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Breaking down the Giants

E-Dog Night

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Everyone's in love with Eli all of a sudden. Funny how winning changes things. Last year, he pulled an Elway under daddy’s leash, making him one of the easiest players in the NFL to hate.

Time and a 4-2 start have curtailed much of the criticism. Now Eli is humming passes to Shockey and Plax; Tiki continues to be one of the best all around backs in the NFL; and people are talking about Giants unseating the Eagles to win their first division title in five years. People are mentioning the brothers Manning together in the same sentence because of their similar passer ratings, not just because of relation.

There's just one problem: the defense. Masked in the fast start is a pesky little fact that the Giants are ranked 31st in a 32 team league in total defense. And it hasn't been just one side of the ball that has betrayed them: they rank 27th against the run and 31st against the pass.

So why hasn't this cost them more games?

Two reasons: turnovers and forcing teams to settle for field goals after drives. The Giants are a healthy +8 in turnovers this season and have recovered 8 of the 9 fumbles they have forced.

And in the last two games, their opposition has kicked 6 field goals at the end of drives instead of punching it in the end zone. edit The margin of victory in both games was by a total of 4 points.

This is a hard team to figure. They were blown out by 22 points against San Diego, then bounced back against the Rams to win by 20. Then comes the bye week followed by 2 very close games, in both of which Manning led a late comeback.

So who are the Giants exactly?

I'd say they are an emerging team with four excellent weapons on offense and an opportunistic defense that bends like a yoga master but doesn't break too often.

So then, the keys to beating the Giants are fairly obvious:

1) Hold on to the football – turnovers will absolutely kill you against this offense

2) Run the ball well and finish drives – win the TOP battle

Other minor points:

a) Don't let them hang around if you get a late lead. Go for the jugular with intermediate and deep passes.

B) Double team Michael Strahan.

c) Punish Plaxico Burress with hard hits early.

d) Swarm Tiki Barber whenever he gets his hands on the ball.

So if the Skins are to win this game, Brunell has to make sure that he is smart with the ball & doesn't hold it like a can of spray paint, ala the two fumbles against the Chiefs. Someone has to make it a priority to keep Strahan from blowing up stuff. They have to control the clock with Portis and Betts, and then employ an X factor.

And I think that X factor is David Patten.

Did you see how often Patten was wide open against the Niners? The Giants secondary isn't much better, and with everyone sure to key on Moss, look to Patten to have a big day this Sunday.


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']Actually' date=' the Giants have not won the last two games. They lost to the Cowboys in overtime.[/quote']

Indeed. Thanks for pointing that out.

With all the unabashed gushing thrown at Eli I forgot about that loss. Margin of victory was still a total of 4 points in both games, which makes the point that forcing offenses to kick FGs are hiding the defense's poor stats.

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its goin to be a tough one...i think your keys to the game (holding onto the ball and TOP) are accurate..maybe more important than top however will be finishing drives wtih TD's...we have the capability to score 30 against this defense, and if we do it should produce a win. the giants offense is scary though, and eliminating the big play should play a major role in slowing down their offense

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Since when is pointing out one factual error, to one's own detriment no less, being owned?

Anyway, nice read E-Dog as usual. :)


Some times people just love using "owned" on message boards (Or OWN3D, or pwned, or whatever), regardless of whether an actual owning has occurred or not. It's right up there with "Next" or "Next, please".

I'm almost as sick of seeing that as seeing "haters".

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