Nov 302015
 

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Washington Redskins 20 – New York Giants 14

Overview

The eternal football debate when your team loses: did you simply lose to the better team on that day, or did you not match their intensity and beat yourself? The New York Giants insist the latter. They claim they slept walk through three quarters. But that simply could be a coping mechanism. We’ll never really know for sure.

Empirically, all we can go by is what we see on the tape. And it’s not good. The Giants got their butts whipped in the trenches. The Redskins out-rushed the Giants 105 yards to 33 yards. Eli Manning was sacked three times and officially hit eight more times while Kirk Cousins wasn’t sacked and only hit three times. Even though the Giants ran 67 offensive plays, they only held the ball 24 minutes while the Skins ran one fewer play and held it 36 minutes. New York lost the turnover battle 3-0. While none of those turnovers led to Redskins’ points, they did deprive New York of at least one red zone scoring opportunity in the third quarter.

In the end, at least on this particular day, the Washington Redskins were the better team. They played better on offense and defense.

As for the New York Giants, shame on them. Shame on the entire franchise for putting that product on the field in a game of this magnitude. Had the Giants won, they were almost a lock to win the NFC East and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Now they will have to scratch, claw, and pray to make it. Shame on them. They had claimed that the four heart-breaking losses earlier in the season have made them more mentally tough. Bullshit.

Quarterback

Thanks to General Manager Jerry Reese and the team’s unending injury situation year after year, this team lives or dies with its quarterback play. They can’t rely on a defense or running game – both of which are once again among the NFL’s worst. So when Eli Manning and the passing game is clicking, this team has a chance to win any game. If they are not clicking, a loss is inevitable. Manning did not play well on Sunday. The first interception was not on him. Even though the second was tipped into Dwayne Harris’ hands, that was a poor decision on the part of Manning. Fans are debating who was more to blame on the killer red zone interception in the third quarter – Manning or wideout Rueben Randle – but the ball was thrown behind Randle. At other moments, a somewhat rattled Manning threw the ball up for grabs before settling down in the 4th quarter and making some clutch throws, none better than his 4th-and-16 touchdown throw to Randle. He later added a 21-yard strike to Odell Beckham. But it was too little, too late. On a day when the Giants run-to-pass ratio was 13 to 54, the passing game simply did not produce. There were too many misfires and throws into traffic. The Giants’ first 10 drives ended in three interceptions and seven punts. The Giants were 3-of-15 (20 percent) on third down. Manning was also flagged with a delay-of-game penalty on the play before his first interception.

Running Backs

The Giants’ four running backs rushed for 32 yards against the 30th-ranked run defense in the NFL. New York only gained one rushing yard in the entire second half, and that was by wideout Dwayne Harris. Now to be fair, those stats are skewed because the Giants only rushed the ball 13 times despite having 67 offensive snaps (and only rushed the ball three times total in the second half). But the longest run of the day was only eight yards. Despite having six carries, Rashad Jennings only accrued 14 yards (2.3 yards per carry). Orleans Darkwa carried the ball twice for two yards and Andre Williams carried it twice for one yard. Shane Vereen had 15 yards on two carries, but his drop caused the first interception.

The stats are even more alarming when you consider that the Giants actually started the game running the ball well. They gained 24 yards on four carries on their initial possession. In other words, the Giants gained only nine rushing yards on 12 of their 13 offensive possessions.

Wide Receivers

Against an injury-depleted and suspect secondary, more was expected. Once again, Odell Beckham was the headliner with 9 catches for 142 yards and a sensational, one-handed, diving touchdown grab that cut the score to 20-14 with just under five minutes to play. But like against the Patriots, too many of Eli Manning’s throws to Beckham fell incomplete. Against New England, Beckham caught 4-of-12 targets thrown in his direction. Against Washington, Beckham caught 9-of-18 targets. That’s 17 incompletions to one receiver in two games. The Giants are trying to get the ball to Beckham more, but even though he is getting his 100+ yards, the passer-to-target efficiency isn’t there and drives are stalling. If we’re going to be honest, the Redskins’ cornerbacks did a nice job on Beckham most of the game.

With the Redskins rolling their coverage to Beckham, this was a golden opportunity for Rueben Randle to have a big game and he laid an egg. He had one catch in six targets. He didn’t come back for the football on one end zone shot and two plays later drifted backwards on his route, allowing the cornerback to come underneath and pick off the ball. Randle dropped a pass and seemed completely out of sync with Manning. Dwayne Harris also did not produce, catching 2-of-5 targets for 28 yards. Hakeem Nicks got his feet wet catching 1-of-2 passes thrown his way for 4 yards. In the end, Beckham caught 142 yards and the other four active receivers caught 72 yards on a day when Manning dropped back 54 times.

Tight Ends

Will Tye and Jerome Cunningham were the only two right ends active. Tye had a solid day, catching 6-of-8 targets for 74 yards. Tye caught three passes for 52 yards on the Giants’ second TD drive, including a 28 yarder on 4th-and-2. Cunningham was targeted four times, but only caught one pass for 2 yards. Cunningham (and RG Bobby Hart) completely whiffed on their defenders on a running play that lost four yards in the 3rd quarter.

Offensive Line

With both Weston Richburg (ankle) and Justin Pugh (concussion) out, the Giants made the unusual move of switching Geoff Schwartz to left guard, preferring to play John Jerry at right guard. Those plans had to be scrapped before intermission when the injury-prone Schwartz fractured his lower leg. Jerry then moved back to left guard and rookie Bobby Hart was inserted at right guard. It was pretty clear the coaches didn’t really trust the interior trio of Jerry, Dallas Reynolds, and Hart in terms of the ground game as the team only ran the ball three times in the second half, and all three of those runs were outside efforts. Yes, the Giants were down by three scores but they didn’t call any of their usual inside shotgun running plays to Vereen or Jennings. Pass protection also became an issue as Eli Manning was sacked three times, officially hit eight times, and was never really comfortable in the pocket. RT Marshall Newhouse had issues in particular with OLB Ryan Kerrigan, who had two sacks against him. Newhouse also gave up the third sack to DE Chris Baker on a stunt. John Jerry was flagged with holding when the Giants were moving the ball on their third possession, helping to stall a drive when the score was still 0-0. Ereck Flowers had some issues on a couple of outside pass rushes. Reynolds whiffed in pass protection on the end zone shot to Randle where Eli was forced to drift backwards. Given the circumstances, Hart performed better than expected.

Defensive Line

The defensive line was out-played up front. The run defense was decent in the first half, allowing the Skins’ running backs only 30 yards on 11 carries (2.7 yards per carry). But the Washington ground game picked up momentum in the second half, gaining 74 yards in 22 carries (3.4 yards per carry). That’s not stellar productivity for the Redskins, but it was enough to help control the clock and eliminate any chance of a comeback.

The bigger problem was the complete lack of a pass rush. Kirk Cousins was not sacked and only hit three times, two of those by defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins and Robert Ayers. Cousins rarely was under any duress and at times it must have seemed like training camp drills for him. Jay Bromley was flagged with a roughing-the-passer penalty when the Skins were attempting to run out the clock after New York’s first score in the 4th quarter.

Linebackers

The linebackers were fairly active with Devon Kennard (10 tackles), Jasper Brinkley (6 tackles, 1 TFL), and Jonathan Casillas (5 tackles, 1 pass defense) accruing 21 tackles. J.T. Thomas returned to action after missing a few games but did not show up on the stat sheet. A killer play in the game was the 45-yard screen pass to RB Matt Jones late in the first half that helped to set up the touchdown that put the Redskins up 17-0…both Kennard and Brinkley misread the play. Casillas also missed a tackle after a short throw on 3rd-and-22 that helped the Redskins get into more manageable field goal range.

Defensive Backs

Kirk Cousins completed 20-of-29 passes (69 percent) for 302 yards and a 114.4 quarterback rating (Eli’s QBR was 59.4 or half that). Aside from one huge play, the Redskins’ wide receivers did not do much damage. Pierre Garcon was held to 3 catches for 35 yards, Jamison Crowder 2 catches for 12 yards, Ryan Grant 1 catch for 19 yards, and Chris Thompson 1 catch for 9 yards. And Giants-killer DeSean Jackson only had two catches, one of which went for 3 yards. The problem? Jackson’s only other catch went for 63 yards and a touchdown when he badly beat CB Jayron Hosley (who was subbing for the injured Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and S Brandon Meriweather. “It was a speed break out the huddle,” Jackson said. “We said we were going to hurry up and hike the ball. We kind of caught the defense off guard.” The next longest completion to a wide receiver was the 19 yarder to Jones. Rodgers-Cromartie dropped what should have been a 64-yard interception for a touchdown in the first quarter when the game was still 0-0.

Aside from Jackson, the real thorn was tight end Jordan Reed, who caught eight passes for 98 yards, including catches of 26, 20, and 20 yards. The first 20 yarder came on the Redskins’ second TD drive and the the second one came on 3rd-an-5 with 3:29 left on the clock and the Giants trailing by six points. Craig Dahl was beaten on both plays.

Special Teams

Not good enough. Jay Bromley did block a 51-yard field goal effort. And the Redskins longest kickoff return was 25 yards. But Jamison Crowder had two 12-yard punt returns. Dwayne Harris only gained 14 yards on four punt returns and 19 yards on one kickoff return. Harris’ decision to return the last Redskins’ punt inside the 5-yard line was a dumb decision that cost the Giants yards and a few precious seconds. He also muffed a punt that he recovered. Brad Wing had two punts result in touchbacks (though both had a chance to be downed at the 1-yard line) and three downed inside the 20. He averaged 50.4 yards per punt with a net of 41.

Coaching

Offensively, the Giants were hamstrung by the offensive line issues and not having an A-game from Manning his his targets. But this running back-by-committee approach is not working. Stick with one or two guys. The Giants had a nice rhythm running the ball on their first drive. Vereen had back-to-back runs for a total of 15 yards and he never ran the ball again. Dumb.

I hated the defensive play calls after the Giants cut the scored to 20-14. The Giants played it too conservatively, not coming after Cousins. Worse, despite not bringing extra rushers, they left Dahl all alone on Cousins’ go-to guy – Jordan Reed – on 3rd-and-5 with 3:29 left to play. He’s the guy you want to double in that situation. Dumb.

Cram it in your Cramhole Award

Even though Joey couldn’t do the game review this week, I decided to keep this going in his honor. The choice was obvious: the entire New York Giants team. How in the world do you play so poorly with so much at stake? It’s one thing to lose. It’s another be trailing 20-0 in the 4th quarter to the Washington Redskins. The Giants didn’t score a single point on their first 10 offensive possessions. The defense didn’t force a turnover or register a sack. Shame on the players and coaches.

(New York Giants at Washington Redskins, November 29, 2015)
Nov 302015
 


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NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY UPDATE…
Offensive guard Geoff Schwartz fractured his lower leg in the loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon. “He has a fracture above the plate on his leg,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin on Monday. “So I’m sure that he’ll have to be put in (Injured Reserve).”

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie injured his ankle in the game but returned. “Hopefully he’s going to be able to go (on Sunday against the New York Jets),” said Coughlin.

Both center Weston Richburg (high ankle sprain) and left guard Justin Pugh (concussion) missed the game against the Redskins. Coughlin was asked if either would return against the Jets. “I’m hoping that’s going to be the case, at least with one of them, but I don’t have any evidence of that just yet,” responded Coughlin. “And I’m going to have to wait, obviously, for the protocol to be completed and for some successful rendering of the various examinations. With Richburg, it’s going to be, how much improvement is there? He tried it once, it wasn’t very good and so we did the best we could to keep him off his feet and continue to treat etc. etc. etc. So I’m hoping there’s an advantage to that and I really won’t know anything until I hear probably tomorrow to what extent he’s able to do anything. So we’ll see.”

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Okay, we’ll just start out by saying again how disappointed we were, and really in not playing better than we did down in Washington. And I’ll go a little further with that…I thought, for example, we started the game off with the two interceptions and they got no points out of it. I really did believe that we were going to take off right then. I think if DRC catches that interception on the sideline and goes down there and scores, it’s 7-0 in our favor and maybe some of that momentum shifts to our way of doing business. But that being said, they had quite a nice lead going into halftime. We had not responded with anything really offensively. And then we start the third quarter and we take the ball on a nice drive down the field, and, quite frankly, I think we should have scored right there…we didn’t. The ball was a little bit behind, route could have been  run a little bit cleaner, but nevertheless, the ball was behind and not only do we take down a touchdown, we take down the potential for the field goal as well, so that hurt us.

We continued to battle back and forth, our defense only gave up three points in the second half. They had the big plays which we talked about last night and I’ll talk about again. The big pass to Jackson in the middle of the field, which we knew was coming; at what time it was coming, we didn’t know, but we knew it was coming because that’s what you do with DeSean. They make the great play-action fake and let him get started and get down the field, regardless of the coverage. We were in single-high, we had a safety back there, but he cleanly took care of that, right past the corner as well. We had that work against us etc. etc. Big screen pass…in my opinion, the controversial fourth down quarterback sneak, which I understand you can’t overrule it without irrefutable evidence, and there evidently wasn’t any but that was really close.

And then in the fourth quarter, we do a couple of things offensively. They’re looking for an onside kick with 10 minutes to go, we kick it deep, they have to retreat to catch it, we pin them back on the eight-yard line. We score again and then there is still plenty of time. We kickoff and with the third and five with 3:55 to go and we still have two timeouts, they convert at that point in time, then we don’t ever get the ball back. Or we do, but it’s (19) seconds and the length of the field to go, which the ball should have been allowed to go in the end zone on that play as well. As I said, in the division, playing for, again, something that would have been extremely beneficial, the two-game lead at that point in time. We weren’t able to do that. I’ll take your questions if you have them.

Q: Obviously you didn’t get the production that you would have liked from the running game, but did you feel—at some point, obviously, they jumped out on you—you were forced to kind of abandon the running game or was that kind of dictated by the first half?

A: No, we had a little bit of success early on and despite the fact that there were runs following that that weren’t very successful, you always look back at that and say, “Yeah, we should have run. We should have kept running. We should have done something to, if nothing else, affect the ability to set up play action pass.” In the game, in the process, in the game the way it was going, we were down quite significantly, not having a lot of success, and that always leads you the other way. But when you look at the end result and you look at the statistics from the game, you certainly would have liked to have rushed the ball a considerable amount of times more than we did.

Q: How did Bobby Hart do yesterday?

A: He did okay. He had his moments, he had a couple of things that weren’t done the way we wanted to. But he brought energy and he kept his poise and he battled, and those were plusses.

Q: Just a couple health questions, if you don’t mind. Geoff Schwartz, any further word on him?

A: No, but it’s not good. He has a fracture above the plate on his leg. So I’m sure that he’ll have to be put in I.R.

Q: Rodgers-Cromartie…I know he came back in the game but he kept going out, right?

A: Yeah, but it was an ankle. I didn’t see anything yet from downstairs but hopefully he’s going to be able to go.

Q: Where do you go from here with the offensive line?

A: You keep working, that’s what you do. You keep working, you keep fighting, you keep scrambling, you keep battling. Maybe you get a couple of guys back, or at least one back. The other guys are going to have to keep playing and do a good job for us, that’s all there is to it. This is our team, these are our guys. We had, unfortunately, at a key time of the year, some of these people were not able to play up front and I’m sure they felt very badly about that, but we have to go on. We did go on and the result wasn’t very good, but nevertheless you have to keep fighting.

Q: How reasonable is it that you could have Richburg or Pugh, or both, back on Sunday?

A: You know what, I’m hoping that’s going to be the case, at least with one of them, but I don’t have any evidence of that just yet. And I’m going to have to wait, obviously, for the protocol to be completed and for some successful rendering of the various examinations. With Richburg, it’s going to be, how much improvement is there? He tried it once, it wasn’t very good and so we did the best we could to keep him off his feet and continue to treat etc. etc. etc. So I’m hoping there’s an advantage to that and I really won’t know anything until I hear probably tomorrow to what extent he’s able to do anything. So we’ll see.

Q: This idea of not taking advantage of the opportunity that you had to take a two-game lead, it’s not that new a concept, it’s happened several times before in previous years where you had a good opportunity to get somewhere then you end up with your backs to the wall—sometimes you get out of it and you get to the playoffs and sometimes not. Is there anything that kind of links these things together?

A: No. I don’t have them sitting in front of me in a box and go and look at them. I would say each situation is different. I don’t really have a great answer for that other than the fact I don’t think they’re related.

Q: Even though you’ve been around him for two years now, with regard to Odell Beckham, are there things you continue to learn about him?

A: I don’t know about keep learning about. We certainly have a very, very high ceiling and a high ceiling as far as what the talent level is and the things that he can do and that you would ask him to do. There is probably nothing that you wouldn’t ask him to do, he seems to be able to handle all those things. No, I would say that because of the broad spectrum of ways that we’ve seen him in practice and in games as an athlete, I think the expectation of what he can do is the sky’s the limit.

Q: I think Eli threw to him on something like 35 percent of his passes yesterday. There have been high percentages in the past. Is that a product of how good he is or a product of the fact that there aren’t other guys getting open to help Eli out?

A: I think it’s you want the ball in the hands of the guys who can be the most productive. And it doesn’t really say a whole lot about—we’ve had other people that are open, you saw it in the last few minutes of the game with the two touchdown drives that people are open or able to get open—sometimes not in the timeliest fashion as you’d like. But there’s plenty of opportunities for people to get open. I mean, I would think yesterday, the ball to Vereen, he was open, and he tips it up in the air and it becomes an interception. The Harris ball, I don’t think so, you throw that one away. And then we talked about the goal line—the green zone interception. I would say there’s guys contributing and getting open, but you certainly do want the ball in the hands of the guy that can be the most productive.

Q: Is it surprising to you that with Beckham being so dynamic and demanding so much attention that it doesn’t seem like Randle or Harris obviously didn’t have their best games? Is that something the Redskins were taking away and just winning the matchups because it didn’t seem like aside from Beckham that any of the receivers were getting much production?

A: Well, production is one word. The other word would be the direction of the ball being sent their way. Let’s face it, Rueben could have had two scores. I think that if the ball was placed properly in the end zone on the end zone throw that he would have caught that ball. Dwayne has been used in a lot of capacities and certainly he’s come through for us—made the one outstanding catch yesterday of a low ball, a very low ball. The tight end contributed a couple of plays yesterday. We had Hakeem for the first time, he got one ball, had another one thrown his way. I’m sure that will increase as well.

Q: Eli won’t go down this road or use it as any excuse, but what do you see from him when he’s dealing with change to this extent on the offensive line?

A: What do I see from him? I see the same player.

Q: Do you see a difference?

A: Do I see a difference in his play? No. I think sometimes it’s perhaps speeded up like it was yesterday on a couple of occasions. I’m not sure that sometimes the play is allowed to develop to the full extent that it does, or a quick decision is made on where the ball is going to go, or we go back to featuring the balls that are coming out of his hand quicker. He was, I think, going into the game last week, he was fifth in the league in the time of release and he’s done very well with that. You’d like your quarterback to have outstanding protection and not be hit—he got hit sometimes yesterday, there’s no doubt about it. But the way he came roaring back in the fourth quarter was a very good indication of Eli hanging in there, even stepping up into the pocket on numerous occasions and delivering the ball. Everybody is aware of who’s on the field, but has it affected his play? Maybe to speed up and not have an opportunity to go ahead and see the entire pattern the way that you would normally do it. But I did like the way he came back battling in the fourth quarter.

Q: What are you initial impressions of the Jets?

A: I haven’t even looked at them yet. I’ll start that this afternoon as soon as I hang up this phone.

Q: How much extra meaning does this Jets game have for you guys or does it have any extra meaning at all because of the locality of it?

A: I’ve not even begun to prepare for the Jets. They won yesterday, they’re a good football team. We did play them in the preseason, which is a long time ago. We’ll start our study here shortly.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players:

NOTES…
The Giants lost this season in Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington. This is the first season since 1996 in which they lost all of  their NFC East road games.

The Giants fell to 10-17 (.370) in games following a regular-season bye. They have lost their last two post-bye games after winning six in a row.

The Giants are 2-22 in regular season games in which they attempt at least 50 passes.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Nov 292015
 
Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 29, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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WASHINGTON REDSKINS 20 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14
The New York Giants lost a critical division game to the Washington Redskins, 20-14, on Sunday afternoon in Landover, Maryland. With the defeat, the Giants fell to 5-6 overall and 2-3 in the NFC East. The Giants are still tied with the Redskins for first place in the dismal NFC East with five games left to play. However, the Giants lost starting guard Geoff Schwartz for the season with a fractured lower leg.

The Giants’ offense was dismal, being shutout for three quarters against the NFL’s 22nd-ranked defense. New York’s first two drives quickly ended with interceptions off of tipped passes. In the Giants’ five other first-half drives, the team only gained four first downs and punted the ball away five times.

The Redskins could not convert the Giants’ two first-half interceptions into points as the defense forced a three-and-out and defensive tackle Jay Bromley blocked a 51-yard field goal attempt. However, Washington was still able to take a commanding 17-0 halftime advantage due to a 12-play, 56-yard field goal drive; a 63-yard deep strike from quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver DeSean Jackson after cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left the game with an ankle injury; and a 9-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a quarterback keeper on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line near the end of the first half.

The Giants had a chance to get back into the game early in the third quarter after the Redskins turned the ball over on downs at the New York 37-yard line. The Giants responded by driving 59 yards in eight plays down to the Washington 4-yard line. But on 3rd-and-goal, Manning’s pass was thrown behind wide receiver Rueben Randle and intercepted in the end zone.

The Giants went three-and-out on their next two possessions as the Redskins added a 33-yard field goal to go up 20-0 early in the 4th quarter. The Giants made things interesting late with two touchdown throws, including a 40-yard pass to Randle on 4th-and-16 with 10:10 remaining and a spectacular 21-yard, diving catch by wide receiver Odell Beckham with 4:57 remaining.

Nevertheless, the Giants’ defense could not get the ball back quickly after the latter score, allowing the Redskins to gain 37 yards and two first downs, taking 4:38 off of the clock. The Giants started their last drive at their own 20-yard with with only 19 seconds left.

Offensively, the Giants finished with 17 first downs, 299 net yards passing, and a pathetic 33 yards rushing against the NFL’s 30th-ranked run defense. Manning finished the game 26-of-51 for 321 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. He was sacked three times and officially hit eight other times. Beckham caught 9-of-18 passes thrown in his direction for 142 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Will Tye caught 6 passes for 74 yards. No Giants’ running back gained more than 15 yards.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 18 first downs, 302 net yards passing, and 105 rushing yards. The defense did not force a turnover. Cousins completed 69 percent of his passes, was not sacked, and only hit three times.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Offensive guard Geoff Schwartz fractured his lower leg in the first half. His season is over. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie injured his ankle but returned to the game.

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

  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham (Video)
  • WR Rueben Randle (Video)
  • DT Cullen Jenkins (Video)

POST-GAME NOTES…
Inactive for the Giants were TE Larry Donnell (neck), OC Weston Richburg (ankle), LG Justin Pugh (concussion), WR Geremy Davis, DE George Selvie, CB Leon McFadden, and S Cooper Taylor.

ARTICLES…

Nov 282015
 
Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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WESTON RICHBURG DOWNGRADED TO OUT; MARK HERZLICH QUESTIONABLE…
New York Giants center Weston Richburg, who was officially listed as “doubtful” for the game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday with a high ankle sprain, did not make the trip to Maryland and has been downgraded to out. As expected, tight Larry Donnell (neck) and left guard Justin Pugh (concussion) also did not make the trip and will not play.

However, linebacker Mark Herzlich, who had been ruled “out” with a quad injury, has been upgraded to “questionable” and did make the trip to Maryland. Linebacker J.T. Thomas, who has missed the last three games with an ankle injury, remains “questionable” for the game.

Right guard Geoff Schwartz (ankle), defensive end Damontre Moore (hamstring), linebacker Uani ‘Unga (neck),  cornerback Prince Amukamara (pectoral), and cornerback Leon McFadden (groin) are “probable” for the game.

GIANTS.COM INTERVIEW WITH TOM COUGHIN…
A video of a Giants.com interview with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Nov 272015
 


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NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
TE Larry Donnell (neck), LG Justin Pugh (concussion), and LB Mark Herzlich (quad) have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. OC Weston Richburg (ankle) is listed as “doubtful” for the game.

NJ.com is reporting that an MRI taken on Donnell’s neck on Wednesday did not reveal any serious long-term damage, but Donnell is still likely to miss at least four games and possibly the remainder of the regular-season.

“It’s in pretty rough shape,” Donnell said. “It’s going to be a while before I’m able to play again…There’s a chance I could play again this season, but this is not an arm, not a foot. This is my neck. I’ve broken arms, broken legs and I knew they were broken. This is a neck, so we just have to be really careful.”

“The fact is (Donnell is) not where they want him to be when they would give him the green light, so he’s not ready to go,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “(Putting him on season-ending Injured Reserve is) something that would be determined as we go along.”

Regarding Richburg, who practiced on Wednesday but not on Thursday, Coughlin said, “There was no re-injury, obviously he had a few snaps the day before and it didn’t work out.”

LB J.T. Thomas (ankle) is “questionable” for the game.

OG Geoff Schwartz (ankle), DE Damontre Moore (hamstring), LB Uani ‘Unga (neck),  CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), and CB Leon McFadden (groin) are “probable” for the game.

TOM COUGHLIN AND 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…
The Giants will have a 45-minute, up-tempo “walk-thru” practice on Saturday that is not open to the media. The Giants play the Washington Redskins in Maryland on Sunday.

Nov 272015
 
New York Giants Defense (September 24, 2015)

New York Giants Defense – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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New York Giants at Washington Redskins, November 29, 2015

THE STORYLINE:
It’s been a roller coaster season filled with ups and downs, bad injury news, and four heart-breaking defeats. But through 10 games with six to play, the Giants find themselves in first place in the NFC East, with two of their primary challengers all but officially dead. As unthinkable as it seemed only a week ago, the Giants can virtually lock up a playoff spot before December if they beat the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

These circumstances make this contest one of the most important the Giants will play in 2015. But as important as the game is to the Giants, it’s Washington’s season. If the Redskins lose, like the Cowboys and Eagles, they are all but officially done. Expect playoff-type intensity from the Redskins at Sunday – a team that is 4-1 at home this year, including wins over two teams (the Eagles and Saints) that have beaten the Giants. The Giants need to match or surpass that intensity to win.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • TE Larry Donnell (neck – out)
  • OC Weston Richburg (ankle – doubtful)
  • LG Justin Pugh (concussion – out)
  • RG Geoff Schwartz (ankle – probable)
  • LB J.T. Thomas (ankle – questionable)
  • LB Mark Herzlich (quad – out)
  • LB Uani ‘Unga (neck – probable)
  • DE Damontre Moore (hamstring – probable)
  • CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral – probable)
  • CB Leon McFadden (groin – probable)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
The Redskins are 22nd in overall defense (12th against the pass and 30th against the run). Those figures suggest the Giants should remain balanced. When the Giants defeated the Redskins at the Meadowlands back in September, the Giants passed the ball 32 times for 279 yards and ran it 31 times for 84 yards. But a few variables have changed since that first meeting. New York’s two best offensive linemen – center Weston Richburg and left guard Justin Pugh – are out. That will put a damper on an already moribund rushing game (26th in the NFL). A good running play is usually a well-choreographed affair where one breakdown can lead to failure. Take out two important cogs, especially two of the team’s best run blockers, and it’s not likely that the Giants will be able to generate much success against a defense that has struggled against the run lately.

The other factor that suggests more emphasis on the pass is that Redskins’ cornerback Chris Culliver tore his ACL and MCL in practice on Thanksgiving, making an already somewhat shaky secondary more vulnerable. That doesn’t mean the Giants should abandon the run, but I would emphasize the short-passing game early in lieu of the run – which is what Ben McAdoo often does anyways in some contests.

Washington only has 17 sacks on the season and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (4.5 sacks) remains their best pass rusher. The Redskins will line him on both sides so he will likely battle both starting offensive tackles. Inside linebacker Perry Riley is athletic and flashes at times. 3-4 right defensive end Jason Hatcher has been bothered by a knee issue. Bashaud Breeland is now Washington’s best corner, and he is up and down. The safeties are ordinary at best, and Dashon Goldson has been battling a slew of injuries. Eli Manning and his receivers should be able to do some damage against this group if the injury-depleted offensive line can give him time. Look for Washington to blitz up the middle to test Dallas Reynolds and John Jerry.

This game is too important to get too cute with. Put the ball in the hands of your best play-makers: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham, and Shane Vereen. The week off should have helped Rueben Randle too and I could see him having a big day against Washington as they roll their coverage towards Beckham. Eli has played very well against the Redskins in recent games.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
Kirk Cousins is coming on, but to date, he has really struggled against the Giants. Cousins was named “NFC Offensive Player of the Week” against the Buccaneers and had a perfect 158.3 QB rating against the Saints. He’s completing 68 percent of his passes, and as Tom Coughlin pointed out, 80 percent in his last two home games. Cousins brought his team back from a 24-0 deficit against the Buccaneers – a warning for a New York defense that has demonstrated a startling inability to hold leads.

Former Eagle and Giants-killer DeSean Jackson missed the first Giants-Redskins game with a hamstring injury. He’s an explosive deep threat who can put points on the board quickly. Fellow wideout Pierre Garcon is a savvy playmaker as is tight end Jordan Reed (6 touchdowns). Reed plays more like a wide receiver than tight end and is a match-up problem. Diminutive Jamison Crowder has 43 catches as the slot receiver. The Redskins are far more talented at the skill positions than a lot of fans realize. The Giants could focus more on Garcon and Reed in the first game with Jackson out, but they won’t have that luxury this time around. The good news for the Giants is that Prince Amukamara is back, but the Redskins surely have noticed the issues free safety Landon Collins has had in recent weeks.

The Redskins started off the season running the ball very well, but have struggled more of late. That said, this is big offensive line with quality, physical running backs who are sure to test a Giants’ defensive line missing Johnathan Hankins inside. Hankins wasn’t really missed against the Patriots, but this is a different style of opponent. The Giants will need a strong game from Cullen Jenkins, Jay Bromley, and Markus Kuhn. Trent Williams is one of the better left tackles in football, but Jason Pierre-Paul has given him trouble at times and Williams is battling a knee injury.

The Giants need to stop the run and make the Redskins one-dimensional. That will help take away the play-action pass and put pressure on Cousins to perform against a Giants team that he has turned the ball over against in the last three games between these two teams.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Redskins have returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, one against the Giants in Week 3 and the other last week against the Panthers. The Giants have also struggled lately on punt return coverage, with long returns by the Saints and Patriots possibly costing the Giants both games. The Redskins’ kicker has 30 kickoffs resulting in touchbacks and Washington is 2nd in the NFL in kickoff coverage so kickoff returns may be tough this week. Dwayne Harris has yet to break one on a punt return. Keep in mind the Giants blocked a punt against Washington in Week 3.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Tom Coughlin on Kirk Cousins: “I think he’s much more confident. I think the rhythm with which he goes about his business, particularly in the play-action pass game, is outstanding.”

THE FINAL WORD:
The Giants’ 97 wins versus Washington are the most for one team against another in pro football history. And the Giants are 5-0 against Washington in their last five contests. Much of that latter discrepancy has been due to the difference in play between Eli Manning and Kirk Cousins when these two teams have met. But don’t sleep on Washington. Cousins has a very talented group of targets who can present serious match-up issues for the Giants. This game is Washington’s season. Expect their best effort.

Nov 262015
 
Weston Richburg, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

Weston Richburg – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
There was no media access to the Giants on Thursday, but TE Larry Donnell (neck), OC Weston Richburg (ankle), LG Justin Pugh (concussion), and LB Mark Herzlich (quad) did not practice on Thursday.

Richburg had practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday but could not do so on Thursday. It’s looking more likely that John Jerry will start at left guard and Dallas Reynolds at center against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

LB J.T. Thomas (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

OG Geoff Schwartz (ankle), DE Damontre Moore (hamstring), LB Uani ‘Unga (neck),  CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), and CB Leon McFadden (groin) fully practiced.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Instead of practicing, the Giants will hold a “recovery day” on Friday. The players will select two of six recovery stations, based on seniority. Their choices are massage, yoga, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) exercises designed for the individual, air compression boots, contrast bath (between a hot and cold tub), and self-massage with stick rollers and elastic bands.

The Giants will also have a 45-minute, up-tempo “walk-thru” practice on Saturday that is not open to the media. The Giants play the Washington Redskins in Maryland on Sunday.

Nov 252015
 
Larry Donnell, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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QUINCY MONK PASSES AWAY…
Former New York Giants linebacker Quincy Monk (2002-03), who was drafted by the team in the 7th round of the 2002 NFL Draft, has passed away at the age of 36 due to cancer (adenocarcinoma). He leaves behind a wife and two children.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
TE Larry Donnell (neck), LG Justin Pugh (concussion), and LB Mark Herzlich (quad) did not practice on Wednesday.

Pugh is still experiencing concussion-like symptoms 17 days after he was injured against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 8th. Head Coach Tom Coughlin said that Pugh has improved “very little.”

The situation with Donnell is also sounding more serious. Donnell said on Monday that he was cleared to return to practice. “(Donnell) continues to have the issues,” said Coughlin.

“It’s not looking good,” said Donnell. “Monday, I was fine. I was out there running, jumping around. I felt good, but I had more tests to get cleared yesterday and they found something else. So I’ve got to go talk to them about it and see what’s going on…I feel fine now, but I mean obviously something is wrong, so we’ve just got to figure it out and see what the process is…We’ve got to make sure everything’s OK in there. That’s more than football you’re talking about, when it’s your neck.”

OC Weston Richburg (ankle) and LB J.T. Thomas (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

“(Richburg) going to be limited and we’ll see,” said Coughlin before practice. “We expect to hope to have him take a limited number of snaps but take some snaps, and we’ll see.”

OG Geoff Schwartz (ankle), DE Damontre Moore (hamstring), LB Uani ‘Unga (neck),  CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), and CB Leon McFadden (groin) fully practiced.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Wednesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday’s away game against the Washington Redskins.

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NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
OC Weston Richburg (high ankle sprain), LG Justin Pugh (concussion protocol), and DE Damontre Moore (hamstring) did not practice on Monday.

“I’m trying to get back as soon as I can,” said Richburg. “It all depends on how the ankle takes the rehab. I just have to stay after it this week, and try and be back as soon as I can. I’d like to be back as soon as possible. The sooner I get this thing moving, the better.”

“(Pugh) won’t be able to do anything until he meets all the conditions (of the concussion protocol),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

TE Larry Donnell (neck), LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), LB Uani ‘Unga (neck), and CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) returned to practice.

“I feel like I’m ready to play four quarters of a football game,” said Amukamara. “I feel 100 percent. I feel ready to go.”

TRAMAIN JACOBS SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have re-signed cornerback Tramain Jacobs to the Practice Squad. The Giants signed Jacobs to the Practice Squad in September, promoted him to the 53-man roster on November 7, and waived him on November 16. He played against the Buccaneers and Patriots. Jacobs was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Ravens waived Jacobs in August 2015.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Monday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s away game against the Washington Redskins.

Nov 212015
 
Odell Beckham, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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JAMES MORRIS RE-SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed linebacker James Morris to the Practice Squad. The Giants had previously signed Morris the Practice Squad in September, signed him to the 53-man roster in October, and waived him on November 17th. Morris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Patriots waived him in September.

GIANTS.COM INSIDER WITH CRAIG JOHNSON…
Video of a Giants.com “insider” interview with Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson is available at Giants.com.

ODELL BECKHAM ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of wide receiver Odell Beckham’s ESPN Radio interview on Thursday is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES…