Tag Archives: Giants

Colin and Sean’s Five Players to Play Week 11 Podcast

Colin and Sean explain why fantasy owners should start Drew Stanton, Sterling Shepard, Austin Hooper, Dion Lewis, and Marshawn Lynch.  Then they discuss three good defenses to start: Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, and Baltimore Ravens.

Click Here To Listen to the Week 11 Podcast

Questions/Comments?  Email: seanandcolinpodcast@gmail.com     Twitter: @Cummingpodcast or @Sean__Cumming

And with the 10th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select…

Nobody.  At least if luck is in the cards.

Ideally, a team such as the Tennessee Titans, who have traded out of the top 10 and are allegedly trying to get back in, will swap picks with the GMEN and give up a second round pick in the 2016 draft or possibly a third and a fifth in this draft.  The Giants, with multiple needs, would benefit from additional picks.  They currently have six picks in this draft having given up their 7th round pick for Punter Brad Wing prior to last season.

So what players would you take with a later first round (say the 15th…) pick in the draft? The following list would make some sense:

  1. Shaq Lawson- Clemson DE. Great at getting to the ball carrier (led the NCAA in tackles for loss last season with 24; was 4th in NCAA in 2015 with 12 sacks).  Other pass rushers worthy of consideration with this pick are Georgia OLB Leonard Floyd and Clemson DE Kevin Dodd who was also credited with 12 sacks in the 2015 season.  Dodd draws comparisons with NFL DE Michael Bennett.
  2. Offensive Tackles Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) or Jack Conklin (Michigan State). Both are potential starting RT’s in their rookie seasons. Ohio State’s Taylor Decker is also considered by some to be starting caliber.
  3. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (Florida). It is true, you can never have too many pass rushers and you can’t have too many skilled DB’s as well.   This guy would cover the slot receiver. Later round (2nd or 3rd) consideration should be given to Clemson’s Mackenzie Alexander.  There is very little chance that a defender of Hargreaves caliber will be available here.
  4. Linebacker Myles Jack (Notre Dame). Like Hargreaves, it is very unlikely that he will be available at the 15th pick but injury rumors might cause him to drop in the first round.  Personally, after having to deal with a Giants LB core that often looked like the walking wounded, I would pass on selecting him.

Sure, additional picks makes sense for a team that has multiple holes to fill on it’s roster and is likely more than one player away from achieving greatness.  As for me, I will admit, I tend to like the most popular flavor of the day.  Getting caught up in the pre-draft hype has not yielded great results in the past.   Given the opportunity, I would have selected first round picks  D.J. Fluker (OT) as well as Running Back Melvin Gordon.  I guess I think a lot like the San Diego Chargers.

This year’s pick for me is Ezekiel Elliot, RB (Ohio State).  A fast, big play RB who is also a good blocker and is markedly better than the rest of the RB class can make an immediate difference in improving a team’s offense.  I know what you’re thinking… ghosts from the GMEN’s prior drafts!   Does anyone remember the careers of such Giant draft picks as:

  • George Adams
  • Jarrod Bunch
  • Tyrone Wheatley
  • David Wilson

I didn’t think so. But this is a new season and we need to break this disturbing trend. Continuing right along here with the remainder of their picks, they need to get a Right Tackle in the second round who stands a chance of starting day one.  Follow this up with a ball-hawking free safety in round three, and a fast, sure-handed wide receiver in round four.  Spend the final picks(2) taking a flyer on one of the abundant number of pass rushing linebacker or defensive end candidates who were able to get to the quarterback and rack up sacks in college.  Some candidates on this list include OLB’s Tyrone Holmes (Montana)and Victor Ochi (Stony Brook) and DE’s Roy Robertson-Harris (Utep) and Matt Judon (Grand Valley State).  Undoubtedly, some of these small school prospects from lesser competition levels will pan out as useful contributors in the NFL.

My selections still leave some holes to fill on this team.  There will still be significant questions with the Linebackers and possibly with the Secondary unless a quality cornerback is obtained who can cover the slot receiver.  The Linebacker group yet again appears to consist of serviceable journeymen.   But my plan should get the GMEN back above the .500 mark and possibly into the playoffs.  From there as we all know, it’s anyone’s game to win it all!

Your thoughts on who the Giants or any other team must select in the 2016 NFL Draft ?

NFL Week 14: The Storylines Drive The League

When you think about it, football teams play regular-season games 16 days out of 365 days in a year.  Sure, the games are important, but, admit it: the storylines drive the league.  The storylines behind the games bring the necessary drama to the field and enhance the overall enjoyment of the game.  So, with that being said, let’s look at the notable stats and storylines of week 14.

* The New England Patriots face the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football this week and will try to stop a three-game losing streak, a rare spot for the team to find themselves. The Patriots have gone 213 straight games without losing three consecutive games, and only the San Francisco 49ers, with 292 straight games between 1980-99 have more.

* The Kansas City Chiefs are riding strong on a miracle six-game winning streak after starting the season with a 1-5 record.  With their recent success, it is hard to remember how poor of a start they had at the beginning of the season.  However, they need the momentum to keep rolling against the San Diego Chargers if they want to be just the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs after starting 1-5 through their first six games.  The only other team to do that was the 1970 Bengals, who went 1-6 before going on a seven-game winning streak.

* When the Cincinatti Bengals play the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, they will have the opportunity to clinch the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.  As a result, Andy Dalton could become just the second starting quarterback to make the playoffs in all of his first five seasons in the league.  The only other quarterback to do that is Joe Flacco. (Bengals fans, however, are hoping that this will be the year when they finally get past the wild-card round, though).

* The Giants (5-7) face off against the Dolphins (5-7) on Monday Night Football, and, even though the two teams have identical records going into the game, they have completely different divisional standings.  The Dolphins are buried in the bottom of the AFC East, while the Giants are tied for the lead atop the NFC East with the Eagles and Redskins.  Does this give the Giants an advantage?  Well, figure this into the equation: the Giants have the most losses (4) when leading after three quarters and the most losses when leading with five minutes left in the fourth quarter (5).

* The Seattle Seahawks have had great success over the past two seasons with two Super Bowl appearances, so, when they had a losing record (4-5) after their Week 10 loss to the Cardinals, questions about them even making the playoffs surrounded the team.  However, they have rebounded over the past three weeks with Russell Wilson throwing at least three touchdowns in three consecutive games, becoming the second player in franchise history to do that feat.  Will Wilson keep the fireworks shooting against the Ravens?

* So, who is going to be the league MVP this year: Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, or Adrian Peterson? Whether or not your answer is Newton, think about this: Newton has 30 games with a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown.  If he does that again against the Atlanta Falcons, he will be tied with Steve Young for the most in NFL history.

* If you’re leaning towards Adrian Peterson as the MVP, consider this: when Mike Wallace scored the touchdown against the Cardinals that tied the game at 20-20 with five minutes left on the clock Thursday, he scored the Vikings’ first offensive touchdown not by Adrian Peterson in 15 quarters (almost four games)!  Peterson also scored his 100th touchdown Thursday.

* Speaking of the Arizona Cardinals, they are proving to be shining stars in the spotlight.  They are 4-0 in primetime games this season and have another primetime game – Sunday Night Football – against the Eagles next week.  Is that bad luck for Eagles fans, who were supposed to play the Patriots last week in primetime but got flexed out of the spot, yet, after beating the Patriots, the league moved them into the Sunday Night Football matchup against the Cardinals?

* With the Heisman trophy set to be awarded soon, five straight awards have gone to quarterbacks in the past five years, and, of them, only Robert Griffin III made the playoffs in his first season.  Jameis Winston still has an outside chance to make the playoffs in his first year.  The Buccaneers (6-6) are tied with the Falcons and one game behind the Seahawks for the sixth playoff spot and two games away from the Vikings for the fifth playoff spot.  Will Tampa Bay start a playoff-worthy stretch of wins against the Saints Sunday?  Winning is now crucial for the Buccaneers.

* Is the NFC East the most mediocre, disinteresting, or most interesting division to watch right now?  The NFC East is the only division in the league in which every team has a losing record, and an argument why any of the four teams can win the division can be made.  Eagles play the Bills; Cowboys play the Packers; Giants play the Dolphins; Redskins play the Bears.  Who will come out victorious on Sunday and in the divisional race as a whole?

Questions/Comments? @sean__cumming

Patriots vs Giants Review

No matter the circumstances when the Patriots and Giants get together it always seems to be a competitive game.

Sunday was no different, as the Giants gave the Patriots their biggest scare of the season.

The Pats deserve credit for taking advantage, but for all intents and purposes the Giants handed the Patriots the win.

The G Men had the ball first and goal to go from the Patriots 5-yard line with 2:06 remaining. In the ensuing three plays, the Giants went: incomplete pass (OBJ drop), incomplete pass, sack.

More importantly, they shaved just 16 seconds off the clock due to the two minute warning and the Patriots calling their final timeout with 1:50 remaining.

Poor clock management coupled with Landon Collins’ near interception gave Tom Brady and the Pats too many chances to overcome a 2-point deficit.

After the benefit of film review, let’s take a look some of the highs and lows from Week 10:

On Offense

Julian Edelman Injury: As Tom Brady said Monday morning on his weekly radio hit, you can’t just replace Julian Edelman. Edelman, especially this season, has developed into one of the best receivers in football. In theory, the Patriots have a viable Edelman replacement in Danny Amendola. Amendola can run similar routes to Edelman, and serves as a sure handed target for Brady, but is not close to Edelman in terms of running after the catch. Edelman is one of the league’s best playmakers with the ball in his hands. Edelman has game breaking ability, and that will be sorely missed in the Pats O for the next 6-8 weeks.

Tom Brady Going Deep: Over the last few years as Tom Brady has aged we have seen him struggle with accuracy throwing the deep ball. Brady has been much better in that regarded this season, ranking 5th in the NFL in completion percentage of 21+ air yards (min. 8 att). Brady has a 43.3 comp percentage on passes of 21+ air yards this season, compared to just 24.5 in 2014. If it wasn’t for some breakdowns on the offensive line, Brady could have had a few touchdowns of 50+ yards in this one. In particular, over the last two weeks Brady has gotten on the same page with WR Brandon LaFell. His 54-yard completion to LaFell was a little bit behind the receiver, but a great throw nonetheless considering it went over 50 yards in the air:http://www.patriots.com/video/2015/11/15/highlight-tom-brady-54-yard-pass-brandon-lafell.

Final Drive: Let’s face it, the Giants handed the Patriots a second chance when rookie safety Landon Collins dropped an easy interception. Having said that, Brady and the Pats recovered nicely from the near turnover to get into field goal range. Brady didn’t force the issue after the almost pick, and relied on Danny Amendola over the middle to get them down the field. It wasn’t the cleanest of two minute drills, but it obviously got the job done. The Patriots went 44 yards on the final drive to set up Stephen Gostkowski, and 32 of those yards were on completions to Amendola. The play of the drive was a 4th and 10 completion to DA to keep the game alive. Brady waited until the last possible second to hit Amendola for 12 yards over the middle. Here is the final drive: http://www.patriots.com/video/2015/11/15/patriots-game-winning-drive-vs-giants.

On Defense

Giants Pick On Pats Backups: One part of the Giants game plan that was very obvious was that they liked their chances against Patriots backup linebacker Jonathan Freeny and corner Rashaan Melvin. Both Freeny and Melvin were in the game due to injuries (Jamie Collins, Justin Coleman), and the Giants did a good job of taking advantage. There’s such a big drop off from Collins to Freeny. Freeny filled in admirable, but was beat badly in coverage multiple times and whiffed on a few tackles. Melvin also got beat a few times by Giants WR Dwayne Harris, including a big 30-yard play to set the Giants up in field goal range on their final drive.

Malcolm Butler: The stats weren’t particularly friendly to Butler in this one, but it was mostly because of the 87-yard bomb he surrendered to Odell Beckham Jr. in the first quarter. Devin McCourty overran the play, and took a bad angle to the ball causing the major breakdown. Typically, McCourty makes that tackle preventing all the yards after catch. For the rest of the contest, Eli Manning was just 2-9 for five yards with three pass breakups when targeting Butler in coverage. Butler spent the majority of the day playing press-man on OBJ, so giving up just 5 yards after the big catch to Beckham is a heck of an accomplishment. Butler also made a game saving pass breakup in the end zone on the Giants final drive. It might sound a bit homerish to say, but Butler is turning into a very capable #1 CB.

Pats Ditch Big Dime Defense: Through the first 8 games of the season, the Patriots have relied on their four safeties on passing downs forming a big dime package. On Sunday, they opted to go with a more traditional look. The Pats decided to play Rashaan Melvin and Justin Coleman over rookie safety Jordan Richards (1 defensive snap). Richards was typically a part of the big dime look with McCourty, Chung, Harmon, Butler, and Logan Ryan. The decision didn’t exactly pan out for the Pats, as Eli Manning took advantage of the Patriots lack of depth at CB.

Special Teams

Amendola Punt Return: One of the biggest plays of the game was Danny Amendola’s 82-yard punt return that should have been a touchdown. The return provided a much needed spark for the Pats, and set up a LeGarrette Blount touchdown that got them back in the game.

Stephen Gostkowski: The Patriots have themselves an absolute weapon in kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Having a kicker that is deadly accurate from 55 yards and in is such a great thing to have for any football team. The Patriots started the final drive of the game with 1:47 remaining and no timeouts. Having Gostkowski meant they only needed 40-45 yards to attempt the FG. A 54-yarder is no chip shot, but Gostkowski made it look easy.

 

Previewing Pats at Giants – Week 10

We all know the well documented history between the Patriots and Giants.

The Giants have beaten the Pats 3 straight times. Twice in the Super Bowl, and once in a regular season matchup in Week 9 of 2011. No team in the Belichick era has beaten the Pats in four straight games.

Also, Giants coach Tom Coughlin is 5-1 in his coaching career against Bill Belichick, with the best win percentage of any head coach going head-to-head with BB.

Having said that, the Patriots enter the Week 10 showdown as one of two teams in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense, and total defense (Arizona Cardinals) to go with their 8-0 record.

Let’s take a look at some of the keys to victory for the Patriots:

On Offense

Get Gronk and Edelman Involved: Obviously Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski are always a huge part of the Patriots offense, but last week the Redskins were able to hold the lethal combinations to a respectable 102 receiving yards combined. The Giants give up all sorts of yards through the air (ranked 31st), and just gave up 7 touchdown passes to Drew Brees two weeks ago. The Giants struggle against tight ends and shifty receivers like Edelman. In fact, the Giants have given up the most receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns to slot receivers this season. The middle of the field should be open for Gronk, Edelman, and the Pats.

Who’s Replacing Dion Lewis?: The Giants defense has struggled so far this season, so this is a good place to start life without Dion Lewis. Dion Lewis was such a huge part of what the Pats were doing offensively as I illustrated in my review of the Redskins game. Everyone will be looking to see who gets Lewis’ snaps as the receiving back. Will it be Brandon Bolden or James White? Either guy needs to be able to win matchups against linebackers in coverage.

Protect Brady: This is a key each and every week, but it’s even more so this week with the matchup against the Giants. We all know how the Giants have slowed down the Pats offense in the past, and that is by getting to Brady. Most would tell you that the Giants do it by rushing just four and dropping seven in coverage, and that their talent on the defensive line allows them to get to Brady anyways. The Giants have had very talented defensive lineman, but have also blitzed Brady 13 times a game in their last four matchups. That’s a decent amount. If the Patriots want to avoid losing four in a row to the G Men they will have to keep Brady upright with this banged up offensive line.

On Defense

How Do You Stop OBJ?: The Patriots will face arguably the league’s best receiver on Sunday in Giants standout Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ is on a historic pace in just his second year in the league. He is both the fastest receiver to 150 career receptions and to 2,000 receiving yards. His 19 receiving touchdowns is the fourth most in a player’s first 21 games. So how will the Patriots slow down Beckham? Well, they can go one of two directions illustrated by matchups against elite receivers earlier in the season. In Week 1, the Patriots opted to let top corner Malcolm Butler shadow Antonio Brown, and lived with the consequences (9 rec, 133 yds, TD). This allowed the Patriots to limit the Steelers other receiving options. In Week 7 against the Jets, the Patriots took a different approach. They doubled Jets top wideout Brandon Marshall with Logan Ryan and Devin McCourty over the top, and held Marshall down to one of his lowest outputs of the season. How the Patriots approach slowing down OBJ is the biggest key to this game defensively.

Get To Eli: Since Eli Manning entered the league in 2004, no quarterback in the NFL has thrown more interceptions. Having said that, he has also thrown the fourth most touchdowns in that span, and has the fifth most wins as a starter. Manning has a passer rating of 96.7 his four matchups with Tom Brady and the Pats. His numbers aren’t stellar against the Pats, but he obviously has done enough to win. The Giants offensive line has improved over the past two seasons, but the key to slowing down any elite quarterback is applying pressure. Based on what I’ve seen of this Giants offensive line, the Patriots front can have their way on Sunday.

“Stop The Run, Then Have Some Fun”: Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones was quoted saying the phrase earlier in the week. It’s a great quote, but it’s also a great way to approach each game. The Giants don’t run the ball well (ranked 24th), so making the Giants one dimensional should be a focus on Sunday.

My take on the first preseason game for the GMEN

Am I the only frustrated Giants fan out there? How does a team lose four defensive backs in one preseason game? At the risk of overreacting to the first preseason game that took place on Friday against the Cincinnati Bengals, I was left scratching my head after watching what can only be described as a poor showing by the New York Giants on both sides of the ball.

Let’s start with the headline of the game. Four defensive backs were forced out of Friday night’s game with injuries. One of them, Mykkele Thompson, appears to be a season-ending ACL tear. The other rookie safety for the New York Giants, second-round pick Landon Collins, left the game with a MCL sprain. Fortunately it doesn’t appear to be that serious and he could return to action prior to the start of the regular season. Other db’s injured were CB’s Jayron Hosley and Safety Bennett Jackson.

Losing four defensive backs in the first preseason game leaves me in search of answers. Was the field a problem for our players (certainly no more than the other team), is this team poorly conditioned, or do we just have a case of extremely bad luck? I suspect it is more of door number three than anything else. I remind myself that Steve Spagnuola defenses start out slowly for us, but if he loses his players before the season begins, well, there won’t be much to discuss.

Defending Sean O’hara

When former NYG OL (and Superbowl Champion) Sean O’hara called out the New York Giants offensive lineman the other week for what on the surface might appear to be a lack of toughness, I had to think back to the Parcells years and ask myself the question, why did there appear to be so few injuries back then and so many now? Were they just not reported? The reality is that THE GAME HAS CHANGED.   And I’m not sure I like it as much! Endure the pain and get back on the field, GMEN!

Football is a brutal sport. Always was and probably always will be. You just can’t take the physical out of it. And if you do, it probably won’t be fun anymore. Now, back to the game.

The offensive performance on Friday wasn’t very encouraging. Although the left side of the offensive line might be a keeper (Flowers, Pugh and Richburg), the right side (Jerry and Newhouse) clearly is not. Keep doing the shuffle until we find a mix that we can rely on to both run block and pass protect. Why not give the younger players some playing time if the veteran (journeymen) are not getting the job done? It would be nice if Geoff Schwartz can finally got back on the field!

The fact that Eli Manning was forced to take the field for 4 offensive series I believe tells the story of the performance on that side of the ball. While some teams, (the Philadelphia Eagles) appear to be in midseason form, marching down the field creating score after score, the GMEN had difficulty getting a first down. I know this is only the first game, and preseason games don’t matter very much but Tom Coughlin has to give us more than this to look forward to!

What I did see

Okay, searching for some positives, any positives.

– It does appear that we might have a third running back in Orleans Darkwa. Please continue to run well throughout the preseason and remain healthy.

-Akeem Hunt looks like he might be an asset on Special Teams as both a punt and kickoff returner. It certainly can’t hurt to have another returner weapon in addition to Dwayne Harris and perhaps this guy could be worked into the offense as a Dave Meggett-like third down back.

-Trevin Wade may be a keeper in the defensive backfield assuming he can remain on the field. Stay tuned.

In closing, I just read that the Giants signed veteran Safety Brandon Meriweather to add some stability to the defensive backfield. Interesting move taking a controversial player that some perceive to be dirty. It probably can’t hurt to add some attitude and toughness to this team. I for one am in favor!

Larry Finklestein, The Touchdown Maker!

Larry Finklestein, The Touchdown Maker!