Both the Rams and Giants passing games are not clicking right now. For the Rams this appears to be a continuation from last year. With the “NFC West title on the line last Jan. 2 in Seattle, several dropped passes helped doom the Rams to a 16-6 loss and a sixth consecutive season without a playoff berth. As the front office and coaching staff began fashioning their offseason plan, they were determined to add wide receivers and tight ends that could catch the football.” Apparently, it continued against the Eagles as "A lot of guys started to drop balls," said former Ram and current NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk. We expect both teams to use a 7 and 8 man box, putting more pressure on Manning and Bradford to pass. Gilbride gave his reason why the Giants got away from the run in the 2nd half- it was due to the Redskins putting a safety down in the box.
We remind Mr. Gilbride that when opposing teams go with an 8th man in the box- slants, screens, flares, play action. And not just once, please. AZ beat the Eagles in the conference championship with 6 screens, remember?!
The NYG and STL are both injury-riddled. Each committed too many mistakes last week. Expect the team which makes the fewest mistakes to win. The Rams have one big advantage- a very good special teams unit. Last week the Rams averaged 31 yards per kickoff return for and 18 against. One would expect "Good Eli" to have the advantage if both teams need to pass. But if Nicks (playing hurt) is ineffective, Manning will have less to work with.
Banks spoke on WFAN this Friday and the highlight of his interview was his criticism of the TE and FB play. Banks feels that the “TE and FB positions are not setting the edge” but he did not call out players in particular. In general the blocking from these 2 positions “has to get better.” To our knowledge, Banks is the first to point this out.
The WSJ gives us a must read on the woes of short yardage. The article discusses the important technical aspects of blocking in short yardage running along with execution. But you have to question the fact that all preseason we have seen this team run right when they desperately needed a yard or two. We have discussed ad nauseum about the lack of play action pass and the predictability of our de-loved OC.
Quick hits from Sunday night. Without looking too far past STL this evening, Vick suffered a concussion vs ATL last night... it is not who you play, but when you play them. And this will be a big break for the gmen. Once Vick went out, the Eagles became a very ordinary offense, surrendered a 31-21 lead and lost 35-31. Gilbride, did you notice that the Falcons had a sense of urgency and went no-huddle, gassing the Eagles and scoring a TD en route to that comeback? The Eagles have a strong DL and excellent corners, but their LBers and Safeties are vulnerable. The Falcons used this with whom? TE Tony Gonzalez, who lead all other ATL receiving options by a country mile with 7 receptions, 83 yards and 2 TDs. Vs. Asomugha, Samuel and DRC, Philly was stingy. Let's hope Gilbride can figure out to throw passes to Bradshaw, Jacobs and Ballard vs PHL.
Monday AM quick hit- the Washington Redskins are in 1st place in the NFC East.