Sep 292017
 
Olivier Vernon, New York Giants (August 21, 2017)

Olivier Vernon – © USA TODAY Sports

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INJURY UPDATE…
Running back Orleans Darkwa (back), offensive lineman Brett Jones (hip), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist) are officially “questionable” for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Running back Shane Vereen (calf), right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) are unofficially “probable” for the game.

SHANE SMITH SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
Rookie fullback Shane Smith, who was waived by the Giants on Thursday, has been signed to the Practice Squad.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday afternoon.

Sep 292017
 

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Game Preview: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, October 1, 2017

THE STORYLINE:

Well, it just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. – Miracle Max

The 2017 New York Giants aren’t all dead yet. But they are officially on life support. Lose to Tampa Bay, and Miracle Max will start rummaging through their uniforms looking for loose change.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • RB Shane Vereen (calf – probable)
  • RB Orleans Darkwa (back – questionable)
  • OT Bobby Hart (ankle – probable)
  • OL Brett Jones (hip – questionable)
  • DE Olivier Vernon (ankle – questionable)
  • LB Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist – questionable)
  • LB B.J. Goodson (shin – probable)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle – probable)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
We can talk X’s and O’s, discuss personnel strengths and weaknesses, and analyze match-ups. But all of that is moot unless the New York Giants offensive coaches and players decide enough is enough, man up, and takes their frustration out on their defensive opponent. We can argue about personnel liabilities, but there is enough talent on this offense for it to not be 21st on offense in yardage and 31st in scoring. It is absolutely outrageous that the team is scoring only 12 points per game (with 24 of those points coming in the last quarter played). At least go down swinging. Get angry. Be a man.

Time has run out. The offensive coaches have to decide what the New York Giants’ offensive identity is going to be. It appears that any attempt to be “heavy handed” are fruitless with this offensive line. The Giants are DEAD LAST in rushing in the NFL. They are the only team in the League who aren’t even averaging 50 yards per game. That’s beyond pathetic. Making matters worse is that Tampa Bay is 4th in the NFL in rush defense, allowing only 72.5 yards per game. Ironically, that figure would be a season high for New York…that’s how bad the Giants running game is. But at the same time, New York has only rushed the ball 47 times in three games. Chicken or egg? Is the running game bad because of the personnel or have the coaches shown enough commitment to the run? The wiggle room is gone. They can’t afford to experiment anymore. If they are going to save their season, they need to pick and identity and sink or swim with it.

Exacerbating matters this week is the injury situation. Their most reliable back (Shane Vereen) and their most productive between-the-tackles back (Orleans Darkwa) are hurt. Neither seem to be able to stay healthy. Paul Perkins has been a major disappointment. Whether it is lack of talent, him pressing, or the guys up front, he’s barely averaging 2 yards per carry. Rookie Wayne Gallman has yet to play this year. Would the coaches dare to put the fate of their season in the hands of a rookie?

The waiving of fullback Shane Smith could be a sign that the Giants – for better or worse – are going full bore West Coast Offense finesse again. Tight end Rhett Ellison isn’t getting the snaps anticipated and his run blocking has not been as good as expected. Odell Beckham seems to be rounding back into form. Brandon Marshall finally got into the action. And Sterling Shepard broke what should have been the game-deciding play last week. Evan Engram is still green, but he’s receiving valuable playing time each week and it is only a matter of time before he explodes.

To build upon the 4th-quarter success the Giants experienced last week, New York has to cut down on the mistakes. There were too many penalties, too many turnovers, and an inability to execute in crucial situations (see both 4th-down conversion attempts). The Giants should have beaten a very good Eagles team last week and they know it.

Manning will probably have to throw the ball at least 45 times in this game. Get it into the hands of your play-makers and see what happens.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
The offense has sucked. But I’m not going to let the defense off of the hook. Many anticipated that the defense would have to carry the team again this year. It was hoped that the defense might even be better than the 2016 version. That hasn’t happened. Worse, the Giants have fallen to DEAD LAST in run defense. It’s bad. They are allowing over 150 yards rushing per game. And last week, the offense gave the defense two 4th quarter leads that the defense could not hold. Yeah, yeah, yeah… the defense is on the field too much, they wore down, etc. That shouldn’t matter to very good defenses. Make a play. Get off the field. Where are the turnovers? Where are the sacks? Why is the third down defense so shoddy? This group is underachieving, and specifically Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Landon Collins, and Eli Apple. Partially due to injury, the linebackers haven’t been as good. And Darian Thompson isn’t the safety we were told he was.

Tampa can’t really run the ball either (27th in rushing) and doesn’t even try all that much (only team with fewer rushing attempts than the Giants). So the expectation (knock on wood) is that this is a good opponent for the Giants to start improving their league-worst run defense against. Obviously the strength of Tampa’s offense is their passing game (9th in the NFL). Jameis Winston is completing almost 66 percent of his passes. His TD/INT ratio is ordinary at best with three touchdowns and three interceptions. That said, he is a big, mobile quarterback with a strong arm and some very dangerous receivers in Mike Evans and former Eagle/Giants-killer DeSean Jackson. To me, the guy on the spot Eli Apple. I expected Apple to take a major step forward in 2017. Thus far, he has been a liability. The Giants coaches have been very defensive of him and he has had plenty of good coverage too (opposing teams are not racking up big yardage on the Giants – 6th in pass defense). But opposing teams are clearly targeting Apple and those 2-3 bad plays per game are killing New York. It’s not just the coverage breakdowns, but the penalties. Apple still is too grabby. And it won’t get easier with Evans and Jackson this week.

The other guys now officially under the microscope are Pierre-Paul and Vernon. They are being paid to be difference makers. Yet they aren’t making a difference. Get to the quarterback. Landon Collins hasn’t been “bad” but I had exceptionally high expectations of him based on his preseason play. In a secondary with three Pro Bowlers – Collins, Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – the Giants have NOT intercepted a pass this year. Get the ball!

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Folks love to argue talent versus coaching, but I’ve always felt special teams was that one area where coaching deficiencies are obvious. Tom Quinn seems to do just enough to keep his job but his unit rarely excels. And worse, there always seem to be a few games each year where a major breakdown loses the game. It happened against Detroit with the punt return for a TD. And last week it happened again. Is it fair to blame Quinn for Brad Wing’s shank? Perhaps not. But damn it, it always appears to be something. To be blunt, Quinn’s special teams are a MAJOR reason why the Giants are 0-3 right now.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Ben McAdoo on the Buccaneers: “Offensively, they’re led by Jameis Winston, a very aggressive and talented quarterback. The youngest player in NFL history to throw 50 touchdowns. They’re very talented on the perimeter, as talented of a group as you’ll find in this league. Defensively, they’re fast, athletic. They make messes all over the field. They do a good job with their line stunts, and their linebackers run well to the football. (Gerald) McCoy is a tremendous player at the three technique. He can wreck a game if you don’t account for him early and often. Their linebackers are a fast flow and active group. The secondary – they play very well to the front. Special teams – (Bryan) Anger is a tremendous directional punter, does a good job hanging it up there, puts it where he wants to put it. Nick Folk is a reliable kicker. He was just down the street a little bit ago and does a nice job for them.”

THE FINAL WORD

VALERIE: “Bye-bye, boys.”
MIRACLE MAX: “Have fun storming the castle.”
VALERIE (to Max): “Think it’ll work?”
MIRACLE MAX: “It would take a miracle.”

Sep 282017
 
J.T. Thomas, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

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GIANTS WAIVE SHANE SMITH AND PLACE J.T. THOMAS ON IR…
The New York Giants have waived fullback Shane Smith and placed linebacker J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve with a groin injury that he suffered in week 2 against the Detroit Lions.

To fill those roster vacancies, the team signed defensive end Nordly “Cap” Capi off its Practice Squad and re-signed linebacker Deontae Skinner, who was cut by the Giants on September 2nd.

Smith was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury. The Giants placed Thomas on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after he suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the regular-season opener.

The 6’3”, 249-pound Capi was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2015 NFL Draft. Capi has spent time with the Jaguars (2015), Baltimore Ravens (2015), Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals (2016-2017). While Capi has not played in an NFL regular-season game, he did stand out with the Cardinals as a linebacker during the 2017 preseason, both rushing the passer (15 pressures and 1.5 sacks) and defending the run.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). The Giants added to and released Skinner from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December.

INJURY UPDATE…
Running back Shane Vereen (calf), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), offensive lineman Brett Jones (hip), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist) did not practice on Thursday.

Right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin) practiced on a limited basis.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) fully practiced.

THE COORDINATORS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday. There is no media availability on Saturday. The Giants play the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday afternoon.

Sep 272017
 
Jonathan Casillas, New York Giants (September 24, 2017)

Jonathan Casillas – © USA TODAY Sports

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INJURY UPDATE…
Running back Shane Vereen (calf), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (groin) did not practice on Wednesday.

Linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin) practiced on a limited basis.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) fully practiced.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday at 11:20AM. The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media after practice.

Sep 272017
 
Odell Beckham, New York Giants (September 24, 2017)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports

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Philadelphia Eagles 27 – New York Giants 24

RECAP

If there were ever a must win for the Giants in the first quarter of the season, this was it. Their second NFC East match-up of the season was on the road in Philadelphia, a place they haven’t won since 2013, against the 1-1 Eagles. As bad as the first two weeks were, Eli Manning has led the Giants out of a 0-2 hole to the pinnacle of the NFL before.  A win on the road, in the division, would get this ship heading in the right direction.

Things started off on a positive note, with the Eagles going 3-and-out on their first drive highlighted by an Olivier Vernon sack. Then began the theme of the Giants first half. They got to 1st-and-10 on the Eagles side of the field but it resulted in zero points. As a matter of fact, that happened on every single possession in the first two quarters. They put together solid drives, mainly through their passing game, but couldn’t quite seal it to the point of getting rid of that zero on the scoreboard. Missed opportunities and lack of execution.

After a 10-for-11 start by Eli Manning, he threw his first of two interceptions on the day. The pass was intended for Brandon Marshall who was targeted 11 times, more than the first two weeks combined, but Manning misfired and threw the ball towards the middle of the field rather than the sideline. It was a momentum killer after the Giants spent the entire first half knocking on the door.

The Giants were already in a 7-0 hole, thanks to an Eagles offense that was having an easy time running the ball via bad New York tackling and efficient blocking by their very solid offensive line. On 4th-and-8 on the Giants 43-yard line, Carson Wentz was sacked by Devon Kennard, giving Manning and the offense one more shot at a first-half score. 1st-and-10 at midfield with 2:29 left.

Slowly but surely, they got the ball to the 2-yard line, with 32 seconds left and a timeout remaining. Manning threw two touchdowns to Sterling Shepard but both were reviewed and correctly overturned. After a scoreless half and knowing the Giants would receive the ball after halftime, Ben McAdoo opted for the aggressive move on the road, foregoing a sure-thing 3 points, and gave it a go on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, trying to run the ball behind an offensive line that has been pushed around since he’s been here with no change in sight. The result? Orleans Darwka being tackled for a loss. Giants down 7-0 at halftime.

The Giants and Eagles traded scoreless possessions to start off the second half, with the Giants gaining the field position advantage after a missed 42-yard field goal by Eagles kicker Jake Elliott. Two plays into the drive, Manning threw his second interception on a tipped slant pass intended for Odell Beckham. Thanks to a 41-yard pass interference by Eli Apple, the Eagles turned the Giants’ mistakes in a 14-0 lead after Carson Wentz found tight end Zach Ertz in the end zone before Darian Thompson could intervene.

Manning led a solid, piece-by-piece drive where both the ground game and air attack looked alive and well. They got it to the 13-yard line but McAdoo felt the pressure to score a touchdown a tad too early and opted to forgo an easy field goal attempt again just to be shut down on 4th-and-2, forcing another turnover on downs. The Giants entered the 4th quarter down 14-0.

Starting near mid-field yet again, Manning hooked up with Brandon Marshall three times before finding Beckham in the end zone for a 10-yard score. His ability to get his feet down in-bounds near the back of the end zone after out-leaping the defensive back is a play many won’t appreciate enough. He makes extraordinary plays look much more doable than they really are. The ball was quickly back in the hands of New York thanks to a dropped ball/fumble by Zach Ertz. Just 1:50 of game clock passed after that before Manning hit Beckham for another amazing, contested TD catch, this time with one hand. Another three minutes of game clock pass and all of the sudden, Sterling Shepard is racing downfield on his way to a 77-yard touchdown, the vast majority of which was after the catch. That had the look of a play that would turn the season around as New York took a 21-14 lead, their first lead of the season.

With momentum fully on the Giants side, Carson Wentz got aggressive by air mailing a pass to deep threat Torrey Smith. The ball would not have been caught, but the always-grabby Apple was flagged for another pass interference, this time being 36 yards. This brought the Eagles to the 15-yard line and on the next play, rookie Corey Clement made Jonathan Casillas and Darian Thompson look silly on his way towards the Eagles third touchdown of the day. It was a 1:32 drive.

The Giants and Eagles traded field goals towards the end of the quarter as both defenses failed to step up. The Giants got the ball with :51 left and cautiously went for the yards necessary to put Aldrick Rosas in a game-winning situation. However two penalties brought them back to a point where a punt with 19 seconds was the Giants only move. Brad Wing then made the mishap of the day, shanking one off his foot, totaling 28 yards.

Wentz was able to find Alshon Jeffrey over Eli Apple for a 19-yard gain, putting Jake Elliott in position to make a 61-yard field goal with :01 left on the clock. The result? Elliott is now the Eagles record holder for the longest made field goal in franchise history. 0-3 Giants.

QUARTERBACK

  • Eli Manning: 35/47 – 366 yards – 3 TD/2 INT – 100.1 rating. This game replicated Manning’s entire career to this point against the Eagles. He played well, threw for a lot of yards, came up big in the 4th quarter, but ended up losing. Manning is now 10-17 against Philadelphia all time. The “typical Eli” comments are warranted to an extent, as his interceptions came up at inopportune times but credit needs to be given for the poise and high pressure throws he made throughout the entire fourth quarter when this team needed him most.

RUNNING BACK

  • Orleans Darkwa: 7 att – 22 yards. Throw in an 11 yard reception as well. Darkwa continues to look like has more life with the ball in his hands. The word “impressive” cannot be used for any of these backs, but Darkwa at least showed he can break more tackles and push piles. At this point, that is the only thing the running game is creating; slow, crowded piles. His 20-yard run in the 4th quarter is the longest NYG has seen this year.
  • Paul Perkins: 9 att – 22 yards. Also note 2 catches for 8 yards. Perkins had a stretch on one drive in the 3rd quarter where he looked halfway decent. Yes, the sample size was that small. He rushed 3 times for 16 yards on that drive; you can do the math on what he put out the rest of the way. Again, a victim of poor blocking but also again, lack of impact after contact.
  • Shane Vereen: 2 rec – 18 yards. One carry for another 5 yards as well. On the field for less than 30% of the snaps. Not nearly enough playing time again and at some point he needs to be on the field more than the two names above.

WIDE RECEIVER

  • Odell Beckham: 9 rec – 79 yards – 2 TD. Moving forward it is safe to say that Beckham is as healthy as he will be in relation to the preseason ankle injury he sustained. It was good to see the emotion out of Beckham, as maddening as he can be. This guy plays his heart out and made two touchdown receptions that very few WRs in the league can make, trust me on that. There was a stretch of plays that stood out to me in the 3rd quarter. Manning went to him four consecutive plays, the third of which he dropped a ball. He responded right after with a 13-yard catch for first down, a high effort play. We can say what we want about his childish antics but if this team is going to make a turnaround, it will center around him. He is that big of a difference maker.
  • Brandon Marshall: 8 rec – 66 yards. Not an impressive stat line but it was good to see so many passes (11 total) thrown his way. We got to see what this guy can be to opposing defensive backs trying to tackle him in space. A glimpse anyway. I fully expect to see a big game out of him in Tampa Bay now the game chemistry is there with him and Manning.
  • Sterling Shepard: 7 rec – 133 yards – 1 TD. The play of the game was going to center around his 77-yard touchdown, one in which he made a move or two and raced 70 yards after the catch. The collapse late, however, overshadowed how big of a play that was. Shepard has an opportunity here to really shine. He is proving to be overly reliable in this slot-dependent, slant-dependent, YAC-dependent passing game. His toughness and consistency since the start of his rookie year are impressive.

TIGHT END

  • Evan Engram: 5 rec – 45 yards. Overall a quiet game from Engram. He continues to lead the tight end in snaps played by a huge margin. As a blocker, his grade was better than weeks 1 and 2 respectively. The progress there is encouraging but it is still a weakness to his game and the overall offense.
  • Rhett Ellison: Wasn’t thrown to at all and his performance as a blocker was average, although he played just 29% of the snaps. Tough to make an impact on the game with such little playing time. If this coaching staff wants more production out of the running game without taking to big of a bite out of the air attack, Ellison should be in for more than 50% of the plays.

OFFENSIVE LINE

  • Tackles: Admirable performance, for the most part, by both Ereck Flowers and Justin Pugh. Neither allowed any sacks and with the help of the quick-release passing game, their combined pressures allowed were just 2. Flowers graded out much higher than he did the first two weeks but still graded out slightly negative. Pugh has been a steady rock all three games. Pugh did allow some inside pressure but because he is so often in good position from top to bottom, he had enough to keep his man away from making a big impact. Pugh is making money every week with his performance at RT as he heads towards his free agency.
  • Guards/Center: Hard-nosed effort from these three, although there wasn’t a ton of movement at the point-of-attack. Weston Richburg was the highest-graded lineman although he is making it a common habit to play a recovery style after getting drilled off the ball. At some point, that is going to be a major issue for this offense. John Jerry had a positive grade. What’s ironic here is, he led the group in negative-plays and positive-plays. He made some play-altering blocks, especially when they had him trap across the line, on some of the Giants’ biggest gains. He also did a nice job neutralizing the inside rush. Brett Jones gets beat initially almost every time, but in the same breath he fights back hard and won more often than not. He, too, graded out positively.

DEFENSIVE LINE

  • Ends: Jason Pierre Paul was matched up against one of the best right tackles in the game, Lane Johnson. Johnson won. Pierre-Paul had a very quiet day against the pass and struggled to disengage from the lateral blocking by the athletic Johnson. He has been one of the most disappointing players on this team through the 0-3 start. Time for him to step up. Olivier Vernon recorded a sack early on a play where Wentz held onto the ball too long, but also recorded 5 tackles. His performance against the run was very up and down and he did have to fight through an ankle injury in the second half. Romeo Okwara and Kerry Wynn rotated in and out for about 20% of the plays but failed to make any serious impact.
  • Tackles: Damon Harrison was avoided by the Eagles’ ground game. They made him move laterally often and it tired him out. He was only on the field for 58% of the plays. The Eagles made sure to not let him impact the game. Dalvin Tomlinson, Robert Thomas, and Jay Bromley all had a hard time maintaining their positions. They were being driven back and out of holes. Thomas especially lacked gap discipline, opening up massive cutback lanes. None were very impactful as pass rushers.

LINEBACKERS

  • The most underwhelming position group when it comes to overall grades. Jonathan Casillas and Keenan Robinson led the group in playing time, and both led the team in negative plays. They had a hard time disengaging from blockers, especially on the outside. Don’t let Robinson’s team-leading 10 tackles deceive you, he was a liability against both the run and pass.
  • After a solid showing in his first week as the starting MIKE, Calvin Munson only played 30% of the snaps. Was there an injury? Did the coaches see something I didn’t? Was it the PHI personnel grouping that often had them running out three wide receivers? Could be any of those but Munson, in my opinion, deserves to be on the field. His play against the lateral run has been a major plus so far and NYG really struggled there Sunday.
  • Hats off to Devon Kennard who has been showing a healthy dose of versatility each week. He filled in at DE and strong side linebacker, finishing with a sack and a QB hit.

CORNERBBACKS

  • Janoris Jenkins broke up two passes, the only two of the day for the NYG defense. His effort and impact against receivers that are so much bigger than him is admirable to say the least. He is a major plus for this defense and is grading out as one of the best corners in the league so far in this young season.
  • Eli Apple is up for the dud of the week. Teams are obviously targeting him downfield because of his inability to keep his hands away from grabbing. It was his red flag coming out of college and there has been little-to-no progress there so far in his career. His two long pass interference penalties in the second half both led to PHI touchdowns. He also missed a tackle and allowed too much separation on underneath routes to Torrey Smith, a receiver who is not known for short-route running ability.
  • With the Eagles in a 3 WR formation so often, Dominique Rodgers Cromartie played a season-high 41 plays, showing more than solid man coverage. Ross Cockrell has been impressive in his limited action.

SAFETIES

  • Underwhelming game from both Landon Collins and Darian Thompson. Other than Thompson’s big hit which knocked Darren Sproles out of the game, his game review was full of negative plays. He is late to recognize underneath passing routes and he missed 3 tackles that resulted in big gains, including a touchdown. His leash shouldn’t be too long, as he has yet to show much in his short NFL career. Collins didn’t finish with a negative grade, but his impact wasn’t felt the way we are used to. He overran a few lateral pursuits. And his coverage was average at best. The forced fumble you see in the box score was a mere drop-of-the-ball by Zach Ertz that Collins had little to do with.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • K Aldrick Rosas:1/1 (42) – 3/3 on extra points. Rosas attempted his first high-pressure kick. Tied 21-21 with 3:11 to go, he nailed the 42 yarder with plenty of extra room.
  • Brad Wing – 4 punts – 38.5 yard avg – 1 inside 20. His horrendous shank in the 4th quarter was the main reason for the Eagles being set up for a game-winning field goal.
  • Return: For the third straight game, Dwayne Harris made zero impact on the game via his returns.

3 STUDS

  • WR Odell Beckham, QB Eli Manning, CB Janoris Jenkins

3 DUDS

  • LB Jonathan Casillas, P Brad Wing, CB Eli Apple

3 THOUGHTS ON PHILADELPHIA

  • Despite Dallas’ 13-win season last year with their young nucleus coming back, I noted Philadelphia as the team NYG would have to fend off for a division crown. NYG’s poor start aside, I think the Eagles are as well balanced as it gets in the NFC East. Wentz is a gamer, the team will control the trenches on both sides of the ball most weeks, and their schedule is pretty favorable.
  • The Eagles secondary is very banged up, but the young guns put together a couple solid performances. I was impressed with how CB Rasul Douglas played. He prevented the deep ball from being an option a couple times and played tough underneath against Marshall.
  • The Wentz-to-Jeffrey duo is only going to get better as the season progresses. Jeffrey doesn’t do a lot of things right as a route runner, but he has a Plaxico Burress-type approach to his game. He is bigger, taller, and can reach longer than almost everyone covering him. He is a guy who can be thrown to even when he is covered, something Wentz has never done. Once he gains confidence and chemistry there, I expect their offense to jump to the next level.

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

  • The Giants are one of 3 teams in the league that have faced three teams with winning records this season. If there is a glass half-full approach, it can center around that this was a very difficult set of games to start off the year. Two road division games and one of the most up-and-coming NFC teams on a Monday night. The upcoming stretch has a lot of winnable games. The Bucs and Chargers are very beatable. The Seahawks are not the Seahawks we have come to know the best 5-6 years. The Rams and 49ers have yet to prove that they are really out of the bottom third of the league. Those 4 teams make up 80% of the upcoming 5 games.
  • I wouldn’t call the offense broken anymore. It isn’t good, but it’s not broken. It’s improved each week and the biggest positive taken from this game is the fact that Beckham appears to be back, fully. When a player like that hesitates, a player who depends so much on explosive movement, he is a shell of himself. It is easy to tell that Beckham let it loose in the second half and I think his confidence will be back in Tampa – a defense that can be torched. Also, the fact Marshall got much more involved is a huge plus. He still has it.
  • This defense, at least to me, was supposed to come in and be a top 5 unit in the NFL. Right now, they are middle of the pack. There is too much talent here to think this is where they are. They are relatively healthy, too. There is a string of games coming up that could really elevate the confidence of this unit.  It’s not coaching or play calling, these guys simply need to beat their respective opponents.
Sep 262017
 
Jay Bromley, New York Giants (September 24, 2017)

Jay Bromley – © USA TODAY Sports

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THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants return to practice on Wednesday at 11:40AM.

Sep 252017
 
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (September 24, 2017)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

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MONDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 27-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles:

McAdoo: We’ll start off talking about yesterday’s game. We keep learning hard lessons on things we already know the answers to. When things go well, sometimes everything falls your way. When they don’t, we need to tighten up our football and play clean complementary football. We had 10 penalties on the road. Tough to win that way. Pre-snap, post-snap, celebration penalties, delay of game on a guard. It’s tough to win on the road playing that way. We dropped too many balls. Touchdown pass. Precise ball location. Things we have to clean up there. We need to be detailed with the way we carry out our responsibility the whole way around and really look no farther than the end of the ballgame where each of the three phases played a part. Shows you how precise we need to be on third down. We were just short of the sticks. We had a punt for 28 yards. Philly gets the ball. We called a timeout, talked about playing the ball on the boundary and they complete the ball and kick a 61-yarder to win the game. Tough lesson to learn. We already know the answers.

On defense, what we did well, we gave up zero explosives passes. What we need to work on, blocking structure and tackling in the run game.

Offensively, what we did well, we fought through the first three quarters. We showed some grit during the fourth quarter putting some points on the board. What we need to work on, we need to get better on third down. Be exact with what we’re doing. We need to put points on the board in the green zone, and I need to do a better job with that one as well. I need a better call there on the fourth down on the one-yard line.

Special teams, what we did well, it’s a better example of how we want to play field position football. Kickoff coverage, we did a nice job covering the kickoff from the 20-yard line, which is not easy to do. Punt return, we didn’t get the balls to return, but we blocked better, the corners and the safeties included there. We need to work on our constant technique in PAT field goal block and our frontline blocking on the kickoff return team.

Where we go from here. You know, we talked about it a little bit yesterday in the press conference, the three D’s, the cause of irritation, that’s where we are right now, we’re irritated. Deny, delay and disappointed. We need to keep fighting through. I believe in this team. I believe in the potential of this team. It starts with me and we need to keep fighting to get better and we need to keep fighting to get the win. Got to get that first one. With that, we will open it up for questions.

Q: What’s your reaction to Brandon Marshall getting into the altercation with the fan on the field before the game?

A: I don’t have a response to that at this moment.

Q: How do you approach the guys from getting too low with this kind of start to the season?

A:  We need to talk about our potential in the room. We haven’t played a complete football game and clean football in all three phases and we really haven’t earned a win yet. It’s all correctable and we need to stay positive but realistic and understand that we need to learn from these first three games and find a better way to play team football.

Q: What do you think of Odell’s display?

A: We should be talking about the way he played – he made some great plays in the ball game yesterday. Some tremendous plays, game changing plays. I’d rather be talking about that than the celebration penalty. It’s real simple, I don’t want to kick off from the 20-yard line. It doesn’t help our team. It makes it tough on the players who are covering kicks and makes an impact on field position.

Q: After the game Odell said that he didn’t really regret it and he would do it again. Does that bother you?

A: I gave you my response.

Q: Would it bother you if he did it again?

A: I’m saying I gave you my response.

Q: Can you address what he did? How does the organization feel about it? Is it embarrassing?

A: I just gave you my response

Q: But you didn’t give a response.

A: Yeah.

Q: What happened on that Brad Wing punt?

A: It looked like he just missed it.

Q: You mentioned the 4th and 1 play – Shane Smith didn’t play any offensive snaps yesterday, why not use a fullback?

A: Again, they were all hunkered down in there, whether you had a fullback on the field or not. It was going to be tough sledding. Like I said, I would like to have that call back. We did have some opportunities for one-on-ones on the outside. I take responsibility for that call.

Q: Is there still a place in your offense for a fullback?

A:  Yes. It was a game plan decision.

Q: What do you regret so much about that play call?

A: They had better angles than we had.

Q: What’s regrettable about the play call then?

A: Getting into something that gives you a little better chance, little better angles. Put the big guys in a bad spot there.

Q: Do you think you should be able to run the ball from there?

A: Like I said, I’d like to have that call back.

Q: Any updates on OV (Olivier Vernon) or (Orleans) Darkwa?

A:  Yeah, OV has an ankle. It’s still early in the week, we’ll have to see how he responds throughout the course of the week to treatment. And Darkwa is still getting examined.

Q: Any other injuries out of the game?

A: No, I think we’re fairly clean there at this point. But, players are still getting looked at.

Q: There were no sacks allowed in this game after allowing five to the Lions. Is that good enough progress or is the fact that Eli (Manning) was getting rid of the ball much quicker take away something from that?

A: I mean we couldn’t keep going down the same road we were going. We had to adjust and we adjusted. We just came up short.

Q: Do you think that style is sustainable for a full game?

A: It’s tough to sustain any one style of offensive football throughout the course of the season. Defenses adjust. There are tremendous defenses and defensive coaches in this league so it is hard to just play one way.

Q: Why didn’t you call a timeout after the completion to (Evan) Engram on the final drive?

A:  We didn’t lack composure. We had a drive starter to the drive and we were looking to transition into a tempo call, get the ball down the field and get it off quickly. Sometimes a tired d-line is a better d-line to go against.

Q: You’ve never been in this position before, 0-3, how do you keep this thing going?

A: I think number one is we can’t worry about playoffs this week, we just have to get a win. That’s number one. We can’t accomplish going to the playoffs or getting a playoff berth or anything like that this week. All we can focus on is the way we prepare so we can go down and perform well in Tampa. It’s going to be a tough ballgame. It’s going to be another warm one. That’s where our focus needs to be. We can only focus on what we can control and that’s the way we prepare.

Q: What is it that is different this year about the run defense?

A: We had a rough day yesterday defending the run. We need to be better with our blocking structure and we need to cut down on the missed tackles. We had some opportunities to tackle better and it starts with those two things.

Q: How do you fix tackling at this point of the season when there is not a lot of hitting going on at practice?

A: When you get your thud practices in on Thursday with pads on, that helps, but you have to keep drilling them.

Q: Did you get a sense from John Jerry as to what he was trying to accomplish on the delay penalty?

A: I just saw the TV copy this morning. I am going to have to have a conversation with him. I don’t know if it was just a natural reaction to a lineman running in front of his face or what it was. But I am going to have to have a conversation with John and see what he was thinking there. I have never seen that before. So, we’ll have to talk about it.

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2013, when they lost their first six games.

The Giants have lost their last four and five of their last six games in Philadelphia, and six of seven overall to the Eagles.

The 61-yard game-winning field goal against the Giants was the longest field goal ever against the G-Men.

For the second time in three games, the Giants did not score any first-half points.

Quarterback Eli Manning’s 35 completions increased his career total to 4,158. That broke a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway and moved Manning into sixth place on the NFL’s career list.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Select players will be available to the press on Tuesday. The Giants return to practice on Wednesday.

Sep 242017
 
Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles (September 24, 2017)

Eagles win on a 61-yard walk-off field goal – © USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 27 – NEW YORK GIANTS 24…
In all likelihood, the 2017 New York Giants season ended on Sunday afternoon with the team’s devastating 27-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Trailing 14-0 entering the 4th quarter, the Giants scored 24 points in the final period, only to lose the lead twice. The Eagles won the game on a walk-off 61-yard field goal after a series of late-game Giants’ blunders. The Giants are now 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the NFC East.

The Giants’ offense continued to be inept in the first half. Their four offensive possessions resulted in two punts, an interception, and a turnover on downs at the Eagles’ 1-yard line just before halftime. The Eagles also had their own first-half offensive issues with two punts and a turnover on downs. But the team did put together an 18-play, 90-yard marathon of a drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run. At the half, the Giants trailed 7-0.

The 3rd quarter was not kind to New York either. Despite missing a 52-yard field goal, the Eagles extended their lead to 14-0 with a 7-play, 54-yard drive after another Manning interception. The Giants also had a three-and-out and another drive end on downs at the Eagles 13-yard line.

The game rapidly changed in the 4th quarter. The Giants scored their first touchdown on a 5-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a Manning 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. The Giants then immediately got the ball back when safety Landon Collins forced a fumble that was recovered by cornerback Eli Apple at the Eagles’ 33-yard line. Four plays later, Manning found Beckham again, this time with a one-handed 4-yard touchdown reception, and the game was tied at 14-14 with less than 11 minutes left to play.

After an Eagles punt, the Giants unbelievably went ahead 21-14 in the contest on a 77-yard catch-and-run by wide receiver Sterling Shepard. But the New York defense could not hold the lead as the Eagles quickly scored on a 4-play, 75-yard drive that tied the game with less than six minutes to play.

Back came the Giants with a 7-play, 52-yard drive that set up a successful 41-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas. Giants 24 – Eagles 21. But again, the defense could not hold the lead and the Eagles tied the game on a 46-yard field goal after an 8-play, 47-yard drive.

The Giants got the ball back with 51 seconds left in regulation. After gaining seven yards on the first play, the Giants shot themselves in the foot with back-to-back penalties. Facing a 2nd-and-18 with 32 seconds to play, running back Shane Vereen stopped the clock by running out of bounds after a 3-yard run. Tight end Evan Engram came up 1-yard short of the first down after a 14-yard catch. On 4th-and-1 from the Giants’ 24, Brad Wing shanked a 28-yard punt to the Eagles’ 38-yard line. After an incomplete pass, a 19-yard pass with one second left on the clock moved the ball to the Giants’ 43-yard line. The Eagles punter then hit a 61-yard field goal to end the game.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 35-of-47 for 366 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. His leading receivers were Beckham (9 catches, 79 yards, 2 touchdowns), wide receiver Brandon Marshall (8 catches for 66 yards), and Shepard (7 catches for 133 yards, 1 touchdown). However, the Giants continued to struggle running the ball, gaining just 48 yards on 17 carries.

Defensively, the Giants did force one turnover and accrued three sacks, but the defense yielded 354 total net yards, including 193 yards rushing.

The Giants were penalized 10 times for 137 yards in the game. The Eagles out-gained the Giants in time of possession 37:32 to 22:28.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin), linebacker J.T. Thomas (groin), quarterback Davis Webb, running back Wayne Gallman, tight end Matt LaCosse, and defensive end Avery Moss.

Defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle) and running back Orleans Darkwa (back) left the game with injuries and did not return. Vernon said after the game that x-rays on his ankle were negative but he would undergo an MRI.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)
  • WR Brandon Marshall (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)

ARTICLES…

Sep 222017
 
Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (September 18, 2016)

Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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INJURY UPDATE…
Right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (groin) have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) is “questionable” for the game.

“We’ll take a look to see how (Jenkins) does tomorrow,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We’ll have a quick practice tomorrow and if he is able to do anything and have some productivity, we’ll take a look at him on game day.”

“It’s noticeably improved over the last week,” Jenkins said. “I got better, I’ve been getting better, just got to continue to go to treatment and see how it plays out.”

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), tight end Evan Engram (concussion), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion) are unofficially “probable.”

“(Robinson) is able to practice and he is cleared to play,” said McAdoo.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon.

Sep 222017
 
Robert Thomas, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Robert Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Game Preview: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, September 24, 2017

THE STORYLINE:
Unbelievably, there is a good chance the New York Giants season will all but officially end on Sunday. In September. Facing an 0-3 start, the Giants probably could not have picked a worse opponent to face given their painful recent history against the Philadelphia Eagles. Stating the obvious, the Eagles have the Giants number, winning five out of the last six, and 14 out of the last 18 games. Those are embarrassing numbers.

Lose on Sunday, and the New York Giants franchise will subject themselves of months of questions and debate about the competency of Jerry Reese, Ben McAdoo, and Eli Manning. Fans will begin talking about the draft and free agency IN SEPTEMBER. That’s as bad as it gets.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle – probable)
  • TE Evan Engram (concussion – questionable)
  • OT Bobby Hart (ankle – out)
  • LB B.J. Goodson (shin – out)
  • LB Keenan Robinson (concussion – probable)
  • LB J.T. Thomas (groin – out)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle – questionable)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
The Giants have scored 13 points in two games. Again, I repeat, the Giants have scored 13 points in two games. If you don’t score, you can’t win. The Giants are struggling to even move the football. In their last eight games, where the team has not been able to reach the 20-point mark, 46 percent of the Giants drives have resulted in three-and-outs. During that same time frame, in 97 drives, the Giants have scored nine touchdowns.

  • The Giants gambled and lost on bringing back the same offensive line.
  • The Giants don’t/can’t run (only 30 rushing attempts for 97 yards TOTAL in the first two games).
  • The quarterback is getting hit too early and too often even when the other team is only rushing four.
  • Odell Beckham missed the first game, wasn’t himself the second game, and Brandon Marshall has been a bust so far.
  • The offensive brain trust appears inflexible and stubborn.

Enter the 11th-ranked, aggressive Philadelphia Eagles defense, coached by super-prick but equally effective Jim Schwartz. He and his charges smell blood. The strength of the Eagles defense is a deep and talented defensive line salivating over the prospects of facing a shitty New York Giants offensive line that somehow plays even worse when facing the Eagles. Why have the Giants struggled to beat the Eagles in recent years? Look no further than the Giants getting their asses kicked up front by the Eagles.

The Eagles already have eight sacks in two games. With Bobby Hart out, we’ll probably see the line that played for most of the game against the Lions: LT Ereck Flowers, LG Brett Jones, OC Weston Richburg, RG John Jerry, and RT Justin Pugh. Having Pugh play right tackle over Hart for this game is probably an upgrade, but Pugh has had some of his worst games against the Eagles, including at RT. The prospect of Jones and Jerry facing DTs Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan is more than a bit nerve-wracking as is Flowers dealing with the outside speed rushers the Eagles will line up over him. The Eagles won’t have to blitz. They’ll play the run on their way to the quarterback and just rush four. It’s as predictable as the sun rising in the east.

Barring some unforeseen turnaround, the Giants won’t be able to block the Eagles up front. They won’t be able to run the football. Eli Manning will get hit early and often and begin to hear footsteps. Beckham will be double- and triple-covered. And the Giants won’t be able to take advantage of injury-riddled Eagles secondary. If Engram can’t play, it will be even worse.

The only chance the Giants have is the offense doesn’t turn the ball over, Manning plays with 2011 NFC Championship Game-type toughness, Beckham makes a couple of huge plays, and the defense and special teams carry the team the rest of the way.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
Three things have sabotaged the Giants defense early: injuries, particularly to Janoris Jenkins, B.J. Goodson, and Keenan Robinson; disappointing third-down defense; and not enough forced turnovers. The bad news is Goodson is out again and Jenkins is questionable; good news is Robinson is back. If Jenkins can’t go, the defense will be significantly weakened against the Eagles 3rd-ranked passing offense. The Eagles finished 2016 11th in rushing and 24th in passing. The major leap they have so far taken forward in the passing game is primarily due to the rapid emergence of Carson Wentz at quarterback. Unfortunately, Wentz is the real deal and he has those characteristics that have hurt the Giants in recent years: mobility combined with an ability to improvise. One again, the Giants face a quarterback who can hurt them with his feet if they don’t maintain disciplined pass-rush lanes and/or fail to wrap him up and bring him down.

Wentz’s favorite targets so far have been TE Zach Ertz (13 catches), WR Alshon Jeffery (10 catches, 1 TD), WR Nelson Agholor (7 catches, 2 TDs), RB Darren Sproles (7 catches), and WR Torrey Smith (5 catches). The Eagles are likely test rookie middle linebacker Calvin Munson in coverage with Ertz and Sproles. If Jenkins is out, look for a heavy dose of shots in Jeffery’s direction as well.

Ex-Patriot LeGarrette Blount has been sharing rushing duties with Sproles. The Lions smartly eschewed running at Damon Harrison and chose to to run outside more. So I would look for Sproles on outside runs.

Stating the obvious, the Giants defense needs to have a monster game for the team to win. They have to shut down the run and get after Wentz, forcing some turnovers along the way. At worst, they need to simply get off of the field on third down. To me, the Giants defensive line has to play lights out. It’s up to Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Jason Pierre-Paul to take over the game.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Eagles have been one of the tougher special teams units in the NFL for years. Tom Quinn’s special teams bit the team in the ass once again last week with a game-breaking punt return for a touchdown. Enter Darren Sproles, who broke a long return against the Giants in the first game last year. So far, Quinn also hasn’t been able to get his return game going either.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Ben McAdoo on Carson Wentz: “He seems like he has eyes in the back of his head now. He’s very aggressive trying to keep the play alive, slide in the pocket, come out of the pocket, and he’s not afraid to take a chance down the field and make a throw that’s a long opportunity ball for his guys. Throw it up to those big playmakers, whether it’s the receivers or the tight end, to give him a chance to make a play down the field.”

Ben McAdoo on Zach Ertz: “Don’t forget about Ertz. He’s a very talented player. He’s a smart player. You can see it with the way he knows how to find the holes in the zones and run away. Friendly for the quarterback versus his man.”

THE FINAL WORD:
The Eagles are playing better on offense, defense, and special teams. This is the season for the Giants. To stay alive, they have to beat the team that has has their number since 2008 at a venue that has been a horror-show for them. The recent history of this rivalry for the Giants has been shoddy blocking, turnovers, and special teams blunders. It might be a good day to mow the lawn.