Tag Archives: Amari Cooper

Close is just not good enough…

When you’re 0-5, it is probably safe to say that you are what your record says you are.  That holds true for the New York Giants.

Blowing a 14 point lead early in the game, the 2020 New York Giants looked for every possible way to give up their lead.  Most notable guffaws from Week 5 included eight penalties for 81 yards which resulted in two touchdowns being taken off the board; far more points than would have been required in their 37-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.  Throw in a clear missed pick-6 by cornerback James Bradberry and one has to be wondering where the team’s concentration is during the games played thus far.

The truth of the matter is that the Giants have been in the thick of 3 winnable games in 2020.  The scores included the following:

Week 2:   17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears

Week 4:  17-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams

Week 5:  37-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys

Their only blowout in 2020 thus far came at the hands of the San Francisco Forty Niners who, playing a number of backups, handily beat the Giants 36-9.  Throw in a 26-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener as another game in which the GMEN were manhandled on both the O-line and D-lines.

Looking under the hood, one can see that there is plenty wrong with this team.  Let’s look at the Giants Regular Season Statistics through 5 games (courtesy of Espn.com):

2020 Regular Season Statistics 


5 1,412 282.4 1,017 203.4 395 79.0 81 16.2

Ranking:  30th


The Giants defense, on the other hand, while keeping things close during most games played in 2020 continues to allow game-winning drives.

 GP TOT. PTS PTS/G RUSH YDS RUSH YDS/G               pyds     Pyds/game TOT YDS YDS/G
5 133                                        26.6 553 110.60 1162        232.40         1715 343

Ranking:  20th (Per Pro Football Focus)

This is the third time this season Jones had a chance to win the game on the final drive, against the Bears, Rams, and now Cowboys, and has come up empty each time.  Joe Montana, he’s not,  Obviously, that’s an unfairly high bar, but he needs to convert some of these drives into wins if he’s going to be anything more than a journeyman quarterback.

This game saw a significant step in the right direction for the Giants offense, although it’s difficult to discern whether this was due to an improvement in Jason Garrett’s play calling or just a consequence of playing against arguably the worst defense in the league.  Devonta Freeman, who had 60 yards on 17 carries, showed good field vision, finding holes a still developing offensive line created for him.

The Giants secondary remains a major weakness despite their offseason attempts to improve it.  James Bradberry looks to be a bright spot, as he was able to contain Amari Cooper most of the game, but Ryan Lewis allowed a 38 yard gain by Michael Gallup that set up the winning field goal.  And unfortunately, the Giants number 2 pick in this season’s draft, Xavier McKinney, who was arguably the best safety in this draft class, has yet to see the field due to injury.

It is safe to say that this team does not inspire any confidence in maintaining a lead.  Even after the Giants took a 34-31 lead with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter (after an Andy Dalton fumble resulting from a bad snap), this 2020 team does not let you rest assured that a victory is in sight.  The Cowboys game winning drive saw Dalton connect with Amari Cooper on a 15 yard pass, wide receiver Michael Gallup on a deep pass for 19 yards, and then Gallup again for a 38 yard reception.  That basically sums up the Giants season thus far; inability to make the big stop when needed.  Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein proceeded to kick a 34-yard field goal to win the game, 37-34.

Long gone are the days of Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyoura, Justin Tuck and Matthias Kiwanuka.  The fact is that the current Giants squad does not have one defensive player on the roster who can be counted on to secure a win. And if you thought that special player was going to be Defensive End Lorenzo Carter this season, you would be wrong.  He left the game and the team for the season with a torn achilles. Yet another bit of misfortune in a horrendous season.

Bad drafting (Eric Flowers), bad luck (Saquon’s injury), Covid-10… all must improve before the Giants emerge from the cellar of the NFL.

Special thanks to our friend Gregory Frank for sharing his intimate thoughts about the week 5 matchup vs. the Cowboys.

Huddleball.com welcomes all fan insight and opinions.  If you want to blog with us this season, please email us at huddleball@gmail.com.

Fantasy Football: Top 5 Most Interesting Players Of Week 8

1.  Alfred Blue:  Arian Foster is lost for the season, and, as a result, many fantasy owners are left frantically searching for a replacement.  So, where else is better to look than the team that now needs a replacement for Foster.  When Foster was out with injury earlier in the season, the team tried a committee approach with Blue, Chris Polk, and Jonathan Grimes in Weeks 1-2.  However, by Week 3, the committee devolved, and Alfred Blue was the clear-cut leader in the backfield.  Therefore, he is most likely going to be the lead back going forward, right?  The one factor that has to be considered, though, is that, in the three weeks when Foster was absent, Grimes and Polk accounted for 22 receptions against three for Blue, so his receiving production could potentially have a low floor.  This week, they go up against a Tennessee defense allowing the fourth fewest fantasy points to running backs but have been vulnerable recently as they gave up 113 yards and a touchdown to Lamar Miller in Week 6 and 116 yards to Devonta Freeman in Week 7.  Who will become the lead back in Foster’s absence?

2.  Amari Cooper:  On Sunday, Cooper burned a San Diego defense that came into the game giving up the third fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.  He put up five receptions on six targets for 133 yards and a touchdown, and, with it, tied an Oakland-rookie record for three 100-yard receiving games – and this week he tries to break it.  That alone should have him fired up for a strong performance.  The downside, however, is that he has seen only ten targets the past two weeks, and, since only one of his 50 targets have come in the redzone, his touchdown production has a low floor.   In addition, he will be playing against a New York Jets defense that features a trip to Revis Island.  The matchup is not ideal, but that’s what makes him such an interesting play this week.  In addition, he’s going against a Jets defense that Patriots running backs rushed five times against last week, and the Raiders will likely take a pass-heavy approach to get around the defensive line, too.  If he can post a good score against Revis and the Jets defense, he would be making a strong statement.  Will the rookie, Alabama-star wideout, exceed expectations once again?

3.  Charcandrick West:  Charcandrick West has been down-then-up in his two starts since Jamaal Charles went down with injury.  However, the 22 attempts he received last week show that West will get enough work to produce.  In Week 6, West and Knile Davis had 9 and 5 rushes, respectively, sharing the load almost equally, but West clearly was the lead back in Week 7.  In fact, West had the 5th most rushing attempts among running backs and 12th most yards last week, and he even had a greater percentage of the Chiefs’ rushing attempts (75.9-percent) than Charles had all season.  However, that occurred while Jeremy Maclin was sidelined with post-concussion symptoms.  Maclin passed the concussion protocol last week but did not play, yet he is almost assured to play this week.  Will West win the lead-back role in Kansas City?

4.  Antonio Brown:   When Michael Vick came in for Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown’s production dropped quickly, and he went through a major slump in scoring, causing owners to debate whether it was worth sitting him with Vick slinging the ball around.  However, this week, Roethlisberger returns from a MCL injury, and Antonio Brown is expected to be the major beneficiary.  In Brown’s two starts playing with Roethlisberger this season, he has 18 receptions for 328 yards and two touchdowns, with nine receptions for 86 yards in Week 3, when Roethlisberger was injured.  Brown torched the Bengals for an average of 122.5 yards last season, but he scored only one touchdown against them last year and three touchdowns through nine contests in his career.  In addition, Brown has just four red zone targets this season and has competition for touchdowns from Martavis Bryant, who has 11 touchdowns in 12 career games.  Will Antonio Brown continue the dominance he had last year now that Roethlisberger is back?

5.  A. J. Green:  A.J. Green, considered a WR 1 among fantasy insiders, has not had what can be considered an elite game in three scoreless weeks, and, two weeks ago, he had the worst performance of his year with four receptions for 36 yards.  However, with Andy Dalton playing the best football of his career right now, A.J Green should be expected to be within the elite wide receivers in the league in scoring, right?  What is the problem, then?  Well, they have a lot of mouths to feed in Cincinnati.  Tyler Eifert is third overall in fantasy points among tight ends, and Marvin Jones is taking a lot of production away.  Against the Bills last week, Marvin Jones had almost double the targets (12 to Green’s 7) and almost three times Green’s yards (95 to Green’s 36).  Still, the matchup against the Steelers is one in which Green has thrived in recent years.  Green has at least 80 yards in his last three starts against the Steelers, and he has averaged over nine catches for 133 yards over those three games.  He just needs Andy Dalton to focus on him more.  In two games against the Steelers last season, Dalton had a 71.6-percent completion percentage with 546 yards (8.14 yards-per-reception) and five touchdowns.  The question, however, is how much of that production is going to be coming Green’s direction, and it’s hard to trust Green with his teammates  vulturing points so well.  Will Green continue his streak of stellar performances against the Steelers?  Or, will other members of the team steal the spotlight away from him?