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Overview and game balls.


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This team is extremely worrisome. We get an absolute gift early that leads to a touchdown. Metcalf returns a splendid punt, and we are feeling frisky. We should have put the hammer down right then. We should have run that wide receiver toss then. We should have opened the offense up right then. We didn't. And we were thoroughly dominated in the first half.

Somehow we led 17-14, but we were incompetent. The defense, as usual, was fiesty, but, it tired and the Giants were throttling us. The offense was utterly without design or concept. Even the touchdown pass to Gardner was a horrendous call. You do NOT run two receivers along the same parallel routes six yards apart like that. It worked because of a breakdown, but, it was a poor design.

Now, the second half opens and we are playing like we were against Carolina for that dreamy quarter. We were threatening the safeties on pass patterns. We changed the running game up to get some room. And someone spiked Raye's Kool-Aid with that receiver pass. We played good offensive football in the second half, despite a few sacks Banks should not have taken.

We should have been up more if the refs were somewhat more kind and less blind on some spots and penalty calls. Thompson was clearly interfered with on that one long bomb. He still should have adjusted better, but, I won't nit pick smile.gif.

The point is, this team is worrisome. When it is allowed to play to the strengths it has, it's a pretty fun team to watch. But, Marty just can't let the dogs out all game yet. If he can, there's a legitimate amount of hope for this year. I just can't stand watching this team continuing to play such stupid football.

We blow timeouts like they come in packs of 10. We can't get creative until we are blasted for, essentially, five consecutive three plays and done. But, then you look at the beauty in what happens when this team puts pressure in the defensive backfield.

You force the safeties of the Giants back. They were walking up all day, totally unafraid of us. They didn't think they'd get stung. They got stung. Marty has a chance to win over this team so many of us thought he lost. This team has a chance to win a third game in a row and enter an off week on a very big high, while getting healthy and better.

There is a legitimate chance, with another win on Sunday, that this team could threaten some very good teams because it will continue to believe and start to expect good things to happen. But, Marty has to let the dogs out from the opening kickoff.

We are starting to beat teams in the special teams department. We are starting to get to where Marty wants to be there -- a team that always can count on winning one phase of the game. Marty now has to figure out a way to allow the other units to start winning from the start rather than waiting. In this game, Marty opened it up a little sooner than against the Panthers.

Now, let's get him to open it up that much sooner against the Seahawks.

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Game balls go to:

Metcalf -- For a brilliant return.

Westbrook -- For being allowed to run a route he's good at, and making the Giants pay because of it. And, perhaps for showing Marty it's ok to throw to Westbrook.

Raye -- The wide receiver pass alone gets him here. But, he did appear to stick with the ground game even when it was struggling. That's a positive.

Szott and Coleman -- Dominated the interior Giants line. Without Hamilton, that wasn't the same team inside.

No one on defense gets a game ball. We didn't make enough plays and we didn't capitalize on our opportunities. Arrington was close to a game ball and Jones started like a man possessed, but, he was taken out too much. Wilkinson should get a game ball, but I'm not giving him one until he does it again smile.gif.

On the downside:

Jansen gave Strahan two sacks. One was clearly Banks' fault and the other was just a lucky break, but, when the box score reads two sacks by the man you were blocking, you will be said to have struggled. But, Jansen does control Strahan very well.

Barker needs to kick the ball with better height and distance. We were living on the bad side of the field position battle too long in the first half. And do we all see why Williams is not with us? Inconsistent.

Darrell doesn't appear to have the lateral movement he needs. He got beaten too much. Champ should be here too, but, Champ rebounded in the second half and was dominating. Darrell didn't get it going all night.

We won, so I won't put more here smile.gif.


Doom is in the box.

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Art, initially I also thought that Thompson was interfered with. But after reviewing the play, I saw otherwise. Thompson was racing for the endzone wide open, with the defender behind him. Banks then underthrows him by about 6 yards. Naturally, Thompson has to put on the brakes to have a chance at catching the ball. As a result of Thompson's sudden stop, the defender incidentally and non-intentionally runs into him and makes contact. I'm not sure you can call interference on something like that. So I chalk that mistake on Banks for the underthrow.

Not to defend the refs, cuz they had a typical crappy day. Such as the non-interference on McClellion that they called, and gave the Giants the ball 1st and goal. Not only was it not interference, but like the announcers said, it probably wasnt even catchable either

[edited.gif by Mick on October 28, 2001.]

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Mick, I'm gonna have to disagree with you on the parallel routes. It's long been a staple of the Gilman/Coryell/Gibbs/Turner school of offense. Putting the WR in motion ID's man coverage and the parallel routes force the safety-- particularly in the red zone-- to make a quick decision. It resulted in an easy read for Banks.

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Good points, Art. I'd have to add that the most worrisome player on the field for me is Banks. He makes a terrific throw one play, then spends the next three or four series dancing around in futility. Sometimes he just doesn't seem to have his head in the game, which I believe explains a lot of the wasted timeouts. He often shows a poor sense of the pocket, taking off before he has to or holding the ball too long. It's frustrating as hell, because all that's keeping him from being an excellent quarterback is consistency. He's got all he needs with a great arm, athleticism, fire and a nice touch, especially for the deep ball (although he should have led Thompson more on the near-TD). I even see some real leadership qualities beginning to manifest themselves. If he can learn to stop forcing things at times and lose the more-than-occasional skittishness he shows, he'd be fine. Maybe he's a late bloomer and it will come with more maturity and a better comfort level between him and Marty. I suspect though, that the same thoughts have followed him at each stop in his career.

Oh, and give one more game ball to the fans. That was intense a crowd as I've seen at FedEx. Sometimes it's hard to tell from the TV or radio, but not this time. This had the feel of an old-time Gints-Skins matchup. I'd be curious to see how some of the guys who were there felt. I trust the bags have been put away smile.gif.


<IMG SRC="http://www.compucheap.com/fungraph/pee.gif" border=0><IMG SRC="http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/photos/binladen_osama.jpg" border=0>

[edited.gif by Fitzman on October 28, 2001.]

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I was going crazy in the first half watching this offense. It was the same old incompetent crew from the pre-4th qtr Panther game team. The O was not doing anything to make the Giants pay for their tactics. Luckily, the team turned it around in the 2nd half. BTW, Ki-Jana Carter is looking like an excellent pickup.

The D was too passive for my taste the whole game. It did a good job against the run, but the Giants didn't seem too interested in running in the first place. A noticable lack of pressure on Collins. I thought the book on Collins was to make him nervous, not help him relax. Darrell was getting absolutely used. I never thought I would say this, but I hope Smoot gets back soon so DG can return to the nickel spot. He can still run with anyone, but the closing speed is certainly diminished. Champ needs to pick his game up and bring it consistently. He didn't look good on those first two TD tosses.

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Mick, I agree with Art on this one. The defender took out Thompson's legs without even trying to make a play on the ball. It was clearly more than incidental contact. Whether is was intentional or not, that's interference in my book.

I also agree with Kevin on the double slant pattern. It's also a classic WCO play that I've seen run since the days when Joe Montana was throwing to Dwight Clark and Freddie Soloman. It's a perfect play when the defense is sitting back in zone coverage. You flood the area with 2 receivers running up the seams and the defenders have to guess where the ball is going. It was the first time I've seen the 3-step drop work to perfection for the Skins this season.

LaVar Arrington gets a game ball in my book. Every single one of his tackles is punishing, and he's setting the tone and becoming more of a leader every game.

Raye gets Westbrook's game ball. The play ran a deep out pattern behind Westbrook that suckered Jason Sehorn just enough to free Westbrook. Props to Westbrook for finishing with authority, though. Raye seemed to be doing a better job of setting things up than he has in his previous games. The two draw plays by Carter and that misdirection pass to a wide open Flemeister in the flat that went for 17 yards were examples of seeing what the defense was doing and taking advantage, as well as keeping them guessing. I think we were all pulling our hair out because that's exactly what we weren't seeing from the play calling.

I would like to see more pass rush pressure, but that may be more of a personnel problem that will have to be addressed in the future. There were a couple of times the Skins blitzed THREE guys and still couldn't get to Collins. The team will have to continue with conservative coverages that minimize big plays, and teams--especially good passing offenses--will continue to convert 3rd downs and move the ball until somebody can start to beat single blocking and get to the quarterback.

The only problem I see with the Skins "opening up" their offense more is that Tony Banks is still the QB. As we saw, he's going to make some great throws, but he's still going to make some awful turnovers. Today was great because the Skins were playing with a lead, and limiting Banks' attempts to under 20 also limited the potential for killing turnovers.

I'm a little skeptical, like Art. This was a great breakout game, but it will take some repeat performances before I feel that the coaching staff is learning its lessons about how to best use the personnel.

Hey, I'll take this win anyday, though!

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