Monthly Archives: October 2013

Big Sports Fan Blurbs 10-25

Well it looks like the NY Jet roller coaster ride is back in full effect.  Two weeks ago this was a playoff team after walking into Atlanta and winning a game everyone expected them to lose.  Then after losing to the Steelers in a game most expected them to win here come the crazy Jet fans again screaming about the problems and warts of this team.  Now after winning against the Pats in a game where most expected them to lose they are now division contenders.  And what will happen next week?  After last week the fans were saying same old Jets.  Now this week it is another story.  This is tiring and needs to stop.  This team will have a hard time making the playoffs if they don’t win the division and they probably won’t.

So Jim Irsay got his wish and his new golden boy Andrew Luck beat Peyton Manning head to head.  Mr Irsay you have no class for saying what you did about Peyton.  He made your team relevant from day one.  There is no RCA Dome without Peyton.  There is no loyal fan base wthout Peyton.  So I guess in your mind if Luck wins 2 Super Bowls that makes him better than Peyton.   Even if Luck does not win 10 games every year and does not make the playoffs every year and is not a must see game every week.  Now of course Luck is the real deal.  And he is going to be a great quarterback based on what we have seen.  But come on Mr. Irsay.  Peyton is a legend, a sure fire hall of famer, one of the 5 greatest quarterbacks of all time and he was a model citizen and caused no trouble off thei field.

Poor Rex Ryan does not get any breaks and finally got one.   Boo Hoo.  Rex your still the head coach of this team and that is the only break you need.   That ridiculous penalty got you off the hook for trying that field goal when the whole world knew Folk was missing it.  if not for that penalty you would have lost the game and had to explain why you made that decision which would have been funny.  Besides stop talking about breaks and figure out why your 4th rated defense again let a team drive down the field late in the 4th qtr to tie the game and came within inches of losing.

Was that the worst penalty ever seen.  Seriously.  If that is a new rule and this is the first time it happened and to call it on overtime come on.  You mean to tell me no other team has been doing that all year long.  Now the Patriots have received alot of breaks throughout the last 10 years.  So no one is crying for them nor should they.  And yes they are dealing with alot of injuries but they still will win the division.  But the NFL is becoming a joke.  Every rule now is to promote scoring.  I get the injury factor but then why is an offensive lineman allowed to plow into the back of their own running back to push the pile for a first down or over the goal line when the running back is not going anywhere.  Why is a running back allowed to in the open field put his head down and blast a defensive player and not get penalized.  This a brutal game played by abnormally large and fast men and injuries do happen.  NFL equals No Fhysical League.

The Greg Schiano saga keeps on going.  I don’t know how he lasts the season.  Seriously.  His 1 and a half seasons as the Tampa Bay head coach have been a disaster.  I don’t even know why Tampa hired him.  Rutgers was mediocre at best when he was the head coach.  I know the Rutgers people will not agree with me.  Now with the Dexter Jackson situation.  If you believe what Dexter says about the incident where he was asked to leave practice.  Or about what he has done with local kids who do good in school and stay out of trouble and how Schiano wanted that to stop because it was bothering the professional players on the team.  This whole Josh Freeman nonsense.  What else can talk about.  This is team is bad and the supposed turn around he is predicting is no where to be found.

Let me say something about the World Series.  I haven’t watched much of the playoffs this year.  I just can’t get into it.  The games have looked to be great.  The Cardinals are the model franchise right now.  I would say the Rays too.  The only difference is the Cards have more money to spend.  But both teams let big players sign elsewhere or in the Rays case trade them away and they just dig into their well stocked farm systems and find good replacements.  It is incredible and is just what I hope my Mets can be.  As for Boston.  What they did is amazing.  Going from last to first.   They unloaded big money players and made really smart free agent signings to go with their home grown talent.  I am hoping the Mets assuming they sign players can be as lucky.

Lastly about fan violence.  Whether it is in the stands during the games or outside the park after the games or as I like to say keyboard cowboys who talk behind the vail so to speak on twitter or some other media outlet.  First the clowns who tweet nonsense about their fantasy teams wanting to kill Brandon Jacobs because he didn’t play and he is the most recent one.  Are you serious?  Get a life.  I am big into fantasy football but god damn.  You would never have the guts to say this to Jacobs’ face.  He is an immense man.  I remember years ago I knew this guy who traded for Mike Lansing down the stretch in his fantasy baseball pool.  Lansing played miserable for him.  He said if I ever see him I am going to tell him off.  So the next year the Rockies were in NY playing the Mets.  After a softball game we went to a bar.  While we were there we noticed Larry Walker sitting at the bar and with him was Mike Lansing.  We said to our friend now is your chance buddy.  He didn’t do anything.  It was a funny comment to make at the time but still.  Now for the fans who threaten the lives of a player who cost their favorite teams a game.  You need to find a different hobby or something.  Matt Schaub is the most recent one.  I remember Kyle Williams fumbling 2 punts against the Giants 2 years ago in the NFC Championship game.  The kid felt bad already knowing he played bad.  But to threaten his life over a game is way over the line.  If you can’t just watch a game and root for your team and it is good to show emotion but to fight or make threats over it you really need to look at your on character.  Now for the knucklehead Jet fan who clocked a female Patriot fan in the face.  What can you say really.  This goes on at every stadium all over the country.  Who knows who started it and why.  Bottom line is this guy has a checkered past and has  a history of violence.  Any parent will defend their child to the end.  But do I have to see his father crying saying my son is not a violent person and has no history of violence.  I am just quoting the newspaper I read.  Your son was in jail for killing another person.  No violence huh.  And based on the articles he only got 3 years because daddy was a Suffolk county cop.  Maybe this guy who has been a season ticket holder for years does this kind of thing a lot.  Not the hitting of women but a history of stirring things up in the stands.  I never heard of this guy before and again based on what I read in the papers Woody Johnson has posed for pictures with this guy in front of his Jet shrine of a RV.  and so has Rex Ryan wearing his “I’d Hit That’ T Shirt.  You can’t make this stuff up.

Sports Blog 10-15-13

if Mike Francesa mentions the Book “League of Denial”  one more time I am going to puke.  We get it.  The NFL didn’t release this info.  We pretty much know why.  Who doesn’t know concussions are a problem in the NFL.  I know the writers of the book were on your show last week.  I am sure the book is a great read.  But please stop mentioning the book.  We don’t need you to keep saying over and over will they or why didn’t any of the pre game or post game NFL shows mention this book.  We don’t need to know why but I am sure Mike will tell us.

 

So Greg Schiano is telling the Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans to be patient.  Schiano will get the Bucs to win just please be patient and hang in there.  So is he saying that he will win like he did at Rutgers?  I am sure Schiano is a good man and a pretty knowledable football coach.  All the good he has done with Eric LeGrande is very inspiring and loyal.  But he is better suited for college.   Let’s not forget that he was only one game over .500 at Rutgers.  Evan after winning the biggest game in school history on a Thursday night against Louisville.  He got his team to follow that up with a loss the next week.  He never won a Big Least Championship and never went to a BCS bowl game.  I always felt he was over rated.  I feel he will regret going to Tampa Bay.  He should have went to Michigan like he was rumored to go to a few years back.

 

Well now Brian Cashman.  How is this for a turn of events.  I would rather have AROD than the 25 million.  Yeah right.  Does anyone believe that?  I don’t.  That 25 million can possibly buy Beltran, Wieters and another player.  That statement should tell you right now that AROD is not going anywhere.  He will not be suspended for 211 games.  Oh he will have to serve some of that.  Would Cashman be saying this if he knew AROD was going to be out for one whole year and then some.  It always amazes me that when AROD said he was healthy and ready to play Cashman comes out and bashed him, tells him to shut up and says that any such information or declarations will come from the Yankees.  But when Derek Jeter says it not one person says a word.  How many times did Jeter say it this past season.  Only to come back too soon and go back on the IR.  Talk about a double standard.  AROD at least made an impact this season.  When he actually played he was pretty effective at times.  And I am sure he made the Yanks money off the field in ratings etc.  It is just funny to me that AROD gets killed and for the same thing no one says a thing about Jeter.  Yeah I know the kind of muscle the kind of reputation and the kind of credit Jeter has in this town and with the Yankees.  But please.  Enough already.  AROD will never walk away from the money and he won’t serve 211 games either.

 

Ravens and Packers are arguing over the Randall Cobb hit.  What a surprise.  I saw it live.  I have Cobb on 2 fantasy teams.  This is a devastating injury on all counts.  Of course Rodgers is mad.  This is one of his best playmakers.  Was the hit a little low?  Yeah probably.  But where are the defenders supposed to hit these players.  You can’t go up high.  Now you can’t go low.  There was no intent to injure Cobb.  It was just a tough football play and if Cobb got up and walked back to the huddle there would be no conversation about this.  But if a running back breaks out in the open field and drives his head and shoulders into a little defensive back knocking him out no one cares.  I have no problem with an offensive player dishing out some punishment.  I do understand the health issue here with concussions and injuries but at the same time this is a very physical and violent game played by abnormally large and athletic men.  Injuries are a part of the game.

 

Maybe next season is finally the year Carlos Beltran gets his wish to play for the Yankees.  After he signed his last 2 contracts he would have given the Yanks a discount.  Funny that the Yankees would pass on a discount twice for a player who has been as consistent as any player in baseball the last 10 years.  Not to mention he has been a devastating post season player.  Except for Game 7 2006 with the Mets.  I liked him with the Mets.  I always felt he was given a bad rap and was mis understood.  He played hard and got injured.  But Met fans are often narrow minded, impatient and don’t really get it some times.  Sandy Alderson might have struck gold in getting the Giants to give up Zack Wheeler for a 2 month rental.  And this is what the Cardinals do.  They give away players before the decline gets bad see Albert Pujols.  He would look good with the Yankees.  That is a great fit and maybe Beltran will finally get his wish.

 

Enough with Kobe Bryant already.  How many more times do we have to hear Kobe say how fast he is healing only to hear The Lakers themselves dispute it.  If today was the playoffs I would play is the latest Kobe quote.  We won’t know anything until we see Kobe on the court.  But what we do know is that Kobe will get obsessed with this comeback and work his ass off to get back in the lineup.  And why is Kobe in a rush to get back?  This Laker team is bad and old and I know they are hoping that one of these free agent stars will want to play with Kobe.  Just like Dwight Howard did.

 

Well it didn’t take long for the Jet bandwagon to get lighter.  This is rather symbolic for this franchise and fanbase. They always have to over react.  This team was not supposed to do anything this year.  So after getting a huge break against Tampa Bay in a Week 1 win , then beating a bad Bills team in week 3 and last Monday night shocking the Falcons  the Jets Nation was getting giddy and confident.  Let’s not forget this is a rookie quarterback and there will be more lows than highs.  This team has flaws and needs to be left alone to work through this and grow as a unit.

Why The Hatred For Eli Manning

I am glad I waited a day to write this.  I am glad I spent yesterday listening to and reading things said about Eli Manning from both Giant fans and Giant haters.  I am still amazed by the backlash this player gets from not just the haters but his own fan base.  As a Giant fan I will be eternally grateful Eli Manning will play his whole career on my team.  No other Giant quarterback has won more than one Super Bowl except for Eli.  He has two and still has more years to play.  So why is this man so hated?

Eli Manning has been a player and a person who has shown tremendous class and respect his entire time in New York.  He has never publicly criticized a teammate for running the wrong route and causing an interception.  He never publicly bashed Jeremy Shockey when all of us knew he was a huge problem for Eli not only in the huddle but the locker room.  He has never attacked Tiki Barber for the comments he made after he retired from the Giants.  When has Eli Manning ever not played his heart out for this team,  Has Eli Manning ever missed a start.  I can’t ever remember seeing Eli sit out a play or series with a injury.  In fact his only mistake is being born a Manning.

His father Archie is a legendary quarterback.  He played on bad New Orleans Saints teams and took a beating physically because of a terrible offensive line and team in the Big Easy.  The Saints never won anything but somehow Archie is revered.  Fast forward to older brother Peyton.  Peyton when he retires will go down as one of the best 5 quarterbacks to ever play the game.  If he can somehow win 2 more rings he might be regarded as the best ever.  He could possibly hold every major record for a quarterback by the time he is finished.  He is from what I have seen the best regular season player in NFL history.  Plus he shows a very humorous personality in his commercials something Eli does not.  I remember when he called the Colts kicker something like a idiot when he missed a field goal to win a game.  We all laughed because it was true.  Eli won’t do that.

So when Peyton was drafted first overall no one said anything.  Peyton never won a national championship in college at Tennessee.  In fact in his 3 years as the starter he was never able to beat Florida who is their biggest rival and biggest game on the schedule every year.  Make no mistake he was deserving of his draft status.  Look at his NFL career.  He is a 4 time MVP and is always in the discussion for the award.  Peyton’s accomplishments are well documented.

When Eli was being discussed as the number one pick overall a lot of people were questioning it.  He went to college at Ole Miss like his father.  Ole Miss never won anything.  Eli played good breaking a lot of records that his dad once held.  He wasn’t decorated like Peyton.  He wasn’t on national TV as much as Peyton was in college.  The consensus is that he is getting a higher profile because of his last name.  When Archie came out and said he will never let his son play for the Chargers that angered a lot of people.  Those words never came out of Eli’s mouth.  Who knows what the word was behind the scenes between him, his father and his agent.

Ernie Accorsi made the trade to bring him to the New York Giants.  The Giants were in transition.  Tom Coughlin was brought in to coach the team.  Rumor has it Accorsi didn’t want Coughlin but Wellington Mara did.  Eli was brought in to be the franchise quarterback.  The New York media is tough.  The fan base can be equally tough.  I can remember Phil Simms getting killed by the fans and media until he finally won the Super Bowl and putting on perhaps the greatest game ever.  When I was a kid I would sit in the living room with my father and watch the Giants game.  It was like religion.  No one would bother him.  Mom would cook Sunday dinner and my father never left the TV until the game was over.  Simms had problems with the Cowboys and I can remember one game where Simms was so bad and just had gotten another pass picked off my father actually turned off the TV and stared into the black screen for 5 minutes until he finally turned it back on.

When Eli became the starter mid way through his rookie season we expected the normal bumps in the road any rookie quarterback has.  When word came out that had the Giants not been able to make a trade with the Chargers they would have drafted Ben Roethlisberger this got Giant fans angry since Big Ben led the Steelers to a Super Bowl victory in his second season.  We would rather have Big Ben they would say.  Or Philip Rivers who showed alot more fire than Eli ever did.  Yes Big Ben has won 2 Super Bowls but his off the field scandals would not have gone over well in New York.  The starting quarterback for the New York Giants is a glamour position.  You can’t have a player with such scandals under his belt playing for you.  Philip Rivers.  Early in his career he was such a hot head often times clashing with fans.  The Giants have long been a conservative organization who want things low key all the time.  There is always exceptions like Lawrence Taylor.  But he was a special player.

Eli early on did not perform as well as Big Ben.  Ben had inherited a team that was already a playoff team.  The Giants were rebuilding.  Eli did not perform as well as brother Peyton when his career began.  Eli despite never having a losing season as a full time starting quarterback was still having to deal with the relentless bashing he would get from the Giant fan base, the media and yes his own team mates.

Eli Manning is just not a great regular season quarterback.  He does not give the near perfection performances his brother Peyton does.  Here is where the problem lies in my eyes.  He is not his brother yet he was expected to be him.  Archie would say they are different players, different personalities, different people.  Giant fans were swarming.  There was a sign a fan made that said Eli was adopted.  Eli would never say anything in public.  Archie would always say this will never bother him and he was right.  Eli would continue to at times have miserable regular season games where he throws bad passes and multiple interceptions.  That is just who he is.  Not every pass he throws will be a perfect tight spiral.

When the 2007 playoffs started no one thought a run was coming.  The last 2 trips to the playoffs in 2005 & 06 were both one and done including a horrible performance at home against the Panthers.  Eli played well against the Buccaneers in the first game on the road.  The Giants won and advanced to play their division rivals the Cowboys in Dallas.  Eli played great that day.  Making huge clutch passes at key times.  The Giants won that game and went on to Green Bay where Eli again out played Brett Favre in his backyard where no one wins when the weather is that cold.  Brett Favre weather.  The Giants beat the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl with Manning making plays again.  Now Manning was finally considered a great QB.  Still some would say it’s only one ring and other players were as big a reason for the win as he was.

Winning a Super Bowl usually gives you a free pass.  it did for a while.  But yet again the quarterback and his coach came under fire.  The Giants had to win another Super Bowl again with an improbable run beating those same Patriots in the big game.  Eli threw one of the best passes ever in the biggest spot of the game to start the winning drive for the Giants.  Now he had his second Super Bowl win.  Before the season a reporter asked him If he was an elite quarterback.  He said he was.  What would you say?

So now this year the Giants are 0-6.  Eli has been horrible at times and good at times.  When you are 0-6 there is plenty of blame to go around.  So now here come the vultures.  From the press which is to be expected.  From Giant haters which is to be expected.  But from his own fan base.  To hear Giant fans say I never liked him and never thought he was good to me is ridiculous.  He has 2 super bowl rings.  He will never win the MVP of the regular season and have regular season success like his brother has.  But we all know this.  Eli has been absolute money the last 2 years he has made the playoffs.  There are some quarterbacks who need the universe perfect to play well.  How some can put him in that category now is just a shame.  For the first few games this year the offensive line has not blocked for him.  The Giants couldn’t run the ball either.  I don’t know what quarterback can win games without both those.  Do you?

Eli Manning has been a class man for the Giants, for the NFL for the city of New York oh and he also has brought 2 super bowl trophies to the Giants.  But why is he always getting destroyed by the media.  He is not a rah rah guy like Tom Brady is.  if the Pats were 0-6 you bet Brady would be on a tirade every day.  That is who he is.  Eli is not like that.  As a Giants fan of course I am not happy with the 0-6 record.  But can I really complain.  I have seen 2 Super Bowl victories in the past 6 years.  How many teams can say that.  As I said this to a Jet fan yesterday he said I wish I could see 2 seasons like that from my team.

Now is Eli Manning a hall of fame quarterback.  Who knows.  Winning 2 rings as a quarterback might get you there.  But he is not done either.  Eli is 32 years old.  The way the NFL rules are there is no reason to think he can’t play until he is 38 or 39.  So the resume is not complete yet.  What if he wins another super bowl? Then what?  Does the 6 games this year hurt his resume.  Of course it does.  These games count.  Does it cancel out 2 Super Bowl seasons.  Absolutely no way.  Not a chance in the world.

So to define who is Eli Mannng.  Eli Manning is an average regular season quarterback who throws a great deep pass.  He is a player who thrives in the biggest games and is a clutch player when the money is down.  The bigger the game the better Manning plays.  He never misses a game and he works hard despite what Frank Isola thinks about seeing him in too many commercials.  You never hear about Eli out on the town unless it is a charity function or some event like that or out to see a play on Broadway with his wife.

What more can you expect from your star player?  What more must he do for this ungrateful fan base?  To be fair living in New York there is alot of fans who flip flop and are front runners.  I have seen Yankee fans boo Mariano Rivera for gods sake.  New York is a tough town.  It takes a special kind of player and person to be the guy.  Eli is the guy and I am very happy he is.  Lay off Eli.  Should he be held accountable for this 0-6 start.  Hell yeah he should.  But so does everybody else.  Does this erase the good things he has done?  How in the world can it.  But to some people it does.

Now the Giant haters love this especially the Cowboy fans.  As one Cowboy fan said to me Eli had to win two super bowls before he considered him a great quarterback.  So I said what does Tony Romo need to do then.  Romo just had the game of his life and still found a way to choke it up at the end.

Bottom line leave Eli Manning alone.  Whatever happens to this Giants team just be grateful we don’t need to bring in another quarterback.  Whether Tom Coughlin goes or whoever else is sent packing we always know we have a two time Super Bowl champion quarterback as our starter.  And there is nothing wrong with that.

Giant Sized Luck

Sitting at 0-6 and seemingly the whole world coming down on the NY Football Giants they are at a real crossroads as a franchise right now.  Changes need to be and will be made.  The QB will not be one of those changes despite his putrid performance this year.  He has won 2 Super Bowls just like the head coach who it is a real toss up if he will be back next season.  if Tom Coughlin is not the coach next year you can bet he will be allowed to leave with class and dignity and his successor will be a well known name.  The biggest talk now is were those 2 Super Bowl runs lucky.  I am going to discuss this below starting from the year of the first Super Bowl run.

In 2007 the jury was still out on both Eli Manning and Coughlin.  After all they had never won a playoff game.  Eli had not lived up to any of the expectations of being the first overall pick in the draft.  Not to mention the Giants gave up 2 Number ones to him.  Then GM Ernie Accorsi was extremely high on him.  Coughlin was a blueprint Giant type of coach.  Straight from the Bill Parcells tree and who had a lot of success running Boston College and building the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars.  They ran him out of Jax and he never won the big game there despite having really good teams but give the man credit for making a expansion team relevant starting with their first season.

Eli came from the first family of football.  Father Archie was a legendary quarterback despite playing on the dreadful Saints.  Older brother Peyton is right now considered the best regular season player in the history of football.  A sure fire hall of famer even back in 2007 coming off his first and only Super Bowl victory and Super Bowl MVP.  Eli naturally is compared to his brother and going into that season both he and Coughlin were on the hot seat.  It took a herculean game from Tiki Barber in the season finale in Washington leading the Giants into the playoffs to save Coughlin’s job even though the Giants lost in the first round of the playoffs that year.  Tiki retired at the end of that season and was one of the many people questioning the leadership of Eli and Coughlin.  Coughlin saved the career of Tiki by showing him how to hold onto the ball and Tiki had the best 4 year performance of any Giant RB in history.

As we head into the season The Giants are nto expected to do anything and the wolves wanted Coughlin fired and Eli out of NY.  They started 0-2 and needed a goal line stand to beat the Redskins in Week 3.  The season was just ordinary for the Giants.   The dIvision rivals Dallas Cowboys were having a great season soaring all the way to the number one seed in the NFC.  The New England Patriots were writing an undefeated season when they came into the Meadowlands to face the Giants in week 17.  We all know the story.  The Giants just clinched the playoffs the week before and had nothing to play for.  They player all their starters that game and lost a great game.  Still the Giants were never expected to do anything.  This team was still average.  Eli was just considered an ordinary QB.  Michael Strahan was at the end of his career and while still a pretty good player he was no where the dominant player he used to be.  Osi Umenyiora was an emerging star in this team.

The playoffs started with a win against the average Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa.  It was significant only for the Giants.  Coughlin and Manning finally had a playoff win.  Next was a trip to Dallas.  Dallas had beaten the Giants twice that year.  There was the whole Terrell Owens sending Tony Romo on vacation story going around.  There was the story of Jerry Jones talking about tickets for the NFC Championship game before they had won the game to get there.  To say Dallas was over confident would not be a stretch.  There were people like me saying Romo would never win a big game ever even back then.  Well the Giants shocked the world and went into Dallas and won.  The D Line harassed Romo all game long.  Dallas was sloppy at times and Eli made them pay for all mistakes.  This was the true coming of age game for Eli.  He got points before the half when the Giants got the ball with under a minute left.  He didn’t make any mistakes.  The Giants did just enough on offense to win the game instead relying on their defense and were able to win the game.  Does it matter how it got done as long as it got done.  We all remember TO after the game crying “that’s my QB.”

Next up was a trip to Green Bay.  More of the same.  In what should have been the end of the Brett Favre era and in extreme cold weather Eli out played Favre in his own backyard.  More players were getting noticed with their play.  Corey Webster emerged.  Aaron Ross playing on one shoulder was gutty and effective.  Aaron Pierce was making plays.  The Giants offense was making plays.  Lawrence Tynes kicked the winning field goal in overtime despite missing 2 field goals in the second half.  Ahmad Bradshaw emerged as a big time player for the Giants.  And perhaps the biggest one of them all Justin Tuck.  With Osi and Strahan the Giants had a one-two punch of speed pass rushers that was hard to deal with.  Then you add Tuck coming up the middle and with the three of them sliding all over the defensive line this was impossible to stop.  Sure Tuck was getting noticed a lot late in the season.  Now the whole world saw this.  The Giants should have won this game easier.

In the Superbowl we all know what happened.  The Giants ended the dream of an undefeated season and won the most improbable of Super Bowls in history.  The Giants a wild card team won the Super Bowl by getting hot at the right time with a dominate pass rush and a QB who was clutch and made plays without turning the ball over.

The next season is where things changed.  The Giants were rolling.  They were dominant.  The defending champs were considered the best team in football.  Despite an injury to Osi whoever Reese drafted and signed was working out.  They were rolling.

Then star player and seemingly an un guardable Wide Receiver shot himself in the leg in a New York City night club.  He might as well have put a bullet through the Giant season.  While he was out healing the Giants suspended him before ultimately releasing him as he went to jail.  The Giants struggled for the rest of the season. Despite the loss of a key player mentally it wore down Antonio Pierce who was the leader and mouthpiece of the defense.  Pierce was in the club with Plax.  So was Bradshaw too.  The Giants managed to hold onto the best record and gain the one seed in the playoffs.  The Eagles came to town in the second round and shocked the Giants and ended their season.  This is significant because Plax was the one player Philly could never stop.  He would dominate Philly every time.

Now in the salary cap age where you are forced to make tough decisions some players were not kept.  But here is where I think the Giants defensive unbalanced problems started.  Replacing Plax was not going to be easy.  Eli needed a weapon.  Yes the dogs were off Eli’s and Coughlin’s back.  When you got a Super Bowl tucked away that tends to happen.  The Giants had to use a first round pick to draft an impact Wide Receiver.  Amani Toomer was not coming back and Steve Smith was taking over his job.  Hakeem Nicks was drafted in the first round.  Nicks became a big part of the next Super Bowl run but the Giants needed to address the linebacker position with that pick or perhaps the offensive line which can age at any time.  Wide Receiver was supposed to be a strength and had Plax still been there Nicks would not have been.

The Giants regressed the next season going 8-8 including 2 blowout losses to finish the season.  A bad Carolina Panther team came into Giants Stadium and blew out the Giants who were 8-6 at the time in their finale at the old Stadium.  The boo birds came out again.  Coughlin had to go.  Eli had to go.  That Super Bowl was long forgotten.  The next year the Giants went 10-6 and didn’t make the playoffs.  Normally 10 wins gets you into the playoffs.  This time it didn’t.  No coach gets fired after winning 10 games.  But Coughlin was on notice.  Eli too.  Every loss by the Giants gets magnified.

The next season they were 7-7 going into a game against the Jets.  The Jets were cocky despite their own problems.  They had a couple of successful seasons and wanted control of the town.  The Giant won the game and made the playoffs and the rest is history.  In fact based on their last Super Bowl run the Giants were picked to be very competitive even against the defending champion and supposed super team the Green Bay Packers.  A home blowout win vs the Falcons.  A convincing win against the sloppy Packers in Green Bay followed.  In fact the Packers rested their players in week 17 giving them 2 full weeks off and the rust showed.  Then a great game in SF once again ending with Lawrence Tynes kicking an overtime field goal to get the Giants back to the Super Bowl.  A familiar foe was waiting for them in the Patriots.  In another good game the Giants won their second Super Bowl in the Coughlin/Manning era.  This was supposed to cement their hall of fame careers and get every vulture off their backs.  it took less than 2 seasons for those vultures to get even bigger.  Here we are now with an 0-6 team.  Eli has been dreadful and Coughlin has no answers.  The media is all over this team as Eli continues to kill this team that now has so many holes to fill.  For the first time in his tenure Jerry Reese is under fire.  Reese who got kudos for seemingly pushing every right button is getting hammered for the lack of depth and players on this roster.  When Steve Smith was let go a few years before he said we will be fine.  Smith’s career basically ended when he left the Giants.  Now the genius of Jerry Reese is no where to be found.  As Giant fans we became accustomed to saying we believe in Reese and what he is doing.  We don’t worry about anything.  We just need to get in the playoffs and we will make a run.

Now some are saying this Giants team over the last 6 years or so is just an average team who managed to do enough to get into the playoffs and got hot and won it all twice.  Eli is now a punchline.  Everybody has Coughlin retiring at the end of the season with Bill Cowher already the new coach.  And Reese needs to fix this mess quick while you still have some prime Eli years left.  The David Wilson draft pick could turn out to be a flop.  Despite his fumbling problems he can’t pick up the blitz and that means he won’t play RB.  I don’t think any Giant fan wanted Wilson in that draft.  I myself wanted Coby Fleener.  But I get what the Giants were thinking.  We don’t have a consistent running game.   Let us draft a back who we think can give that to us.

What do you do if your Reese?  At 0-6 the Giants are done.  Despite the division being so bad.  Had the Giants won last night and if the Redskins win and Eagles lose on Sunday the Giants would be 2 games out if first place.  But forget it all now.  Reese and the Giants ownership need to decide what players are staying as they reload for another Eli led run and who must go.  Is Coughlin the man for this job.  He is the oldest coach in the league at 67.  I think if they feel they can get a established big name to coach this team they let Coughlin say he is retiring and let him go with pride and dignity.

1.  Trade Nicks right now.  Get as many picks as you can for him.  He will not be resigned.  Randle will do his job very nicely.

2.  Decide if the other players who will be free agents  are players you want to keep.  If not try to get draft picks for them.

3.  The offensive line must be rebuilt.  Look the previous line was good for a few years.  They started every game together.  That is rare these days.  Offensive lineman draft picks are boring we know that but now it is necessary.

4.  Linebackers that can cover.  This unit once a strength and the staple of the team is now a joke.

5. D Line/Defensive Backs.  I think they go hand in hand.  if you can rush the passer consistently like the Giants used to do you don’t need great defensive backs.  Now they do.  There is no pass rush.  Justin Tuck might be done.  Jason Pierre-Paul if he is hurt then that is one thing.  He was dominant 2 years ago.  Remember when the Giants were going to have to break the bank to sign him.  Are you still saying that now.

6.  Get Eli Manning straightened out some how.  He is mentally tough and he will survive this.  But he can’t keep killing this team every game.

7.  The running game.  Has been just decent for a few years.  Hopefully a new offensive line will improve it.  How many people were thinking that last night with the kind of space Jacobs had to run if that was Wilson how many of those does he break for TD’s.

Football trades during the season are not very common but the  Giants need to build through the draft.  They need depth right now.  They need new hungry players.  The Giants never get creative with the salary cap like Mike Tannenbaum used to do with the Jets.  Sure it’s good to move money around to have more to spend that year.  But at some point that money needs to be paid.  The Giants don’t do stuff like that.

Hey they won 2 super bowls in the last 6 years doing it their way.  How many other franchises would take that right now even if it came with an 0-6 start this year.  Is this an 0-6 team talent wise.  No.  Changes need to be made and they will be coming.

A Giant Mess

Another game another Giant disaster.  Well the disaster was really on one person.  Eli Manning.  We will get more into him later.  But last night the Giants showed fight.  They showed some fight for them selves and their coach.  If you go by the theory the coaches coach and the players play last night was not the fault of Tom Coughlin or any of his other coaches.  Last week vs the Eagles Coughlin had a very bad game.  Accepting a penalty when I felt the Eagles would punt which cost the Giants 3 points and the whole timeout/challenge debacle.  Last night was not on him or Perry Fewell or Kevin Gilbride.

The defense played reasonably well.  It is still a flawed unit.  The pass rush which was the symbol of this team is non existent at least to the level of what this teams needs it to be.  But the defense only gave up 20 points.  After Eli’s first interception was run back inside the twenty yard line the defense held firm.  For some unknown reason the Bears went for a TD instead of kicking a field goal.  The Giants defense stepped up to the challenge and denied the TD.  That was a great sign of life for a struggling defense.

But there are still problems.  This defense is built around the pass rush.  The line backing core has been a weakness of this team for a long time.  The defensive backs are decent.  But not consistent enough to cover the whole game.  There is not a shut down corner in the bunch.  Stevie Brown was a ball hawk who always seemed to be around the ball causing turnovers is sorely missed.  But still when the Giants needed the ball back they did their job only to see Eli throw it away again.  Still after that they fought hard and almost got the ball back again but were called for a holding penalty after the Eli pick.  There was no number called and we never saw the hold on the instant replay.  But when your struggling that is how it goes.

Perry Fewell won’t survive this and he may be a fine coach.  Maybe another coach would get more out of this bunch but when your defense has been built around a pass rush and you are not getting that pass rush then what are you to do.  Yes there are injuries.  Every team has injuries.  The Giants used to be able to overcome injuries.  Well not any more.

Steve Weatherford did well keeping the ball out of the hands of the explosive Devin Hester.  The kick coverage was fine.  The Giants don’t have a great return game.  As long as they kick returners hold onto the ball I will take that.  No this game was lost by one person.  Eli Manning.

Brandon Jacobs turned back the clock and ran the ball well.  The Giant running game did very well.  Justin Pugh dominated Julius Peppers all night long.  This was the first time I felt the Giants had a 2 way offensive attack all season long.  The only problem was and this is not his fault is that Jacobs does not have breakaway speed.  He never did.  I thought some of those runs had it been David Wilson he might have taken that to the house.  Aside from the speed Wilson has he has the moves and the jukes to make defenders miss.  You can see Jacobs thinking that hey I am not faking anyone out but let me truck this little defensive back which is what he did.  Jacobs performed admirably last night.  He is not a young player anymore and now with Da’rel Scott nursing a hamstring problem the Giants need to add yet another running back.  Jacobs can’t carry the ball 20 plus times a game.

How many more times are we going to see Nicks drop balls.  I know he has talent but it is every game now.  The Giants should be on the phone right now offering him around for draft picks.  He will not be resigned.  Ruben Randle will fill his spot very well.  And by the way what is with Giants receivers and putting the ball on the ground.  Randle’s play last night was very similar to the Victor Cruz play in Arizona two years ago.  Giants were lucky to get the call that day and were lucky last night too.

No this loss is on Eli Manning.  One pick six in the first quarter.  Almost a second pick six.  if not for the Giants defense and the curious decision by the Bears to not kick a field goal that would have cost the Giants another 3 points.  Eli has been brutal.  Nothing more needs to be said about that.  I will address Eli in another blog. But your QB can’t keep killing your team like this every week.  He is the leader of the team and he has two super bowl rings so that does give him some sort of cushion.  But you can’t play this bad in New York City and get away with it.

But the bigger issue is with the lack of depth on this team right now.  Since the first Super Bowl win 5 years ago and up until the last Super Bowl win 2 years ago every move Jerry Reese made worked out.  It was amazing to see.  All the players the Giants let leave never came back to hurt them.  From Steve Smith to Kevin Boss to Shaun O’Hara etc.  To drafting a lot of key players that the coaches were able to develop quickly that they became big weapons in the Giants title runs.  That does not happen all the time.  Reese was batting a thousand.  Of course luck has something to do with it.  And when you win the Super Bowl no one cares about the warts.  If we threw bouquets at Reese for winning then he gets the blame for losing.

 

Jet Appeal

Let me start by saying I am not a Jets fan.  I will be fair about that.  I am a Giants fan.  I think of the Jets the same way Yankee fans think of the Mets.  Some little brother who will never amount to anything but will have a few brief moments of success then fade away for a while.  I can say this because I am a Mets fan and despite my hatred for the Yankees and it’s more Yankee fans than anything, can only be jealous and want the same success they have had.  I am sure Jet fans feel the same way.  The Jets ownership and front office might feel like they are competing with the Giants for fans and to be the beloved team in the city.  I don’t think the Giants feel the same way.  Giant fans are loyal and will never go away.  Jet fans are full of frustration amid the roller coaster this team puts them through seemingly all the time especially with Rex Ryan as their head coach.  Jet fans give up on their team seemingly every other week.

Now I am more than shocked this team is 3-2.  I had them at 1-4 at this point.  The Tampa Bay win was a gift due to the moronic penalty committed by that LB in the final seconds of tha game.  Going into that game I thought Tampa would win easy.  Despite the way that game turned out the Jets are probably a better team that Tampa is today.   Last night’s win was a shocker too.  Atlanta was desperate and playing for their season.  They realistically can’t win their division now.  And sadly the NFC playoff picture might already be set.  I think right now if I told you the 6 teams that will make it barring major injuries of course are NFC Least winner, Bears, Packers, Saints, Niners and Seahawks.  Would you bet against me?  I am not going to make this post about Atlanta but I really hate this team.  I can never root for the Jets and wasn’t last night but it doesn’t bother me that this over rated Falcons team lost.  For all Matty Ice’s exploits and comebacks he is headed down the same path as Tony Romo getting labeled with the dreaded can’t win the big game syndrome.  After all the Falcons have 2 home playoff losses already.  Which is exactly the reason why I don’t want Bill Cowher to coach my Giants.  I also hate when owners find their way to the sidelines in the 4th quarter.  Stay your ass in the booth.

But watching that game last night and hearing the comments afterwards I take this from the game.  The Jets have a big time defensive line.  Anytime you can keep a team out of the endzone as many times as they have despite the Falcons having no real running game is impressive.  I had no problem going for the TD at home before the half.  I do have a problem with taking the ball out of the hands of my playmakers.  Matt Ryan, Juiio Jones and the greatest Tight End to ever play football Tony Gonzalez.  God if you just kept throwing the ball at Gonzalez you would have either had a TD or a pass interference call.  Again I don’t want to make this post about the Falcons.  The Jets deserve kudos for how well they played goal line defense last night.

The Jets do have some nice building blocks.  I am not ready to annoint Geno Smith as anything despite what the blowhard Jon Gruden says or what Rex Ryan says.  Every guy the Jets throw out there is the second coming according to Jets fans.  Last night’s game does not erase last week’s game.  Yes he probably  learned some things but he has alot more to learn.  Now Rex Ryan who knows as much about coaching offense as I know about the culture of Angola can’t help keep his mouth shut.  I mean this is who he is.  That is what his old man was.  That is what his brother is.  Full of bravado and never learning humility.  You would think that he has learned his lesson coaching in NY to not say some outlandish things.  That’s why the owner loves him.  That’s why the press loves him.  he will always give you something in every interview in every press conference.  All coaches pump up their own players.  But what he said last night in his press conference was amazing.

He said Matt Ryan had a QB rating of 117 or something like that and that is hard against his defense.  Except when it’s late in the 4th quarter and your sitting on a lead and the opponents drive down the field to win the game or take the lead.  Then he said Geno Smith had a rating of 147 or something like that.  Are you trying to compare the two?  What are you saying?  We all know QB ratings are bullshit.  Dropped passes count against a QB’s rating when it is not their fault.  And Smith threw 20 passes and Ryan threw 45 passes.  Half of Smith’s passes were quick slants and Ryan had to throw the ball down field to get his team back in the game without a running game to support him like Smith did.  I am not saying anything negative about Smith.  He did his job and followed the game plan.  He made the throws when he had to.  But Rex shut your mouth and learn from past mistakes.  I can see it now we are going to hear how dangerous this team is and how no one wants to play this team in the playoffs and blah blah blah all over again.   He can’t help it.  Rex has been far too quiet now for a long time.  The volcano called Mount Rex is ready to blow.

Now onto to Joe Benigno.  Joe is funny.  Joe has passion about his teams.  Joe lives and dies by them.  Joe also flip flops and walks onto the edge of 100 story buildings more than anybody I have ever see before in my life.  Last year he hated Rex.  He wanted him gone.  he hated most of this team.  He had no faith in them.  Now he loves Rex  and was talking about how hard this team plays for him despite what he was saying last year.  How he loves Geno Smith and how Nick Folk is the best kicker in the sport.  I just laugh when he talks cause of the roller coaster he takes himself and anyone who listens to him on.  After the next jet loss he will be singing a different tune.  He loves Marty Mornhinweg.  Yeah he used to love Brian Schottenheimer too.  Joe is too funny with his rants and his praise of his teams.  It is just getting hard to take him serious anymore.  Joe also has a thing for SEC players and he loves Sheldon Richardson because he went to Missouri which is in the SEC.  Hey Benigno Missouri just got to the SEC and by no means does anybody consider them a real SEC team yet.  No one is saying this kid does not have talent.  But not every top SEC player is going to be a good pro.

Now  more importantly.  I can see it now.  Jet fans. Jet Nation getting all giddy and talking about the playoffs and going crazy over Geno Smith.  Let’s see if you all learn your lesson too.  Again as a Mets fan I used to get giddy and start talking real big whenever my Mets started to have success.  It was usually short lived and never fulfilled the ultimate goal.  In many ways these franchise are a mirror image.  Both won championships in 1969.  Mets won in 1986.  Jets had a great start but fell apart. They would not have beaten the Giants that year anyway.  Throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s each had a few big seasons where championships were being talked about.  And each failed.  Whether they weren’t good enough or crazy things happened ie Vinny Testaverde’s injury or the Mets losing a couple of starting pitchers before the 2006 playoffs started or the collapse in Denver or the Mets losing despite one of the greatest catches in a big game by a player ever-Endy Chavez.  We can go into the bad players choking like the Mets band of misfit closers like Armando Benitez and missed field goals in Pittsburgh.  We can go on and on. But you get the point.  I as a Mets fan have since learned my lesson to keep my mouth shut and not make any statements about winning or being the best or we have found our franchise quarterback for the one hundredth time.  Both franchises just might be cursed. Just look at Matt Harvey.

Jet fans take it easy cause I can see it already.  Chill out.  Watch your team.  Don’t put any un realistic expectations on this team or your QB.  He still has lots to learn.  What Mark Sanchez did is extremely rare.  Those things don’t happen all the time.  Let your coach run his mouth off.  He is good at that.  Just sit back and watch your team.  You do have some good building blocks.  Don’t get your hopes up.  This team is not going to the Super Bowl this year.  It will be tough to just make the playoffs.  Learn from your past mistakes.  Don’t jump onto that roller coaster of emotions yet.  This was supposed to be a rebuilding year.  Sit back and watch your team build for the future.

The Mess Of The NY Giants

In my whole life of being a NY football Giants fan I have never seen this team play so bad.  This team is not without talent either which make this all the more frustrating.  But there is some major holes and you can blame almost any player, coach, position or anything else you want to.

Let’s start with the coach.  Tom Coughlin is a nice man.  A very tireless worker.  He knows the game.  He was taught by some of the greats of this game.  He has 2 Super Bowl titles in 5 years.  But in between those years have been alot of failures.  There have been alot of big games where this team has not showed up and got destroyed.  Carolina both in the playoffs and the last game ever at Giants Stadium to name a couple.  The theory of players play and he is not on the field so you can’t blame him.  The head coach gets the blame first.  Always.  Whether it is his fault or not.  But yesterday accepting a penalty when it would have been 4th down was foolish especially with this defense.  The challenge and losing 2 time outs well I won’t kill him but just throw out the red flag and take your chances.  You can’t lose 2 timeouts there.  I know the play should have been over turned but it wasn’t.  Tom is coaching tight right now and who can blame him.  There is really no need to discuss Perry Fewell and Kevin Gilbride.  Fewell is gone after this year.  Gilbride will probably survive if Coughlin survives.  I like Coughlin.  I wanted him here.  I never wanted him fired years ago.  But could it be time for a new voice?  I don’t know.  I don’t want some rookei coach or taking a chance on a unproven guy.  I also don’t want Cowher.  I think he is very over rated as a coach. No one has lost more home playoff games than Cowher.  So I don’t know the answer to this.

The Quarterback.  Oh Elijah.  No one should be surprised whenhe plays so badly.  He can be bad at times.  We know that.  He does try to force the ball some times.  He does throw a pass when taking the sack would be better.  But he has won 2 Super Bowls and has 2 Super Bowl MVPs.  You take the good with the bad with Eli and let it play out.  But in a season where nothing has gone right he gets the biggest blame.  I can’t even count how many INT’s he has thrown this year already.  Some were not his fault.  Even yesterday.  The first one should have been a 15 yard penalty against the Eagles for hitting in the head supposedly an automatic when it’s the QB.  The second one I am still amazed Cruz let that guy take the ball away from him.  The third one who knows what route was supposed to be run but Nicks was dogging it before he got on to the field.  As Billick said where is his urgency.  Hakeem Nicks has cost himself alot of money so far and he won’t be a Giant next year.  I know he has a dislocated finger.  If your on the field then you should have no excuses.  He sure does drop the ball alot. Rueben Randle too.  Where is the Tight End in this offense.  The running game.  Wow.  Just a joke.  I can’t even say anything about the running backs right now.  I know part of the equation is the offensive line.  They are bad too.  Injuries hurt.  We know that.  Snee, Baas etc.  Where is the depth this team used to have.

The defense is equally pathetic.  Where is this vaunted Giants pass rush.  Oh man do I see the dollar signs leaving the building for JPP.  Tuck is  just a shell of himself now.  The rest are average.  But there hasn’t been a pash rush for over a season and a quarter now.  This is what the whole Giant defense is based on.  The Linebackers were never good so to kill them would be pointless.  We know this has been a weakness for this team for a while now.  The secondary is brutal.  I know there is injuries but they can’t cover anyone.  Antrel Rolle who usually backs up everything he says has even regressed.  I will give kudos to Terrell Thomas.  I don’t care if or how bad he plays this year.  To come back from what he as come back from is a major accomplishment.

Unspecial Teams.  Can we cover punt returners? Can we kick a field goal?  Can we get good run backs? Even Weatherford has been inconsistent.

There is not one facet of this team that is working.  Jerry Reese deserves a big part of the blame here too.  When things go right we all sing his praises.  We got so used to him always making the right moves.  Well he hasn’t been right for 2 years now.  He deserves a pass and the chance to fix this mess.  Jerry left this team with no depth.  No reliable running back.  A bad offensive line to protect their franchise quarterback.  He has never effectively developed a LB core.

So how does this get fixed.  Who knows.  Right now the Giants are headed towards a high draft pick something we haven’t had in a while.  Some could suggest trading the players on free agent years for draft picks like Tuck and Nicks and their would be lenty of takers for them.  I just don’t see the Giants making any trades.  I believe Nicks is gone anyway.  But such a move would certainly be waving the white flag on the season.  But still the Giants are only 2 games out of first place which is amazing.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.