We'll give the past 3 weeks one last look before moving forward.
Ultimatenyg: So, where do you see the Giants finishing out this year?
Wonder: At this point, they are not out of it but I'm looking at them at 8-8. It is really so sad because I cannot believe that number of 8 wins.
Ultimatenyg: Can you assess where things have gone wrong?
Wonder: It is a combination of the players and the coaches. On defense, Sheridan is such a moron. The DL is not getting it done. The LBers s*ck. Without Phillips and Ross the secondary is bad.
Ultimatenyg: But the corners..
Wonder: Webster is fine, he can play. Thomas is fine, he can play too.
Ultimatenyg: They seem to be playing a lot of zone, a lot more than I have seen in years. Do you agree?
Wonder: ABSOLUTELY! And it is scary bad. It is a bad scheme. It is so awful that they don't even know how to play a bad scheme! (At this point Wonder is laughing and is trying to figure out what is worse, the players or the scheme.) I know Spagnuolo was good, but he must be really good!
Ultimatenyg: What about the offense?
Wonder: Listen to me, I am not kidding, this is not a joke, I am dead serious. At this point your team would be better off if Eli drew the plays up in the dirt than to use that moron Gilbride. I swear to you, that gameplan is a negative. This is beyond terrible. Once you have a real opponent those weaknesses manifest themselves. But you know all this, you were no fair weather friend to him last year when they were 11-1.
Ultimatenyg: You said you had some stats for us..
Wonder: I have two sets. The first is that when the opponent runs the ball in between the DEnds in the first 5 games, the Giants allowed 2.4 yds/carry. In the last 3 losses the Giants have given up 6.2 yds/carry. But the second one was in response to a question you asked me a week or two ago about how much play action the Giants use. Well, I asked my friend who has access to a database- When they handoff the ball to Jacobs, what percentage of the time is it a handoff? The answer is 92%.
Ultimatenyg: 92%!! You mean 8% play action?!!! Unbelieveable, even lower than I thought. Thanks Wonder.
Scary eh? Assuming the same percentage for Bradshaw (it may be even less!), the Giants run an average of 2.8 play action passes per game as a team. That is putrid. I am having a hard time believing it is that low. I thought it was somewhere between 3 and 4 times per game. But the point is 2.8 or 4 or 4.5 or 3...whatever it is, it is a freaking joke.
Herein lies the bigger problem. Canty, Boley (and Ross, after the bye?) are all coming back. The Giants, either this week or even more likely during the bye week, will sort out a lot of problems. They will communicate better, they will gang tackle. They will fix some of their problems. But we are still left with certain issues that will never go away. Is Sheridan capable of leading an aggressive defense that is sound fundamentally? Is Gilbride smarter than a 5th grader? Does the return/arrival of those defensive players enable more pressure and range so that the deficiencies of CC Brown can be overcome? Can the return of Ross mean he or someone else at Corner moves to Safety? At this point I believe the Giants will make the playoffs. For the record, call me a naive optimist but they can win 9 or 10 games if Sheridan gets his stuff together. Right now they need to just beat a team with a winning record. Let's start with the Chargers.