NEWARK STAR LEDGER
For A Ginats' Passing Offense In A S"Slump", It Was Back To The Basics This Week
Excerpt: "This play, an incomplete pass, was a red flag of sorts to an offense hitting a speed bump.
The situation was a third down with 7 yards to go in the third quarter of last week’s loss to the Steelers. Victor Cruz was lined up in the slot, running an in-breaking route with an option, an adjustment he and quarterback Eli Manning regularly make in unison.
Cruz determined he needed to sit the route down in a window between two defenders. But Manning thought his receiver was going to keep cutting across the field. That’s where he fired the ball, just out of Cruz’s reach.
The Giants settled for a field goal. And perhaps most frustrating to them was that this was one of their offense’s “base” plays, a bread-and-butter call that is supposed to be automatic.
“There have been numerous examples of that in the past couple weeks,” backup quarterback David Carr said, “and I think it’s kind of waking the guys up a little bit.”
What followed was a shift in the week of preparation leading up to Sunday's game at Cincinnati. There has been a focus on one or two dozen base plays, players said, perfecting them in practice rather than rushing to install new ones. Coaches have harped on fundamentals. And there has also been an emphasis on playing up-tempo, with the potential to use the no-huddle in the game, because the offense is often at its barest and most effective in this mode.
The goal is to revive the Giants’ high-powered passing game after it has faded in recent weeks, a development offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride admitted has been “jarring” — although the Giants have faced three of the league’s top five pass defenses in the past four weeks.
Manning’s passer rating has dropped in five consecutive games — from 103.3 against the Browns in Week 5, to 41.1 against the Steelers in Week 9 — for the first time in his nine-year career. He’s thrown for less than 200 yards in three of the past four games, after hitting that mark in 24 straight regular-season games, and hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in two consecutive weeks, for only the third time in his career." Read more...
Giants Activate Will Hill To 53-Man Roster, Place Michael Coe On IR
Excerpt: "The Giants activated Will Hill to their 53-man roster, making the safety and special teams player available for tomorrow's game at Cincinnati. To make space, cornerback Michael Coe was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
Hill served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, which he said stemmed from a doctor's prescription for Adderall. Hill returned to practice this week and said he played on six of the top special-teams units, so he expected to play against the Bengals.
"I'm definitely excited," Hill said Friday. "I’ve got a lot of pent-up aggression that I’ve got to let out, and I'm just happy to contribute to the team in some way."
Hill played a significant role in the first five games of the season on special teams and also in some duty as the nickel corner." Read more...
Giants' Injury Report: Snee, Bradshaw, Rivers Appear Good To Go; Coe Is Out
Excerpt: "The Giants head into Sunday's game significantly healthier than last week against the Steelers.
Guard Chris Snee (ankle), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), and linebacker Keith Rivers (calf) are questionable for Sunday, but each is confident that they will play in Cincinnati.
Safety Kenny Phillips (knee), linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee) and cornerback Michael Coe (hamstring) are the only players ruled out. Tom Coughlin had already said that both Phillips and Williams were going to be shelved through the bye week.
So the only surprise is Coe, who missed practice this week because of discomfort in the same hamstring that he dealt with earlier in the season.
"It was alright. It wasn’t bad; better than (Thursday)," said Coe, who was awaiting MRI results Friday. "Every time I don’t do anything, it usually feels good. But you never know until you actually do something." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Struggling Eli Can't Throw Season Away
Excerpt: "Eli Manning was a legitimate MVP candidate just a few weeks ago, but now the Giants need him to break out of his four-game slump so they can avoid going into a slump.
As usual with the Giants, it’s all about Eli.
If the Giants have any chance to play deep into January and even on the first Sunday of February, they need Eli to put the E-L-I back in elite.
The Giants are 6-3 going into Sunday’s game against the Bengals, and with the Eagles and Cowboys at 3-5 and the Redskins at 3-6, it’s almost time to start figuring out their magic number in the NFC East. The Giants have lapped the field in victories in the watered-down division, but to have any shot at making a legitimate run at repeating as Super Bowl champs, they need for Manning to get back to being elite.
He has struggled the last month — the Giants still dominated the 49ers, but then barely beat the Redskins and Cowboys before Manning threw for just 125 yards in a dreadful performance against the Steelers when the Giants blew a 10-point lead late in the third quarter, one week after they fell behind Dallas after leading 23-0 in the first half.
“It’s a loss, but it happens during the course of a season,” Manning said. “You can’t let one lead to another or be the reason why you are not playing at a high level because you are losing confidence or thinking you are in a funk.” Read more...
Giants' Playbook: Giants (6 - 3) vs. Bengals (3 - 5)
Excerpt: "at PAUL BROWN STADIUM
WHEN: 1 p.m.
LINE: GIANTS by 4
TV: Ch. 5 ( Thom Brennaman , Brian Billick ), Nationwide on Dial Global Sports (Tom McCarthy, Tony Boselli )
RADIO: WFAN-660 AM and 101.9 FM ( Bob Papa , Carl Banks ).
FORECAST: Sunny, high of 68, 15 MPH winds.
KEY MATCHUP WR A.J. Green vs. CB Corey Webster and S Antrel Rolle
Green’s innocent contention about those holes in the Giants’ defense is not without merit. They do rank a lowly 26th in pass defense despite a great front four. But as kind of a one-man show in Cincy’s offense, he’ll be getting a lot of attention besides Webster. The Giants do not get beat over the top often.
“Real good matchup outside with Andrew Whitworth , who I rate as one of the top pass protectors in the league against the long-armed Jason Pierre-Paul. The Bengals’ kick coverage has really slipped this year. There will be opportunities for KR David Wilson . Cincinnati can’t afford to remain turnover-prone against an opportunistic defense like this. ( Andy ) Dalton just needs to keep the chains moving the way he did against the Broncos, but that’s not easy the way the Giants can get after you on third down. The Giants’ receiving corps isn’t scaring a lot of people these days and we’ll see if the Bengals take a cue from the Steelers and get more physical with them.” Read more...
Giants Visit Cin City Needing To Win Big
Excerpt: "It didn’t take long for the panic to begin swirling. The truth is, it never does. One loss by the Giants last Sunday set off alarm bells inside and outside of their practice facility.
It didn’t even matter that the loss followed four wins in a row.“It doesn’t matter if you won 3 0 in a row,” defensive end Justin Tuck said last week. “You lose a game, there’s going to be that (awful) feeling about losing that game.”
And as quarterback Eli Manning added, “The only way to get that bad taste out of your mouth is to go out there and play better.”
That’s exactly what the suddenly desperate-looking Giants (6-3) hope to do against the Bengals (3-5) at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon.
The defending Super Bowl champions may still be sitting pretty after losing a non-conference game to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. And they may still have a commanding 2½-game lead in the NFC East after all four division teams lost last weekend.
But all the Giants could think about this week was what Tom Coughlin admitted was a “soft” performance by his defense, and an offensive slump that even offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride admitted was “jarring.” A team that looked like it was gaining momentum one week earlier is suddenly perceived to be slumping." Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
THE BERGEN RECORD
Giants Put Faith In Rookie CB Jayron Hosley
Excerpt: "Jayron Hosley is not lacking confidence.
Since his football career began, he rarely has been forced to search for some.
That doesn’t mean the rookie’s swagger hasn’t been tested in recent weeks, considering opposing quarterbacks have gone after him and found some success in critical moments.
The Giants have not lost faith in Hosley, mostly because they need him to play an integral part of their secondary covering receivers in the slot.
Even more important for Hosley: He has not lost faith in his game.
If anything, his determination is greater for the experience.
“It’s not supposed to be easy,” Hosley said. “It’s the NFL, and when you think it’s going to be easy, that’s when you get beat. Every week is a challenge and I’m up for it.”
The challenge this afternoon against the Bengals likely will involve opposite ends of the receiving spectrum: Pro Bowl standout wide receiver A.J. Green, whose combination of size, speed and skill places him among the league’s elite; and the emerging Andrew Hawkins, 5 feet 7 and 175 pounds of gridiron lightning.
“We continue to encourage him,” defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. “We think he’s going to be a fine football player. He’s a rookie, and sometimes they take rookies to school. And when he’s taken to school, we try to get him to learn from his mistakes.”
Hosley has been asked to take on an integral role in the secondary, which will be without safety Kenny Phillips (knee) until after the Giants’ Week 11 bye." Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
Matchup: Giants (6-3) vs. Bengals (3-5)
Excerpt: "Matchup to watch
Giants’ secondary vs. A. J. Green
Cincinnati does not have a lot of offensive options, but its top threat is Green, a dynamic receiver who has caught a touchdown pass in seven consecutive games. Green touched off a war of words when he said in a radio interview that he saw a lot of holes in the Giants’ defense and that the Bengals would look to him to exploit them.
Number to watch
That is how many touchdown passes Eli Manning has thrown in the past two games, a stark falloff from the 12 touchdowns and 2,109 passing yards he recorded during the first seven weeks of the season. Manning says he is not in a slump, but his statistics say otherwise. He has completed only 47.2 percent of his passes in the last two games." Read more...
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Giants Activate Will Hill, Coe to IR
Excerpt: "The Giants today activated safety Will Hill in advance of their game here tomorrow against the Bengals.GIANTS 101
To make room on the roster, cornerback Michael Coe was placed on injured reserve. Coe suffered a hamstring injury in practice on Wednesday. Coe missed the Giants' game at Carolina earlier this season with a hamstring injury and dressed but did not play the following week against Philadelphia.
Hill returned to practice this week after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Giants were given a one-week roster exemption for Hill which expires with his return to the active roster.
Hill played in the season’s first five games as a reserve defensive back and on special teams. He had seven tackles (six solo) on defense and four unassisted special teams tackles.
Coe played in seven of the Giants’ nine games. He made his first career start on opening night against Dallas. A six-year veteran, Coe had eight tackles (six solo) and two passes defensed. He also had five solo special teams tackles.
The only two Giants not to make the trip here were safety Kenny Phillips and linebacker Jaquian Williams, both of whom were declared out yesterday due to their respective knee injuries."
Giants vs. Bengals: NFL Week 10 Game Preview
Excerpt: "At 6-3 and with their bye week approaching, the New York Giants go into a big game with the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend that will ultimately decide whether they will be in firm control of the NFC East coming out of the bye, or whether they will move closer to the pack in the NFC and be forced to fight for a playoff spot with one of the toughest November-December schedules in football.
A 7-3 record would put the Giants not only in position to essentially close out the NFC East within a couple of weeks after their bye, but also keep them within striking distance of the Bears for a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bengals have lost four straight games and are desperate for a win here at home. They know this might be their last shot to stay competitive in the AFC playoff race.
Go to the quick passing game early with slants, crossing patterns, and screens
The Giants really need to get their passing game going again, and one way to do it is by creating a rhythm for Manning and the receivers early in thefootball game. The Giants should look to some higher percentage throws to get the ball into the hands of the playmakers on the outside and get some momentum going in this aspect. When the Giants are at their best they are led by their passing attack, and this unit for whatever reason has gotten a little flat the past two to three weeks. It's vital they get back on track in this game." Read more...
Don't Look Now, But Prince Amukamara Rated As One Of NFL's best CBs
Excerpt: "What a crazy two years it's been for Prince Amukamara. He was a first-round draft pick of the New York Giants a year ago, and fresh off an NFL Lockout, the rookie decided to holdout for a larger contract. Shortly after he received it, he broke his foot and missed a large chunk of the 2011-2012 season. Upon his return, he quickly snagged his first career interception and Big Blue eventually went on to win the Super Bowl.
Fast forward to this season, and the early story was Amukamara's ice bath in the cold tub, followed by teammates openly stating they wanted to see more "swag" from him. He was even mocked by other players around the league, who expected him to deliver them doughnuts.
Yet here we are, nine weeks into the 2012-2013 NFL season, and all of that has long been forgotten. And not just because the passing time has masked it, but because Amukamara has played exceptionally well all year … perhaps more than most realize.
Our friends at Pro Football Focus recently called Amukamara a "second-year standout" and rated him as the 9th best cornerback in the entire league.
So far this season, Amukamara has been targeted 21 times, allowing 10 receptions (47.62%) for 110 yards and no touchdowns. He's also hauled in an interception, while quarterbacks have combined for a 43.8 QB Rating against him.
By comparison, his counterpart, Corey Webster, is ranked 76th overall in the NFL. He has been targeted 40 times, allowing 26 receptions (65%) for 431 yards and three touchdowns. He, too, has an interception, but opposing quarterbacks have a combined 115.7 QB Rating against him. However, it is important to note that Webster has been playing with an injured hamstring and broken hand all season." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
THE RED ZONE
Nelson Doubtful For Sunday vs. Giants
Excerpt: "After being mostly injury-free the past couple of weeks, it looks as if the Bengals secondary will be undergoing some slight shuffling for Sunday’s game against the Giants.
Safety Reggie Nelson did not practice for a third straight day because of a hamstring injury that he suffered during the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Denver and is listed as doubtful. Dating back to his days with the Jaguars, Nelson has played in 67 straight games including the playoffs. The only games he has missed were in 2008 in Jacksonville when he did not play in three games because of a knee injury."
With Nelson all but out, Nate Clements and Chris Crocker are likely to be the starting safeties, with Leon Hall and Terence Newman at corner." Read more...
Will Hill Activated After Four Game Suspension
Excerpt: "The New York Giants
activated safety Will Hill
, making him available for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals
Hill has served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substance policy.
The Giants placed cornerback Michael Coe on injured reserve to create a roster opening. Coe suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the week in practice." Read more...
Giants' Eli Manning, Kevin Gilbride Look To Fix Offensive Woes
Excerpt: "Kevin Gilbride has seen Eli Manning
play so well and pull out so many fourth-quarter comebacks in the last year and a half.
That's why when Manning isn't able to come through, it's an odd feeling.
"Was it jarring?" Gilbride, the Giants' offensive coordinator, said when asked about seeing his unit struggle in the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh last Sunday. "Yeah, it was. There's no question about it."
By Sunday's kickoff against the Cincinnati Bengals, Manning will have gone 21 days since he last threw a touchdown.Remember that touchdown? It was the 77-yarder to Victor Cruz against Washington on Oct. 21. In fact, that game-winning score is Manning's only passing touchdown in his last 14 quarters.Besides touchdowns, passing yards also have been hard to come by. Manning has passed for just 317 yards in the past two games combined against Dallas and Pittsburgh.The Giants' offensive power outage has kept Manning, Gilbride and Tom Coughlin searching for solutions. One thing all three agree on is that the Giants don't need to make any major changes, but rather, subtle alterations. And they have to find a way to get back to their strengths."I don't think we have to go in and change everything we're doing," Manning said. "We're still in games in the fourth quarter."We've got to keep working. That's all you can do. It's not a time to say, 'Oh, we've got to change our offense, or we have to do this-and-that.' We've got to keep working and start making some plays." Read more...
Wilson "Very Happy" For Martin's Success
Excerpt: "As Doug Martin and David Wilson were drafted back-to-back by the Buccaneers and Giants in the first round of the NFL Draft this year, the two will forever be linked together as their careers developed.
So far, Martin, who went 31st to the Buccaneers, has become the household name, especially in light of his 251 yards and four touchdowns he scored on the Raiders last week. Wilson, meanwhile, has emerged as a premier return man, but rarely runs the ball, with just 17 carries on the year.
Seeing Martin have this type of success as a rookie hasn’t made Wilson envious of the opportunities his fellow rookie has been offered this season.
“Him getting his carries on his team is him. So just cause he does something it’s not going to make me be like 'I want to be like Doug Martin,' ” Wilson said. “He wants to be a great football player, I want to be a great football player and I hope everybody on this team wants to be great at their position. That’s when championships are won.
“You have to work hard and play your role and know what you go to do, and right now I’ve been doing that and working hard and playing my part on the team. Whatever they ask me to do, I’m ready to do.”
Wilson, who has 88 rushing yards this year, said he doesn’t keep tabs on Martin, or link their careers together, but he notices when a running back has the type of performance Martin did last week. His 251-yard game against Oakland is one of the best rushing performances in NFL history." Read more...
PFT's Week Ten Picks
Excerpt: "The lead is back to five.
Last week, we disagreed on one game: Eagles at Saints. I took the home team, MDS took the road team. And I ended up 10-4 for the week to MDS’s 9-5.
This week, we disagree on twice as many games as last week. Which sounds better than two.
For the year, I’m 83-49, and MDS is 78-54. Yep, that’s a five-game lead. Which definitely sounds better than two.
: I could pick this game with confidence if I knew which Giants team was going to show up. Will it be the team that showed up for 60 minutes and pounded the 49ers, or the team that sleepwalked through long stretches of close wins against the Redskins and Cowboys, and a close loss to the Steelers? Given the way the Giants have played the last three weeks I’m tempted to go with the upset, but the Bengals’ defense has been so bad this season that Eli Manning
simply has to have a good game.
: Giants 29, Bengals 25.
: The Bengals are in a free fall, and the Giants are caught in the early stages of their annual midseason swoon. I’ve got more faith in the Giants getting it done, especially since Eli Manning will surely have the benefit of some insights from his big brother, who won four days ago in Cincinnati.
: Giants 31, Bengals 20." Read more...