the new york football giants
30 September 2007 ¬
" Sackreligious "
Kiwanuka, Umenyiora, Strahan. This is what it was supposed to be - well, maybe the expectations weren't this lofty, but how about five or six sacks and decent pressure over four quarters? All that came in spades against Philadelphia. Six sacks for #72 - somebody send a condolence card to Winston Justice's family.

On a more worrisome note, Tynes' performance looked like shades of Feely in Seattle back in 2005. The missed extra point turns out not to be significant, but at the time, it kept NY from taking a door-slamming three score lead. I've seen enough of Tynes already this year - bring on Josh Huston. Seriously. Kickers are completely mental creatures.. once it's in their head, it's over. Just ask Mike Vanderjagt.

Back to .500, and even better, the Giants have a winning record in the division. And it's always just a little more satisfying to reach those marks against the Eagles.
25 September 2007 ¬
" Week to Week "
What a difference a half makes.

I had been all set to post the "Sam Madison Goat-Watch" on an 0-3 Monday morning, chronicling each first half gaff (1st quarter, illegal contact, 2nd quarter, beat by Moss on a deep route, etc.) Then, without warning, a different team took the field to start the 3rd quarter, and I had to flush my idea down the drain. Madison and Mathias Kiwanuka, two of my four "Guys That May Keep Us Out" from last week, played the best half of football either of them have ever played in a Giants uniform. Kiwanuka had two sacks and a forced fumble, and Madison jumped the snap count flawlessly on a punishing corner blitz. And then, just like that, the entire D as a whole rose up on a 4th quarter goal line stand.

I dunno what possessed them, but they better stay possessed facing a Philly team that put up about 277 points against Detroit last week. And speaking of the Eagles, maybe it's time to start cycling the D-line to give Mathias more snaps at the position he was clearly ordained by God to play.
19 September 2007 ¬
" Misery Loves Company "
The Dolphins, Bills, Jets, Chiefs, Raiders, Eagles, Falcons, Saints, Rams, and of course, the New York Football Giants. Those are the teams in the NFL right now that are winless going into Week 3.. that's more than a third of the league. Someone in that group is going to end up going to the playoffs. Why not us?

The guys that might end up getting us there..
Derrick Ward
Plaxico Burress
Fred Robbins
Eli Manning

The guys that might end up keeping us out..
Sam Madison
Corey Webster
Mathias Kiwanuka
Eli Manning

I don't buy the Redskins. At all. Jason Campbell is going to hit a rough patch and Clinton Portis is one bad cut away from the IR. If the Giants do end up taking one in DC on Sunday, it's worth noting that they started last season 1-2 as well.
16 September 2007 ¬
" 0-2 and 80 "
That's New York's record after this week, and the number of points they've given up in the opening two games of the season. I don't know how many times one guy has to be the goat in the secondary before you cut him, or at the very least, bury him in the depth chart, but Sam Madison is testing the limits of that question. He got beat on one touchdown pass, and then perplexingly pushed off on a guy that was already falling down in the end zone to give Green Bay 1st and Goal on the 1 later in the game.

The linebackers have been decent against the run but awful dropping back into coverage. Brett Favre essentially threw every one of his passes underneath, and no one on the Giants D looked interested in jumping short slant or curl routes, regardless of how telegraphed they were. The respectable play of the offense was completely offset by a comical interception, a brain-dead delay of game call, and a 15 yard taunting penalty (although I learned today that apparently, you can taunt the other team after getting totally shut down on a passing route. I kind of assumed that you taunt someone when you make them look like a jackass.) And oh yeah, Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled a kick return for the second consecutive game.

I feel slightly better that the Saints are also 0-2.
" Less Doom & Gloom "
They sky is not falling quite as rapidly as it seemed last week. Eli has confirmed that he will start today against Green Bay, and BJ should only be out about two weeks.
10 September 2007 ¬
" Insult and Injury "
For every optimistic prediction about Brandon Jacobs' numbers for 2007, there were an equal number of warnings about his susceptibility to lower-body injuries due to his upright running style and tendency not to shy away from contact.

That didn't take long, did it?

The early word on the street is a torn MCL, but the extent of the injury should become clear later today. Not to be outdone, Osi Umenyiora also suffered a non-specific knee-injury and his status is uncertain. Elijah banged up his shoulder and yielded the last drive of the game to the Hefty Lefty, but he's fine.

This entire game was like everything awful about the 2006 season all rolled into sixty minutes - a slew of devastating injuries and a flaccid secondary. Seriously, you're not supposed score 35 points and lose the game (although this time, none of it was really Sam Madison's fault.) On the plus side, Eli and Plax look like they could play catch in the dark, and Derrick Ward filled in admirably, although I remember last year when Ward broke his foot during the preseason while he was (and I'm quoting here) moving between two rooms. So I don't know what to expect from him in terms of durability.

My fingers are crossed on Jacobs, but I'm prepared to hear that he'll be missing the entire 2007-2008 season, par for the course for a Giants team that's placed more players on the IR in the past five years than anyone else in the NFL. Ward splits carries with Dreughns, and as if it wasn't entirely on Elijah's shoulders already, he will almost single-handedly determine whether or not New York can salvage this season. It's scary seeing the word salvage in Week 1, isn't it?
03 September 2007 ¬
" Okay, I lied. "
I'm a dirty, lying liar. For the first time since I've been out in Albany, I missed Giants Training Camp this year, despite living less than a mile away and having about a month of opportunities to go. I was caught up at work most of the time. Lay off.

The season kicks off in less than a week against T-Ro, TO, and the Dallas Cowboys. There's a lot I wanted to say about New York coming into this season but never had a chance. Here's the quick and dirty summary:

1) Of course Strahan came back. He got taken to the cleaners in divorce court. You don't make 4.5 million managing the night shift at Denny's.
2) Love Kiwanuka at LB. He needs to be on the field as much as possible. He'll be everything Mr. Nickles was supposed to be in 2006 and more (although he was guilty of some blown coverage in the preseason. He still needs to feel out the position.)
3) Calling it right now: Brandon Jacobs, 1,350 yards, 13 touchdowns, 30 receptions, 275 yards, 1 touchdown. Please reserve your "I Told You So"s now, as they will be in very limited supply by Week 16.
4) If you haven't seen the Aaron Ross highlight video yet, get excited. I hate Sam Madison.

In summary, football football football football football football football.