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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Veteran Justin Tuck Warns 6 - 2 Giants Need To Keep Up The Winning In The Season's Second Half
Excerpt: "In his eighth season with the Giants, and third as the captain of the defense, Justin Tuck has learned perspective.
So even though the Giants left Cowboys Stadium on Sunday night with a thrilling 29-24 victory over their division rival, securing a 6-2 record and a 2½-game lead in the NFC East, Tuck was the team’s reality check.
“What I am worried about is what we have always done,” the veteran defensive end said in the visitors’ locker room. “We’ve always been 6-2 at the break or 5-2 at the break. We’ve got to figure out a way to make sure we keep this thing going.”
Tuck is right: The Giants have a 6-2 mark for the sixth time in coach Tom Coughlin’s nine seasons as the team’s head coach, and the third year in a row. And as Giants fans know well, the second half of the regular season is often where the team has hit a speed bump.
Coughlin’s Giants teams have gone 53-19 in the first half of the season, and 27-37 in the second half. They’ve never posted a 6-2 record or better in the second half." Read more...
Giants Make Schedule Adjustments With Hurricane Sandy Looming
Excerpt: "Hurricane Sandy has forced Tom Coughlin to make some changes to the team's schedule this week.
Coaches went home early today before the storm hits its peak and the team is now treating this week as if they were coming off a Monday night game.
"The coaches can take their laptops and go home to their families and see that their families are safe and their children are rest assured that dad's at home," Coughlin said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon." Read more..
Victor Cruz says "Some Progress" On Contract Talks With Giants
Excerpt: "Last week, Victor Cruz put a timetable on working out a new contract with the Giants, saying he'd like to get it done midway through the season or at least by season's end.
According to the third-year receiver, the sides are making progress.
"I was excited to hear this weekend that contract talks are moving in the right direction," Cruz told ESPN's Josina Anderson. "I heard there was some progress on the structure."
Cruz set a new Giants franchise record with 1,536 receiving yards in 2011, and at the halfway point of this season has 52 catches for 650 yards and seven touchdowns. He is making $540,000 this season and is set to become a restricted free agent this spring." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Giants - Steelers Game Still On For Sunday
Excerpt: "MetLife Stadium was apparently undamaged by Hurricane Sandy, and the Giants’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers scheduled for the Meadowlands on Sunday is currently still on.
That could change, of course, due to the widespread destruction and flooding in the area, but as of now the two teams will kickoff as scheduled at 4 p.m. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said via email that the league will “stay in close touch with public authorities” just in case." Read more...
Tuck Knows Giants Have Had Stormy Finishes
Excerpt: "The Giants have been here before. In fact they've been here in almost every season of the om CoughlnEra. They've been 6-2 or better seven times in his nine seasons and never worse than 5-3 at the mid-point.Myers: This Year Could Be The Real Manning Bowl
It's what happens next that's usually a cause for concern.
"What I'm worried about is what we've always done," said Justin Tuck, just moments after the defending champs wrapped up another 6-2 first half with a 29-24 win in Dallas. "We've always been 6-2 at the break or 5-3 at the break. "We've got to find ways to make sure we keep this thing going."
That's why when Coughlin was asked about the Giants' sterling first half, his first response was "It's not enough."
And remembering that is the challenge facing the NFC East leaders as they prepare for a dangerous second half slate that starts with a home game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3).
The Giants have been tremendous in the first halves of seasons in nine years under Coughlin, with a blistering record of 53-19 (.736).
But the second halves have been an almost completely opposite story, with a dismal record in Coughlin's eight previous seasons of 27-37 (.422). Yes, they won two Super Bowls along the way, but they made their road perilous by going 4-4 in the second half of 2007 and 3-5 in the second half last year.
Don't bother asking the Giants why it happens. They've been asked for years and they admit they just don't know. All they know is it'll make their title defense much more difficult if the second-half collapse happens again." Read more...
Excerpt: "Imagine this: Eli Manning vs. Peyton Manning, in an all-Manning Super Bowl XLVII in their hometown of New Orleans on Feb. 3, accompanied by world record hype, lots of fans from New York and Denver and records for gumbo sales.
Halfway through the season, it's beginning to look like it actually could happen.
It's been years since a Manning Bowl matchup in the Super Bowl was a realistic possibility. Peyton, the big brother, won the Super Bowl with the Colts following the 2006 season; little brother Eli won it the following season. They were off by one year.They've never even been in a conference championship game in the same season. Eli won the Super Bowl again last season while Peyton missed the season following neck surgery.
There's a new twist this season: Peyton is wearing a new uniform.
After an expected slow start as he continued to build up his arm strength, Peyton is on fire for the Broncos, who despite being just 4-3, could soon emerge as the best team in the AFC.
They are the only team over .500 in the AFC West and should have no trouble winning the division. Peyton has 17 TDs and only four INTs - and three of those came in the first quarter of the second game of the season in Atlanta. He has four straight games with at least three touchdown passes. He's completed 75.4% of his passes during this red-hot run with just one interception." Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST.
After Sandy, NFL Preparing For Giants - Steelers Game
Excerpt: "The unprecedented weather that hit the area Monday could force the postponement of the Nets-Knicks opener on Thursday in Brooklyn because of public transportation concerns, but MetLife is more accessible by car and the hope is more public transportation should be restored by the weekend.
The Giants beat Sandy home from their win in Dallas with a late-night flight on Sunday.
" Read more...
Tom Coughlin, Giants In Familiar Territory With Record
Excerpt: "Here they are again, right back where they almost always are under coach Tom Coughlin, sitting at 6-2 at the midpoint of the season. The Giants, as usual, have positioned themselves for greatness while mindful that nothing is guaranteed and everything is possible.
“There’s nobody looking at this than anything other than what it is,’’ Coughlin said yesterday as the Giants returned home early yesterday morning ahead of Hurricane Sandy after disposing of the Cowboys 29-24. “We’re very happy to be 6-2. We have a long way to go, we have a lot of work to do to be the team we want to be.’’
The Giants sit atop the NFC East, holding a 2 1/2 -game lead on the Eagles and Cowboys — quite a cushion, considering they lost their first two division games. This is the third consecutive year and the sixth time in Coughlin’s nine seasons his team is 6-2 at the break. In the previous five 6-2 starts, the Giants went 4-4 or worse four times, including last season (3-5) and in 2007 (4-4). Of course, both those seasons ended in Super Bowl triumphs, making the second-half swoons far more palatable.
Last season, the Giants at 6-2 came out and lost their next four games. Coughlin has little patience for this topic." Read more...
Giants Cruising In Fast Lane On Super Hughway
Excerpt: "The Big Blue Super Bus is rolling merrily along on The Road to New Orleans. Tom Coughlin is in the front seat, and Eli Manning, of course, is driving.
Always potholes along the way, but the Big Blue Super Bus is built for a marathon ride. Manning doesn’t drive too fast or too slow, same speed all the time, and it helps that he knows the way to New Orleans — of course he does, it’s his hometown.
If he were to look in his rearview mirror, he would see Tony Romo in the distance, along with Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick. But Eli keeps his eyes on the prize ahead of him.
A shouting match unfolds between Coughlin and Ahmad Bradshaw, but it doesn’t last long, and no one thinks anything of it. Victor Cruz is trying to teach Chris Snee the salsa in the back, and it is too painful to watch. There’s a bit of commotion as Jason Pierre-Paul has Prince Amukamara upside down as he dunks him in a bucket of cold ice. Martellus Bennett is holding court, but no one is quite sure what he is talking about. Osi Umenyiora and general manager Jerry Reese mimic Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner in that old tastes great-less filling Miller Lite commercial. Chris Canty is Skyping with Bill Parcells. David Wilson paces back and forth in the aisle carrying a football high and tight in his right hand. Steve Weatherford captures all of it on his video recorder." Read more...
Giants Wonder How Cowboys Ran 3 Plays In Final Ten Seconds
Excerpt: "Funny business? Home-town cooking from the clock operator? Blatant cheating by the Cowboys? The Giants weren’t accusing anyone of anything but they sure were skeptical and more than a bit curious how the Cowboys could find the time to run three plays in the frantic last 10 seconds of Sunday’s wild 29-24 victory.Coughlin Not Sure If Rolle Has A Concussion
“I give them a lot of credit to be able to get three plays off in 10 seconds,’’ co-owner John Mara said dryly." Read more...
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin said on Monday that he does not know if safety Antrel Rolle suffered a concussion late in Sunday’s 29-24 victory over the Cowboys but indications are he may have been spared.SITE LINK
“Antrel could not come back in after hitting his head, taking a tumble and hitting his head on the ground,’’ Coughlin said.
Asked if Rolle had been diagnosed with a concussion, Coughlin said “I don’t know that, I’m not sure about that just yet. He was a little dizzy when he came off the field, last night on the plane he said he was fine, he didn’t seem to have any issues, he had no headaches. I’m sure he’ll still have to go through the protocol. Hopefully he’ll be okay.’’
The medical reports are not as thorough as they would be in a normal week, as the Giants on Monday had no access to any MRIs, given that Hurricane Sandy shut everything down outside their facility. The Giants team charter landed in Newark without incident about 1:15 Monday morning. “For the most part it was a good plane ride,’’ safety Stevie Brown said. “It wasn’t awful, it got bad at a few points but my definition of bad could be a little bit more than others, I don’t really like flying like that so when the plane starts shaking I get a little uneasy.’’ Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Coach Coughlin On State Of The Giants
"Coach Coughlin met with the media on Monday to recap the win over the Cowboys
A: We want to assure everyone that our thoughts are with them in the northeast about being safe and making sure everyone’s family is safe during this time of uncertainty. None of us really know what to expect, so we’re all hanging in there, but our thoughts, good thoughts for everyone that’s in the path of this thing.
Q: How are things up there for you guys right now?
A: It’s gusty, you can tell. It’s raining some, but it really isn’t prohibitive at this point in time.
Q: Business as usual for you guys today?
A: We’ve been business per usual since we landed last night, in terms of we got a little bit of rest and we got the film graded and got started on our game plan with the coaches and that sort of thing. The players, we felt it was in the best interest of the safety and security of our players, that they remain home, that they stay with their families, that they make sure that their wives and children are fine during this time. There’s so much uncertainty. We did have our normal medical meeting, our training room responsibilities, they all met this morning. However, there is no access to anything outside of our building, so we really don’t know much about it. There’s been no MRI’s or anything of that nature. I did adjust the schedule in that what we’re going to do is; we’re pretty good at the mid-stream adjustment thing. I was thinking in terms of all of our football related people that are here in the building today. Supposedly the window of safety is up until four, or late afternoon, early evening. What we’ve asked our coaches to do is we adjusted the schedule in terms of how we’ll put the game plan together, and we’ll push things back Wednesday morning and move our training room a little bit deeper into the morning and go ahead and treat this as if it were a Monday night game in terms of our day getting started on Wednesday. We’ve made adjustments, the coaches can take their laptops and go home to their families and make sure their families are safe and their children, rest assured, Dad is at home. If there is any kind of wind damage or any kind of water damage or any loss of power, the wives would be a little bit more secure. In order to do that, I made the necessary adjustments and hopefully the guys will be able to get back in here tomorrow late morning and we’ll push everything to tomorrow night. The winds are predicted to subside early Tuesday afternoon. I think at that point in time, the guys will be able to travel. All of that is just trying to do the smart thing, that’s all.
Q: Injury report?
A: Well, I can’t tell you that. I don’t know much about that. I know we have some guys with some nicks, there’s no doubt. We’re going to have some issues right away. We don’t know much…we know Chase (Blackburn) left the game with a hamstring. Bear (Pascoe) left the game with an ankle sprain. Antrel (Rolle) could not come back in after hitting his head, taking a tumble and hitting his head on the ground. We’re going to have to wait and see on that stuff.
Q: Did Antrel have a concussion?
A: I don’t know, we’re not sure about that just yet. He knows that he was a little dizzy when he came off the field. I saw him on the plane and he said he was fine, he didn’t seem to have any issues, and he had no headache. Hopefully he can make…. I’m sure he’ll still have to go through the protocol, but hopefully he’ll be ok.
Q: You’re 6-2 and you have a 2.5 game lead in the division, how do you keep your foot on the pedal?
A: Not enough. The way we keep our foot on the pedal, if you look at last night, probably the best thing we were able to do was team concept. We have some grit, we have some drive, we have some determination, we do have some mental toughness, we have been in many big games, many times where things haven’t gone our way on the road, and yet, we were able to hang in there. We got the big lead. To look at just the football side of it, the plus-4 in turnovers was huge. A lot of that happened right away in the game. Sure, we would like to have touchdowns instead of field goals and then perhaps in the long run, it wouldn’t have been as close as it was taking advantage of that, but we did. That’s the Achilles heel for us right now. Punching the ball in the end zone when we do get into the green zone. We haven’t done a very good job of that. We did get a nice turnover with our special teams outfit on our punt coverage. Our punter was a 46.5 net, which is outstanding. We were five for five in field goals. Those things were all positive. On defense, we had the four sacks and four interceptions and the two fumble recoveries. We did do a good job defending the run. Those were all good. We didn’t do a good job on third down. We gave up a ton of pass yardage. We gave up touchdowns in the red zone. All the things we talk about trying to stop. We were able to rise up at the end of the game. (We) did an outstanding job of keeping the ball out of the end zone, even the play to (Dez) Bryant late in the game didn’t have to happen. It was initially a double move and he got behind us and Michael Coe was right there to make a play on the ball. We just had trouble making a play on the ball, but he was definitely out of bounds. Offensively, what we did do is we had a little semblance of the run game late in the game. In the fourth quarter and the second half, we did have some run game. We didn’t rush for over 100 yards, but what we did have missing was obviously the big play and execution in the pass game. It wasn’t there. They did a nice job. They played a lot of people in coverage. They kept an umbrella, if you will, over the top of us. We should’ve had more consistency with which we play the game from an offensive standpoint. We didn’t. The start helped us in many ways. Our first drive culminated in a field goal, which was a good thing, but based on that, we should’ve had some opportunities to score some touchdowns and we didn’t. You look at the incredible plays in the game, the JPP interception and score with the interception was just an outstanding football play. We got pretty good pressure on the quarterback the majority of the day with our front. We did create some hurried throws with the pressure on defense. We were pretty solid with the exception of the one kickoff return we gave up with our special teams outfit, although we didn’t get much from our kickoff return and punt return, which we really thought we could do something with that to give ourselves a spark. There was some good, there was some bad. We hung together; we hung in there. Momentum changed, as you know in the second quarter and we still hung in there. We came back with the kickoff, thought we were going to stop them, they drove the length of the field and scored. They actually took the lead and scored, but we came back. The one turnover in the running game where we had an outstanding play by Keith Rivers just knocking the offensive people back into the face of the runner. I couldn’t really even see it on film, but the ball did come out and the outstanding play of Stevie Brown again, with two interceptions and a fumble recovery, that being the fumble recovery right there where he put a lump in my throat when he tried to pick it up and didn’t, but was able to get back on it and cover it. You have to get the ball for us right there. You can’t take a chance if it’s going to be close. He’s an aggressive guy and it worked out for him, but get the ball back for us if it’s close, just get it covered up. That field goal, it was obvious there that they needed a touchdown, and not just a field goal. The other team’s plays, we were keeping them out of the end zone…they went incomplete, incomplete and then threw what amounted to the interception there. We played it by the book and used up all of their timeouts. We had a very good pressure punt by Steve Weatherford, was as good as we’ve had around here, where he drove the ball 44 yards, not out of bounds. When Bryant touched the ball there was no potential for a return. Then, they started their drive on the 30-yard line. Then there’s unmentioned yesterday, the longest 10 seconds I’ve ever been around. They got three plays in 10 seconds. Two of which went to the end zone. Seems like a little much to me. We’ll have to see if we can get some kind of response from the league on that.
Q: If you tried to, could you manage to execute three plays in 10 seconds?
A: I don’t think so. When there were seven seconds, I was telling the coaches this morning, when there are 10 seconds, and you’ve got the ball. We keep trying at it, and you’ve.- Excuse me, I meant seven seconds and you know that that’s happened to us. Then I rushed in there, taking a timeout, and then said, ‘You know what? We can’t take a chance on this, go ahead and kick the field goal' with seven. Based on that, the way in which that was projected last night, we could’ve had two plays.
Q: What do you think was the reason for that last night?
A: You were at the game. You saw it. I don’t have any answer for you, other than the fact that they had two plays in the end zone that are going to take more than four seconds apiece. I don’t have any other formula than that. You have to speculate on the rest of that.
RE: Jason Pierre-Paul’s interception and development:
A: That is his ability level. He was obviously, he rushed. The quarterback was trying to elude everyone to the side of the field where the formation’s strength was. He had the tight end on the out, breaking a route to the short side of the field, to his left. I think he wanted to go there. When he looked, there was coverage there. So, he thought he had the wide route to the back and he tried to just go back there with the illusion of not spending a lot of time looking over there. JPP was in the line of fire. Not only was he able to gather up, he caught it clean and ran it to the end zone. So, it was just an outstanding football play. One of the ones where you see, every now and then, you’ll see a football to the defensive lineman, grabbing it and running for a score. That happened to us here. You know that it was just a great play.
Q: How do you react when a guy like Stevie Brown, who has been waiting for an opportunity to contribute on defense? Going in and does what he’s done for you guys, how do you assess that? What does that say about him?
A: Well, the first thing I react to is by telling you that I’m the greatest cheerleader in the world. I mean, I look out there, who this guy is and where the ball is. I think it’s a great tribute to him. He has played very well and he has been where the ball is. That’s something that really has helped us. I mean, you’re looking at a team; we’re now plus-13 (in turnovers) after eight games. I would like to hope that this could continue, because it’s creating opportunities for us that are so difficult to get when it’s simply on your own. He’s been the guy who has been able to be on the spot and anticipate. He obviously has a very good knack for being wherever he is, if we’re anticipating where the ball is going and arriving there very close. The first interception was outstanding, where he was the centerfielder. He’s done a very good job, he’s being recognized by all of us, and has been a huge factor in our being able to win a few games in a row.
RE: On addressing the offense’s struggle to score touchdowns in the red zone:
A: We’ve addressed it forever. We work it the same way, every week. We study, we work hard, we think we have a nice play and we think we can run with things. You saw it yesterday, even after the interception. We kicked the field goal to go up by five. We thought we were in really good shape there. Having run it a couple of times, we had gotten it down in their territory. Then, the key third down came up and we didn’t convert. We didn’t convert third downs, yesterday. We were 20 percent on third down. That’s not good. We’ve got a lot of things to work on. I probably could have given you a few other things that have been bothersome to us that the guys will attack. We’ll study it, we’ll work at it, and we’ll pay the price. We’ll do what we have to do. We need to make some plays in that situation. It’s not like there’s any situation in football that doesn’t get addressed here on a weekly basis. Believe me, it gets addressed every week. It gets addressed in due diligence, in time allotment. Football is cumulative at the professional level. One week’s knowledge leaps forward into another week’s knowledge. It has to be that way. You just don’t get the number of snaps on a weekly basis. You have to be cumulative. That’s what we are. We’ll point that out. There won’t be any plays out. The players already know it. They know we weren’t efficient this week. They didn’t do the job that we needed to do. In order to continue, I keep talking about playing in harmony, all three phases have got to do their jobs. They’ve got to help each other out. That will be the objective. The players will have that. They’ll come up with that, before I even have to mention it.
Q: You’ve had a lot of 6-2 starts in your tenure as head coach. Just how critical of a juncture is that in the season to keep things going? Rather than going in the other direction?
A: It’s a huge plus to be where we are. We’ve battled back from looking at, from being at 1-2 in the division, to being 2-2 in the division. We know how difficult this league is, we know how difficult these games that we play and our divisional opponents play week-in and week-out. It’s not easy to win. It’s very difficult in this league to win and there is tremendous parity. It’s just a point that we’ve got to keep going here and we’ve got a very, very tough opponent coming in next week. It just gives you something to move on from.
Q: You want players to be mindful of 6-2 and not get into some of the problems that you’ve gotten into in some of the other seasons?
A: Here you go again with the problems that we’ve gotten into. We’re going to talk about the string of four games last year. We’re going to talk about the losses. I’m telling you like I told you before. Throughout the course of those games, we played some very, very difficult opponents. We lost by a couple of points here and a couple of points there, with the exception of one game. There’s nobody looking at this as anything other than what it is. We’re very happy to be 6-2. We have a long way to go. We have a lot of work to do to be the team that we want to be. While it’s nice to put that number up there, at this point in time, the significance is how we continue to grow and develop as a team from the start that we’ve had.Upon Further Review" NFC East Lead
"The Giants continued their trend of being 6-2 after 8 games under Tom Coughlin with their win over the Cowboys
One day after the Giants’ thrilling, memorable and important victory in Dallas, Tom Coughlin was bunkered in his office today in the Timex Performance Center. But like everyone else in the Northeast and around the country, Coughlin’s thoughts were on Hurricane Sandy and its devastating impact throughout the region.Chase Blackburn
“We want to assure everyone that our thoughts are with them in the Northeast about being safe and making sure everyone’s family is safe during this time of uncertainty,” Coughlin said on a conference call – that was covered by several Giants beat reporters still stuck in Dallas, plus one in Cincinnati trying to get home in a carpool with a couple of columnists. “None of us really know what to expect, so we’re all hanging in there, but our thoughts, good thoughts are for everyone that’s in the path of this thing.”
After the 29-24 victory over the Cowboys, Coughlin informed his players on the bumpy flight to New Jersey to stay home until Wednesday. The assistant coaches were working, but unlike spending a typically long day grading game tape and beginning preparation for the upcoming home game against Pittsburgh, they were ordered to leave early.
“We’ve been business per usual since we landed last night, in terms of we got a little bit of rest and we got the film graded and got started on our game plan with the coaches and that sort of thing,” Coughlin said. “The players, we felt it was in the best interest in the safety and security of our players that they remain home, that they stay with their families, that they make sure that their wives and children are fine during this time. There’s so much uncertainty.
“I did adjust the schedule in that what we’re going to do is...we’re pretty good at the mid-stream adjustment thing. I was thinking in terms of all of our football-related people that are here in the building today. Supposedly the window of safety is up until four, or late afternoon, early evening. What we’ve asked our coaches to do is we adjusted the schedule in terms of how we’ll put the game plan together, and we’ll push things back Wednesday morning and move our training room a little bit deeper into the morning and go ahead and treat this as if it were a Monday night game in terms of our day getting started on Wednesday. We’ve made adjustments, the coaches can take their laptops and go home to their families and make sure their families are safe and their children, rest assured, Dad is at home. If there is any kind of wind damage or any kind of water damage or any loss of power, the wives would be a little bit more secure. In order to do that, I made the necessary adjustments and hopefully the guys will be able to get back in here tomorrow late morning and we’ll push everything to tomorrow night. The winds are predicted to subside early Tuesday afternoon. I think at that point in time, the guys will be able to travel. All of that is just trying to do the smart thing, that’s all.”
*Coughlin had no updates on any of his injured players. Although they were examined and treated today by the team’s medical staff, they were unable to undergo standard tests because so many facilities were closed because of the storm or roads were impassable.
“We did have our normal medical meeting, our training room responsibilities, they all met this morning,” Coughlin said. “However, there is no access to anything outside of our building, so we really don’t know much about it. There’s been no MRI’s or anything of that nature.”
The players whose condition will be updated later in the week include linebacker
(who left the game with a hamstring injury), tight end Bear Pascoe (ankle), and safety Antrel Rolle , who experienced dizziness after landing on his head late in the game.
*When Stevie Brown
signed with the Giants on April 3, most websites and newspapers devoted little more than a paragraph to the news. Brown had played for Oakland for one season and in Indianapolis for another and in 23 games he had no interceptions, forced fumbles or fumble recoveries.
Today, Brown is one of the Giants’ most productive defensive players. He has started the last four games in place of the injured Kenny Phillips. On Sunday, Brown intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble to boost his season totals to five picks (second in the NFL behind Chicago’s Tim Jennings) and seven takeaways (first in the league).
Although he didn’t have that reputation when he arrived, Brown has been a safety with a nose for the ball.
“I’d like to think I have been (that kind of player),” Brown said on his own conference call today. “My college stats didn’t really show it, but even when I was in high school…that’s how I started off getting recruited because, as a sophomore, I had 10 interceptions. It’s just something I’ve always been able to do.”
To Coughlin, a takeaway is more valuable than a winning lottery ticket, so has enjoyed watching Brown continually come up with the ball.
“The first thing I react to is by telling you that I’m the greatest cheerleader in the world,” Coughlin said. “I mean, I look out there, who this guy is and where the ball is. I think it’s a great tribute to him. He has played very well and he has been where the ball is. That’s something that really has helped us. I mean, you’re looking at a team, we’re now plus-13 (in turnover ratio) after eight games. I would like to hope that this could continue, because it’s creating opportunities for us that are so difficult to get when it’s simply on your own.
“He’s been the guy who has been able to be on the spot and anticipate. He obviously has a very good knack for being wherever he is, if we’re anticipating where the ball is going and arriving there very close. The first interception was outstanding, where he was the centerfielder. He’s done a very good job, he’s being recognized by all of us, and has been a huge factor in our being able to win a few games in a row.”
Brown began the season hoping to make a big impact and now he’s thrilled to be doing so.
“It’s been everything I’ve been working for,” he said. “Even though I was on other teams, I made different types of impacts, whether it was just special teams-wise, getting a few snaps here and there. But to actually contribute on defense as much as I have, it’s definitely been the goal that I’ve been working for since I’ve been in the league.”
*Coughlin is still displeased that the Cowboys ran three plays in the final 10 seconds yesterday. After Dez Bryant’s potential game-winning touchdown was reversed after a review because his hand touched the end line, 10 seconds remained. Dallas was on the Giants’ 37-yard line.
A 10-yard pass to Jason Witten took four seconds. On the next snap, Tony Romo scanned the field before throwing to the end zone for Miles Austin. The ball fell incomplete and the Giants thought the game was over. But one second remained on the clock. On the real last play, Romo sailed a pass toward Witten out of the end zone.
“(Those were) the longest 10 seconds I’ve ever been around,” Coughlin said. “They got three plays in 10 seconds, two of which went to the end zone. Seems like a little much to me. We’ll have to see if we can get some kind of response from the league on that.”
Could the Giants execute three plays in 10 seconds?
“I don’t think so,” Coughlin said. “When there were seven seconds, I was telling the coaches this morning, when there are (seven) seconds, and you’ve got the ball - that’s happened to us. Then I rushed in there, taking a timeout, and then said, ‘You know what? We can’t take a chance on this, go ahead and kick the field goal with seven.’ Based on that, the way in which that was projected last night, we could’ve had two plays."
Chase Blackburn Hamstring Injury May Cue Mark Herzlich Era For Giants
Excerpt: "Chase Blackburn was one of several New York Giants who left yesterday’s game with an injury, and while the severity of Antrel Rolle’s head injury andKeith Rivers’ calf injury is yet to be determined, it seems pretty clear that Blackburn will miss a few games at least. Enter Mark Herzlich, second-year middle linebacker.
Between Blackburn pounding the ground in frustration before even getting up and slow rolling it to the locker room without even trying to stretch it out, it seems like Herzlich is in line for at least a few starts." Read more...
Giants' Victor Cruz Says Progress Made In Contract Negotiations
Excerpt: "New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz outplayed his current contract a long time ago. While the Paterson, NJ native was fortunate to be signed as an undrafted free agent of of UMass, Cruz has more then repaid the Giants for giving him an opportunity to succeed. After giving Big Blue Pro Bowl caliber production for the last season and a half, it's about time general manager Jerry Reese finds a way to secure No. 80 for the long term. Although the Giants do not have a lot of salary cap room to work with, there has been some progress made in contract negotiations between Cruz and the team.
Cruz is playing this season on a $540,000 salary. While he has said that his contract situation will not interfere with his play on the field, Cruz is absorbing a tremendous amount of risk by playing this season for a fraction of his market value. If he suffers a serious injury between now and the end of the season, he will undoubtedly lose upwards of $40 million. Although midseason contract negotiations can get sticky at times, it's certainly understandable why Cruz wants his contract sooner rather than later.
“I was excited to hear this weekend that contract talks are moving in the right direction,” Cruz said. “I heard there was some progress on the structure.” Read more...SITE LINK
BIG BLUE VIEW
Giants' Roster Power Rankings: Rating The Giants From 1 - 53, Week 9
Excerpt: "Here are your New York Giants' roster power rankings for this week. Stevie Brown makes his first appearance in the top 10.
1. Eli Manning -- He wasn't at his best against Dallas, but he is still the most important Giant. LW: 1
2. Jason Pierre-Paul -- Moves back to the No. 2 spot after an excellent effort against Dallas. LW: 4
3. Victor Cruz -- A non-factor Sunday. Probably dropped more balls than he caught. LW: 3
4. Ahmad Bradshaw -- I truly believe the Giants need to lessen Bradshaw's workload. LW: 3
5. Linval Joseph -- The guy plays well every single week. LW: 6
6. Hakeem Nicks -- Still doesn't look like his old self, but he is getting closer.LW: 5
7. Lawrence Tynes -- He is 24-of-26 and, right now, kicking like a guy who should go to the Pro Bowl. He has won the Giants a couple of games this season by being almost perfect when the offense hasn't been. LW: 12
8. Stevie Brown -- I can't imagine that Brown stays in the top 10. After Sunday's two interceptions and a fumble recovery, and with what he has done subbing for Kenny Phillips, right now I have to put him in here. LW: 21
9. Will Beatty -- DeMarcus Ware can make a lot of offensive tackles look bad. Beatty held his own. LW: 7
10. Michael Boley -- He was the only Giants' defender to play every snap Sunday. That counts for something, right? LW: 8" Read more...
Giants By The Numbers: Snap Counts, PFF Data
Excerpt: "Here is this week's look at the snap counts data and Pro Football Focus scores for the New York Giants. After looking at these I have a question. How did the Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys?
Pro Football Focus numbers
Kevin Boothe (+2.7)
Eli Manning (+2.6)
Reuben Randle (+2.3)
Chris snee (+1.2)
Victor Cruz (-1.5) ... Targeted eight times, two catches, two drops.
Sean Locklear (-1.8)
Ahmad Bradshaw (-1.9) ... His rushing score was -2.5, which means PFF is saying he did not get the yardage that his blocking made available to him.
David Baas (-3.5)
Martellus Bennett (-4.1) ... PFF graded Bennett's run-blocking at a poor -3.9 for the day.
Chris Canty (+3.4) ... I know some of you want him higher in our weekly power rankings. Give it time, it will happen.
Stevie Brown (+1.9)
Chase Blackburn (+1.5)
Jason Pierre-Paul (+1.5)
Keith Rivers (-1.3)
Michael Boley (-1.4)
Linval Joseph (-1.4)
Antrel Rolle (-1.5)
Jayron Hosley (-2.6)
Justin Tuck (-2.8)" Read more...
Giants 29, Cowboys 24: "Kudos And Wet Willies" Review
Excerpt: "Kudos to ...
Dez Bryant's fingertips -- They were, after all, the only thing that separated victory from defeat. By the way, did anyone else wonder what the heck Corey Webster was doing on that play? Remember last week when we picked on the Washington Redskins for letting Victor Cruz behind them with the game on the line? Webster, a veteran who knows better, did the same thing.
Stevie Brown -- Two interceptions and a fumble recovery. When this guy has a chance to make a play on the ball he makes it, something not all defensive backs do. By the way, how do you take this guy out of the lineup when Kenny Phillips is healthy? Or, do you?
Jason Pierre-Paul -- An interception return for a touchdown on a brilliant read of a Dallas screen pass, a sack, four tackles and a pass defensed. Pierre-Paul was a force.
Lawrence Tynes -- He went 5-for-5 Sunday, including two field goals from outside 40 yards. The Giants needed every point Tynes provided. The guy is having a phenomenal year, 24-of-26 on field goals, with one miss outside 40 yards and one miss outside 50 yards.
Chris Canty -- The stats, two tackles and a sack, don't show how much of a force Canty was on Sunday. He was in the Dallas backfield a lot, showing exactly what the Giants missed while he was out for the first six games.
Linval Joseph -- Two sacks, three tackles and a brilliant hustle play that forced Romo to go backwards before throwing what turned into Brown's second interception." Read more...
Reasons To Celebrate: Forcing The Turnovers
Excerpt: "The game Sunday between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys game was, in a cliche statement, an emotional roller coaster. The Giants started off hot, let the 'Boys come back, and were up and down to the final second.
There's no question that the Giants-Cowboys game on Sunday was hard to watch. The Giants managed to pull off a 29-24 victory in dramatic fashion that would make your blood pressure rise.
There was sloppy play on the Giants part here and there, but there was one bright spot to take from this game. The Giants forced six turnovers throughout the entire game, including forcing Tony Romo to throw four interceptions." Read more...
The Unsung Hero Of the Aeek: Lawrence Tynes
Excerpt: "Stevie Brown and Jason Pierre-Paul were the standout stars in the New York Giants' squeak-by-'em 29-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, with their bushel of interceptions, a fumble recovery, a sack, a touchdown and 10 tackles between them. But with the lack of firepower by the offense, what would the team have done without Lawrence Tynes? Given prime field position by the defense all afternoon long, the offense had to settle for field goals, and the steady-as-a-rock Tynes was there to deliver.
The kicker went 5-for-5 in field-goal attempts, booting them from 41, 37, 26, 43 and 37 yards. He leads the NFL in field goals made this season, with 24, and field-goal attempts, with 26. He's a perfect 19-for-19 within the 40-yard line, 5-for-6 between the 40- and 50-yard lines and a memorable 0-for-1 past the 50. And he's perfect in extra points this year. With his 17 points on Sunday, Tynes passed Brad Daluiso on the all-time franchise points list, moving into second place, with 535 points. Pete Gogolak stands in first, with 646 points. Tynes has 94 points on the season." Read more...
THE RED ZONE
Superstorm Does Not Damage MetLife Stadium
Excerpt: "The New York subways are scheduled to be closed for the next several days. Airline travel in the northeast has been scrambled. But the Giants will hozst the Steelers on Sunday
The NFL told the New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano the game will be playedat MetLife Stadium as scheduled. There was no damage to the facility from Superstorm Sandy. Vacchiano added that the league will stay in touch with public authorities." Read more...
Browns' Knack For Ball On Display vs. Cowboys
Excerpt: "Last season was a tough one for Stevie Brown.
He spent the year with the Indianapolis Colts, a team that would finish 2-14.
The Colts were widely considered to be the worst team in the NFL, but Brown couldn't crack their starting secondary. Instead, he was stuck on special teams.
Brown called 2011 a low-point in his three-year NFL career.
"Whenever you’re just looking out there and your team is not winning and you’re just kind of sitting around and you know you feel like you can contribute, (it's tough)," Brown said. "That was one of those times where I was just like, 'I wish I was out there. I wish I was able to contribute and see if I can do something.'
Brown's gotten the chance to do that the last few weeks with the Giants. And the results have been extraordinary.
Brown leads the NFL in takeaways (five interceptions, two fumble recoveries) after recording two INTs and one fumble recovery in the Giants' win over the Cowboys. He had three of the Giants' six turnovers and has four picks in the last four weeks.
"He has been where the ball is," Tom Coughlin said. "That's something that's really helped us.... We're now plus-13 in turnovers after eight games. I would like to hope that this could continue."
So would Brown.
The former seventh-round pick out of Michigan has started at safety in place of Kenny Phillips (knee) since Sept. 30 against Philadelphia.
In that span, he has four picks and two fumble recoveries for the 6-2 Giants.
"Since I’ve been in there, I’ve been trying to make the most of my opportunities," Brown said." Read more...
Victor Cruz Likes Where Contract Talks Are Going
Excerpt: "Victor Cruzsays talks with the New York Giants about a contract extension are "moving in the right direction."
The wide receiver is hoping for a new deal by the end of this season and told ESPN's Josina Anderson that negotiations are progressing.
"I was excited to hear this weekend that contract talks are moving in the right direction," Cruz told Anderson on Monday. "I heard there was some progress on the structure."
Cruz is still hopeful about receiving a longer-term deal, according to Anderson's report. He has maintained that he wants to remain a Giant for several more years.
The Giants' playmaking receiver is in the final season of a contract worth $540,000. He will be a restricted free agent after the season unless both sides work out a new deal.
Cruz has tried his best not to make his contract an issue and refuses to let it become a distraction." Read more...
Giants' Coach Tom Coughlin Awaits NFL Response
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin is still perplexed at how the Dallas Cowboys got off three plays in the final 10 seconds of the New York Giants' 29-24 victory in Dallas on Sunday.
Coughlin is hoping to get a response from the NFL about the clock."As I mentioned yesterday, the longest 10 seconds I've ever been around," Coughlin said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. "Three plays in 10 seconds, two of which went to the end zone, seems a little much to me. And we'll have to see if we can get some kind of response from the league on that."The NFL office is closed on Monday and Tuesday with Hurricane Sandy shutting down New York and much of the East Coast.An NFL spokesperson said the league was "not aware of any issues with the clock as of this morning. Carl Johnson and his crew will review it as soon as they can and get back to the Giants."Coughlin was asked what he thinks is the reason for the Cowboys being able to get three plays off in 10 seconds." Read more..
NFC East Spin Cycle: Giant Win Puts Champs In Control
Excerpt: "The Giants stand alone atop the division ahead of the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles, all of whom lost in Week Eight. Check out all the goings-on in the division from a tide-shifting week in the NFC East:.
What we learned: This team is flawed but resilient, similar to previous Giants teams that won it all. They stand at 6-2, two-plus games ahead of the rest of the division. Another key element of winning was to even their mark in the NFC East at 2-2. Driver’s seat? Maybe, maybe not, but Tom Coughlin will point out the litany of mistakes in the Giants’ 29-24 win in Dallas that nearly saw the Cowboys overcome a 23-0 hole to win. The Giants were inconsistent at best on offense and cold late on “D” (despite the furious start in picking off Tony Romo three times and recovering a fumble in the first half alone), and Coughlin has plenty of chalkboard material to review from this game.
What’s in store next:
After hustling out of town to avoid Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, the Giants will scurry to get ready for the Steelers at home. The Giants have won four straight, but the Steelers have won back-to-back games for the first time since last season and have established a run game in the past two with Jonathan Dwyer, which has made their diverse passing game that much more explosive. The Giants came up with some opportunistic plays Sunday, including another banner performance by S Stevie Brown. He had six tackles, two interceptions (the first of the game, and the last, which came in the final minutes) as well as a fumble recovery. He and the Giants’ secondary, which lost Antrel Rolle late vs. the Cowboys, should be busy Sunday against those Pittsburgh wideouts.
What the heck?
The Giants nearly blew it. If Dez Bryant had gotten a manicure before the game, perhaps his fingernails might not have scratched out of bounds, ruling his acrobatic catch a reception and not incomplete in the endzone. Up 23-0, the Giants got conservative defensively, sitting back in soft zones, and offensively, not attacking deep. The Giants actually were off with the passing game most of the afternoon. Victor Cruz was erased from the game, and Eli Manning was off rhythm. Cruz was also blasted on a play where Manning threw a pick and looked shook up. The Cowboys’ corners got the best of the Giants, and that’s two games in a row where the passing game was spotty at times, even with Cruz’s game-winner against the Redskins." Read more...
PFF ReFo: Giants @ Cowboys
Excerpt: "After a Week 1 statement-game against the New York Giants, the annual talk continued that maybe this was the year the Dallas Cowboys took the next step toward joining the upper echelon of teams in the NFC. Things haven’t gone as planned since that game as the Cowboys have been very much the same team marred by inconsistent play and untimely turnovers. The trend continued right from the start as they handed the ball to the Giants on three of their first four possessions, in addition to a fumbled punt. New York took advantage to the tune of a 23-0 lead, but the Cowboys battled back with 24 straight points of their own.
The fourth quarter wasn’t short on drama as Dallas nearly pulled off the miracle upset with wide receiver Dez Bryant just missing a miraculous game-winning touchdown catch. After leaping over two defenders to snag the ball, he landed with a finger out of bounds (literally) and the Cowboys comeback ultimately fell short.
New York survived the scare to further their stranglehold on the NFC East at 6-2, while Dallas continues its foray into mediocrity at 3-4 with a battle against the undefeated Atlanta Falcons looming next week.
Let’s take a look at the performances that shaped this back-and-forth NFC East battle.
Three Performances of Note—New York Giants
Another Pass Rusher Emerges
Perhaps lost amid the 6-2 record, the Giants pass rush has not been as dominant as their reputation suggests. The high-profile defensive ends have not provided consistent pressure, though New York has gotten surprising production from their defensive tackles and Chris Canty was the latest interior player to produce on Sunday. In only his second game of the season, Canty graded at +3.4, including +2.9 as a pass rusher. He hit quarterback Tony Romo four times while adding a sack on his 32 pass rushes. Left guard Nate Livings was Canty’s main victim as he surrendered three of the hits on Romo, before Canty beat him to the outside shoulder to finally notch a sack with 00:54 to go in the third quarter.
Tough Return to Dallas
It was not a memorable return to Dallas for former Cowboy tight end Martellus Bennett. After four years as TE Jason Witten’s backup, Bennett has enjoyed a strong first season as the top tight end in New York, and he’s already played more snaps (482) than he did all of last season (428). Usually known for his run blocking, Bennett was consistently beaten at the point of attack on Sunday (-3.9 run block). He had a particularly difficult time blocking outside linebacker Anthony Spencer who beat him on three different occasions to make tackles for short gains in the running game. In the passing game, Bennett caught four of the six balls thrown his way, but for only 29 yards with a long gain of only 12 yards. His drop on the goal line at the 14:33 mark of the second quarter cost the Giants potential points as they had to settle for a field goal.
Grabbing in the Slot
Playing 43 of his 50 snaps in coverage, nickel cornerback Jayron Hosley (-2.6) had a difficult time keeping up with Dallas wide receiver Miles Austin in the slot. In addition to the three catches on four targets for 50 yards, Hosley also held Austin two more times while picking up an illegal contact penalty as well. Both holding penalties came toward the end of the fourth quarter during the Cowboys’ comeback attempt. Though the first grab only negated a six-yard pass, it was the second holding call that was nearly a backbreaker for the Giants. On the first play after the two-minute warning, Hosley’s physical play went beyond the required five yards and his holding penalty negated a nine-yard sack by DE Justin Tuck, vaulting Dallas into New York territory." Read more...
NFL ROUNDUP: Unbeaten Falcons, Behind Ryan, Blitz Eagles
Excerpt: "ExcerAsante Samuel stared directly at his former team's sideline and started trash-talking right after the coin toss. By the fourth quarter, Samuel was dancing on the field between plays.Matt Ryan made it easy for his loquacious teammate to gloat.
Ryan threw touchdown passes on Atlanta's first three possessions against the Eagles, spoiling the debut of new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, as the Falcons remained the NFL's only unbeaten team with a convincing 30-17 win Sunday at Philadelphia.
"We're 7-0 over here baby," Samuel said. "If I was over there now, they have to go to work."
The Falcons are 7-0 for the first time in the franchise's 47-year history while the Eagles (3-4) lost after a bye for the first time in 14 games under coach Andy Reid since 1999." Read more...
NFL Trade Deadline Moved To Thursday
Report: Eagles Likely To Start Foles Week 9