News, notes, rumors, and gossip: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants Will Evaluate Offfensive Formula During BYE Week
Excerpt: "Martellus Bennett is fond of analogies. So, to explain the quandary the Giants offense must solve during this bye week, the tight end drew on his college basketball experience.
“If you’re a jump shooter, and everybody’s face-guarding you where you can’t shoot the ball, you’ve got to start driving into the lane at some point or you’re just going to be ineffective the whole game,” Bennett said. “So we’ve just got to figure out, what’s our drive to the lane?”
In other words, when the strength of a team is suddenly not so strong — i.e., a passing game that could formerly skip downfield at will — the players and coaches must find another way to get the job done. Finally hitting their bye in Week 11, the Giants have a chance to take a step back, much needed after they dropped their second straight game Sunday, a 31-13 loss at Cincinnati.
Coaches began self-scouting Monday, and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said they would also study some of the hot offenses around the league for ideas to “galvanize” their unit. Players will be off until next Monday, meaning quarterback Eli Manning will rest his so-called “tired arm” for eight straight days. They hope the break makes a difference, but just how different will they be?
“I don’t see us coming in and saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got a whole new offense, and we’re coming in and doing this now,’ ” said Manning, who hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in three straight games for the first time since his rookie season. “I don’t see that’s going to help anything. But there can be some different things we can get to that can help us out.” Read more...
Giants' David Wilson Still Needs To Gain Coaches' Trust
Excerpt: "Wilson's season got off to a rough start when he fumbled on his second career carry and was subsequently put in Tom Coughlin's doghouse. He has a total of 18 carries for 89 yards – 40 of which came on his lone touchdown run of the season. He was in on just two offensive plays Sunday against the Bengals, though Coughlin today said the team planned on playing him more but the game situation dictated otherwise.
Giants coaches rave about Wilson's explosive running ability; they've seen what he can do at practice and on Sundays during kickoff returns. But that isn't the issue. The problem remains the other aspects of becoming an NFL running back and gaining the coaches' trust.
"He’s got to be able to do all other things besides just running the ball," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "It’s not just running the ball when you’re a running back in the National Football League. It’s about catching passes, it’s about blocking, it’s about being able to protect the quarterback. All those things are taken into consideration when you determine whether a guy gets playing time or not."
Wilson, Gilbride explained, wasn't asked to do much else other than run in his three years at Virginia Tech. On the contrary, Doug Martin, taken one spot before David Wilson in April's draft, ran a pro-style offense at Boise State and has contributed immediately for the Buccaneers. He currently ranks first in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage at 128.7 per game and tied for fourth in rushing with 862 yards." Read more...
Giants' Tom Coughlin Sees Signs Of Improvement In Eli Manning
Excerpt: "But while coach Tom Coughlin is searching for answers to get his offense and his team back on track, he said he saw encouraging signs from Manning Sunday despite the 31-13 loss to the Bengals.
"There were signs that he’s improving," Coughlin said today. "He’s getting back to -- back on track. There were some signs there that were good yesterday. And we’ve just got to build on it."
What were those signs?
"I thought he threw the ball better and many times yesterday, he zinged it in there," Coughlin said. "Had the ball down the seam to Victor that should have been a touchdown."
That deep pass would have been a 38-yard touchdown, but Victor Cruz dropped the ball near the goal line as a defender came in to break it up. Manning's arm looked just fine on that play, despite a recent theory floated by NFL Films' Greg Cosell and ESPN's Ron Jaworski that he has a tired arm.
Coughlin acknowledged that, in the past few weeks, Manning has overall looked different "in some situations." He threw two interceptions on back-to-back drives while under so much pressure his jersey was being pulled, each setting up a Bengals touchdown and putting the game pretty much out of reach for the Giants.
"Oh, that was terrible," Coughlin said. "And he’d be the first one to tell you that. That was so foolish to try to make a play there. The one guy’s got his shirt and just go down, take care of the ball, let us have another snap. Just take care of the football. I know he's always trying to make a play, and he has done things under those circumstances in the past that have worked out, but the percentages were just not with you when that happens." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Eli, Giants Confident At top Of Division
Excerpt: "There was no dark cloud hovering over the Meadowlands on Monday and no sense of doom among the defending Super Bowl champions. The Giants all knew the panic button had already been pressed outside their locker room.
Inside, though, they were perfectly calm — and enjoying their continued view from first place in the NFC East.
“I think we're still in good position,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “If you had told us after 10 games we’d be winning our division, you'd take that every time.”
“We’re still in first place,” added tight end Martellus Bennett. “Teams are fighting to catch up with us.”
It's almost hard to remember in the wake of their hideous 31-13 loss in Cincinnati on Sunday, but the Giants (6-4) are still very much in command of the NFC East. That could change by the time they return from the bye in two weeks for a home game against the Green Bay Packers (6-3). But for the moment they still lead the division by 11/2 games.
So on Monday, that’s what the Giants chose to focus on as they arrived for their last day of work before they took off to their bye week destinations. They weren't going to dwell on the two straight losses, their prolonged offensive slump or the fear of where their season might be heading." Read more...
Giants Expose Corey Webster's Failing To Cover For Misled Teammates
Excerpt: "Corey Websterdidn't blow his assignment. But he didn’t help out his mates in the Giants secondary, either.
That was the message that secondary coach Peter Guinta had on Monday, one day after the Giants’ 31-13 loss to the Bengals. Webster had been a key figure in the game’s opening touchdown, a 56-yard reception by Bengals star A.J. Green.
Webster appeared to let Green run right past him at the Giants’ 40, as if he expected help. “Corey did what he was supposed to do,” Guinta said.
Thing is, Guinta added, Webster should have abandoned his assignment and stayed with Green when he realized he didn’t have help. Another player, whom Guinta declined to name, was indeed supposed to pick up Green deep downfield, but most of the Giants’ secondary had been fooled by a play-action fake.
Webster, the veteran in a Giants secondary that includes second-year man Prince Amukamara, rookie Jayron Hosley and journeyman safety Stevie Brown, should have covered for his mates. Webster initially called the play a “miscommunication.” Guinta agreed but still expected more from his top corner.
“Corey’s thing is he should have kind of realized what was going on,” Guinta said, “and being the veteran guy, trying to protect the other guys, he should have been a little more patient .” Read more...
Myers: Coughlin Lays Blame On Eli
Excerpt: "has placed two Super Bowl rings in Tom Coughlin’s safe deposit box and as a quarterback and coach they are as tied together in Giants history as Bill Parcells and Phil Simms or in NFL history as Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr.
But with Manning now stuck in an inexplicable five-game slump and playing like the often dreadful pre-elite Eli in back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Bengals, the Giants’ annual second-half slump came with a new twist Monday: Coughlin is so frustrated that he used the words “terrible” and “foolish” in talking about Manning.
That’s no rookie quarterback. That’s a two-time Super Bowl MVP.
Coughlin may criticize his team’s performance, but almost will never single out an individual. And while he emphasized the Giants’ problems are hardly all about Manning, he didn’t try to put spin on Manning’s two interceptions in the third quarter in Cincinnati with defenders pulling at his jersey. They immediately led to Bengals touchdowns, stretching their lead from 17-6 to 31-6.
“Oh, that was terrible,” Coughlin said Monday. “He’d be the first one to tell you that. That was so foolish to try to make a play there. The one guy has got his shirt — just go down, take care of the ball and let us have another snap. Just take care of the football. I know he’s always trying to make a play and he has done things under those circumstances in the past that have worked out, but the percentages were just not with you when that happens.”
Manning threw the first interception with 7:12 left in the third quarter. His next one came just 1:31 later, three plays into the Giants’ next possession. That put the Bengals in position to have to go only 12 and 16 yards for two TDs. Was Coughlin stunned that Manning made the same mistake again so quickly?" Read more...
Kuhn's Season Ends With Torn ACL
Excerpt: "Markus Kuhn, the Giants’ impressive German rookie who has helped them fill out a depleted defensive tackle corps, will miss the rest of the regular season with a torn ACL.
Tom Coughlin made that painful announcement on Monday, one day after the Giants’ humiliating 31-6 loss in Cincinnati. Kuhn was carted off the field during the fourth quarter of that game and was taken for X-Rays on his knee.
Further tests revealed, as Coughlin said, “That poor kid’s got an ACL.”
Kuhn, a seventh-round pick out of North Carolina State and a native of Germany, had played well this season helping round out an injury plagued position. The Giants were missing defensive tackle Chris Canty (knee surgery) for the first six games of the season and Rocky Bernard has missed four games with an injured quad.
With Kuhn out, the Giants will likely turn to Marvin Austin, their second-round pick from 2010 who has struggled to earn playing time this season and was inactive for Sunday’s game in Cincinnati." Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
Giants' RB Coach Says It Is Time For David Wilson To "Grow Up And Be A Man"
Excerpt: "David Wilson isn’t playing much at all as a rookie, as the first-round pick from Virginia Tech has only 18 rushing attempts in the first 10 games. First-year running backs can get on the field fairly quickly – see Doug Martin for the Buccaneers – but Wilson hasn’t been able to convince the Giants’ coaching staff that he is trustworthy enough to put on the field.
“David has to learn you can’t be just a runner, that’s not what we do, you have to be a complete running back, you have to be knowledgeable, you have to be smart, you can’t just accept your mistakes,’’ running backs coach Jerald Ingram said on Monday.
Ingram cited Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw as running backs who sat on the bench until they learned the lessons that Wilson is struggling to master. Pass protection and blocking assignments are essential skills for a running back in the Giants system and until Wilson gets them he’ll continue to sit.
Even though he’s a first-round pick.Coughlin: Eli Made "Terrible" Mistakes, But Not To Blame For Giants' Struggles
“Just because you’re a first-round draft pick doesn’t mean you’re ready to play or they all would be great,’’ Ingram said.
“It’s about winning games, it’s not a popularity contest. It’s time for you to grow up and be a man now and see what you can do with the whole ball of wax. Until he proves that it’s hard to stick him out there and feel comfortable.’’ Read more...
Excerpt: "Eli Manning may be enduring one of the worst stretches of his career, but Giants coach Tom Coughlin refuses to put the two consecutive losses on his quarterback’s shoulders.
“He’s not alone,” Coughlin said Monday. “We have a lot of people that aren’t playing as well as they’re capable of playing. That’s gotta change.”
Coughlin did not make any excuses for Manning, who has gone three straight games without throwing a touchdown for the first time since his rookie season, saying he was stunned by the quarterback’s decision-making on back-to-back interceptions in Sunday’s 31-13 loss at Cincinnati.
“That was terrible. He’ll be the first one to tell you that,” Coughlin said. “That was foolish. Just go down, take care of the ball, get another snap. I know he’s always trying to make a play and he has done things under those circumstances in the past that have worked out but the percentages were not with him there.” Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
Sullivan: It's Obvious QB Eli Manning Is Trying Too Hard
Excerpt: "You’d have to go back to the beginning of Eli Manning’s Giants life to find a version of the quarterback anywhere close to the jumbled, mixed-up mess we’ve seen across these past few weeks. It was nine years ago, in his first NFL season, that Manning last went three straight games without a touchdown pass, a streak he matched in Sunday’s dismal loss to Cincinnati.
But if history is the only proof we need to understand how completely Manning emerged from the wreckage of his difficult debut, then history is the reason Manning remains confident he can pull the Giants’ offense out of the quicksand that’s now pulling it down. The man who turned himself into a two-time Super Bowl MVP doesn’t panic, not when his team is caught in another November swoon, not when his receivers are dropping sure touchdown passes, not when his offensive line is letting the pass rush sail through, not when his poor decisions lead to back-to-back interceptions.
He doesn’t panic, but he does press.
And after a mistake-filled game Sunday in Cincinnati did nothing to erase the ugliness of the previous week’s loss to Pittsburgh, the time has come for Manning to release the pressure valve of this lengthy, demanding season. As the Giants head into their long-awaited bye – this is the final week of the season for teams to get a week off – the man who carries the heaviest offensive burden is getting away from football.
Heading out of town for a few days with his family, Manning said Monday he would not be bringing any game tape with him and he wouldn’t throw a football again until the team returns to practice Monday. And lest you think it’s because of some vague reports of a dead arm, Manning shot those down with little more than a dismissive shrug. This is about a tired body and a drained brain, about a player whose 10 straight weeks of football were interrupted by a superstorm Sandy-induced evacuation from his Hoboken home.
How else to explain the successive third-quarter possessions Sunday when Manning turned, in the words of coach Tom Coughlin, “foolish?” Caught twice in the throes of an inevitable sack, Manning, so desperate to make something good happen for a unit that had just seen its most promising second-half possession end in a momentum-stripping fumble, flipped the ball forward before hitting the ground. Both times he was intercepted, and both times the Bengals cashed in with touchdowns.
Those were the final points surrendered in the 31-13 loss.
“I know he’s always trying to make a play and he’s done things under those circumstances in the past that have worked out, but the percentages are just not with you when that happens,” Coughlin said. “I know how hard he’s pressing to make a play. That’s what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to make a play.” Read more...
Giants' Report Card Through 10 Games
Excerpt: "Grading the Giants' season through the first 10 games:Running game: C-
Inconsistency at its best – and worst – on the ground as the Giants continue to baffle with their production and lack thereof. When things are going well, Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown have flourished with monster games. When things aren't – like now – the inability to run the football forces Eli Manning to press and the offense to become one-dimensional. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Brown has earned more carries, so expect him to be more than just a complementary back behind Bradshaw, regardless of the latter's injury situation going forward.Passing game: C
Manning's slump is inexplicable at times, considering how well he and his receivers – particularlyPaterson native Victor Cruz – came out of the gate. Cruz is beat up a little bit, WR coach Kevin M. Gilbride said, and Hakeem Nicks has promised to be close to 100 percent after the bye. And although the notion that Manning has a "tired arm" is a bit foolish, his mistakes have been as well. The Giants' offensive line struggled in pass protection against the Bengals and it was an equal-opportunity drubbing up front as RT David Diehl, RG Chris Snee and LG Kevin Boothe took turns in allowing Manning to get roughed up. He was sacked four times." Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
BIG BLUE VIEW
Giants Being Patient With David WIlson's Development
Excerpt: "Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is aware of the fans’ desire to see the team unleash rookie running back David Wilson, the teams first round draft pick, in more plays with the offense.
Before that happens, the team needs to be certain that Wilson is capable of handling all the responsibilities that come with being on the field.
“He’s got to be able to do all other things besides just running the ball,” Gilbride said. “It’s not just running the ball when you’re a running back in the National Football League. It’s about catching passes, it’s about blocking, and it’s about being able to protect the quarterback. All those things are taken into consideration when you determine whether a guy gets playing time or not.”
Interestingly, Wilson, who thus far has 18 carries for 89 yards, was to have a greater role in the offense this past Sunday according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Those plans, however, were scrapped when the Giants fell behind and had to play catch up.
One thing does appear certain regarding Wilson, and that he’s not quite a finished product as far as being able to contribute on a regular basis at the NFL level.
“Obviously, each week he’s getting better, but there’s a level of trust and a level of professionalism that hopefully he gets to,” said running backs coach Jerald Ingram. “It’s no different than when Brandon (Jacobs) was here as a rookie and didn’t play, or Derrick Ward, or Ahmad Bradshaw. In practice, you have to develop a level of trust among your teammates as well as your coordinator to feel comfortable that you can be a complete running back.
Ingram noted that Wilson’s 5-9, 205 lbs. size puts him at a bit of a disadvantage because there are concerns about his ability right now to take on the larger linebackers that he would have to face if given more of a full time role.
“Can David handle 250-lb. linebackers at his size?” said Ingram. “Strength, knowledge, knowing how to play the game at that level are all things we need for him to be comfortable with. We don’t have any problem with him right now running the ball, but the rest is a process.” Read more...
THE RED ZONE
Nicks Moves In "The Right Direction" Sunday
Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks is looking forward to having a week off to heal.
"It's going to be very beneficial," Nicks told ESPNNewYork.com. "I plan on coming back stronger than before."
The talented wide receiver has battled injuries all year and is welcoming the break to try and get closer to 100 percent. Nicks has missed three games with a swollen left knee and lingering problems from his surgically repaired right foot, and his production is on pace for career-low numbers.
Sunday, in the 31-13 loss to the Bengals, Nicks caught a team-high nine passes for 75 yards, by far his best game the five contests he's played in since returned against San Francisco on Oct. 14. Nicks has 36 catches for 465 yards with just one touchdown in seven games.
"That's definitely a start," Nicks said of his effort Sunday. "Going in the right direction."
While Nicks has played at less than 100 percent for the entire year, gutting his way through injuries, the wide receiver hasn't been able to play like he has in the past. Since grabbing 10 balls for 199 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay on Sept. 16, and then missing the following three games, Nicks had just 13 catches in the four games leading up to Sunday's loss.
Sunday, Nicks finally got into the groove, with the team targeting him frequently and using him in the game plan. He was targeted 14 times, especially in the short and intermediate passing game, and had more catches and yards than he had in the previous two games combined. Nicks only has two games this year when he's caught more than five passes or more than 53 passing yards." Read more...
GMen Evaluate Play To Prepare For Second Half
Excerpt: "The Giants will have this week off to rest during their bye, but the coaching staff will be hard at work to try and get the team ready for the second half. The Giants will be studying their own play from the first half, as well as breaking down tape from teams around the league to try and aid them.
"The coaches will start on our research of studying ourselves, we call it worst to best, we look at that, we look at ourselves, we'll self scout and then we'll go on to look at some of the teams that are very good in those particular positions," Coughlin said Monday." Read more...
Pope Finds Defense Account For Bennett
Excerpt: "Giants tight end coach Mike Pope tallied 35 pass routes forMartellus Bennett in Sunday's loss to the Bengals, and said Bennett was hit coming off the line on 19 of those routes. It's a sign the athletic tight end has become a player opposing defenses account for.
"He's not getting the free releases that he was getting earlier in the year, and getting through that five yards is a challenge for anyone that is any good," Pope said. "Anyone who they think can (hurt them) they are trying to batter him at the line of scrimmage and that wasn't case so much earlier in the year before he established himself as a threat."
After signing a one-year deal, Bennett has emerged as a reliable pass catcher for the Giants. He's second on the team with 36 catches and three touchdowns, and his 411 receiving yards are third on the squad. He's also delivered on his reputation as a solid blocker.
Bennett started the year hot, catching a combined 15 passes for 185 yards and three scores in the first three games. In the last seven games, though, Bennett has just 21 catches for 226 yards and no touchdowns. He's only topped 40 yards once in that stretch.
While Bennett hasn't been 100 percent since hyper extending his knee against Cleveland on Oct. 7, Pope said a high portion of the decline in production is opposing defenses making sure they don't allow Bennett to beat them. The tight ends coach added that he doesn't believe there has been any disconnect between Bennett and Giants quarterback Eli Manning. " Read more...
Doubting Thomas's Can't Doubt Tom
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin saw the poor kid coming his way, a rookie defensive tackle named Markus Kuhn, and the coach of the New York Giants stepped up to console him. Coughlin had just broken the news -- no, not something he often does -- in his daily news conference that Kuhn was done for the season with a torn ACL.
"Sorry, big guy," Coughlin said as the two embraced, as the coach gave the seventh-round pick two hard pats on the back.
"I'll be all right," Kuhn told him."You will be all right," Coughlin said. "You will come back better.""That's right," the rookie said as he disappeared down the hall.Coughlin, noted tough guy, had just made his first compassionate move of 2012, and this back-room, small-picture scene reminded of his big-picture ability to connect with his team on a human level. Last year, with his Giants about to fall apart, with his team in dire need of the pass rush that forever defined it in good times, Coughlin sat down with the battered and beleaguered Justin Tuck and showed him that he cared.The Giants don't score their second Super Bowl triumph over the New England Patriots in five years without that sit-down, without Coughlin having that man-to-man with Tuck and coaching him right out of the grave.Can Coughlin do it again this year and find the one player or push the one button that will right the wrongs of his southbound 6-4 team?"I hope so, and I believe that will happen," Coughlin told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday. "Now, whether there's anything such as [the Tuck meeting] this year, I don't know. I think whether it's an individual or in the groups, I think the message is loud and clear and I think they got it today." Read more...
OLine Coach: David Diehl Will Be Just Fine
Excerpt: "It hasn't been the easiest of seasons for David Diehl.
The veteran right tackle has missed time with a sprained MCL, and when he has played, Diehl has struggled as he's allowed a handful of sacks.
As the team enters the bye, Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty believes Diehl will be able to sort it all out and pick up his play.
"He's a competitor," Flaherty said. "As most guys do when they go through an injury they miss valuable time. Even though he had a preseason, he was playing a new position, we also had him working at some guard. He just has to get more familiar with the right tackle position. I think he'll be just fine."
Diehl has drawn the ire of fans for his unsteady play this year, as the veteran has had difficulties. After playing at left tackle for most of his career, as well as left guard last year, the team moved him to right tackle for this year. He's only started four games, however, as he suffered a sprained MCL against Tampa Bay that knocked him out for three games.
While Flaherty, as well as offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, said there isn't any connection between sacks allowed and Diehl's play, the statistics show the team has given up more with Diehl in. In the four games Diehl has started, the Giants have allowed nine sacks. In the other six games, all with reserve Sean Locklear at right tackle, the Giants only yielded three. " Read more...
Eli Manning Won't Throw For A Week
Excerpt: "After Sunday’s 31-13 loss to the Bengals, Giants quarterback Eli Manning said that he didn’t thinka tired arm was to blame for his recent struggles.
With the bye week here, though, Manning is erring on the side of caution. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Manning said Monday that he won’t throw at all until next Monday as he unplugs from the game. Coach Tom Coughlin said before the Bengals game that the entire team would get the week off and Manning is doing just that. He won’t be watching any film for a few days either as he tries to refresh after a rough stretch." Read more...
NFC East Spin Cycle: Cowboys Closing The Game With Giants
Excerpt: "Should the Giants be concerned? They're now only 1.5 games up in the East after their second straight loss and the Cowboys' comeback win in Philly. The Eagles fell to 3-6 and Michael Vick was hurt, dropping them to a new level of desperation. The Redskins were on bye. Here's a look at what happened in the division in Week 10:
What we learned: The Giants’ lead in the East has dwindled to a game and a half despite no other division team sitting above .500. With a second straight loss following four straight victories, the Giants fell to 6-4 and sounded some alarm bells in the process. It’s a formula the Giants have patented — hot, cold, hot at the right time — in their championship seasons, so a November swoon isn’t always something to fret over. But really, some ugly trends that have developed (a struggling passing game, spotty rushing and critical breakdowns on “D”) go back prior to the two losses.
What’s in store next: The bye comes at a good time, as this is a team that looks like it could use some recharging. Eli Manning reportedly has a “tired arm” that will earn some rest; his mechanics, and even footwork, have looked off the past few weeks. A defense that has been gashed in myriad ways will spend some time healing, but also looking at game tape to try to diagnose what’s been going wrong. Zero sacks Sunday and a handful of blown coverages in allowing four TD passes — inexcusable numbers for this group. After the bye, there is no rest, at least as things appear now. Every remaining game is either a division contest or against a team in the playoff hunt, three at home and three away.
What the heck? What’s up with Eli? Yes, it’s the second week in a row we’ve asked that in this very space. And yes, it was not that long ago — 2010 to be exact — that Manning was mired in a slump that lasted most of a season. But coming off a championship season and a strong start in 2012, we are just not accustomed to this. It has been three straight games without a TD pass now, although to be fair, Victor Cruz dropped an easy one, perhaps dreaming too early about salsa. Manning’s two INTs Sunday also led directly to 14 Bengals points, but also in his defense, the protection was lousy. After being sacked only seven times in eight games, Manning has gone down six times in the past two contests, including four Sunday. He was also hit four other times, and those two picks came on throws on which he was hit. “He was under duress a lot today,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. Dave Diehl started a second straight game and was bad again Sunday. His sack allowed near the end of the first half was a rally killer after the Giants had good field position at the Cincinnati 14." Read more...
Refo: Giants @ Bengals, Week 10
Excerpt: "It’s all gone a bit wrong for the Giants, hasn’t it?They’re losing, they’re not playing well, and they’re in danger of allowing the NFC East to become competitive. Not three things you would have thought after they beat the San Francisco 49ers so convincingly.Now, let’s not just talk about the woeful Giants. No, this was a victory for the Bengals as much as a defeat for the G-Men. They battered the Giants’ offensive line and took full advantage of excellent field position. I’ve had plenty of doubts about this team, but if they generate performances like this they’ll be a problem for a lot of teams.
New York – Three Performances of Note
Not Looking Quite So Eli-te
There were moments against both Washington and Dallas where in hindsight you wondered if Eli Manning (-1.2) was about to experience one of his infamous slumps. Well, after the past two weeks its seems we’re bang in the middle of one. His interception chuck to Pat Simswas, for want of a better word, daft. His throw that was picked off by Nate Clements was another awful decision. As Ben Stockwell said, it’s good for quarterbacks to have short memories. It’s not good for them to forget things all together.
Mixed Day for the Line
I literally had people phoning me up to bemoan the uselessness of David Diehl (+1.3). Our own Twitter account (@PFF) got in the act in a perfect demonstration of why what you see in real time, isn’t always the same as when you carefully break down the tape and watch plays over and over again. Now Diehl was guilty of giving up a sack and three hurries, with the sack not being pretty at all as Robert Geathers breezed by him. However, apart from that he gave up just three more pressures and none of them at the kind of speed Manning couldn’t do something about.
No, bigger problems came for Kevin Boothe (+1.0) who saved his grade with his run blocking, but had some real problems, giving up two sacks, two hits and another hurry. Geno Atkins tormented him (and Chris Snee to a degree) but you know you’ve had a rough day in pass protection when you get beat for a sack by Domata Peko.Chase-ing Down the Bengals’ Running Game
Another player I’ve rarely had much good to say about in the past is Chase Blackburn(+3.3). He’s a bit of a liability in coverage and has a habit of missing tackles, two of my pet peeves from linebackers. But give credit where it’s due, because he made some nice plays in this game. Besides his forced fumble on special teams, he made three impressive defensive stops, the best of which came when he didn’t let Kevin Zeitler lock his block on him at the second level, and then chased down BenJarvus Green-Ellis for a tackle for no gain." Read more...
Big Ben Hurt In Overtime Win
NFL: Refs Missed it; Denver TD Was A Touchback
Reid's Exit Likely, But Not Yet A Certainty
Reid: Vick Has A "Pretty Significant" Concussion