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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:15 am 
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Exec. VP Baseball Operations

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Location: Land of the Nats and Redskins
P.S. Here's some joint Giants-Mets related material after the Falcons win; Tom Coughlin channeling his inner Tug McGraw:

Image

The article and a video are below as well.

Articles:
http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/giants/post/_/id/10652/joe-petruccios-journal-do-you-believe

http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/7440288/2012-nfl-playoffs-jason-pierre-paul-says-new-york-giants-gonna-win-game-vs-green-bay-packers

http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/7440215/2012-nfl-playoffs-new-york-giants-anything-possible

Video:
http://espn.go.com/newyork/video/clip?id=7439976


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:40 am 
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Sorry for the delay...just finished moving to the land of the Nationals and Redskins. I am pretty busy and tired, so I will do offensive skill players tonight, the lines and defense tomorrow, and the unit breakdowns on Friday.

Remember, these are being done based on how the teams are currently playing with a small thought on their yearly play. Without further adieu....

OFFENSE

Quarter Backs
Manning vs. Rodgers:

This one isn't that hard. Eli is playing out of his mind right now, and if he gets another ring at some point, while continuing this season's pace, it could get him some borderline HOF consideration. Now, I am not saying Eli will be a HOFer, just than he has the potential, if he gets ring #2 and continues with the 4,000 yard (almost 5,000 this year), 25 TD seasons. Meanwhile, Rodgers (4,643 yards, 45 TDs, 6 INTs, 68%, 9% TD rate, 1.2% INT rate) is playing at a clip seen only twice in history, Warner in 1999 (4,353 yards, 41 TDs, 13 INTs, 65%, 8.2% TD rate, 2.6% INT rate) and Brady in 2007 (4,806 yards, 50 TDs, 8 INTs, 69%, 8.2% TD rate, 1.4% INT rate). You could argue that Rodgers actually had the best season of any of them, which I would agree with as he also has 257 yards rushing and 3 rushing TDs, pushing his TD total to 48. Rodgers will run away with the MVP, however, Eli, in my opinion is more valuable to the Giants' success.

Running Backs
Bradshaw/Jacobs/Ware vs. Grant/Starks/Kuhn:

The Giants' running game has been much maligned this season, ranking 32nd out of 32 teams. However, when combined, the totals aren't terrible. On the season, the Giants had 1,393 rushing yard, 16 TDs, 3.7 YPC, 565 receiving yards, 3 TDs, 7.6 YPR, and 4 fumbles; they had 1,958 yards from scrimmage and 19 total TDs. However, the Packers dealt the Giants their only loss of the season in which they had 100 yards rushing, yet the Giants have come on strong of late with 100 yards rushing in 5 out of their last 6 games. Of course, the Packers were without 2 starting LBs last game, including AJ Hawk, which could change the game's dynamics, however, the Giants have been running with authority lately, which could also give them the edge. We'll revisit this later.

If Rodgers was included instead of Kuhn, the Packers would have the edge in yardage and YPC. With that said, I feel it is more appropriate to leave Rodgers separate, as Kuhn is a goal line option and Rodgers impact was addressed in the QB rankings. The Pack's totals were: 1,215 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs, 3.7 YPC, 561 receiving yards, 3 receiving TDs, 8.9 YPR, and 3 fumbles; they had 1,776 yards from scrimmage and 10 total TDs.

The Giants were clearly the better rushing team, while the Packers clearly used their backs in a receiving mode more than Giants, reflective in each team's stats. Having said that, I believe that with the Packer's health and the Giants' running game peaking, they must get the edge. Bradshaw has been running terrifically, while Jacobs has rediscovered his old self (side note: contract related?); yet D.J. Ware has perhaps been the biggest surprise as the Giants have really increased his role of late with him responding with some big plays, including the 2 point conversion against the Packers.

Wide Receivers
Nicks/Cruz/Manningham vs. Jennings/Nelson/Jones:

Perhaps the toughest category to judge. I am only judging the top 3 receivers for each team, while tight end will also be done separately. This is also strictly for receptions, not rushing. Both teams stack up favorably to each other, with the Giants taking yardage (3,251 vs. 2,847), average yards per game of the receivers (73.03 vs. 63.87), and 20+ yard catches (46 vs. 43), while the Packers take the scoring (31 TDs vs. 20 TDs) and yards per reception (16.5 vs. 15.93) categories.

Both teams' receivers benefited by having elite quarterbacks throwing to them. However, the Packers' receivers had the disadvantage of being ahead and running the ball often, while the opposite is true of the Giants as they gave up 43 total TDs while scoring 46 total TDs, nearly the same, meaning they were often down and were on offense more than the Packers. The Packers were hurt by Jennings missing games with an injury, while the Giants were hit harder with Nicks and Manningham both missing games. Still, I think the slight edge, an edge the size of a razor blade,
goes to the Giants.

Manningham is more consistent than Jones, when healthy, while Jennings/Nelson and Nicks/Cruz are essentially a wash, with the Giants again getting slight edges. Despite Cruz's season, I believe Nicks to be the most talented receiver in the group, followed by Jennings, Cruz, and Nelson. Nicks gets the edge as at 24, he is the most accomplished in the group statistically in his career, entering the league at 21 and posting 790 and 1,052 yard seasons at ages 21 and 22, respectively. Jennings, meanwhile, entered at 23 and did not have a 1,000 yard season until his third year. Moreover, Nicks seems like he had a quiet year, yet still nearly passed 1,200 yards, falling only 8 yards short and was only 100 yards off Amani Toomer's team record. Cruz is the breakout star of the season, having arguably the second best season behind only Megatron. I see Nelson and Cruz as similar players, both young, having breakout seasons (though Nelson started last year), and both able to break a big play. Meanwhile, Nicks and Jennings are similar, possession type receivers, who still have the ability to break catches as seen by their season longs of 68 and 79, respectively. Note, Nicks' is even longer factoring in the catch against the Falcons. I think I have demonstrated that both teams are insanely talented at WR, with the Giants possessing the thinnest of edges, with Manningham pushing them over the edge.

Tight End
Ballard vs. Finley:

This one also seems closer than it may think. Ultimately, Finley does bring it home for the Pack as he is the more talented player, Ballard has come through for the Giants in a big, big way, stepping up for Boss as Cruz did for Smith. However, Finley has the talent and should be mentioned in the same breath as Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. He has also disappeared in the past few weeks, which has hurt him, showing that the Packers do not need him to win; the Giants also played without Ballard in weeks 16 and 17, showing they could win "must win" games without him as well. With all that factored in, the stats are closer than one would think as Ballard is still somewhat underrated, as only 163 yards separate the two, despite Finley possessing 17 more receptions. Additionally, since having 6 catches for 87 yards, 1 TD, and averaging 14.5 YPC against the Giants, in the last 4 weeks Finley has gone 16 catches for 187 yards, 2 TDs, a 10.44 YPC average, 1 catch over 20 yards, and an average of only 10.88 yards. Also, Ballard is by far the better block, as he was known as a pure blocker coming out as an undrafted free agent from college.Therefore, it seems that in ways Ballard is underrated and Finley overrated.

Still, having said all that, would I still want Finley over Ballard right now, yes. This is especially true when Ballard's injury is factored into the equation, as he is not fast and this injury could prevent him from getting separation from the Packers' athletic linebackers. Ballard was a non-factor last week, catching only 2 passes for 16 yards. Meanwhile, after a two good games sandwiched between a bit of a clunker against the Bears, Finley seems to have regained some form, going for 84 yards in a shoot-out against the Lions. Finley obviously has the bigger big-play potential than Ballard as he has more athletic ability, yet Ballard averaged two yards per catch more than Finley, while Finley had 14 catches over 20 yards to Ballard's 13, proving that technique and route running can overcome some psychical shortcomings. I think that this is closer than some people think as Finley has under-performed, while Ballard has probably over-performed. Still, Finley has the potential to have 4 TD games, which gives him the edge.

Offensive Line
Diehl/Boothe/Baas/Snee/McKenzie vs. Newhouse/Dietrich-Smith/Wells/Sitton/Lang

The Giants, at an average age of 30, have one oldest and most experienced offensive lines in the league compared to the Packers, who have an average starting age of 25.6 years of age, with 3 of the 5 linemen having fewer than 4 years of experience. Also, the Giants 4 of the 5 Giants have practiced and played with each other for years, with Baas being the only newcomer. His missing time has hurt the Giants with continuity this season, however, as he has been healthy lately, the Giants running game has responded.

Neither line is particularly noteworthy with the Giants rushing for 1,427 yards and the Packers 1,558, a difference of only 131 yards. However, the Giants have been by far the better team with the pass rush, as Eli was only sacked 28 times, versus 41 times for Rodgers and the Packers line. This bodes to be a great match-up for the Giants pass rush this weekend, even with a mobile pass rush. Rodgers still has one of the quickest releases in the league, which helps him and his line. Still, despite both teams having poor rushing output and outstanding passing output, the Giants get the edge as they have protected Manning better than the Packers beleaguered line has protected Rodgers.

To summarize:

QB: Rodgers > and 1/2 > (read 1.5 >)Manning
Rodgers is having one of the greatest seasons ever by a quarterback. While Manning could become a HOFer with another Super Bowl ring and continued success similar to this season. In 20 years, we could look back as Rodgers needing to overcome 1 surefire HOFer in Brees if the Saints win and a borderline or HOFer in Eli if the Pack win this weekend.

RB: Bradshaw/Jacobs/Ware>>Starks/Grant/Kuhn
Right now, the Giants are playing as well as any running corps in the league. On the season, they struggled, ranking last among the league, while coming on very strong lately, running with the fire of years past. Even with the down year, combined, they outpaced the Packers corps in both rushing and receiving, totaling nearly 2,000 yards. Meanwhile, neither team had a 1,000 yard rusher, while both did surpass 1,000 yards combined. The Giants have the more talented runners, with Bradshaw being the best in the league in blitz pick-up, a skill he will need to display against a dangerous Packers pass rush.

WR: Nicks/Cruz/Manningham 1/2 > Jennings/Nelson/Jones
The tightest race on offense and likely on defense as well. The Giants get the edge due to Manningham's consistency over James Jones. When healthy, the Giants have a top 5 receiving corp in the league, which I do not imagine has happened at any other time in their history. Meanwhile, Jennings and Nelson pose a very dangerous duo, especially with Rodgers at the helm. Both have a rapport with Rodgers and can help him extend plays by returning to him when he scrambles. If Ross is unable to go, look for the Giants to stick Webster on Jennings, while the Packers try to pick on Amukamara. However, the Giants may use Rolle there on passing downs or use bracket coverage to help Prince against Nelson.

TE: Finley > Ballard
On athletic potential alone, Finley should get the edge over Ballard. However, when stats are considered, the discrepancy is barely noticeable. Finley would appear to be the "big play" threat with his athleticism, however, Ballard actually had one less reception of 20 or more yards, while averaging 2 yards more per catch than Finley. However, Finley's athleticism does create mismatches, which can be exploited, especially in the red zone (he has double the number of Ballard's touchdowns), whereas Ballard relies on route running, precision, and timing to create separation. Ballard is also the better blocker, however, in a down year for the Giants' running game this might not mean as much, while Bear Pascoe is also the better blocker and the Giants run to his side more. Despite being overrated to Ballard's underrated, as Finley should be comparable to Jimmy Graham and Gronkowski, Finley still gets the edge for his athletic ability, ability to cause mismatches for himself and creating them for others, and ability to connect with Rodgers in the redzone.

Giants' Offensive Line>Packers' Offensive Line:
Both teams were poor in rushing with the Packers ranking 27 out of 32 in the run and the Giants 32 out of 32 with only 131 yards separating them. However, the Giants line has been very stable since Baas' return and Diehl sliding over to LT again, which has allowed the Giants to rack up 100 yards rushing in 5 out of 6 games. The Giants are also protecting Manning better than the Packers and Rodgers with 28 sacks compared to 41, respectively. Therefore, right now, like in many aspects the Giants are playing their best football of the year and it should continue against a struggling Packers' defense, which not without talent, though often playing with a lead, inflating their stats negatively.


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Good analysis Hilltop. I will try to do it with less words :)

The key to the Giants success is no secret...they have to put pressure on Rodgers to throw him off. It's very simple, if the Giants don't get consistent pressure then there is nothing worth discussing. The most basic element of football, tackling, is going to be huge for them as well. I doubt the Packers are going to line up and run it too often, however they will probably throw a lot of short passes, which in effect will act as runs. Another key will be getting the push up the middle. If they don't get that, Rodgers will just step up/escape the pocket and he is really dangerous when he does that. He is also a threat to run himself.

On offense I believe the Giants will be fine. There are plays to be made on the Packers defense and I believe the Giants will have their fair share. Hopefully they can avoid a lull which they sometimes have during a game. Also, I hope the shotgun draw play works!! Giants usually run that at least 3 times a game it seems. They have done that on their last two 2-point conversions. That's definitely one of Gilbride's/Coughlin's favorite plays. Giants can't afford to have Cobb have a big day on ST. Containing the offense will be hard enough. Can't give them good field position. Honestly for the Giants I just hope they hold onto the ball on ST, especially Blackmon.


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:07 pm 
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Hats off to the Giants.

They completely took it to the Packers. Not even close

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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:28 pm 
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Great win by the Giants


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:47 pm 
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I've been saying this since the Giants beat the Cowboys in week 17. This team was playing with a run and pass rush and most importantly, swagger they did not have for years. I said they would make it to NFC Conference game, which they have. However, now that they have made it this far I expect them to win.


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:36 am 
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So proud of this team. I don't want to say anything beyond this is gravy (because for some reason I really want to beat Harbaugh and Alex Smith) as I really think this team has figured it out. The Niners game could easily be the biggest test even more than the Pats or the Ravens (who were not that impressive against the Texans at all). They are physical and they have honey badger vibes (look it up).

On the game note, Bill Leavy should never officiate a game ever again.


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:06 am 
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That personal foul on the QB hit was absurd. Flat out, indisputably bad call.

Kudos to Troy Aikman for calling it a bad call. Buck was driving me crazy with his beating around the bush on the call.

Every reference to the penalty should have had "controversial" attached as a modifier, at the very least.

Instead, Buck, most of the time he mentioned the penalty keeping the drive alive, gave the impression the Giants had done something wrong (which they didn't)

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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:34 am 
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Great game. Giants flat out BEAT DOWN the Packers in every phase of the game.

Packers were GIFTED 14 points by the refs. The blow to the head call ended up getting Canty hurt! The game would have been over. Terrible officiating.

Tremendous effort by the Giants. The secondary and linebackers really stepped up and played a huge game.

Eli Manning >>> Tony Romo, just for the record.


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:02 pm 
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I usually don't like to complain about the officials because I believe the bad calls even out for your team. However, I don't understand how Leavy missed that fumble. You have replay and you still can't get it right? It was not even a judgment call like a holding, PI, roughing the passer. I love how Pereira tried to say it was a judgment call to try and stick up for Leavy. It was not, Mike! It was black and white. Leavy was also the ref for the controversial Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl.

Anyway, great win. Next week is going to be a tough game. On paper the 49ers don't exactly scare you, however Harbaugh has done a great job with them. It seems like Canty is fine. Canty, Joseph, and Bernard must play big against SF.


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Pereira (who still is in bed with the officials) admitted to at least two instances. He thought the Osi roughing the passer was BS and another instance (maybe Ware's spot) but it happened on Twitter and post-game.

I think it says a lot about Joe Buck that he finds it easier to talk about Joe Philbin's situation over just calling a spade for spade on the officiating. Even the NFL Network basically were calling out everything from the Ware spot, to Osi, to Jennings, and a few other things.

I felt like Troy (who I seem to be in the minority of Giants fans who really likes him as an announcer) spoke for a lot of former players, many of whom took to the social media to complain about the officiating.

I still can't believe Leavy after SB XL is still even officiating. I demand Ed Hochuli!


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 Post subject: Re: Giants IST
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:47 pm 
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Prospectus wrote:
Pereira (who still is in bed with the officials) admitted to at least two instances. He thought the Osi roughing the passer was BS and another instance (maybe Ware's spot) but it happened on Twitter and post-game.

I think it says a lot about Joe Buck that he finds it easier to talk about Joe Philbin's situation over just calling a spade for spade on the officiating. Even the NFL Network basically were calling out everything from the Ware spot, to Osi, to Jennings, and a few other things.

I felt like Troy (who I seem to be in the minority of Giants fans who really likes him as an announcer) spoke for a lot of former players, many of whom took to the social media to complain about the officiating.

I still can't believe Leavy after SB XL is still even officiating. I demand Ed Hochuli!


I like him as well. Honestly, none of the announcers really annoy me. I find it so stupid when Giants fans or any fans for that matter criticize the announcers and say they have a "bias" against their team. These guy are paid to analyze the games. If your team has a bad play/game, are they supposed to say your team is the best. When the Giants secondary was getting torched earlier in the year are the analysts supposed to say they are great? I'm sorry, Giants fans who criticize Aikman are only doing it because he was a Cowboy.


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