Nov 302009
 

Eli Manning Suffering from Stress Reaction in His Foot: According to ESPN, QB Eli Manning is suffering from a stress reaction his right foot. A stress reaction can be a precursor to a stress fracture. The injury apparently occurred due to Eli compensating for his plantar fasciitis injury in the same foot.

According to ESPN, the Giants are “aggressively” treating the stress reaction by trying too keep Eli off his feet as much as possible, having him wear special shoes, and using a bone stimulator.

If the injury worsens into a stress fracture, Eli’s season may be over.

Articles on the 2009 New York Giants:

Nov 272009
 

Giants Fall to Broncos, 26-6: The New York Giants were dominated by the Denver Broncos 26-6 at Invesco Field earlier tonight. The Giants fell to 6-5, two games behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, with five games remaining in the regular season. The Giants and Cowboys face each in 10 days at the Meadowlands.

The game never was close. The Giants trailed 16-0 at halftime, scored two field goals in the third quarter, before Denver tacked on another 10 points in the 4th quarter.

The Broncos out-gained the Giants in first downs (23 to 15), time of possession (35:30 to 24:30), total net yards (373 to 267), net yards rushing (138 to 57), and net yards passing (235 to 210). Many of those passing yards by the Giants came in garbage time. The Giants turned the football over three times, including one interception and one fumble by QB Eli Manning and another fumble by HB DJ (nee Danny) Ware.

The Giants also came out of the game banged up with injuries to WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), DJ Ware (concussion), and S Michael Johnson (groin).

Lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle/ankle/foot), WR Ramses Barden, WR Sinorice Moss, OC Adam Koets, OT Guy Whimper, LB Antonio Pierce (neck), CB Kevin Dockey, and CB D.J. Johnson.

Nov 262009
 

November 25, 2009 New York Giants Injury Report: HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle/ankle/foot) and MLB Antonio Pierce (neck) have officially been ruled out of tonight’s game against the Denver Broncos.

Pierce was in Los Angeles yesterday to receive a second medical opinion on the bulging disc in his neck.

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Article on Plaxico Burress and the Giants: A Year Later, Giants Still Trying To Recover From Plaxico Burress’ Shot Heard Round NFL World by Gary Myers of The Daily News

Article on the Giants and Thanksgiving Football: Instead Of Watching TV, Giants Will Be On TV by Joe LaPointe of The New York Times

Nov 252009
 
New York Giants 34 (6-4)  – Atlanta Falcons 31 (5-5) (OT)

by The Hack for BigBlueInteractive.com

Game Summary: After five long weeks, the New York Giants finally got a tally on the left side of the ledger this week as they relied on a strong performance by QB Eli Manning to defeat the Falcons. This game had Wild Card implications as the winner would separate themselves from the loser and also gain a tiebreaker that may come into play. The Giants now have the Falcons in their rear view mirror and can focus on the NFC East again.

It wasn’t the prettiest game the Giants have ever played, and the defense once again wilted late and allowed the Falcons to tie the game with seconds left. Not to be denied, Eli Manning hoisted the team on his shoulders in overtime and bailed out the defense with the final game winning drive.

The game turned into a shootout in the second half after both teams traded mistakes and missed opportunities in the first half before the Giants defense created a turnover that they quickly converted into 7 points just before the half expired.

The way the defense was playing, it appeared that 17 points at half might actually be enough to win the game, as the Giants front four did a very respectable job of getting pressure on Matt Ryan early on. The Giants did allow FB Jason Snelling to run effectively at times, and were caught several times out of their gaps straight up the middle of the field.

At any rate, the Giants remain within striking distance of first place in the NFC East, and if they win their next three games (at DEN, DAL, PHI) they will retake the lead regardless of what the Eagles or Cowboys do during that span. So it’s all out there ahead of them for theirs to take. The question is will the Giants be able to get this defense straightened out, find their lost running game, and return to the disciplined team that doesn’t commit turnovers and penalties in time to do so?

It will be an interesting three weeks, beginning Thanksgiving night in Denver.

Tale O’ The Tape: Statistically, the Giants dominated the Falcons in the first half and with the way they were playing it seemed that they were on their way to a blow out win. The Giants running game did not produce gaudy numbers in the first half, but it was effective. Interestingly, after hearing in the bye week how they were going to return to “Giants Football” and establish the running game they only ran 13 times and dropped back to pass on 24 occasions in the half.

The Falcons were held to just 97 total yards in the half, and the Giants successfully got off the field on third down six out of seven times, though they did allow one fourth down conversion. The Giants forced three three-and-outs (including one recovered fumble) in the first half, but did allow two drives that went for nine and 11 plays.

The second half was a different story, however, as Atlanta scored on all four drives they had in the half: drives of 8, 18, 12, and 12 plays respectively, rolling up better than 19 minutes time of possession. The Giants simply had no answer on defense in the second half, as Atlanta converted eight of ten third downs and another fourth down.  The Giants defense also helped the Atlanta cause by allowing four first downs by penalty, and would have given them two more first downs on penalties but Atlanta made the necessary yardage and declined them.

Thankfully, Eli Manning was up to the task and were able to muster two scoring drives of their own early in the half, but couldn’t effectively run clock late in the fourth quarter while leading by 14 and then 7 points. The Giants ran just 22 second half plays to Atlanta’s 50. When the defense desperately needed a rest following a 12 play Atlanta drive, the Giants ran just five plays and 2:19 off the clock before punting back to the Falcons who then mounted the game-tying drive.

Offense: The Giants offense, especially the passing game, looked crisp and in sync for most of the day. The balance between the running and passing game wasn’t there this week. The Giants ran 26 times and dropped back to pass 40. Granted, Brandon Jacobs was dinged up and missed the 4th quarter. Still, with a ten point lead and then a 14 point lead in the second half, they only rushed the ball 13 times. It seems that with a lead like that, you’d try to establish the running game and continue to build up that time of possession edge and wear out the defense.

A case could be made that the Giants were taking what the Falcons defense was giving (and their defensive backfield was in a VERY giving mood, apparently) and decided to throw more often than usual in the given situation.

At any rate, other than squandering a strong opening drive when David Diehl blew his block, causing Manning to get blasted on a play in which he fumbled for a huge loss, and then followed two plays later by an inexplicable interception thrown by Eli, the Giants offense moved the ball effectively.  The offense was also victimized by another short field goal miss following another successful drive early in the second quarter.

The Quarterbacks: Eli Manning had another solid afternoon, continuing his resurgence after a few bad weeks in a row. Eli finished the day with 25 completions on 39 attempts for a career-high 384 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Eli’s QBR for the day stood at 111.5, his sixth time recording a QBR over 100 this season.

Currently, Eli is ranked 11th in the league with a 92.5 QBR. If not for the three woeful games against New Orleans, Arizona and Philly it would be hard to keep Eli out of any conversation concerning league MVP.

Manning made several pinpoint throws, especially deep, and all three of his touchdown passes were perfectly placed and well timed. Every time the Giants needed a big play, Eli responded. When Atlanta cut the deficit to 7 points early in the third quarter, Manning hit Steve Smith for 51 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive to keep the momentum with the Giants. In overtime, his perfectly placed back shoulder throw to Mario Manningham put the Giants in position to hit the game winning field goal.

As was mentioned on BBI, the only curious decision Eli made on the day was to throw a 14-yard pass into double coverage when he needed more than 22 yards to gain the first down. The resulting interception did not come back to haunt the Giants, but that’s a throw that just shouldn’t be made.

The Running Backs: Although the Giants appeared to set in motion a game plan to exploit the horrid Atlanta pass defense, they did run the ball effectively, if not with big results. The Giants went to Jacobs early and often, feeding him nine times for 33 yards in the first half. Jacobs ended up with 12 carries through the 3rd quarter, but sustained another knee injury on the last play of the 3rd and didn’t return. On the day, he had 12 carries for 39 yards and 1 touchdown. Jacobs also caught two passes for 13 yards.

Where Jacobs was at least effective, Bradshaw once again struggled for most of the day gaining only 34 yards on 12 carries. Danny Ware had a critical 12 yard run off a botched shotgun snap that set up the Giants’ final touchdown.

Danny Ware must have gone to the Tiki Barber School of Blitz Pick Up and graduated with a 4.0 average. With Bradshaw now hurting with his other ankle, it will be interesting to see how much of the slack that Ware picks up on Thursday. There’s no doubt he can be trusted on third down.

The problem with the running game started up front. First, the Giants continue to try to run from the 22 formation (offset I, two TE, 1 WR inside the numbers). By my count, the Giants were in this formation 9 times and gained 8 yards rushing on 8 running plays. The one time they went play action out of this formation, Eli found Boss for 26 yards and a first down. It just doesn’t stand to reason that the Giants continue to shrink the field and clog the middle with this formation. The backs have little room to maneuver and are stopped behind or near the line on nearly every play.

Secondly, the Giants TEs were hit and miss in the blocking game. Out of motion, Darcy Johnson drifts to the FB position but then can’t seem to get off the ball and make a sustained block. Both Johnson and Boss missed blocks on the ends on several running plays and a couple of passing plays.

Madison Hedgecock did have a touchdown reception, but his blocking is also suspect. Keying on him for most of the game, it’s apparent that even when he got to the second level, it was hit or miss on whether he was going to make or sustain a block. When he did, the Giants got positive yards. When he didn’t, the backs were hit in the hole or behind the line. For some reason, continuity seems to be an issue between the line and the TEs and FB. On more than a few plays, the line executed their portion but the edge or lead block just wasn’t there from the TE’s or FB. It appeared that the Giants just missed on at least five running plays going for big, big yardage.

The Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: It’s being bandied about  in The Corner Forum and it appears safe to say that as a whole, this really is the best receiving corps, top to bottom, the Giants have ever had. Shockey and Bavaro in their prime may have been better than Kevin Boss, and Plaxico Burress is clearly the best most of us have ever seen in a Big Blue jersey, but never have they had the quality at all four receiving positions that they now employ. Barring injury, the youth of this group portends a future of greatness if they continue to progress on the path they’ve begun.

Mario Manningham is the most improved of the bunch since the beginning of the season, and he’s becoming as dangerous as Steve Smith now. Manningham had several clutch catches amongst his six for 126 yards. Smith managed four grabs for 79 yards and Hakeem Nicks caught five for 65 yards. It is quite clear that Domenik Hixon has fallen to fourth on the depth chart, and that’s quite a story when you consider he started out the season as the #1 receiver.

It’s apparent that the Giants spent some time during the bye to identify how to become more effective in the green zone, and hinted that WR Ramses Barden might be in line for some opportunities. Instead, it appears that the braintrust had a “Eureka!” moment, realizing that they have a six foot six inch monster who goes into traffic, can take a punch from Mike Tyson if need be, and rarely drops the ball, on their roster. Giants green zone problems, meet Kevin Boss. Boss was targeted five times either deep in the green zone or end zone and came away with two touchdowns. He finished the day with 5 catches (targeted 8 times) for 76 total yards.

The Offensive Line: The offensive line, by and large, did a great job protecting Eli and giving him a clean pocket to move around in. David Diehl did let up a pretty easy sack, allowing the defensive end a free run to the inside to hit Manning and dislodge the ball. Jacobs was unable to help on the play because as Diehl tried to recover, he got in Jacobs way and walled him off the play. Later, Diehl “lost his shoe” and left the game, only to come back with a heavily taped “shoe.” On the very next play, he was bull-rushed flat on his back on the play where Eli found Boss in the seam to the 3-yard line prior to the Hedgecock touchdown. One has to wonder if “lost shoe” is really a “sprained ankle or foot.” It bears watching this Thursday.

As mentioned above, the line did an adequate job of opening holes for the backs but they did have trouble getting to the second level and clearing out the second wave. Snee in particular seemed to struggle there.

The Defense: Three things stood out about the defense on Sunday. First, in the first half, the Giants got sustained pressure on Ryan with just four down linemen, allowing the backfield to do its job and cover. The Giants gave up just 45 yards passing and 97 yards total in the first half. Although the Giants did blitz on occasion, it wasn’t really necessary and Blackburn (the chief blitzer) and Michael Boley didn’t get home much (Boley did on the sack that set up the Giants’ second touchdown).  The run defense was adequate, but allowing a back to run basically untouched through the A gap for a 7-yard touchdown was inexcusable. On the play Atlanta was in a 22 package with only one player outside the hashmark but inside the numbers. Before the snap, Michael Johnson left his safety spot and lined up on the left side of the line behind Tuck. On the snap, Tuck bites hard on what he thought was a play action fake and left his contain to chase Ryan, taking himself out of the play. Michael Johnson was stoned and pushed back by the fullback. Blackburn and Boley were engaged and taken out of the play by linemen getting to the second level. Neither defensive lineman got near the play, and Rouse tripped over Blackburn and couldn’t get to Snelling. The last hope, Danny Clark, over-pursued to the right where the TE simply rode him further away from Snelling, who waltzed into the end zone. Other than that play, the team played sound defense for the half, further evidenced by the fact that they held Atlanta to just one 3rd down conversion in six chances.

Secondly, the Giants did not change much up in the second half. The interior of the line clearly got worn down and despite good edge pressure from the ends, there was no push to collapse the pocket and Ryan simply stepped up and made his throws. By my count, the Giants blitzed in one form or another on six plays in the first half and four of them were effective. In the second half, however, when the interior of the line stopped getting pressure, the Giants upped the ante and blitzed 18 times, but only 8 were effective including the near interception by Justin Tuck and the play where they just managed to take down Snelling on a draw. Three times on blitzes, the Giants ended up offsides but only one was accepted.

Thirdly, though they lost the time of possession battle for only the second time this season by a scant minute or so (though they were on the field for 19 minutes in the second half) and coming off a bye week, the Giants defense seemed gassed at times. That was unexpected. The Giants defense also continues to take penalty after penalty. Two more personal fouls were called as well as defensive holding and four offsides penalties.

The Front Seven: The guys up front were hit or miss all day. Both Tuck and Chris Canty were fooled badly into believing Matt Ryan hadn’t handed the ball off and took themselves out of the play and chased him instead. On the other hand, Tuck had four tackles, a forced fumble, a pass defensed, a sack, and another QB hit. Barry Cofield had a good day registering pressure early,  but got gassed late and provided little if any interior pressure in the fourth quarter. Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka registered QB hits, but did little in support of the run game. Fred Robbins was nearly invisible the entire game, along with Rocky Bernard, who is providing very little after coming in as a free agent this season.

Chase Blackburn is a gamer, plain and simply. How can anyone not like this classic overachiever? He did an adequate job filling in for injured Antonio Pierce, but too many times he was ridden out of plays or took bad angles or gaps that resulted in big gains in both the running and passing games. On three plays on the last two drives by Atlanta, Blackburn chipped on Gonzalez who was still able to get out into his pattern and make a catch. Blackburn simply wasn’t aggressive enough.

As for Danny Clark, it’s a puzzlement as to why he’s on the field. He is never in a play unless it’s because it’s being run over him. He cannot blitz. He was sent on at least 10 blitzes on Sunday and did not even register a QB hit, let alone a sack or half a sack. The plan to ease Sintim into the game seems to evaporated with the Pierce injury.

Michael Boley was all over the field on Sunday. That’s not to say he was absolved from all the bad things that happened as Gonzalez, who had only three catches into the 4th quarter, abused him late for a number of huge catches. Gonzo caught 5 passes down the stretch, including the game-tying touchdown. To be fair, Boley didn’t have a lot of help from the safeties and, as mentioned, Blackburn gave him free release into the patterns too often. By the end of the game, Boley had 13 tackles, a sack, two QB hits and two plays in which he stopped the back behind the line of scrimmage.  For his efforts, Boley was named the “NFC Defensive Player of the Week.”

The Secondary: After his rough game against San Diego, CB/Nickel Back Kevin Dockery was a healthy scratch and CB Aaron Ross was activated. Overall, the secondary played a solid game. Corey Webster shut down WR Roddy White and safety Aaron Rouse played well both in coverage and run support.

Aaron Ross got time at CB and safety, but rust was evident. He made no glaring mistakes but made no big plays either. Terrell Thomas had an up and down day against WR Michael Jenkins, but mostly up. The two whipping boy this week are Michael Johnson, who continues to be nowhere near the play most of the time in coverage, consistently guesses wrong when he does have a chance to make a play, and is horrible on blitzes and run support, and Bruce Johnson, who was absolutely abused all fourth quarter by WR Michael Jenkins.

Bruce Johnson is an undrafted rookie who’s learning on the job and for the most part has held his own. He needs time and the benefit of the doubt. Not so with Michael Johnson. At this moment, he’s as much a liability on the field as C.C. Brown was. It’s amazing how so many people had this guy picked for making a big step up this year and how wrong we all were.

Special Teams: Lawrence Tynes hit the game-winning 39-yard field goal in overtime. That’s about the only thing good that can be said for the struggling kicker. The average starting field position after Tynes kicked off was the Atlanta 33-yard line. It wasn’t the coverage, either, as four of Tynes’ kickoffs LANDED between the 20 and 30 yard line. Unacceptable, period.

Feagles did a good job punting, coverages were adequate, and the return team is getting better and is certainly acceptable with Hixon returning kicks again.

Coaching: Much debate is ongoing in The Corner Forum regarding Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan and whether he’s in over his head. It appears he cannot get the communication issues that have been plaguing this teams since week one fixed. Everyone knows how loyal Head Coach Tom Coughlin is to his people, so don’t expect any changes soon. Sheridan is who they have, like it or not.

Offensive Player of the Game: Eli Manning. For the second week in a row, Eli put the team on his back and was allowed to get the Giants the win this time despite the wilting defense.

Defensive Player of the Game: Michael Boley. Hopefully his impassioned and effective play will inspire some others around him to raise their games.

(Box Score – Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants, November 22, 2009)
Nov 252009
 

11/25/2009

By Eric from BigBlueInteractive.com

Approach to the Game – New York Giants at Denver Broncos, November 26, 2009: If the Giants were to lose one of their remaining six games, this is the one you would pick, given the fact that it is against their final AFC opponent in the regular season.  But in terms of momentum, winning two in a row and improving your record to 7-4 is vastly preferable to losing five of your last six and falling to 6-5.  This is a big game.  The Giants have a nice little break after this game to get ready for everyone in the division.  Find a way to win this game, and then focus on the monster games coming up.

Giants on Defense: For the last two weeks, the Giants’ defense has been VASTLY improved EXCEPT for late in the fourth quarter.  And what is still killing them is their PATHETIC red-zone defense.  Do you realize that the Giants are actually the #2 ranked defense in the NFL in terms of yards given up?  But they are ranked #23 in terms of points allowed.  Why?  Because they can’t stop anyone once they get inside the 20-yard line.  That crap has to stop.  There is far too much talent on this defense for it to be ranked at the bottom of the League in red-zone defense.

I believe the Giants’ defense was better than the results showed last week.  The pass rush was very good against a solid Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line.  It was great to see Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora continually pressuring the quarterback.  Michael Boley – though not quite there yet – is quickly rounding back into form.  Aaron Rouse appears to be an improvement over C.C. Brown.  Chase Blackburn didn’t look bad at all replacing Antonio Pierce.  The Giants have two quality starting cornerbacks in Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas, with Aaron Ross still in the picture.  The defense was pretty darn good for the first half of the game.

What hurt in the second half was an inability to get the opposing team off the field on 3rd and 4th down.  Penalties were a huge factor.  So was the poor play of rookie CB Bruce Johnson.  Ross looked pretty rusty, as was to be expected.  Those three areas don’t worry me as much.  Penalties can be cleaned up.  Johnson can be replaced by Dockery if necessary.  Aaron Ross will round back into form with more practice and playing time.  Safety Michael Johnson needs to play better.

Where the real problems may lie down the stretch is in coaching.  Defensive players keep mentioning after games that opposing offenses are making changes or adjustments that are surprising them.  That obviously begs the question why can’t the Giants adjust quickly defensively?  One or two games is understandable.  But five games in a row!?!  If Bill Sheridan and his defensive coaches can’t think on their feet, then the Giants are going to have a real hard time making the playoffs, let alone doing any damage in the post-season tournament.  In addition, players keep talking about breakdowns in communication defensively, while Sheridan said a few weeks ago this was news to him.  What?  I want Sheridan to succeed.  I’m not looking to bash the guy.  But these are red flags, as are the never-ending red-zone issues.

As for Denver, they don’t score a lot of points on offense, only 17 points per game.  The key – as it is every week – is to stop the run.  Denver operates a zone-blocking scheme where the runner will make one cut and shoot through a gap.  The Bronco’s offensive line is very solid.  The Giants need to play physically and maintain their gap responsibility.  Disciplined defense!  No gaps!  Don’t give the runner a place to go.  The two top runners in Denver are rookie Knowshon Moreno (600 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns) and ex-Eagle Correll Buckhalter (399 yards, 5.5 yards per carry, 1 touchdown).  Both are guys who are better suited to rushing between the tackles rather than attacking the edges, but the Denver offensive line pulls quite a bit too.

When Denver puts the ball up, Kyle Orton has been battling an ankle sprain.  He can look effective at times moving the ball and will spread it around to WR Brandon Marshall (very dangerous and productive), WR Eddie Royal (very quick and fast), WR Jabar Gaffney (solid and reliable), TE Tony Scheffler (pass-receiving type), TE Daniel Graham (better blocker), and Buckhalter (23 catches).  The Giants’ defensive backs need to be on the same page.  Play smart football and don’t bite on play-action.

Stop the run.  Get heat on Orton and make his life miserable.  It’s time for the Giants to play a complete defensive game.

Giants on Offense: Denver’s 3-4 defense has been pretty impressive for much of the season.  It is only allowing 18.3 points per game.  Ex-Giants defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has made a huge difference.  It has been easier for opponents recently to run against the defense.  So one would think we would see a heavy dose of Brandon Jacobs and Danny Ware in this game.  With Ahmad Bradshaw ailing, we should see quite a bit of Ware for the first time in a meaningful game.  That said, all of the Giants’ opponents this year appear to keep selling out against the run.  One would think that Denver will load up against the Giants’ ground game and trust their secondary to handle the Giants’ young receivers.  If so, the onus, once again, will be on Eli Manning, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, and Kevin Boss.

I would like to see the Giants throw more to the backs.  It seems to work when they do it.  I would get Brandon Jacobs and Danny Ware involved in the passing game.  Using Kevin Boss more in recent weeks has paid dividends.

The Denver defensive line is not a scary group, but their linebackers are very active.  ROLB Elvis Dumervil leads the league with 12 sacks.  RILB  D.J. Williams is a superb all-around player who makes plays.  Veteran ILB Andra Davis and first-year starter OLB Mario Haggan round out the group.

The secondary has some big names, including LCB Champ Bailey (8-time Pro Bowler) and FS Brian Dawkins (7-time Pro Bowler), and new nickel back Ty Law (5-time Pro Bowler).  SS Renaldo Hill and RCB Andre Goodman are ex-Dolphins.  Personally, I think the Giants can do some damage against this group despite the Broncos being #3 in pass defense in the NFL.  The Giants’ receivers and Manning played very well last week.  Can they do it again this week?

The unit that I really want to see put a real complete game together is the offensive line.  These guys up front are due.

Giants on Special Teams: The big concern is defending kickoff and punt returner Eddie Royal, one of the most dangerous returners in the game.  Do the Giants allow Lawrence Tynes to try to hit the endzone on kickoffs in the higher altitude?  Or do they continue to squib it?  Tynes does have experience playing in Denver due to his playing time with the Chiefs.

Domenik Hixon makes an emotional return to his former team.

Nov 252009
 

November 24, 2009 New York Giants Injury Report: HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle/ankle/foot) and MLB Antonio Pierce (neck) did not practice yesterday.

Bradshaw has been battling injuries to his right ankle (sprain) and foot (fracture) most of the season. Yesterday, he was wearing a boot on his left ankle as it was revealed that he sprained his left ankle against the Falcons on Sunday. He was also using crutches yesterday.

“It is a sprained ankle,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He is walking around with a boot on the other foot…Right after the game, we thought he had an ankle sprain.  But evidentially it is more severe than that.”

When asked if Bradshaw would make the trip to Denver, Coughlin responded, “We’ll see.  We’ll see how it is.”

QB Eli Manning (foot) practiced fully.

Practice Squad Moves: The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed CB Michael Coe off of the Giants’ Practice Squad to their 53-man roster. To replace Coe, the Giants signed S Anthony Scirrotto to the Practice Squad.

December 13th Game Against Eagles Will Not Be Flexed: The December 13th game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Meadowlands will not be flexed. The game will start at 8:20PM.

The only two games on the schedule still subject to flexing are the 1:00PM games against the Panthers (December 27) and Vikings (January 3).

Michael Boley Named “NFC Defensive Player of the Week”: LB Michael Boley was named “NFC Defensive Player of the Week” for his performance against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Boley was credited with 13 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for losses, and 2 quarterback hits.

Article on the Giants’ Defense: Giants’ Defense Must Stand Tall In Crunch Time by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Palmieri: NY Giants Putting Trust In Strength And Conditioning Coach Jerry Palmieri For Quick Turnaround Against Denver Broncos by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Article on the Giants and 9/11: New York Giants’ Return To Denver To Play Broncos On Thanksgiving Evokes Fan’s Fateful 9/11 Journey by Mike Lupica of The Daily News

Nov 242009
 

November 23, 2009 New York Giants Injury Report: HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle/foot) and MLB Antonio Pierce (neck) did not practice yesterday. Pierce has already been officially ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Denver Broncos.

QB Eli Manning (foot) practiced fully.

Philadelphia Man Try Attempts to Blackmail Coughlin: A Philadelphia man, Herbert Alex Simpson, has pleaded guilty to two counts of mailing threatening communications to Giants’ Head Coach Tom Coughlin. Simpson sent Coughlin letters threatening to expose a fictitious sexual tryst with two women. Court papers say the letters demanded the coach pay $20,000 to $30,000.

Article on the Giants’ Defense: NY Giants’ Defense Says Overtime Victory Over Atlanta Almost Feels Like A Loss by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Notes and Quotes: CB/S D.J. Johnson, who was signed by the Giants off of Denver’s Practice Squad two weeks ago has been helping his new coaches with Denver’s defensive schemes and personnel: “It’s to be expected. I’m kind of snitching this week. I’m going to volunteer. After all, they pay my checks now…To tell you the truth, I don’t know about my future here. And I’m fully aware of the possibility that’s what I was brought in for.”

Nov 222009
 

Giants Win in Overtime 34-31: The Giants may have saved their season with a 34-31 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons earlier today at the Meadowlands. The Giants improved their record to 6-4, one game behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.

The Giants won, but no thanks to a defense that could not stop the Falcons in the second half of the game. Atlanta scored 24 points on four second-half drives, including the game-tying touchdown with 28 seconds left in regulation. The Giants gave up 352 yards of offense and 27 first downs to an Atlanta team missing its best offensive football player – HB Michael Turner. It is becoming increasingly clear that Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan is over his head.

The real hero for the Giants was QB  Eli Manning, who completed 25-of-39 passes for 384 yards (a career high) and three touchdowns. The Giants rushing game was limited to 88 yards on 26 carries – a disappointing 3.4 yards-per-carry average. WR Mario Manningham caught six passes for 126 yards and TE Kevin Boss caught five passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants led 17-7 at the half as the Giants scored three times on six first-half offensive possessions. The game did not start out well for the Giants offensively as Manning was intercepted on the seventh play of the opening drive. The defense did force a three-and-out however.

The Giants went up 3-0 on their second drive as New York drove 64 yards in 12 plays to set up PK Lawrence Tynes from 39 yards out. Atlanta responded however by driving 65 yards in nine plays to take a 7-3 lead. The Giants then drove 54 yards in eight plays, but Tynes missed a 31-yard field goal.

New York’s defense forced their second three-and-out. The Giants regained the lead by driving 52 yards in three plays. After an offensive holding penalty, Manning found WR Hakeem Nicks for 30 yards and then Boss for the 28-yard score. Giants 10 – Falcons 7.

Atlanta had a chance to tie the game on their fourth drive of the game but missed a 35-yard field goal. The Giants went three-and-out. But New York quickly got the ball back when the Giants’ defense forced a turnover on 3rd-and-8 when DE Justin Tuck sacked QB Matt Ryan, forcing a fumble that DE Osi Umenyiora recovered at Atlanta’s 34-yard line. Six plays later, the Giants went up 17-7 when Manning hit Boss for a 4-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left before halftime.

In the second half, the Giants’ defense simply could not stop the Falcons. Atlanta drove 63 yards in eight plays (touchdown), 70 yards in 18 (field goal), 65 yards in 12 plays (touchdown), and 76 yards in 12 plays (touchdown).

The Giants’ offense was productive but could not keep up with that torrid pace as New York scored touchdowns on their first two offensive drives of the second half, but punted twice on their final two possessions of regulation. The two touchdown drives went for 74 yards in five plays, with HB Brandon Jacobs scoring from two yards out; and 79 yards in nine plays, with FB Madison Hedgecock catching a three-yard touchdown pass from Manning.

Atlanta tied the game with 28 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime. Luckily, the Giants won the overtime coin toss. New York then drove 49 yards in eight plays to set up the game-winning 36-yard field goal by Tynes. The big play on the drive was a 29-yard strike from Manning to Manningham.

Highlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were HB Gartrell Johnson, WR Ramses Barden, WR Sinorice Moss, OT Guy Whimper, OC Adam Koets, LB Antonio Pierce (neck), CB Kevin Dockey, and CB/S D.J. Johnson.

The Giants won their fifth consecutive regular season overtime game. They also won in overtime in the 2007 NFC Championship.

Article on LB Antonio Pierce: NY Giants’ Victory, Improving Neck Has Antonio Pierce Feeling ‘Great’ by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Nov 222009
 

Coughlin Comments on the Loss of Antonio Pierce: The Giants released some quotes yesterday from Head Coach Tom Coughlin regarding the indefinite loss of LB Antonio Pierce (neck).

“Our concern is for AP (Pierce), and we are here to support him,” Coughlin said. “He is, obviously, very disappointed, and our thoughts are about him and his well-being right now. Imagine how he feels. In addition to the shock he expressed last night, there is the disappointment. He has been waiting and working for two weeks to get back on the field to get the taste of the last game out of his mouth.

“We won’t have AP on the field, but we will have him on the sideline, and we’ll have his heart and his leadership there to rally the troops. All the troops. Defense, offense and special teams. He will be there to lend his support to all of them, and, like I said, we are here to support him. Hopefully through treatment and doing what needs to be done, he will get back quicker than anybody expects.

“We have 52 other good players, and guys have to step forward to fill the void. The other members of the defense have got to reach down and play harder, faster, better.”

Article on HB Danny Ware: For Giants RB Danny Ware (And His Dad), It’s All About The Drive by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Aaron Ross: Giants’ Ross Heals With Help From Fiancée, a Gold Medalist by Joe LaPointe of The New York Times

Notes: The last 12 times the Giants and Falcons have played, the road team has won – the longest such streak in the NFL. The last time the Giants beat the Falcons at Giants Stadium was November 11, 1979, 30 years ago.

Nov 212009
 

Antonio Pierce’s Season in Jeopardy Due to Neck Injury: The Giants announced last night that MLB Antonio Pierce has been diagnosed with a bulging disc in his neck and he will be out indefinitely. Pierce hurt his neck in the game against the Arizona Cardinals, but the injury apparently did not bother him much until this week.

“I’m shocked with what I heard from the doctors this afternoon,” said Pierce. “I had no idea that what happened a few weeks ago could keep me off the field. I didn’t think it was that serious. I’m going to do everything the doctors tell me to do so I can get back out on the field as soon as possible.”

Pierce could miss most – if not all – of the rest of the regular season with the injury. LB Chase Blackburn will likely start in the middle for the Giants on Sunday. LB  Jonathan Goff could also see his playing time increase.

Strahan Addresses the Team: Former Giant DE Michael Strahan attended practice yesterday and Head Coach Tom Coughin surprised him by asking him to address the team.

“It was a surprise – I didn’t expect to do it,” said Strahan. “I just came in to see the guys practice. I’m here to watch my first practice since I retired. Coughlin pulled me to the middle of the circle and he stepped back. I’m thinking, ‘What are you stepping back for – you want me to speak?’ He started laughing. So he kind of threw me into it.”

In the team’s daily press release, the Giants said Strahan delivered an impromptu, inspirational, passionate speech. “That’s what I do,” said Strahan. “I’m a motivator. That part will never leave. My whole thing is it’s confidence. Not just confidence in yourself, but confidence in each other. They’re talented, we all know that. They’re as talented as any team in the league. It’s just a matter of believing in their talent and the talent of the guy next to them. If they do that, they’ll be just fine.”

November 20, 2009 New York Giants Injury Report: CB Aaron Ross (hamstring) and HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle/foot) practiced again yesterday. Ross is officially listed as “questionable” for the game against the Falcons on Sunday; Bradshaw is “probable.”

“(Ross) is making, as far as I can tell, he is making progress,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He’s a long stretch everyday. When he comes out and runs around he hasn’t been set back that I know of. He hasn’t said a word of that…I would think (he would be a game-time decision).”

“I feel really good,” Ross said. “Out there running this whole week my hamstring stayed very loose. I’m happy. Everything is on the up right now. They’re working me in different spots and right now it’s looking like if I am healthy, I will (play).”

“No (setbacks for Bradshaw), he took plays yesterday and today,” said Coughlin. “He seemed to do okay. He doesn’t get overworked, but he does have his timing plays and that type of thing.”

QB Eli Manning (foot) fully practiced. He is listed as “probable” for the game on Sunday.

Article on CB Aaron Ross: NY Giants Cornerback Aaron Ross Ready To Return From Injury No Matter What His Role by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger