion sounds more like a sales pitch for magic weight loss supplements sold on cable TV.

    In the fourth, Papa dug in saying when the Giants “talk about how they like making it hard for us,” it sounds like self-serving baloney.

    “And for the Giants, it’s go-time,” Banks said. “But they don’t even have a sense of urgency.”

    His words carried even more weight because they came after watching Fox’s Tony Siragusa at halftime of the Giants-Falcons telecast. Siragusa said Tom Coughlin told the Giants “we came here to fight” but didn’t in the first 30 minutes. Siragusa: “Coughlin said, ‘But we are going to fight in this next 30 minutes,’” Read more...

    NFL Power Rankings

    Except: "With two weeks left in the regular season, here are the teams you do not want to play.

    The Broncos.

    The Redskins.

    The Seahawks.

    Who would have thunk that when the season began?

    Denver justified its rise to No. 1 in the Daily News rankings by routing the Ravens in Baltimore while the Redskins moved into the top 10 for the first time all year with their fifth straight win. The Seahawks earned their highest ranking of the year by cracking 50 points for the second straight week against the Bills.

    On the other hand, who wouldn't want to play the offensively-inept Jets, who dropped to No. 20 as they bumbled their way out of playoff contention or even the inconsistent Giants, who fell to ninth after stinking out the Georgia Dome?

    Here's the new rundown:

    1. (Last Week - 1) Broncos (11-3):
    Nine straight wins ... and they should run the table.

    2. (5) 49ers (10-3-1):
    Character win sets them up for Seattle showdown.

    3. (2) Patriots (10-4):
    Still, Tom Brady is something special.

    4. (3) Texans (12-2):
    Yeah, but can they beat the best teams? That Pats loss is going to stew.

    5. (4) Falcons (12-2):
    They finally looked as good as their record.

    6. (10) Seahawks (9-5):
    They probably won't score 50 vs. Niners. But who knows?

    7. (8) Packers (10-4):
    Another NFC North title

    8. (11) Redskins (8-6):
    Best rookie QB combo in the history of football. Any arguments?

    9. (6) Giants (8-6):
    League's hardest team to figure – or are they just over-rated?

    10. (13) Cowboys (8-6):
    Winning games they used to lose."



    Eli Needs To Do What He Does Best - Lead

    Excerpt: "Clutch is not isolated to down the stretch of a Super Bowl staring down Bill Belichick and the Patriots or throwing through the arctic blast at Lambeau Field or repeatedly pulling his battered body off the soggy Candlestick grass.

    Whether or not to put “elite’’ in front of Eli Manning’s name is a tired and pointless discussion, but as the Giants’ franchise quarterback he has been his best at the right time. In order to remind everyone of that rare and coveted reputation, in the next two weeks he needs to get his team back to the playoffs.Manning won’t be asked to tackle Ray Rice on Sunday in Baltimore, and if the Giants cannot somehow clean up their shoddy run defense — this team’s most alarming, season-long failing — the postseason might be an afterthought before Christmas. Manning, though, is asked to score more than he did last week in Atlanta, which was not at all, more than he did at Washington (16 points), more than he did in Cincinnati (13) and more than he did in Philadelphia (19). Manning this weekend is asked — loudly — not to throw anything remotely sloppy in the vicinity of Ed Reed because the Pick Six that follows will have nothing to do with betting horse races or buying lottery tickets.

    Manning is asked to get his act together and get the Giants where they unquestionably belong, as one of the six NFC playoff teams. He has already secured his postseason legacy and the Super Bowl MVP automobiles he has been awarded don’t get driven away if the Giants go one-and-done in January. There is nothing career-defining about what comes next, but Manning is probably 60 percent done with his quarterback life and there are no guarantees that every December will afford these opportunities." Read more...

    Giants' Star Victor Cruz Visits Family Of Biggest Fan And Sandy Hook Victim

    Excerpt: "Jack would have loved it.

    New York Giants star wide-receiver Victor Cruz visited the family of his biggest little fan, 6-year-old Jack Pinto, in Connecticut today, paying respects to the family four days after Jack was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School bloodbath.On Sunday, Cruz had honored the little boy by dedicating a football game to his memory.Today, the day after Jack was buried, Cruz spent more than three hours in the family's Sandy Hook home visiting with family, friends and neighbors of little Jack — who was buried in his favorite football jersey, No. 80, Cruz's number.
    “Much love to the entire Pinto family. Great people with huge hearts,” Cruz tweeted shortly after leaving the home. “Looking at life through a different lens.”

    During the course of the visit, dozens of young kids — mostly boys — clad in Giants blue could be seen playing football and running around the lawn at the Pinto house.They left with bags full of Giants memorabilia.The visit was chaperoned by at least five police vehicles and plenty of officers.Only one guest was willing to say anything about the special tribute as he walked down the street from the home.“It was a successfully private moment, and I’d prefer to keep it that way,” he said." Read more...

    Rolle: Giants Will "Go Out There And Fight" In Baltimore

    Excerpt: "A brutally honest Antrel Rolle on Tuesday said he was “absolutely horrified’’ with the way he played against the Falcons, stated last year’s success doesn’t give him added confidence at this point in this season but was defiant in his belief that the Giants will persevere.

    “We made it hard for ourselves and we’ve taken a lot of slack, as well we should,’’ Rolle said during his weekly WFAN spot. “Whatever’s being said about us right now, do we deserve it? Absolutely. But you know what? We’re never out of the fight. I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t care what anyone has to say about the Giants, about the players. We still got this thing and we’re gonna go out there and fight and we will give it our all this coming Sunday.’’

    The Giants face the Ravens in Baltimore knowing if they win the final two games they are assured of no worse than an NFC wild card playoff berth. Rolle admits he is confused by the inconsistent nature of the team, saying “This week we can be the best team in the NFL and we can possibly be the worst team in the NFL.’’

    That has to change.

    “I don’t understand what it is, it needs to be fixed,’’ Rolle said, pointing to the 34-0 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta. “It leaves a very empty feeling at the end of any loss, but that loss just felt like the game of football really didn’t exist to me at that moment. Extremely embarrassed being a part of the New York Giants for our team, our franchise, for our fans and everyone who believes in us as fighters and road warriors. More importantly we let ourselves down that day.’’

    Rolle was rough on his own performance vs. the Falcons. “I was absolutely horrified with the way I played,’’ he said. “I think I played probably one of my worst games ever. Not just as far as jus the overall game but as far as tackling, I think I tackled extremely poorly. I even told my coach on the plane ride home, I said I’m extremely mad at myself, that’s not the way Antrel Rolle plays football. It’s not that I wasn’t trying, it’s not that I wasn’t hustling, I was trying, I was hustling each and every play, I just wasn’t successful in doing what I know I can do, which is play ball and make the plays when the opportunity presents itself. I’ll be the first one to take that on the head. Was I myself? Absolutely not. Will I be myself this coming Sunday? We’ll see. I’m damn sure gonna try.’" Read more...
    Giants' Phillips "100% Confident" He'll Play vs. Ravens

    Excerpt: "Saying “It’s either now or never,’’ safety Kenny Phillips said on Tuesday that he is “100 percent confident I’ll be on the field this week’’ when the Giants face the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday..

    If the Giants lose they can be eliminated from playoff contention, depending on the outcome of other games, and Phillips knows it. He’s missed the past two games after he aggravated a strained MCL against the Redskins, a knee injury that kept him out of six straight games earlier in the season.

    Phillips has declared he was ready to return more than once this season and then did not play that weekend, but he sounded more confident speaking on ESPN Radio that he indeed will return to the lineup.

    “Whatever they allow me to do, I'm going to go out there and give 100 percent and try to be that spark for our defense these last few weeks,’’ said Phillips, who did not practice at all the past two weeks." Read more...









    Antrel: "It's Either Fight Or Flight"

    Excerpt: "The New York Giants sound exhausted trying to figure out what their problem is with their maddeningly inconsistent play.

    Safeties Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips and Osi Umenyiora hit the radio waves today struggling to find answers for the Giants’ 34-0 no-show in Atlanta on Sunday. At times you could actually hear the exasperated Giants players let out sighs of frustrations between answers.

    "As a team there is something we need to fix," Rolle said on his weekly spot on WFAN radio. "And we have to fix it right now. There is no tomorrow."

    "For us it is either fight or flight," Rolle added. "There’s nothing left to be said at this point. If you want it, you got to go out and take it."

    The problem with the Giants is that nobody seems to know which team they will be from week to week.

    "For whatever reason, this week we could probably be the best team in the NFL and this week could possibly be the worst team in the NFL," Rolle said. "I am definitely a part of it. I still can’t figure out what it is."

    Phillips didn’t play during last Sunday’s rout due to an injured knee. From afar, he saw a team that lacked fire, energy and passion.

    "I think that's why all of us at the organization are scratching our heads," Phillips said on ESPN New York 98.7. "We can't figure out why one week we come out, we have that fire in our eyes and the next week not so much." Read more...

    The First Look: Giants vs. Ravens

    " takes an early look at the team's Week 16 opponent

    Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

    Record: 9-5, 5-2 Home

    Streak: Lost 3

    Common opponents: Cincinnati (W, 44-13), @ Philadelphia (L, 24-23), Cleveland (W, 23-16), Dallas (W, 31-29), @ Cleveland (W, 25-15), @ Pittsburgh (W, 13-10), Pittsburgh (L, 23-20), @ Washington (L, 31-28 OT)

    Last meeting: The Giants defeated the Ravens in Giants Stadium, 30-10, in Week 11 of 2008.

    PTS/G: 24.9 (12th in NFL)

    Opp. PTS/G: 21.9 (13th)

    Passing: 234.6 (14th)

    Opp. Passing: 242.1 (22nd)

    Rushing: 105.1 (22nd)

    Opp. Rushing: 132.2 (26th)

    COUGHLIN VS. RAVENS & AFC NORTH: Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin is 9-6 against the Ravens in the regular season (1-1 as the Giants head coach and 8-5 with Jacksonville). Coughlin is 38-25 against the AFC North in the regular season (5-6 as the Giants head coach and 33-19 with Jacksonville). As the Giants head coach, Coughlin is 1-1 against Baltimore, 1-2 against Cincinnati, 2-1 against Cleveland and 1-2 against Pittsburgh.

    Head Coach: John Harbaugh, 58-29 Overall (5th year)

    Back at headquarters in Owings Mills, Md.: “We’re proud of the fact [that we’ve made the playoffs],” Harbaugh said Monday. “We’ve owned our five losses, or we’ve owned the last three loses. We also own the nine wins, so we are what we are. We are what our record says we are, and we’re in contention, and we’re proud of that. But, we know we have to get better, and we have to get healthy.”

    Inside The Numbers: Turnover Differentials

    Excerpt: "'s Michael Eisen takes a statistical approach to the team's turnover differentials this season

    It took less than a minute for the game to start slipping away from the Giants Sunday in Atlanta.

    On the second snap, Eli Manning’s pass for Hakeem Nicks was intercepted by cornerback Asante Samuel, a longtime Giants nemesis. Four plays later, Michael Turner scored on a one-yard run, the first stone in what became a 34-0 avalanche.

    The sequence illustrates why Tom Coughlin is obsessive about turnovers. He is forever discussing how throwing an interception or losing a fumble can cripple his team’s chances to win a game.

    The numbers prove him correct. In Atlanta, the Giants committed three turnovers (two picks and fumble) and did not have a takeaway, a minus-three differential that surely soured the coach’s stomach.

    This season, the Giants are 1-3 when their turnover differential is negative, 7-2 when it is positive (and 0-1 when it is even). In nine seasons in his current position, the Giants are 53-11 (.828) with a positive differential and 12-39 (.235) when they have more turnovers than takeaways (17-10 when it is even). In his head coaching career, he is 99-26 (.792) when the differential is in his team’s favor, 18-75 (.194) when it is negative. So Coughlin could be forgiven if he had a sinking feeling when Manning was picked off just 57 seconds into the game.

    Despite the negative-three in the Georgia Dome, the Giants’ turnover differential this season is plus-13. That is tied for second in the NFC, tied for fourth in the NFL and is the best figure of Coughlin’s 17 seasons as an NFL head coach. The 1999 and 2002 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 2005 Giants were all plus-12.

    The Giants’ overall turnover differential under Coughlin is plus-26. The Jaguars were plus-34 in his eight seasons as Jacksonville’s head coach. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Coughlin’s plus-60 turnover differential places him third among active coaches, behind New England’s Bill Belichick (plus-123) and Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy (plus-75). Kansas City’s Romeo Crennel is last at minus-40.

    Coughlin’s teams have committed 429 turnovers in 270 games, an average of 1.59 a game. That places Coughlin 13th among all coaches since 1970 and seventh among active coaches. Atlanta’s Mike Smith and Baltimore’s John Harbaugh – ironically, the head coach the Giants just faced and the one they meet this week – are tied for first at 1.31.

    *The defeat in Atlanta was the 12th time the Giants were shutout in a regular-season game since the 1970 merger. That places them 22nd in the NFL over that span. Tampa Bay has been shutout a league-high 29 times in those 43 seasons – and the Buccaneers didn’t begin play until 1976.

    Since 1990, the Giants have been on the wrong end of five shutouts, which is 18th in the league. Cleveland – which didn’t field a team from 1996-98 – is first with 16.
    In the last 10 seasons, there has been an average of 7.4 shutouts per season in the NFL. There were three shutouts on Sunday alone.

    *Atlanta’s Matt Ryan completed 23 of 28 passes on Sunday, an 81.2 percentage that was the highest by a quarterback against the Giants (minimum 15 attempts) since Sept. 25, 2005, when Drew Brees – then with San Diego – hit 19 of 22 passes (86.4 percent).

    *The Falcons converted nine of 13 third-down opportunities, a 69 percent success rate that was the highest by a Giants opponent since Cleveland converted nine of 13 attempts on Oct. 13, 2008.

    *Although it seems Samuel has tormented the Giants for a while, he is not the top interceptor of Manning’s passes. That honor goes to DeAngelo Hall, currently with the Redskins, who has five interceptions of Manning passes. Samuel has picked off Manning four times, tying him with Darren Sharper and Terence Newman for second.

    *Kirk Cousins started at quarterback for Washington on Sunday in Cleveland. He was the ninth quarterback for the Redskins, the 24th in the NFC East and the 143rd in the NFL since Manning first started for the Giants on Nov. 21, 2004.

    *The Giants are now 8-16 in games in games started by Manning in which he does not throw a touchdown pass.

    *The Giants have lost three consecutive road games for the first time since Oct. 18- Nov. 26, 2009, when they lost in New Orleans, Philadelphia and Denver.

    *Coughlin’s regular-season record with the Giants is 82-60: 41-30 at home and 41-30 on the road.

    *David Wilson returned three kickoffs for 66 yards Sunday. That increased the rookie’s season total to 51 returns for 1,387 yards. That moved him past Ron Dixon (1,364) and into ninth place on the Giants’ career list – after 14 games.

    *The shutout cost Lawrence Tynes the lead in the NFL scoring race. Tynes has scored 137 points and is now in second place, one behind New England’s Stephen Gostkowski. Tynes still leads the league with 33 field goals, two more than Atlanta’s Matt Bryant."
    RB Kregg Lumpkin Adjusts To Backfield

    Excerpt: "Since signing three weeks ago, Kregg Lumpkin has spent most of his time in the classroom, learning the offense and how to keep his newest teammate Eli Manning upright.

    While dressing for the first two games of his Giants career, the running back’s biggest test came Sunday in Atlanta.

    The depth at the position was called upon when Ahmad Bradshaw was ruled out with a knee injury, David Wilson slating to make his first career start. The rookie quickly piled up 47 yards on six carries in the first quarter, but then the Giants turned to Lumpkin after Manning’s second interception.

    On their next possession, Lumpkin rushed five times for 40 yards, including a career-long 22-yarder that brought the Giants into Atlanta territory.

    “You’ve got to try to persuade the defense to go one way so you can go the other way and just read off the offensive linemen,” Lumpkin said Monday. “And just go from there.”

    From there, however, the drive stalled on the Giants’ first of three unsuccessful fourth-down conversions – a run by Wilson for no gain. Later on, in the third quarter, Lumpkin was targeted on fourth-and-2 from Atlanta’s 25, but Manning’s pass was knocked down at the line of scrimmage.

    “The coaches call the plays, so we as the offense, as players, we’ve got to out there and make plays,” Lumpkin said. “You’ve got to execute them, and we fell short.”

    Lumpkin, who lost a fumble on the Giants last offensive possession of the game, finished with nine carries for 42 yards (4.7 average). The Giants had 97 collectively, snapping their streak of consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards at four.

    Meanwhile, Bradshaw, who did not travel with the team to Atlanta, offered any advice to his teammates based on what he saw on TV.

    “I’ve been asked that question by a lot of the guys,” Bradshaw said. “Just a couple of pieces missing and just a couple of things we couldn’t finish. I just would’ve liked to be in there."

    GIANTS 101

    Giants Will Go As Far As Eli Manning Will Take Them In 2012

    Excerpt: "
    The New York Giants never had a chance to make a comeback against the Atlanta Falcons on the road last Sunday. The simple, and usually comforting reality surrounding this team is that it will live and die by the right arm of quarterback Eli Manning. When Manning is on, there are very few teams around the league that can beat the Giants. However, when Eli plays like he did last Sunday, the Giants are incapable of overcoming Eli's blunders.

    Unfortunately, this season has proven that the two-time Super BowlMVP is far from the invincible gunslinger that many have made him out to be.

    Eli Manning
    has flaws in his game. His decision making can be questionable, as he frequently attempts to squeeze throws through mind-numbingly tight windows. Sometimes he completes them and he looks like the second-coming of Joe Montana, while other times he appears to be dumfounded at his inability to complete passes. Manning is an incredible talent with the ability to put the team on his shoulders and win football games, but he hasn't done that as of late.

    Part of the issue is that teams have figured out how to defend the Giants franchise player. Manning performs at an incredibly high level while throwing over the middle of the field, and struggles while throwing to the sidelines. In fact, Manning has thrown 9 of his 15 interceptions this season while throwing to the sidelines, while completing just 54 percent of those passes. In particular, Manning has a quarterback rating of 28.2 while throwing to the left sideline.If the play is not open over the middle of the field, there's a good chance Eli Manning is not going to make anything productive occur.

    It would be understandable if Manning was struggling behind an inconsistent offensive line , or without a consistent rushing attack. However, both of those aspects of Big Blue's offense have improved this season.

    Manning has been pressured on just 28.6 percent of his dropbacks, which is down from 39.1 percent last season.The Giants offensive line has given up the least amount of sacks in the NFL this season. The rushing attack has gone from producing just 89 yards per game in 2011 to 115 yards this season." Read more...

    Giants' Kenny Phillips Says He Will Play Against The Ravens

    Excerpt: "It's all hands on deck this weekend for the New York Giants. Given the gravity of the situation, it looks like the Giants will be pulling out all the stops on the road against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Yesterday, we received word that Ahmad Bradshaw plans on playing. Today, it was Kenny Phillipswho said he would be on the field in Week 16.

    A win, and the Giants have a chance to clinch a playoff berth next weekend at home against a lowly Philadelphia Eagles team. A loss, and Big Blue is in serious jeopardy of eliminating themselves from postseason contention. The Giants understand that there is no wiggle room left for any more uninspired performances. There are no more excuses at this point of the season. Phillips understands this, and that's why he says that fans should expect him on the field this Sunday.

    "Yeah…the situation we in right now, it's now or never."

    Giants' Tom Couglin "Baffled" Strong Practices Aren't Transating To Strong Performances

    Excerpt: "
    Earlier this season, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was admittedly unhappy with several practices. He called his team out after what he deemed "bad practices" leading up to an opening week loss against theDallas Cowboys. Since then, things have turned around and the coach is quite pleased with what he sees on the practice field. However, as the Giants continue their rollercoaster season, he finds himself baffled that quality practices aren't turning into quality performances on gameday.

    "It’s baffling to me in a way, to be honest with you, that we are not transferring from the practice field to the game field what I see in practice. Practices last week, Thursday was very good, Friday was good, not great, but good. Game day is not looking the same. That’s a concern for me," Coughlin said.

    So, with the team prepared, practicing well and allegedly motivated, what is it that's going wrong? That answer eludes not only us, but Coughlin and the other coaches as well.

    "I would like them to think that at this time of the year, we can take our ability and the experience that we’ve had and share it with the young guys and have a good week of practice and have it carry over to the game on Sunday," Coughlin said." Read more...



    Giants At Ravens: Scouting Report

    Excerpt: "The Baltimore Ravens haven't exactly morphed into the New York Jets over the past three weeks, but entering Sunday's game at M&T Bank Stadium they are struggling even more than the New York Giants have recently.

    The Ravens (9-5) have already clinched an AFC playoff berth, but that is no thanks to how they have played recently. Baltimore has lost three straight games, falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos. All of those are good teams, but things are not good in Baltimore right now.

    Unhappy with their offense, the team recently fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replaced him with Jim Caldwell.

    "We’re a 9-5 football team, and it feels like we’re 0-14 right now," said quarterback Joe Flacco. Folks at SB Nation's Ravens' web site, Baltimore Beatdown, are even questioning whether the team has begun to tune out head coach John Harbaugh.

    Let's take a statistical look at the Ravens.


    Overall rank:
    339.6 yards per game (21st)

    24.9 (12th)

    105.1 (22nd)

    234.6 (14th)

    Running back Ray Rice remains Baltimore's best offensive player, and his 1,031 yards rushing (4.5 yards per carry) make this four straight seasons he has surpassed 1,000 yards. The Giants have been gashed numerous times this season by running backs and are 22nd in the league against the run, surrendering 123.7 yards per game (4.6 per carry). Inability to stop the run has impacted the Giants' ability to unleash their pass rush as they have been unable to consistently put teams in long-yardage situations.

    For the Ravens, the passing attack is all about quarterback Joe Flacco. He is completing 59.1 percent of his passes this season with 20 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. His passer rating is 86.2.

    Anquan Boldin leads Baltimore with 58 receptions, and tight end Dennis Pitta has 57. Rice has 55. The Ravens' big-play threat is speedster Torrey Smith, who has 44 catches and averages 17.4 yards per reception with seven touchdowns. The Giants have surrendered 64 pass plays this season of 20 yards or more, and only three teams have given up more big plays." Read more...


    New York Giants: "Better With Our Backs Against The Wall" Winner Is Ahmad Bradshaw

    Excerpt: "Well, that didn't take long. Earlier today I wrote that we would hear a lot of talk this week from the New York Giants "about pride, about being better when they are backed into a corner, about still controlling their own destiny, about needing to give a better effort than they gave on Sunday."

    Well, running back Ahmad Bradshaw didn't disappoint. Bradshaw delivered the money quote Monday in the very first interview transcript to be posted on, one that I'm sure will be available to Big Blue View in its entirety a bit later."

    Just right now we’re inconsistent and it’s just something we've got to work on. We play better with our backs up against the wall and the playoffs start now," Bradshaw said Monday.

    That is the same tired, predictable refrain we have heard from the Giants every regular season for the past four years now. Yes, things worked out fine and dandy last season.Aren't we tired of hearing it, and watching it, though? And aren't Giants' players tired of saying it, and living it?

    Reality is that Ernie Palladino, writing for WFAN, is absolutely correct when he writes that no Giants' fan should be stunned by what happened Sunday:

    The question Giants fans must ask themselves is this: Is it all that surprising? Anyone who has paid any attention at all to the Tom Coughlin era knows that for all the Vince Lombardi and Super Bowl MVP hardware in the trophy case,the Giants have never been good with prosperity, never done it the easy way. So, is it any real shock that they blew things sky high to Matt Ryan and a squad absolutely nobody will believe in past the divisional playoff round, in a stadium where they have traditionally succeeded?" Read more...









    Atlanta 34 - Giants 0: Hits, Missings, and Musings

    Excerpt: "The human will is quite a powerful, yet underrated tool.

    Imagine this. If you want something badly enough –I mean REALLY want something–and you work toward achieving it, chances are high that it’s going to come.

    It’s called being proactive, and that’s precisely what the Falcons were in their 34-0 thrashing of the Giants Sunday.

    The Giants? Week after week, we hear about how the next game is the most important. Yet week after week, we never know what team is going to show up – and we all know what showed up last week.

    So for anyone who thought the Falcons’ won-loss record was a by-product of luck or a soft schedule, take note: they put the defending Super bowl Champions in their place simply because they wanted it more.

    The Giants? I’m not sure what they wanted, but I do know this much. If they aspire to make the playoffs, it’s time to stop acting as if they’re not worried and show a greater sense of urgency in these last two games.


    There weren’t that many to speak of, but there were a few, and I’ll start with one of the underrated ones, receiver Domenik Hixon. You might not have noticed but Hixon finished as the team’s leader in receptions with five and receiving yards with 80. In fact Hixon leads all receivers (and I include tight end Martellus Bennett) in terms of reliability in that he’s caught a team high 68% of the passes targeted for him (based on 50 or more pass targets).

    That’s some clutch performances by Hixon, who in this week’s game also made a wise decision on his lone punt return to call for a fair catch and who otherwise made a smart move by letting another punt bounce into the end zone, except a penalty moved the ball back from the 20 to the 10." Read more...



    Film Study: Looking Back At Giants and Ravens,7867713.story

    Excerpt: "Falcons 34, Giants 0

    The Giants often used two-receiver sets in the first half, with either two backs or two tight ends on the field with them, before falling behind early. They had to get away from that, and the running game, after they fell behind by three scores, but they tried to stay balanced. Their base defense is a 4-3, but the Falcons often dictated that they use their nickel package by putting three wide receivers on the field. The Giants tried to generate pressure with their four defensive linemen and did not blitz aggressively, but the Falcons were the more physical team.

    The Giants have a talented defensive line rotation that includes Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora,Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka, and they play them all at different spots along the line. Due to injuries, the Giants started rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley and journeyman Stevie Brown starts at safety. Safety Antrel Rolle does double duty as the team's nickel cornerback. Speedy rookie running back David Wilson made his first NFL start, but Ahmad Bradshaw could play and split carries with him on Sunday. The Giants have a solid veteran offensive line.

    What went right:
    Not much, honestly. The Giants were able to move the ball in the first three quarters, but they did not score in two trips inside the red zone. Wilson and fellow back Kregg Lumpkin averaged 4.6 yards per carry, but they were forced to abandon the run. Domenik Hixon, whose snaps increased when they used more three-receiver sets, had five catches for 80 yards.

    What went wrong:
    Pretty much everything, honestly. The Falcons won up front and their talented skill players like wide receiver Julio Jones and cornerback Asante Samuel routinely won individual battles on the outside. The bad Eli Manning showed up. He threw an interception on his first pass and was off all day, finishing with two interceptions and a 40.7 passer rating. They struggled at times against the physical running of Michael Turner. Screen passes gave them trouble, too. Lawrence Tynes missed a short field goal. And the Giants went 0-for-3 in 4th-and-short situations.

    Turning point:
    After the Giants fell behind, 17-0, in the second quarter, they either got aggressive or desperate, depending on your perspective. Wilson got stuffed on fourth-and-1 at Atlanta's 32-yard line. Then, on the ensuing drive, they went for it on fourth-and-1 again from Atlanta's 11-yard line, and Victor Cruz couldn't come up with a catch in traffic. Maybe it's a different game if they take the points.

    Cruz had his least productive game of the season, partially due to Manning's struggles and partially because he couldn't shake free of Samuel and Dunta Robinson, one of the NFL's best cornerback tandems. He had just three catches for 15 yards. But Cruz is a good route runner, especially when he is operating out of the slot, and he is slippery once he gets the ball in his hands. If the good Eli shows up, the banged-up Ravens secondary will have its hands full with Cruz this weekend." Read more...









    Victor Cruz Recounts Meeting Pintos

    Excerpt: "
    Victor Cruz hopes that meeting with the family of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Connecticut school shootings has helped it cope with the tragedy.

    "The New York Giants receiver on Wednesday somberly recounted his hourlong visit with Jack Pinto's family a day earlier, and says he was most affected when asked about the parents' decision to bury their son in his No. 80 jersey.

    Cruz stopped for a moment, his eyes becoming watery: "You never go through some circumstances like this. This was definitely the toughest by far."

    Pinto's family said Cruz was their son's favorite player. Pinto was one of 20 first-graders who, along with six adults, were killed Friday in the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Cruz wrote Jack Pinto's name on his cleats and gloves before the Giants' 34-0 loss to the Falcons. He presented them to the family Tuesday.

    "Incredibly proud of what (Cruz has) done," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "That family will remember that all their days. Hopefully, at least some of their grief may temporarily be spent in being able to embrace Victor Cruz.

    The fact that he went and did that speaks volumes about what he has in him, inside."
    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who will play against the Giants on Sunday, also was impressed by Cruz's gesture."You've got to be able to put yourself in that family's situation to understand at least what they're going through," Rice said. "That's what it's about. You know, that's something that ... you do it from the heart. You do it from within. What he did was amazing because, honestly, I was affected by that more than I've ever been affected before.

    "We play this game of football and we want to be able to please everybody. We talk about winning and losing, but the real losers on that end was the families of Newtown. They've got to wake up every day in a situation where ... and have no answers to unsolved problems that no one can even imagine that it happened." Read more...


    Giants' S Kenny Phillips On Track To Play Ravens

    Excerpt: "
    The New York Giants' secondary is getting healthier, as safetyKenny Phillips will practice Wednesday and is on track for returning Sunday against theBaltimore Ravens.

    Cornerback Prince Amukamara also will test his hamstring during Wednesday's practice, according to coach Tom Coughlin. The Giants lost 34-0 this past weekend to the Atlanta Falcons without Phillips and Amukamara.

    "They will both practice, but it will be limited to the point we will test Prince more than anything," Coughlin said. "With Kenny, we feel he is rested and ready to contribute."

    Phillips has missed the past two games with a knee injury, the same injury that kept him out of six games earlier in the season. Phillips said Tuesday on ESPN New York 98.7 that he definitely will be on the field in Baltimore." Read more...

    Practice Report: Prince Looks Good

    Excerpt: "Cornerback
    Prince Amukamara tested his hamstring on Wednesday and appeared to be moving well during the media portion of practice.

    Amukamara did not play on Sunday during the Giants' 34-0 loss to the Falcons.

    Kenny Phillips (knee) was also on the field during the media portion. "We feel he is rested and ready to contribute," coach Tom Coughlin said.

    Phillips has missed the past two games with an MCL injury, but said on ESPN New York 98.7 on Tuesday that he will definitely be on the field in Baltimore. " Read more...


    Rolle: "It's Either Fight Or Flight"

    Excerpt: "The New York Giants sound exhausted trying to figure out what their problem is with their maddeningly inconsistent play.

    Safeties Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips and Osi Umenyiora hit the radio waves today struggling to find answers for the Giants’ 34-0 no-show in Atlanta on Sunday. At times you could actually hear the exasperated Giants players let out sighs of frustrations between answers.

    "As a team there is something we need to fix," Rolle said on his weekly spot on WFAN radio. "And we have to fix it right now. There is no tomorrow."

    "For us it is either fight or flight," Rolle added. "There’s nothing left to be said at this point. If you want it, you got to go out and take it."

    The problem with the Giants is that nobody seems to know which team they will be from week to week.

    "For whatever reason, this week we could probably be the best team in the NFL and this week could possibly be the worst team in the NFL," Rolle said. "I am definitely a part of it. I still can’t figure out what it is."

    Phillips didn’t play during last Sunday’s rout due to an injured knee. From afar, he saw a team that lacked fire, energy and passion.

    "I think that's why all of us at the organization are scratching our heads," Phillips said on ESPN New York 98.7. "We can't figure out why one week we come out, we have that fire in our eyes and the next week not so much." Read more...
    Giants' Victor Cruz Visits Newtown Family

    Excerpt: "
    New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz has visited the home of the 6-year-old Connecticut school victim who was buried in a replica Cruz jersey.

    Jack Pinto was among 20 children who lost their lives Friday in Newtown. Several elementary school-age children played touch football in the front yard of his family's home on Tuesday. Many wore Giants jerseys or Newtown football or wrestling shirts as they laughed, smiled and hugged.The children and their families left after several hours. Kids carried autographed Giants footballs and jerseys.About 45 minutes later, Cruz left the home in an SUV and an escort of five police cruisers, sirens blaring. He later tweeted that he has "much love to the entire Pinto family. Great people with huge hearts."Several people leaving the home confirmed Cruz was there.In addition to Cruz,

    Providence College from nearby Rhode Island is also honoring those in Newtown." Read more...





    Expert Picks: Straight Up

    NFL Playoff Picture














    Jets Bench Sanchez, Start McElroy

    Last edited by RoanokeFan; 12-19-2012, 08:21 PM.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2
    Where is everyone? Thanks Ro. Good read.


    • #3
      Originally posted by ashleymarie View Post
      Where is everyone? Thanks Ro. Good read.
      Still pretty angry about last Sunday. Took a day off from the Giants.
      Anyway, over that-thanks for the reads RF!


      • #4
        Originally posted by ashleymarie View Post
        Where is everyone? Thanks Ro. Good read.
        You're welcome
        “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


        • #5
          Originally posted by Old Giant View Post
          Still pretty angry about last Sunday. Took a day off from the Giants.
          Anyway, over that-thanks for the reads RF!
          You're welcome
          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


          • #6
            Thanks bro!

            “Basically just stay with your man,” cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. “Follow him everywhere you go. Even if he goes to the bathroom, follow him.”


            • #7
              Originally posted by BeatYale View Post
              Thanks bro!
              You're welcome
              “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


              • #8
                Thanks Roanoke!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Captain Chaos View Post
                  Thanks Roanoke!
                  You're welcome
                  “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


                  • #10
                    Thanks RF !
                    " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.


                    • #11
                      thanks Roanoke!

                      good to see some of these guys get back on the field!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BigBlue1971 View Post
                        thanks Roanoke!

                        good to see some of these guys get back on the field!
                        We need them all for two weeks
                        “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1