Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New York Giants - v Arizona Cardinals - RD4- REVIEW

With the NFC race being so tight with the exception of the Green Bay Packers this was a gettable and important win against the Arizona Cardinals.

And got it they did.

So where does that leave us at the quarter pole of the season? Well we currently sit 3-1 and equal top of our division with the Washington Redskins who are in my opinion still the weakest team in the division. Dallas are only a game behind at 2-2 and the unpredictable dream team (for the Giants anyway!) Eagles are languishing at the bottom with a 1-2 record.

I love me some stats so I going to look at where are leaders are at and even extrapolate (x4) to see where they may be heading to finish the season.

Although the Giants gave the Cards plenty of chances to put the game away they never seemed able to hammer that last nail. With the way QB Eli Manning is finishing games of late that turned out to be a big mistake. Well lets look at how the qu(w)est was won.

Air Supply

Coming into the season the focus was the defections of TE Kevin Boss to the Raiders and WR Steve Smith to the Eagles among a smattering of injuries. Eli Manning then made a call about being in the same class as Tom Brady (Elite) which didn't help not to mention a slow start to the season and a slow start in every game so far. Lucky he's throwing the lights out in the second half. 
Said Mannings 2nd half was 16 for 20 for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns this week and over the last 3 weeks his 2nd half stats read like this 32 for 40 for 415 yards 4 TDs and zero interceptions. If that doesn't burn your peepers then how about he is 3rd in the NFL with a rating of 105.6. He's behind red hot Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. He also boasts a healthy 64% completion percentage and a 8-2 TD to INT ratio. If he were to keep up his per game averages he would finish the year with these gaudy numbers.
320 Comp - 500 Att - 4264 Yards - 32 TD - 8 INT  Career records in yards and touchdowns and a low in interceptions. If he were to keep up these numbers he'd have to be a lock for the Pro-Bowl and more importantly give the Giants the best possible chance to go deep into the Play-Offs. )On a side note Manning has been sacked 11 times already this season and 44 for the season would definitely be a career high he doesn't need)

Hakeem Nicks was back to his beastly best with 10 receptions for 162 yards and the winning score. Considering he totaled 7 receptions for 63 total for the last 2 games combined showed what he could do to a defence if other receivers are holding their end of the bargain. I'm not going to get into the Victor Cruz 'fumble', but he did total 98 yards in a game where he was over looked several times despite being wide open.and could have turned up field after a reception for more yards however opted to step out of bounds. If Nicks and Cruz were to keep up their per game averages they would finish the season like this.
Nicks 92 Receptions - 1388 Yards - 8 TD's
Cruz 44 Receptions - 900 Yards - 8 TD's 205 AVG (All the more impressive as he has only really been a regular option for the last 2 games.

Run Forrest Run

This aspect of the offence was probably the one let down for me and would have been a even bigger issue had the passing game not clicked so well. Ahmad Bradshaw again was given the bulk of the attempts but failed to have an impact with an insipid 39 yards from 12 carries and a long 13 on his sole touchdown run. Brandon Jacobs had an even rougher day with 18 yards from 9 attempts and a touchdown. He would be forgiven for his 2 yard average as he was called on to run several 3rd and short runs when the defence knew he was getting the ball. The running game won't be able to rely on the passing game and expect a win too many times in the NFL so hopefully they use the week to take stock and come out Sunday against the Seahawks and pound 'em like they are initiating a new cell mate.


It has been well documented the injuries to corners and benching of Aaron Ross so I won't rehash. I will mention however that after round 2 the secondary have given up 300+ yards to 4 straight quarterbacks. In the last 2 weeks they gave up 237 yards to the Eagles and 237 to the Cardinals and more impressively zero touchdowns and 3 interceptions. This is against offenses with weapons like Michael Vick and Larry Fitzgerald. Safeties Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle have stepped up in particular 13 tackles each over the last 2 games and a pick each. The secondary was also helped by the pass rush where Dave Tollefson backed up a good game with another recording 2 sacks. Osi Umenyiora played his first game and although he made a couple of rusty mistakes he was often in the QB Kolb's face recording a sack and a forced fumble.

Stuff it!

The run stop has been the polar opposite to the pass. It was particularly stingy in the first 2 games but has given up some serious yardage and points in the last 2. Against the Eagles, RB McCoy opened up the their offence with 128 yards from 24 attempts and a score. And this week Beanie Wells tore threw the defensive line for 138 yards from 27 attempts and a massive 3 touchdowns. For the Giants to gain immediate ascendancy against the Seahawks on Sunday, the D-Line and Co need to crunch Marshawn Lynch and the other backs in submission.

Kicks, Returns and Tackles

I personally prefer a game when the Special Teams isn't needed and this was one of them. Although Aaron Ross' 18 punt return was a fantastic start to a drive in the last quarter.

This week will be the 3rd game in a row we play a bird related team (Eagles, Cardinals & Seahawks) so let's hope that is a sign for how the result will be.

Until then hail to the Sin!

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