Category Archives: Giants

Now What?

A few weeks ago I speculated that the Giants should get Davis Webb going if they’re entered the bye at 0-7. They managed to make it 1-6, but injuries have made the idea of using Webb a bad one. You can’t properly evaluate a quarterback if he doesn’t have any NFL-caliber receivers to throw to and that is pretty much what the Giants are looking at.

On Sunday, the Giants used Lewis, King, Rudolph, and Egan at wide receiver. This group came into the game with less than 25 catches combined for their careers. Not surprisingly, it didn’t go well. Eli found Engram at tight end a few times before Seattle realized he was the only receiving threat out there and double-teamed him. We know that Sterling Shepard should come back, which will help, but barring another wide receiver coming in, would you want a rookie trying to make this work?

I don’t think so as it would most likely destroy his confidence and tell you nothing.  If I were the Giants, I would listen if a team like Jacksonville wanted to trade for Eli.  If that happened, put Gene Smith in and see if the rookie receivers can develop into somewhat competent players.  Then put Webb in and see what he’s about.  The year is lost and the team is hurt.  That’s a deadly combination.

 

 

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A Bit of Pride

That’s a nice win on national TV that is absolutely meaningless unless they win at home next Sunday. Let’s talk then.

The End of Eli?

Let me make clear from the outset that Eli Manning is not the guy responsible for this disaster. While his play has not been elite, it has certainly been good enough to compete if the team around him was better. But, that doesn’t mean a change isn’t the right thing to do. If the Giants fall to 0-7 over the next two weeks (@Denver, Seattle) not a far-fetched idea, they would be irresponsible if they didn’t use that bye week to start grooming Davis Webb to play in actual games. Remember Eli took over at QB when the Giants were 5-4 in 2004. They still had a shot at competing but recognized that the future lay with Eli and they needed to let him play.

Davis Webb is not Eli Manning, but the Giants liked him enough to spend a third-round pick on him. Considering the fact that the Giants are probably picking in the top-five of the draft this spring, they need to know what they have in Webb.  If their judgement was right, and the only way to tell that is to play him, they can use that pick on someone to help rebuild this team at a position other than quarterback. But if their judgement was wrong, and that is how they got to this point, they probably need to draft their QB of the future and go from there.

That is the grim reality facing this team and if you don’t believe me, ask yourself this. Can you see the Giants contending for a Super Bowl next year? If you are being honest, the answer is of course not. Eli will be 37 in January. He is not going to be around for the next Super Bowl. It’s going to take some serious rebuilding to right this ship and it starts with evaluating the young talent they have. It’s not quite the time, but two more games and two more losses and they have to look to Davis Webb.

How Low Can You Go?

It was just four years ago that the Giants opened the season 0-6.  That team went 7-3 over their final ten games and actually could have made the playoffs, so it is silly to bury this team now. But, 0-4 feels like a deep hole that they will never escape from. Losing back-to-back games on last-second field goals makes things look much worse, but the Giants do have some pretty large problems.

First, the offensive line is the train wreck we thought it would be. The only reason Ereck Flowers is still starting is because the guy who drafted him didn’t think it was a good idea to admit his mistake. Bobby Hart has been hurt, forcing the Giants to move Pugh to right tackle, the position they originally moved him from because he wasn’t good enough to play it. Weston Richburg is regressing, and John Jerry might be their best lineman right now. They can’t run the ball because there is usually a defender in the backfield.

Second, the defense has really regressed. They can’t stop the run, can’t prevent the big play, and Vernon and JPP are doing nothing for a pass rush.

Lastly, they have a punting problem as Brad Wing appears to have a case of the yips. He shanked the big punt in Philly and shanked two more yesterday. Both of those punts led to scores.

The schedule gives them a good chance to break into the win column this week with the 0-4 Chargers coming to town, but after that they travel to Denver and play host to Seattle. Unless they figure out a way to fix some of the problems I mentioned above, a 1-6 record heading into their bye week seems very likely.

 

Playoffs?

A lot of smart football minds think the Giants will ride a suffocating defense deep into the postseason this year. I’m not convinced.

I’m fully on board with the idea of a dominating defense and I also know what that means historically for this franchise. But I think that ignores two vital facts about this Giants squad.

First, Eli isn’t s kid anymore. He is on the downslope of his career. That’s not a knock, but it gets a lot harder to win the older you get.  And what makes me worry about his age is the second thing, the offensive line, specifically at left tackle.

Erick Flowers has been a disaster in his first two years and in the preseason he didn’t show that he was any better. Add in the questions at right guard and right tackle, and Eli could be running for his life. And don’t forget, the Giants were terrible at running the ball last year. Previous great Giant teams could always run the ball no matter what.

I never thought the 2015 Giants were as bad as their record showed and I don’t think the 2016 Giants were as good as their record showed  I expect this team to finish 8-8.  That could be a playoff squad and if they got on a roll, anything is possible.  But don’t expect a 12-4 campaign and a walk to the playoffs.

 

Feast to Famine

The “experts” will break this down later tonight, but I feel like day 2 of the Giants draft was a huge hit and a huge miss.

A defensive tackle in round 2 was a smart pick. The fact that his closest comparison is Hankins, makes it even better. No matter what you think, the Giants took a guy who could fill the last spot in their defensive starting lineup.

A QB in round 3 was incredibly stupid. Davis Webb may turn into Eli Manning, but that isn’t the point. This draft should have been about maximizing Eli Manning’s chances to win another Super Bowl. Webb doesn’t do that and you have to wonder if he will ever develop into a pro QB.

But again, even if he turns into Eli, this represents the worst way to maximize Eli’s last years. Nothing short of another Super Bowl win excuses this pick.

Check A Box

The “experts” were predictable in their reviews of the Giants draft pick, Evan Engram. Some loved it, some hated it. Some yelled that they didn’t do enough and should have traded up. To me it is all noise. The Giants needed a tight end, and they took one. He may turn out to be good, he may turn out to be bad, but they did exactly what they should have done, and that is all that matters.

As to the argument that they should have traded up to grab “X”, I hate it. Nobody aces the draft year in and out. The only way to ensure you do better in the draft than someone else is to have more chances (ie picks). If you trade up, you lose picks, so the only reason I can think to do so is for a franchise-altering player. The Giants did it in 2004 and got Eli, nice move. They did it in 2013 and got Ryan Nassib, not a nice move. It’s a crapshoot, and you are far, far better off trading down that up. Bill Belichick gets this, and he has done pretty well with it.

So, what’s on tap for tonight? Two picks and with Tight End crossed off, the Giants probably split them between offense and defense. Running Back is an idea as is someone who could play tackle. On the defensive side, something for the interior of the line or a linebacker would be nice.

The NFL is Oblivious

Thr NFL will announce the 2017 schedule tonight, but thanks to more leaks than the Titanic, you can find your team’s schedule online already. One date stands out for the Giants, Thanksgiving at Washington.

Some people are bothered by Native American nicknames for sports teams some are not. I personally avoid using them for the reason that they cause a portion of the population offense. I understand why people may not agree with that, but I hope the insensitivity of scheduling a Washington home game on Thanksgiving needs no explanation.

The NFL doesn’t care. Roger Goodell seems to have zero empathy for victims of domestic violence, victims of brain trauma, and Native Americans who object to a racist trademark. At what point do we, the fans supporting this enterprise, vote with our wallets?

Right Place/Wrong Team

The Giants making the playoffs after a four-year absence is a wonderful thing. The problem is, they are running into the worst possible first round matchup they could have drawn.

Yes, they have beaten Green Bay in Green Bay before in the playoffs. In fact, the last two Super Bowl victories went through Green Bay. And yes, in both of those seasons they lost to Green Bay in the regular season, just like they did this year. But tell me, what does that have to do with the 2016 Giants? There are five players still on the entire roster from the 2011 team, and one of them, JPP, is not playing Sunday. Eli Manning looks a lot more like the 2007 version of himself than the 2011 version and Green Bay is the hottest team in the league right now, winning six-straight to make the playoffs.

I’m not saying the Giants can’t win. They can, but they will need a lot of things to break their way. They will need to fluster Aaron Rodgers, no easy task. They will need to hold up in their protection of Manning, again no easy task. They will need to run the ball in very cold conditions, something they haven’t shown a consistent ability to do. Add it all up, and I don’t see the Giants walking away with a win on Sunday, no matter what “history” says will happen.

Hopefully, I am wrong.

That Was Ugly

The Giants played a clunker last night, one that should calm all the best team in the NFC talk for awhile. The good news is, they are almost guaranteed to make the playoffs. In fact, it would be quite an upset if they didn’t.

Do I sound too confident? I don’t mean to, but consider what has to happen for the Giants to miss the playoffs.

1- They need to lose to Washington next week. Win and they are in.

2- The Packers beat Minnesota this week and Detroit next week.

3- Detroit beats Dallas Monday and then loses to Green Bay.

4- Tampa beats New Orleans and then Carolina.

5- The Falcons need to beat Carolina and New Orleans.

In that scenario, the Giants end up in a three-way tie for the wild card and lose on tiebreakers. Again, every one of those things, a total of 9 different outcomes, needs to happen or the Giants make the playoffs. The way things have gone the past few years around here you would be crazy not to think there is a chance, but it is a pretty small one. So relax, enjoy Christmas weekend and get enjoy the nine days off before the next game. We have all earned it.