Rematch Time

Apologies for not posting sooner, but a nice virus came and knocked me out for about 48 hours.  Luckily, I still got to see the Giants handle San Francisco and advance to the Super Bowl.  We knew before last weekend that a Giants win would send them to a rematch of one of their previous Super Bowls and the competitor in me wanted to to be Baltimore. After all, we owe them one.  But, I am not sure that would have been the best matchup for New York as San Francisco came very close to KO’ing Eli Manning.  Anyway, we can save those thoughts for another day.  As for the game, I came away with four quick impressions.

Everything you need to know about the Giants’ rushing game is captured in the fact that they went out on a wet field and attempted passes at more than a 2:1 rate than runs. And call me crazy, but I think the Giants are a much better offensive line when Boothe is at center and Petrus is at guard with Baas on the bench.

It is disgusting to read that Kyle Williams is receiving death threats over his mistakes in the game.  Nobody should ever have to worry about their life based on something they did on the football field.  Please do not confuse the following as condoning that in any way. How could Williams get anywhere near that punt that bounced off his knee? It’s football 101 as a punt returner that in a close and late game you stay far away from the ball if you can’t catch it.  I understand he is not the starting punt returner, but he should have known that and his coaches certainly should have reminded him.  And I don’t think you can kill him for the fumble in OT.  While it didn’t look like a particularly hard hit, Joacquin Williams got his hand right on the ball and remember that ball was wet.

I think you have to give Eli tremendous credit for his performance in that game.  He showed toughness but I wasn’t in love with some of his judgements.  When I think of “bad” Eli, I always think of the same throw.  He launches it off his back foot and spins away from the pressure coming right at him.  I hadn’t really seen that throw this season, but I saw it more than once in this game.  (Including the play where the interception wasn’t made because the two 49ers defenders launched into each other.)  I just hope that is a habit Eli buries for a second time.

Finally, Devin Thomas is the best special teams player the Giants have had since…David Tyree.  Yup, I said it.

Back tomorrow.

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  • blmeanie  On January 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    game on

  • tim  On January 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I was wondering where you went.

    The Giants have won every Superbowl that I did NOT attend in person. I do not have plans to attend this one.

    Eli was tough but it was by the grace of god we didn’t have at least 1 pick. That said, 64 attempts? If we only threw 1 pick that would be good. Especially with that pressure.

    You are right on the fundamental play with the punt returner. You are taught that you make a decision, field the punt or tell everyone to get out of the way and the quicker you do that the better. The great bounce the Giants got on the punt clearly had him thinking… “I can’t let this roll for another 15yrds” so he got caught trying to change his mind. Big mistake… In that game, the ONLY way I saw the Giants winning was a turnover. He gave them that. Terrible play. The 2nd fumble, meh. It happens. It goes without saying the threats against him should prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Eli’s numbers in his last 8 playoff games. 7-1 record. ~2000yrds passing. 60% completion percentage, 14 tds & 4 ints. These are incredible numbers considering every team he faced is a quality football team. If you don’t think Eli is one of the best QBs in the league, you don’t know football. He’s the best Giants QB I’ve ever seen and I’m as big a Phil Simms fan as anyone.

    And the spot on the 4th and 1 when Jacobs was stuffed was as bad as any spot I’ve seen. Coughlin clearly thot it was bad but might not be enough to overturn the decision so he kept the flag he had in his hand in his pocket. My question: “If Coughlin challenges that spot and its decided that the spot is bad and the ball is moved forward but still not enough for a 1st down, is it a charged timeout?” I would not think so. If they say the spot is wrong, than the challenge should be upheld but the result of the plan stands, right? I think he should have tried it on, on the basis, the initial spot was definitely wrong and it would have been a ‘free look’.

  • nysportsfanatic  On January 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    You got it BL!

  • nysportsfanatic  On January 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm


    I totally agree about Eli being the best Giants QB I have seen. Simms still owns the best game by a Giants QB that I have seen, but Eli is a much better QB.

    As for your question, I don’t believe so. You can’t challenge the actual spot of the ball, you can challenge “the end of forward progress in respect to a first down”. So, you would challenge and have to get a first down or lose your timeout.

    I read a piece the other day on Coughlin and replays and this has statistically been his worst year. He entered the league with the best percentage of overturns of any coach, but he is something like 3-for-11 this season. His last successful challenge was against the Rams! He actually admitted to being a bit gun shy on throwing the flag. (Can’t say I blame him after that call wasn’t reversed in Green Bay!)

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