Sep 302011
 

September 29, 2011 New York Giants Injury Report – Nicks, Tuck, Stokley, and DeOssie Miss Practice: The following Giants did not practice yesterday: WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (quad), DE Justin Tuck (neck/groin), CB Prince Amukamara (foot), LS Zak DeOssie (back), WR Ramses Barden (PUP – ankle), and OC Adam Koets (PUP – knee).

Nicks hyper-extended his knee in the opener against the Redskins. “Just a little swelling in the knee,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said about Nicks. “I think he’ll make it to the game.”

“It’s just a little swelling. Nothing serious,” Nicks said.  “It’s been a little swollen, coming back and forth a little bit. It’s a matter of (how many) reps I take. It’s not as bad as nearly as it was in the beginning. It comes and goes. But they said it was going be like that. No red flags at all.”

When Coughlin was asked how much time Stokley would miss, he responded, “We’ll see. We’ll see. I can’t tell you that exactly…He’s got swelling and he’s being looked at daily. Beyond that, I’m not free to say.”

“(Tuck is) a little bit better,” said Coughlin. “I think each day he feels a little bit better, but he was not able to practice today.”

Coughlin was asked if it was the groin injury that is mostly keeping Tuck out. Coughlin replied, “Yeah, I think so.”

Tuck was asked if he was concerned about his neck injury. “A little bit but it just takes time to let it quiet down,” replied Tuck. “Unfortunately we don’t have time…you do want to be out there every week playing…It is frustrating. It is definitely frustrating but it is football and you fix your mind to know that you are going to have these nagging things…If I get on that plane to Arizona, I am playing.”

“It’s not serious enough right now where I’m saying, ‘Coach we might have to shut me down for three weeks,’” said Tuck. “It’s kind of like, ‘We’ll try to slide by with you missing a few practices here and there in the early parts of the season to give you an opportunity to quiet down.’”

“Justin was playing such good football during camp – he was really playing at a high, high level,” said Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell. “He’s not playing at that level right now. I know that’s got to be frustrating for him. It’s frustrating for us. He’s just got to battle through that right now.”

WR Mario Manningham (concussion) and DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

“Again, a nice practice today (for Umenyiora),” said Coughlin. “Again, we’re going to have to watch and see how he comes back…Today he came in and he felt good.”

Coach Media Q&As: The transcripts and video of yesterday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

Player Media Q&As: The transcripts and video of yesterday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the Giants’ Offense: Turnover-Prone Giants Turn Stingy by Mark Viera of The New York Times

Article on LB Jacquian Williams: The Mercurial Rise of an Unheralded Rookie by Aditi Kinkhabwala of The Wall Street Journal

Quotes: Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell on safety Kenny Phillips: “I think Kenny Phillips is playing really, really good football. Very pleased with how he is breaking on the ball or when he’s tackling. We have a term, he’s just balling. And he really is. I think he’s balling out there for us.”

Sep 292011
 

By Eric from BigBlueInteractive.com

Approach to the Game – New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals, October 2, 2011: The win against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday was probably the Giants’ most important regular-season victory since the end of the 2008 regular season when the Giants beat the Carolina Panthers to clinch the #1 playoff seed in the NFC. The victory was certainly exceptionally satisfying and will be long remembered by Giants fans. Unexpectedly, the Giants under Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning are now 5-5 at the Linc, if you include the 2006 playoff loss.

What the win also did is set up a tremendous opportunity for the Giants to begin a mini-run before the bye week with the Cardinals, Seahawks, and suddenly high-flying Bills.  The Giants will need such a run since the post-bye schedule is absolutely brutal.

But before we all start penciling in wins, one upset victory against a long-standing rival does not prove that the Giants have turned the corner.  As I wrote last week, when I gave the Giants little chance to upset the Eagles:

What I’m saying – and this will not resonate well with many fans – is that the Giants are not good enough to seriously compete in 2011.  They are not good enough because there are talent deficiencies in the secondary and at wide receiver and tight end that cannot be overcome.  The Giants will probably beat a team or two that they are expected to lose to, and they will probably lose to a team or two that they were supposed to beat.  But this has the feeling of an 8-8 season to me.

Was last week’s game merely one of those games where the Giants upset a better opponent and the Giants will soon show their true colors by losing to the Cardinals or Seahawks?  Or were the performances by such players as Victor Cruz and Aaron Ross the sign of things to come and the Giants may not be as weak at wide receiver and cornerback as feared?

As I watched the Cowboys-Redskins game last Monday, I was left with one question: how did the Giants lose to this Redskins team?  And as I mentioned last week, the Giants-Rams game was far closer than the final score.  And the Giants-Eagles game might have looked far differently had the Eagles gained another inch or two inside the 1-yard line in the 3rd quarter and had not so foolishly gambled on 4th-and-1.

My point in all of this is we need to see more strong play from the Giants before we label them a serious contender.  I want to see a more complete game from the defense.  I want to see a consistently productive running game.

Do not underestimate the Cardinals.  This is a game the Giants should win, but the Cardinals have just enough talent to keep this interesting if the Giants don’t come to play at a high level.  No let downs!

Giants on Offense: Statistically, the Cardinals’ defense is not performing well.  They are giving up almost 400 yards a game and are currently ranked 27th in total defense (25th in passing defense and 27th in rushing defense).

The Cardinals run a 3-4 defense and have some beef up front with LDE Calais Campbell, NT Dan Williams, and RDE Darnell Dockett.  Dockett is a guy who has given the Giants trouble in the past.  The Cardinals have some serious age at linebacker. Ex-Steelers Clark Haggans (34 years old) and Joey Porter (34) man the outside spots.  Inside are Paris Lenon (33) and the young pup of the group, Daryl Washington (24).  My game plan would be to wear the old guys out with a heavy dose of running plays combined with some short passing to the backs and tight ends, mixing in the occasional deep shot.  What I really would like to see is the Giants ground game to get really on track with consistent, positive pickups that set up play-action passes.  From my point of view, both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are in top form, they just are not getting a lot of room to operate.  Now that we are entering the fourth week of the regular season, I want to see the big and talented offensive line start to wear some folks down.

Strong safety Adrian Wilson has long been one of the key guys for Arizona, especially as a run defender.  The Cardinals also invested a very high 2011 draft pick in RCB Patrick Peterson.  But LCB A.J. Jefferson gets picked on a lot and the Giants should probably take some deep shots against him. It will be interesting to see how the Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, and Victor Cruz trio performs this week.  Nicks (knee) and Manningham (concussion) are not 100 percent.  Can Cruz string two strong performances together?  The Giants will also likely be without Brandon Stokley (quad).

“NFC Offensive Player of the Week” Eli Manning has been much more careful with the football.  He’s taking more sacks, but not turning the football over as much thus far.  Let’s hope that trend continues.

Giants on Defense: The Giants have played three games.  In two, the defense was very strong against the run but terrible against the pass; in one, the defense was strong against the pass, but terrible against the run. Will we see a more complete performance this week?

The Cardinals are 18th in the NFL in total yards (16th passing the football and 18th running the football).

Obviously, the #1 threat on the Cardinals is WR Larry Fitzgerald who is one of the very best in the business.  Covering him can be a nightmare.  The Giants should obviously double him.  Ex-Eagle QB Kevin Kolb is playing decently with 93.8 QB rating.  He’s hit some big plays both to Larry Fitzgerald and WR Early Doucet.  Kolb will spread the ball around to his other targets including ex-Raven TE Todd Heap, WR Andre Roberts, TE Jeff King, and HB Beanie Wells.

Much depends on what version of Aaron Ross we will see this week?  The one who was benched against the Rams or the one who had two picks against the Eagles?  Antrel Rolle returns to his old stomping grounds.  He has to keep his emotions in check.  Not to sound like a broken record, but it would be nice to see him make some plays on the football in the air, just like he did when he was a Cardinal.

The Giants can really get after Kolb if they shut down the run.  Beanie Wells is surprisingly averaging 5.7 yards per carry.  That’s a really impressive statistic too when you consider his longest run so far is only 25 yards.  The run defense has to play much, much better than it did last week against the Eagles.  The Giants missed far too many tackles.

If the Giants can shut down Wells and make the Cardinals one-dimensional, New York could have a huge advantage on the pass rush with the Giants’ defensive line versus a Cardinals’ offensive line that can be shaky at times.  I think the Cardinals’ coaching staff is smart enough to realize that Kolb isn’t going to be able to do a lot of 7-step drops against the Giants so look for a lot of quick passes to the receivers, tight ends, and backs.  And watch out for screens and draws.

Giants on Special Teams: Patrick Peterson is very dangerous on punt returns and already has an 89-yard return for a touchdown.  The Cardinals have also been averaging 30 yards per return on kickoffs.  The Giants need to get more productivity out of their return game.

Lawrence Tynes oddly has only attempted one field goal since his preseason injury and that was blocked.

Sep 292011
 

September 28, 2011 New York Giants Injury Report – Stokley Injured in Practice: WR Brandon Stokley left practice early yesterday with an injury to his right leg. The team said the injury was to his quad. No official word on the severity of the injury yet, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting a source said the injury could cause Stokley to miss three weeks.

The following Giants did not practice yesterday: DE Justin Tuck (neck/groin), CB Prince Amukamara (foot), WR Ramses Barden (PUP – ankle), and OC Adam Koets (PUP – knee).

“(Tuck) won’t practice today but he has made more progress with both injuries so we are encouraged by that part,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

“(Amukamara) is a ways away,” said Coughlin.

WR Mario Manningham (concussion) and DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

“I’m good,” Manningham said. “I went out there and practiced and did individual and team. I did everything and I feel better…I will be there on Sunday.”

Practice Squad Moves: The Giants signed LB Antonio Coleman to their Practice Squad yesterday. Coleman was waived by the Buffalo Bills in the last round of cuts earlier this month.

To make room for , the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of QB Ryan Perrilloux again.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday Press Conference: The transcript and video of yesterday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: The transcripts and video of yesterday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the Giants’ Pass Protection: The Giants Have Failed at Keeping Manning Upright by Michael Salfino of The Wall Street Journal

Article on the Giants’ Short-Yardage Defense: Where the Going Is Rough, the Giants Hold Their Ground by Sam Borden of The New York Times

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: The Scariest Giant Is Losing His Job by Aditi Kinkhabwala of The Wall Street Journal

Article on DE Osi Umenyiora: Giants’ Osi Umenyiora Returns to Practice, But Status for Cardinals Game is Unclear by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Sep 282011
 
New York Giants 29 (2-1) – Philadelphia Eagles 16 (1-2)

by rnargi for BigBlueInteractive.com

Game Summary: Finally, the streak is over.  After losing 6 straight games (including a playoff game) to the hated Eagles, the injury-riddled New York Giants stormed the Linc and came away with a hard-earned victory that very few people, myself included, expected them to get.  The Eagles were favored by 8 points in this game, and it’s no wonder when you look at all the injuries and questions that the Giants were dealing with.

There were several story lines heading in to this game that seemed to bode well for Philadelphia.  They had their elusive and electrifying QB Michael Vick returning from a “mild” concussion.  They had WRs Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson licking their chops, anticipating wide open routes against the suspect Giants secondary.  Ex-Giant WR Steve Smith, named an Eagles captain for the day, had a bit of a score to settle with his former team.  The Eagles also didn’t have to worry about WR Mario Manningham (concussion) and his replacement WR Dominek Hixon (torn ACL), as the  Giants were forced to start the little experienced and somewhat untrustworthy Victor Cruz on the outside and the emergency street free agent pickup Brandon Stokely in the slot.

With all the story lines going against the Giants, many people expected the Eagles to pass at will on offense and then stack the box with 7 or 8 men and dare New York to beat them through the air.

The thing is, however, the Eagles did not pass at will. In fact, the Eagles ran the ball 40 times (33 by backs/receivers, 7 times by Vick) for 177 total yards, which may be a record in the Andy Reid era.  At one point in the second quarter, the Eagles ran 8 straight times.  The Eagles only attempted 30 passes on the day, completing 20.

It may be that the Giants had decided that they weren’t going to let the Eagles beat them through the air.  HB LeSean McCoy stated after the game that the Eagles expected the Giants to blitz more than they did (the Giants did not blitz often on Sunday).  Amazingly, he thought they didn’t blitz because they were ‘scared’.  That’s an interesting observation.

At any rate, the Giants did give up a ton of yards on the ground.  McCoy and Vick did most of the damage.  Many times the Giants had a bead on McCoy but couldn’t make the play in the backfield or within the first couple of yards of the line of scrimmage.  McCoy is quickly establishing himself as one of the most elusive backs in the league and at times he shook tackles that appeared to have him stopped cold.

The other thing is that the Giants were able to get huge yards out of their passing game despite only throwing the ball 23 times.  The Giants averaged an astounding 15.9 yards gained per completion.  Call it opportunistic, call it fortunate, call it whatever you want.  The Giants had 6 of their 16 completions go for more than 15 yards (15, 18, 26, 28, 40 and 74).  Four of those completions were touchdowns.

As we all know, the only statistic that matters is the one at the final gun, and on Sunday it read Giants 29 Eagles 16.  Other than that, the Giants didn’t win many statistical battles.  As HC Tom Coughlin has always said, you have to keep the game close and give yourself a chance to win in the fourth quarter.  And that, folks, is exactly what the Giants did on Sunday.  Take a look at these stats:

Total first downs:  Eagles 25 Giants 14
Total offensive plays: Eagles 72 Giants 51
Total rushing plays:  Eagles 40 Giants 25
Rushing yards: Eagles 177 Giants 102
First half time of possession:  Eagles 21:43 Giants 8:17
Total time of possession: Eagles 36:51 Giants 23:09

Other statistics were relatively close, as the Eagles outgained the Giants by only 42 total yards as the Giants outgained the Eagles 254 – 211 through the air, both teams had third down conversion rates in the 40 – 45% range, and neither kick return game was especially effective.

Now let’s look at a few other game statistics that really show why the Giants won:

Average gain per offensive play:  Giants 6.5 Eagles 5.2
Penalties:  Eagles 7 for 36 yards Giants 4 for 21 yards
Turnovers:  Eagles 3 Giants 0
Green zone efficiency:  Giants 1-1 100% Eagles 1-5 20%
Goal to go efficiency:  Giants 0-0 Eagles 0-2
Fourth quarter time of possession:  Giants 10:27 Eagles 4:33
Fourth quarter scoring:  Giants 15 Eagles 0

Win the fourth quarter, indeed!  The last time the Giants played the Eagles, New York held a 21 point lead with about 8 minutes to go in the game.  Everyone knows what happened.  A furious 28 points later, the Eagles won and doomed the Giants’ season.  For this game, however, the roles were reversed.  With just over 8 minutes left in the contest on Sunday the Eagles held a 2 point lead but the Giants dominated the rest of the quarter, scoring the final 15 points of the game.

Offense: The Giants amassed just 5 first downs on 22 first half offensive plays on Sunday, but they made the most of them.  After an initial 3 and out in which they didn’t gain a yard, the Giants had a 6 play 73 yard drive that culminated with a 40 yard touchdown pass, a 3 play 82 yard drive which culminated in a 74 yard touchdown pass, and a 7 play 51 yard drive that should have yielded points but was cut short on a failed 4th and 3 attempt that should have been converted.

The Giants had just four drives expending just about 8 minutes of game clock, covering 19 plays and 77 yards from the time they scored their second touchdown with about a minute left in the first quarter until they punted with 14 minutes and 20 seconds left in the game.  During that time frame, Philadelphia had gained the lead and had all the momentum and it appeared that it was just a matter of time until the Eagles finally put the game away.

It didn’t happen that way, however, as the final two Giants drives of consequence covered 17 plays, chewed up nearly 8 minutes of the 4th quarter, and resulted in two touchdowns and a 2 point conversion.

The Giants ran a balanced attack on Sunday, rushing 25 times and dropping back to pass on 26 snaps.  There was a lot of discussion in The Corner Forum last week about short yardage situations for the Giants last week.  Though there were several key failures, the Giants did convert in 8 short yardage situations.  This week they were even better, but there was still the critical failure on a 4th and 3 yard play.  Nevertheless, the Giants converted on 6 of 8 short yardage plays.  Bradshaw converted three 2nd and 1 situations and a 3rd and 1 situation.  Brandon Jacobs converted a 3rd and 1 situation and Eli Manning completed passes on a 3rd and 2.

Another note about the offense is that they are now 5 of 6 in converting Green Zone opportunities into touchdowns.  That’s 83.3% success, which leads the league, but the Giants are getting 2 Green Zone chances on average per week.  Several other teams are averaging more than 4 and some 5 opportunities a week.

Quarterback: Eli Manning had a big day, and it could have been even bigger.  Manning put on a clinic Sunday, showing how to manage a game and take what was being given to him.  Again, he did not put the ball in harms’ way and took sacks instead of trying to force the issue.  That trait, trying to make something out of nothing, has haunted Eli against the Eagles in the past.  No interceptions or fumbles against the Eagles is huge, especially on the road.

On the day, Eli finished 16 out of 23 (nearly 70%) for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns and a QBR of 145.7.  On the year now, Eli is ranked 5th in the league with a 104.3 QBR.

Last season, ESPN introduced a statistic called “Total QBR” which is an attempt to improve on the original and outdated method for rating quarterbacks.  It can be read about here.  As with any statistic, there are flaws in its premise but it’s another measure we can look at.  The scale is from 0-100, with a score of 50 indicating an ‘average’ QB.  According to ESPN, this week Eli had the third highest TQBR in football at 81.2.  On the year, Eli ranks 10th in the league at 64.9.

Where Manning did best on Sunday was in clutch situations. Eli completed 6 of 7 passes for 114 yards with two touchdowns on 3rd downs.  Even more impressive was that he also completed 6 of 7 passes and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

As mentioned, it could have been better.  Manning had Victor Cruz all alone behind the defense for what could have been a 73 touchdown pass but slightly overthrew him.  Later in the drive, he did complete the 40 yard touchdown to Jacobs, so the opportunity lost was not harmful to the team.  Later, Manning nearly completed a long touchdown to WR Hakeem Nicks with a nice pass into the end zone that Nicks couldn’t quite catch up to.

Manning also continues to be careful with the ball and take sacks.  Eli absorbed 3 more sacks to up his total to 10 on the year.  To put that number in perspective, Manning is on pace to be sacked 53 times this year.  He was sacked only 16 times the entire 2010 season.

Running Backs: HB Ahmad Bradshaw had one of his most productive days as a New York Giant.  Bradshaw handled the ball 20 times on Sunday, 15 rushing and 5 in the receiving game.  Bradshaw ended up rushing 15 times for 86 yards and had the team high 5 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.  Bradshaw got the bulk of his yards on a 37 yard jaunt on a 3rd and 5 carry midway through the 2nd quarter.  At the time, the Giants led 14-0 and it seemed like that play would be a tone setter for the rest of the day.

On the play, the Giants lined up with Manning in the shotgun with Bradshaw split to his right on the weak side and Hakeem Nicks lined up wide outside.  On the strong side, TE Travis Beckum lined up in the backfield about two yards off the line of scrimmage to the left of T Will Beatty.  WR Brandon Stokley was in the slot and Victor Cruz was wide to the left.  The Eagles were lined up with tight coverage on the outside men as well as on Stokley in the slot.  They brought four down linemen, and had two linebackers on the field.  They were in a single high safety look with the nickel corner, Nate Allen, down just outside the box overtop Bradshaw.  On the snap, the Giants ran a counter inside handoff with the line influencing the linebackers to head towards the weak side.  William Beatty stepped back and rolled to take out and seal DE Trent Cole to the outside while Beckum came across his face and crashed down on the outside linebacker, driving him out of the play and into the line.  Bradshaw had a hole a mile wide to run through, and when Brandon Stokley walled off CB Dom Rogers-Cromartie, he was off to the races.  After ten yards, SS Jarrad Page attempted a feeble tackle that Bradshaw went right through.  Allen made a great effort to cross the entire field and attempt to make a play on Bradshaw 22 yards down field, but Bradshaw moved the ball from his right to his left arm and then with one hand lifted and threw Allen out of his way, gaining an extra 15 yards before Cromartie finally tracked him down and tackled him.  It was a play that reminded every Giants fan who saw it of the uppercut thrown by OJ Anderson in Super Bowl 25 against the Bills.  Just a scintillating, exciting play.

Bradshaw had most of his success in the first half, gaining just 30 yards on 11 carries in the second half.  What’s important, however, is that he was able to convert 2 huge short yardage plays on the final two touchdown drives.  What yardage he wasn’t able to gain on the ground, however, he produced through the air.  Two of his biggest receptions came in the second half, especially on his touchdown when the Giants caught the Eagles in the perfect coverage to execute a screen.

On the play, a 3rd and 11 from the 19 yard line, the Giants lined up with the TE on the right of Eli who was in shotgun with Bradshaw offset to his left on the weak side.  Brandon Stokley came across the formation in motion to the slot on the strong side with Victor Cruz wide right and Nicks wide left.

The Eagles showed an 8 man front on the line of scrimmage with one on one coverage on the receivers.  On the snap Beatty, Diehl and Bass released their men into the backfield and Bradshaw chipped on the safety then settled in for the reception.  Diehl and Baas walled off the only defender who had any chance of making a play.  It was so wide open Beatty had no one to block.  Down field, Hakeem Nicks put a decent block on CB Nnamdi Asomugha and that was all she wrote as Bradshaw skipped in for the final score of the day.

Big Brandon Jacobs wasn’t much of a factor in the running game, gaining just 19 yards on 7 carries.  Jacobs caught 2 passes, and none bigger than his first of the game.  The play was designed to get Jacobs one on one with rookie linebacker Casey Matthews, who in the middle of the week was moved to the weak side (or strong side in the Eagles’ defense) after ineffective play at the MIKE.  The play was a jumbo set (double TE) with two receivers to Eli’s left and Jacobs in an offset I.  On the snap, the two receivers cleared the left side by slanting over the middle and Eli faked the handoff to Jacobs.  Matthews was completely sucked in by the play action and Jacobs simply wheeled out to the left and kept going down the field where Eli hit him in stride.  Jacobs waltzed in for the 40 yard touchdown untouched.

Henry Hynoski really didn’t see a lot of the field on Sunday, but when he did he was successful both run blocking and the pass blocking.  On the bomb to Victor Cruz, he led Jacobs on play action and completely stoned Matthews.  He sold that play as a run, and got flow to his side.  On the next play, his block sprung Bradshaw for 15 yards.  He also stopped a blitz on the play that Manning almost hit Nicks for the long touchdown.  Hynoski is tenacious.  Once Hynoski engages, he doesn’t quit on the block.  The problem has been initial leverage, and on Sunday he was much better at staying lower and keeping his legs moving.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: Many people thought that the Giants were in big trouble after losing Domenik Hixon for the year and losing Mario Manningham for the game on Sunday.  Victor Cruz, who’s had a tough go of it through the preseason and the first two games, was pressed into service as the number 2 WR opposite Hakeem Nicks with Brandon Stokley playing the 3rd WR.  Stokley has had just two weeks to come up to speed and with the strong corners of the Eagles facing them down it sure appeared the matchup favored Philadelphia.

So much for that theory! As noted the Giants did not throw as often to their wideouts as they normally do, but they were effective when they did.  Victor Cruz was targeted 5 times and caught 3 balls for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The first came on a very well designed rub route in the face of a safety blitz.  Cruz was in the slot on a 3rd and 2 play with Nicks outside.  On the snap, the safety covering over Cruz blitzed Manning as Nicks slanted in and took the corner with him.  Cruz flanked out underneath Nicks and was wide open for the catch about 6 yards downfield.  FS Kurt Coleman went high trying to tackle Cruz but was shrugged off.  Victor was off to the races.  Another 10 yards downfield, feeble tackle attempt by CB Asomugha only resulted in him knocking Coleman further out of the play and 74 yards later the Giants were up by 14 points.

Cruz’s second touchdown was, dare I say it, Plaxico-esque.  On the 2nd and 8 play, Manning play actioned to Jacobs and had good initial time in the pocket (partly due to a nice chip from Hynoski), but as it broke down he threw the ball up for Cruz to make a play.  And make a play the kid did.  At the goal line he posted up basketball style and out-jumped Asomugha and Page, caught the ball, then leaned over the line for the touchdown that gave the Giants back the lead.

Cruz did have a simple out pattern clang off his hands about 10 yards into the air, but luckily there was no Eagle around to pick off the deflection.

Hakeem Nicks also caught 3 balls on the day for just 25 yards.  With the solid corner play for the Eagles, the Giants simply attacked them in the middle against their suspect safeties and short on the edges against their suspect linebackers.

The only other wideout that saw action was Stokley, who was in the game often.  He only caught 1 ball for 7 yards.  Stokley looks like he can play the slot and as he gets comfortable with the offense and Manning, he may develop into a true weapon.

The TEs were not targeted much in this game.  Jake Ballard had a crucial 15 yard catch and run on the final touchdown drive that got them into field goal range.  Travis Beckum had 1 catch as well, but drew the ire of his QB when on a 4th and 3 attempt he literally fell after catching a ball all alone in the flat, a yard short of the needed 3 yards.  By the time Beckum reacted to the fact that he was short of the first down yardage, he was touched down.  At the time this appeared to be the huge momentum change that the Eagles were looking for, and they dominated the game for the next 2 quarters while scoring 16 unanswered points.  It’s safe to assume that if the Giants had lost, this play would have been looked at as one of the big turning points.  Earlier in the drive, Travis was instrumental on Bradshaw’s 37 yard run, delivering the seal block that sprung Ahmad.  Beckum didn’t see much of the field until late in the game after that failed 4th down play.  As for Ballard, he continues to grind it out as a blocking TE and although he is improving he’s still not a prototypical mauler out there.  In double TE sets the Giants used reserve OT Stacey Andrews, who actually started the game.

Offensive Line: The O-line continued to mature and develop into a cohesive unit on Sunday.  How about no false starts or holding calls in a huge divisional game in Philadelphia?  In fact, there were no penalties at all on the offense this week.

While the running game did pop a couple of long runs, much of the day was spent plodding for 2-4 yards and a cloud of dust.  It wasn’t pretty early, but it was effective and moved the chains in the 4th quarter.

LT William Beatty got to match up with perennial Giant killer Trent Cole and did a very good job of neutralizing him.  Beatty occasionally got help from Ballard and Pascoe and Jacobs also ‘chipped’ on him a couple of times but the fact is Cole got just 1 sack and was in on just 5 tackles.

The overall pass blocking is getting the job done, but Manning is taking hits at an alarming rate compared to last season.  Part of the issue is that Manning isn’t taking the big risk and instead is eating the ball.  Part is that the line is still coming together and they don’t have the best blocking TEs and FB in football.  So far, the Giants are 26th in the league in sacks allowed, giving up 10.  Manning has also been hit 15 times, which is 13th in the league.  That alone sums up the theory that if Manning doesn’t see a play to make downfield, he’s going to eat the ball.  Manning was hit just 52 times all last season.

One thing the Giants are clearly using to their advantage is misdirection plays.  The line is influencing the defense one way while the TE, FB and WRs are being asked to create gaps long enough for the backs to exploit.  The Giants also seem to like running behind RG Chris Snee more than they did last season.

Defense: On Sunday, the Giants came out with a game plan on defense that on its face just didn’t seem right to any long time Giants fan.  Right off the bat, the Giants were showing that they weren’t going to blitz which let Philadelphia know that they were going to be able to run the ball.  And run it, run it, and run it some more they did for a total of 177 yards on 40 carries (4.4 ypc average).   Frankly, Giants fans are not used to seeing their team gashed for so much yardage.  When they do, it usually translates to a horrible loss. What the Giants were really doing was going after Vick with essentially four down linemen and daring the Eagles to throw deep.  The interesting thing is that even so, they played the big nickel look only a little more than half the time.

When the Giants did blitz, they were effective.  Their first full blitz of the night, sending both linebackers Jacquian Williams and Michael Boley attacked and Williams applied the pressure that caused Vick to hurry his throw and it ended up being intercepted off the hands of WR Steve Smith by CB Aaron Ross.

If you believe in the concept of a bend but don’t break defense, then the Giants showed the classic blueprint on how to execute it on Sunday.  Philadelphia was not held to a 3 and out or worse all day except on their second to last drive in which backup QB Mike Kafka came in cold and threw an interception on the first play of the drive.  The Eagles also gained at least one first down on every drive save the one mentioned.  As would be expected, through the first 3 quarters the Eagles dominated the time of possession.

The Giants forced 3 interceptions, 1 in the green zone.  Michael Boley and Kenny Phillips also had opportunities to make interceptions.  New York also forced 1 fumble and had opportunity to recover 2 other Vick fumbled snaps but on each Philadelphia had fortunate bounces go their way.

The most important stat of the day from a defensive perspective was keeping the Eagles out of the end zone once they got into the green zone.  Five times Philadelphia got deep into Giants territory but only scored 1 touchdown, settling for 3 field goals and suffering the 1 turnover.

The key drive of the game was the Eagles’ second drive of the third quarter, trailing the Giants by a point but again dominating time of possession and owning all the momentum following the Giants’ opening salvos in the first quarter.  Beginning from their own 10 yard line, the Eagles sustained a marathon 14 play 88 yard drive that produced 5 first downs and ate 8:52 off the clock.

Set up with a 1st and goal at the 2 yard line by a Jason Avant catch, the Eagles tried to go smash mouth and the Giants answered in kind.

First and goal – Eagles line up in double I formation with one WR on the weak side and try to sneak the FB off left tackle.  Kenny Phillips, Jason Pierre-Paul and Dave Tollefson shut it down for a 1 yard gain.

Second and goal – Eagles with a bunch formation, no receiver look.  Vick tries a QB keeper but is hit hard and stuffed by Michael Boley coming over the top as the rest of the line hunkers down and gives no ground.  Penalty on S Deon Grant keeps it second and goal.

Second and Goal – From the same formation, the Eagles again sneak with Vick, but again Michael Boley flies over the top and this time his thighs/knees hit Vick in the head and drive him back as the interior of the line gives no ground whatsoever.  Finally, DT James Kennedy wraps up Vick as the whistle blows.

Third and Goal – From a bunch formation in an offset I, the Eagles tried to trap the Giants by pulling LT Jason Peters and leading the FB through the hole.  It was well blocked, but DT Rocky Bernard blew right through the Eagles center and somehow was able to wrap his arms around the legs of the FB and hold him long enough for the cavalry to arrive and finish him off.

Fourth and Goal – Eagles settle for FG, shifting all the momentum back to the Giants.

Again, holding the Eagles to a 1 for 5 effort in the green zone was huge.  On the year, the Giants have now given up just 5 touchdowns on 13 opponent green zone possessions.

Front 7: If the word wasn’t already out on DE Jason Pierre-Paul, it certainly is now after his third straight solid game.  In 3 games, he already has 17 tackles, a forced fumble and 4.5 sacks.  That puts him a half a sack behind DeMarcus Ware for the sack lead.  Extrapolated out, he’s on pace for 24 sacks and 90 plus tackles.  Those are huge numbers from the DE position.  On Sunday, JPP had 7 solo tackles and 2 sacks.  The first sack was very interesting to watch, as JPP had Vick dead in his sights but Vick juked him and JPP tumbled to the ground.  Undaunted, Paul got up and attacked from the other side of the field and managed to get back to and sack Vick.  Just a beautiful athletic play.

DE Justin Tuck continues to play through pain in his neck but wasn’t much of a factor as he was in on just 1 tackle.  Tuck apparently injured a groin muscle in the game as well.

Dave Tollefson saw a lot of minutes but was not in on any tackles Sunday.

If there is a concern, it’s that there really isn’t a lot of depth at the DE position meaning the Giants sorely need Osi Umenyiora to come back soon and give these guys a breather.

The DTs were their usual stout selves.  The goal line stand was illustrated above, but not mentioned were the fact that Linval Joseph, Chris Canty along with Kennedy and Bernard did a great job all day collapsing the middle and not allowing Vick to improvise up the middle of the field.

The linebackers are really coming into their own, especially Michael Boley who is playing by far the best ball he’s played as a Giant and the newcomer Jacquian Williams who is shining brightly on the strong side.  Williams had the initial pressure on Vick that lead to the first interception.  Several other times, Williams had his man lined up but lost the angle.  That will change when he gets used to the speed of the game.  What’s interesting is that even when he does lose the angle, he manages to get himself back into the play.  On Sunday he led the Giants with 9 solo tackles.  Another thing, on two occasions Williams had to take on a ball carrier near the first down marker in open field and on both occasions he was able to stop the man short of the first down.

Boley nearly picked off Vick on one occasion and on another he had deep responsibility on the TE about 20 yards downfield and covered him like a blanket.  It’s the type of play you usually see completed against the Giants but Vick had no place to go with the ball and overshot the receiver apparently on purpose.

Mathais Kiwanuka’s name doesn’t show up in the stat sheet very often but he’s done a good job on early downs of maintaining gap discipline and forcing the backs or receivers to alter their paths.  Just because he’s not in on the tackle doesn’t mean he didn’t influence the play by funneling the ball carrier into another Giant’s path and ultimate tackle.

The man who seemed to be missing and may be losing his spot to Williams was Greg Jones.  He was in on one tackle but didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the game.

Much like last year, the Giants seem to be trying to find combinations that work well against specific matchups.  Boley was in the middle as was Williams at times with safeties Tyler Sash or Deon Grant playing the big nickel or third linebacker spot.  Also, the Giants deployed safety Antrel Rolle either on or just behind the line of scrimmage quite a bit on Sunday.

Secondary: Most people thought that the Eagles vaunted air attack would feast on the Giants’ secondary while the Eagles secondary would shut down the lame Eli Manning and his patchwork receiving corps.  As it turned out, most people got it ass backwards (including myself).

CB Aaron Ross seemed to benefit from an early gift interception and gain his confidence back much the same way CB Corey Webster did after his interception against Tampa in the playoffs in 2007.  Following that interception, Ross played an outstanding game and made a great play to intercept another pass in the 4th quarter when he elevated to corral an errant throw by QB Mike Kafka.  That interception led to the clinching touchdown drive.  Ross ended up with 3 passes defensed on the day against the highly respected Eagles passing attack.

Corey Webster almost single handedly shut down WR DeSean Jackson, limiting the mercurial receiver to just 2 catches on 6 thrown to him for just 30 yards.  That sounds like the definition of a shutdown corner.

Antrel Rolle was more a part of the Front 7 than he was as part of the secondary, but he also covered well when asked.  As for Deon Grant, he had one of his best games in a while recording 6 solo tackles and taking the brunt of the work as the 3rd corner in the big nickel package.

Kenny Phillips missed a golden opportunity to end an Eagles field goal drive in the end zone but dropped one of the easiest interceptions he’ll ever get the chance to make.  He did make up for it by intercepting Kafka with less than 2 minutes to go while playing center field.  On the flip side, Phillips still seems, at times, to be tentative to initiate or get into contact, especially in run support.  That said, he did a great job chasing down Michael Vick and stripping him of the football after losing him initially in the play.

Twenty-three times the Eagles tried to attack the Giants with their wide receiver foursome of Jason Avant, Steve Smith, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson.  The only completed 13 for 159 yards and no touchdowns.

Special Teams: It’s hard to believe, but the Giants have yet to kick a field goal in 2011 through three games.  They have had one blocked and they had another taken off the board this Sunday due to an offsides call on the Eagles due to a hard count from Carr as well as some nifty squeezing of the football by long snapper Zak DeOssie.

Lawrence Tynes hit 4 of 5 kickoffs into the end zone, 3 resulting in touchbacks.  The kickoff return team did well, holding the long for Philadelphia to 25 yards.

P Steve Weatherford bounced back from an atrocious kick in the second quarter that went out of bounds in Giants territory after traveling just 27 yards.  Again, this could’ve been a huge momentum shifter but the Giants defense bailed him out, limiting the Eagles to a field goal before the half.  The punt coverage teams were good.  Desean Jackson was able to return just 1 for 13 yards.

As for the Giants return teams, they were fairly nonexistent on the day.  PR Aaron Ross didn’t return a punt, opting for fair catches or letting it bounce.  Devin Thomas did return one kickoff for 33 yards.

Coaching: In hindsight, it’s easy to see what the Giants wanted to do on Sunday.  First on offense, they wanted to run the ball, deliver the ball underneath and use the blitz happy Eagles’ scheme against him, and take a shot here and there deep.  Thankfully, it worked to perfection as the Giants used mismatches in the passing game most of the day and ran enough to keep the Eagles honest and the defensive line at home.

On defense, it appears the Giants opted to do everything they could to prevent the big play and let the Eagles try to beat them on the ground.  As we saw in Indianapolis last season, that doesn’t always work.  You can die by a thousand paper cuts or one or two hacks to the neck with a machete.  Fortunately, the plan worked and when the Eagles were forced to pass late in the game they were completely ineffective.

All in all, great planning and execution of the plans.

Final Thoughts: I called this game 41-13 Eagles.  After the last two games and losing two more offensive weapons, I just could not see a way as to how the Giants could go into Philadelphia in their home opener and get a win.  I could not have been more wrong.  The Giants came together through the adversity and I forgot cardinal rule #1:

Anything can happen in an NFC East showdown.

At any rate, the Giants are now 2-1 and tied atop the NFC East with the Cowboys and the Redskins.  The entire season is still there for the taking, and the walking wounded are still making their way back.  If the Giants can go on a mini streak and win a few of these next games, going into the bye week New York could be in great position.

(Box Score – New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, September 25, 2011)
Sep 282011
 

Eli Manning Named NFC Offensive Player of the Week: QB Eli Manning has been selected as the “NFC Offensive Player of the Week” for his performance against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.

Manning completed 16-of-23 passes for 254 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. It was the sixth time that Manning threw four touchdown passes in a game. That is the second-highest total in Giants history, behind Y.A. Tittle (seven).

Manning’s passer rating was 145.7, the fifth-highest by a Giants quarterback in the 523 regular-season games since the 16-game schedule was introduced in 1978.

The fourth-quarter comeback victory over the Eagles was the 15th of Manning’s career. This is Manning’s second “NFC Player of the Week” award and first since Week 2 of the 2006 season, when he also led the Giants in a comeback victory over the Eagles in Philadelphia. Manning is 5-2 as a regular season starter in Philadelphia.

Tuck Says MRI Was Not on His Neck: DE Justin Tuck said yesterday the MRI that was taken was not on his neck. But the defensive end did not say what body part the MRI was taken on. “I did not have an MRI on my neck,” said Tuck. “I don’t know how that got out.”

Tuck told WFAN on Monday that he was scheduled to undergo an MRI on that same day. Head Coach Tom Coughlin said on Monday that Tuck aggravated his neck against the Eagles on Sunday and also injured his groin.

WFAN Interview with S Antrel Rolle: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN interview with S Antrel Rolle is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Articles on Jacquian Williams:

Article on Safety Antrel Rolle: Rolle is Ready for Arizona Homecoming by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com

Sep 272011
 

September 26, 2011 New York Giants Injury Report – MRI for Justin Tuck’s Neck: DE Justin Tuck aggravated his neck injury in the game against the Eagles; he also strained his groin. Tuck said an MRI was going to be taken on his neck.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked if Tuck’s neck injury was one that could linger. “It may very well, unfortunately,” replied Coughlin.

“A little bit of a recurrence of the same thing,” said Tuck. “I think a lot of teams know I have been having a little issue with it. I don’t want to be Michael Vick here but they are kind of going at my head a little bit too. It is going to be something that we can battle through and it is something that I can battle through right now. As long as I can battle through it, I am going to continue to play and hopefully we can get it quieted down here.”

“I’m playing,” said Tuck. “Barring anything in practice, it’s a situation, it’s football and it is a tough sport and you will have bruises and dings and pulls and it hurts. But I am not injured. Actually I am heading to get an MRI right now. I can definitely deal with it. I am not worried about getting there on Sunday. I don’t see this being an issue where I won’t play on Sunday.”

TE Jake Ballard suffered a stinger during the game.

WR Mario Manningham (concussion) did not play against the Eagles but believes he will return this week although he has not been officially cleared to be able to practice yet.

“I’ll be good for Sunday,” said Manningham. “I feel way better, way, way better. Got a lot of rest, my head got a chance to clear and get the fogginess out.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Monday Press Conference: The transcript and video of yesterday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

WFAN Interview with Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN interview with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Player Monday Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of yesterday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

WFAN Interview with DE Justin Tuck: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN interview with DE Justin Tuck is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Article on the Giants-Eagles Game: Giants-Eagles Game Review: A Look Back to the Giants’ Stunning Upset by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Giants’ Victor Cruz Makes Waves With Big Plays Against Eagles by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Quotes: WR Mario Manningham on WR Victor Cruz and WR Steve Smith: “I like this (trio – Hakeem Nicks, Manningham, Cruz) better because simple fact is, not to throw nobody under the bus, (Cruz) can go down field. Not saying Steve couldn’t, but (Cruz) can go down field and make people miss instead of making people miss and then going down.”

DE Justin Tuck on how the win against the Eagles’ affected his view of his team: “You’re human. You think about the injuries. You think about the people that are here. You see 11 guys in the huddle. You believe in those 11 guys, (but) you know sometimes that talent isn’t there. For me, personally, (this win) really helped me believe even more in this football team.”

Sep 252011
 

Giants Upset Eagles: The New York Giants upset the Philadelphia Eagles 29-16 earlier today at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants improved their record to 2-1 (1-1 in the NFC East) while the Eagles fell to 1-2 (0-1 in the NFC East). Counting a post-season loss, the Giants snapped a 6-game losing streak to the Eagles.

“This is a very satisfying win,” said right guard Chris Snee. “To beat a team that talented in their environment, it shows we can potentially be a very good football team.”

The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (14-to-25), total net yards (376 to 334), net yards rushing (102 to 177), and time of possession (36:51 to 23:09), but the Giants out-gained the Eagles in net yards passing (232 to 199) and turnover differential (0 to 3).

The Giants got off to a fast start by going up 14-0 in the first quarter. After going three-and-out on their first drive, the Giants scored touchdowns on their second and third offensive possessions with a 6-play, 73-yard drive and a 3-play, 82-yard drive. On New York’s second drive, QB Eli Manning hit HB Brandon Jacobs on a 40-yard touchdown pass. Then on the Giants’ third drive, on 3rd-and-2, Manning found WR Victor Cruz for a first down and Cruz broke a couple of tackles en route to a 74-yard touchdown.

The Giants had two more possessions in the first half. On their fourth drive, after driving 49 yards in six plays to the Eagles’ 31-yard line, the Giants went for it on 4th-and-3. Manning’s pass to H-Back Travis Beckum only picked up two yards and the Giants turned the football over on downs. The Giants then went three-and-out on their final possession of the first half.

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the football, the Eagles drove from their 41 yard line on their first drive to the Giants’ 19-yard line. On 3rd-and-6, QB Michael Vicks’ pass intended for WR Steve Smith bounced off of the ex-Giants’ hands and was intercepted by CB Aaron Ross. The Eagles picked up 18 yards on their second possession but then were forced to punt.

The Eagles then scored three straight times on their final three possessions of the first half. The first drive was a 15-play, 77-yard drive where the Giants forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal after the Eagles faced a first-and-goal from the Giants’ 3-yard line. The Eagles then scored their only touchdown of the game by driving 71 yards in seven plays, culminating in an 11-yard touchdown run by HB LeSean McCoy. The Eagles then tacked on another three points late in the quarter by driving 26 yards in five plays to set up a successful 38-yard field goal.

At the half, the Giants led 14-13.

The Eagles and Giants exchanged punts to start the third quarter before the Eagles began a marathon 14-play, 88-yard drive that gave the Eagles a 1st-and-goal from the Giants’ 2-yard line. Including a play where the Giants were offside, the Eagles could not score on four straight plays and had to settle for another field goal. While the 21-yard kick gave Philadelphia their only lead of the game at 16-14, the Eagles would not score again.

After a three-and-out by the Giants, the Eagles drove from their 27-yard line to the Giants’ 43-yard line in four plays. The Eagles decided to go for it on 4th-and-1, but were stuffed for a 3-yard loss by LB Michael Boley.

“For us it was time to step up and put an end to the drive,” Boley said. “I saw it was a run and ran up and got (McCoy) before he could turn the corner.”

The Giants then responded with a 7-play, 54-yard drive that resulted in a 28-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Cruz. The Giants’ 2-point conversion attempt was successful when Jacobs was able to rush into the end zone. Giants 22 – Eagles 16.

“(Cruz) really, really played well,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “He understood exactly what had to happen and he made it happen. The second touchdown, he goes up in the air over the top of two people and makes a play. It’s not like just catching it and running with it. The ball was in the air and all three people were stopped and about to elevate and he goes up and makes a play like that. That was a heck of a play.”

With 8-minutes to play, QB Mike Kafka, who was subbing for the injured Vick who suffered a broken right hand in the game, was intercepted by Ross on a deep pass at the Giants’ 44-yard line.

“I was happy for (Ross),” Coughlin said. “I was very, very happy for him. He played well. He put himself in position. He really did a good job of understanding what they were trying to do, of recognizing some of the formations that they threw at us, and putting himself in position to make some plays.”

The Giants were able to move to the Eagles’ 22-yard line, but had to settle for a field goal. However, during the Giants’ field goal attempt on 4th-and-2, the Eagles were penalized with an encroachment penalty, giving the Giants a first down at the Eagles’ 17-yard line. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-11, Manning hit HB Ahmad Bradshaw on a screen pass that went 18 yards for the touchdown and a commanding 29-16 lead with under four minutes to play.

The Eagles were able to drive near midfield on their final drive, including converting on 4th-and-11. But Kafka was intercepted on the very next play by S Kenny Phillips and the Giants then knelt on the clock to seal the game.

Offensively for the Giants, Eli Manning completed 16-of-23 passes for 254 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. The leading receiver was Victor Cruz who caught three passes for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball 15 times for 86 yards.

Defensively, LB Jacquian Williams led the team with nine tackles. DE Jason Pierre-Paul had 7 tackles and 2 sacks. Aaron Ross had two interceptions while Kenny Phillips had another pick.

Highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Injury Report: DE Justin Tuck suffered a stinger again, but stayed in the game. It remains to be seen how the neck injury will impact his availability.

“It’s recurring,” Tuck said. “It’s something I can play through and I will play through.”

DE Jason Pierre-Paul was affected by cramping during the game.

Post-Game Player Media Q&As: The transcripts and video of post-game media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were WR Mario Manningham (concussion), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), CB Prince Amukamara (foot), HB Da’Rel Scott, WR Michael Clayton, OG Mitch Petrus, and OT James Brewer.

Sep 242011
 

New York Giants Re-Sign WR Michael Clayton: The Giants re-signed WR Michael Clayton yesterday to fill the roster void caused by WR Domenik Hixon’s season-ending knee injury. Hixon was officially placed on Injured Reserve yesterday.

Clayton was signed by the Giants last November, was re-signed as a free agent in August, and cut in early September.

“Absolutely, (I can play on Sunday),” said Clayton. “I worked every day. It was a small vacation. If we were out for six weeks, it may be different but I stayed active and anticipated a call within the first four weeks. I stayed ready to go and whatever they need me to do on Sunday, I am down for it and excited about the opportunity.”

“I’m gonna play my ass off on every play that I get the opportunity,” said Clayton.

Practice Squad Moves: The Giants have made a couple of Practice Squad moves. The team terminated the Practice Squad contract of WR Chris Hogan and re-signed QB Ryan Perrilloux to the Practice Squad.

Injury Report – Manningham Doubtful for Game: The following Giants did not practice yesterday: WR Mario Manningham (concussion), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), CB Prince Amukamara (foot), WR Ramses Barden (PUP – ankle), and OC Adam Koets (PUP – knee).

Manningham has been officially listed as “doubtful” for the game against the Eagles. The other four aforementioned players will not play on Sunday.

“(Manningham) is actually doing another test as we speak,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin yesterday. “It is protocol. You have to pass all these things.”

DE Justin Tuck (death in the family) did not practice but will play on Sunday.

OC David Bass (lower leg), H-Back Travis Beckum (hamstring), and DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee) fully practiced. All three are “probable” for the game.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday Press Conference: The transcript and video of yesterday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A With Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The transcript of this week’s Giants.com Q&A with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Videos of yesterday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Notes: The Giants are 25-28 in games following a Monday night game, including 7-7 since 2000.

The Giants are 4-4 in regular season games at Lincoln Financial Field.

Sep 232011
 

September 22, 2011 New York Giants Injury Report – Manningham Misses Another Practice: The following Giants did not practice yesterday: WR Mario Manningham (concussion), WR Domenik Hixon (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee), CB Prince Amukamara (foot), WR Ramses Barden (PUP – ankle), and OC Adam Koets (PUP – knee).

“(Manningham) couldn’t practice so we will see,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We will continue to follow protocol and as soon as he is clear, he will go…I would not even address (if he will be available to play on Sunday).”

Umenyiora said he is close to returning to the playing field. “Hopefully. It depends on what (the doctors) tell me to do,” said Umenyiora. “If they think it’s time for me to go, then I’ll be ready to go…I feel like I’m very close.”

OC David Bass (lower leg) was limited and H-Back Travis Beckum (hamstring) fully practiced.

Coach Media Q&As: The transcripts and video of yesterday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

Player Media Q&As: The transcripts and video of yesterday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com: