EXCERPTS FROM EXTERNAL NEWS ARTICLES REGARDING THE NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS ARE POSTED UNDER THEIR SOURCES. MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLES ARE POSTED UNDER THE "MISCELLANEOUS" SECTION AT THE END OF THE THREAD. LINKS FOR ALL LISTED SOURCES ARE INCLUDED TO ALLOW MEMBERS TO INDEPENDENTLY BROWSE AT THEIR LEISURE.
NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants' Secondary Putting In Extra Time On Film Study
Excerpt: "This impromptu players-only film session included only the Giants secondary — nine defensive backs in all — and a few linebackers. It was brief, starting in the late afternoon last Thursday when the day’s schedule of mandatory meetings concluded. Players began strolling out 15 minutes into the informal session, a steady stream filtering out over the 40-plus minutes.
They watched film of the Packers offense, ignoring the opposing defense on the screen and setting their focus on how and with whom Green Bay lined up, rookie safety Will Hill recalled Friday. Before each play, someone in the room would identify the Packers’ personnel. The players then looked down at their call sheet, found the appropriate defense — a Cover-2, for example — for the specific offensive personnel and announced their responsibilities for the play, starters and backups alike.
Any discrepancies in the room were instantly addressed and resolved before moving on to the next play. The purpose of the exercise: to avoid confusion, hesitation and, ultimately, costly coverage breakdowns.
“We were making sure we were all seeing everything the same way and if we didn’t see something the same way, we would talk about it,” safety Stevie Brown said. “And make sure we’re all on the same page so if anything happened like that on the field, it’s something we’ve already talked about, it’s something we’ve seen and we’d all be able to know how each other would react.”
An alarming tendency to surrender long pass plays — and a two-game losing streak — spawned the coach-free film session, the first of its kind since last season when cornerback Corey Webster coordinated the initial meeting after a series of coverage gaffes had been plaguing the defense.
Entering last Sunday night, the Giants had allowed 41 plays of 20 or more yards, the second most in the NFL. Some were simply the opposition making a play, but a frustratingly high frequency of coverage breakdowns was the reason for a fair share of the large gains.
Players say the meeting made a tangible difference, and it came to fruition Sunday night. Besides Jordy Nelson’s 61-yard touchdown reception, when he beat Webster down the sideline on the Packers’ fourth play from scrimmage, the Giants shut down the Packers’ potent passing attack.
The Giants dominated with a three-safety look as their base defense, capitalizing on Phillips’ return after missing six games and Brown’s emergence over that span to return to the scheme they relied upon during their Super Bowl run last season. The Giants took it a step further on two snaps, fielding a four-safety package with Hill joining Phillips, Brown, and Antrel Rolle, who spent much of the game playing down low and shadowing Randall Cobb in the slot.
Having all his pieces, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said he was able to mix and match coverages on occasion to fluster the veteran Aaron Rodgers.
But, as it always does, it boiled down to execution and the back end’s success forced Rodgers to hold onto the ball longer than anticipated much of the night against the Giants’ feared front four. Consequently, Rodgers was under duress, hit or sacked on 17 of his 33 dropbacks.
According to Pro Football Focus, Rodgers held the ball an average of 3.55 seconds per play — a full second longer than Rodgers’ average time to throw this season — on the five plays he was sacked. His quarterback rating was substantially lower when the Giants rushed just four, evidence of the back end’s prowess. Rodgers had a QB rating of 90.5 against the blitz, and a rating of 54.9 and an interception when the Giants didn’t send more than four pass rushers.
Only one sack of the five, when linebacker Chase Blackburn shot up the middle untouched, was the product of additional pressure.
“Very,” linebacker Michael Boley, a participant in the players-only film session, said when asked how important the coverage’s role was in the pressure on Rodgers. “We work together, the back end with the front. Us playing our coverage definitely allowed those guys at times to get pressure and vice versa; them getting pressure allowed us to do better in our coverage.” Read more...
Giants' Kenny Phillips Doubtful For Redskins' Game, Jason Pierre-Paul Misses Second Practice
Excerpt: "The Giants likely will play another game without safety Kenny Phillips, who is listed as doubtful for Monday night's game against the Redskins with a right knee injury that has bothered him since Week 4.
Each of the team's starting defensive ends appeared on the injury report this week, too: Jason Pierre-Paul is questionable after sitting out practice yesterday and today with a back injury. Justin Tuck did not practice today with a foot injury but is listed as probable for the game.
Phillips missed six games after injuring his MCL against the Eagles, before returning in last week's win against the Packers. His presence was immediately felt on the field, and his return also allowed the Giants to use a three-safety look as their base defense with Antrel Rolle playing the nickel corner and Phillips and Stevie Brown playing deep.
The Giants defense will no doubt have to adjust. Phillips re-injured his knee in the second half of last week's game but said all week he would play. His listing of doubtful indicates he will not.
"When we started our rehab, we didn't go about it the right way, and now here we are, we're dealing with it," Phillips said, explaining why the injury has lingered so long. In the past, he said he pushed the knee too early and did not rest it enough.
LB Jacquian Williams, who has missed the last five games with a PCL tear, is also doubtful. TE Travis Beckum is out with a knee injury, but a person familiar with his status said he did not re-injure the ACL he tore in the Super Bowl, he just has soreness, which is natural coming off that kind of injury. That person requested anonymity because the team has not commented on Beckum's status." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Phillips Doubtful, JPP Questionable vs. Redskins
Excerpt: "The Giants may have to stop the sensational Robert Griffin III without safety Kenny Phillips and maybe even without defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in Washington on Monday night.
Phillips was listed as “doubtful” for the Giants’ rematch with the Redskins after only being able to make it through two days of limited practice last week because of his injured right knee. And Pierre-Paul was listed as “questionable” after missing practice for a second straight day on Saturday with a back problem.
The status of Pierre-Paul is probably the most worrisome since the Giants will need all the pass-rushers they can get against the dangerous and slippery RGIII. After Pierre-Paul missed practice on Friday, Tom Coughlin sounded confident Pierre-Paul would be able to play. There was no media access to the Giants on Saturday and no statement from Coughlin, so it wasn’t clear if his feelings had changed." Read more...
Giants Must Wait for RGIII's Option To Come To Them
Excerpt: "For one split moment, on every single Redskins offensive play on Monday, every Giants defender will freeze.
The momentary paralysis will be nearly imperceptible, but it will happen. From deep safeties to the corners assigned to cover receivers to those voracious, QB-hunting defensive linemen, every Giants defender will stop and think, analyzing for a millisecond more than normal.
It will not be a moment that Osi Umenyiora — or any other Giant — will enjoy. But it's the only way to solve the riddle of Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense. And on Monday night at FedEx Field, it may be the Giants defense's only chance.
"It's not always an attack mentality against them," says Umenyiora, shaking his head. "You can't just attack, attack, attack."
This is what RGIII and the Redskins do to opponents. Armed with a college-style read option offense, the NFL's fastest quarterback routinely forces defenders to slow down. Instinctive pass-rushers — guys like Umenyiora and Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware — are reduced to thinkers, and entire teams are left rethinking their entire defensive strategy." Read more...
Giants Could Do Battle With Redskins Without Jason Pierre-Paul and Kenny Phillips
Excerpt: "The Giants may have to stop the sensational Robert Griffin III without safety Kenny Phillips and maybe even without defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in Washington on Monday night.
Phillips was listed as "doubtful" for the Giants' rematch with the Redskins after only being able to make it through two days of limited practice last week because of his injured right knee. And Pierre-Paul was listed as "questionable" after missing practice for a second straight day on Saturday with a back problem.
The status of Pierre-Paul is probably the most worrisome since the Giants will need all the pass-rushers they can get against the dangerous and slippery RGIII. After Pierre-Paul missed practice on Friday, Tom Coughlin sounded confident Pierre-Paul would be able to play. There was no media access to the Giants on Saturday and no statement from Coughlin, so it wasn't clear if his feelings had changed.: Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
Engineering High-Powered Gi9ants Attack Hasn't Earned Gilbride Another Head Coaching Shot
Excerpt: "He has called the plays that make the whole offense sing, the plays that have guided the Giants to two Super Bowl victories in a four-year span, the plays that Eli Manning starts and often someone like Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz or Ahmad Bradshaw finishes, the plays that helped put rings on the fingers of Tom Coughlin and shiny silver hardware in the trophy cases.
And he thinks he’s darn good at it, too.
“I think I’m the best there is,’’ Kevin Gilbride told The Post.
The best? The very best play-caller in the entire NFL? A league in which offensive coordinators are often boy-wonders who get hot and then, before cooling off, get promoted into the big chair?
“I just feel that way, in terms of knowing, getting into a flow of the game and keeping defenses off balance,’’ Gilbride said. “Obviously, if you don’t feel that way you’re probably not being fair to your team. You’re not doing your part of the job for your players.’’
Gilbride has done his part for the Giants ever since Coughlin came aboard in 2004, ever since the draft-day trade for Manning, ever since a franchise historically known for punishing defense and often “we’ll get by’’ offense turned into a scoring machine. The Giants, holding a two-game lead in the NFC East, can go a long way toward securing another division title and foregoing any late-season angst if they continue what they did in last week’s 38-10 pummeling of the Packers when they face the Redskins at FedEx Field tomorrow night." Read more...
Giants' Phillips Doubtful To Play Against Redskins, JPP Sits Out Of Second Practice
Excerpt: "Facing Robert Griffin III and the Redskins without safety Kenny Phillips and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul? It could happen to the Giants.
The Giants almost definitely will be without Phillips for Monday night’s game, as on Saturday he was listed as doubtful to be able to play. Phillips, after missing six straight games with a knee injury, returned in last week’s victory over the Packers. He aggravated the knee again but was optimistic about not missing any additional time. He was able to practice Friday and again Saturday on a limited basis but clearly the optimism has waned, considering the "doubtful" designation. It’s likely Phillips won’t even board the train and make the trip to Washington, DC, as players the Giants list as doubtful are often declared out the day before the game.
Pierre-Paul, dealing with back spasms, did not practice for a second straight day, raising speculation that he too might not be available. Tom Coughlin on Friday indicated he thought Pierre-Paul would be fine. The Giants listed Pierre-Paul at questionable for the game, along with RT David Diehl (shoulder) and WR Domenik Hixon (ankle). Sean Locklear will start in Diehl’s right tackle spot." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
Mathias Kiwanuka A Force For Giants No Matter Where He Lines Up
Excerpt: "Mathias Kiwanuka is no longer a man divided between positions, even if his assignment within the Giants’ defense still differs game to game.
He remains listed on the roster at linebacker, but his two best performances of the season – not to mention those for his team – have come with Kiwanuka on the defensive line.
To say Kiwanuka was everywhere against Green Bay in the Giants’ 38-10 victory last Sunday would be appropriate hyperbole, considering the back and forth he has experienced in meeting rooms, on the practice field and on game days.
Any frustration Kiwanuka’s positional uncertainty may have caused in his preparation has been replaced by a sense of purpose as the Giants embrace the challenge of trying to repeat as Super Bowl champions with the regular season winding down.
“There have been days where I’ve been like, ‘Enough is enough,’Ÿ” Kiwanuka said, referring to his transition from defensive end to linebacker and back again, several times over since the Giants drafted him in the first round in 2006. “I think at the end of the day, this is a unique opportunity we have in terms of our ability, our focus and drive as a team and the opportunities we have to get rings and to win championships. I’ve had opportunities and I’ve thought about going elsewhere, and I’ve decided to stay.
“And this is the job that they’ve created for me. This is where I want to be.” Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Giants' Injury Report - 12/1/2012
TE Travis Beckum - Knee (DNP)Doubtful
S Kenny Phillips - Knee (LP)Questionable
LB Jaquian Williams Knee (LP)
T David Diehl - Shoulder (LP)Probable
WR Domenik Hixon - Ankle (LP)
DE Jason Pierre-Paul - Back (DNP)
C David Baas - Shoulder (FP)
RB Ahmad Bradshaw - Foot (LP)
CB Jayron Hosley - Shoulder (FP)
S Antrel Rolle - Illness (DNP)
DE Justin Tuck - Foot (DNP)"
Giants' Kenny Phillips Doubtful For Monday; Jason Pierre-Paul Questionable
Excerpt: "Although he felt confident in his ability to get on the field Monday night, New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips (knee) is officially listed as doubtful and unlikely to play against the Washington Redskins.
In addition to Phillips, linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee) is also listed as doubtful, while tight end Travis Beckum (knee) has been declared out. However, the team made it a point to note that Beckum did not suffer a setback to his surgically repaired knee (ACL), and that it was just due to routine soreness." Read more...
Washington Redskins: We Outplayed NY Giants In Week 7 Loss
Excerpt: "The Washington Redskins have been watching tape of their 27-23 loss and for the most part they like what they see: other than the 77-yard game winner from Eli Manning toVictor Cruz, the Redskins players say they outplayed the Giants almost snap for snap.
Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen was the least diplomatic: "We were supposed to win that game."
Robert Griffin III, who made a lasting impression on the Giants with his play that afternoon, was a bit more tactful, saying "That was a game we should have won." Old friend Barry Cofield said that looking at the tape made him feel good about the Redskins performance, other than that one play of course." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
Giants vs. Redskins: The History
Excerpt: "The New York Giants travel to DC to take on the Washington Redskins on Monday night. The two teams are in the 81st season of their rivalry, with the Giants holding the upper hand in head-to-head matchups, compiling a 92-63-4 record vs. the Redskins. They have only met twice in the playoffs, with each coming out on top once, but these old-time NFL powerhouses have a combined 13 NFL Championships, which include seven Super Bowls. Here is some Giants-Redskins history, some trivia and some minutiae.
The Redskins began life as the Boston Braves, in 1932. After losing the opener that year to the Brooklyn Dodgers, 14-0, the Braves defeated the Giants, 14-6, at Braves Field, for the franchise's first-ever victory. They finished their debut season in fourth place, with a 4-4-2 record, while the Giants were right behind them in the standings, with a 4-6-2 mark. The Braves changed their name to the Redskins the following year (they moved to Washington, DC, in 1937), and the Giants notched their first victory over the Redskins franchise, with a 7-0 win at the Polo Grounds on Nov. 12 (the 'Skins' home field was Fenway Park that season).
The Giants' record vs. the Redskins by the decade: 1930s: 9-5-2; 1940s: 12-9; 1950s: 15-5; 1960s: 12-5-1; 1970s: 7-13; 1980s: 10-11; 1990s: 11-8-1; 2000s: 14-6; 2010s: 3-2." Read more...
Williams, Phillips Doubtful For Monday Night
Excerpt: "Just when the Giants thought they might be getting back some more healthy bodies in defense, they were thrown a curve ball.
Safety Kenny Phillips and linebacker Jacquian Williams were both listed as doubtful on the team’s official injury report for Monday night’s game against the Redskins.
Phillips practiced on a limited basis all week, had expressed confidence that he’d be able to play Monday night, but at the same time, he indicated he wasn’t happy with the course of rehab chosen for his now two-plus month old injury. If he is unable to play, the Giants are still expected to use the three safety package against the Redskins.
Williams, meanwhile, was less optimistic about his chances of playing when he spoke to reporters, saying that he was still experiencing soreness in his ailing knee." Read more...
THE RED ZONE.
Countdown Daily Accuscore Pick: Giants @ Washington - WATCH VIDEO
Will RGIII Top Eli? - WATCH VIDEO
Monday Night Football Preview - WATCH VIDEO
Injury Report: Phillips, Williams Doubtful
Excerpt: "Safety Kenny Phillips is listed as doubtful for the pivotal NFC East game against theWashington Redskins with a knee injury.
Phillips aggravated an MCL injury that kept him out of six games earlier this season last Sunday night against Green Bay. Phillips went through a limited practice on Saturday. He sounded confident all week that he would play against the Redskins but a source said he was still running a bit tentative.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was unable to practice for the second straight day due to a back issue. The Giants’ best pass rusher is listed as questionable for the game although head coach Tom Coughlin expects Pierre-Paul to play barring a setback. Read the injury newser here.
The Giants will be without tight end Travis Beckum, who is experiencing soreness with his surgically-repaired knee. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) went through a limited practice and is probable to play. Center David Baas (shoulder) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (shoulder) both were able to go through a full practice and are listed as probable as well.
Linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee) is listed as doubtful. Tackle David Diehl (shoulder) and wide receiver Domenik Hixon (ankle) both went through limited practices and are listed as questionable." Read more...
McElroy Takes Over For Sanchez, Helps Jets Survive Cardinals
Police: Kansas City Chiefs' Player, Jovan Belcher, Killed Girlfriend, Then Self