1) Football is won and lost at the line of scrimmage. No excuses, about Robbins being hurt.
Yesterday we found out that Keydrick Vincent, a starter for the Panthers at Right Guard the entire season, has been placed on season-ending IR. Vincent is not a tremendous G, but as we know, communication is everything, so do you think Spags is going to mix it up and line up Tuck over that slot? Of course he will, of course the Panthers will be coached for that, but Tuck will be able to do some good things.
Also, DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu is either going to be out or playing on an ankle injury. So this is helping the Giants too. (Simms/Francesa imply he won’t play, but I cannot confirm this.)
2) The WIND (20-30 mph tonight) is going to be another big factor this evening. Manning’s lack of a tight spiral will be a liability once again.
3) Some of these games were wind, some were not, but in December/January the Giants have lost 7 consecutive games:
CAR 23-0, DAL 23-20, PHL 36-22, NO 30-7, WAS 22-10, NE 38-35, PHL 23-0.
4) Point #6 from Tuesday’s post: “Dallas was playing hurt too, so we did not exactly lose to a great team … Dallas is improved, but they are not great.” Obviously we are not shocked by the Dallas loss to the Ravens last night. It just means even more validation for the critique of meathead’s playcalling. To borrow an expression from Denny Green, THEY WERE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE, AND WE LET THEM OFF THE HOOK.
5) Click on the link in #4 above and watch the fake FG by the Ravens with 3 mins left in Q3. Great call- not because it worked- but because you have to do the unpredictable. The last time the Giants did an intentional fake punt or fake FG was BEFORE 1997, because I know Fassel NEVER did one and I know Coughlin NEVER did one. Parcells faked the FG in Q3 of the Super Bowl, and Rutledge converted it, which led to 7. In SF on Jan 20, 1991, Reasons took the snap on the punt, leading to a FG, enabling the Giants to beat them later on Bahr, 15-13. It sends a message to your team that you are here to win the game, you can only lose once. This Ravens special team success gave them the tempo to close out the game, forcing the Cowboys into gambling defenses.
6) Playoff picture. Dallas needs help now. IF Dallas can (1) win against Eagles W17 and (2) have any loss from TB or ATL the last 2 weeks, they are still in. Realistically, Dallas needs to have Minnesota win over Atlanta today. Otherwise, TB is not losing at home to OAK or SD, and ATL is not losing its last game at home vs STL.
New England is on a respirator. They can easily finish 11-5 and they are out of the playoffs. BAL will win next weekend vs CLE at home to lock up the wild card. IND has the other wild card. So NE needs to win the division to get in. NE needs the Jets or Miami to lose today AND that team to win next week vs the other.
7) Repeat after me, the Flex schedule is disrespectful of YOU the fan. It moves 77,000 fans’ schedules. It makes people watch a game in temperatures that will be 10 degrees colder and 20 degrees colder wind chill. It makes people get to sleep by 1-2AM for work the next morning. And these are the people paying the “premium” of watching the game at the stadium. TV is not more important than the people at the stadium, and this is what drives the Giants to beg its fans to be loud. It is a quiet way of pleading for them TO JUST COME to the game. Very sad.
8) Mark my words, that crybaby Kraft is going to be all over the airwaves asking for more teams in the playoffs if his team finishes 11-5 and out of the playoffs. Tough browning brown. This is what makes the NFL so good, that you are taking only the best teams, it is tiered, each game is critical all season. Kraft cried in 2002 when his team was 9-7 and did not make it to the postseason, tough brown. Win 10 games. Hey, my first STRONG memory of the NFL was the Giants, 9-4, playing the LA Rams (blacked out) on the final day of the regular season, losing, finishing 9-5 and out of the playoffs. In retrospect, it made me love the NFL more.
9) TENN can play the same game with PIT. Two all pro DL are out for TEN.
10) When you play 11 men in the box, you can get a result for 80 yard TD run (which happened twice vs DAL). Dallas lost the game because they could not adjust to the Ravens defense.
11) CAR are a big play team. NYG this year is not a big play team. Field position bad for the NYG, 30th in dropped balls in the league. One of the most penalized. Giants will find a way to win, Simms points out the two losses on the line for the Carolina Panthers. Smith will make a big play. He will get open, will Delholmme make the connection?
Ultimatenyg comments of Simms:
12) You know Webster will be drawing this guy, Smith will make his opptys, how much can Webster limit the big play and stay with him? When Delhomme has the wind, look for the safety to give Webster a lot of help.
13) Giants are 6th in penalty yardage and 8th in the league in penalties. They averaged 4.8 penalties per game in 2007, they average 6.7 penalties per game in 2008. 2 penalties PER GAME. That is huge, folks, and entirely on the coaches. Some of the officiating has been HORRIBLE this season, and there are about a dozen horrendous calls that were not legit, but what does it say when your offensive leader, Pro Bowler O’Hara takes two stupid (after the play, away from the play) personal fouls? Selfish, and gives a green light to the rest of the team to take penalties the same way Petitgout’s false starts were a cancer that REESE got rid of.