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NEWARK STAR LEDGEER
Keith Rivers Out To Prove Bengals Made A Bust Of A Decision To Trade Him
Excerpt: "Four days a week during the offseason, a Keith Rivers with a renewed focus would commute 45 minutes to a gym in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.
Rivers was on the rebound from a divorce with the Cincinnati Bengals, a breakup he acknowledged was a couple years in the making because club and player weren’t on the same page for some time. He asked for a trade, and the two sides mutually cut ties.
A member of the Giants after being traded for a fifth-round draft pick in April, he entered workout sessions with increased vigor, with the objective to prove he was worthy of the first-round selection and not an injury-prone bust.
“I was just chomping at the bit, working hard, working two or three times a day so when that time came I can own it,” Rivers recalled.
Rivers was sitting at his locker Friday, a few minutes after the Giants announced he was questionable to play Sunday in his return to Cincinnati. He is battling a calf injury. It’s an improvement from last week, when he was listed as doubtful before being ruled inactive for the game with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rivers, a weak-side linebacker, has played in five of nine games this season. When he’s on the field, he has been effective and has shown flashes of the speed and athleticism that made him the No. 9 overall pick out of Southern California in 2008." Read more...
Eli Manning Tours Hurricane-Ravaged Hoboken To Raise Awareness Of Relief Fund
Excerpt: "The hard-hit city of Hoboken got a lift from its most famous resident today when New York Giant Eli Manning toured areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Manning was shown around by Mayor Dawn Zimmer as an NFL camera rolled to to help raise awareness for rebuildhoboken.org, the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund.
According to city spokesman Juan Melli, Manning visited businesses and residences that were devastated.
"Anyone who sees the real devastation is impacted,'' Melli said." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Giants Vow To Vow To Halt Cincy Run Game
Excerpt: "It will not happen again. Linval Josephcan’t guarantee much, but he does promise that.
A week ago, the Giants defensive tackle was part of a run defense that collapsed against the Pittsburgh Steelers, transforming third-string tailback Isaac Redman into a star who rushed for 147 yards.
It was a dismal performance that the Giants defense wishes it could forget. Except that it has come up every single day this week, Joseph said, as the NFC East leaders have prepared for Sunday’s visit to Cincinnati.
“I feel like this week, we talked about it more,” Joseph said. “We’re not going to let it happen again.”
That’s because the physical, grind-it-out Bengals bear a striking resemblance to the Steeler team that ripped through the Giants just last week. Cincinnati averages just 95.9 rushing yards per game, but like Pittsburgh, the Bengals rely on a powerful offensive line. They hail from same division as the Steelers — the AFC North — and Joseph said both teams share several key run plays.
And, like the Steelers, they rely on a hard-running tailback in BenJarvus Green-Ellis, a former Patriot. Green-Ellis never shouldered the load in New England’s pass-happy scheme, but he did have success against the Giants last season, totaling 96 rushing yards on just 22 carries in the regular-season loss and the Super Bowl.
“He is (similar to Redman),” Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty said.
“He’s one of those guys that’s gonna pour it up in there, he’s going to press the hole. But he’s got that shiftiness. He’s got some bounce elements to his game.
“He’s gonna be a guy that they want to get started early and often.”
It all adds up to another tough game for a Giants run defense that still hasn’t proven itself. Bengals wideout A.J. Green may have drawn attention to the Giants’ secondary, but the run defense isn’t much better, giving up 4.6 yards per carry (fifth-worst in the league).
Redman entered the game averaging 2.5 yards per carry, but he got 5.7 a carry against the Giants. And Redman didn’t exactly do anything truly impressive, Joseph said. Mostly, the Steelers tailback just “got behind his linemen and fell forward.”
“I thought that we didn’t shed well, and we didn’t tackle well,” Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said of last Sunday’s game. “We could’ve tackled a hell of a lot better. We could’ve shed a hell of a lot better in that football game to make some football plays.” Read more...
Blackburn Expects To Play In Return Home
Excerpt: "When the Giants face the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday, Chase Blackburn knows he will have plenty of fans in the stands. The Giants’ middle linebacker grew up in Ohio and went to school at Akron, so many of his friends and family are coming.
“It’s only about an hour and a half from my house,” he said. “So there will be quite a few people there.”
And if everything goes according to plan, they will all watch Blackburn play. The veteran sat out last week’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers with a hamstring injury, but he’s considered probable to play on Sunday, after two good days of practice.
On Friday, he said he handled a “normal” practice workload and “didn’t seem to have any limitations.”
“As of right now, they’ve given me the go,” he said. “So I’ll be out there.” Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
Hurt Snee "Ankle"ing To Play For Giants
Excerpt: "In an encouraging development, guard Chris Snee, battling a sprained ankle, participated in practice for the Giants Friday after not working on Wednesday or Thursday. Snee isn’t sure if he will play tomorrow in Cincinnati, but the possibility would seem to be greater after Friday’s activity.
“I’d love to be out there, but that’s a decision we haven’t made yet,” said Snee, who was limited in practice and is listed as questionable for Sunday. “Every day is an improvement. So I’m hoping that [in] two more days, I’ll be able to do some things out there.”
Snee turned his ankle in the first quarter of last Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Steelers. If Snee can’t go, the Giants will move right tackle David Diehl to right guard and use Sean Locklear at right tackle.
“It’s one of those things where I wasn’t going to come out of the game, and I just tried to push through it,” he said." Read more...
Giants' LB: Facing Former Team No Big Deal
Excerpt: "Keith Rivers was ready to go, and the Bengals were ready to let him go, so in April, Cincinnati traded the linebacker to the Giants for a fifth-round pick.
“We just weren’t on the same page on a lot of things,” Rivers said. “It was great to be able to go somewhere else and get a fresh start.”
Nine games into his Giants tenure, Rivers has gotten his fresh start, but is now heading back to familiar, if not fond, territory. Tomorrow, the Giants will visit Cincinnati with Rivers in tow. If he’s active — he worked every day in practice this week, but is still questionable with a calf injury — he is set to face his former team for the first time since they parted ways.
Yesterday Rivers dismissed the idea this game will mean more to him personally, insisting he didn’t have anything to prove against the Bengals he wouldn’t have against another team. He also called his tenure in Cincinnati “a good time.”
“It’s a business trip,” Rivers said. “Go out there and do what we need to do to get a ‘W.’ ”
Rivers’ declarations, however, have certainly been toned down a bit from what they were a few months ago. During mini-camp in June, he was asked if he could be a steal for the Giants, and he promptly replied: “A steal? I was the ninth pick in the draft. That’s beyond a steal. It’s armed robbery.”
Through a little more than half a season, however, Rivers’ time with the Giants has hardly qualified as that. For one, he has struggled to stay healthy, playing in only five games due to injury. For another, he has no sacks or forced turnovers and a total of just 20 tackles. Nineteen of his tackles, however, have come in three games — the season opener against the Cowboys (seven), Week 7 against the Redskins (six) and Week 8 against the Cowboys (six). Not coincidentally, those are the three games Rivers started this season.
If you project his starting stats over a full season, Rivers would be on pace for over 100 tackles on the year. He had similar production in Cincinnati — 101 tackles in 13 games in 2009, 95 in 15 games in 2010 — but he also missed nine games as a rookie in 2008 due to a fractured jaw and was sidelined all of last season after wrist surgery.
“That’s just been kind of the bad luck for me ... injuries,” Rivers said. “I don’t think it’s ever been a question of my play. It’s been a question of being healthy.” Read more...
Coughlin: After Loss To Steelers, We Van't Afford Cincy Slip-Up
Excerpt: "The sun was shining bright and the temperature outside had reached the mid-50s. It was a perfect day for football yesterday, yet the Giants practiced inside the controlled elements of the Timex Performance Center.
It seemed a bit odd the week after a game that prompted head coach Tom Coughlin to call his team’s play “soft.” But Coughlin had good reason for holding the final full practice before tomorrow’s game at Cincinnati indoors.
“It’s a beautiful looking day,” the coach said yesterday. “Gosh, we would have loved to have been outside. It was too wet. We didn’t want anyone to go out there and slip and fall.”
Coughlin might have eliminated the chances of players slipping and falling yesterday, but his primary mission is to keep his Giants (6-3) upright against the Bengals (3-5).
“We need to win a game,” Coughlin said. “It’s important to win and focus and play. That’s what our point has been all week.”
The urgency in his voice didn’t sound like a coach with the cushion of a 2 1/2-game lead in the NFC East. At 6-3, the Giants still have a season regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s game. There is more desperation coming out of Dallas and Philadelphia, where the Cowboys and the Eagles will meet with 3-5 records, and the Redskins are out of rhythm at 3-6. The division is there for the taking." Read more...
Giants' Snee Practices On Limited Basis, Could Play Sunday
Excerpt: "Giants guard Chris Snee, who didn’t practice Wednesday or yesterday due to an ankle injury, worked today in a limited capacity, helping the possibility that he’ll end up playing on Sunday against the Bengals.“I’d love to be out there, but that’s a decision we haven’t made yet,” said Snee, who’s listed as questionable. “I felt better every day. Having two more days is a good thing.”
Said Tom Coughlin, “He did a little bit [today]. Enough to call him limited. We’ll see. He feels better, but I think we’ll see in another day. Another couple days.”
Asked if the Giants would shift David Diehl from right tackle to right guard and use Sean Locklear at right tackle if Snee can’t go, Coughlin said, “We’ll see about that.” Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
NEW YORK TIMES
Week 10 NFL Game Predictions
Excerpt: "Analytics have become a major part of political campaigns. President Obama’s re-election owes much to a small army of analysts who targeted potential voters and donors in ever narrowing slices, matching messages containing certain styles and emphasis with particular demographic audiences.
One of the most visible applications of analytics in this year’s election was theFiveThirtyEight blog, created by Nate Silver, who was a noted baseball sabermetrician best known for creating the Pecota prediction model. Nate’s model defied its critics and was exceptionally accurate yet again on Tuesday.Sports and analytics naturally go together. An abundance of data can serve as a virtual laboratory for learning and testing statistical techniques. If I had to guess, I’d say that most professional analytics experts at one time used sports data to hone their skills. But I think the confidence we can get when modeling relatively simple things, like an N.F.L. game, can lead to overconfidence when applying the same techniques beyond sports.
Pwin GAME Pwin 0.54
Indianapolis at Jacksonville 0.46 0.54 NY Giants at Cincinnati 0.46 0.28 Tennessee at Miami 0.72 0.53 Detroit at Minnesota 0.47 0.30 Buffalo at New England 0.70 0.62 Atlanta at New Orleans 0.38 0.36 San Diego at Tampa Bay 0.64 0.56 Denver at Carolina 0.44 0.43 Oakland at Baltimore 0.57 0.29 NY Jets at Seattle 0.71 0.53 Dallas at Philadelphia 0.47 0.26 St. Louis at San Francisco 0.74 0.57 Houston at Chicago 0.43 0.21 Kansas City at Pittsburgh 0.79
WALL STREET JOURNAL
ProSportsNet Ultimate Family Experience Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser
Excerpt: "Although Hurricane Sandy struck the New York/ New Jersey Metropolitan area almost two weeks ago, there are still thousands without homes, power, and the basic necessities needed to live a healthy everyday life. Help is still needed from those fortunate enough to be in a situation to do so. That's why ProSportsNet is hosting a GIANT event to help those still being effected by Hurricane Sandy.
Come out to Dave & Busters inside the Palisades Mall on Sunday, November 18th to meet current New York Giants players Domenik Hixon,David Wilson, Steve Weatherford, Chase Blackburn, Lawrence Tynesand David Carr. Giants 101 will also be in attendance." Read more...
Former Giants' GM Ernie Arcorsi Helping Carolina Panthers Find a New GM
Excerpt: "Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has tapped Ernie Accorsi, the former New York Giants general manager who hired Tom Coughlinand drafted Eli Manning, to find the Panthers a new GM in the wake of Marty Hurney’s firing.
Giants Director of College Scouting Marc Ross will be a hot name given Accorsi’s ties to the Giants and the fact that Ross’ name was already on the radar: he interviewed for GM positions with the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiderslast year." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
Giants vs. Bengals: What To Watch For
Excerpt: "The last thing the New York Giants want is to head into their bye week on a two-game losing streak. To avoid that, the Giants (6-3) have to beat the Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) on Sunday. Here is a look at some of the key things to watch as the Giants try to do just that." Read more...
Folger's Forecast: Giants At Cincinnati
Excerpt: "Last week’s loss to Pittsburgh saw all three of the Giants’ units play poorly. Post-game, their remarks were unanimous in denying the effects that Hurricane Sandy had on their individual and collective psyches.
We disagree. Watching them struggle, we thought it obvious that the Giants just weren’t prepared to compete.
The Bengals are coming off a loss to Denver, but more specifically, to a vintage Peyton Manning performance. The Bengals did not play that badly. Their offense is dangerous, while their defense has a bunch of young up-and-comers. This will not be an easy game.
Giants on Offense
The passing game is the Giants’ biggest concern. Until they can get Hakeem Nicks up and running at full throttle, the passing game will struggle.
Without Nicks at top form, defenses are throwing enough things at Victor Cruz to keep him and Eli Manning from working off the same plan.
Manning was spoiled last year at season’s end by the healthy troika of Cruz, Nicks and Mario Manningham, all of whom were playing at the top of their games. It would behoove the Giants to decide on the identity of their third receiver and stick with him.
It looks to us like rookie Rueben Randle has the most talent, but it would be tough to place too many expectations on a rookie.
The Giants’ offensive line is another concern. The return of David Diehl to the starting lineup did not work out well. Diehl came up short at the end of both halves when Manning usually is money, but Manning and the offense failed at both critical junctures, which is something that doesn’t happen very often.
Diehl will continue to be targeted at key moments until he steps up and plays big in big moments.
We’re still waiting to see more definitive play from TE Martellus Bennett, who has had solid numbers to date, but needs to do more as a receiver.
Bennett’s blocking also hasn’t been quite as good as advertised, as perhaps he’s still dealing with that hyper-extended knee that he suffered four games back.
The other element of this offense that needs to step up is Manning himself. His decision-making has to get better. He’s also gotten into a bit of a deep-throwing rut and needs to start checking the ball down when there’s nothing there. He has good pass catchers in the backfield and needs to utilize them more.
The Bengals defense has been inconsistent this year, but facing the defending Super Bowl champs will surely bring out their best. They generally stop the run well and have size and talent on the defensive line, but the pass rush is inconsistent, which leaves their pass defense open to probing.
They have few recognizable names on their defensive roster, but it’s these types of high-profile opponents that invariably bring out the best in a young team." Read more...
THE RED ZONE
Eli Manning Struggling With Fatigue In Throwing Arm?
Excerpt: " New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning hasn't been himself the past three weeks. Can that be explained by a tired arm?
That's the theory being floated by NFL Films guru Greg Cosell, who's seen a lack of zip in some of Manning's throws during his study of game tape.
Cosell said during his weekly Yahoo! podcast that he and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski both reached the same conclusion independently, then received some confirmation from an outside source.
"Ron Jaworski and I were having this conversation this week," Cosell said, via PFT. "I looked at Eli on Monday; Jaws looked at Eli on Wednesday. And he made a very interesting comment. It really struck me, and I would defer to Jaws on this because I've never taken snaps in the NFL. ... It looks to him like Eli's arm is a little tired. And that he's not driving the ball at the intermediate and deeper levels the way we've come to expect. Because Eli has a strong arm."
Manning threw 318 passes in New York's first eight games, tied with Tony Romo for eighth most in the NFL." Read more...
Newt Level Preview: Giants @ Bengals
Excerpt: "The Giants will travel to Cincinnati on Sunday to face their second consecutive AFC North opponent. After taking a 20-10 lead in the third quarter last week against the Steelers, the Giants gave up 14 unanswered points and fell 24-20 to Pittsburgh. Despite winning in Dallas two weeks ago, the Giants offense has sputtered over the last two games, averaging 244.0 yards per game. Eli Manning has not thrown a touchdown pass in each of the last two games, the first time he’s done that since Weeks 3 and 4 of the 2008 season. The Giants are facing a Bengals team that has lost its last four games and given up an average of 26.5 points per game during that stretch. Despite Cincinnati’s recent struggles, the Giants will need to contain one of the league’s best young receivers in A.J. Green. Here are some areas to watch for in Week 10:
• Eli Manning completed 41.7 percent of his passes in Week 9 against the Steelers, his second-worst completion percentage in a game in his last five seasons. Manning has had an especially tough time throwing the ball downfield recently. Over the first seven weeks of the season Manning completed 13 pass plays of at least 30 yards, which ranked first in the NFL. But in his last two games Manning has completed just two such pass plays, and has struggled on throws more than 10 yards downfield. Manning posted a Total QBR of 97.5 on throws of more than 10 yards in the first seven weeks of the season. Over the last two weeks his Total QBR has dropped to 41.3 on those throws, which is the second-worst in the league among qualified quarterbacks." Read more...
Rivers Returns To Cincinnati
Excerpt: "When the Bengals traded current Giants linebacker Keith Riversthis offseason, they shipped away a highly talented former first-round pick who struggled to stay on the field.
As Rivers returns to Cincinnati this weekend, he still hasn’t been able to shed that label. Rivers is questionable for Sunday’s game with a calf injury and could be in danger of missing his fifth game of the season, which would be half of the games the Giants have played this year.
The Bengals selected Rivers with the ninth-pick in the 2008 Draft to be a staple of their defense for years to come, but it never worked out that way. A jaw injury shortened his rookie year, and he played just 28 games over the next three seasons with the Bengals.
Rivers looks back on his time with Cincinnati with good memories. The linebacker said the move to trade him to the Giants for a fifth-round pick was a mutual decision and he said there were a lot of moving parts to the deal.
“Things happened and we weren’t really on the same page and it was great to get a fresh start,” Rivers said, adding that his role on the team wasn’t part of the reason for the trade." Read more...
Arcorsi Hired By Panthers
Excerpt: "Former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi has been hired by the Carolina Panthers to serve as a consultant in the team’s search for a new general manager, according to the Charlotte Observer. Accorsi, 71, has known Panthers owner Jerry Richardson for a long time.
“I have a very high regard for Mr. Richardson and look forward to providing any help that I can to him and the organization in their search for a new general manager,” Accorsi said in a statement on the paper's website." Read more...
Eli's Struggles May Be Due To "Tired Arm"
Excerpt: "Two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning has struggled the past three weeks. Not a ton has been made of it because the G-Men have won two of the three games. But Eli has not played well, and it’s been evident both on the field and in the box scores.
Manning’s struggles were especially noticeable in Weeks Eight and Nine. Against the Cowboys and Steelers, Manning combined to complete just 25-of-54 passes (46.3 percent) for 317 yards (5.87 YPA), no touchdowns, and two interceptions.
NFL Films guru Greg Cosell mentioned on Friday’s Yahoo! Week Ten preview podcast that Manning’s struggles may be due to a “tired arm,” 318 throws into his ninth NFL season. And not only has it been evident on game tape, but Cosell and ESPN’s Ron Jaworski confirmed with someone in the know that Eli’s arm is tired." Read more...