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 Eager For Return Of Ahmad Bradahaw's "Fire" And Leadership
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin was asked this week about the intangibles Ahmad Bradshaw brings to his football team.
“You asked me questions you already know the answer to,” was the coach’s response.Anyone who has watched Bradshaw run the ball for the Giants over the last six seasons knows the answer, too. He is as much the heart and soul of the Giants as any player on the team. His competitive spirit is infectious, an energy this teammates feed on.“When he plays, he plays with fire,” Coughlin said. “He plays with determination. He’s focused. He’s extremely physical. He takes great pride in that aspect of the game. For him, he takes great pride in defying what anyone says he can’t do. He’s someone on the sideline that’s not very patient and is not afraid to make a few comments about it.” Read more...
Reeling Giants' Rolle Ready To Resume Role Of Emotional Leader Against Ravens
Excerpt: "The price of the victory over the Saints for Antrel Rolle was a deep gash in his tongue, with a chunk of flesh flapping off the side, as well as a case of whiplash.
The price of the loss to the Falcons was worse. The Giants safety was tormented by his performance, including a handful of missed tackles that were not representative of the fight he tries to infuse on a weekly basis to the defense.
“I definitely wasn’t able to provide that for them this past week, which kind of made me sick to my stomach with myself,” Rolle said. “I felt like (crap), really, I really did, because I know that’s not the way I play football.”
Rolle doesn’t wear a captain’s “C” on his jersey, but in his three seasons with the Giants, the seven-year veteran has come to bear the role of an emotional leader for the defense.
His voice can resonate through the locker room, whether it be his message to “sacrifice your mind” before the Packers victory or to have “more dog” before the Saints game. He’s also part of the handful of players on coach Tom Coughlin’s leadership council, which meets with Coughlin regularly through the season, most recently this past Thursday after practice.
Rolle is proud to acknowledge that his fiery leadership follows in the tradition set by two University of Miami predecessors who will be on the other sideline tomorrow: Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who the Giants are expecting to make his long-awaited return from a triceps tear, and safety Ed Reed.
“Ray trickled down to Ed; Ed trickled down to myself,” Rolle said. “I played with Ed Reed (in college), and he’s probably one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around in my career. They’ll definitely be ready. They’ll be ready, at all costs, without a doubt.” Read more...
Giants' Coach Tom Coughlin To "wait And See" As Justin Tuck Sits Out Again
Excerpt: " On Thursday, after his veteran defensive end Justin Tuck sat out practice for the second straight day, coach Tom Coughlin was optimistic.
He hoped Tuck would be back on the field yesterday and, ultimately, tomorrow against the Ravens in a game with considerable playoff implications. But Tuck didn’t practice yesterday, spending the media access period working with a trainer before sitting on a stationary bike with his injured left shoulder heavily wrapped. He was ruled questionable for tomorrow.
“We’re going to have to wait and see on that one,” Coughlin said of Tuck’s status.
Tuck has just three sacks this season. He hasn’t finished with lower than five since missing the majority of the 2006 season. If Tuck doesn’t play, second-year defensive end Adrian Tracy would likely play an increased role. Tracy has appeared in all 14 games this season, but mostly in special teams. He recorded a sack against the 49ers in Week 6, but has just 20 defensive snaps since then.
“Every week I go into the game plan prepared,” Tracy said. “I get my mentality right to focus on what is required of me in the different positions that I fill, and that’s what you want to be is prepared at all times in case something happens where you’re called on.” Read more...
Falcons' Chris Hope Fined $30,000 for Leveling Victor Cruz
Excerpt: "Falcons safety Chris Hope was fined $30,000 by the NFL after leveling Giants receiver Victor Cruz during the third quarter of Sunday's game. Hope received a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the play, and the league fined him for striking an opponent in the head and neck area." Read more...
NY DAILY NEWS
Giants' Insider: Tuck Injury May Leave Giant Void
Excerpt: "The struggling Giants pass rush just might have to rediscover its form on Sunday with one of its key players watching from the sidelines.Bradshaw Questionable, But Seems Likely To Return Sunday
Defensive end Justin Tuck did not practice for the third straight day on Friday as he continued to nurse a shoulder injury. Tuck, the team’s defensive captain, is listed as questionable for Sunday’s pivotal game in Baltimore, and Tom Coughlin hardly sounded optimistic about his chances of suiting up.
“We’ll have to wait and see on that one,” Coughlin said.
Tuck missed four games due to injury last season, but he was at his best when the Giants needed him most, recording two sacks in the last two games of the regular season and 3.5 sacks in the playoffs. He has struggled throughout 2012, managing three sacks.
If Tuck can’t play, versatile Adrian Tracy, who played primarily at defensive end in practice this week, likely would see increased time. Tracy added that he initially thought Tuck’s practice absence was “precautionary,” but as the week wore on, he grew more concerned.
The 25-year-old Tracy has played very little, but he made four tackles and added a sack in October’s win in San Francisco, when the Giants used in him a variety of roles.
“In San Francisco, when I got the opportunity, I was on cloud nine,” Tracy said. “And if it presents itself this week, I’ll have the same feeling.”
CB Prince Amukamara, who sat out last week with a hamstring injury, is probable, and looks to be nearly back at full strength. Amukamara said he felt “comfortable” running and backpedaling and he added that he had “a lot of burst” in practice.
“It didn’t even feel that bad,” Amukamara said." Read more...
Excerpt: "All week, Ahmad Bradshaw told everyone that he’d find a way to play. And on Friday, he took a major step toward making that promise a reality.
The fiery leader of the Giants’ offense practiced for the first time in two weeks, working through a limited session. Bradshaw, who has been nursing a sprained knee, “looked OK” in practice, coach Tom Coughlin said. He’s listed as questionable for Sunday’s must-win trip to Baltimore, but Coughlin said he was encouraged by his starting running back’s progress.
“Am I surprised? No,” said Coughlin. “Did I speculate the length of time? No. If I did, I would’ve been on the short end, knowing him (Ahmad).”Bradshaw sprained his knee in the Giants’ win over the Saints on Dec. 9, and was held out last week against the Falcons. Players can require as much as four weeks to fully recover from such an injury, but Bradshaw said on Monday that it was “healing a lot quicker than I expected.”
Coughlin said Bradshaw has been medically cleared to play “provided the progress is continuous,” so the Giants must hope that he doesn’t endure any setbacks.Bradshaw may not be at full strength on Sunday, but he should still provide a spark for an offense that didn’t score a single point in Atlanta. According to guard Kevin Boothe,
Bradshaw’s mere presence at practice injected extra life into the usually light Friday session.“Yeah, I mean, he’s practicing,” Boothe said. “He’s excited to be back. It’s always tough on him to sit out games. We basically had to tie him up and tell him that he couldn’t come out there last week.
We’re excited.”“It was nice to have his energy,” added guard David Baas. “It was good to have a lot of our guys back.” Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
Ravens' Lewis Won't Play Against Giants
Excerpt: "Ray Lewis won't be back, perhaps until the playoffs.##
That means the Giants won't see the linebacker Sunday when they meet the Ravens in Baltimore. The team announced Saturday that he won't play this weekend and isn't expected back until the postseason -- at the earliest." Read more...
Tuck Makes Trip With Giants, Still Chance To Play Vs Ravens
Excerpt: "The Giants didn’t leave Justin Tuck behind.
The team chartered an Amtrak train Saturday afternoon for the short trip to Baltimore and Tuck, who did not practice all week because of a sore left shoulder, was on board. That doesn’t mean Tuck will play Sunday against the Ravens and it’s likely it will be a game time decision on whether or not he is capable of holding up throughout the game. Even if he cannot play, the Giants no doubt want Tuck’s presence on the sideline." Read more...
Giants Eager For Return Of Bradshaw's "Fire" And Leadership
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin was asked this week about the intangibles Ahmad Bradshaw brings to his football team.
“You asked me questions you already know the answer to,” was the coach’s response.Anyone who has watched Bradshaw run the ball for the Giants over the last six seasons knows the answer, too. He is as much the heart and soul of the Giants as any player on the team. His competitive spirit is infectious, an energy this teammates feed on.
“When he plays, he plays with fire,” Coughlin said. “He plays with determination. He’s focused. He’s extremely physical. He takes great pride in that aspect of the game. For him, he takes great pride in defying what anyone says he can’t do. He’s someone on the sideline that’s not very patient and is not afraid to make a few comments about it.”
There was that brief spat earlier in the season when Bradshaw snapped at his head coach when he felt the Giants weren’t running the ball enough.There was the slap on the head of Victor Cruz when he felt the receiver wasn’t exactly at full throttle.The Giants missed his leadership and demand for accountability in Atlanta last week where they were embarrassed in a 34-0 loss. It’s why they were bubbling with optimism yesterday as Bradshaw returned to practice after vowing to play with a sprained knee in tomorrow’s game in Baltimore.
“We’d love to have him out there,” said offensive lineman Chris Snee, himself questionable for tomorrow’s game. “I don’t know what the official word is yet, but it’s a good sign that he was out there [at practice]. His passion for the game rubs off on everyone. He’s got tremendous energy and just his physical play inspires people. So I sure hope that he makes the trip down with us and we’re running out of the tunnel together because his energy is infectious.” Read more...
Tuck Likely Out For Ravens' Game
Excerpt: "In keeping with the most disappointing season of his career, Justin Tuck now appears likely to miss the Giants’ most important game of the season.
Big Blue is officially listing their defensive captain as questionable with a shoulder injury for tomorrow’s crucial visit to Baltimore, but Tuck didn’t practice all week and sported the hangdog look of a player headed for a Sunday in street clothes both during and after yesterday’s workout.Coach Tom Coughlin didn’t exactly give off an air of confidence, either, that the 8-6 Giants would have Tuck in the lineup when they take on the 9-5 Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium with their entire season potentially on the line.
“We’re going to have to wait and see on that one,” Coughlin said when asked about Tuck’s availability.If Tuck’s shoulder — which Coughlin said was injured in last week’s 34-0 loss to the Falcons — doesn’t show significant improvement today, that likely would mean more playing time for Adrian Tracy as the Giants try to rediscover a once-fearsome pass rush that has been invisible lately.
Tracy, a sixth-round pick two years ago who can swing between linebacker and end, has appeared in all 14 games this season and recorded his first career sack in the Oct. 14 win over the 49ers.All but three of Tracy’s appearances this year have been on special teams, though, which would mean a big step up if Tuck can’t go. But if playing a significant role or perhaps even starting in such a pivotal game is daunting to the William & Mary product, Tracy didn’t show it yesterday." Read more...
Giants Expecting To Face Ray Lewis
There’s still no word from the Ravens, but the Giants are fully expecting to line up against Ray Lewis Sunday in Baltimore.
Coach Tom Coughlin said Friday his Giants prepared this week as if Lewis would be in the Ravens’ lineup, even though Baltimore had yet to activate their All-Pro linebacker and fiery leader last night from in-season injured reserve.
“I would expect that he would be made active,” Coughlin said. “That’s what I anticipated. It’s not my call, but that’s what I thought.
”Asked if the Giants had included Lewis in their game-planning, Coughlin said: “Yes, we’ve talked about it.”Lewis, who has been sidelined since October by a torn triceps that many thought would end his season, was eligible to be activated last week and has practiced all this week. The Ravens also have been leaving a roster spot open for Lewis since putting Jameel McClain on injured reserve on Monday.Indeed, Lewis suiting up tomorrow appears to be a forgone conclusion judging from the upbeat comments from the Ravens’ coaches about his play in practice this week.Head coach John Harbaugh reportedly smiled when asked yesterday if Lewis had been progressing this week.“Coming along, coming along — yes, he is coming along,” Harbaugh said." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
NEW YORK TIMES
Week 16 NFL Game Probabilities
Here are the game probabilities for Week 16.
|| Atlanta at Detroit
|| New Orleans at Dallas
|| Tennessee at Green Bay
|| Indianapolis at Kansas City
|| Buffalo at Miami
|| San Diego at NY Jets
|| Washington at Philadelphia
|| Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
|| St. Louis at Tampa Bay
|| Oakland at Carolina
|| New England at Jacksonville
|| Minnesota at Houston
|| Cleveland at Denver
|| Chicago at Arizona
| NY Giants at Baltimore
|| San Francisco at Seattle
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Giants vs Ravens, The Stage Is Set
The stakes couldn’t be higher or clearer for the Giants when they face the Baltimore Ravens Sunday in M&T Bank Stadium.
A victory will set up a scenario in which they would clinch a playoff berth with a victory over Philadelphia in the season’s final game. A defeat would cripple and perhaps terminate their chance to play a postseason game.
“If we win two games, we’re going to be in the playoffs,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “That’s what we have to focus on. Our team knows the circumstances very well. It is a playoff situation for us. We now have to win to have the opportunity to go to the playoffs. We’ve responded to that in the past. We’re going to have to respond to that again.”
But much less clear a situation is how the Giants will perform. To the chagrin and bafflement of Coughlin and the players, they’ve added new dimensions to the word “inconsistency” this season. That was most vividly demonstrated in the last two weeks, when they followed a 52-point outburst in a runaway victory over New Orleans by failing to put a point on the board in a 34-point loss in Atlanta.
“It's hard,” defensive end Json Pierre-Paul said. “Week after week you don't know what you are going to get from us. We are not consistent, until I guess somebody is going to get fired or our backs are against the wall or it is all or nothing. The way we’re playing right know, we don't know who we are. We know we’ve got two games left, and we've got to go out there and win.”
“There's times we go out there, we look like the best team in the world; there's times we go out there, we look like the worst team in the world,” safety Antrel Rolle said this week. “I think we know who we are as a team. But we just fail to go out there and prove it each and every week.”
Sunday would be a good time to start. Scenarios exist under which the Giants can clinch a postseason berth this week. They would have to win and three or four other teams must lose. The Giants will also be in play for the NFC East title if they defeat Baltimore and Dallas or Washington lose. But their postseason dreams could expire if they fall to the Ravens.
“We know what we’re playing for,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “We know what’s on the line and all you can do is prepare for the future, go out there and hopefully, we can take our practice and what we’re doing with good plays and take that onto Sunday.”
“We need to win the last two,” guard Chris Snee said. “It’s not a situation we haven’t been in before.”
Yes, the Giants have been down this road before. Last year at this juncture they were 7-7 and had to win their last two games to join the postseason party. They did exactly that, beating the Jets and Dallas Cowboys to set up their four-game run through the playoffs. Now they have a slightly better record at 8-6, but the song remains the same.
“I think last year we did prove that we could do it with the team that we had and this team is very similar,” tight end
Bear Pascoe said. “But last year is in the past. This is a new year. I think the fact that we have done it before gives us a lot of confidence going into this week. We have our backs up against the wall and I think we tend to play better when we’re like that. We’ve had really good practices and guys are high intensity out there and running around making plays. So I think it’s definitely something that gives us a lot of confidence.”
But JPP is not as heartened by the thought that the Giants have previously faced this predicament.
“I don’t want to hear that,” he said. “To me, that’s all bull crap. I mean, yeah we’ve done it before, but this is a whole other year. This year is a totally different year. We don’t have the same guys on the team as last year. Who knows who’s going to be here next year? Right now, we can do it for now and that’s what we have to do. I’ve been here before, I can say that, but we’re in the same position we were in last year. You don’t know what the outcome will be. We have to go out this Sunday and play our hearts out and hopefully the next weekend, the game after that against the Eagles, and get in the playoffs. Each game right now is a must-win game for us. We put that on ourselves, and that’s a consequence of it. We have to go out there and play them.”
In Baltimore, the Giants will run into a 9-5 Ravens team that has clinched a postseason berth but is no less desperate. The Ravens have lost three consecutive games, but can clinch the AFC North title with a victory over the Giants.
“(My concern is) about our team,” Coughlin said. “We have to bring our A-game.”
The Giants listed seven players as questionable for the game: running back Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), center David Baas (hip shoulder), tight end Travis Beckum (knee), G Chris Snee (hip), defensive end Juston Tuck(shoulder) and safeties Kenny Phillips (knee) and Tyler Sash (hamstring).
Coughlin said he was encouraged by Bradshaw’s potential availability for the game in Baltimore.
“His energy and his fire is, I think, a very important factor,” Coughlin said.
Tuck did not practice for the third consecutive day, while the other questionable players worked on a limited basis. Asked if he felt good about Tuck playing, Coughlin said, “We’re going to have to wait and see on that one.”
If Tuck can’t play, Adrian Tracy would likely join Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka and Pierre-Paul in the defensive end rotation.
“Every week I go into the game plan prepared,” said Tracy, who has seen most of his playing time on special teams this season. “I get my mentality right to focus on what is required of me in the different positions that I fill and that’s what you want to be is prepared at all times in case something happens where you’re called on.”
*Snee sat out part of the second quarter last week and missed the previous two practices, but said he felt better today.
“I’m upright and I was moving around, so I’ll be good to go,” Snee said. “We need all hands on deck and I was able to go out there and work a little bit today, so I’m feeling good about Sunday.”
Four players are listed as probable: cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring), defensive tackle Chris Canty (neck) and wide receivers Hakeem Nicks (knee) and Rueben Randle (back). Nicks was limited in practice, while the others worked fully.
Amukamara missed the game in Atlanta, but said he is ready to face the Ravens.
“Today I think I did more running than I did all week,” Amukamara said. “I had a lot of burst today.”
But can he stay with speedy Baltimore receiver Torrey Smith on a go route if he has to?
“I have no problem with that,” Amukamara said. “We, obviously, repped that at practice and I felt well.”
*Baltimore has won 12 consecutive home games against NFC teams since 2006 and is 9-0 vs. the conference in M&T Bank Stadium under John Harbaugh.
*The Ravens are 20-3 in their last 23 home games and have won nine consecutive home finales. This is their final home game.
Giants' Travis Beckum Downgraded to Out, All Other Players Make Trip To Baltimore
"The New York Giants are currently boarding a plane to head to Baltimore where they will take on the Ravens in a pivotal week 16 matchup. And despite seven players listed as questionable on their injury report, everyone other than tight end Travis Beckum, who has been downgraded to out, will make the trip.
If past trips are any indicator, it would mean the Giants expect Chris Snee,Justin Tuck and Ahmad Bradshaw to play this weekend. Previously, they had been the most "iffy" due to their respective injuries.
Meanwhile, for the Baltimore Ravens, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that linebacker Ray Lewis is unlikely to play again this regular season as he continues his comeback from a torn triceps. However, theBaltimore Sun maintains that a decision on his status for Sunday's game has not yet been made.
Considering how things could have gone, this is about the best news Big Blue could have possibly hoped for.
Giants Will Continue to Honor Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims
A week after having "S.H.E.S." written on their helmets, the New York Giants organization will continue to honor those lost in the Newtown, CT. shootings. All staff members will wear a black pin with white lettering that reads "S.H.E.S." on Sunday.
UPDATE: Ray Lewis will not be activated and will not play on Sunday."
Giants Toughest Opponent Has Beeen Themselves
Excerpt: "As we all sat perched in front of any and all New York Giants playoff scenario brackets after last week’s no-show in Atlanta, the easiest way to embark upon it mentally remains: win two and in. It doesn’t ease any heartbreak and frustration, but it does create less chaos in many already-reeling Big Blue Faithful brains.
Head coach Tom Coughlin knows very well where his team is (again), but cannot verbalize why.
"Why [do] we play well one week and then we don't? It's disturbing," Coughlin said. "You can ask all the questions in the world about solving it or knowing what the reason is. I could give you a couple of opinions, but the fact of the matter is it's two games and if we somehow can win two games, we're in the playoffs. It's being able to build that kind of momentum and stay with it. Now is it any different than it was a year ago? No, it's the same scenario, so we have an awful lot to do."
“An awful lot to do” is a bit of an understatement, but it is at least the truth. There’s no sugar-coating anything from here on out; it’s do or die time. General Manager, Jerry Reese lives by his own adage: “There’s no crying infootball; you have to take the bitter with the sweet.” Read more...
Giants' Pass Rush Looks To Come Back For Playoff Push
The New York Giants have the opportunity to win 10 games this season a squeak into the playoffs as a Wild Card. However, that doesn't hide the fact that there are several players on the roster not playing up to their full potential. It begins with Eli Manning, who is the unquestionable leader of this footballteam. However, the pass rush has been relatively ineffective this season as well.
The Giants defense is built upon getting to the quarterback without blitzing. That's how Big Blue was able to storm through the playoffs in both 2007 and 2011. However, this season, the Giants have only gotten 15.5 sacks from the supposedly dominant defensive end trio of Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. That's 15 less than a year ago, and the Giants' secondary has been exposed because of it. Tuck does not believe that the Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh should fear the Giants pass rush on Sunday.
“He shouldn’t,” Tuck said. “Not at all. There’s been years here it should have been feared. But this year, we haven’t had that year.”
There are reasons for the Giants inability to get to the quarterback. First off, Tuck is no longer a dominant pass rusher. He struggles creating separation between him and his opposing offensive linemen after initial contact. Umenyiora is purely a speed rusher who can be neutralized with an athletic offensive tackle, while Pierre-Paul has been routinely doubled and chipped at the line of scrimmage this season. Furthermore, quarterbacks have been throwing shorter, quicker passes to put more pressure on the Giants secondary to make plays as opposed to the speed rushers." Read more...
Giants' Head Coach Tom Coughlin: "Why Aren't We On An Ascending Line?
Excerpt: "There were a lot more questions than answers coming out of Giants camp today. There are seven players listed as questionable on the injury report, including Justin Tuck who is unsure of his status for Sunday's matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. However, head coach Tom Coughlin was asking big picture questions delving a little deeper into his team's recent woes. The Giants have lost four of their last six games and are playing for their playoff lives this weekend in Baltimore.
Despite their recent shortcomings, the Giants have miraculously retained control of their playoff destiny. Win these next two games, and Big Blue will have a chance to defend their Super Bowl title in January. Last season, the Giants came off an embarrassing Week 15 defeat to the WashingtonRedskins and beat the New York Jets. The win created momentum for the team and carried them into the postseason. However, Coughlin is not so sure that history will repeat itself this season.
"Just because we’ve been there before and had our backs to the wall and we performed and did well," Coughlin said "[...] we have some inconsistencies this year that, quite frankly, have upset me to the point where I really don’t want to be historical."
Consistency has always been an issue with the Giants under Coughlin. There is no doubting the championship-caliber talent on the roster, the abilities ofEli Manning, or the explosive nature of the pass rush. However, this team has been consistently inconsistent over the years. In the NFL, each and every game has the potential to make or break a season. The Giants have come dangerously close over the last two seasons to prematurely ending their season due to a lack of mental fortitude." Read more...
Seven Giants Questionable For Week 16 Game Against Ravens
Excerpt: "The last thing the New York Giants needed as they head into a pivotal matchup with the Baltimore Ravens were more injuries, but that's exactly what they got on Friday. Both tight end Travis Beckum and defensive linemanAdrian Tracy were injured during practice, with Beckum being added to the final injury report. The status on Tracy, who rolled his ankle, remains unclear.
For Beckum, he joins defensive end Justin Tuck (shoulder), safeties Tyler Sash (hamstring) and Kenny Phillips (knee), center David Baas (hip/shoulder), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot) and guard Chris Snee (hip) as questionable." Read more...
Mark Bavaro: My Giants Would "Absolutely" Destroy Eli Manning's Giants
Excerpt: "The 1986 New York Giants are arguably the greatest team in franchise history. In fact, they may be in the discussion as one of the best and most talented teams ever. So it should come as no surprise that former tight end Mark Bavaro thinks highly of them, and all other Giants teams throughout his tenure. But how does he think they'd fare against the current crop of Giants led by Eli Manning? Well, it wouldn't be much of a game in his mind.
"I wouldn’t have to play against Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson, Harry Carson, that defense was unbelievable. And I have no doubt whatsoever our offense with Maurice Carthon, Joe Morris, Ottis Anderson, Simms, Hostetler, whoever, our offensive line, Jumbo, Billy Oates, Billy Ard, how you gonna beat those guys? They wouldn’t know what hit ‘em," Bavaro told 640 Sports. "It would be a blowout." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
Giants vs. Ravens: What To Watch
Excerpt: "It is crunch time for the New York Giants. No more lapses can be tolerated. No more weeks of 'we'll turn it on later when we have to.' Now is the time when they have to. Can they? We find out on Sunday as the defending Super Bowl champs face the Baltimore Ravens with their margin for error sliced to nothing. They have to win. Period.
Here is a look at some of the things to watch on Sunday.The Giants' Defensive Front Seven
Yes, that is a somewhat generic category but if you have paid attention this week it has many facets. The focus of talk about the defense has been on the pass rush, which has not produced like it did last season. Increasingly, though, the finger is being pointed at the run defense for not creating pass-rushing opportunities.
"This question has been asked 9,000 times and I’ve answered it 9,000 times and it will probably take an off season to maybe analyze it even further," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "I think the first thing you do on defense is stop the run. If you stop the run, I think you rush the passer pretty well.
"So, can the Giants hold Ravens' running back Ray Rice in check well enough to release what they hope will be a fearsome pass rush?
Who Will Play?
The Giants have 11 players on their injury report, with seven questionable. That list includes starters Ahmad Bradshaw, Chris Snee, David Baas, Justin Tuck and Kenny Phillips. The Ravens have a whopping 18 -- yes, 18 -- players on their injury report. That does not include middle linebacker Ray Lewis -- who could be activated from short-term IR for Sunday's game.
Mostly thanks to Jacoby Jones (32.5 yards per return) the Ravens are second in the league in kickoff returns with an overall average of 28.2 yards per return. Giants' placekicker Lawrence Tynes has missed kicks in three straight games. So, the Giants will have to step up on special teams Sunday." Read more...
Folger's Forecast: Giants At Ravens
Excerpt: "Talk about déjà vu.
Last year, the Giants were at nearly the same place that they are in today: Coming off a blowout loss and looking nothing like a playoff team, riding a wave of inconsistency.
Last year, however, they ran off six straight wins on their way to a Super Bowl trophy. Last year it was all very new to a lot of them. This year, they don’t have as much to prove and it shows in uninspired play.
The Ravens, having clinched their playoff spot, are 9-5 to the Giants’ 8-6, but somehow they seem to be in worse shape. They are playing tired ball, and seem to just be hanging on. Their injury situation is worse than the Giants, which explains a lot of what’s happening. But any team with names like Ray Rice, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, and Terrell Suggs has to be respected.
Giants on Offense
Of all the players who have been inconsistent this year, no one has had more fits and starts than Eli Manning. Despite Hakeem Nicks’ injuries that have made him an ordinary receiver, Manning has done more with less in the past. He still has receiving weapons in Victor Cruz, Martellus Bennett, and Domenik Hixon, plus two good running backs. Manning has to start getting this offense playing consistent, mistake-free ball.
Something seems to be missing in Manning’s eyes. He’s not seeing things, and therefore he’s making bad decisions. He’s got to get more creative help from his coaches to counter how opposing defenses are defending his passing game. Somewhere amidst all the fits and starts, the big play has disappeared from the offense.
Another problem is Manning’s offensive line is on the brink of collapse. David Diehl requires blocking help on every passing down, Chris Snee finds a new body part to injure every week, and the backups are as untrustworthy as they come. The left side of the line is strong, but the right side is hanging on by a thread.
The big talent that is David Wilson is as dynamic as they come, but he isn’t stout enough yet to handle blitz pickup. The 15-20 touches we’d all like to see him get won’t happen until next year at the earliest. Ahmad Bradshaw could be back this week, and would get the bulk of the touches if he is. His toughness and physicality are always missed. Wilson could be a great change of pace, but he’s got to be able to hold up his end.
The Ravens’ defense is a shadow of its former self. The great players have either gotten old or been worn down from over-use. None of Reed, Ngata, Suggs, or the injured Ray Lewis are playing to their pedigree. Too many backup-types are starting.
Safety Bernard Pollard is the leading tackler and is very physical, but coverage is not his strong suit. Reed gambles like crazy. The big play could be available, but it can’t be at the expense of turnovers." Read more...
THE RED ZONE.
Giants, Steelers Desperate For A Win
Excerpt: "The list of desperate teams has been on fire, going 12-4 the last three weeks when they aren't facing each other.3. New York Giants: Baltimore Ravens' fans might feel desperate for a win, but it's very possible Baltimore will have backed into a division championship by the time this game has started. This matchupof wounded teams should decide the Giants' playoff fate. The Giants host the Philadelphia Eagles nest week in a game where they will be heavily favored. Win in Baltimore, and the Giants should be in the tournament." Read more...
Tuck, Bradshaw Travel With Giants
Excerpt: "Giants' defensive end Justin Tuck and running back Ahmad Bradshaw made the trip to Baltimore for Sunday's game against the Ravens.
The only Giant to not make the trip was tight end Travis Beckum, who was downgraded to out with a knee issue.
Tuck did not practice this week due to a shoulder injury and was listed as questionable. The defensive end making the trip is an encouraging sign for his availability on Sunday.Bradshaw also was listed as questionable with a knee injury that kept him out of last week's loss to the Falcons. He went through a limited practice on Friday and appears ready to return to action barring a setback.Center David Baas (hip/shoulder), safety Kenny Phillips (knee), safety Tyler Sash(hamstring) and guard Chris Snee are all listed as questionable but are expected to play against Baltimore.Cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring), defensive tackle Chris Canty (neck), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee) and wide receiver Rueben Randle (back) are all probable to play against Baltimore." Read more...
Tracy Ready To Step Up After Long Wait
Excerpt: "It may have taken eight weeks longer than Adrian Tracyexpected, but the Giants defensive end is excited for a potential increase in playing time Sunday.
With defensive end Justin Tuck questionable for Sunday's game against Baltimore, Tracy is in line to potentially see a boost in snaps if the veteran can't go. It seemed earlier this year that Tracy would be a bigger part of the defense after his first sack against San Francisco, but that never translated.
"(I'd be) Ecstatic. This is what you want to do. You want to play. You want to get out on the field and you want to contribute to the team and do anything to help them win," Tracy said. "In San Francisco, when I got the opportunity, I was on cloud nine and if it presents itself this week, I'll have the same feeling."
Tuck did not practice all week and it's up in the air if he will be able to go. The Giants depth chart currently has Tracy as the backup to co-starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyioraon the right side, and Mathias Kiwanuka as the backup to Tuck. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said he'll have to see when asked if Tracy would be in line to see a boost in playing time.
A sixth-round pick in 2010, Tracy has bounced back and forth between linebacker and defensive end in his short tenure with the Giants. He registered the first sack of his career against San Francisco on Oct. 14, and thought he might see a tick in his playing time because of it. The team had found a combination defensive end/linebacker position for him, and he responded with a strong showing in brief action." Read more...
Week 16 Predictions: Giants vs. Ravens
NFL Playoff Picture
Giants' RB Bradshaw Looks To Be Ready For The Ravens
Excerpt: " Ahmad Bradshaw took part in practice on a limited basis Friday, and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he was encouraged about having the running back for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Bradshaw, the team's leading rusher, sat out last week's 34-0 loss at Atlanta after spraining his left knee a week earlier in a win over New Orleans.
''He looked OK,'' Coughlin said Friday.
''As long as he continues to progress the way he has, he should be able to go. He brings a lot to the table in terms of fire and energy. Those are the most important factors. Knowing him, I am not surprised that he's made his way back.
''Bradshaw has 869 yards and five touchdowns this season, and has been battling a foot injury throughout the season, but the left knee injury knocked him out of the lineup. He put on shoulder pads and headed out to practice Friday for the first time in nearly two weeks. He's listed as questionable.
The Giants, Redskins and Cowboys are in a first-place tie in the NFC East at 8-6.''He's a vital member of this team,'' guard Kevin Boothe said.
''He's our physical, fiery leader.
Whenever you get a chance to get him out there, it's good for the team.''
Added tackle Will Beatty: ''Having 44 out there practicing with us is great. ''We just have to make sure he can play Sunday. He knows his own body and knows what he can do. As long as he's healthy, it's all about having him ready. Having him back and healthy is a good feeling.''
While the Giants may get Bradshaw back, they will likely be without defensive end Justin Tuck, who sat out practice for a third straight day with a shoulder injury. Tuck is also listed as questionable.Coughlin was hopeful to have Tuck back for Friday's practice, but he didn't take the field.
''We're going to have to wait and see on that one,'' Coughlin said. ''I was hopeful he could go, but the medical staff didn't think he should be able to go.
''If Tuck misses the game, then second-year player Adrian Tracy could get the nod." Read more...
Are Giants Looking Past Kenny Phillips?
Excerpt: "The Giants could get S Kenny Phillips (knee) back this weekend in a pivotal game against the Ravens, and at this point they’ll take all the defensive help they can get. The Giants can go with Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown as their starters and work Phillips back into the rotation if they want to because Brown has emerged as a playmaker and Rolle is the most versatile defender in the secondary.
But the picture might be becoming clearer: Phillips, who once was viewed as a cornerstone of the defense, could be playing his final few games with the club.
His contract is up after the season, and though the Giants would be interested in bringing him back, it would be at their price — and not a dollar more or a year longer.
GM Jerry Reese is respected around the league for his hard-line decisions, such as allowing WR Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss go following the 2010 season — without clear replacements on the roster — when the money got too rich." Read more...
3TFO: Giants @ Ravens
Excerpt: "Before Sunday’s shutout loss in Atlanta, the New York Giants controlled their own destiny in the NFC East. That’s not the case anymore, and they know they can’t afford to slip up anymore as they head on the road for the second straight week.
The Baltimore Ravens come into this week licking their wounds on the back of their third straight loss. Suddenly the once vaunted M&T Bank Stadium has been breached on two straight occasions, not the ideal situation you want to be in as you welcome the defending world champions.With both teams battling in the race for the playoffs, and a division title, this promises to be an important game that neither team can really afford to lose. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the three key areas to focus on in this Week 16 matchup.
Giants Defensive Ends vs. Ravens Offensive Line
As the Giants try to get themselves back on track in the race to the postseason, they’ll be looking for more consistency from their highly regarded defensive line. With seven sacks, three hits and 42 hurries, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been their most reliable pass rusher, as evidenced by his Pass Rushing Productivity rating of 9.4. With 39 total pressures from 345 snaps as a pass rusher, Osi Umenyiora is slightly behind that production, with a PRP Rating of 8.9, while Justin Tuck brings up the rear with a PRP Rating of 6.2, registering just 28 total pressures from 351 pass rushing snaps.
Fortunately for the Giants, this week they head to Baltimore to go up against a set of Ravens offensive tackles who have had their own problems with consistency. Left tackle Michael Oher ranks 42nd among all offensive tackles with a Pass Blocking Efficiency (PBE) Rating of 93.9, allowing eight sacks, nine hits and 23 hurries from 527 pass blocking snaps. On the right side, rookie Kelechi Osemele has performed slightly better, allowing seven sacks, six hits and 23 hurries from 515 pass blocking snaps, giving him a PBE Rating of 94.4. What’s concerning for Osemele is that when he has struggled, he has really struggled, with 19 of his 36 total pressures allowed coming in just three games." Read more...
Michael Vick: "I am Not A Back-Up