ODDS AND (TIGHT) ENDS
Why was Manning looking for Ware downfield on his first interception? And why
was Ware in the slot and running that seam route? Because that’s the Giants’
“Detroit” package, which usually includes TE Travis Beckum
the slot receiver. Beckum was inactive and the Giants chose to have Ware replace
him. Don’t blame Manning here; he made the correct read because the Redskins
blitzed off that side and Atogwe overran Ware to cover Cruz. Ware’s inexperience
in that position led to his not bending the route more toward the middle of the
field. That’s why Manning gestured the way he did after the play and why Fox
cameras showed him gesturing for Ware to convert his route more toward the post
than up the seam.
Did you see what the Redskins did to convert a third-and-12 in the first
quarter? Hint: it’s what teams have been doing to the Giants all year. They ran
a crosser in front of LB Jacquian Williams
and then ran an in
cut behind him. The crosser was Moss and WR Donte’ Stallworth
caught the ball behind Williams for 19 yards and a first down. Williams seemed
discombobulated by Moss’ presence, even though he was only 4 yards off the ball.
He didn’t get his feet under him and didn’t get deep enough to affect the throw
to Moss. After the catch, Phillips and Rolle are staring at Williams. They
didn’t chew him out but you could tell they’re frustrated by an issue that’s
been bugging this defense all season.
I still have no idea what DT Chris Canty
did to draw a
personal-foul penalty on Webster’s interception to start the game. Sorry, wish I
had more for you there. Fox never showed a replay and I didn’t make it to
Canty’s locker postgame.
CB Aaron Ross
wasn’t flagged for launching into Grossman on
Grossman’s second interception. I guess that’s legal. Who knew? Referee
was watching the hit closely, so it’s not like
he missed it. I know you can’t launch into defenseless receivers, per a recent
rule change, but quarterbacks apparently don’t fall into that same category.
That being said, Ross has to be careful because leaping high into a quarterback
will cause helmet-to-helmet contact more often than not.
I’m not the biggest Joe Buck
fan, but the “All you analysts
up here guessing coverage. How do you sleep at night?” line was absolute gold,
I’m convinced when Rolle rolled his eyes after saying they should’ve created
more “opportunities” he was talking about the wasted interceptions in the first
half. I’m sure he was also thinking about the two Giants drives that lasted all
of two plays.
I wrote on Friday LB Mathias Kiwanuka
would have to be a
factor in keeping the run contained
. He came too far upfield on one play but
otherwise did a real nice job on the edge once again. And I’m not sure if when
Coughlin talked about adjustments to the Redskins’ running game he meant that
pitch play they designed to run up the middle but that’s a nice little
And finally, it wasn’t quite game-ball worthy because they were so limited
but the offensive line, as well as Bradshaw and Jacobs, did a good job on the
ground once again. They picked up 5.1 yards per carry and Bradshaw had the nifty
catch he kicked to himself. Good stuff. They'll need more of it in the next two
weeks." Read more...
GIANTS' DEON GRANT SAYS PRINCE AMUKAMARA NOT READY
"Cornerback Prince Amukamara began his NFL career with an interception on one
of his first plays against the Eagles in Week 10. Since then, it's been a trying
time for the rookie and his struggles continued in the first half yesterday
against Washington, culminating in his benching at halftime.
REX RUAN SAYS "IT'S ON" BETWEEN GIANTS AND JETS IN BATTLE FOR NEW YORK
Veteran safety Deon Grant -- citing Amukamara missing offseason workouts due
to the lockout and the preseason and a chunk of the season due to a fractured
foot -- has a simple answer as to why Amukamara has been struggling: he isn't
Grant said he pulled the first-round pick to the side during halftime of the
disappointing Giants' 23-10 loss "for a long talk" and told him "don't let your
confidence drop on this situation."
"I told him, ‘you got every physical attribute to play this game and go
against any receiver,’" Grant said at a holiday food drive event in Brooklyn
today. "I said, ‘but right now, you’re just not ready for that.’ Not saying that
he won’t be ready, it’s not taking anything from him, but me being in the game
for a minute, physically he made plays through the stretch since he’s been back,
but I’ve just been seeing him struggle.
"I’ve been having conversations with him on a weekly basis. He’s just a tough
kid so even though he knows in his mind he might not be ready, he’s not going to
tell anybody...It’s natural. It’s bad because of the situation that he’s facing
with the absence of mini camps and OTAs and just having the playbook early.
Grant said defensive coordinator Perry Fewell cleared the communication
problems that had been hampering the secondary for weeks and players were just
getting beat. But to him, it wasn't just Amukamara.
"Corey [Webster is doing a good job, [Aaron] Ross has been doing a good job
but I think Ross got...he wasn’t really himself last week," Grant said. "He
played solid, but he wasn’t really himself last week and we already talked about
Grant said the secondary's weakness has been thinking too much and there is a
reluctance to physically challenge receivers as a result -- and it will need to
change Saturday against the Jets.
"When we’re not having those miscommunications and all that other stuff,
Corey is doing it more as far as challenging and being more aggressive instead
of always playing safe. But I think that’s our weakness right now," Grant said.
"We’re trying to play safe a little bit too much. We don’t know how to
transition – and I’m not going to say all of us – but we don’t know how to
transition the coaching to, ‘Alright, now you have to go out there and be a
football player.’ And I think that’s what we have backtracked to now. And I
think when we get back to being physical, being aggressive, challenging
receivers, then we’ll be successful."
Grant wouldn't comment on what Antrel Rolle said after the game about players
needing to overcome injuries during the week to practice.
"If he didn’t call anybody out I can’t talk about it," he said. "If he didn’t
call anybody out I can’t really speak on it. I won’t speak on it anyway because
I think 'Trel makes statements so I stay out of situations with individuals
doing what they have to do in the media."
"The Jets-Giants Christmas Eve showdown has been looming all season. Coach Rex
Ryan wasted no time in setting the tone this week, declaring on a conference
call this morning that he thinks the Jets are a better team than the Giants and
will not play second fiddle to their cross-town foes.
NY DAILY NEWS
"Quite honestly, I never came here to be little brother to anybody," Ryan
said. "So, it’s on."
The big brother-little brother reference traces to Ryan's recent book, "Play
Like You Mean It," in which he boldly deemed the Jets the "big brother" of New
York football. He didn't back down.
"Certainly, we were the better team the first two years," Ryan said. "We made
the playoffs and went to the championship game. To say a team’s better than you
that never made the playoffs, just is ridiculous. Clearly, we were the better
team my first two years. And we get to prove it on Saturday who the best team is
The Jets and Giants only play in the regular season once every four years, so
Ryan said it would be "foolish" not to acknowledge there are some serious city
bragging rights at stake. Both teams are also fighting for their playoff lives
and, while a loss Saturday would not eliminate either team, it would make its
push much harder.
Ryan had praise for Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul, saying he is
"playing as good as anybody in the league," and also said he has "immense"
respect for coach Tom Coughlin. But when it comes down to it?
"I recognize that they’re an excellent football team, but I think we’re
better," Ryan said.
He added: there’s no way I’m going to be second fiddle. If we were playing
the New York Yankees, I don’t want to be second fiddle to them. So, it’s the
same type of deal; that’s kind of my approach here. I want to be the best team
in football, not just be the best team in this city. But we’ll start by being
the best team in the city."
Ryan said each team's loss this weekend -- the Jets to the Eagles, the Giants
to the Redskins -- may take away "a little bit" from the game, but he still
predicted a "knock down, drag out." The Jets are technically the home team, and
he implored Jets fans to keep their tickets, though he acknowledged that might
be a tough task if "the price is right."
The victor on Saturday, he said, will be able to look at its opponent and
say, "Yeah, you’ve got a good team, but we beat you, and that’s as simple as
that." Ryan said this showdown will be the end-all, be-all to any such argument.
He's "planning" on winning.
"There's a lot of talk going back and forth, most of it driven by me," Ryan
said. "But you know what, I’ll stand by anything I have ever said. I didn’t come
here to be anybody’s little brother, I came here to win, to be looked at that
way. And to take over not just this city and everything else, even though it is
the city to take over, but also this league. I haven't accomplished that yet;
Saturday, I think, will go a long way to doing that. We have to win this game,
we have to get in the playoffs, and the Giants have to do the same. So it is
going to be huge."
Ryan added: "Quite honestly, both of us are having disappointing years, but
it comes down to who beats who. It doesn't matter about other things. You're
basically the same record, everything is at stake, so the proof is in the
pudding. Whoever wins this game is clearly the best team in New York."