Tag Archives: Week 1

Fumbles, flags and corners. Thoughts following the Giants’ loss to the Cowboys

I won’t re-hash the whole game Notorious-Ohm has done a great job of capturing the five key factors that led to the Giants’ loss here:

5 plays that shaped the game.

My thoughts are this:

We desperately need depth at the centre of the D-line. By the end of the 3rd quarter the Defensive tackles looked done in.

The defence looked strong against the run in the first half and whiffed badly on a few plays in the second half – notably the 48 yard run that should have been a 4 yard loss. Murray evaded tackles by Kiwi and Tuck in the backfield, got some blockers and almost went the distance. The running style and broken tackles was what my friend Danny would describe as “slippery business”. The Giants need to wrap up on tackles and stay with the play.

For a deep and vaunted linebacking corps we looked slow at times flowing left and right against slant routes and slow later in the game to step up and plug the A & B gaps.

The secondary was already in tatters, Corey Webster (1st string) and Micheal Coe (4th string) starting on either side at cornerback. This often meant the 3rd receiver (Kevin Ogletree) was lined up against a special teamer or a Safety (usually Rolle) – as a result he had a big night. The situation got worse in the 3rd quarter when Coe went down with a hamstring injury meaning Justin Tryon would be matched up against Ogletree & Miles Austin (a huge mismatch which led to two key plays – a 34 yard TD to Austin on a first and 30 and a completion to lose out the game on a third and 10 to Ogletree). There was no excuse for Webster – who is our best corner- to miss badly on a 40 yard TD from a double move by Ogletree or a big play for 40 yards by Dez Bryant either.

The Pass Rush looked strong, but if you are banged up in the secondary the rush has no time to get home. Romo was looking for short slants and swings and connecting on them all night. In fairness to him he played a great game and was phenomenal at improvising when a play broke down and he escaped the pocket. We have to face Freeman, Newton and Vick in the next few weeks who are also excellent out of the pocket – this will be a real test of rush lane and assignment responsibility of the D-line.

Offensively we struggled and sputtered. The line needs to shore up in pass protection and get downhill and violent in run blocking. They didn’t open any holes for Bradshaw all night he was running into a wall of bodies all game long – they need to get more ‘push’

The pass game struggled a bit. Nicks looked rusty and maybe a tad slow in his first action since breaking his foot, Cruz looked distracted and made one key drops – he acknowledged it was a poor game for him – albeit he would have had a TD but for a non-call by the refs on a clear pass interference on a 3rd and goal. Domenik Hixon however looked strong and made the catch of the game in double coverage to set up a TD. If he had arms an inch or two longer then he’d have had a touch down of his own earlier in the game on a slightly over-thrown ball from Manning.

The run game struggled behind poor offensive line play and 1st round draft pick David Wilson fumbled on his second carry – a toss play on the Dallas 29 (within field goal range) it didn’t lead to Dallas points but it was critical. Wilson seemed to take it hard – this is good in one way: he cares about his mistakes, but he needs to have a short memory and not dwell on mistakes – just get out and correct them. He ruled himself out of the game with how he responded.

So the ‘champs’ came back to earth with a bump, they have 10 days to put it right before a home game against the Buccaneers. They need to win their next one as going 0-2 will put them well behind the 8-ball in a division with (what appears to be) a much improved Dallas team and a dangerous Redskins and Eagles in it. They have the toughest schedule in the league this year and they need to play with more intensity and less mistakes – most of all they badly need help at cornerback!

One last thing; the replacement referees looked shoddy and out of their depth – hopefully this situation gets sorted soon. Kiwanuka reportedly said ‘I haven’t been held this much since I was a baby’

20120907-083911.jpg

Advertisements

Week 1 Storylines – Cowboys @ Giants

Since the Giants had a day off from practice at training camp today (Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) restriction) I thought I’d begin to cast my eye down their regular season opponents and try to establish some of the storylines that I’ll be watching through the season. I’ll post these blogs covering one game at a time in the build up to the season.Image

 2012 Kickoff Night Wednesday 5th September 2012

Jerry Jones is no stranger to controversy and this week (before his team had even started camp) he stated

“Y’all should come to Cowboys Stadium and watch us beat the Giants’ asses”

This is a strong statement since the Giants are yet to lose in his $1 billion football palace in Arlington (3-0).

But the Week 1 game is in the Giants’ home stadium and it will be an interesting one. Cowboys and Giants have been rivals for a long time, legendary Giants linebacker, Harry Carson wrote in his 1985 book :

Image

”We really hate Dallas because they perceive themselves to be above the rest of us in the NFL, “America’s Team”…  we hate that mystique. They’re on their high horse and we wanted to knock them off”

The sentiment hasn’t changed in the last 27 years.

We beat the ‘boys twice last season. The first was close (too close – we needed to come back two scores in a few minutes at the end of the game and still relied on JPP’s finger and Miles Austin’s ‘butter fingers).

The second one (at the Meadowlands in week 17) was an all or nothing bout for the NFC East title and the right to be in the play-offs. Dallas didn’t show up; the Giants steam-rollered them.

Image

To say I’m looking forward to this one is an under-statement. Can I call a winner in it? No. But I hope it is close and we find a way to win.

Key Week 1 Match-ups

Dallas Rookie CB Morris Claiborne (LSU) vs Giants Rookie wide-receiver Rueben Randle (LSU)

The Cowboys moved up in the draft to get the talented Claiborne (touted by some as the best defensive player in the draft) while the Giants feel like they got a bargain securing a first round talent at the bottom of the second round with his college team mate Rueben Randle.

ImageImage

 

UPDATE 01/08/2012 Ian Rapoport on Claiborne:

 “The Cowboys traded up to select the LSU cornerback in April’s draft,claiming they’d given him their best grade for a defensive prospect since Deion Sanders. They aren’t wasting their time putting him out there. Claiborne worked with the first team during the opening practice, which is something he’ll continue to do. He’ll be challenged throughout camp by the Cowboys’ receivers, and he’ll make mistakes; Bryant has been making life difficult for him. Ryan is leaning on his previous experience as defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Brownswhen it comes to handling Claiborne. When Browns cornerback Joe Haden was a rookie in 2010, “we didn’t start him in the first four games and we didn’t have any success,” Ryan said. “Finally, (we) put the kid in, and he grew quick. He took off.” That’s the plan for Claiborne.”

Kevin Gilbride Jnr (Wide Receivers Coach) on Randle:

Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan vs Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride

Rob Ryan’s dad Buddy Ryan once famously punched Kevin Gilbride during a Houston Oilers game (they were coaching on the same team) but Gilbride beat both Ryan brothers three times in a four week span last season. Here’s hoping he can do it again.

Dallas receiving corps vs Giants (already battered) Secondary 

The Giants will likely be missing Terrell Thomas (ACL), they lost Aaron Ross to the Jags in the off-season. The time is now for Amukamara, Coe and Tryon to step up. The Giants have talented safeties Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips and promising young players in Tyler Sash and Will Hill on the depth chart and may by week 1 have re-signed Deon Grant.  But at times last year they were porous against both run and pass.

Image

The Dallas Cowboys are stacked with offensive firepower – Miles Austin, Dez Brant and Jason Witten – and a gun-slinging QB in Tony Romo.

This is the match up that may decide the game. Can the secondary hold in coverage until the D-Line gets to Tony Romo? Romo is excellent at extending plays by moving in the pocket and rolling out. The Giants need to contain him and be physical with these fast young receivers to stand a chance and stay in the game. An interception or two won’t hurt either!

UPDATE 31/07/2012 21:18

It’s been a rough couple of days for the Giants’ secondary:

Image