the new york football giants
29 August 2006 ¬
" Exodus "
Everyone who will be a player for the New York Football Giants during 2006-2007, please step forward.

Not so fast, Rob Johnson.

RJ was cut by the G-Men on Monday, paving the way for Sta-Puff Lorenzen to be the primary backup and Tim Hasselbeck to be the third stringer. Johnson was cut along with the following players: Travis Dorsch, Triandos Luke, Harry Williams, Little John Flowers (and I was really, really looking forward to having fun with his name,) Greg Hanoian, Brandon Williams, Jason Shivers, Vontez Duff, Ben Herrell, "Sir" Henry Anderson, Thomas Carroll, and exiled Saint Boo Williams. So much for the Boo Birds.

In addition, talented CB E.J. Underwood was placed on IR following a shoulder injury in the preseason win over the J-E-T-S.
26 August 2006 ¬
" Preseason Recap.. Giants Down Jets, 13-7 "
The Giants are now 3-0 in the preseason.

While Eli and company did little to impress, the D was solid, picking up five sacks and two picks against the J-E-T-S. Sta-Puff played the second half as advertised, and was respectable, setting up a Feely 39-yarder. Brandon Jacobs picked up yet another 1-yard TD run.. the Ron Dayne Experiment Mark II is officially in full swing.

Former Nittany Lion Brandon Short had two fourth quarter sacks in a spot start for the injured Carlos Emmons and added five tackles; Antonio Pierce added a sack and seven tackles. The D has now allowed just 23 points over the first three preseason contests, including a shutout against the Chiefs.
25 August 2006 ¬
" Friday Night Lights.. Melee in the Meadowlands "
The Jets and Giants square off tonight in the third of four NFL preseason contests.

Coughlin has indicated that Eli will play the first half, and Sta-Puff Lorenzen is expected to see significant time in the second. LaVar Arrington will suit up tonight despite leaving practice on Monday with swelling in his right knee - a recalcitrant issue in the past month or so. Carlos Emmons is still out with a pinched nerve.. I think the Giants led the NFL last year in games lost at the linebacker position, and this feels a lot like getting off on the wrong foot.

Shaun O'Hara is done for the preseason following an MCL injury, and his status for the opener against the Colts is up in the air at the moment. He'll be replaced by Grey Ruegamer for the final two preseason contests.
17 August 2006 ¬
" Preseason Recap: Giants blank Chiefs, 17-0.. Positive Trends Continue "
The Giants shut out Kansas City in the second of four preseason games on Thursday night, 17-0. The first string offense worked efficiently, with Eli leading two scoring drives in the first half. Tiki saw his first action of the preseason and looked good; more importantly, Brandon Jacobs also looked sharp, picking up his second goal line TD in as many games and accumulating 40 yards on just 9 attempts.

Michael Jennings had another solid outing, and he is clearly making a case to become the #3 wideout behind Plax and Amani. If the Giants finish at 11-5, as I believe they will, Jennings may very well play a part in the success of the offense/special teams. Kiwanuka picked up his third sack of the preseason and a forced fumble in the second half, and he is quietly forcing those who didn't understand The G-Men picking up a DE with their first pick to reconsider their position.

Rob Johnson played the third quarter, as advertised, but in a rather surprising move Jared Lorenzen played the entire 4th. It's looking more and more like he will be Eli's primary backup during the regular season, as Coughlin and Company have obviously liked what they've seen from Sta-Puff so far. He's probably the only quarterback in the league who could seamlessly camouflage himself amongst his own Offensive Line.

Center Shaun O'Hara left the game with a sprained knee but didn't appear to be in too much pain; an MRI will be performed Monday. For his part, O'Hara wasn't particularly concerned - "I'll be back working at Albany," he said, a reference to Giants training camp in upstate New York.

All in all, things are looking up.
16 August 2006 ¬
" Preseason Notes.. Starters to Go Deeper, Lunacy to Continue "
Tom Coughlin, in a desperate attempt to prove that the injury to Clinton Portis was the result of the inescapable hand of fate, has announced that the Giants starters will begin the next preseason game against the Chiefs and "likely play into the second quarter.. depending on the number of snaps they get." Given that the general trend is to play your starters more extensively as the final preseason game approaches, I hope this doesn't mean Eli and Tiki are going wire-to-wire in Game 4. Coughlin has also indicated that Rob Johnson, who saw no time during the 17-16 win over the Ravens, will play the second half.

On other fronts, rookie speedster and preseason no-show Sinorice Moss is having his strained quad examined by doctors to determine the extent of the injury. Moss hasn't practiced since the first day of training camp, nearly three weeks ago. A more thorough evaluation may be a little overdue.

Chiefs, tomorrow night, 8pm.
14 August 2006 ¬
" NFC East Update.. Portis Out Indefinitely.. Joe Gibbs is a Fool "
If this were Tiki Barber, I would be furious.

Clinton Portis separated his shoulder during an extremely important 19-3 preseason loss against the Bengals last night, and is out indefinitely. I'm not really sure where to begin. Part of me should enjoy this, because a significant injury to Portis almost insures the Redskins won't win the division - I had them finishing at 12-4 and at the top of the NFC East. But it still leaves me with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Thank the Good Lord that Tom Coughlin had more sense than to play Tiki during the first preseason match against the Ravens, and hopefully this incident scares him enough to keep Tiki out of action entirely until the opener against the Colts (on a side note, I think this probably makes Tiki the consensus #4 Fantasy Pick this year. )

I had just finished a rant about the idiocy of playing starters for any amount of time in preseason games.. maybe I jinxed Portis by invoking the spirit (you can have a spirit if you're not dead yet, right?) of Correll Buckhalter. In either case, throw my predictions about the 'Skins out the window, pending further updates on Clinton's condition. I just don't think Ladell Betts is going to get it down.
11 August 2006 ¬
" Preseason Recap: Giants Win, 17-16.. Six Ravens Out with Broken Ankles, Courtesy of Michael Jennings "
The Giants kicked off competitive football in Baltimore with a 17-16 win - the first stringers looked alright overall, despite struggling during the first two drives of the game. Eli finally hooked up with Plax on a deep ball in the first quarter, and the drive was capped off by a 1-yard Jacobs TD. Brandon was average, but in all fairness, the Ravens D started the game pretty filthy - just ask Wade Fletcher, who briefly caught a short pass from Eli and turned around only to be greeted by a freight train named Ed Reed. Needless to say.. he dropped the ball. Jay Feely missed a 43-yard field goal early, which is troubling; we'll find out soon enough if it was just a fluke. I had bad Seattle flashbacks. He atoned for the earlier miss with a game winning 29-yard attempt, for whatever it's worth.

The play of the night came on a Michael Jennings punt return in which he side-stepped, juked and spun around about six different Baltimore special teamers (now if only we could do something about his team photo.) Along with speedy Willie Ponder and veteran Chad Morton, the G-Men won't go for want of special teams performers this year. First round draft pick Mathias Kiwanuka also looked sharp and picked up two sacks.. he won't see much time during the season unless Osi or Stray go down, but at least Coughlin will be able to confidently sub him in to give either of those two a rest. Hasselbeck played the majority of the game after Eli went out, which surprised me a little (although Lorenzen did lead the game-winning drive in the 4th quarter.) No action for Rob Johnson.

And best of all? No serious injuries. One down, three to go.
10 August 2006 ¬
" Arrington Will Not Play Vs. Baltimore.. Does Anyone Really Care About the Preseason Anyway? "
LaVar is being kept out of tomorrow's game against the Ravens as a precaution, following knee soreness throughout the week. That's totally fine with me. On a larger scale, I'd prefer for every Giants starter to be kept out of each preseason game, or at most, participate in one drive. There's a long season ahead, folks, and preseason wins mean nothing. A major contact sport like football shouldn't even have preseason games in the first place, but if they must, then let it be open tryouts for third and fourth stringers. There's nothing more nauseating than watching one of your starters go down for the year in what amounts to little more than a scrimmage.. just ask Correll Buckhalter. I'd love to watch Jared Lorenzen and Boo Williams shine tomorrow, but that's about it. In fact, scratch that. I'd prefer not to even recognize a single player in a Giants uniform tomorrow... Jimbo Johnson connects with Herbie Schwartz for the 25-yard touchdown pass, and the Giants jump out to a 7-0 lead..
08 August 2006 ¬
" Banged Up.. Training Camp Casualties as Old Fears Resurface "
Worrying injuries continue to plague this football team.

Shockey was bad enough; he's still not cleared to play in contact drills and might not see a lot of action this preseason. But it gets worse. LaVar Arrington's knee problems have returned, and he has missed his third straight practice with knee swelling (Arrington had arthroscopic knee surgery twice in Washington, in 2004 and 2005.) Backup RB Derrick Ward sustained a broken foot while, and I'm quoting here, "walking between two rooms." We've all been there. You go from the living room to the kitchen to make a sandwich, and BOOM, broken foot. God speed, Derrick. While this might bode well for Brandon Jacobs, the big boy was also held out of morning practice on Monday after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, and while he returned for the afternoon session, he's being closely monitored. This may not seem particularly serious if he's cleared to practice, but based on the workload I expect Jacobs to carry this season, it makes me anxious. All of this leaves 31 year-old Tiki Barber as the only healthy Giants RB at the moment. Guard Chris Snee is also out indefinitely with a sprained knee, and DT William Joseph has not practiced in a few days due to a leg bruise.

Let's all just take it easy against Baltimore.
06 August 2006 ¬
" 2006 Season Preview and Predictions "
Five days removed from the first preseason contest against Baltimore, here is your New York Giants 2006 Season Preview and relevant predictions.


Elijah is looking to build on a solid sophomore campaign and has virtually all of his offensive weapons returning this year. Despite sputtering down the stretch in 2005 and looking positively green during his first playoff game, there are still a lot of reasons to be very optimistic - chief among these is the fact that in the past two seasons, no other QB in the league has led his squad on more two minute drill scoring drives than Eli. Jared Lorenzen will likely back him up if necessary. Plaxico Burress and Well-Dressed Amani Toomer will lead the WR position along with Special Teams Pro-Bowler David Tyree and much hyped draft pick Sinorice Moss. Questions about Plax's effort on the field were raised sporadically throughout the season and significantly during the playoff debacle; those questions will need to be answered in a hurry as he his still the undisputed #1 target of the passing attack. Shockey will start his 5th season at TE (barring any recent concussion setbacks) and will be backed up by Visanthe Shiancoe and the oft-maligned Boo Williams. Tiki is coming off a season in which he ran and caught for almost 2400 yards, tops in the league by leaps and bounds, but he's 31 years old and questions regarding his durability will resurface. He will be spelled more often by Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward but will easily break 1200 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving in 2006. The O-Line is serviceable and the starters will be Luke Petitgout, David Diehl, Shaun O'Hara, Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie.


The Giants look to lead the league in sacks this year thanks to the terrorizing combination of Strahan and Umenyiora at DE (the two lead the league in DE sacks during the 2005 season.) By far the biggest defensive issues last season occurred when linebackers started dropping left and right; LaVar Arrington was brought in to anchor the position but questions about his knees abound. Carlos Emmons and Antonio Pierce round out the position. Sam Madison and Corey Webster will start at the corners and sandwich Gabril Wilson and newcomer Will Demps at strong and free safety. The starters at defensive tackle will be Fred Robbins and the underachiever from "THE U", William Joseph.

Special Teams

Special teams were generally strong during 2005 save for a few Jay Feely gaffes, but I'm convinced it's out of his system. Jeff Feagles returns for punting duties; speedster Willie Ponder and old-timer Chad Morton will be in charge of kick and punt returns, respectively. Ryan "You-Couldn't-Pick-Me-Out-Of-A-Crowd-If-You-Tried" Kuehl is the long snapper.

Schedule and Predictions

While some people believe Strength of Schedule isn't a useful statistic with all of the turnover and parity in the NFL, no one can deny that it won't be easy for the Giants in 2006, who enter the season with the #1 ranked SOS. Here is my game-by-game breakdown for the 2006 regular season:

Week 1, vs. the Colts: Loss, 17-20

Week 2, at the Eagles: Win, 31-10

Week 3, at the Seahawks: Win, 14-10

Week 4, BYE

Week 5, vs. the Redskins: Win, 28-24

Week 6, at the Falcons: Win, 20-14

Week 7, at the Cowboys: Loss, 28-21

Week 8, vs. the Bucs: Win, 17-10

Week 9, vs. the Texans: Win, 24-6

Week 10, at the Jaguars: Loss, 14-13

Week 11, at the Titans: Win, 28-10

Week 12, vs. the Cowboys: Win, 38-28

Week 13, at the Panthers: Loss 17-7

Week 14, vs. the Eagles: Win, 21-13

Week 15, vs. the Saints: Win, 24-16

Week 16, at the Redskins: Loss, 21-10

2006 Predicted Result: I have the Giants finishing at 11-5 and taking a wild-card spot; I believe the division will go to the offensively dangerous Redskins at 12-4. After that, it's anyone's guess. The NFC East is easily the toughest division in the NFL and the G-Men will have their work cut out for them.
03 August 2006 ¬
" Dazed and Confused.. Shockey Day-to-Day.. A New Giants Cheering Section: the Boo Birds? "
Jeremy's still seeing stars after taking an elbow to the face during Monday's practice by ex-Raven and potential double-agent Will Demps, sending Shockey to the turf head-first. The good news? It's the first concussion of Jeremy's career. The bad news? He's still sensitive to light, his motor skills are shaky, and he suffers from insomnia. "Don't get too close, I might get sick," Shockey told reporters on Wednesday. Yeah, me too.

On the bright side, this opens the door for Visanthe Shiancoe and ex-Saint/third string backup Boo Williams to make a bigger impact at camp. Honestly, I didn't even know Boo Williams was still playing in the NFL after being run out of New Orleans until I saw him at camp. Who knew? And how can you root against a guy named Boo? He's probably spent his entire career not knowing whether people loved him or thought he was a bum. Okay, so he hasn't caught a touchdown pass since 2004, a year in which he fumbled the ball (twice) as often as he saw the end zone. But those are just numbers.
01 August 2006 ¬
" Live From Giants Training Camp, Part I.. or, If You Can't Take the Heat, Get Off of the Practice Field "

The heat index was 110 in Albany today, but things had mercifully cooled off to around 90 when the Giants took the field for the afternoon practice session at SUNY-Albany. This monstrosity is the first thing you see when you get out of your car - if possible, I'd like to sign him. Nevermind that he's inflatable and completely immobile - just think of how many field goals we'd block.

Lavar would not reciprocate several attempts at WE ARE.. I won't hold it against him if he at least plays as if he were back in Happy Valley. Stray thanked everyone for showing up - you're welcome. Sinorice Moss walked past me and I swear he's shorter than my little sister. Speed is one thing, but I'm concerned about his ability to catch anything other than burning the D for the deep ball. You can argue it's worked for Santana and I'd remind you that even the diminutive big brother's got a good two inches on Sinorice - to be continued.

Elijah trudged down to the field with Rob Johnson and the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man in tow. I mean, Jared Lorenzen. Sorry, how could anyone confuse the two? Tim Hasselbeck walked alone - backup quarterback controversy in the making.

Tiki looked good running short routes and spent more time in practice catching the ball than he did running it.. that's fine. He's going to be spelled more often this year by Jacobs, although hopefully not just in goal-line situations. The Ron Dayne Experiment ended several seasons ago, alright? Let's try to move on with our lives.