E-Dog Night Posted October 25, 2005 Share Posted October 25, 2005 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. 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. :logo: Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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