Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

Dec 172017
 
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Brad Wing, New York Giants (December 17, 2017)

Brad Wing – © USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 34 – NEW YORK GIANTS 29…
The New York Giants gave the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at MetLife Stadium and had New York’s special teams not cost the team 11 points, the Giants probably would have pulled off the upset. In the end, the Eagles had defeated the Giants 34-29. With the loss, the Giants fell to 2-12 on the season.

New York’s offense started the contest off on fire as the Giants scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the game en route to a 20-7 start. The Giants drove 75, 75, and 80 yards. Running back Orleans Darkwa capped off a 13-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown. However, the extra point was blocked by the Eagles. Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Tavarres King for a 13-yard score on a 10-play drive. Then early in the second quarter, Manning connected with wide receiver Sterling Shepard on a short pass that Shepard broke for a 67-yard scoring strike.

For their part, the Eagles started off strong with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive on their first possession, aided by a 32-yard pass interference penalty on safety Darian Thompson, as the Eagles briefly went up 7-6. But then the Eagles were forced to punt twice and turned the football over on downs when the Giants stuff a 4th-and-1 rushing attempt from the Giants’ 44-yard line.

The game began to turn at this point midway through the second quarter. Manning’s pass intended for wide receiver Roger Lewis was intercepted at the Eagles’ 43-yard line and returned 37 yards to the Giants’ 20-yard line. Five plays later, Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles hit tight end Zach Ertz for a 10-yard score as Philadelphia cut the lead to 20-14. After a three-and-out by the Giants, Brad Wing’s punt was blocked, setting up the Eagles on the Giants’ 18-yard line. Three plays later, Foles threw his second touchdown, this one from 13 yards out to tight end Trey Burton. The Eagles now led 21-20.

The Giants got the ball with 2:15 left before halftime and managed to regain the lead as New York drove 65 yards in 11 plays to set up a 28-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. At the half, the Giants led 23-21. Manning set a career high for passing yards in the first half of a game with 252 yards.

The Eagles regained the lead at the the beginning of the third quarter by driving 64 yards in 11 plays to set up a 28-yard field goal, giving them a 24-23 advantage. After a three-and-out by the Giants and a 34-yard punt by Wing, Philadelphia went up 31-23 as they drove 59 yards in five plays and culminated the possession with a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nelson Agholor.

To their credit, the Giants responded with a touchdown drive with Manning finding King for a 57-yard score to cut the lead to 31-29. However, Manning was sacked on the 2-point conversion attempt. After the Eagles went three-and-out, the Giants were handed an opportunity to take the lead as the team drove into field goal range early in the 4th quarter. But the Giants’ special teams melted down again as Rosas’ 48-yard field goal was blocked. This momentum swing continued as the Eagles then drove 60 yards in 14 plays to set up a 20-yard field goal that extended their lead to 34-29 with just under four minutes to play.

Needing a touchdown, the Giants started the next key possession at their own 20-yard lines with 3:51 left to play. The Giants managed to move the ball into the red zone and set up a 1st-and-goal situation from the 9-yard line. Unfortunately, New York was stopped and turned the ball over on downs with 43 seconds left to play. The Eagles were forced to punt but the Giants got the ball back with only 13 seconds left on the clock. The game ended two plays later.

Manning finished the game 37-of-57 for 434 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. His leading targets were Shepard (11 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown) and tight end Evan Engram (8 catches for 87 yards). King only caught two passes, but they went for 70 yards and two scores. Running back Wayne Gallman carries the ball eight times for 39 yards and also caught six passes for 40 yards.

Defensively, the Giants surrendered 341 net yards (108 rushing and 233 passing). The Giants only had one sack (by defensive end Olivier Vernon) and did not force a turnover.

Special teams were a disaster. The Giants had an extra point, punt, and field goal blocked.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), safety Nat Berhe (hamstring), quarterback Davis Webb, running back Paul Perkins, wide receiver Hunter Sharp, offensive guard Damien Mama, and linebacker Jeremy Cash.

Wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and safety Landon Collins all left the game with injuries and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The New York Giants’ 12 defeats tie the franchise season record, set in 1966 (1-12-1), 1974 (2-12), 1980 (4-12), and 1983 (3-12-1).

The Giants dropped to 0-10 in NFC games and 0-5 in NFC East games.

The Giants’ 29 points was their highest total since a 35-30 loss to the Eagles on January 3, 2016.

The 23 points scored by the Giants in the first half was their highest first-half total since the December 7, 2014 game against the Tennessee Titans.

The Giants gained 504 yards, their highest total since they finished with 525 yards in a victory against San Francisco on October 11, 2015.

For the first time this season, the Giants scored on their first possession.

The Giants did not have a takeaway for the fifth time this season. They are 0-5 in those games.

The last time the Giants had an extra point blocked was September 2001.

Quarterback Eli Manning’s 57 pass attempts were the second-highest total of his career; he had 63 attempts at Philadelphia on December 22, 2016.  The 37 completions were the third-highest total of Manning’s career. The 434 yards were the fourth-highest total of his career.

Manning has now thrown 51 touchdown passes vs. the Eagles, his highest total against a single opponent. He has thrown for 49 scores against the Dallas Cowboys.

ARTICLES…

Dec 172017
 
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Dec 152017
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN RYAN MURPHY TO 53-MAN ROSTER…
The New York Giants signed safety Ryan Murphy to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. Murphy Murphy was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks waived him in their final round of cuts in September 2015. He spent time on the Practice Squad of the Denver Broncos in both 2015 and 2016. The Giants signed Murphy to their Practice Squad in late December 2016 and again in September 2017.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Safeties Landon Collins (ankle) and Nat Berhe (hamstring) did not practice on Friday. Berhe has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles and Collins is “doubtful” for the contest.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hamstring), wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (finger),  linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. Lewis, Rudolph, and Dixon are officially “questionable” for the game while the other players are “probable.”

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (not injury related) fully practiced. Both are unofficially “probable” for the game.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo 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 Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Dec 152017
 
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Game Preview: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants, December 17, 2017

THE STORYLINE:
At this point, I suspect everyone would like to fast-forward to January in anticipation of the intrigue surrounding the selection of the new general manager and coaching staff. But we have three torturous games left, including the Giants’ annual humiliation at home by the Philadelphia Eagles. This one-sided “rivalry” gets worse with each passing year. The Eagles have won an astounding 15 of the last 18 games dating back to 2008. Last year was the first time the Giants had won a home game against the Eagles in 10 years!!!

The Giants-Eagles decade-long mismatch is perhaps one of the best indications that this franchise needs a cultural shift… a spiritual enema if you will. Steve Spagnuolo can’t and shouldn’t be the next head coach. We saw more of the same in his inaugural game as NYG head coach last week. His defense – which was second in scoring defense last season – is DEAD LAST in yards allowed in 2017. And it sucked before injuries started hitting that side of the ball. And this isn’t the first time his defenses have been dead last in the NFL and among the worst in NFL history. It’s time to part ways. Nice guy. Not a consistently good coach.

The bigger issue is what to do at GM. Most expect Dave Gettleman will get the job. Those calling for dramatic change – a cultural shift – are uneasy about that prospect because of Gettleman’s long ties with the existing organizational (group think?) structure that dates all the way back to 1979. Hiring Gettleman would be the “safe” move. And it would probably allow for a Gettleman-Kevin Abrams marriage that would eventually morph into Abrams taking over when the 66-year old Gettleman is ready to retire. If this occurs, one would suspect that most (if not all) of the scouting staff would retain their jobs. The key figure to watch in such a scenario would be Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross (really Director of College Scouting). If Ross stays, that would be a major red flag to many.

There are those who argue that it can’t get worse than it is now and that the whole thing should be blown up and completely new faces introduced. The problem is it can always get worse. There is risk with staying the course and there is risk with changing things completely. The important thing is make the right decisions and not be terribly wed to how dramatic the change is or isn’t.

Let’s cut through the bullshit. The Giants need to recognize one important thing: IT ISN’T WORKING! This team hasn’t been right in six years. It’s been poorly constructed. Drafting is always a bit of a crapshoot, but you have to hit on more than you miss. And it is quite telling that very few Giants players drafted are re-signed when their initial contracts are up. Rather than building a roster, it feels like the Giants are constantly trying to fill holes because of crappy drafting and poor free agent decisions. The team has not been able to put together a viable offensive line despite spending significant resources in that area (including three premium draft picks). The Giants are not mentally or physically tough. They are a finesse team that is annually plagued by injuries. They can’t pick up an inch in short-yardage. They can’t run the football. They can’t rush the passer or create enough turnovers. They can’t stop the opposing team when it matters. They start and end games poorly. And special teams are an annual disaster.

If the Giants can’t see this, then the franchise is in real trouble. It’s becoming more and more clear that 2017 was an iceberg that was slowly approaching that the Giants couldn’t see. But it was an iceberg created by their own mismanagement of the roster and coaching staff.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • WR Roger Lewis (ankle – questionable)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring – probable)
  • WR Travis Rudolph (hamstring – questionable)
  • TE Rhett Ellison (finger – probable)
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger – probable)
  • DT Damon Harrison (not injury related – probable)
  • LB B.J. Goodson (ankle – probable)
  • CB Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring – questionable)
  • S Landon Collins (ankle – doubtful)
  • S Nat Berhe (hamstring – out)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
If you asked me what I want the next version of the New York Giants offense to be, I would answer with one word: TOUGH. I’m tired of finesse. I want to turn back the clock and have a team that may not have a lot of pretty highlight plays but will physically hurt the other team and be able to run the football. That’s not the direction the game is headed, but I’m a dinosaur and a contrarian. I can’t stand having a team that you know can’t pick up an inch on 3rd-and-short. The Giants have four rushing touchdowns this year, and one of those are by the quarterback. They had six rushing touchdowns in 2016. Those stats are ridiculous.

Other than sentimental reasons and possibly as a transitional bridge to the new quarterback, it makes little sense for Eli Manning to remain with the team much longer. New GM, new coaching staff, needing a roster rebuild. Soon-to-be 37-year old, declining quarterback? The longer they hold on, the longer the rebuild is going to take. Excuse my French, the Giants fucked up the last six years of Manning’s career here. But they can’t go back in time and fix it. It sucks but dwelling on it won’t make things better. You have to move forward.

Some other quick roster thoughts:

  • As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, Davis Webb hasn’t played because they Giants never gave him enough reps to get ready. This goes all the way back to training camp. I hope he plays in the last two games but he hasn’t been prepped correctly and it’s too late to learn anything of note that will affect the 2018 NFL Draft. Another screw up.
  • As I’ve mentioned for weeks, the Giants are wasting snaps on Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen. Neither will be with the team in 2017 (if they are, another major red flag). The Giants need to know what they have in Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins. Too many snaps have been wasted here on guys who are not part of the future. Screw up.
  • Other than Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard, there isn’t anything at wide receiver. And Beckham’s future contract status is a major question mark and Shepard has been hot-and-cold (and a bit injury-prone).
  • Tight ends are good.
  • I don’t think the Giants can re-sign the injury-prone Justin Pugh. If he leaves, there is another hole. Time to part ways with guys like John Jerry and Bobby Hart. Tough call on Weston Richburg but I’d offer him a prove-it type deal. I still see more upside with him than Brett Jones, who I don’t think is a starting-caliber center. If the new coaching staff wants to run the football, bringing back D.J. Fluker and Ereck Flowers makes some sense. Long story short – this aspect of the team is still a shit show despite three premium draft picks. That alone was reason enough to fire Jerry Reese.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
In terms of personnel decisions, the biggest issue other than quarterback the Giants face is what to do with over-priced, under-performing Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon? If they are going for a major rebuild, it might be best to take their medicine, swallow the painfully expensive cap hits, and clear the decks more for 2019 and 2020. JPP is a coach killer. There was a hope/thought that the fireworks accident may have woken him up to take the game more seriously, but whether it is his physical limitations or his mental approach, he’s just a guy out there who teases. Vernon is a tougher call because when healthy, he’s played well. But he seems to be nicked up a lot and isn’t as effective when he is. What we do know is that the Giants are not getting the pass rush they expected out of him. The offensive line may have been reason #1a why Reese was let go, but his free agent decisions on JPP and Vernon are a close second.

  • Damon Harrison is the kind of football player you can build around. He was Reese’s greatest free agent decision. The Giants can win with Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson at defensive tackle.
  • The help wanted sign is out at linebacker. This unit needs a complete rebuild. The only two the new coaching staff may consider retaining are the injury-prone B.J. Goodson and the smart, versatile, but athletically limited Devon Kennard.
  • Landon Collins is a very good STRONG safety – please note the word strong. Darian Thompson has had an up-and-down season in what basically is his rookie year. They need better depth here.
  • Corner is going to be an interesting area to watch. Janoris Jenkins has All-Pro ability. Much depends on how the new coaching staff feels about his personality. Same with the aging and somewhat fragile Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Then there is Eli Apple. Many fans think he isn’t a good player. When his head is screwed on right, he is. Apple has shut-down ability. But the fucker needs to grow up and stop acting like an entitled little bitch. Football careers are short and momma isn’t going to be around to pick up the pieces at some point. Grow up. Football is a job. Good news is that Reese may have stolen Ross Cockrell from the Steelers.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
I suspect this game will be the final nail in the Tom Quinn story.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
(What Steve Spagnuolo says at this point really doesn’t matter. He’s a place holder).

THE FINAL WORD
This “rivalry” has become a one-sided joke. Nothing changes on Sunday.

Dec 152017
 
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Dec 152017
 
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Dec 152017
 
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Dec 142017
 
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December 14, 2017 BBI New York Giants Videocast: BigBlueInteractive.com’s Mike Siegel and NJ.com’s Dan Duggan talk about the factors that have led to the New York Giants’ terrible season as well as the general manager search.

Dan Duggan cover the Giants for NJ Advance Media.

Mike Siegel, aka gidiefor, serves as a moderator and is a longtime contributor in The Corner Forum, originally joining BBI in 2004. Raised in Brooklyn, NY, he is a rabid Giants fan, an attorney, a family man, proud grandfather of five, and a former NYC Park Professional, Mounted Park Ranger, and instructor at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, who was noted for his work in Brooklyn Park rehabilitation projects, park publications, public park tours and programs, and also his paper-folding prowess. His more than fifteen-foot high Origami holiday tree in Central Park’s Dairy was a fixture in the 1980’s. He has been an active participant in BBI’s outside gatherings, and strongly believes in fostering the BBI community environment and promoting serious discussion about Giants football.

Dec 142017
 
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Justin Pugh, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Justin Pugh – © USA TODAY Sports

JUSTIN PUGH HEADED TO INJURED RESERVE…
The Giants announced on Thursday that offensive lineman Justin Pugh will soon be placed on Injured Reserve. Pugh missed the November 5th game against the Rams with a back injury, aggravated the injury the following game, and has been out since. Pugh ended 2017 playing in just eight games, three at left guard and five at right tackle. The good news is that Pugh will not need back surgery, as rest and rehabilitation is being prescribed by doctors.

The injury-prone Pugh has not played a full 16 games since his rookie season in 2013. He missed two games in 2014 with a quadriceps injury, two games in 2015 with an ocular concussion, and five games in 2016 with a knee injury. Pugh is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

INTERIM GENERAL MANAGER KEVIN ABRAMS…
The transcript of Kevin Abrams’ press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle) and offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back) did not practice on Thursday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hamstring), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (finger), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (not injury related), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), safety Landon Collins (ankle), and safety Nat Berhe (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) fully practiced.

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…
The New York Giants practice on Friday at 10:55AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and select players will address the media after practice.

Dec 142017
 
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