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    NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 - 10:55 A.M.

    HERE NOW THE NEWS

    THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER.

    THE DAY THAT WOULD LIVE IN INFAMY

    NEWARK STAR LEDGER

    GIANTS' TOM COUGHLIN SAYS DAVID BAAS' INJURY "MUCH MORE SERIOUS" THAN A HEADACHE

    Excerpt: "Giants starting center David Baas appeared on Wednesday injury's report with
    what was listed as a neck injury and intense headaches. And in his daily press
    conference Tom Coughlin said the issue is "much more serious than a headache,"
    though it is unclear what exactly.


    "There's a lot more to it than that," Coughlin said. "He spent most of the
    last couple days doing tests and a lot of that is to try to eliminate things, as
    well."




    Coughlin said Baas, who was a last-minute
    scratch in Sunday's loss to the Packers
    , will undergo more tests today and
    his status is uncertain. Coughlin is reluctant to provide specific information
    on Baas until he gets more definitive information. Asked if the neck issue is
    related to the headaches, he indicated that's probably the case but wouldn't
    confirm.




    Baas' situation is another blow to a Giants offensive line that has lost two
    players -- starting left tackle Will Beatty and backup Stacy Andrews -- to
    injuries for the remainder of the season over the last few weeks.




    On Sunday, however, the makeshift offensive line -- with Kevin Boothe at
    center, Mitch Petrus at left guard and David Diehl at left tackle -- performed
    admirably. For the first time since Nov. 6 the team rushed for at least 100
    yards and the offense reeled off 35 points." Read more...


    **

    ANTREL ROLLE HAS " NO DOUBT" GIANTS WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS

    Excerpt: "Safety Antrel Rolle said in his weekly interview on WFAN today there’s “no
    doubt” the Giants will make the
    playoffs. He also said the same thing last year ... when the Giants missed the
    playoffs.


    That being said, Rolle saw on Sunday how the Giants are capable of hanging
    with an undefeated team.




    “If we go out there and we play with the intensity and emotion and passion we
    had this last Sunday, man,” he said, “those teams (left on the schedule) are in
    trouble.” Read more...



    GIANTS' STACY ANDREWS THANKFUL BLOOD CLOTS WERE NOT WORSE, DID NOT SPREAD



    Excerpt: "Stacy Andrews started to feel "a little funny, a little short of breath"
    during practice last Thursday. He felt pain in his ribs and had trouble
    sleeping. Still, he thought he had merely damaged some cartilage after
    practicing hard, so he didn’t tell anyone.




    Friday, the aches were still there. After practice, he spit up blood in the
    shower. Again, he thought little of the symptoms and told no one.




    Finally, in the middle of a team meeting on Saturday night, the pain became
    intolerable. He told the Giants
    trainers, who took him to the hospital where it was determined he was suffering
    from deep vein thrombosis (i.e. blood clots) in his lungs.




    The backup tackle would miss the game against the Green Bay Packers, a
    matchup in which he would’ve played left tackle after center David Baas was
    pulled from the lineup. Even worse, Andrews’ season was over.




    At that point, he felt the worst internal pain of the past few days –
    emotional heartache.




    "When they told me that, I wanted to shed a few tears right there and then,
    but I kind of held it back until they left," Andrews said by phone today. "I was
    like, ‘Wow.’ Even when I was in there with (assistant trainer) Leigh (Weiss) and
    the nurse, I said, ‘Why don’t I just take a pain shot and play the game
    tomorrow?’




    "I was joking, but I really wanted to play in the game."




    The 30-year-old Andrews, a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals
    and Philadelphia Eagles before signing with the Giants this summer, realizes the
    top priority is his health and this situation could have been a lot worse.
    Doctors told him it was a good thing they found the clots in both lungs when
    they did because they could’ve traveled to his heart or brain.




    While on his way to the hospital, Andrews was worried about fulfilling an
    obligation to meet and greet a few friends of his agent, Rich Moran. Now, he
    realizes the severity of the situation." Read more...



    GIANTS' LOSS TO PACKERS EARNED HIGHEST NFL REGULAR SEASON TV RATING SINCE 2007



    Excerpt: "The undefeated
    Green Bay Packers’ last-second win over the Giants
    helped draw the highest
    television rating for a regular-season NFL game since 2007.




    The national broadcast window on Fox on Sunday earned a 17.6 rating and 30
    share. The network said Tuesday that was the best since an 18.4/32 mainly for
    Steelers-Patriots four years ago." Read more...

    GIANTS' JUSTIN TUCK STRUGGLING TO UNDERSTAND TEAM'S INCONSISTENT URGENCY

    Excerpt: "Justin Tuck didn’t sleep much on Sunday night. He was too busy thinking.


    About the
    loss to the Packers
    . About the Giants’ upcoming four games, two of which are
    against the team they trail by one game – the division leading Cowboys. And
    about the way the Giants’ intensity level can be so high one week and so very
    low the next.




    “What kept me up was I know the Saints are a great football team but nobody
    would say the Saints are better than the Packers,” Tuck said on Monday night
    after signing autographs with three of his teammates at Garden State Plaza in
    Paramus as part of a holiday toy drive. “So how did we come out one week and
    play like we did and then come out this week and play like we did? And two weeks
    ago play like we did against Philly and go out to San Francisco and have an
    opportunity to beat them out there?




    “I mean, it doesn’t make any sense to me. Do I need to go see a shrink?”




    The best treatment for Tuck and the Giants is to come out on Sunday in Texas
    and play as well as they did in the last-second loss to the Packers, not like
    the did the previous week when they were hammered in New Orleans. A victory
    against the Cowboys would tie both teams at 7-6 overall and 2-2 in the division.
    (The third tiebreaker is common games. The Cowboys are 7-4 to the Giants’ 6-4
    right now.)




    One would think this weekend’s game and the implications surrounding it would
    be enough for the Giants to get motivated. But the past four games – all losses
    – were certainly big ones as well. The Giants didn’t play with enough passion in
    two of them.




    “Physically, I think we prepare better than anybody in the country. Mentally,
    sometimes we have those lapses,” Tuck said. “Why? I don’t know. I’m as guilty as
    the next guy. It’s just something we’ve got to continue to work on.




    “Coach (Tom) Coughlin says all the time just be more mentally tough.”




    It was suggested to Tuck, as the players are wont to say, the other guys get
    paid, too, meaning they’re motivated as well. To which he replied, “But I don’t
    think the Saints get paid double than we get, do they?”




    Very true.




    “You just don’t have that spark some nights,” he said. “If you never played
    the game, I don’t expect you to realize what I’m saying but some nights you’ve
    got to trick yourself, you have to mind trick yourself. It’s tough sometimes,
    but that’s what you’ve got to do because it’s hard when your body’s beat up.




    “I know a lot of people don’t understand that. They say you’re getting paid a
    million dollars to play a game.” Read more...

    NY DAILY NEWS

    BAAS BEING TESTED; SEASON IN DOUBT

    Excerpt: "
    Center David Baas said the “migraine-type” headaches he’s been suffering for
    the last few days stem from a neck injury he’s been dealing with all season. And
    he made it sound like there’s at least a possibility his condition could land
    him on injured reserve.



    “I really want to play football, but my health
    is very important to me,” Baas said in brief remarks to the media in the locker
    room on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re going to make the best
    decision.”

    Baas was vague about his condition and said that doctors are
    still testing him and evaluating the results. He’s been suffering headaches
    since Sunday, when he was a late scratch a few hours before the Giants’ 38-35
    loss to the Packers. Concern about his situation was ratcheted up earlier
    Wednesday when Tom Coughlin said it was “much
    more serious than a headache, obviously
    .”

    “I’m doing pretty good,”
    Baas said. “All I really have to say is I’ve had neck issues. I’ve been dealing
    with it pretty much all season. These issues have stemmed into migraine
    symptoms. Now we’re getting a lot of tests done and evaluations. I’m going to
    let the medical staff handle all that and make the right decision.


    “The neck issue definitely has been new. I’ve been pushing
    through it all season and trying to deal with it. We’ve been doing certain
    things to deal with it. The migraine-type headaches are new. It’s just something
    that’s kind of unexpected. I’ve just go to deal with it and we have to do what’s
    right for this team. The medical staff will make that decision.”

    Asked
    if there was a chance his season could be over, Baas said “I ‘m not thinking
    about that at all. All I’m thinking about is this week and I’m going to do
    whatever they want me to do in terms of getting stuff tested out and looked at
    and be here for meetings and do whatever I can for getting treatment and go from
    there.”



    ***




    The injury report




    Officially now, LB Michael Boley (hamstring), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), RB
    Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), S Kenny Phillips (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora
    (ankle/knee), DE Dave Tollefson (knee), LB Mark Herzlich (ankle) and LB Spencer
    Paysinger (hamstring) did not practice. Neither, obviously, did Baas.




    CB Prince Amukamara (back) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) were limited." Read more...


    **

    GIANTS' AHMAD BRADSHAW GETS BIG BLUE GOING; VICTOR CRUZ COULD PASS AMANI TOOMER'S TEAM RECORD FOR RECEIVING YARDS

    "
    On the first play of the game, Ahmad Bradshaw
    caught a pass out of the backfield and was immediately surrounded by three Green
    Bay Packers. He pushed through, spun out of a tackle, and lunged for a
    seven-yard gain.



    It was the third play of the game - Eli Manning’s 67-yard
    touchdown pass to Travis Beckum - that
    got most of the credit for sparking the Giants’ offense against Green Bay. But
    ask the Giants and they’ll tell you it was Bradshaw’s first touch that really
    sparked their effort in a hard-fought, 38-35 loss Sunday.




    “Ahmad sends the message, he really does,” Tom Coughlin said.
    “He’s not going down. You see what he did on that opening pass play where he
    caught the ball, was knocked around - boom, boom, boom, boom. It looked like a
    three-yard gain, and all of a sudden it’s a seven-yard gain.




    “He brings with him a serious, serious attitude about playing the game and
    being physical and not accepting things that don’t go well.”




    That attitude was missing from a run game that Coughlin admitted had become
    “pathetic” at times in Bradshaw’s four-game absence due to a broken foot. The
    Giants averaged 76.5 yards per game without Bradshaw, not a big drop from the
    85.6 they were averaging with him. But what they really missed was his ability
    to tire defenders out and make people miss.




    That’s why his line against the Packers - 11 carries for 38 yards, two
    catches for nine yards - wasn’t what was so significant. More important was the
    impact he had on others. With Brandon Jacobs’ role
    reduced, he became the “change of pace” back who steamrolled his way to 7.4
    yards per carry (eight rushes, 59 yards). He gained 25 yards on his first two
    carries, which didn’t come until the Giants’ fourth series, with the defenders
    already on their heels.




    “We had that mix with Ahmad and Brandon that throws the defense off a little
    bit,” said Manning. “You have a shifty guy, then Brandon is running downhill and
    powerful. It’s a good mix to have. It helps out both of them.”




    Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said that
    Bradshaw’s presence forced the Packers to move their safeties to the line more,
    which opened things up for the passing game - something that wasn’t happening as
    frequently when Jacobs was in the game. With Bradshaw back, he said, “We feel
    like everything’s just clicking.”

    In other words, the Giants’ offense felt complete.



    Add in Bradshaw’s fiery, competitive attitude and, despite what was
    statistically his worst game of the year, the player safety Antrel Rolle calls
    “The Bulldog” showed why the Giants signed him to a four-year, $18 million
    contract.




    “I feel like we definitely had a spark with him being back, just with the
    intensity that he brings to the offensive huddle and the sidelines,” Nicks said.
    “It was definitely good to have him back.”

    VICTOR TO CRUZ PAST
    TOOMER

    If Eli Manning had to guess who would break Amani
    Toomer
    ’s single-season club record for receiving yards (1,343 in 2002), Victor
    Cruz
    would “probably not” have been his first choice.

    But Cruz may
    end up shattering the record by the end of the season.

    After his third
    straight 100-yard receiving game on Sunday (seven catches, 119 yards), Cruz has
    62 catches for 1,076 yards, putting the second-year sensation on pace for an
    83-catch, 1,434-yard season.

    He needs 268 yards to break the record - 67
    per game.

    “He’s worked hard and overcome a lot of things,” Manning
    said.

    “He’s a joy to work with at practice and a joy to have on the field
    with you because he is a natural playmaker and he does work hard at his
    craft.”

    CHASE-ING DOWN BLACKBURN
    Less than a week
    before the Giants’ loss to the Packers, Chase Blackburn was
    home changing diapers on his newborn son, Bentley.

    Then he got the call
    to return to the team he played for from 2005-2010. And not only did he rush
    back, but he saw extensive action as the middle linebacker, had a big
    interception to set up a touchdown and added five tackles and broke up two
    passes.

    Given the Giants’ struggles at linebacker this season, and the
    fact that they’ve been forced to play four rookies extensively, his stellar play
    raises this question: What took so long for the Giants to bring him
    back?"

    PLAYOFFS WILL HAVE BLUE HUE: ANTREL ROLLE

    Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle was so
    fired up about the Giants' performance Sunday, that right after the game he
    promised "once we get into the playoffs there's not going to be anything that
    can stop us."



    And the Giants will get into the playoffs. That, he said, is guaranteed.




    "You ask will we make the playoffs? Without a doubt," Rolle said on Tuesday
    during his weekly, paid spot on WFAN. "Without a doubt. We will be in that
    postseason." Read more...


    NY POST

    POST POWER RANKINGS: GIANTS, JETS WISH FOR GIFT FOR CHRISTMAS

    "The Jets and Giants hoped their Christmas Eve matchup would be about playoff
    positioning. Instead they are hoping it’s about playoff survival.



    The teams have put themselves in position where any loss would seriously
    damage their postseason hopes. None more so than this week when the Jets play
    the lowly Chiefs in what seemingly is the easiest game remaining on their
    schedule, and the Giants go against the Cowboys in a game that will go a long
    way in deciding who will win the NFC East.




    1. Packers (12-0) (Previous Rank: 1) – Green Bay’s pass
    defense is dreadful, but Aaron Rodgers makes every opponent look just as bad.




    2. Saints (9-3) (2) – Jimmy Graham has emerged as one of the
    best tight ends in the league.




    3. 49ers (10-2) (3) – Alex Smith has proven that if you sell
    out against the run, he’s a halfway-decent quarterback. I think that’s a
    compliment.




    4. Patriots (9-3) (4) – Most of it came in garbage time, but
    you should never be happy when your defense allows Dan Orlovsky to throw for 353
    yards.




    5. Ravens (9-3) (5) – It’s a good thing rookie Torrey Smith
    stepped up because Lee Evans (three catches in five games) has been a complete
    non-factor in Baltimore.




    6. Steelers (9-3) (6) – Pittsburgh must have a deal with the
    NFL that they will play on Thursday night, but only if it’s against a terrible
    team. They play the 4-8 Browns on Thursday and here’s who they have played the
    past five years: 2010 – Panthers (2-14), 2009 – Browns (5-11), 2008 – Bengals
    (4-11-1), 2007 – Rams (3-13) and 2006 – Browns (4-12). Their only loss came to
    Cleveland in 2009.




    7. Texans (9-3) (7) – Who would have bet Houston’s
    quarterback depth chart would have looked like this: Tyler Yates, Jake Delhomme,
    Jeff Garcia in Week 14.




    8. Cowboys (7-5) (8) – Laurent Robinson (seven touchdowns)
    has been a savior for Tony Romo with Miles Austin reinjuring his hamstring. But
    Austin is expected back for the showdown with the Giants on Sunday night.




    9. Broncos (7-5) (18) – Further proof that God is on Tim
    Tebow’s side: Christian Ponder throwing an interception that set up Denver’s
    winning score against Minnesota.




    10. Jets (7-5) (14) – Winning late in games, late in the
    year has become a staple for Rex Ryan’s teams.




    11. Titans (7-5) (17) – After costing them earlier in the
    season, Chris Johnson’s emergence is keeping Tennessee in the playoff race.




    12. Lions (7-5) (9) – With trips to Oakland and Green Bay
    left on the schedule, Detroit faces a must-win against the Vikings without
    Ndamukong Suh.




    13. Falcons (7-5) (10) – If they miss the playoffs they will
    look back at the loss in Houston to a third-string quarterback with disgust.




    14. Giants (6-6) (15) – The “New York Moral Victories”
    seemed pretty pleased after losing a tight one to the unbeaten Packers.




    15. Bengals (7-5) (11) – Have struggled against top-level
    competition with their best win coming at Tennessee.




    16. Bears (7-5) (12) – What’s next, their star receiver gets
    hurt? Oh wait, they don’t have one.




    17. Raiders (7-5) (13) – Carson Palmer trade means Oakland
    can’t lose division to Tim Tebow, at least not without looking really foolish.




    18. Seahawks (5-7) (22) – Safety Earl Thomas is one of the
    better young players in the game that you never hear about.




    19. Chargers (5-7) (19) – If anyone can have a six-game
    losing streak and still make the playoffs, it’s San Diego.




    20. Dolphins (4-8) (23) – Could Miami’s resurgence actually
    save Tony Sparano’s job?




    21. Eagles (4-8) (20) – What was worse: DeSean Jackson
    dogging it in the loss to the Seahawks or Andy Reid’s attempt to blame the NFL
    Network for portraying it badly?




    22. Panthers (4-8) (25) – At 32-years-old, Steve Smith is
    second to Wes Welker in receiving yards.




    23. Cardinals (5-7) (26) – One team that could gain momentum
    for next year by finishing the season strong, especially for Kevin Kolb.




    24. Chiefs (5-7) (27) – Kyle Orton injured his thumb on his
    first play in a Kansas City uniform. Maybe they should have avoided a
    slow-developing flea-flicker.




    25. Buccaneers (4-8) (16) – Josh Freeman has taken a step
    back this year, but is still a huge improvement over Josh Johnson.




    26. Bills (5-7) (21) – C.J. Spiller was impressive in his
    first start since Fred Jackson went down for the season, but Buffalo still lost
    its fifth straight.




    27. Redskins (4-8) (24) – Never thought a Mike Shanahan team
    would be 31st in the league in rushing offense.




    28. Vikings (2-10) (28) – Why does Minnesota seem inclined
    to rush back Adrian Peterson for meaningless games?




    29. Rams (2-10) (29) – It would have been a surprise had
    they not been shut out (26-0) by San Francisco.




    30. Browns (4-8) (30) – So, it wasn’t all Eric Mangini’s
    fault.




    31. Jaguars (3-9) (31) — Even a stingy defense has suffered
    too many injuries to remain competitive.




    32. Colts (0-12) (32) — I doubt Archie Manning would
    publicly say Peyton and Andrew Luck “wouldn’t be great together,” unless his
    injured son also feels that way."




    **

    PLAYOFFS SURE THING FOR GIANTS' ROLLE

    Excerpt: "Did Antrel Rolle yesterday
    guarantee a victory this Sunday night against the Cowboys?



    Of course he didn’t, but he stated in no uncertain terms the Giants, 6-6 and
    riding a four-game losing streak, will make the playoffs. For that to become
    reality, the Giants almost definitely have to beat the Cowboys this weekend, so
    in some way Rolle’s post-season pledge can be seen as a promise that the Cowboys
    are going down.




    “You ask will we make the playoffs?’’ Rolle said yesterday on his weekly WFAN
    radio spot. “Without a doubt. We will be in that postseason. And we all know
    once you get in that post season, that record is 0-0, let’s go to
    work.’’

    Even though they haven’t won in exactly a month, the Giants have full control
    of their playoff fate.



    “I like being able to dictate the outcome of how our season’s going to end or
    how it’s going to continue to go into the postseason,’’ Rolle said. “We have
    total control, we are fully aware of that. If we go out there and we play with
    the intensity and emotion and passion we had this last Sunday, man, those teams
    are in trouble.’’ Read more...

    COUGHLIN DESERVES ANOTHER YEAR

    Excerpt: "The Giants finished 10-6 last year but did not make the playoffs, becoming
    the first team since 1991 to win 10 games in the NFC and not qualify for the
    post-season. Co-owner John Mara, standing in the visitors’ locker room at FedEx Field after the Giants beat the
    Redskins but lost the chance to play the following week, stated what already
    seemed obvious: Tom Coughlin would return.



    “I believe in the guy. I believe in stability,’’ Mara said at the time. “You
    can’t build anything if you’re constantly making changes and firing
    people.’’




    The Giants this year are 6-6, can finish 9-7 and not only make it into the
    playoffs but actually win the NFC East and claim the home-game playoff prize
    awarded to division champions. Win 10, kept out one year, win nine, get in the
    next.

    What would be the fallout if the Giants, starting Sunday night at Cowboys
    Stadium, do what is required of them? What if they win the division, then lose a
    home playoff game to a wild-card team with a better record? Is this viewed as a
    team on the rise, in decline or in neutral?



    It can all be very subjective and at times going with a feel and your gut is
    the way to go. There is no reason to believe Mara and general manager Jerry
    Reese spend time walking the halls wondering if they have the right man running
    the football show. The office walls don’t need to be transparent to see what
    Coughlin is, what he does and how he operates. He’s an old man (65) in a younger
    man’s job. He has grandchildren older than most of his players’ kids. He can’t
    go on forever, but regardless of what transpires in the season’s final month, he
    should not be going anywhere after this season except right back to work.




    The Giants were almost unanimously picked to finish second or third in the
    NFC East, to have a record of 9-7 or 8-8 at best, to miss out on the playoffs
    for a third straight year. They did not exactly re-load in the off-season. They
    have been subjected to a numbing and relentless string of injuries. They have
    overcome what looked to be glaring losses at receiver and tight end because
    Victor Cruz has been a revelation and
    Jake Ballard
    has developed (thank you, once again, tight ends coach Mike
    Pope) into a mainstay. Their first- second- and third-round draft picks, for a
    variety of reasons (mostly medical), have thus far given them nothing. They have
    struggled, not unexpectedly, at linebacker and as a byproduct, in the defensive
    backfield, which is the most suspect and vulnerable segment of this team.




    There is no trace of indecision or wavering from up top. Coughlin is a rock.
    Of course he is accountable and previous late-season slides and the current
    four-game losing streak is no way to conduct a playoff push. The dramatic
    close-call with the Packers should breathe life into everyone, but like it or
    not, the Cowboys stack up fairly closely with the Giants and beating them in
    their own place is an even-money deal.

    There is reason to make a regime change when a franchise’s most valued asset
    is not producing as needed or expected. Eli Manning is having his finest season,
    playing at a heightened level and anyone wanting to usher Coughlin (and, by
    extension, Kevin Gilbride) out the door must consider this: What’s best for Eli?
    He is thriving under this tutorship and Mara is too smart to remove his star
    quarterback’s two greatest advocates unless everything is falling apart around
    him. Those who might be clamoring for Bill Cowher? Compare what Coughlin does
    with quarterbacks compared with Cowher’s track record. It’s not even
    close.

    This weekend is going to be intense, dramatic (the 2011 Giants know no other
    way) and potentially enthralling or crushing.



    If the ball rolls right and the Giants win, does Coughlin return? If it rolls
    left and they lose, has Coughlin lost the team and goes? The record and the
    results tell much but not everything. Change is inevitable but, in this case,
    not yet. Coughlin should stay because he’s still the best man for the job,
    playoffs or not." Read more...

    AFTER FURTHER REVIEW: GIANTS CAN'T DEPEND ON SUPER DEFENSE THIS TIME

    Excerpt: "The comparisons were too easy to avoid.



    Just like in 2007 against the Patriots, the Giants on Sunday went up against
    an undefeated Packers team at home and lost 38-35. It’s impossible to say
    whether or not the Giants can make a run like they did four seasons ago based on
    the confidence gained from going toe-to-toe with the best team in football. I
    thought their win this season in New England would be the impetus for such a
    run
    , but that was a month ago and the Giants haven't won since.




    But one thing I do know is that these Giants cannot win the same way the
    Super Bowl champs did. They cannot harass Tony Romo, Brett Favre and Tom Brady
    in consecutive weeks the way they did in the playoffs in 2007-08. The injuries
    that started in the preseason and have continued into the regular season turned
    a decent defense into a vulnerable one. The Giants were pleased with the way
    they played against Aaron Rodgers, yet the Packers quarterback threw for 369
    yards and four touchdowns, and faced no resistance on the final drive that set
    up the game-winning field goal.




    “I think we got him rattled throughout this game and I’m sure he would say
    the same thing,” Giants safety Antrel Rolle said.




    The performance came a week after the Giants’ 29th-ranked pass defense gave
    up 363 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-24 loss to Drew Brees and the Saints.
    If the Giants make it to the playoffs, the road to the Super Bowl likely will go
    through New Orleans and almost certainly through Green Bay. For the Giants to
    get there and be a dangerous team, it all rides on Eli Manning’s right arm.




    Even in that despicable defeat in New Orleans, Manning was the lone bright
    spot, throwing for 406 yards and two touchdowns. Manning made clutch plays in
    that 2007 playoff run that made him Super Bowl MVP, but now the Giants will need
    clutch plays and consistency. Manning has joined the elite quarterback company
    he said he was part of in the preseason. He has helped make Victor Cruz a
    dangerous receiver and Jake Ballard a competent tight end. The Giants’
    most-dangerous playmaker is Hakeem Nicks and he appears to be healthy enough to
    fill that role for now.




    Before the Giants can worry about rematches against the Saints and Packers,
    they first have to reel off four straight wins, starting in Dallas on Sunday
    night, to win the NFC East. The Giants claim to now possess the confidence to do
    that, but they need Manning to carry them there.




    *




    Though it would take four straight wins for the Giants to win the NFC East,
    the same cannot be said about the wild-card spot.




    The rest of the contenders have fallen apart in recent weeks with the 7-5
    Bears losing two straight games and depending on their backup quarterback and
    running back the rest of the way. The Lions are 2-5 since a 5-0 start. The
    Falcons had a chance to take a stranglehold on the No. 5 seed, but lost to the
    Texans and third-string quarterback Tyler Yates.




    All three are a game up on the Giants, but are sputtering to the finish line." Read more...


    COWBOYS EXPECT WR AUSTIN BACK TO FACE GIANTS

    "The Cowboys anticipate having WR Miles Austin back on the field Sunday night
    for their crucial NFC East showdown with the Giants.



    Austin has missed the past four games with a right hamstring strain, but
    owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that Austin will be a “full go” this week, according to the Dallas Morning News.




    Austin missed two games earlier this season because of a similar injury.
    Austin’s replacement, Laurent Robinson, hurt his shoulder in Sunday’s loss to
    the Cardinals but won’t miss the game against the Giants."

    GIANTS' SAFETY PHILLIPS GETS TESTS ON INJURED KNEE

    Excerpt: "Kenny Phillips yesterday was sent for tests on his left knee, to which he
    suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament during Sunday’s 38-35 loss to the
    Packers. The Giants are hoping that is the full extent of the injury and that
    Phillips, their starting strong safety, can salvage a game or two this
    season.



    The injury is to the same knee on which Phillips had microfracture surgery
    during the 2009 season, causing him to miss the final 14 games.




    “It’s definitely going to affect us, he’s a huge asset to our defense and he
    plays a major role on our defense,’’ said Antrel Rolle, the starting free
    safety.

    The replacement for Phillips figures to be Tyler Sash, a rookie from Iowa who
    is a special-teams fixture. Sash has played sparingly on defense in his first
    season.



    “If he has to step in I feel very confident,’’ Rolle said. “We’ll definitely
    get with him and make sure he understands all the ins and outs of the defense.
    He’s a player, he’s very relentless, he plays hard, he plays fast. He plays with
    a lot of fire and that’s exactly what we need back there.’’





    * Coach Tom Coughlin was eager to praise the play of
    Kevin Boothe, who with barely an hour’s notice prior to kickoff
    against the Packers moved in to start at center in place of David
    Baas
    , and rookie Mitch Petrus, who made his first NFL
    start at left guard.




    Baas is being evaluated for headaches.




    Eli Manning was also grateful Petrus held up in his first
    real NFL action.




    “Obviously that’s a big adjustment, the night before and that day he’s coming
    into the stadium and he probably might not even dress and all of a sudden you’re
    starting at left guard,’’ Manning said. “Good luck. He played well, had good
    poise, there’s always some things you can fix up but he competed and was
    physical and that’s what you like to see.’’ Read more...

    THE BERGEN RECORD

    A LOOK AHEAD TO THE COWBOYS

    "
    Giants (6-6) at Cowboys (7-5)




    At Cowboys




    Stadium




    Sunday, 8:20 p.m.




    TV: Ch. 4; Radio: WFAN-AM 660




    Early line: Cowboys by 3




    Despite four straight losses, the Giants have a chance to turn around their
    season and reclaim first place. They are a confident bunch given their latest
    second-half struggles, with Antrel Rolle repeating Tuesday they will make the
    playoffs and he looks forward to seeing the Packers again. But the Cowboys are
    just as desperate after giving away what appeared to be a victory last weekend
    in Arizona. They boast the best pass rusher in the NFL in DeMarcus Ware (15.0
    sacks) and Garfield native Miles Austin is set to return
    from a hamstring injury that cost him the past four games. He again will be
    paired with WR Dez Bryant (46 catches, 706 yards, 7 TDs) in the league’s seventh
    best offense (385.6 yards per game) and passing game (270.8). But Jason Witten
    (61 catches, 760 yards) is the biggest threat given the Giants’ struggles
    covering tight ends.





    On the hot seat




    (Well, besides Tom Coughlin) Offensive line: The front five played maybe its
    best game of the season despite losing LT Will Beatty and backup Stacy Andrews
    for the rest of the season and C David Baas (headaches) for at least Sunday’s
    game all within a matter of days. The line opened holes so the Giants could rush
    for 100 yards for the first time since their Nov. 6 victory over the Patriots —
    not surprisingly, their last win — and Eli Manning was sacked just once. But
    they face a bigger threat in the Cowboys, who are tied for second in sacks
    (35).





    Game plan




    The Giants’ pass rush will need to step up to slow QB Tony Romo, who they
    knocked out of their game last October when Michael Boley left him with a broken
    collarbone. The secondary — likely without S Kenny Phillips (sprained MCL) —
    must respond after getting torched by Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. The
    revitalized running game needs to again help Manning, who continues to have a
    Pro Bowl-caliber season, and the line must protect him."




    — Jeff Roberts

    NY TIMES

    FORECASTING PLAYOFF CHANCES FOR GIANTS AND JETS

    "According to the playoff race simulations at NFL-Forecast.com, the Giants have
    a 36.3 chance of making the playoffs, and the Jets a 29.6 percent chance.



    (No, Antrel, your
    odds are not 100 percent
    .)




    The Giants’ chances rest almost solely — 34.9 percent — on overtaking Dallas
    and winning the N.F.C. East. Dallas is given a 68.5 percent chance of making the
    playoffs and a 63.9 percent chance of winning the division. Those numbers will
    change significantly if the Giants win at Dallas on Sunday night.




    If the Jets qualify for the playoffs, they will almost surely receive the
    sixth and final seed in the A.F.C. They are given only a 1.2 percent chance of
    finishing higher. The Jets’ chances are thought to be better than those of the
    Titans (22.3 percent) but lower than those of the Bengals (33.2), the Raiders
    (50.6) and the Broncos (60.5).




    How much are these numbers worth? On Dec. 10, 2009, the Fifth Down had this
    headline: “Giants Given 67.7 Percent Chance to Make Playoffs, and the Jets 8.2
    Percent.”




    The Giants had just beaten the Cowboys and were 7-5; they then lost three of
    their last four and missed the playoffs. The Jets were considered carrion but
    won three out four, got a lot of help (Curtis
    Painter = honorary Jet
    ) and rode the momentum to the A.F.C. title game. This
    year, the added dimension is that the Jets could knock out the Giants, and vice
    versa, on Dec. 24.




    If you’re a Jets fans, would it be more painful to be knocked out by the
    Giants or by the Dolphins? If you’re a Giants fan, would it be more painful to
    be bumped out by the Jets or the Cowboys?




    Extra point What does Joe Namath have to do with any of
    this? Well, he was once pretty
    good at predicting things.
    On Sunday, the Fifth Down wondered
    whether booing was poor strategy by fans.
    Namath says booing is fine. Just
    don’t do it before the game."

    GIANTS 101

    GIANTS SIGN TONY UGOH, 11 ON INJURY REPORT, AND MORE FROM AFTERNOON TEA WITH TOM COUGHLIN

    "
    It's a very exciting time, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin says.


    With four games remaining, a divisional rival up ahead and first place in the
    NFC East on the line, "exciting time" does really seem to sum it up.




    Chipper as always, Coughlin hit the podium today to answer the onslaught of
    media questions regarding everything Big Blue. And as he always does, Coughlin
    managed a few zingers, and a few chuckles, especially when asked what it would
    be like to play for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry
    Jones
    .





    "I'm very, very thankful for the owners I have," Coughlin said, referring to
    the Mara and Tisch families.




    Funny, but not so funny at the same time was his reply to the laundry list of
    injury questions.





    "My medical degree is right around the corner," Coughlin
    half-joked.




    Speaking of injuries, 11 Giants appeared on the pre-practice injury report.
    Of those players, it seemed like Mario
    Manningham
    , Osi Umenyiora, Dave Tollefson, David Baas are unlikely to
    practice today. Brandon Jacobs and Kenny
    Phillips
    are expected to be very limited, with Mannigham "hopefully" doing
    some work tomorrow. Umenyiora, on the other hand, seems unlikely this week.




    The news was also bad for center David Baas, who apparently has a more
    concerning issue than just some headaches.





    "It's much more serious than just a headache," Coughlin said, who added more
    tests were being done today.




    The coach also revealed that rookie cornerback Prince
    Amukamara
    has been dealing with lingering back problems since he returned to
    the football
    field after missing considerable time with a broken foot.




    Amidst all the bad news, Coughlin did take time to praise both Chase
    Blackburn and Victor Cruz, saying Blackburn "came in and it's like he never
    left," while claiming Cruz has improved faster than any free agent signing he's
    ever seen in his history of coaching. Very powerful and encouraging words for
    both players.




    Finally, the Giants made several roster moves today, placing offensive
    lineman Stacy
    Andrews
    (blood clots) on Injured Reserve and signing former 2007
    second-round pick (Colts) Tony Ugoh
    to take his place. Additionally, only a day after they re-signed him to the
    practice squad, the team terminated the contract of quarterback Ryan Perrilloux
    and re-signed offensive lineman Selvish Capers to the practice squad.




    In former-Giant news, the Houston Texans worked out punter Matt Dodge, while
    the Philadelphia Eagles worked out linebacker Kenny Ingram."



    **

    POOR ELI MANNING: NFL REGULAR SEASON WEEK 13

    Excerpt: "
    Poor Eli
    Manning
    ” is a compilation of quotes by both the media and fans about New York
    Giants quarterback and Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli
    Manning
    .



    Despite his success, negativity and doubt have followed Peyton’s younger
    brother since the moment he was traded from the San Diego Chargers to the New York
    Giants on draft day of 2004. Regardless of what he does or how well he performs
    – even in a league that lives and dies by the motto, “What have you done for me
    lately?” – he is questioned and criticized.



    In Sunday's near miss against the Green Bay Packers, Eli
    Manning
    shook off a rough start and nearly out-gunned Aaron Rodgers. He
    completed 23 of his 40 passes (scattered drops) for 347 yards and three
    touchdowns. He did throw a pick six, which was the initial base of much early
    criticism. However, after leading Big Blue down the field in the final minutes
    of the game for a touchdown and a game-tying two-point conversion, the critics
    were silenced…briefly.




    Rodgers promptly responded, eating up the newly signed Will Blackmon, and
    Green Bay ultimately walked away with a 38-35 victory.




    Again, no win means somehow, some way Eli
    Manning
    was at fault. Alas, his critics were again loud and boisterous,
    happy as ever that his team failed to secure him another victory." Read more...

    LIKE DEJA VU, ROLLE SAYS "NO DOUBT" GIANTS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS

    Excerpt: "Last around this very same time, New York Giants safety Antrel
    Rolle
    made a proclamation that Big Blue would, indeed, make the NFC
    playoffs. As we well know by now,
    they did not.

    That has not stopped Rolle from channeling his 2010 self, however. During his
    weekly WFAN spot, Rolle once again said there's "no doubt" the Giants will make the playoffs.



    “If we go out there and we play with the intensity and emotion and passion we
    had this last Sunday, man,” he said, “those teams (left on the schedule) are in
    trouble.”




    To play Devil's Advocate for a moment, if they play with the same "intensity"
    and "passion" that they did in week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles, those
    teams are in for some smooth sailing." Read more...

    SHAWN ANDREWS THANKS NY GIANTS FOR SAVING BROTHER STACY'S LIFE

    "
    As we shockingly reported on Sunday morning, New York Giants offensive lineman Stacy
    Andrews
    was hospitalized with pulmonary embolisms in both lungs. The news
    seems to have come out of thin air, and any non-Doctor can tell you how serious
    a situation that truly is.


    Head coach Tom Coughlin revealed yesterday that Andrews is, as you would
    expect, out for the year. The good news however, was that his Brother and former
    Giant, Shawn
    Andrews
    , told Giants 101 his Brother was "making progress" and proceeded to
    thank the fans for their support of his family.




    Today, Shawn once again took to Twitter, thanking the New York Giants organization for saving his Brother's
    life.





    "I want to thank the trainer(s) from the Giants organization involved in
    getting my Brother to the hospital on Saturday and basically saving his life,"
    Andrews tweeted. "[It] speaks volumes about the organization. [I'm] glad to have
    been a part of it for the brief time I was. [It had a] huge impact on my life as
    well."




    Andrews continued…





    "I'm sure the way my Brother described the symptoms he had on Saturday, some
    teams would have said 'let's put some ice on it.' Not the Giants," he added.
    "Dear, New York
    Giants. Thank you for virtually saving my Brother's life!"




    As we've stated before and we will state again, the Andrews Brothers are
    tremendous players and tremendous men. Shawn has become a favorite of ours here
    at Giants 101, and still chats with us despite no longer being part of the team.
    Moreover, life is far more important than football, so we send our continued support and prayers
    out to the Andrews family."


    BIG BLUE VIEW

    NY GIANTS NEWS AND NOTES; FOURTH QUARTER EDITION

    Excerpt: "Good morning fellow Giants fans. It's
    not the fourth quarter of a game, but rather it's the fourth quarter of the
    season, and it's all right in front of our team as we sit here on hump day of
    the first Dallas week. My birthday is tomorrow, and usually the Giants are
    facing the Eagles this week or around this week of the season, but this time the
    NFL schedule makers did something different that worked out nicely--put Dallas
    and Big Blue, the two NFC East front runners, against each other two of the last
    four games. That
    also gives the Giants a shot to win the division outright,
    something
    they could have done last year but squandered. So just like many of us barely
    squeaked into our fantasy playoffs or still have a shot playing in Week 14,
    the
    Giants still have a shot at playing in Week 18
    . And we couldn't ask for
    more as we sit here today. So bring on the 'Boys.


    I'm sure by now you've all seen the still
    photo of Jake Ballard's knee being in bounds
    on Tom Coughlin's first
    challenge Sunday. And I think we all agree some of the officiating was horribly
    one-sided and slanted to the visiting team. But it's a horrible feeling knowing
    that this play was reviewed with top technology and not reversed. Something's
    afoot at the Circle K, dude (bonus points to whoever gets that).




    Just how much of a spark
    does Ahmad Bradshaw provide
    ? Ralph Vacchiano explores that in
    Wednesday's Daily News,
    and also talks about Victor Cruz
    passing Amani Toomer's
    Big Blue record for receiving yards." Read more...

    INSIDE FOOTBALL


    http://www.insidefootball.com/



    GIANTS GAB





    YARDBARKER



    http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/teams/new_york_giants/56

    SPORTING NEWS

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/stories

    NYG REPORTER


    http://nygreporter.com/


    NFL.COM

    http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG


    YAHOOSPORTS

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl

    FOX SPORTS

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/team/new-york-giants/67056

    NBCSPORTS

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/3032875/ns/sports-nfl

    CBSSPORTS

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/p...ew-york-giants

    SI.COM



    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/foo...ts/?eref=sinav



    ESPN.COM

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyg/new-york-giants

    FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS


    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/

    PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY

    http://www.profootballweekly.com/team/giants/

    PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

    http://www.profootballfocus.com/

    MISCELLANEOUS

    FORMER NFL PLAYERS SAY THEY DIDN'T KNOW TORADOL HID CONCUSSIONS

    ANDY REID: IT "TAKES TIME" TO WIN WITH YOUNG TEAM

    COWBOYS' GARRETT CONTINUES FATEFUL MOVES




    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1






    # 80

  2. #2

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 - 10:55 A.M.

    thanks Roanoke!

  3. #3
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,544

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 - 10:55 A.M.

    Thanks RF!

  4. #4

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011 - 10:55 A.M.

    Thanks Roa !!

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