A lot of love thrown toward the G-Men on Monday morning after their first complete performance since circa 2008. Banks kept harping that “things are trending in the right direction” from the Special Teams play to Brandon Jacobs “downhill running” style.
The positive signs displayed by the Special Teams unit is reflected in “good to average field position” generated in this past game against Houston “not withstanding all the penalties.” Banks even gave credit to Sintim “a guy who (he’s) been hard on” and noticed JPP “starting to make plays” in Special Teams coverage. Even though they are “trending in the right direction” they “still have a lot of work to do.” He even feels the “punter is trending a little better” as his “timing is better” in the game environment which he struggled to translate over from practice sessions.
Banks wonders “what excuse they will have (the media skeptics) for the Giants defenses success.” Fewell game planned very effectively versus the “rhythm offense” of the Texans as they obviously “went to school on what (Houston) likes to do.” This confirms what Andy pointed out from Siragusa’s in game comments Sunday. What struck Banks was there were “a lot of batted balls which is in (his) opinion the equivalent of a sack.” The words of a fellow linebacker speaks volumes when he complimented Goff on “becoming more instinctive” and “not over-thinking.” This allows the defense to “have more options” with coverage schemes because “you know Michael Boley can cover.” Carl reflects back on how it took several weeks for Spagnuolo’s “system to take root” and feels it’s very similar to how this team’s now grasping Fewell’s system.
On the offensive side of the ball the concerns that Banks addressed last week regarding their lack of focus on the running game was not alleviated this past Sunday. He points out that when “things start going good in the passing game they forget about the running game.” We’ve heard before “that it really benefits the offensive line when you continue to go with a steady diet of run.. It really makes the defensive line play honestly.” In the end as we’ve echoed many times “it set’s up and makes the play action passes much more effective.” Eli appears to be in that “stage where he’s having mental lapses” per Banks on his “ill-advised” throws in the 3rd quarter that led to interceptions. He is certainly immeasurably benefitting from a “very diverse group” of receivers that can play physical, display quickness and run excellent crossing routes. He is impressed with the offensive line's play, noting that Mario Williams did not even get a “sniff” in the pass rush. But Banks would not go too far in his praise- they are still a “patchwork unit.” They are playing with “pride and scrapping” on each play. Finally, Banks goes out of his way to praise Jacobs, who appears to be getting “his pads lower now” when he is running. The run tandem of Bradshaw and Jacobs is again “trending in the right direction” and provides and effective “1-2 punch.”
Motown here, let’s not get carried away just yet. The Pete Prisco’s of the world proclaim a “word of warning to the rest of the NFC: The Giants will be a factor come January.” We have had two great defensive performances in back to back games by a unit that appears to be gelling, under a Defensive Coordinator that really appears to get it. May we remind you of the Special Teams that had 2 near gaffes with Reynaud coughing it up deep in their own territory that was fortunately pounced on by Blackburn?! Yet Blackburn also could have caused a turnover on a punt that was fortuitously ruled a touchback. This unit could easily cost you a game or 2 come December or even in January when the game counts more. We still have a “patchwork unit” in the offensive line that has done an admirable job- but is already feeling the wear and tear of a season that is just ~1/4 of the way through. Finally, we have a QB who is on pace to finish the year with more interceptions than TDs.
The defense is showing major promise and is showing the fruits of their strength with their pass rush. Banks mentioned the “batted balls that are the equivalent of a sack.” This will be even more critical and effective when we meet our first divisional rival Tony Romo in 2 weeks who is a) not a tall QB and b) likes to throw in lanes as well. Fewell does appear to have a good grasp on his personnel as per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN he “kept Schaub off balance by sprinkling in three safeties, several corners and moving around his chess pieces. Sometimes cornerback Aaron Ross lined up at linebacker. Another time, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul stood up at linebacker before rushing the quarterback.” In the end Fewell “turned the Texans into a one-dimensional passing team like the Bears were the week before.”
Mike Garafolo of NJ.com quotes Jacobs on how he was “kind of screwed up mentally last week. But I got past it and here we are today.” A more physical, angrier and fresher Brandon Jacobs will make this offense more effective in the 4th quarter and in the swirling winds of the new “Giants Stadium” come December.
In the end we all hope that Manning's words turn out to be true and becomes a trend when he states that "we always knew we had talent on this team. It was just a matter of finding our rhythm. And sometimes it takes a few weeks for everything to sink in."