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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants' Travis Beckum Activated To 53 Man Roster, Mitch Petrus Waived
Excerpt: "Giants tight end Travis Beckum was activated to the Giants' 53-man roster today from the physically unable to perform list, a person with knowledge of the transaction confirmed. That person requested anonymity because the team has not yet announced the move.
To make space for Beckum, guard Mitch Petrus was waived. ESPN first reported the transaction." Read more...
Giants' Mark Herzlich knows All Too Well About Adversity
Excerpt: "Mark Herzlich knows what it is like to have your life hit with unexpected devastation and left with a daunting, agonizing recovery process ahead. It happened to him in 2009 when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma after his All-America junior season at Boston College.
So it is only fitting that Herzlich will make his first start of the season against the Steelers Sunday, three hours that he and the rest of the Giants hope will restore a brief sense of normalcy for people dealing with Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. Herzlich will start at middle linebacker for Chase Blackburn, who was ruled out today due to a hamstring injury.
“You basically put your life on hold, you take everything, and it stops in its track and (you) say ‘Okay, now where do I go from here?’ ” Herzlich said. “Because you lose your house, you lose everything that you’ve ever had, you can either put it in the tank and say, ‘All right, that’s it. That’s my life.’ Or you can say, ‘All right, well, where do I go from here? How do I fight back? How do I regain my possessions? How do I rebuild my life?
“And that’s the same thing that cancer patients and cancer survivors have to do where, all right, they get the diagnosis. Are they going to let it destroy them and defeat them? Or are they going to take one foot, put it in front of the other and fight back?” Read more...
Giants-Steelers Game Offers A Clear Mission: "We Will Fight Our Way Through This"
Excerpt: "U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno has been a frequent visitor to the Giants practice facility the past few years, delivering messages about unity, trust and strength to Tom Coughlin’s team.
The Army Chief of Staff visited with the team again yesterday, and his address may never have hit closer to home. Two days before the Giants face the Steelers, and four days after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the area they represent, Odierno reminded the defending Super Bowl champions of the opportunity they have this weekend.
“The message is the toughness here, the resiliency,” Coughlin said, referring to this region. “We will not be stopped by the storm. We will come back. We will fight our way through this. We will get things right again.”
Odierno was in New York City yesterday morning before visiting with the Giants, overseeing the thousands of Army soldiers involved with the relief and recovery efforts.
Odierno shared his experiences in the city as he spoke to the team on the practice field, bringing to life the very inspiration Coughlin hopes his team rallies behind." Read more...
Giants' Chase Blackburn Ruled Out For Sunday, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kenny Phillips Questionable
Excerpt: "The Giants will likely be without three linebackers Sunday against the Steelers.
Linebackers Chase Blackburn (hamstring) and Jacquian Williams (knee) have been ruled out, while Keith Rivers (calf) is doubtful. Blackburn and Williams didn't practice this week. Rivers was limited today.
Without Blackburn, the team's starting middle linebacker, Mark Herzlich will step in as the starter.
Safety Kenny Phillips (knee) is listed as questionable. He practiced fully Wednesday, but was limited the last two days. He has not played since spraining his MCL against the Eagles in Week 4.
When asked if Phillips will be eased into his return like the Giants did when right tackle David Diehl returned from his MCL injury, Tom Coughlin said that will likely be the case." Read more..
Giants' Chris Canty Fined $15, 570 For Hit On Romo
Excerpt: "Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty was fined $15,750 for a hit on Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, according to a person with knowledge of the fine. That person requested anonymity because the league does not announce its fines." Read more...
Giants Updates On Parking, Transportation, and Ticketing For Steeler's Game
Excerpt: "The Giants' game against the Steelers Sunday at 4:25 p.m., will be held as scheduled. But some of the logistics of the game have changed as the area rebounds from Hurricane Sandy.
New Jersey transit trains to MetLife Stadium are not in operation, which will increase congestion around the stadium. Fans should try to carpool and arrive early.
The Giants are offering free parking and free shuttle service to and from the stadium at two locations: the parking lot at the Secaucus train station (675 New County Road at Seaview Drive, 4.5 miles from the stadium) and at 20 Murray Hill Parkway in Rutherford (1.5 miles from stadium).
There will also be very limited cash parking at the MetLife Stadium lots. A map of free satellite parking lots is available here: http://www.giants.com/assets/img/directions-free-parking.jpg." Read more...
Giants-Steelers Game Being Held With Governor Christies' Blessing
Excerpt: "Less than a week after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, the Giants will host the Steelers at MetLife Stadium at 4:25 p.m. Sunday -- a game that is being played with the blessing of Gov. Chris Christie.
An NFL spokesman confirmeda Sports Illustrated reportthat NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reached out to Christie Thursday to make sure holding the game would not divert resources away from Sandy relief efforts. Christie confirmed that it would not.
After the storm hit, the NFL determined there was no damage to MetLife Stadium, and local authorities did not suggest moving the game, the spokesman said. The plan was to prepare to play as scheduled, while staying in touch with the local officials as relief and recovery efforts began.
Gov. Christie "was pleased the game is being played," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail message, "and that the Giants and the NFL are saluting first responders at the game and contributing $1 million plus extensive promotional time on all our games to the Red Cross for the relief effort." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Sunday's Playbook: Giants vs. Steelers In A Classic Battle Of Classic NFL Heavuweights
Excerpt: "WHERE: AT METLIFE STADIUM
WHEN: 4:25 p.m
LINE: GIANTS BY 3 1/2TV: Ch. 2 (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms).
RADIO: WFAN-660 AM (Bob Papa, Carl Banks), Nationwide on Sports USA (Larry Kahn, Ross Tucker).FORECAST: Sunny, in the high 40s, with 10-to-15 MPH winds
QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. Antrel Rolle and Giants secondary
The Giants have been getting big plays out of their safeties, adding to a league-high 16 INTs, and the return of Kenny Phillipsthis week gives them another strong player and the option of getting back to three safeties in a Big Nickel, not a bad approach against this group. But Roethlisberger is a bit of a different animal with his ability to extend plays, not so much with his legs, but with sheer strength. He can attack any part of the field with an explosive receiving corps and a very good tight end in Heath Miller. The Giants are going to need to get him on the ground." Read more...
Giants Linebacker Mark Herzlich Compares to Chase Blackburn
Excerpt: "From the first day he arrived in Giants training camp as an undrafted free agent last season, linebacker Mark Herzlichwas compared to Chase Blackburn. Blackburn, a heady veteran, wasn’t even in camp – he’d been cut before the 2011 season began – but Herzlich kept hearing the same references. Hurricane Sandy Floods Home Of Giants' Lineman Mathias Kiwanuka, displacing his family
“We called him that from Day One,” linebacker Michael Boley said.
“He’s a younger version of Chase. Mark and Chase, they had the same preparation, everything.”
On Sunday against the Steelers, Herzlich must deliver the same production as Blackburn. The second-year linebacker is expected to start in the middle, replacing Blackburn, who was ruled out due to a hamstring injury on Friday. Herzlich took first-team reps throughout the week, and he said he’s learned plenty from Blackburn.
That’s something he didn’t think would happen a year ago. Herzlich admitted that last season, he was hardly a Blackburn fan. The Giants signed Blackburn midway through the year, hoping he could steady a then-shaky linebacking corps, and Herzlich saw the veteran as a threat.
“I was not super-excited at that point,” Herzlich remembers. “Chase was the nicest, friendliest guy ever, and I was a little cold.”
The two have become close friends since then, so much so that Herzlich is going to a birthday party for Blackburn’s son in a few weeks. And Blackburn has helped Herzlich prep for this week.
Now, Herzlich just hopes he can perform like a “younger version of Chase” on the field.
“I’m excited to fill his shoes,” Herzlich said." Read more...
Excerpt: "Mathias Kiqanuka was in his Hoboken townhouse with his wife, little girl and mother-in-law Monday night when rain water, Hudson River water and really smelly sewage started pouring into the first floor garage of his three-story home eight blocks from where Eli Manning lives.
“We got flooded,” Kiwanuka said Friday. “We had one foot of water. It will be a long cleanup process. The water that came in there was fuel, sewage, all kind of stuff. I don’t look forward to it, but we’re going to have to look into the walls and get all that stuff out of there. We’ll just take it slow and figure it out.”
The Giants linebacker decided to ride out the storm at home, which he said he will never do again, and it wasn’t until Wednesday that he was able to navigate one of his cars through the streets of Hoboken that had been flooded and relocate his family into a hotel. He had moved another of his car to a garage that was then flooded by five feet of water. He was trapped by the flooding in the streets.
Kiwanuka is now displaced, still without power and with no idea when he will be able to move back into his home. He got by with flashlights and candlesticks until he could evacuate.
That means Kiwanuka can relate to the anguish being felt by so many in New York and New Jersey. He worries about his family, is trying to arrange for his home to be cleaned up and also has a job that won’t wait for him. The Giants have a big game Sunday against the Steelers at MetLife Stadium when so many of the fans either in attendance or watching on television will be counting on the Giants to provide a three-hour diversion.
“It’s New Jersey. It’s a tough state, a state full of tough people and we will rebuild, we will get back on our feet,” Kiwanuka said. “In the meantime, we just got to get together and help everybody out.” Read more...
Travel Rundown For Sunday's Game
"Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath has complicated many things, and the path to MetLife Stadium for Sunday’s Giants-Steelers game is one of them.
But the Giants are doing their best to compensate for the absence of New Jersey Transit trains to the Meadowlands and the recent gas shortage. The team will offer free parking and a free shuttle to and from the stadium at two locations: the Secaucus Train station and 20 Murray Hill Parkway in East Rutherford.
Additionally, a N.J. Transit bus No. 351, the Meadowlands Express, will run from the Port Authority Bus Terminal and return there after the game. That service, however, will not be free.
Those driving to MetLife have been strongly urged to carpool and get to the Stadium early; according to the Giants, there will be “very limited” parking available at the Meadowlands."
THE NEW YORK POST
Giants' Tynes On Pace For NFL Record For Points Scored In A Season
Excerpt: "Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes is on pace to score more points than anyone in NFL history ever has in one season. That’s any player — not just kickers.
Tynes, named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month, has 94 points in eight games, the season’s halfway point. He’s on pace for 188 points, which would top the record for any player (LaDainian Tomlinson’s 186 points in 2006) and shatter the record for a kicker (David Akers’ 166 points last season).
“It’d take a very similar first half,” Tynes said. “I don’t know if that’s going to be duplicated.”
Tynes said he thinks the Giants’ red zone success will improve, thus limiting field goal opportunities. Either way, Tynes — widely considered the team’s most underrated player — has nailed 24 of 26 field goals and is 22-of-22 on extra points (he hasn’t missed an extra point since 2007)." Read more...
General's Message Hits Home With Giants
Excerpt: "The Army’s chief of staff delivered a speech about Hurricane Sandy to the Giants Friday that really hit home for at least one player.
Mathias Kiwanuka revealed his townhouse in Hoboken, N.J., was flooded with raw sewage during the storm Monday and won’t be inhabitable again for perhaps several months, a fact that made Gen. Raymond Odierno’s motivational talk more poignant for the veteran linebacker.
“It was a good message,” Kiwanuka said. “He reminded us to be focused on [Sunday’s home game against the Steelers] with everything that’s going on in this area, because that’s what we do. Getting out there on the field is an opportunity to play hard, bring some enjoyment and help everyone forget about this situation for a little while.”
Kiwanuka has company in Eli Manning when it comes to displaced Hoboken residents in the Giants’ locker room these days. Manning said he also has been given no timetable as to when his home will be livable again.
“I wish I did, but I don’t,” Manning said.
Kiwanuka recounted he and his family spent Monday night and Tuesday morning on the upper floors of his townhouse while the first floor was flooded with sewage and fuel.
“It’s going to be a long process just because what was in the water that flooded,” he said. “We’re going to have to look in the walls and get all of that stuff out of there, so we’re going to have to take it slow.”
Asked if he was ever scared, Kiwanuka admitted there were some very tense moments for himself, his wife, his young daughter and his father-in-law during the storm." Read more...
Mark Cannizarro: Coughlin Takes Lead On Road Back To Super Bowl
Excerpt: "he reminders are everywhere. They are painted on walls, written on T-shirts, printed on playbooks. And they stick, thanks to the sage messenger who has become one of the most underrated motivators in the coaching profession: Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
That was Coughlin’s theme to last season after his team had suffered too many late-season collapses for his 66-year-old stomach to handle in previous years. So Coughlin incorporated the word as the team’s rallying cry and the Giants responded, winning their last six games, including the Super Bowl.
“Build the bridge.’’
That has been Coughlin’s call for 2012, a message to his players to build a bridge from their Super Bowl victory in February to a repeat performance in February 2013 in New Orleans." Read more...
Giants Must Make Fast Work Of Steelers' Wallace, Brown
Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle said there is a good chance the Steelers’ wide receivers are faster than any the Giants have faced this season. Prince Amukamara agrees.
“For sure. On film, yeah,” Amukamara said. “I’m sure they’re going to be in person too.”
Well, Amukamara, Rolle and the rest of the Giants will find out for themselves tomorrow, when they face the Steelers’ sensational wideout duo of Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. The Pittsburgh speedsters are potentially the best pair of receivers in football, and the Giants’ secondary will have a formidable challenge containing them at MetLife Stadium.
The Steelers also have a terrific tight end in Heath Miller, giving Pittsburgh a passing attack the envy of most of the NFL.
In seven games this season, Brown has 40 catches for 480 yards and a touchdown, Wallace has 36 receptions for 459 yards and four TDs and Miller has 35 grabs for 336 yards and six scores. All three are on pace for at least 80 catches, an outstanding total for one receiver, let alone three.
“It’s definitely kind of like last week when facing Dallas,” safety Stevie Brown said, “whenever [we were] facing [Miles] Austin and [Dez] Bryant and [Jason] Witten down there.” Read more...
Post Power Rankings: Repeating As Champs Is Giants Tasks
Excerpt: "The Giants don’t have the best record in the NFC or even the second-best, but still people consider them the conference favorites.
They have the best late-game quarterback in football in Eli Manning, who also happens to excel in the playoffs, which in turn gives them the ability to beat any team, anywhere. That’s something they proved last year on their way to the team’s second Super Bowl title in five years. The biggest postseason upset was in Green Bay against the defending champion Packers, who rolled to a 15-1 regular season and were double-digit favorites in that Divisional round game.
The Packers have had plenty of excuses for that loss, claiming they gave the Giants the 37-20 win. The truth is the Packers weren’t playing their best football of the year at that time, showing the difficulty of peaking at the right time two years in a row. The Packers’ pass defense deteriorated down the stretch and the Giants exposed them at the end of the regular season, a 38-35 Week 13 loss, and again six weeks later. In between, the Packers suffered their lone regular season loss – 19-14 in Kansas City.
The Giants last year were like the Packers two regular seasons ago – a team that had to battle to Week 17 to make the playoffs. Now, they are taking on the Packers’ role of last year as the NFC and Super Bowl favorites. They will have a bull’s eye square on their backs, and will have a hard time relying in the “nobody believes in us” rhetoric that they rode to Indianapolis last season. Some say this type of motivation is overblown, but it seemed very real to the Giants last year.
The Giants won’t have a player shoot themselves in the leg this year the way Plaxico Burress did in 2008, which derailed their most-recent title defense. Well, at least let’s hope not. But to repeat the Giants have to be playing their best at the best time, and that’s not easy to manufacture two years in a row. Not impossible, just difficult: Just ask the Packers.
And now the rankings, which are a couple of days late because of the hurricane. It did, however, provide an opportunity for the Chiefs to embarrass themselves twice in the rankings.
1. Falcons (7-0) (Previous Ranking: 1) – It’s convenient to compare this Atlanta team to the one that went 15-1 two years ago only to get crushed by Packers in their first playoff game, but only a playoff win will make those comparisons go away.
2. Texans (6-1) (2) — A healthy Matt Schaub will make this year’s version of the Texans much more difficult to handle in the playoffs.
3. Giants (6-2) (4) – Eli Manning has stumbled the past two games (1 TD, 3 interceptions) but he’s reached the point that it doesn’t even cause a high level of concern anymore except from the most pessimistic of Giants fans.
4. Bears (6-1) (3) – The offensive line does not seem to be making the slow improvement toward mediocre that they had in recent years. They are still stuck in terrible, which will start costing them wins in near future.
5. 49ers (6-2) (5) – The attempt by Jim Harbaugh to get Alex Smith a passing record just seemed petty." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
NEW YORK TIMES
Week 9 NFL Game Probabilities: A Steel Defense No More
Excerpt: "A close look at Pittsburgh’s defensive numbers reveals that the Steelers are struggling to generate turnovers. Although their defensive passing efficiency is near the top of the league, where it has been in recent years, they’ve managed only three interceptions, half the league average. By comparison, the Giants have 16. Mostly because of a lack of turnovers and big plays, the Steelers rank 29th in defensive Win Probability Added and 21st in defensive Expected Points Added. The Steeler defense is also 31st in Success Rate, but this is mostly the result of an inability to stop the run, a category in which they rank dead last in the league.
The offenses for both teams have been very effective so far this season, so expect a high-scoring game. The Giants edge the Steelers in most critical statistical categories and have home-field advantage, so they’ll be clear, but not overwhelming, favorites on Sunday.
Here are the game probabilities for Week 9:
| Pittsburgh at NY Giants
" Read More...
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Giants' Notes: Herzlich Likely To Start At Middle Linebacker
Excerpt: "Mark Herzlich will likely get the call at middle linebacker Sunday with starter Chase Blackburn ruled out with a hamstring injury.
"I’m ready. I’ve been ready all season," Herzlich said. Signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College last summer, Herzlich is in line to make his third career start.
LB Jacquian Williams will miss his third straight game with a knee injury. Paterson native Victor Cruz (calf), S Antrel Rolle (concussion) and C David Baas (ankle-elbow) are probable. RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), DT Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), S Kenny Phillips (knee) and TE Bear Pascoe (ankle) are questionable. LB Keith Rivers is doubtful." Read more...
Giants Activate Beckum Off PUP, Waive Petrus
Excerpt: "As Giants 101 speculated earlier this week, concern over the ankle of Bear Pascoe has led to the New YorkGiants activating tight end Travis Beckum off of the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. In order to make room for Beckum, the team has waived offensive lineman Mitch Petrus.
Beckum, who hasn't played since tearing his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI, said on Friday that he felt "great" and anticipated being activated for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers." Read more...
Giants' Chris Canty Fined $15,750 For Hit On Romo
Excerpt: "New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty wasn't flagged for his hit on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo during a 29-24 victory last Sunday, but he didn't escape that dreaded FedEx envelope from the league. The NFL fined Canty $15,750 for the first-quarter hit of Romo, where it appeared the crown of his helmet grazed the lower facemask of Romo.
Because it was the FOX Sunday National Game of the Week, it's not too surprising that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodellcame down hard on Canty. After all, he is going out of his way to make the league safer – despite the fact that the Giants played two games over a five day stretch earlier this year. But hey, who's counting?" Read more...
Giants' Will Use Three Safety Look More Starting Sunday
Excerpt: "New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has been itching to incorporate the three safety look on defense that helped the Giants win it all last season. However, he felt he lacked the proper personnel to do so. Now with the emergence of Stevie Brown, Fewell feels using three safeties on the field at the same time can help the Giants defense once again.
"Really because Stevie has emerged and come on like this, it gives me more ideas to have the three-safety package," Fewell said. "And now we can go forward with that.After safety Kenny Phillips went down with a knee injury, Brown stepped in and produced at a high level. Despite beginning the season as a back up, he leads the NFL in takeaways. Three of them, including two interceptions and a fumble recovery, helped the Giants pull out a key victory last week against the Dallas Cowboys.
Phillips is expected to return for this Sunday's game against the Steelers, giving Fewell a plethora of talent at safety to play with. Last season, Anrel Rolle was used in the slot, while Deon Grant played in the box with Phillips playing deep. With Brown's production in Phillips' absence, it would've been difficult for Fewell to take Brown off the field, but with this package he doesn't have to.
"Our plans can totally focus on, hey, we have a three-safeties package with three good players in there," Fewell said." Read more...Giants' Injury Report: Week 9
Excerpt: "The New York Giants will be relatively healthy this Sunday as they prepare to take the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although the Steelers have yet to release their final injury report, the Giants look to be in good shape this weekend, save for a few injuries to the linebacker core.
Without further delay, here is Big Blue's final injury report of the week.
Chase Blackburn (Hamstring)
Jacquian Williams (Knee)
Keith Rivers (Calf)" Read more...
Giants Power Rankings Round-Up: Chasing the Falcons
Excerpt: "Usually this little power rankings exercise revolves around where the New York Giants stack up against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, but Big Blue is so far out their division rivals' league this year that we've had our eye on another team: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons.
At 7-0, the Falcons have been riding the undefeated record to Power Rankings dominance all year. After watching the Giants stumble through two victories the last few weeks we hardly expect that to change. Let's take a look:
This week's ranking: 2
Last week's ranking: 2
Their comment: Seven times in nine New York seasons Tom Coughlin has gone 6-2 or better in the first half. Only twice has he won at least five in the second half.
Our comment: And again, the Midseason Swoon storyline rears its ugly head. Actually, we're kind of surprised we haven't heard more about it.
This week's ranking: 4
Last week's ranking: 4
Their comment: Do they know how to win in the new Cowboys stadium or what? They own the NFC East right now.
Our comment: Yes, yes we do own the NFC East right now. And always. Still don't like being ranked behind the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans, but the showing against the Cowboys wasn't exactly "shoot-up-the-ranks" kinda stuff." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
Folger's Forecast: Giants vs. Steelers
Excerpt: "After winning successive division games, and sitting pretty now at 6-2, you’d expect the Giants to have a huge letdown. Human nature is tough to fight.
However, if you don’t show up against the Steelers, one of the most physical teams in the league, you’ll get your collective heads handed to you. It would, therefore, behoove the Giants to show up prepared for a physical battle.
The Steelers are getting back to “Steelers” football, which means a physical running game, big-play wide outs to hit you deep, and a defense that is big, tough and physical. They are dangerous when they have the lead, as it protects their weakness, which is its offensive line’s so-so ability to pass block. Force the Steelers into passing downs, and you have a big advantage.
Giants on Offense
The offense’s game plan to beat the Steelers is simple – run the ball. And we think the Giants can do it. The Steelers front seven is not as good as it once was, while we think the offensive line is blocking well for the run. Smacking the Steelers in the mouth, and then burning them on play-action, is a recipe that the coaches force-feed to succeed.
This is the week to get Andre Brown back into full-rotation mode with Ahmad Bradshaw. Simply put, Brown is the better back with the ball in his hands. Bradshaw is a better blocker and decision-maker in pass protection, though Brown is no slouch either.
Moving forward, giving Bradshaw the majority of the snaps would be a mistake. Brown is bigger, faster, he’s more talented, and he’s nearly as tough. If the Giants want to run the ball, and they should, they have to make this duo a true equal-time rotation.
The Giants’ passing game has stopped taking the league by surprise and is not quite as dominant as it was last year, which is why the running game needs to step up. Hakeem Nicks is getting closer, while Victor Cruz needs to get his head back in the game, as he did not play well last week. We suspect the contract extension that’s being worked on might be on his mind. The organization really needs to get it done, the sooner the better.
Rueben Randle is the player that we feel is going to surprise the league before this season is all said and done. He’s really showing flashes out there. We like how he’s beating single coverage, how he goes up to get the ball, and how he uses his big body to his advantage. We’d also like to see tight end Martellus Bennett pick up his route-running, which needs to be sharper.
Pittsburgh’s linebackers are still its defense’s strength. OLB James Harrison has to be accounted for on passing downs but we think their most complete linebacker is Lamar Woodley. Eli Manning has to help his linemen identify Pittsburgh’s bevy of pass rushers, most of who come off the LB blitz." Read more...
THE RED ZONE
NY Giants' Players Without Power After Sandy
Excerpt: "There's been plenty of coverage on the Pittsburgh Steelers' change in travel plans caused by superstorm Sandy, but members of the New York Giants have had considerable challenges of their own to contend with.
Linebacker Mark Herzlich told NFL.com and NFL Network's Kimberly Jones that 90 percent of Giantsplayers remained without power as of Friday.
Eli Manning was one of tens of thousands of people affected by the storm in Hoboken, N.J., a city located across the Hudson River from Manhattan. The National Guard was called into the city this week to help rescue families trapped in their buildings by intense flooding.
Manning was more fortunate, but he's among the Giants who went without power. The quarterback watched film on his battery-powered computer as the storm hit Tuesday. Later, he ventured downstairs to see the lobby of his building was underwater. (The image of Manning snapping a cell-phone picture of the flooding became an Internet hit on Wednesday.)" Read more...
Hosley Ready To Correct Week 8 Mistakes
Excerpt: "It’s a balancing act for Jayron Hosley when it comes to his aggressiveness matching up against receivers. He needs to be firm, but at the same time, he can’t cost his team three defensive penalties like he did in last week’s 29-24 win against the Cowboys.
“I don’t want to take the aggressive part away, it’s just using my hands more in my jam,” Hosley said. “There were some good plays I put out there on film and some plays I could have done better on. It’s adjusting and knowing what I need to improve on and doing that this week and keep progressing.”
Hand work, among other details, is a key focus for Hosley heading into Sunday’s game after last week’s struggles. While the rookie did have a tough matchup in Dallas’ Miles Austin last weekend, the veteran receiver continually got the best of the rookie and drew some key flags during the game.
"For him to go against Miles Austin, Miles Austin is a really good receiver and Miles taught him a couple of things in that game that he’ll take moving forward,” Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. “So every time that he lines up, every snap that he takes, he learns and he tries to get better.”
Primarily assigned to cover Austin, although Prince Amukamara did as well, Hosley had trouble against him as the receiver finished with nine catches for 133 yards. Late in the game, Hosley’s hands got him into trouble as Dallas tried to take the lead late in the game." Read more...
Giants Visited By General Ray Odierno
Excerpt: "The Giants were visited Friday by U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, who talked to the team about some of his experiences during the recovery effort in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Odierno will be at Sunday's game against the Steelers. It's one of the NFL’s Salute to Service games.
“[He spoke of] the resiliency of the people in New Jersey and New York area, and how they’re tough and no matter what they’re not going to let these circumstances dictate to them,” Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty said. “They’re going to come back. They’re not going to let it affect what they do. Just that kind of strength.
“Just understanding that when we take the field on Sunday, that we represent these folks. That was the message, and it was a timely message and an important message.”
Coughlin said Odierno, who has 10,000 soldiers in New York City, was there Friday morning to address the team without even being asked. Coughlin has been known to bring in military officers to address the team before games. Players shook hands and spoke with some of the officers who attended practice Friday afternoon.
“I think they will take forward the toughness, the resiliency of the people in this greater New York-New Jersey-Connecticut, the entire Eastern Seaboard, that’s been affected in such a way by this huge storm. I think that the message is the toughness here, the resiliency,” Coughlin said. “We will not be stopped by the storm. We will come back. We will fight our way through this. We will get things right again. Just the pride that has been demonstrated to the general this morning, I think he verbalized very well for us out here.” Read more...
Giants Offer Free Parking, Shuttle Service
Excerpt: "Our thoughts are still with the people who have lost so much during this past week,” Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said in a statement. “A football game by comparison is such an insignificant event, but hopefully it will bring some sense of distraction or comfort to those of our fans who have been hurt in any way by this storm."
“We want to thank Governors Christie and Cuomo, and Mayor Bloomberg for their unwavering leadership in dealing with the devastation caused by this storm. And we are very grateful to have the opportunity to host several hundred servicemen and women and first responders at this week’s game. We owe each of them an extraordinary debt for everything that they have done for this region and for our country.” Read more...
Dungy: Same-Day Travel Not A Major Distraction
Excerpt: "The Steelers’ hotel in New Jersey can’t accommodate them, due to a lack of power. So they’ll make the trip to play the Giants on Sunday, and then they’ll come home after the game.
So how big of a problem will it be?
Former Buccaneers and Colts coach Dungy, who began his NFL career as a Steelers defensive back, tells PFT that it’s not a major issue." Read more...
NFL May Regret Going Forward With Steelers-Giants Game On Sunday
Excerpt: "mmediately after Hurricane Sandy hit the New York/New Jersey area, members of PFT Planet who live in that particular area of the globe raised concerns about proceeding with Sundays’ Steelers-Giants game at MetLife Stadium.
The NFL has been steadfast in its position that the game will go forward on Sunday, as scheduled.
But should it? With the Steelers having to travel to New York on game day because their hotel doesn’t have power and no other accommodations could be secured, the Steelers are at a competitive disadvantage, albeit as former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy told PFT last night not a major one.
What about the folks who paid for tickets who don’t have power or who otherwise have more significant concerns right now than spending all day at MetLife Stadium? Or the folks who can’t get to the game because they have no gas and no way to get any?" Read more...
PFTs Week 9 Picks
Excerpt: "The good news last week? MDS gained only one game on me. The bad news? MDS got only seven of the 14 games right.
Yep, that 12-1 performance from yours truly in Week Seven is now the chunk of filet between a moldy pair of 6-8 slices of counterfeit Wonder bread.
At one point, it was looking disastrous. Thanks to the Giants, Broncos, and 49ers, a nauseating 3-8 start was salvaged. Sort of.
This week, we again disagree on only one game. And it all comes down to Monday night.
For the year, I’m now 73-45, and MDS is 69-49.
Steelers at Giants
MDS’s take: The Steelers have played well at home and badly on the road this season, and that will continue against the Giants, who will win their fifth in a row.
MDS’s pick: Giants 28, Steelers 17.
Florio’s take: It’s a simple formula in New York. Play great against great teams. Play not-so-great against not-so-great teams. The Steelers currently fall closer to the former category.
Florio’s pick: Giants 35, Steelers 27." Read more...
Peek At The Week: Big Ben vs. Eli, Romo, Eagles Face Internal Battles
Excerpt: "Game of the week
Pittsburgh at N.Y. Giants, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS) | Preview
The line: Giants by 3˝
The story: The story within the story here is Ben Roethlisberger vs. Eli Manning. Both were chosen in the first round of the 2004 draft. Both are Super Bowl quarterbacks. And both are on track for the Hall of Fame. The question, of course, is which would you rather have? You can't go wrong with either, with Manning winning two of the past five Super Bowls and Roethlisberger two of the past seven.
Roethlisberger is known for making clutch throws in big games, but so is Eli. Roethlisberger is known for making big plays downfield, but so is Eli. Roethlisberger is known for his fourth-quarter heroics, but so is Eli. Including the playoffs, Manning won his past eight starts against the AFC. Now look at Roethlisbeger. He's 23-7 vs. the NFC.So let's try this again: Who do you trust?
This game may help you decide, with the Giants favored because of the people Pittsburgh is missing (like safety Troy Polamalu, tackle Marcus Gilbert and, possibly, linebacker LaMarr Woodley and safety Ryan Clark) and because the Giants are playing as well as they did down the stretch a year ago.
But the Giants have their own issues on defense, where safety Kenny Phillips has been sidelined the past four games and where safety Antrel Rolle may be out with concussion-like symptoms. But that's no problem when they can plug in Stevie Brown, the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his three takeaways (two interceptions, one fumble recovery) vs. Dallas. Brown has five interceptions this season, including four the past four weeks. His status depends on Rolle and Phillips, and both seem ready to return -- which could mean a return of last year's three-safety package." Read more...
Giants, Cruz Inch Toward New Contract
Excerpt: "Giants WR Victor Cruz is making a base salary of $540,000 this season and likely leads the NFL in some kind of receiving-prowess-per-dollar statistic. He probably has for the past two seasons, in which he has been among the leaders in both receptions and yards.
So why might the Giants, rumored to be deep in negotiations with Cruz on a long-term extension, want to pay him more money than they have to? Cruz is only set for restricted free agency in the offseason, and the Giants could enact mechanisms to make sure he remains a Giant for the long haul without signing him to a long-term deal yet.Per NFLPA figures, the Giants are a little more than $2 million below the salary cap for this season, so there’s not a ton of wiggle room. So again, why?
Here’s why: It’s likely the best solution long term. Not only would it make one of the team’s best players happy, but it also could save the Giants money down the road. There aren’t too many comparisons to draw on, contract-wise, because Cruz’s meteoric rise is seen as a bit unique in recent league history." Read more...
PFF 3TFO: Steelers @ Giants
Excerpt: "Normally, a meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants would be dominated by stories of the 2004 NFL Draft, the Rooneys and the Maras, and two franchises that have won four of the past seven Super Bowls. However, given the events of the past few days, Sunday’s game will seem far from normal. Here’s hoping that these two teams can give the people of the Tri-State Area a reason to cheer at the end of a tough week.
New York has generated an absurd 16 takeaways in its four-game winning streak, en route to a +13 turnover margin that is tied for first in the NFL. However, it can’t count on the same success against the Steelers, whose six giveaways are tied for the lowest mark in the league. Pittsburgh is hoping to reverse its fortunes on the road, where it is 1-3 this season. Let’s take a look at three matchups that will unfold in front of an emotionally-charged MetLife Stadium crowd.
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