The tables have turned, and New York Giants fans are savoring the new ambience… Here’s a direct quote from Andy Furman over at Ultimate NYG.com: “It was frankly embarrassing to witness the Giants get undressed by good teams (over the past few years). Thankfully that is in the past. Now that the Giants are making strides, all they need to do is close out some more games, improve the level of their play and beat Dallas. There is an opportunity here in 2011. Let’s see this team beat a Philly team next Sunday night, end the Eagles’ season and continue ours.”
There’s a lot going on in that quote. After a tough 27-20 loss to the 49ers last week, the Giants sit at 6-3… but subconsciously their fans are still somewhat conditioned by tough losses to Eagles teams of the past decade, and I sense a concern among G-Men advocates that killing off the Eagles on Sunday Night Football is a MUST DO for the Giants to erase all lingering doubts for their shot at a division title.
Memories of scenes like the one above still have powerful influence on the Giants’ approach to finishing off the 3-6 Eagles… We may be out of contention in 2011, but we’re still in their heads…
Fact is, the Giants are better this year than their previous two seasons. Eli was only a play or two away from upsetting the 49ers…and watching the maturation and full bloom of Victor Cruz each game is enough to convince a lot of people he is the kind of player that can put the Giants over the top.
The Giants did some really good things, like stuffing the box and forcing Alex Smith to beat them. Good job, Perry Fewell. But then they would get beat by Smith when they were in zone and they would do well against Smith when they were in man coverage… and adjustments were late in coming…
There were two moments where the Giants put Alex Smith in 3rd and super long, and each time they dropped 8 into coverage with a 3-man rush. The Niners got significant yardage vs. zone in one of those instances, and negligible yardage vs. man in the other. The significant yardage allowed for a long FG which was made by Akers. Against weaker teams the 3-man rush is not going to be exposed, but here, it was.
Eli Manning is having his best year as an NFL QB. But Andy Furman pointed out: “Did you notice how well-timed and effective the SF blitzes were? Eli looked like he was transported back to 2004, turned into a rookie.” This is what we mean when we say the 49ers were well coached. If you blitz Eli and routinely give him a lot of pressure, he’ll adapt quickly and figure it out. The 49ers were smarter against the veteran QB, using it strategically and infrequently. Eli was not ready for it, the OL was not able to pick it up as well either (perhaps because of the surprise factor) and the result was that Eli had trouble. This is the new blueprint if I am a defensive coordinator— Dial it up a couple of times a game and pick your spots. It is up to the Giants offense to observe this, adjust and get better. Eagles D-coordinator is hopefully paying attention…
And what is Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell going to do? Is he going to stay with his base 4-2-5 defense? Or is rookie MLB Greg Jones going to get more playing time? In other words, are the Giants going to play more 4-3 ? And NFL Films guru Greg Cosell talked about this on the Shutdown Corner podcast (49:04 mark). According to Cosell, when Jones has been in a game, he has not played well this year. So Cosell thinks the Giants may stick with their 4-2-5. This could be problematic for the Giants. Thus far, the Giants have had difficulty stopping the run. And with Vince Young expected to start in place of the injured Vick, the Eagles would love to run the ball on the Giants.
These are just a few of the sticking points on why the Giants are better in 2011…but also why the Eagles can hope to escape the killing floor on Sunday night by going over some 49ers-Giants tape.
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Fancy Fantasy Football Week 10 Results and Standings:
Brisuksegg EEB Conference—
Lancaster Rubbernecks (Gary 5-5) slammed Team Conahan (Robert 3-7), 111-81….
Amputatoes (Jerked 5-4-1) beat Sunny’s Jock Strap (Mothra 6-4), 112-95…
Green Machine (David 3-7) outlasted the Nut Chokers (JB 5-5), 147-131…
Dem Stinken Bums (ATV 6-4) crushed McLuvin’s Pastries (Leo 2-8), 150-91…
How You Like Dem Apples (Hud 7-3) throttled Marty Funkhouser (Harry O. 7-3), 114-74…
Team Jax Eagles (Andrew 7-3) edged Team BONE (Boner 3-6-1), 109-98…
WEST DIVISION: W L T Pctg. GB
Marty Funkhouser 7 3 0 .700 —-
Team Jax Eagles 7 3 0 .700 __
Dem Stinken Bums 6 4 0 .600 1
Sunny’s Jock Strap 6 4 0 .600 1
Lancaster RubberNecks 5 5 0 .500 2
Green Machine 3 7 0 .300 4
How You Like Dem Apples 7 3 0 .700 —-
The Amputatoes 5 4 1 .555 1.5
Nut Chokers 5 5 0 .500 2
Team Bone 3 6 1 .333 3.5
Team Conahan 3 7 0 .300 4
McLuvin’s Pastries 2 8 0 .200 5