Phil Simms spent the entire first segment talking Giants vs Chargers.
1) The pass rush and the running game are the strongest suits for the Giants, so when they play from behind it hurts your team because those elements cannot be relied on as much.
2) In these past games, the foot injury has hurt Manning.
3) The Giants are upbeat. Reinforcements coming in.
4) SD is just as confident.
5) Simms chuckled in the background when Francesa took shots at the Rouse/Giants replacing Brown.
6) Boley- much needed speed.
7) Safeties in today's NFL are relied upon so much to simultaneously stop the run and protect vs the long throw... the Giants have been affected tremendously by this.
8) SD has been hurt by the loss of Center and DT (Jamaal Williams).
9) SD is the best 'true' long pass throwing team. Turner likes going deep, likes getting those Pass Interference penalties.
10) Biggest problem for SD today will be the Giants controlling the clock/tempo with running the ball and dictating the flow of the game.
11) Simms very complimentary of Rivers. Has physically improved since drafted, has worked on arm strength for deep(er) pass. Feels Roethlisberger is the best of all of the (2004 QB draft class), throwing better than all of them and getting better. Simms implied from what he did NOT say that Manning was the weakest of the three.
12) The Giants have faced three of the blitz-happiest teams in the NFL the past 3 weeks. They did not make those teams pay for blitzing and using all of that pressure.
13) Does not feel the foot is a factor anymore.. watched Manning in practice on Friday and he was throwing the ball as well as he has ever thrown the ball. UPTICK: Simms feels Manning's good practice will carry through to game and that Manning will play well today.
14) Giants tackles have struggled a little bit protecting the speed rush/Manning. Merriman still recovering from injury, the knee runs it course, it becomes a groin etc.. but Merriman is getting back to his healthiest he has been since getting hurt. Watch for his power rush more than his speed rush.
Simms around the NFL:
1) HOU vs IND. Freeny and Mathis playing too well, IND to win.
2) BAL vs CIN. Cinn is for real. They are bigger. The addition of Cedric Benson has changed everything. By the offense having the running game, it protects their defense. Last week, after the bye, we saw the Ravens get back to that Rex Ryan unpredictable/aggressive style of defense. Ravens to win a close game.
3) NE-MIA. New England has been evolving, improving each week. Will not get caught by surprise by the wildcat and will win.
4) #1 team in AFC is the Colts. That bigger and stronger defensive front makes it harder to keep the ball out of Peyton Manning's hands.
5) Saints and Vikings are the NFC elite. Saints can make a play on either side of the ball. Sharper and Greer playing terrific. Minn is legit because Jared Allen keeps that defense in it. You have to gameplan him. What the pack did in using only one blocker on him did not make sense, that even if you have a West Coast offense gtg rid of the ball quickly, it still needs to be addressed. And of course, the offense is excellent, Favre is playing borderline terrific, Harvin compliments Peterson on the run game and rounds out the offense beautifully.
Ultimatenyg here... cannot help myself, have to jump on the Simms remark about the Giants not being able to make their opponents "pay" for the blitzing/pressure. How many of you out there think that SOME if not ALL of this has to fall on the shoulders of the Coordinator's playcalling? Dead from the neck up.
I like how Francesa talks about how, without a Center, the Chargers have to go into shotgun to protect Rivers. Francesa goes on to say... that the shotgun means it hurts their running game, which in turn means that they cannot use play action as much. All you can do is laugh, because we have a coordinator who doesn't use play action without any of these (Chargers) issues!
On the subject of Francesa, he went on record saying that the Giants will not make the playoffs if they lose today.