Eric Kennedy

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

Dec 142018
 
Share Button
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (October 22, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham (quad) did not practice on Friday. He has been ruled out of the game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

“He just can’t go,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur about Beckham. “No setbacks, just can’t go…I think it’s a day-to-day thing.”

Left tackle Nate Solder (abdomen) practiced on a limited basis, but he is expected to play on Sunday.

Tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) and safety Curtis Riley (wrist) fully practiced. Both are expected to play.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Dec 142018
 
Share Button
Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (August 17, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Tennessee Titans at New York Giants, December 16, 2018

THE STORYLINE:
The storyline? Somehow the once 1-7 New York Giants are still alive for playoff spot with three games left to play. And had the now 5-8 Giants, still in last place in the NFC East, not blown their most recent game against the Philadelphia Eagles, they would actually have a serious shot at making the post-season.

The 4-1 run over the last five games is a testament to the continued fighting spirit of a still undermanned and patchwork team, as well as an indictment of the quality of their recent opponents (or more specifically, the quality of their opponents’ quarterbacks). But is it improvement. The Giants are actually beating teams. And as I pointed out last week, they are actually beating up on teams.

It is not likely the Giants will make the playoffs. Their destiny is only partially within their own hands. But you can only control what you can control, and the next task is to beat the Tennessee Titans. This is the type of physical opponent who has given the Giants problems in recent years. The Titans will be a far better litmus test to evaluate how much progress the 2018 New York Giants have truly made.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • WR Odell Beckham (quad – out)
  • TE Rhett Ellison (ankle – probable)
  • LT Nate Solder (abdomen – probable)
  • S Curtis Riley (wrist – probable)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:

The Giants will be facing a tough 3-4 defense. Tennessee is 9th in the NFL in yards allowed and 4th in scoring defense (less than 20 points per game). The Titans are also 6th in pass defense in the entire NFL. Most notable is that the Titans have the #1 redzone defense. Because Tennessee isn’t a big media market, many fans have not heard of their best players. Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey (7 sacks) is one of the best in the business. The back seven linebackers and defensive backs are tough and active. Aside from Casey, most of the pass rush comes from their linebackers.

Eli Manning’s press conferences are routinely boring affairs. But he made some very interesting comments this week. Eli said the Giants’ offense is still figuring out its path.  When asked what he meant by that, Manning responded, “Just our identity and being able to run the ball. I think that’s been the biggest difference since the bye. Just an emphasis on running the ball, the play-action. A lot more under center. Not as much shotgun. Not as much seven-step drop. Just having everything build off the run game.”

A myth has developed around Manning’s career that he was only good when he had the benefit of a good running game and defense. Nothing could have been more opposite from the truth during his career-season in 2011. But with age and the unending beatings he has taken over the past six years, Manning has morphed into that type of quarterback. I wouldn’t call him a “game manager” because he’s still capable of big-time games and big-time throws. But even he himself seems to recognize that he is at the point of his career where relying on the run is better for him and the offense as a unit.

The coaching staff and the players now seem to fully understand that the centerpiece of this offense is not Eli Manning. And it’s not Odell Beckham. It is a 21-year old kid from Penn State who has only played in 13 professional football games. The more Saquon Barkley touches the ball, the more likely the New York Giants will win the football game. Overly simplistic and sophomoric analysis? Perhaps. But when the kid gets his 20 touches, good things happen.

It will also be important for Evan Engram to build upon last week’s game. For the first time in 2018, Engram looked like the player many of us expected him to be. His two long, run-after-the-catch plays against Washington were difference makers. The Giants need more of that.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:

The game plan is easy to identify but harder to implement: stop the run. The Titans are 11th in the NFL in rushing. But they are #3 in rushing attempts. In a pass-happy NFL, almost half of their offensive snaps are rushing attempts. And it’s a three-headed monster:

  1. Derrick Henry is the 6’3”, 247-pound, powerful punisher. Henry is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and has nine rushing touchdowns. (Though note his 712 rushing yards is inflated by last week’s 99-yard run in which Pop Warner teams have tackled better).
  2. The much smaller (5’8”, 195 pounds), but quicker Dion Lewis who has 50 receptions out of the backfield in addition to his 477 rushing yards. Keep in mind, the Giants don’t have a good track record covering backs.
  3. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has rushed for 339 yards and two touchdowns this year. The Giants have struggled with mobile quarterbacks, including Josh Johnson last week.

When the Titans do put the ball up, aside from Lewis catching the ball out of the backfield, wide receiver Corey Davis (54 receptions) is the main target. Mariota is completing 69 percent of his passes, but only has 11 touchdown throws. The Titans also have allowed 43 sacks (tied with the Giants for 3rd worst in the NFL).

Interestingly, 10 of New York’s 24 sacks have come in the last two games. Olivier Vernon is starting to tease again. But containing Mariota on the ground will be one of the biggest keys to this game. The Giants must maintain disciplined pass rush lanes. And they need to cover Lewis. Linebacker coverage has been a sore spot.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:

The Giants face a major test this week in kickoff return specialist Darius Jennings who is averaging over 34 yards per return, including a 94 yarder. Adoree’ Jackson is also a dangerous punt returner.

THE FINAL WORD:
The Titans are a tough, physical 7-6 football team that plays outstanding defense and can rush the football. This is the type of team that has given the Giants fits during the 2012-17 period. But the Giants are starting to show their own brand of toughness. This will be a good test for them. The Titans don’t score much, but other teams don’t score much on them either. Give Barkley 20 touches or more, stop the run, and prevent the big return on special teams. Get to 6-8 and live to fight another day.

Dec 142018
 
Share Button
Dec 142018
 
Share Button
Dec 132018
 
Share Button
Odell Beckham, New York Giants (November 12, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham (quad) did not practice on Thursday. Tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) practiced on a limited basis. Safety Curtis Riley (wrist) fully practiced.

Beckham underwent further medical evaluation on his quad injury on Thursday. “We just went in, got it scanned just to see everything and it’s doing much better than it was,” said Beckham. “Just taking it a day at a time, that’s really it…I just kind of played through it and then it’s just aggravated, so we just went in, took some looks, get some tests, want to see exactly what was going on.”

When asked if his injury was a contusion, Beckham responded, “I don’t know. It’s like saying I broke my leg, well you really fractured it. It’s just choice of words, whatever you want to call it. Shit ain’t right.”

Beckham said he is not sure if he will play on Sunday. “I honestly don’t know until Sunday gets here,” said Beckham.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

Dec 132018
 
Share Button
Dec 132018
 
Share Button
Dec 132018
 
Share Button
Dec 122018
 
Share Button
Russell Shepard, New York Giants (December 9, 2018)

Russell Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. Wide receiver Odell Beckham (quad) practiced on a limited basis. Safety Curtis Riley (wrist) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants terminated to the practice squad contract of punter Brock Miller on Monday. The Giants filled that roster vacancy by signing defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton to the Practice Squad.

The 25-year old, 6’3″, 315-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Patriots waived him in September 2017 and he spent time with the New Orleans Saints in 2017 and 2018. Hamilton has played in two regular-seasons games with one start.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday and Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

Dec 122018
 
Share Button