Yesterday, Aaron Ross signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ross has been a stable but unspectacular CB for the NY Giants. We have rated him the prototypical “4,” a replaceable starter. And considering that Jerry Reese let him walk without much of a fight, the ‘replaceable’ description is appropriate.
Ross played well down the stretch. But less obvious to most is that the Giants did not face a highly rated set of WRs in the playoffs, with the exception of the Packers.
|ATL||RWhite & JJones||White is possession WR & rookie was schooled|
|GB||GJennings & JNelson||The best set of WRs still had ~7 total drops|
|SF||MCrabtree & KWms||Nap time w/o Edwards on the roster|
|NE||DBranch & WWelker||Zero downfield threat from WRs, & 1 key drop|
We need to also remember a key play in the GB game in Q3, where Ross is beat but Rodgers gets sack-stripped by Osi Umenyiora. The point here is that the Giants had great matchups in 3 of the 4 games. Ross is a competent but very average CB who helped the Giants to a title but will not be missed if Amukamara (first true camp), TT (ACL) and a few others (Tryon, etc.) can plug the holes.
Many things broke the right way for Ross and the Giants. During the regular season, Ross was vulnerable to Braylon Edwards, but the Niners cut Edwards for disciplinary reasons before the playoffs (and hence their keen interest in improving at the WR position with Randy Moss and Mario Manningham). The biggest break of all came when the Niners pulled off the miracle in the divisional round vs the Saints. If the Giants had to face the Saints in the dome, how many of you feel we win that game? This game is about matchups, and while I personally feel the Giants had a great deal of resolve in the XLVI run, that Saints offense was ALWAYS going to matchup well vs the Giants defense. Considering that Vernon Davis took us for 2 TDs while the Giants keyed on him all game, how do the Giants manage superstar TE Jimmy Graham PLUS Colston, Henderson, Meachem, Moore and Sproles? The bottomline is that the Saints are nasty to handle on a good day, but in the dome they are a nightmare.
In the Superdome, the Saints were 8-0 this past season with an AVERAGE winning score of 41-18. This was the game we are all grateful never happened. This was the game where Aaron Ross would have been exposed and thankfully was not. Instead, the Giants faced a pedestrian set of WRs in SF, Ross got another ring, and he cashed out with a nice contract courtesy of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Good for the Giants, good for Ross, a very happy ending for all sides.