Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NFL reinstates DT Jimmy Kennedy

After a 4 week ban for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs, Jimmy Kennedy has been reinstated. The Giants would need to make room for Kennedy on the 53 man roster if they wanted to play Kennedy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Giants Vs 49ers week 9.

The Giants Offensive line moved the pile vs the Pats last week. On all but one running play Jacobs got positive yardage. Look at the Matchup of Justin Smith and David Diehl on passing downs. If the Giants are running effectively the run fake might help out Diehl in pass protection.

Alex Smith has a 60% accuracy percent when hes under pressure, expect the Giants Dee linemen to make it understood that Smith will see lots of pressure. I think the pressure on Smith will yield 2 picks and a number of batted balls.

The 49ers have one of the best running backs in the league in Frank Gore. Expect the Giants to play LB Greg Jones in running downs, check out Jones to see how he does, if he makes run reads and fills the gap Gore may have trouble making long runs. Deon Grant will be used as a hybrid Linebacker/Safety, playing close to the line of scrimmage. Grant is capable vs the run. Look to see Jones, Grant and Michael Boley to make timely run stops. This might tip the balance towards the Giants run Dee in containing Frank Gore.

Ramses Barden made 2 nice catches last week and was open 3 other times. Coach Coughlin praised Barden during the week and I think we can expect to Barden to be targeted more often. Nicks and Manningham look to be game day decisions.

The 49ers are very good in the redzone, the Giants need to force field goals, and I think the 49ers will settle for 2 or 3 field goals to add to 1 or 2 touchdowns.

If the Giants expose Alex Smith and can slow down Gore I see the potential for a solid win by the Giants: 31-20 or 24-16.

Alex Smith is no Giant Killer

49ers quarterback Alex Smith has been a beneficiary to Coach Harbaugh's modified hot route scheme. A 1st round 2005 draft pick, Smith has spent 5 years as a borderline flop. But half way thru the 2011 season, Smith has a QB ranking of 106 in the 4th quarter, 4th in the league, he has the lowest percent of batted balls and picks. Bolstered by one of the best running games in the league Alex Smith has led the 49ers to a 7-1 record.

What Coach Harbaugh has done is to simplify the hot reads. Normally a receiver and a quarterback needs to learn 2 routes, the regular route and the hot read route, this requires recognizing the blitz and altering the route. What the 49ers receivers do is to run a route, say a 15 yard out, and during the route the receiver at say the 6 yard mark, turns to the QB to see if he has thrown the ball because of the blitz.

Alex Smith didn't suddenly get better this year, but instead he's running an offense that suits his skills. The question is whether the Giants can expose Smith's fundamental weakness thru their pass rush and coverage.

Heres  great article by Chris Brown explaining this in detail.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Final predictions Giants vs Patriots.

The Giants pass rush will of course be key. Another important key will be to attack the heart of the Pats 3-4 defense, the Linebackers. Using a one back 2 TE set and Barden - throwing passes into the Pats Linebacking corp, will make the Pats LB's think pass. Then Running Jacobs from that same passing formation, with Barden and the receivers blocking might unleash the Giants running game. Eli throwing the occasional deep strike to Cruz & Manningham will then keep the Pats Defense off balance. If we run vs the Pats defense, I'm thinking 150 yards team rushing.

If the Giants can make the Pats LB's hesitate in filling run gaps, we'll be running. Then the run fake has meaning. Belicheck knows this and will preach maintaining run responsibility with his linebackers.

I'll be happy if Barden has 5 catches for 65 yards and converts 2 catches on 3rd down. I'm looking for a break out game for Manningham, regaining his big play form of last year, he stopped the juggling act and last week made nice clean catches except for one drop. Mario gains 120 yards and at least one TD.

The Pats suffer from declining points totals all season, in their first game they scored 38, its been downhill, last week they scored 17 pts. In the last 2 weeks the Pats have scored an average of 18.5 pts per game.

I'm thinking Amukamara sees time in the nickel, gets a batted ball, with Ross and Webster I like our corners vs the Pats receivers.

We get pressure without blitzing, the Pats cant, they bring a LB in 3 pt stance and Andre Cater in passing downs. Carter in the game means the opportunity to run, let Carter rush on the perimeter, past the run play.

Past will not cover the pts (9). If we run the ball, we win big, 31-17., if not a close game with ELi playing in the 4th quarter as a #1 ranked QB... we win the close game on Eli's arm, 20-17. Pats will not blow us out, we may blow them out. If the Pats lead us on takeaways, they win 24-21.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Amukamara and Barden are on Active Roster

I checked the Giants roster at Giants.com/roster, and sure enough Prince Amukamara and Ramses Barden are on the active roster for the Patriots game.

I don't think the Giants want to expose Amukamara to too much Brady, he might see a limited role in the nickel. I'll predict that Prince tips a ball... to Cory Webster.

I'm going out on a limb and guess that we'll see a 2 TE set, Pascoe and Ballard will both see some balls. With Barden in the slot I'll be happy if he catches 5 for 65 yards. Net effect of 3 big receivers catching balls vs linebackers, the LB's start thinking pass, then you run Jacobs from a passing formation.

Great news for the Giants, I think they have a much better chance of beating the Pats. If Jacobs gets on track, Prince gets his feet wet, Barden makes the LB's think pass,  we might see a 31-17 win by the Giants.

Giants scheme to run on the Pats

If you haven't heard by now Ramses Barden is on the active roster for the Patriots game. In a strange way Barden might help the run game. It goes like this: Barden, Pascoe and Ballard get sent across the middle early. This makes the Pats LB's think too much about coverage and they cheat on the pass, and in a 3-4 dee the LB's are the heart of the defense. If we can get the Pats LB's thinking pass, they are less likely to load the box or make quick run reds and fill the gaps, and without 8 or 9 in the box -then we run Jacobs from passing a formation.

As soon as the Pats go back to loading the box, we throw over the top.
Remember how the Pats 2 TE set causes problems for teams, in the same way we need to cause the same problem.
Our O line is not good enough to run block with 9 in the box, Coach has to figure a way to lure the Pats LB's into thinking coverage, making the Pats LB's think pass first can make then hesitate in run reads. If Jacobs gets into the gaps before the linebackers fill the gaps, they are yielding 5 yard runs.
If all of this happens, its off to the races for the Giants, with an effective run game the run fake will allow Eli to throw by design, not for desperation. The Pats Dee will be guessing run or pass all game and we'll win it running away.

Giants need to set the tone on the first drive.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hakeem Nicks likely out, Ramses Barden in?

Hakeem Nicks has not practiced this week and Ramses Brarden has been practicing as if the Coaches know Barden will play. Barden said he didn't know if he was traveling to New England, Barden said he would pack a bag just in case (as reported by the Star Ledger).

Kevin Gilbride made an interesting comment as reported by Mike Vorkunov:

“We’ve all been hanging on for Ramses to come back,” he said Thursday. “He and (Jerrel Jernigan), now are their chances, they’re going to be here.”

Did Jerrel Jernigan make some plays in practice that would cause Gilbride to make this comment?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Evaluating the Patriots defense.

Albert Haynesworth has 3 tackles and no sacks. Gerald Warren has 5 tackles and no sacks. Vince Wilfork anchors the line at the nose tackle position with 19 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Wilfork at 6'2" and 325 pounds is a force at the nose.

Are these the guys that are supposed to stop the Giants run blockers? While the rest of the Patriots run down field to cover Ballard, Cruz and Manningham. And I'm assuming Barden will play?

Giants are +5 in turnovers, 6th in the league. Pats are +2, 12th in the league.
Giants score 29.4 points a game for 10th place, Pats score 28.9 points, placing 5th. But have scored 37 points in the last 2 games (18.5 average). And the Patriots scoring has been declining all season.

Meanwhile the Pats Defense allows the most yards in the league, and is 30th in 1st downs allowed, but is more resilient in the red zone allowing the 17th least points.
Pats     32nd yds, 30th 1st Dwns, 17th points.
Giants 16th yds,  17th 1st Dwns, 21st points.

Defensively Bill Belicheck is going to have to choose his poison, either cover the Giants receivers, or blitz Eli Manning.

Giants vs Pats week 8: Tom Brady, whats in your wallet?

I more than like the Gmens chances on Sunday. In fact I think the Pats cant blow us out, and we can blow them out. I think Vegas is gong to lose money on the 8 points they're giving, heres why:


I like our passing game vs the Pats passing defense. The Pats will be undermanned trying to cover our receivers if Coach brings in Barden to play. The Pats are near last against the pass, with Ballard and maybe Barden out of the slot, the Pats will be hard pressed to cover these 2, and with Cruz and Manningham going deep the Pats will have a choice, get beat over the middle or get beat deep.
I expect Billichek to keep 9 in the box on the Giants, but he has 2 choices,  1) Attack the Giants strength, the passing game with nickel and dime packages, which takes the risk of unleashing the Giants running game, or 2) leave 9 in the box to stop the run like everyone else has, except we know that the O Line pass protects real good, so Eli has lots of time to throw the deep strike.
I'm dreaming about a 4 receiver set,  Nicks, Barden, Cruz and Manningham , the Pats would have to pick their poison. But I doubt we'll see that.

I like Ross and Webster, and if Amukamara plays, our nickel might become what Perry Fewell dreams the 4-2-5 should be about, pressure on the quarterback and  bend but dont break secondary. The Pats have no true deep threat, with Amukamara, Ross, Webster on the field, with Phillips and Rolle over the top, those match ups are in our favor and the 4-2-5 comes alive. The longer developing plays for deep throws means the Pats pass protection has to give Brady time, I dont see that happening reliably.

Both teams are going to try and get pressure on the quarterback,  the Giants defensive line is better than the Pats O Line, and the Giants O Line knows how to pass protect. The Pats haven't been the scoring juggernaut during the 2 previous games as they have been earlier in the season. Long gone are the days of 450 yards passing. Does Dallas and Pittsburgh have really great defenses? Well, not really. Or is the Pats Offense off kilter?

I'm assuming Hicks and Bradshaw will not play, and the Prince and Barden will play, if so I like the Giants chances very much. If Brandon Jacobs delivers as promised that only is more bad news for the Patriots. Without the Prince, Antrell Rolle will continue as the nickel back and he has not worked with Aaron Ross well in that regard. Rolle is a fine safety and the Giants will do well to play the Prince as the nickel back.

If the personal moves work out for the good, we win by 10 or 14 points, If not, I dont see the Giants doing anything worse than losing by 3 points. I don't see the Pats covering 8 points, no way.

Bradshaw has broken bone in foot

Mike Garafolo is reporting that Ahmad Bradsaw will be out indefinitely with a cracked bone in his foot. Bradshaw has previously had surgery to insert screws in his foot and may require surgery again.

3rd string RB D.J. Ware can pass protect, and is a good runner, but lacks the explosiveness that rookie Da'Rel Scott has with his 4.35 speed, but Scott has possibly not learned the ins and outs of pass protection, due in part to the shortened camp/preseason.

This week Brandon Jacobs has professed - I'll show you- when it comes to his production vs the Pats.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Prince Amukamara had 2 tipped balls last week in practice, will he play Sunday?

In my gut I think Prince Amukamara will play Sunday against the Patriots. With the injury to Justin Tryon, the pressure to have Prince play is greater. Even with the Prince on the field the Giants will only have 3 legit corners, and cant play a legit dime, though the Giants will be able to play a legit nickel package. Most teams we face carry 5 or 6 corners on the roster, and our thinness at the position is extremely concerning.

Perry Fewell has been playing safeties in place of corners, sometimes Deon Grant will play down low, or Antrel Rolle will play corner on a slot receiver. Having Justin Tryon on the field meant Perry Fewell could have 3 legit corners line up with 2 or 3 safeties over the top in nickel and dime packages, and he could throw some different coverages out there to try and confuse the offense, and keeping the quarterback guessing as to weather he'll be throwing into man or zone coverages. This issue is part of the reason the Giants secondary has given up some big plays. On the other hand the secondary has shown that second half of the last 2 games.

I think we will see Prince Amukamara plat against slot receivers, especially in Nickel and dime situations. Coach Fewell likes that 4-2-5 alignment, and the Prince being on the field means Fewell can have his 4-2-5 and it can be effective.

Antrel Rolle : “I think our schedule needs to worry about us.”

Ny Giants,Antrel Rolle

Mike Garafolo of the Star Ledger had a blog post today remarking on a new attitude in the Giants locker room. Antrel Rolle, noted for an occasional controversial quote seems to keeping it close the vest when it comes to the Patriots.

“I don’t worry about our schedule,” he said. “I think our schedule needs to worry about us.”
Mike Garafolo later comments about the new atitude:

There are a lot of times Rolle talks and I roll my eyes. Today was different. This was an impressive session with reporters from a confidence standpoint. 

Antrel continues on about Wes Welker:

“He’s a great receiver, you don’t take anything from him, but he’s human at the end of the day,” Rolle said. “The game has to be played on Sunday and I’ll answer more questions after the game.”

Antrel on the Steelers beating the Patriots last Sunday:

“They played ball, man. They didn’t do anything spectacular,” Rolle said. “They weren’t double-teaming, they weren’t doing anything. They just lined up and they kicked their (butt). Bottom line.” 

One thing for sure, the Giants secondary is going to have to be near perfect against the Patriots on Sunday. And with Justin Tryon being in IR, the pressure for Coach Coughlin to play the Prince will be great.

I tweeted to Patricia Traina:

Gut feeling, Barden yup. Tryon's loss=pressure to play Prince. Dont have enuf corners to play dime

She responded:
 I agree
Mike Garafolo tweeted

I'm telling you, Antrel Rolle feels disrespected: "I don’t worry about our schedule; I think our schedule needs to worry about us."