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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants' Perry Fewell Says Defensive Players Are In Position, But Are Not Making Plays
Excerpt: "It’s a riddle of perplexing proportions: A defense helps propel its team to a Super Bowl championship, returns months later with largely the same personnel, and slips to third-worst in the NFL.
For the Giants, this is reality. How and why? Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, interestingly, pointed to his players when asked for answers today.
“If you look at the tape,” Fewell said, “we’re in position to make plays, and we haven’t made plays.”
Is Fewell disappointed in his players? He said he wouldn’t go so far as to use that word. But in saying that they are in position and are just not making plays, he indicated the players’ execution is the issue, rather than the coaching scheme.
The Giants are currently ranked 30th in the league in total defense, giving up an average of 387.8 yards per game -- including a whopping 927 yards over the past two games. Less than a year after winning Super Bowl XLVI, defensive tackle Chris Canty dubbed this a “fall from grace,” and Fewell put it on the players’ will and determination to change that.
“I think they’ve been playing hard, but they’ve got to make up in their mind that we’ve got to make some plays,” Fewell said. “We’ve got to get a spark from somebody, somebody’s got to go through and make a football play and get everybody going. Either offensively, defensively or special teams, we need somebody to make a big play for us to get us rolling.”
There is no doubt that a lack of big plays in all phases has hurt the Giants, particularly during a two-game losing skid that dropped them from in control of their own playoffs destiny to needing a win and help from three other teams this Sunday." Read more...
Eagles' WR Jeremy Maclin: "It Would Mean A Lot To Spoil Giants' Season"
Excerpt: "It's Week 17 in what is expected to be the final game for their coach and quarterback. Yet the Eagles have something else to play for on Sunday afternoon when they face the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
The Eagles (4-11) can eliminate the Giants (8-7) from playoff contention with a road victory. It's a small reward in a generally unrewarding season but, at this point, it's better than nothing. Aside from individual agendas, the Eagles have little to play for in their season finale."It means A LOT," wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said with an overpowering emphasis on those those final two words.
"Obviously it's a rival game, a division opponent and the Eagles and Giants don't like each other. It's definitely going to be a hard-fought game. [Spoiler is] the role we're playing right now."
"The Giants need a win and a lot of help to make the postseason. In addition to beating the Eagles, they need the Bears to lose to the Lions, the Packers to beat the Vikings and the Redskins to beat or tie the Cowboys. Green Bay-Minnesota and Washington-Dallas will be played later Sunday, so the likelihood the Giants are eliminated before the conclusion of their 1 p.m. game against the Eagles is slim.
"We understand what the repercussions are if we beat them," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "We understand all that." Read more...
Eckel: Michael Vick Getting A Tryout For Other NFL Teams On Sunday
Excerpt: "You already know how this is going to play out right?
As soon as Eagles head coach Andy Reid actually gave some news at his Monday press conference
that Nick Foles was out with a broken hand and that Mike Vick would be back at quarterback for Sunday’s season-ender against the Giants, the script was written.
Vick, in his and Reid’s last appearance as Eagles, will play out of his mind as he auditions for at least a dozen teams in need of a quarterback next season. He will run for about 100 yards and at least one touchdown, throw for 250 yards and two touchdowns, and the Eagles will end any chance the Giants have of defending their Super Bowl title.
Then, after the Reid firing, thoughts will begin to turn to, “What if the new head coach likes Vick. If he’s willing to re-do his contract, maybe he’ll stay.’’Vick knows what’s at stake for him Sunday afternoon in East Rutherford, where he just happens to have a perfect 3-0 record as a starter. It’s one last chance for him as an Eagle to show what he can still do for anyone interested enough to watch. And Vick has done well when he’s replaced an injured young quarterback in the past.
Just ask Kevin Kolb.“It’s a good opportunity for me to go out there and grow as a player. You never know what could come out of this game,” Vick said. “You never know what I could learn. You never know what I could accomplish. I could go out there and break a record. There’s tremendous upside.”There isn’t much downside.Vick didn’t play very well, albeit behind a really bad offensive line with a really bad game plan, the first nine games of the season. Although the three wins the Eagles had in those games all came on last-minute drives he engineered." Read more...
A Look Back At The Eagles' 27 - 20 Loss To The Redskins
Excerpt: "This is coming to you a day later than usual due to the holiday, but here's a look at the Eagles' 27-20 loss to the Redskins last Sunday. Make sure to also check out our Jenny Vrentas' review of the Giants' loss to the Ravens.
LeSean McCoy: In his first game since sustaining a concussion in Week 11 in the Eagles' first meeting with the Redskins, the running back was as dangerous as ever.
McCoy finished with just 13 carries for 45 yards, but his d***ling ability to make defenders miss was on full display. On the Eagles' second drive of the game, he sidestepped a diving Rob Jackson to his left then juked safety Madieu Williams to his right – all in the backfield – before going on to gain eight yards.
He later left the linebacker Jackson flatfooted in the backfield, stutterstepping from his right to left before gaining five yards. He added a third example of his impressive elusiveness on the Eagles' final drive when he instantly cut back at the line of scrimmage on a six-yard gain on third-and-1.
But McCoy's biggest contributions came as a receiver. The versatile McCoy caught nine passes for 77 yards, and played a crucial role in the passing game out of the backfield in the Eagles' final unsuccessful drive to tie the game when he caught four passes for 30 yards. The Giants have bad memories of facing McCoy, most recently when he torched them for 123 rushing yards on 23 carries in the Eagles' Week 4 this season.
Nick Foles: He is out for Sunday's game due to a broken hand so his performance is something the Giants won't be keying in on much, if at all, this week, but the rookie quarterback was impressive Sunday. Playing with a broken hand for the entire second half, Foles finished 32-of-48 for 345 yards with a touchdown and interception. The numbers are particularly impressive given the amount of pressure he faced the entire game (more on that below), which forced him to make some athletic throws. It appeared as though Foles, who got his first career win two weeks before against the Buccaneers, was finally getting comfortable." Read more...
NY DAILY NEWS
Gola: Eli, Defensive Line To Blame For Giants' Super Fall
Excerpt: "An Aussie golf partner of mine is fond of a game called Skins and Validations. You can’t bank a skin, or win a hole, unless you at least tie the next hole.
Thankfully, the NFL hasn’t instituted this practice or the Giants would be throwing a lot of Vince Lombardi Trophies back into the kitty. No one is saying that last year’s Super Bowl title was some kind of fluke but, with their traditional year-after bogey, they will have failed to validate if they don’t sneak into the playoffs on Sunday.
Tom Coughlin was obviously concerned about a letdown or his off-season mantra wouldn’t have been about building a bridge from the last six games of 2012. It turns out he is no Washington Roebling. Coughlin’s bridge is currently headed to nowhere and that could leave a perception of last year’s team as one that just got hot at the right time.
Excerpt: "An Aussie golf partner of mine is fond of a game called Skins and Validations. You can’t bank a skin, or win a hole, unless you at least tie the next hole.
The Giants are 21-14 since the start of last year, playoffs included. That would be 15-14 without the six snowballing wins that carried them to last year’s title. You can’t take those wins away. They certainly deserved them. Yet that hot streak looks like the aberration rather than the rule.
The Giants didn’t build on last year’s success with its two pillars of elite play at the quarterback position and along the defensive front. It was their calling card, their mojo. But the pass rush has been AWOL and it seems as soon as Phil Simms said that Eli Manning wasn’t an elite quarterback, he stopped playing like one.
And without those elements, there hasn’t been much on which to fall back.
This 8-7 team isn’t anywhere as good as the 9-7 team that went into the 2011 playoffs, a team that expected to win, not one that can’t figure out why it lost. In the locker room Thursday, the Giants were trying to put up a brave front but you can almost sense the resignation after two straight blowout losses.
Coughlin is down to asking the defending Super Bowl champions to play for pride when the Eagles visit Sunday. He is one perplexed coach, as short on answers as his team is on confidence.
“I’ve been asked the question many times and there’s not going to be any satisfactory answer no matter what I say,” he explained. “We haven’t played well for two weeks in a row. As a matter of fact, we’ve played very poorly and the reason for that would be some real soul-searching not only by me but by the people in that locker room.”
Reporters were offering those people a few excuses Thursday: injuries, a tough schedule, the odds against any team repeating. Chris Canty wasn’t buying it.
“Sometimes what might be good enough one year or one game is not going to be good enough the next,” he said. “It’s just of those things that’s tough. When you’ve been to that pinnacle, you have to guard against complacency. It's human nature.
“You’re going to get everyone’s best shot. No question about it,” he went on. “When you’re the Super Bowl champs, everybody studies what you do. You’ve got make sure you’re good at what you do and that you improve on what you do.” Read more...
Fewell Points To Players For Defensive Struggles
Excerpt: "Two years ago, Perry Fewell’s defense was the seventh best in the NFL. One year ago it helped power the Giants to a Super Bowl title.
But now when he looks at the NFL rankings, he has to look way down to the bottom to find his Giants. They have the NFL’s 30th-ranked defense – the third-worst unit in the league.
And he’s sure he’s coached them better than that.
“We’ve prepared better than what we’ve played,” Fewell said on Thursday afternoon. “I think if you look at the tape we’re in position to make plays. We haven’t made plays.”
It’s hard to argue with the last part of that statement, considering how far this once-mighty defense has fallen. They have been equally bad against the run (130.4 yards per game, 25th in the NFL) and the pass (257.4 yards, 28th). They’re even far worse statistically than they were in 2009 when Tom Coughlin was convinced to fire Bill Sheridan after his lone season as defensive coordinator with the team." Read more...
Eagles Hope To Erase Giants' Playoff Hopes
Excerpt: "Sunday’s game could mark the end of Andy Reid’s tenure as Philadelphia Eagles head coach. But the Eagles hope to end something else, too, snuffing out the Giants’ last-gasp playoff hopes.
A 4-11 Philadelphia squad will have plenty of motivation on Sunday, in large part because an Eagles victory officially eliminates the Giants from playoff contention. The defending Super Bowl champs already need plenty of help – Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota all must lose – but none of that will matter if the Eagles down the Giants first.“It means a lot,” Eagles wideout Jeremy Maclin said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
“Obviously, it’s a rival game, a division opponent and the Eagles and Giants don’t like each other. It’s definitely going to be a hard-fought game. (Spoiler is) the role we’re playing right now.”For the Eagles, that adds to the lure of the already-exciting prospect of simply beating the Giants. Veteran wideout Jason Avant told reporters “it’s going to make it much more sweeter playing against the Giants” in the finale, and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins seconded that.“What better way to end the season than to get a win against the Giants?” he said." Read more...
Rolle Wins Media Good Guy Award
Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle has been named the winner of the 12th annual George Young Good Guy Award, as voted on by the Giants' chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America.
The award, named for the late general manager of the Giants, is given annually to honor a Giants player for his consistent and outstanding cooperation with the writers who cover the team on a daily basis. Rolle has emerged as a go-to guy for the writers in the locker room over the last two seasons for his willingness to stand up and answer questions regardless of the situation and to give his always-honest take on the pulse of the team.
TE Martellus Bennett finished second in the voting. DT Chris Canty finished third. In all, 12 players received votes from the members of the Giants media.
Previous winners of the award were:" Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
Cruz: Repeating Is No Easy Fete
Excerpt: "They knew it wouldn’t be easy.
They did not know how difficult it actually would be.And now that the Giants are teetering on the edge of playoff elimination, they can look back and see what so many teams — including themselves in 2008 — learned the hard way: Repeating as Super Bowl champions is not impossible, but it’s pretty darn close.“It’s a lot more difficult than I thought it would be,’’ Victor Cruz told The Post. “I guess when you think about it from an individual standpoint, you think it’s easy, but it takes a full team effort ... it’s tougher than it looks.’’
Now that he’s been through it, Cruz sees the pitfalls he once figured the Giants could vault without falling by the wayside. One year after storming through the postseason despite a modest (9-7) regular season, the Giants will be on the outside looking in this time around unless they beat the Eagles on Sunday and three other games go their way, which is possible but highly improbable.“Winning a Super Bowl takes a lot out of a team,’’ Cruz said. “It takes a lot out of anyone individually, just emotionally, physically and then the next year, just physically demanding each and every week how teams are fighting to beat the defending champions. It’s tough to do.
’’There’s hasn’t been a back-to-back Super Bowl champion since the Patriots after the 2003 and 2004 seasons, and in the past seven years, the Super Bowl winner the following season either didn’t make the playoffs or didn’t win a single playoff game. Forget about a repeat title, there hasn’t been anything close to a repeat title run.“You got to realize you’re playing a lot more games than everybody else is,’’ Chris Canty said. “You got to realize there’s some wear and tear factor as well.’’ Read more...
Giants Optimistic Despite Long Playoff Odds
Excerpt: "Victor Cruz forecasts a Happy New Year for the Giants and their fans.
Cruz, destiny’s darling last season, predicts the Big Blue dominoes will be falling perfectly into place Sunday for the defending champs to miraculously make the playoffs.The Giants have to take care of their business against the Eagles and pray the Lions upset the Bears, the Packers beat the Vikings and the Redskins beat or tie the Cowboys.
BEARS-LIONS: “I think Calvin’s [Johnson] trying to put some distance on that [single-season receiving] record a little bit, so they’re gonna do some good things offensively,” Cruz said.
PACKERS-VIKINGS: “I just think they’re hot, so I think they’re gonna continue that streak,” Cruz said of the Packers.
COWBOYS-REDSKINS: “I think it all depends on how the receivers play in my book, how Pierre [Garçon] and Dez Bryant on both sides, but I think the Redskins are gonna pull it out,” Cruz said.Oh yeah, EAGLES-GIANTS: “I think this kid named Victor Cruz is gonna have a pretty good game, so I’m excited about it,” Cruz said, smiling.“We get in baby!
”The latest:EAGLES-GIANTS (1 p.m.): Dog mentality needed against Michael Vick. “Just corral him,” Giants linebacker Spencer Paysinger said. “He hasn’t played in a while, so we don’t know if he has any rust on him or anything like that. He hasn’t seen game speed in a long time so hopefully it takes him a while to get warmed up.”
Will the Eagles be extra motivated to win one for outgoing Andy Reid?
“I’m sure they will be,” Chris Canty said.Giants players will peek up at the scoreboard for Bears-Lions.“I try to guard against that, I really do,” Canty said, and chuckled. “They flash it up there, I think some guys are gonna take notice.” Read more...
Perry Says D Needs To Step Up
Excerpt: "For Perry Fewell, it’s not about scheme, but execution.
The Giants’ defensive coordinator had a rather simple explanation yesterday for the recent struggles on his side of the ball, pointing to the desperate need for the players to step up.
“We prepared better than what we played,” Fewell said after yesterday’s practice. “I think if you look at the tape, we’re in position to make plays, and we haven’t made plays.”The Giants will need to make plays Sunday against the Eagles at MetLife Stadium, as they need to win and to get losses from each of the Cowboys, Vikings and Bears in order to make the playoffs. And they’re largely in that precarious position because of the past two weeks, when they lost by a combined score of 67-14 and saw their defense fall to regular-season ranking of 30th by allowing 387.8 yards per game." Read more...
Giants' RB Ahmad Bradshaw May Play vs. Eagles
Excerpt: "If the Giants are going down on Sunday, it sure sounds as if Ahmad Bradshaw will be on the field trying to prevent what seems to be the inevitable end of the season.
Bradshaw usually sits out practice until Fridays to save wear and tear on his feet and the past few weeks he has been dealing with a sprained knee. He was able to practice yesterday, though, and only Bradshaw could state that the stress he put on the knee last week in Baltimore against the Ravens was actually helpful.
“The game helped a whole lot, just putting a pounding to it,’’ Bradshaw said. “I think I just get immune to the pain, I guess, as it goes, as my injuries go. So I guess I can take it a little more.’’Bradshaw on Sunday against the Eagles has an outside shot to reach 1,000 rushing yards for the season. He’s at 908.“I missed a couple of games and sat out half for a couple of games. We’re not worrying about 1,000 right now,’’ Bradshaw said.
* WR Hakeem Nicks (knee/foot) was able to practice on a limited basis but it is no certainty he will be able to play.
“That kid has been all heart,’’ offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. “I have great admiration for him, but he’s fighting through some injuries. He’s got some debilitating injuries.’’ Read more...
Some Giants Healing Up For Finale
Excerpt: "At least the Giants aren’t limping into the sunset.
They had a good showing on Thursday inside their field house, as several players listed on the injury report made their way back onto the field in one way or another. There was even an Ahmad Bradshaw sighting, which is rare, as the veteran running back usually stays out of practice until Fridays.
Hakeem Nicks on Wednesday sounded as if he wasn’t sure he would be able to play in Sunday’s game against the Eagles but he was on the field running routes, at the very least testing his balky left knee. Right guard Chris Snee, slowed with a bad hip, didn’t look especially spry but he was getting some work in, as it is intention to play as long as he can feel comfortable getting down in his stance." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
NFL: Giants Sound Off On Defense's Pitfalls
Excerpt: "The voice sounded awfully soft and plenty subdued coming from such a big man.Giants' Notes: Prince Amukanara Hurting
Chris Canty sat on the stool in front of his locker talking about missed opportunities, about all that’s been missing in the year since the Giants’ improbable, magical Super Bowl run.
Mostly, he talked Thursday about how their defense ranks a lowly 30th overall (387.8 yards per game) — third worst in the NFL — with almost the same personnel that won a championship in February.
"That’s a fall from grace," the 6-foot-7, 317-pound defensive tackle said, sounding almost dazed.
A little while later, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell squarely placed the blame for that fall on his players.
"We’ve prepared better than what we’ve played," Fewell said in an apparent attempt to absolve himself of the blame. "We haven’t made plays. I think if you look at the tape, we’re in position to make plays. We haven’t made plays."
The Giants (8-7) quietly mourned a season of lost opportunities after what could be their next-to-last practice, even if there remains a sliver of hope.
"We need some real soul-searching, not only by me, but by the people in that locker room," coach Tom Coughlin said.
They talked and acted as if the season certainly will end Sunday when they host the Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) in the regular-season finale, despite a slim chance of earning a playoff berth. They need a win, plus losses by Minnesota and Chicago and either a loss or a tie by Dallas to back their way in as a wild card.
But for the playoffs to be a possibility, the Giants’ defense — which yielded a combined 67 points and 927 yards and forced zero turnovers in back-to-back blowout defeats in Atlanta and Baltimore — will have to drastically improve.
"I think they’ve been playing hard," Fewell said. "But they’ve got to make up in their mind that we’ve got to make some plays. We’ve got to get a spark from somebody. Somebody’s got to go through and make a football play and get everybody going." Read more...
Excerpt: "Prince Amukamara aggravated his sore hamstring early in last week’s loss in Baltimore, forcing him to miss practice for the second straight day. The cornerback appears doubtful for Sunday’s regular-season finale.
If he sits, rookie Jayron Hosley would start in his place. But Hosley was added to the injury report Thursday with a quad injury and was limited in practice.
Amukamara underwent an ultrasound Monday that revealed "the injury was a little bit extended," he said.
"It’s not a problem of strength," he said. "It’s just the motion, and I can’t really extend it. When I run, I like to extend my legs out, so [I just feel] pain." Red more...
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Special Teams Still Impressive Of Late
As lopsided as the last two weeks have been for the Giants, Tom Coughlin has repeatedly praised one component of his team heading into the regular-season finale -- special teams. Giants' Coordinators Seek Answers
It’s a relative nod, of course, coming off consecutive losses by a combined score of 67-14, but a head coach has to start somewhere. It was also important enough for him to mention in every press conference this week, including his postgame remarks in Baltimore where the Giants limited return specialist – and recently-named Pro Bowler -- Jacoby Jones.
The other two phases, however, haven’t created a spark as of late.
“I think, to be honest with you, we haven’t made any really significant plays and people rally around those kinds of things as well,” Coughlin said Thursday. “There’s little parts of each game in the beginning where if something good would have happened, who knows? For example, how do you explain special teams playing as well as they played and the other two phases as poorly? That’s a very good question.”
It’s also a broader question that Coughlin will delve into over the offseason with his staff, including special teams coordinator Tom Quinn, who was asked about the head coach singling out his unit as a bright spot.
“Kickoff return, we left some yardage out there, which we needed against a really good coverage team (in Baltimore),” Quinn, a perfectionist, said. “That was a little disappointing. We missed a couple reads and didn’t finish off some blocks. I thought punt competed; punt return, I’m not happy with that. (Domenik) Hixon had a couple opportunities…he had one 10-yard return, the other one was only two. That affected us.”
Quinn went on to speak about the mentality of a special-teamer trying to make a name for himself.
“I think it’s got to be,” he said. “Anytime you’re on the bottom of the roster, you’ll be fighting for a job, fighting for a paycheck. You better be motivated. We always have to deal with that as far as who we get to deal with. You hope they’re motivated and if not, you’ll find someone else that is.”
In the meantime, still holding a ray of postseason hope, the Giants have to take care of their own business against the Eagles.
For Quinn, that includes the No. 7 punt return outfit, led by Damaris Johnson, who had a 98-yard touchdown in Dallas at the beginning of the month. On the flipside, the Giants will try to take advantage of the Eagles’ coverage teams, giving up 13.6 yards per punt (30th) and 24.6 on kickoff (22nd).
Excerpt: "Kevin Gilbride has been coaching for almost 40 years, including 23 in the National Football League. Any career of that length is inevitably going to have its soaring highs and debilitating lows, its emotional victories and painful losses, and performances that at times inspire and other times dispirit." Read more...
The Giants’ offensive coordinator hasn’t hit rock bottom because of his unit’s performance the last two weeks, but he’s reached depths he’d prefer not to visit.
In losses to Atlanta and Baltimore, in which the Giants never seriously threatened, the offense totaled 442 yards, 164 rushing yards, 21 first downs and two touchdowns.
“I probably don’t handle it as well as you should because it really eats away at me and it really bothers me,” Gilbride said today. “I can’t sleep. My stomach is upset. So physically I can say I’m fine. There’s no impact. I’m just going to focus ahead and I do that, but obviously my body is telling me you’re not doing it as well as you think you are because I struggle. I really struggle physically.”
This is a challenging week for all of the Giants as they prepare for their regular-season finale Sunday at home against Philadelphia. Those two losses have lowered their record to 8-7 and left them needing a victory over Philly and help from three other teams just to slip into the playoffs as the NFC’s sixth seed.
Coach Tom Coughlin is charged with reversing the team’s recent fortunes. But Gilbride and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell must devise the game plans and put their players in positions to make the plays the Giants have so noticeably lacked.
“Anything to spark or creating the spark,” Coughlin said. “I think, to be honest with you, we haven’t made any really significant plays and people rally around those kinds of things as well. There are little parts of each game in the beginning where if something good would have happened, who knows? For example, how do you explain special teams playing as well as they played and the other two phases as poorly? That’s a very good question.”
The offense is accustomed to having more opportunities. In the last two weeks the unit ran 47 and then 45 plays, the two lowest totals of the season. Only six of those 92 plays gained more than 20 yards, two of them in Baltimore. The Giants converted just six of 20 third down opportunities and owned the ball for approximately 21 minutes in each game.
Gilbride was asked if he can put a finger on what happened the last two weeks.
“If I could, I would’ve solved it and put it on it a long time ago,” he said. “We’re just not making plays that we’ve had some opportunities to make, and they’re there to be had. Whether it’s a misfire of a throw, or pressure on the quarterback, you got two big plays last week. It was 17-7, we’re driving down again, and we get a holding on a ‘bob’ that was a nice first down that was a big gain. Then, the one to Domenik (Hixon) that gets called for offensive (pass) interference, so it’s been one thing after another. It’s just, there’s no consistency. We’ve got a drive going last week, we put it in the end zone, we drove down to score. But, there are too many three-and-outs, and there are too many failed opportunities to get the drive going, get the momentum started.”
Fewell is coaching the other side of the ball, but he has a similar vantage point. For example, while the offense has had difficulty converting a third down, the defense has struggled to stop those conversions. The Falcons succeeded on 69 percent (9-of-13) and the Ravens on 61 percent (11-for-16), the highest back-to-back success rates allowed by the Giants since the 1970 merger.
Those kinds of numbers are perplexing to the man whose job it is to stop the other team’s offense.
“We’ve prepared better than what we’ve played,” Fewell said. “We haven’t made plays. I think if you look at the tape, we’re in position to make plays, and we haven’t made plays.”
The Giants are currently ranked 30th in the NFL in yards allowed (387.8 a game), though they are 18tth in scoring defense (22.5 points per game). Fewell can identify the reason for the discrepancy.
“It’s frustrating for me and for the defense to give up the big play,” Fewell said. “That’s been our nemesis all year. Have we worked to eliminate the big play? Yes, we have. Have we been able to do that? No, we haven’t. I can’t tell you why, but yeah, that can be a point of frustration.”
Truth be told, the Giants won a Super Bowl last year with a defense that was ranked 27th in the NFL in the regular season, giving up 376.4 yards a game. But that No. 30 ranking doesn’t sit well with anyone on the defense.
“That’s a fall from grace,” defensive tackle Chris Canty said “It’s tough to realize that’s the position that we’re in, that’s the quality of work that we put together. But the facts are the facts. That’s what it is. It’s disappointing. I’m sure that every guy on the defense in this locker room would say that. So, for whatever reason, we didn’t put our best effort on a consistent basis throughout the season, but with every game there is an opportunity to turn that around.”
One notable defensive deficiency has been takeaways. The Giants have none in the last two weeks after averaging 2.6 a game through the first 13 weeks of the season.
“We preach ‘em. We work on ‘em,” Fewell said. “Again, we’ve been in position, we haven’t made a football play for the last couple of weeks. We’ve been in position to make football plays, but it hasn’t gone our way. They say turnovers come in bunches and sometimes we get them in bunches, and right now, we’re on a dry spell, a two-game dry spell. We’re going to work like the ****ens to get turnovers in this football game.”
That would be the game against the Eagles, which could well be the one the Giants must carry into the long offseason. Coughlin has repeated all week that he is far more concerned with how the team performs than the scenario that can get the Giants into the playoffs. He wants the Giants to play a game they can be proud of.
The question is...can they?
“I hope (our confidence) is good,” Gilbride said. “You never know what’s pretense, or what’s superficial. What’s beneath the surface? I would hope that we’ve been good for long enough that there will be determination, a reserve of confidence, and there’s a determination to come back and finish the season off the right way. You never know until the game starts.”
“I think they’ve been playing hard, but they have to make up in their mind that we have to make some plays,” Fewell said. “We have to get a spark from somebody. Somebody has to go through and make a football play and get everybody going, either offensively, defensively or special teams. We need somebody to make a big play for us and get us rolling.”
*The list of players who missed practice was cut in half, as cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring), center David Baas (hip/shoulder) and Canty (knee) were the only players to sit out.
Amukamara, limited to four snaps in Baltimore, told reporters he underwent an ultrasound on Monday and “the pain just extended just a little bit down my leg.” He said he aggravated the injury covering Torrey Smith on a go route.
Asked if he will face the Eagles, Amukamara said, “I’m not sure. I’m still doing what the trainers and coaches are telling me to do. I’m still just preparing mentally. I guess we’ll just see whenever coach makes the decision.”
Cornerback Jayron Hosley was added to the injury list with a quadriceps ailment and was one of six players to work on a limited basis. That group included three players who didn’t practice yesterday – running back Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee) and guard Chris Snee (hip). Defensive end Juston Tuck (shoulder) and safety Kenny Phillips (knee) were also limited.
Bradshaw missed the Atlanta game two weeks ago because of his knee injury. He usually practices only on Friday, but said, “I feel a lot better today or this week. I guess the game helped a whole lot, just putting the pounding to it, and I think I just get immune to the pain as my injuries go. I guess I can take it a little more.”
*In a voting of the Giants’ chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America, safety Antrel Rolle has won the 2012 George Young Good Guy Award for his cooperation with the media that cover the Giants. Martellus Bennett finished second and Chris Canty was third, which is where Rolle was in last year’s voting.
The award is named for the Giants’ late, great general manager, who was always helpful to reporters covering the team.
Here is the list of Good Guy winners since the award was inaugurated in 2001
Giants vs Eagles Scouting Report
"The Giants will try to stop a two-game skid and end the year with an impressive performance when they host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in the 2012 regular-season finale. Losses the last two weeks in Atlanta and Baltimore have dropped the Giants to 8-7. They remain alive for an NFC wild card berth, but must beat Philadelphia to have a chance. The Eagles are 4-11 and have lost 10 of 11 games since defeating the Giants, 19-17, on September 30. That was Philadelphia’s eighth victory in the last nine games between the teams (including one postseason game). The Giants lead the regular-season series, 80-73-2, and the postseason series is tied, 2-2. The Eagles have won both meetings in MetLife Stadium.
The Eagles are ranked 12th in the NFL with an average of 356.5 yards a game. They are 11th in the league in rushing (117.6) and 14th in passing (238.9). Despite those rankings, Philadelphia is 27th in the league in scoring with an average of 18.2 points per game. The Eagles have lost an NFL-high 22 fumbles and their 36 giveaways (which have led to 133 opposing points) and minus-23 turnover differential are both the league’s second-worst figures (Kansas City is at 37 and minus-25). Philly has at least one turnover in 13 of 15 games this season; the exceptions were the victory over the Giants and a loss to Atlanta.
The Eagles joined the Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams as the only teams that did not have a player selected to the Pro Bowl.
Injuries have forced Philadelphia’s offensive coaches to constantly shuffle their lineup this season. Left guard Evan Mathis is the only offensive player to start all 15 games. Since they last played the Giants, the Eagles have put wide receiver DeSean Jackson, tight end Clay Harbor and right tackle Todd Herremans on injured reserve. Their leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, missed four games with a concussion. Tight end Brent Celek (concussion), wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (groin), fullback Stanley Havili (hamstring) and tackle King Dunlap (knee) have been among the players with injury issues.
The Giants will face a familiar foe in Michael Vick, who will be the Eagles’ starting quarterback for the first time since a loss to Dallas on November 1, when he suffered a concussion. Rookie Nick Foles started the previous six games, but he broke a bone in his hand in a loss last week to Washington and was placed on injured reserve. Vick has a knack for spotting and hitting secondary targets and he is always a threat to tuck the ball under his arm and demoralize a defense with his running ability. His Achilles heel has been ball security; Vick threw nine interceptions and lost five fumbles before he was hurt. Veteran Trent Edwards will be Vick’s backup.
McCoy has rushed for 795 yards, including a season-high 123 in the victory over the Giants three months ago. He is an explosive and elusive back whose quick change of direction can corkscrew a defender. Rookie Bryce Brown started when McCoy was sidelined and has run for 546 yards and a team-high four scores. Brown runs to the edge quickly and has good vision, but he has also been plagued with ball security issues, losing three of four fumbles. Dion Lewis is a shifty 5-8, change-of-pace back who scored on a 17-yard touchdown run last week vs. Washington. Another back, Chris Polk, has missed the last seven games with turf toe.
With Jackson sidelined, the No. 1 wide receiver is Maclin, who leads the Eagles with 65 catches and six touchdowns. Maclin has had five or more receptions in seven games. Maclin has outstanding athletic ability, quickness and speed that make him a factor on short, intermediate and deep routes. Riley Cooper has been the other starter since Week 10. He is a powerful strider who is a reliable possession receiver, particularly in the red zone. The third wideout is Jason Avant, who most often lines up in the slot. Avant is usually the receiver Philadelphia quarterbacks target in clutch situations. He is also a punishing blocker. Rookie Damaris Johnson is a 5-7 speedster who has 18 catches and is a feisty blocker despite his size. Marvin McNutt, another first-year player, also gets some snaps.
Celek lines up all over the formation and is the team’s second-leading receiver with 54 catches. He is a very athletic receiving tight end who is most effective in space. Evan Moore spent the first 14 games of the season with the Seattle Seahawks, was released and signed by the Eagles on December 20 and played vs. the Redskins after only two practices with his new team. Moore, who lined up at both tight end and fullback, is a good backside blocker who quickly locates and hits his target.
The Eagles like to run to the edges, a tactic made possible by the offensive line’s aggressive zone blocking schemes. Despite several changes, the line has played well as a group, particularly in the run and screen games.
Since first facing the Giants, the Eagles have replaced right guard Danny Watkins and left tackle Demetress Bell. The new starters are Jake Scott and Dunlap. Scott, a nine-year veteran who was signed on November 12, formerly played in Indianapolis under current Philly line coach Howard Mudd, so he is familiar with the Eagles’ blocking schemes and is perfect for what they do. Scott has started 136 consecutive games in which he’s played. Mathis has been Philadelphia’s best and most durable lineman, despite playing with an ankle injury. He is an aggressive player who can grab and control defenders with his strong upper body. Dunlap is a large tackle who works better in the run game. Dennis Kelly is a rookie 6-8 left tackle who quickly gets his hands on defenders. The center is Dallas Reynolds, another first-year pro, who has shown promise but has performed inconsistently, particularly on shotgun snaps.
Philadelphia has allowed an average of 339.6 yards per game, which is ranked 14th in the NFL. The Eagles are 22nd against the run (122.4) and 11th vs. the pass (217.2). They are 26th in scoring defense, allowing 26.8 points a game.
The defense has a different look from the first time the Giants saw the Eagles. Coach Andy Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo on October 16 and replaced him with secondary coach Todd Bowles, who had never before been a coordinator. On December 3, defensive line coach Jim Washburn was fired and replaced by Tommy Brasher, who had held the same position with the Eagles in 1985 and again from 1999 until 2005. In 2011, Washburn had brought the Wide 9 defensive line scheme to Philadelphia. It was scrubbed after his departure. The Eagles have intercepted only three passes in the last 13 games.
Defensive end Jason Babin was released on November 27 – and is still tied for the team lead with 5.5 sacks. Tackle Mike Patterson is on the reserve/non-football injury list with viral pneumonia.
Despite their absences, Philadelphia has a formidable front four. Left end Brandon Graham has four sacks and 13 pressures in the last four games. Although a bit undersized at 268 pounds, Graham plays with uncommon energy, speed and range. On the right side is Trent Cole, whose 3.0 sacks are misleading. He has been credited with a team-high 38 quarterback hurries. Cole is a dominant, violent player who succeeds with powerful upfield movement. Cullen Jenkins is a quality every-down defensive tackle who beats his opponents with strength and athletic ability. Rookie Fletcher Cox leads the defensive line with 56 tackles and is one of three players with 5.5 sacks. He is an explosive athlete with all kinds of pass rush moves. But Cox suffered a concussion last Sunday vs. the Redskins, didn’t practice Wednesday and his status for the Giants is uncertain. Derek Landri and rookie Cedric Thornton are the backup tackles and Phillip Hunt and first-year pro Vinny Curry are the reserve ends.
The Eagles have restructured their linebackers in the three months since they last saw the Giants. DeMeco Ryans is still in the middle, where he leads the team with 146 tackles (114 solo). Ryans is an instinctive player who plays with good strength against the run. Former weakside backer Akeem Jordan has been benched and replaced by rookie Mychal Kendricks, who was on the strong side. The new strongside backer is Jamar Chaney. Kendricks has the best cover speed among the Philadelphia linebackers. However, he missed practice Wednesday with a concussion. Chaney is better against the run. Rookie Ryan Rau is a productive backup and Casey Matthews is used in the Eagles’ goal line package.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha have started every game at left and right cornerback, respectively. The former has a team-high three interceptions and uses an extra gear when closing on the ball. Asomugha has not played at the rarified level he did in previous seasons, but is still an outstanding bump-and-run corner who defends slants well. Rookie Brandon Boykin covers the slot receiver in the nickel. The dime back is Curtis Marsh. Free safety Nate Allen did not start last week for the first time this season. He was replaced by Colt Anderson, who had made his first starts the previous two weeks at strong safety. Anderson sees a play unfold right away and is an attacking run defender. The other starter is Kurt Coleman, who has good straight line speed and is aggressive to insert against the run.
Alex Henery has made 27 of 30 field goal attempts and scored 105 points. Punter Mat McBriar, who made his Eagles debut vs. the Giants in September, has a 47.0-yard gross average and a 36.6-yard net average. Boykin is averaging 22.7 yards on a team-high 42 kickoff returns, but with McCoy’s return to the lineup, Bryce Brown returned kickoffs last week and is expected to do so vs. the Giants. Damaris Johnson has a 12.0-yard punt return average, including a 98-yard touchdown. Jordan leads the team with 15 special teams tackles, but according to statistics released by the Eagles, Anderson’s 165 special teams points (tackles, blocks, first hits, fumbles forced and recovered) are 20 more than anyone else on the team. The Eagles have struggled in coverage. Their punt team is ranked 30th, allowing an average return of 13.6 yards, and the kickoff team is 22nd, surrendering an average of 24.6 yards on 40 returns." Focus On Defense Is Eagles' Run Game
"The only scoreboard Giants defenders will focus on this Sunday in MetLife Stadium is the one that flashes the score of the game and the opponent’s rushing stats. A week after allowing a pair of 100-yard rushers, they’ll try to keep both numbers as low as possible.
In the Giants’ Week 16 loss in Baltimore, Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce rushed for 107 and 123 yards, respectively, dropping New York to 28th in the NFL in allowing 4.6 yards per attempt. And before they can concern themselves with playoff scenarios, the Giants look to do a better job in that category.
Against the Eagles this week, that includes a familiar foe and another not as much.
LeSean McCoy, who has rushed for more than 100 yards in four of his seven career games against New York, returned to the field last week against Washington after a four-game absence due to a concussion. He notched just 45 yards on 13 carries but added a season-high 77 yards on nine catches against the Redskins.
Meanwhile, rookie Bryce Brown has made a name for himself in McCoy’s absence, including a two-game stretch where he racked up 346 yards and four touchdowns. With McCoy back, Brown rushed four times last week for 18 yards.
“Same scheme, just two pretty good backs,” linebacker Michael Boley said. “Brown’s kind of burst on the scene. He’s run the ball quite well over the last couple weeks. He’s definitely a player that’s going to have to be watched closely.
“McCoy is more of a slasher, cutback-type runner. But as you’ve seen, Brown can do it as well. So they’re kind of similar in some aspects.”
The Eagles’ rushing attack currently ranks 11
th in the NFL, averaging 117.6 yards per game, and could only be boosted by Michael Vick’s return to the starting role at quarterback.
“Another running back in the backfield,” Boley said of Vick. “He definitely adds the challenge of scrambling, getting out of the pocket, especially with the push that our guys get up front – facing a running quarterback with our front kind of forces us to be more focused on containing the pass rush and not just going to get it."
Baltimore Ravens' Ed Reed Fines $55K For Hit On Victor Cruz
Excerpt: "Ravens' veteran safety, Ed Reed, avoided a suspension, but was fined $55,000 by the NFL for his illegal hit on New York Giants wide receiverVictor Cruz in week 16's game.
“I don’t really know what to do with it,” Reed said after the game on Sunday. “I thought it was a decent hit. He got up from it. I think Cruz got up.”
Reed is no stranger to fines for illegal hits, and was suspended for one-game earlier this season for a brutal hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. The suspension was overturned, but Reed was still fined $50,000." Readmore...
Giants DC Perry Fewell: "We've Prepared Better Than We Have Played"
Excerpt: "The New York Giants defense has been deplorable as of late. The pass rush has been non-existent, the secondary has given up big play after big play and running backs have run wild. It's been a meltdown of epic proportions. The Giants are sitting at 8-7, and miraculously still have a smidgeon of hope to extend their season into the playoffs with a win on Sunday. To have a chance to defeat Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, the defense is going to have to step up in a big way.However, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell insists that the preparation and scheme are not the issue. Fewell believes that players have been in a position to make plays and just have not gotten the job done.
"We’ve prepared better than what we’ve played," Fewell said. "We haven't made plays. I think if you look at the tape, we’re in position to make plays, and we haven’t made plays."
The Giants obviously were not ready to play defense the last two weeks. Players who have been solid almost all year were arm tackling and failing to perform up to their talent level. However, Fewell is hardly blameless for Big Blue's recent shortcomings.
After running a conventional 4-3 defense for the entire season, last week he decided to play a 4-4 scheme by giving Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlichsignificant playing time. Instead of stopping the run and intermediate passing game, the Ravens ran for 224 yards and threw for another 309 yards. All Fewell's scheme did was remove a safety and put an extra linebacker in coverage, which put the cornerbacks in one-on-one situations all game. Joe Flacco picked apart the defense and the Giants were playing from behind the entire game." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
Prince Amukamara Injury Update: His Season May Be Over
Excerpt: "The New York Giants have not definitively declared him out of Sunday's regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, but it seems like the season might be over for cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Amukamara missed practice again Thursday after playing only four snaps Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens and head coach Tom Coughlin said the 2011 first-round draft pick, fighting a hamstring injury, had suffered a setback against the Ravens.If Amukamara's season is over, let's take the opportunity to assess his play. After a rookie season pretty much laid to waste by a broken foot suffered during training camp Amukamara established himself as a starting cornerback this season.Amukamara was targeted 56 times this season and surrendered 30 completions, with quarterbacks having a 71.8 passer rating against him. That placed him 16th in the league among corners who took regular snaps. Corey Webster was 65th with a 108.7 passer rating against. Webster, incidentally, has been targeted 92 times." Read more...
Giants Hope For A Win, Rolle's The Good Guy, Injury Update, And Other Notes From Thursday's Locker Room
Excerpt: "It’s been no secret that the Giants have struggled – badly at that—in the second half of this, their defense of their Super Bowl championship.
Despite being on the brink of elimination from the post season, add running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka to the list of players who think that the Giants will finish the year with a win on Sunday against the Eagles.
“I think, you know, this team has been here, has been in this predicament before and we just don’t want to end our season on a bad note,” Bradshaw said. “Our plans are to come out hard and play our hardest.”
But even the best laid plans can go astray, as this Giants team has found out over the last two weeks in particular. With the Giants firmly in control of their destiny, they squandered away two golden opportunities to make sure they were assured a chance at defending their title by putting together uncoordinated and, at times, lifeless showings against the Falcons and the Ravens not long after they completely dominated the likes of the Packers and the Saints.
That’s why Kiwanuka believes that the Giants need to stop worrying about the various scenarios that need to happen for them to get into the playoffs and start focusing on getting back to playing solid ball.
“I think when we play our best ball, I mean, yeah, sometimes we play better with our backs against the wall, but for this circumstance for this team, I think we need to just free our minds and be able to just go out there and play our style of football,” he said. “You start thinking about scenarios and what if this or that, then it can kind of distract you from what you need to do.” Read more...
THE RED ZONE.
ESPN New York Rates Eli # 1
Excerpt: "Eli Manning’s 2012 may be ending badly, but he kicked off the year in elite fashion.
Manning led the Giants to four straight wins en route to his second Super Bowl title and second Super Bowl MVP trophy, putting an end to any lingering questions about where he ranks among the greats of the game. That's why ESPNNewYork.com picked him as the best-loved New York sports figure of the year.
(Five Giants made our Top 10. Click here to view the list, and here to rank 'em yourself.)
Manning's unforgettable year included a guest-host stint on “Saturday Night Live” as well.
His 2012 opened with a bang on New Year’s Day as the Giants clinched the NFC East by beating Dallas, 31-14, at home. The quarterback threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns to clinch a playoff berth.
He threw for three more touchdowns in a 24-2 wild-card blowout over the Falcons at home.
Manning then outshined Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay with 330 yards and three touchdowns -- including a Hail Mary to Hakeem Nicks at the end of the first half -- to lead the Giants to the NFC title game.
It was in San Francisco where Manning delivered the toughest performance of his career. The Giants' franchise quarterback was officially hit 12 times -- but it probably was closer to 20 -- and sacked six times but he kept getting back up.
He completed 32 of 58 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against the vaunted Niners defense and delivered a beautiful 17-yard touchdown strike to Mario Manningham on a third-and-15 to put the Giants up 17-14 in the fourth quarter. " Read more...
Next Level Preview: Giants vs. Eagles
Excerpt: "The Giants host the Eagles Sunday and will attempt to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Philadelphia and New York met in Week 4 with the Eagles prevailing, 19-17, after a lateLawrence Tynes' missed field goal. The Eagles are looking to sweep the season series with the Giants for the third time in the past four seasons.
The Giants are coming off a lopsided 33-14 loss to the Ravens that saw Baltimore tally 533 yards of offense, the most allowed by the Giants since Week 12 of 2011 against the Saints. Meanwhile, the Eagles, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games, are coming off a 27-20 loss to the Redskins.
The Giants need to win Sunday and get plenty of help in order to make the playoffs. Here are several areas to keep an eye on for Week 17:
• Eli Manning has been unable to replicate his success from last season, partly due to his inability to stretch the field with Hakeem Nicks.
Manning has eight touchdown passes on throws outside the painted numbers, after throwing 20 touchdowns on such passes last season, tied for the second-most in the NFL. He has only connected with Nicks for one touchdown on those throws, after Nicks had seven touchdowns on throws outside the numbers in 2011, tied for third most in the league.
Overall, Manning has completed just 54.1 percent of his passes targeted for Nicks, down from 58.5 percent last season and the lowest percentage since Nicks came into the league.
• Last season, Manning was one of the best quarterbacks in the league when facing five or more pass rushers, especially in the fourth quarter. He threw a league-leading 18 touchdown passes against five or more pass rushers in 2011, 10 of which came in the final period.
This season, Manning has thrown seven touchdowns against added pressure, only three of which have been in the fourth quarter. " Read more...
Champs - - New York's 10 Most Loved Sports Figures of 2012 - VIEW
PFT's Week 17 Predictions
Excerpt: "Well, it’s officially over.
With an eight-game gap and one week of games left, MDS and yours truly disagree on only five games. Which means that, even if MDS sweeps, I’ll still be three games ahead. (Math continues to be my strong suit.)Of course, if I sweep I’ll finish with a 13-game lead. And based on the five disagreements, I think I will.
Read on to see our picks and our takes for the final week of the regular season.
It all re-sets to 0-0 for the playoffs, at which time MDS will have a chance to exact revenge. Or to fail again.Last week, I was 11-5 and MDS went 10-6. For the year, I’m now at 157-82-1, good for 65.4 percent. MDS is 149-90-1, which keeps him at 62.0 percent.
Eagles at Giants
MDS’s take: The Eagles quit on Andy Reid months ago. The Giants have looked in the last couple weeks like they quit on Tom Coughlin. Both of these teams are slouching toward the end of the season, but the Giants have more to play for.
MDS’s pick: Giants 14, Eagles 10.
Florio’s take: The Giants are playing for pride, along with a sliver of hope that they could make it to the playoffs if enough other teams lose. If the Giants find a way in, there’s a pretty good chance they won’t lose again.
Florio’s pick: Giants 27, Eagles 20." Read more...
PFF Pick 'Em: Week 17
Excerpt: "Way to rally, boys! The consensus-pick slide was halted last week as the team hit on eight of nine teams tabbed as winners by all (Houston’s home loss to Minnesota was the lone miss.) The season tally in that department now sits at 67-18 and we’ve got another eight that we agree on this week — looking for that 80 percent mark on the year.
As for the season race, Nathan realistically had his wire-to-wire title locked up weeks ago (and will likely set a new high for wins in the PFF Pick’em), but second place is still a four-way race with Steve holding a small cushion over Sam, Ben, and Khaled." Read more...
Unanimous - Giants
Eagles Rally Around Embattled Coach Andy Reid
Drew Pearson: Cowboys Have To Ignore Penalties To Send A MEssage To RG III
Excerpt: "The Cowboys season is on the line Sunday against the Redskins and Robert Griffin III, who torched Dallas on Thanksgiving Day the last time the teams met.
Dallas doesn't want Griffin to have the same success he did then, and former Cowboys wideout Drew Pearson believes they need to "intimidate" Griffin in order to limit his success.“We gave RGIII a lot of confidence playing against the Cowboys in our first game here in Cowboys Stadium so we need to take it to him," Pearson said on KESN-FM 103.3 via theDallas Morning-News.
"We need to let him know that it's not going to be that easy or we're not going to lay down for them and we're not intimidated by him."So how would the Cowboys do that? Well, according to Pearson, they should throw caution to the wind, ignore personal-flag penalties and "send a message" to Griffin by "knock[ing] him around.""The way you do that is you go out on that field and you knock him around. Even if it costs you a 15-yard penalty, and I'm only saying this if it's not a critical situation or anything," Pearson said.
"Sometimes you have to deliver that kind of blow and that kind of message to let him know it's going to be like this all day and not a walk in the park. We need to establish this with RGIII and the Redskins as well."
Pearson's not a member of the Cowboys, per se, so he can't be fined for his comments. But this is the sort of thing the NFL doesn't want to have floating around before a big rivalry." Read more...
Eagles IR Foles, Sign DT Dixon