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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants' Gameday: Giants (6 - 2) vs. Steelers (4 - 3)
Excerpt: "Giants vs. Steelers, 4:25 p.m.; MetLife Stadium; Ch. 2, 660 am
1. TE Heath Miller vs. Giants defense
Safety Kenny Phillips said his voice nearly became hoarse as he watched Jason Witten decimate the Giants in Dallas last week, helplessly watching his television in New Jersey. Witten caught 18 passes for 167 yards. The Giants couldn’t find a solution; he inflicted his damage against linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties. Today, the Giants will encounter the Steelers’ Miller, a tight end with a similar skill set and role to Witten’s. Phillips won’t be limited to a spectator this time and will return from a sprained knee ligament to help counter Miller. Phillips said the Giants will give different looks to Miller, whom he called Ben Roethlisberger’s security blanket. Miller has 35 receptions for 336 yards and six touchdowns, second in the NFL among tight ends." Read more...
Giants' Receiver Hakeem Nicks Says Steelers' Defensive Backs Guilty Of Grabbing A Lot
Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks’ job each Sunday starts here: Getting open, or at least some version of open.
The Giants receiver has an arsenal of tools he can use, contingent on the health of his right foot and left knee. He studies his opponent’s tactics, too, which led him to this conclusion about the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive backs.
“They grab,” Nicks said. “They grab a lot. They’re physical. ”
Just to be clear, Nicks doesn’t mean contact within the league’s rules. “I’m sure you’ll see on Sunday,” he said coyly. Veteran cornerback Ike Taylor, in Nicks’ opinion, is the “main one” who holds.
Nicks and the Giants receivers prepare each week for a fight at the line of scrimmage, some more intense than others. This Sunday — in the first major sporting event held in New Jersey after the landfall of Hurricane Sandy — the Giants will face the league’s top-ranked pass defense, despite the Steelers being without star safety Troy Polamalu." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Giants In For Tough Start To Second Half
Excerpt: "WHAT IT MEANS:
The Giants are rolling and anything they can do to continue their roll would help, but it would also be a big psychological lift not to start off the second half with a loss, reigniting the same old stories about the second-half swoon. The Steelers, meanwhile, have won two straight and are looking to continue their momentum as they chase the suddenly very vulnerable Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. … And oh yeah, there’s the whole Eli Manning vs. Ben Roethlisberger thing, too. Hey, they’ve got two Super Bowls each. Let’s just agree they’re both pretty good.
On the surface, this could be a difficult week for the Giants to maintain their focus. So many of them were pushed from their homes or left without power thanks to Hurricane Sandy. They also all know someone who has been affected and they’ve certainly seen the pictures. Never doubt Tom Coughlin’s ability to get his team to focus, though. He’s a master at keeping their eyes on the task at hand, and he’s got the perfect quarterback at his disposal to do that. However, they hit the Steelers at a bad time. The Giants’ offense has struggled the last couple of weeks and this may be the best defense they’ve faced so far (second overall, first against the pass). The Giants have the weapons to score on anyone, but something recently has been off. That means this game could be low-scoring and in the hands of their defense. And that’s where the issue is. The Giants’ defense has created a lot of turnovers, but other than in that one terrific game in San Francisco they’ve had trouble stopping opposing offenses. And the Steelers have a good quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger who has a stellar 14-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio this year. Picking him off won’t be easy. He may be notch below Eli Manning nowadays, but he’s still a terrific and clutch quarterback. Couple that with the Giants’ penchant for not having their strongest games at home – not to mention their annual second-half swoon – and they could find themselves in a very tough spot on Sunday afternoon.
Final Score: Steelers 21, Giants 17.
Record picking Giants games: 4-4
For the record: The Giants are 4-2 when I pick them to win this season and 2-0 when I pick them to lose" Read more...
Giants Looking To Provide Suffering Region a Boost
Excerpt: "Justin Tuckwanted to help.
It was Thursday night, days after Hurricane Sandy’s devastating trip along the East Coast, and football was hardly on Tuck’s mind. Millions in the tri-state area were without electricity, others without homes, everyone desperate for gas.
Tuck wanted to do something, he just didn’t know what. So he sent out a tweet: “How should I help the victims help of #Sandy”Sunday's Playbook: Giants vs. Steelers In A Classic Battle Of Classic NFL Heavyweights
“Everybody was like ‘Win the game,’ ” Tuck said. “I take that very seriously.”
And thus a Giants team that always chases victories has one more reason to pound the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
Less than a week after Sandy wrought tragedy and heartbreak throughout the tri-state area, Big Blue hopes to prop up a community.
“We’re going to go out there Sunday and play our hearts out,” Jason Pierre-Paul said. “It’s going to be a great one.”
The Giants realize this is a meaningless game, “small potatoes,” as quarterback Eli Manning puts it. And Manning admits that he has “mixed feelings” about whether three hours of running around on the MetLife Stadium turf can actually have an impact during a time like this.
But they still hope to do what Mike Pi***a’s Mets did 10 days after 9-11: Heal." Read more...
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...
THE NEW YORK POST
Champs Must Avoid A Misstep
Excerpt: "It never is a good time to invite Big Ben Roethlisberger and the big, bad Steelers to your house, and it is an especially bad time for the Giants to let them into MetLife Stadium today.
Forget for a moment that Big Ben can have Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora hanging onto his tree trunk legs and still find a way somehow to get the ball out to dangerous blurs like Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, or to dependable tight end Heath Miller, and remember this:
The Giants are coming off back-to-back division victories over the Redskins and Cowboys, and everyone knows how lucky they were in Dallas at the end. Division games carry more weight psychologically than games outside the conference.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, a master motivator, has challenged his team to measure itself against the defending Super Bowl champs. Uh-oh. The 4-3 Steelers are the more desperate team because they are a game behind the Ravens in the AFC North. The 6-2 Giants have a commanding lead over the reeling 3-4 Eagles and Cowboys. As we learned this week, you can’t fight Mother Nature ... much less human nature.
This marks the start of the second half of the season, a time that has not given Giants fans a great deal of comfort in the Tom Coughlin Era.
The Steelers are an uncharacteristic 1-3 on the road. Tomlin’s 2010 and 2011 teams were 12-4 away from Heinz Field.
No one can safely say how much of a distraction the post-Sandy upheaval will be for the Giants. Of course, if you want one head coach to weather any superstorm, it is Coughlin. And if you want any quarterback, it is Eli Manning." Read more...
Serby's Q&A With...Linval Joseph
Excerpt: "Giants defensive lineman Linval Joseph took some time out to tackle a Q&A blitz from Post columnist Steve Serby.
Q: Do you see yourself as a bully on the field?
A: (Chuckle) No, I don’t see myself as a bully.
Q: You see yourself as what?A: A stern player on the field.Q: What does that mean?A: I’m a good, all-around player.Q: You once said, “I like to hit running backs.”A: The object is to tackle the guy with the ball, [and] if the running back has the ball, I’ll hit him. If the receiver has the ball, I’m gonna hit him.Q: If I was a running back, would you be the wrong guy to run into?A: Any guy you run into’s gonna be the wrong guy.Q: What changes once you put the jersey on?A: When you put that helmet on, you’re going to war. You have to protect yourself." Read more...
Big Ben A Giant Target In Clash Of Historic Franchises
Excerpt: "In the end, whether today’s Giants-Steelers game provides a diversion or distraction or a few hours of relief from those still suffering from the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, it will go down in the books as a key weekend for both sides.
These teams are unfamiliar foes with long-standing and tradition-filled fan bases, and they often are right in the thick of playoff and Super Bowl contention. The Giants prepped for this game with the storm having knocked out power in their homes, and the Steelers arrived in New Jersey the day of the game because they did not want to displace hurricane victims seeking shelter from their team hotel. By all accounts, it has been a long, strange trip to kickoff.
“I think that not only will they be focused, I think the mission will be quite clear,’’ coach Tom Coughlin said. “Trying to provide a few hours of enjoyment for so many that have been devastated, I think they’ll do a good job of that.’’The Giants are on a roll, winners of four straight and coming off a wild 29-24 victory in Dallas, punctuated by a correct and fortunate touchdown reversal in the closing seconds, after blowing a 23-0 lead. Today’s game features the two quarterback stars from the Class of 2004, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, who have won four of the past seven Super Bowls.
"I think it comes down from the top,’’ Justin Tuck said. “You talk about the Rooneys, the Maras, the Tisches, it filters from the top. You have two franchise quarterbacks, teams that have been known for their defenses, two tough-minded franchises that know how to win football games. It is not always flashy. It is not always what people want to see, but they are constantly in the mix, and I think [those are] the similarities.’’
A look inside the game:" Read more...
Giants Bend It With Beckum
Excerpt: "When Travis Beckum tore his right ACL during the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, it appeared he would miss the entire 2012 season, as recovery from reconstructive knee surgery is often a one-year rehab. The Giants, though, clearly believe Beckum is ready to return. Yesterday the team activated him off the physically unable to perform list.
To make room on the active roster, the Giants waived guard Mitch Petrus. This comes as no surprise, considering the Giants cut Petrus in the final round of preseason cuts, but re-signed him when D.J. Jones, an offensive lineman they signed off waiver from the Eagles, did not pass his physical.
The Giants went with three tight ends on their roster this season: Martellus Bennett, Bear Pascoe and rookie Adrien Robinson. Pascoe is dealing with a sprained ankle and is unlikely to play in today’s game against the Steelers. Robinson is considered a decent prospect, but he is raw and not ready to make a contribution.
Beckum, a former third-round draft pick, has not made an impact during his time with the Giants. Last season, he had five receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown. In his three seasons with the Giants, Beckum has 26 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns." Read more...
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...
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
Inside The Numbers: Mid-Season Review
"Giants.com takes a closer look at the statistics for the first half of the 2012 season
n his nine years as the Giants head coach, Tom Coughlin has stressed the importance of winning the turnover battle and avoiding costly penalties. This season, the players are heeding those commands, and it’s a big reason the Giants are 6-2 and hold a 2.5-game lead in the NFC East at midseason.
Last Sunday in Dallas, the Giants forced six Cowboys turnovers while giving away the ball just twice. The plus-four advantage left them with a turnover differential of plus-13, which ties them with New England for the NFL’s best. The differential ties the 2005 Giants for the best midseason mark of the Coughlin era. That team also started 6-2 and went on to win the division with an 11-5 record. Last year at this time, the Giants were plus-7.
The Giants lead the NFL with 24 takeaways. They are tied with Chicago with a league-high 16 interceptions and second to the Patriots with eight fumble recoveries. The Giants and Bears are the only teams that have forced more than 20 turnovers.
The Giants have not hurt themselves with excessive penalties. They have been flagged 36 times for 299 yards. The 36 infractions tie them with Miami for the league’s second-lowest figure (Atlanta has 24) and only the Falcons and Dolphins have fewer penalty yards (192 and 285, respectively).
The 36 penalties are the Giants’ lowest total after eight games under Coughlin, easily beating the 41 penalties for 367 yards in 2007. It is also 15 fewer penalties than both the 2010 and 2011 midseason totals. Their opponents have been penalized 52 times for 381 yards.
Another factor in the Giants’ success is their ability to protect Eli Manning. He’s been sacked only six times (and
David Carr once); the seven sacks are an NFL low, one less than Buffalo and Houston. After eight games a year ago, the Giants had allowed more than twice as many sacks, 15.
Here are some other notable numbers from our annual midseason statistical review:
*The Giants are 6-2 for the sixth time in Coughlin’s nine seasons. They were 5-3 twice and 7-1 in 2008 at midseason. The Giants are a combined 53-19 (.736) in the first eight games since Coughlin arrived in 2004.
*The Giants have scored 234 points, or 29.3 a game. They are on pace to score 468 points, which would shatter the franchise record of 448 points, set in a 14-game season in 1963. The highest point total in the Coughlin era was 427 points in 2008. The Giants were averaging 24.6 points a game at midseason a year ago.
*Despite the high point total, the Giants have scored two fewer touchdowns than they did through eight games a year ago (23-25). But they have kicked 17 more field goals (24-7). The previous eight-game high under Coughlin was 18 field goals in 2008.
*The Giants are ranked fourth in the NFL in total offense (396.8 yards a game) and 24th on defense (386.5). Last year at this time, they were 11th and 19th, respectively.
*Good news: The Giants are second in the league with an average gain of 6.2 yards per play, easily the best of the Coughlin era. Not-so-good news: The Giants are 30th in the league by allowing an average gain of 6.2 yards per play.
*The Giants are averaging 282.1 passing yards a game. In 2011, when they set the franchise record with 4,734 passing yards, they averaged 282.9 yards a game at midseason.
*Manning has completed 62.5 percent of his passes. After eight games last year he was at 62.9 percent.
*The Giants’ third-down conversion percentage has improved considerably. At this time last year it was 34.0 percent, the second-lowest midseason figure under Coughlin. Now it’s at 39.2 percent (40/102), the highest since 2009.
*The Giants have work to do in the green zone. They have scored 16 touchdowns on 36 trips inside their opponents’ 20-yard line. That’s 44.4 percent, the third-lowest midseason figure in Coughlin’s nine seasons. In 2011, they had more touchdowns (17) in nine fewer opportunities, a 63.0 percent touchdown rate.
*Defensively, the Giants have posted some contradictory numbers. They are 24th in the league, allowing 386.5 yards a game. That is easily the midseason high in Coughlin’s tenure, topping the 365.6 yards after eight games a year ago – and far outdistancing the low of 250.6, set in 2010. But despite allowing 21 more yards a game, the Giants are giving up about three fewer points (20.1-23.0).
*Most of the damage has been through the air. The Giants are allowing 273.5 passing yards a game, a midseason high under Coughlin. The 2011 midseason figure was exactly 35 yards less. At the same time, opponents have had a tougher time running the ball. They are averaging 113.0 yards a game compared to last year’s 127.1.
*The Giants have six more interceptions (16-10), but seven fewer sacks (21-28). The 16 picks are five more than the Giants’ previous midseason high under Coughlin.
Lawrence Tynes is having his finest season. He leads the NFL in field goal attempts (26), field goals (24) and points (94). He is on pace to score 188 points. The Giants’ single-season record is 148, set by Jay Feely in 2005. Of course, Coughlin would prefer the Giants convert more of those green zone opportunities and call on Tynes less frequently.
*Last year at this time, Steve Weatherford had punted 44 times for a 45.8-yard gross average and a 39.3-yard net average. This season, he has booted 28 punts for a 45.9-yard gross average and a 39.5-yard net average. That’s consistency.
*The Giants’ kickoff return average has improved to 25.8 yards on 31 runbacks from 22.3 yards on 24 returns. But their punt return average has dipped to 6.7 yards from 8.2.
A look at the Giants’ midseason statistics under Coughlin:
A look at the Giants’ midseason statistics under Coughlin:
Some leftovers from the Dallas game: *The Giants led the Cowboys, 23-0, fell behind, 24-23, and rallied to win, 29-24. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in their history the Giants blew a regular-season lead of at least 23 points. They led the 2002 NFC Wild Card Game in San Francisco, 38-14, before the 49ers rallied for a 39-38 victory. The Giants were only the fifth team since 1950 to lead by at least 23 points, fall behind, and come back to win:
*Dallas’ Jason Witten caught 18 passes, the most ever by a Giants opponent. The previous best was 16 catches by Sonny Randle of the St. Louis Cardinals on Nov. 4, 1962. *Witten (167 yards), Miles Austin (nine catches for 133 yards) and Dez Bryant (5-110) became the first trio of Giants opponents with at least 100 yards in the same game since Oct. 19, 1980, when San Diego’s Charlie Joiner (10-171), John Jefferson (5-107) and Kellen Winslow (6-102) did it. The last NFL threesome to accomplish the feat was Arizona’s Steve Breaston (9-122), Larry Fitzgerald (8-122) and Anquan Bolden (10-119) at the Jets. *Stevie Brown returned an interception 37 yards and Corey Webster had a 38-yard runback in Dallas. It was the first time the Giants had two interception returns that long in the same game since Nov. 30, 1997, when Phillippi Sparks brought one back 68 yards and Tito Wooten had a 53-yard return."
Giants Insider: Post-Sandy Pittsburgh Steelers' Edition
Excerpt: "A bit late this week because of the storm, he’s our weekly crossover piece with the boys from Steelers101.com as Eli Manning and the New York Giants hope to forget about the destruction caused by the storm for a few hours this afternoon while Ben Roethlisberger and thePittsburgh Steelers come to town.
We’ve heard all about the Steelers having to travel from Pittsburgh this morning because they couldn’t find a hotel, but let’s get a little deeper with Mark Mihalko from Steelers101 and see what we’re in store for.
We’ve heard a lot this year about a shaky, unhealthy offensive line. Is Big Ben getting beat up that bad back there?
It is honestly hard to tell whether the Steelers offensive line has been playing better lately or if new offensive coordinator Todd Haley is just doing a better job game planning. The new dink-and-dunk offense has paid dividends with Roethlisberger getting the ball out of his hands quicker than he did in seasons past. It also looks like the reason for this new found success in the running games, as teams are playing outside for the quick passing game and Dwyer has been very patient.
Biggest weakness: rookie Mike Adams can be exposed by an outside speed rush at right tackle a la the Philadelphia Eagles wide-nine approach. To compensate, they play with a tight end or back chipping a lot on that side. Looming as an even bigger issue is depth, as one injury to a tackle will have them scrambling.This makes us giddy at the thought of seeing Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul matched up against Adams.
Jonathon Dwyer had some pretty good games on my fantasy team the last two weeks, but it looks like he and Mendenhall are out. Should be scared of an Isaac Redman-led running game?
Redman should get the bulk of the carries with Baron Batch and Chris Raineysprinkled in. They have been running Rainey a bit more in recent weeks and he may be the healthiest back available. However, his smallish size will limited his touches.
Survey says….not really? That Redman is averaging 2.5 yards a carry this season and hasn’t done much while Dwyer and Mendenhall both had far more success when in there, and that Mark immediately brought up Rainey when asked about Redman makes us think the Giants can make the Steelers one-dimensional today." Read more...
Report: Kenny Phillips Will Not Play Against Steelers For The Giants
Excerpt: "Profootballtalk.com is reporting that Kenny Phillips will not play after all against the Pittsburgh Steelers later this afternoon, as the New York Giantssafety will miss his fifth game with a sprained knee.
PFT’s report, citing a “league source” and the Giants.com Depth Chart that still shows Stevie Brown listed ahead of Phillips as the starter, comes as a bit of a surprise after Phillips said Thursday that he would play (he practiced in full on Wednesday, and was limited on Thursday and Friday)." Read more...
Sandy Sacks Jersey, But Hell's Bell's Will Still Play On Sunday
Excerpt: "Monday evening in New Jersey was like an all-defensive show. Trees were de-cleated. Waves blitzed the shorelines and more. Wind gusts took out power lines and anything not equivalent to the weight of an entire offensive line (plus the backfield and tight ends). By 4:25pm EST on Sunday, however,MetLife Stadium will be more than ready to go for the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the New YorkFootball Giants game. Game on!
After a devastating week for most in the tri-state area, shifting focus to a 3+ hour football game is more than likely a welcome distraction. Category 1 storm “Sandy” caused severe damage to the state of New Jersey before the actual downgraded hurricane hit the shores on Monday evening. Many are still without power, gas and hot water. This includes some of the Giants’ players, like QB Eli Manning who is also looking at Sunday’s game as a bit of respite from the damage (like getting evacuated from his Hoboken home because of severe flooding).
“I think we've had a couple of days to be with our families and kind of deal with the situation and it's not easy,” said Manning. “Obviously, there's still a lot of issues and no power and the home life is different and has its challenges, but I think once you get into the facility and get here and start working out, it will be a good little break to kind of get away from that and everything feels pretty normal.” Read more...Giants' Mark Herzlich Ready For First Start Of Season
Excerpt: "It has become no secret within the New York Giants organization that Mark Herzlich is the future at middle linebacker. The team would like for him to get some experience this season, but the stellar play of Chase Blackburn has made it difficult for Herzlich to find the field on defense. However, Blackburn suffered a hamstring injury last week which will keep him from playing Sunday, giving Herzlich a chance to prove he's worthy of being the team's next starting middle linebacker.
“It’s a big opportunity for me,” Herzlich said. “It’s an important opportunity and it’s fun. You get the opportunity to go out there and play against an opponent like the Steelers and it’s fun. You have to make the most of every snap."By now everyone should know of Mark's brave battle with Ewing's Sarcoma that could have cost him his football career. But he battled and managed to beat the cancer, keeping his dream of playing in the NFL alive. He would go undrafted but the Giants signed him as a free agent. During his time on the Giants he has proved he still has what it takes physically to compete at theNFL level, and now finds himself with a great opportunity to earn a starting role.
Herzlich has been watching Blackburn and has learned a lot from the veteran who knows the Giants system extremely well. He knows that even if he puts on a great performance Sunday, Chase would likely get his starting job back once he recovers from his injury, but it is still a great opportunity to gain valuable experience for the future." 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...
BIG BLUE VIEW
NY Giants' News and Notes: Game Day Edition
Excerpt: "Good morning, New York Giants fans! Here is your Sunday morning notebook as you await today's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
NJ Gov. Chris Christie supports NFL’s decision to not move Sunday’s Steelers-Giants game | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
From the blog Shutdown Corner: With Hurricane Sandy causing an estimated $50 billion in damage to the New York/New Jersey area earlier this week, the National Football League has waived its travel rules and will allow the Pittsburgh Steelers to fly to New Jersey on …" Read more...
Five Reasons Why Te Steelers WillBeat The Giants
Excerpt: "Jonathan Dwyer is not top to bottom a better runner thanIsaac Redman
Dwyer's two-game run of success won't continue this afternoon when the Steelers take on the Giants in Week 9. A quadriceps injury will keep his meteoric rise in check for at least one week. Redman gets the start, a position he held at the start of this season.
The difference here is the Steelers offensive line, not the change in running backs. Redman had won the confidence of the coaching staff over Dwyer heading into the season, so if Dwyer can run as successfully as he has, so can Redman. If the Steelers can run the ball as successfully as they have the last two weeks, the Steelers can beat the Giants." Read more...
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...
Coach's Big Decision: Diehl's Rerturn
Excerpt: "The Giants have already made their big decision for this week as they will re-insert David Diehl as the starting right tackle Sunday against the Steelers. Diehl will take the place ofSean Locklear, who had started the past six games since Diehl suffered an MCL injury in his right knee.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin all but said the Giants are re-inserting Diehl back into the lineup because a starter can’t lose his job due to an injury. Diehl has played as the team’s extra tight end in jumbo packages the past three weeks, playing 25 snaps.
“We brought David along trying to make sure that he was okay, and that his strength was there, his confidence was there,” Coughlin said Friday. “He started out in the same role that Sean will be in this weekend. That’s where we are on that.” 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...
Prisco's Picks: Week 9
|PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT NY GIANTS - 4:25 P.M.
||This is a quarterback-pass rusher game. It's Ben Roethlisberger vs. Eli Manning. It's the Steelers edge rushers trying to outdo Jason Pierre-Paul and his gang. So who gets the better of it? I like the Giants offensive line a little better, so Manning will have more shots. That will be the difference.
|" 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...
Friday's 60 Second Rant: Rivers Is The Lost QB From 2004 Draft