the new york football giants
04 February 2008 ¬
" Just Plain Super "

18-1 season -- Worthless
9 pro bowlers -- Worthless
12 point favorites -- Worthless
"The greatest NFL team of all time?" -- Worthless
29 January 2008 ¬
" Is it our time? "

The above picture was snapped in the waning moments of New York's 12 point lead over New England in the final game of the regular season, from my vantage point up in the cheap seats (then again, in a game like that, there are no cheap seats.)

It's funny how these things turn out - a two score 3rd quarter lead turned into a 3 point loss. Meanwhile, the Giants trailed all three of their road playoff opponents (Tampa, Dallas, Green Bay) before coming away with unprecedented road victories. And now, the team that gave up 80 points in consecutive losses to open the season is going to the Super Bowl.

My excitement is tempered by past experience. We trounced Minnesota 225-0 to get to the Big Game with all the momentum in the world back in 2001, only to be blown out ourselves. And then there was the 49ers debacle back in 2003.. and you know how that turned out. Carolina in 2005. Philadelphia in 2006.

The Giants can beat the Patriots. It's undeniable. They put up more points against New England than any other team since the Colts bumped the Pats from the playoffs last season. Kevin Boss, Steve Smith, and Ahmad Bradshaw have all emerged as rookie playmakers and go-to guys in the offense. The secondary is finally healthy. Eli is finally a Manning.

I think the line is a joke. The Pats were installed as almost two touchdown favorites, and if I had any disposable cash lying around, I'd put a small mint on New York beating the spread (if not beating New England outright.) On a similar note, statistician, odds guru, and football aficionado Paul Zimmerman (of Sports Illustrated) is picking New York to win (even if it is, in part, for the purposes of settling an old score.)

So, I apologize for my absence during this historic run. But I promise, I've been there every step of the way.
17 December 2007 ¬
" Low Five "
Coming out of hibernation after a miserable loss to the miserable Redskins last night:

1) I have never seen a veteran receiver of Amani Toomer's caliber drop such a ridiculously wide-open floater before. So thanks for that.
2) Speaking of firsts.. I've never seen one receiver (Brandon Jacobs) drop three passes in the span of four plays before. So, again, thanks for that.
3) Continuing with the trend, Michael Matthews' drop (I hate when they hit you right between the numbers like that) and Shockey's broken leg mean that Kevin Boss needs to be the man down the stretch to inspire any playoff confidence in the passing game.
4) The collective work of the aforementioned helping Eli establish a career high incomplete passes in a single game. 52 attempts for 184 total yards. That's 3.5 yards per attempt. I dare you to find numbers like that. Ever.
5) Lawrence Tynes.
03 November 2007 ¬
" In response.. is Elijah progressing? "
By the numbers:

2005 - QB Rating 75.9, 235 yards/game, 24 TDs and 17 INTs
2006 - QB Rating 77.0, 202 yards/game, 24 TDs and 18 INTs
2008 (pace) - QB Rating 79.5, 198 yards/game, 26 TDs, 18 INTs

In short, my answer would be.. not really. He has consistantly been a slightly above average QB over the past three years. There is moderate credence to the idea that aside from the numbers above, he's a "gamer", a "clutch" QB, whatever you want to call it. Consider that his QB Rating in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarter over his career is a combined 72.3 - a number that jumps to 79.5 in the 4th quarter (additionally, 21 of his 67 career TD passes have come in the final 15.)

So, has he been making huge strides? No. But he's played well enough that, surrounded by a decent supporting cast, I'm convinced he can take us to a Super Bowl.
28 October 2007 ¬
" High Five "
1 - 6-2 last year. 6-2 this year. New York has never gone 6-2 and not made the playoffs.
2 - Tipped passes. I've seen a lot of 'em. Eli throws low over the line of scrum.. I mean, scrimmage. Maybe that's an artifact of the O-line effectively keeping the D away from Eli, but I haven't noticed any similar trend with Peyton or Brady (then again, I don't watch those games nearly as often.)
3 - Speaking of the O-line.. I'm less inclined to think Tiki deserves to be bound for Canton. I was on the fence anyway. Although one more average year, and it would have been a done deal, no matter who was playing in front of him.
4 - 3 late hits for 58 in two weeks. That's -45 yards of Total Offense. It would be more excusable if he had 45 yards worth of sacks in that same time period (when in fact, he has.. 0.)
5 - Feely. Tynes. I've had a headache the last three years. I make myself cringe when I start to think what a Good Idea it would be to Janikowski the 2007 Draft. (I don't think Oakland regrets it?)