1) Hat’s off to Jim Zorn on the Fake FG at the end of the half. He’s down 17-0, the argument you always hear from the broadcasters (ie Madden) is that you have to get those first points, they’ll kick the FG and be happy to go into the H2 with something to build on. Instead they faked and scored a TD. Rule #8, Do the Unpredictable. There were 77,000 people in the stadium that were completely faked out. Half of our section was already filing out to the bathroom. If the fake does not work, you can rest assured that everyone will be questioning it, but you know on this blog that one of the things we like is shooting the moon. Taking chances. You can only lose the game once. Zorn was smart enough to know his offense was going to need a little help. He gets his team to within one score and an onside kick in part because of this fake.
Parcells faked the punt with Gary Reasons vs the 49ers, or else I am afraid there are probably only two Super Bowl titles up there at the top of this blog instead of three. You can only lose the game once.
Doing the unpredictable, taking a gamble.. has other side benefits. It tells the team you are there to win. It tells the team you as a coach have skin in the game. Every player has to know that Snyder is watching Zorn. So if that does not work, Zorn is going to have a lot of egg on his face. Or does he? Maybe because it was the right thing to do, he earned himself some respect. Now as for that offense of his, that is another piece of egg..
2) One great way to learn is (as an example) listen to Michael Strahan on the voiceover of the Super Bowl DVD. The entire set is worth it just to be able to hear his commentary. He noted how the coaches emphasized to the players to “do the ordinary” things… collectively if they all did those things it would amount to something extraordinary> winning the Super Bowl! What ordinary things? BLOCKING AND TACKLING. Staying in your lane, not abandoning your assignment.
3) Notice how (in the same link above) Umenyiora fessed up on the opening 37 yard running play by Portis. Do you think that mistake happens because, in part, it is Osi’s first game (not counting preseason) since the Super Bowl?! You have to give him that. And the defense too. Look at Chris Canty: “It felt like I played 50 plays and I only played 20. I was a little gassed,” Canty said. “It’s hard to simulate game action in practice. It’s something I was glad to have an opportunity to experience. If I had my preference, don’t miss preseason. Preseason is important.” That was fantastic giving Canty enough plays to tire him but not enough to injure him. The coaches will step up Canty’s plays again this weekend. Pierce wants to see a lot of Canty against his old team.
4) We noted yesterday that the Jets had won only one game. So did Simms. Simms is the trusted voice of reason amidst the hyperbole.
5) The Giants picked up RB Gartrell Johnson off of waivers (Chargers). They released Allen Patrick from the practice squad.
6) Is it me, or are there plenty of poor decisions on fielding punts inside the 10 and returning kickoffs from inside the end zone? Go to minute 1:50 and watch McKelvin return the kickoff. The setup is even more important, because with ~2 minutes remaining the kickoff team of the Bills has a number of players up at the 40 yard line IN CASE OF AN ONSIDE KICK. So why is your return man taking the ball out when 6 to 8 of his ten men will clearly not be set up properly for a normal return AND the kick is 3 yards deep in the end zone? Of course we get to Wednesday morning QB that one, but with two minutes left in the game you have to be protecting the ball and the game.
8) Giants are +3 this weekend in Dallas.
9) Justin Tuck- NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He was saddled with injuries on the back end of the 2008 season, so this is nice to see. Is there anyone on this team (on either side of the ball) who is able to play at a higher and more consistent level than Tuck? I don’t think so. If you do, pls share. Guys like him do not even get much discussion because you know what you are going to get. When we discuss how great the defense can be, it ASSUMES that Tuck will be his typical disruptive self and that we just need the others like Canty and Boley to come around and assist.
10) Speaking about getting the defense to be dominant, healthwise we still need Ross, Sintim and Dockery back. Ross is (99%) out again this weekend. Between Coughlin being pleased with Bruce Johnson, Thomas aok and the chances for Dockery coming back, it seems rather reasonable to let Ross heal that hamstring.