Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New York Giants - v St Louis Rams - RD2- REVIEW

U G L Y we ain't got no alibi it was ugly.

However a win is a win and a 1-1 record is much better than a 0 - 2 start.

A shock loss to the Redskins in the opening round and this being a National Monday Night Football game the Giants needed to set the tone and show the league what they are capable of. Although Eli Manning came off to the very slow start the offence was opportunistic and got enough points on the board to never really give the Rams a sniff. The defensive line did their part and special teams came up with several key plays. I'm going to break the game into 5 sections for clarity from now on so we can focus on each group. So let's start with the pass attack.

Air Attack

Eli Manning was woefully slow to get momentum and again threw a crucial interception on along drive. He went 3 for 11 with an interception to start the game but ended it 15 for 18 and 2 touchdown for redemption. So while 200 yards and 2 TD 1 INT is an average game it was enough pull out the win and looking at the start he had quite a game to end it. For the Giants to beat the Eagles next week Eli will need to start the game like he ended this one, crisp and precise.

Rating 7 / 10

Ground Force

While some people look at 50-60 yards a game as average, for the Giants they need to take into account that 2 running backs share the load and although either will be unlikely to be named to the Pro-Bowl while they are doing this it is their shared contribution that the Giants will be looking at. Overall they combined for 109 yards and touchdown. While their 3.51 average is suspect they do include a lot of 3 and short ad 4 and 1's. Steady would be an apt description to the output for Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw but they did keep several drives alive and all behind a new o-line that is still finding its feet. Bradshaw also caught a 23 yard screen pass on 3rd and 18 to keep a drive alive for Jacobs to score a touchdown on the next play. This wasn't a super game on the ground but again was enough to get the W.

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Rushing D

It's fair to say the Giants ability to stop the run kept them in the game against the Redskins (74 yards) and they did it again against the Rams. The secondary was porous however the against the run stout would be a better adjective. They kept them to 59yards. They also kept them out of the end zone 3 of 4 entries into the Red Zone, the only touchdown being in the air.  They places them 3rd in the league for run defence. LB Michael Boley also used nous in picking up a seemingly dead ball for a fumble and rumbled 68 yards for a score. This is also his 2nd fumble recovery in 2 games. Notre Dame alum Justin Tuck returned to his bruising best with 1.5 sacks and 5 tackles. Antrel Rolle led the team with 9 tackles.

Rating: 9 / 10

Secondary Support

It has been widely acknowledged that the corner backs for the Giants have fared about as well as swimmers at Amity Beach. Take into account #1 Corner Terrell Thomas has a season ending knee injury, #3 corner Bruce Johnson is out and 1st round draft pick Prince Amukamara is currently out with an injury. So it's no surprise secondary again gave up 300+ yards in the air making it 4 in a row (1st two games this year and last 2 games 2010). Even if the concussed Michael Vick doesn't play next week the secondary will need to tighten up given the aerial weapons the Philadelphia Eagles have it could get ugly.

Rating: 2 / 10

Special Teams

The special teams was a mix of good and bad. Bad being a 29 yard punt return. Good being a Dave Tollefson muffed punt recovery at the Rams 38.

Rating: 6 / 10

Bring on the Eagles next week, I'll be getting at 3am to watch the game.

Until then hail to the air attack!

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