If your following my picks the Giants -3 was winner ( hope you took it). Well that was supposed to be a measuring stick game for the Cardinals but it turned out to be a statement game for the G-Men! Not because they beat the Cardinals but because they beat the Cardinals without Plaxico and Jacobs. When you don't have your best WR or RB on the field and you still pull out a convincing victory on the road it really says something folks.
Let me first defer to my boy BigBlueMasochist who said Eli was going to come out and be a gun slinger and he definatly was. I found it hard to believe that he would attempt more than 30 passes even without BJ. I was saying all week BJ wouldn't play but I figured 25 passes would still be about it. Eli went 26-33 for 240yds, 3tds no INT's (well done BBM). I think the biggest stat in the whole Eli line is 0 int's. Eli's ability to manage the game last year is what took the Giants through the playoffs into the superbowl. When you get right down to it Warner turned the ball over and Eli didn't.
As I stated last week the Cardinals passing attack is awesome but a lack luster running game. The same held true this week. Note to the Cardinals runs the ball or go home. Three keys to a successful football team are O-line, D-line, and ability to run the ball. The Cardinals can not run the ball between the 20's and this allows for D's to pressure Warner and drop men into coverage. The Cardinals have losses to the Jets, Washington, Carolina, and now the Giants. As I said last week agianst good defenses a pass happy offense will not win you games (see Eagles).
Ok I'm giving out two game balls this week. One for an offensive player and one for a defensive player. Domenik Hixon gets my offensive game ball. As many of you know I love this kid's game. Everytime the Cards scored Hixon was there to give the Giants great field position on kickoffs. Note to Coughlin let him return kicks! As a Wr he is just as dangerous. Excellent hands, blazing speed, and great route running. I heard an interview with Antonio Pierece and he said Hixon is always at game speed, even in practice you have to love that....
On Defense it goes to Kenny Philips. Best game of the season for this guy. He was all over the place and made one of the best plays you will see in the back of the endzone knocking away a sure TD from Fitzgerald (I was playing agianst Fitz in fantasy so it was twice as nice for me!). The guy was jumping routes all day, flying around the field making hits, and coming up to the line blitz and taking out RB's. With the 31st pick the NY Giants select Kenny Philips! This will go down as one of the best picks by the NYGs if the kid can stay healthy. What a joy it is to see 31 and 21 running around the back field making plays. Two kids that should be a staple for the NYG's Defenisve backs for a long time. While I'm on number 31 Aaron Ross was just robbed so many times by bad calls. He played an excellent game defensively and the refs were just making terrible judgement calls. He had four flags thrown his way and it probably should only have been 1. Keep it up man you playing excellent.
I want to close out this review with my thoughts on the running game from this week. When looking at the stats I hear a lot about how the Giants did not run the ball well without Brandon in the backfield. I was thinking about this a lot and to me while watching the game I never had the thought pop into my head that the running game lagged. Now 25 carries for 89 yds is nothing to write home about but this is my perception of the game.
Let me start this by saying I want Jacobs back next year no matter what it takes. He brings an added value to the team that no other running back in the league has. Lets face it you can't teach size. Plus I noticed that after every time the Defense or Offense made a good play coming off the field Jacobs was there to great them with a smile and a high five, while number 17 sat there the entire game with his arms crossed. Who is the real leader there?
Ok so before everyone gets their panties in a bunch lets look under the hood of that car (running game w/out BJ) before we say it's broken. Just by looking at the numbers one would say we struggled 89yds on 25 carries not so good right? What about oppertunities.....Did you realize that the Giants started 5 series inside Arizonia's side of the field. 4 of them inside their own 40! Half of our seires our Offense started with a short field.
let me breakdown the other 5
own 38 - end result score TD
own 16- 3 of 5 plays passes - punt
own 20 2 of 4 plays passes - punt
own 20 - end result TD
own 29 - 3 of 4 plays passes - punt
What you notice is that 8-13 plays that we ran in series where we punted were passes. The running game was a victem of circumstance. Yes they did struggle ypc I can't debate that but there wasn't too many oppertunities for that 40 yd scamper that we are so use to seeing. That 40 yd run really beefs up the ypc along with the total yds from scrimage. Aside from the numbers the running game really helped allow Eli throw for 240 3tds no Int's by keeping Pheonix off balance .
The Ravens game is a perfect example of my point. In that game Bradshaw had a run for 77yds, Jacobs had a run for 36yds, and Ward had one for 22. so on three runs the Giants had a total of 135yds out of 210 yds. It just didn't appear the running game was presented with the run options as we saw in the Ravens game. Just my thoughts.....
Rest of the East:
Eagles vs. Ravens - The Eagles are done move on... I completely missed this call I had way too much faith in the Birds to put points on the board. The Ravens came out and just punched the eagles in the mouth and took all the air out of this Bird. On a side note as I stated I would not watch this game I was subjected to do so, becasue Fox thought it was a good idea not to show any others in the 1pm slot. Don't get me started with Direct TV. How come you need a south west view? You can't get a satelite up in the North East I swear...
If you thought Eagle mgt was bad you need to check out the Eagle board this week. I caught a post that was saying the Eagles should trade their 3rd pick for Michael Bush.... Yes it's true. I normally don't post on the other boards, because its a waste of time but if you want some giggles go check out the thread. Just increidble
Cowboys vs. SanFran - I said the cowboys would win by 13 and they did. I was pretty sure the Cowboys D would let up points and they would take advantage of the SanFran D and they did. Next up Seattle yawn....
Redskins vs. Seattle: I pushed alright... -3 Redskins had a chance to make me a loser and they fumbled the ball so what. I figured Seattle would have a chance to win this game late and they did. I just didn't count on their QB throwing a pick with the first oppertunity he would get to drive them down the field. There has alway been comparison between Farve and Hasslebeck and that was no more evident than on Sunday.....