The Giants just faced the toughest defense they will face this year.
Banks stated, in his weekly spot on WFAN, “it was one of the best defensive games I’ve been around, especially late in the game when no one wanted to concede anything.” Eli was battered around more times since probably his rookie season as he was sacked 6 times and hit 20 times out of his 58 drop backs. What is remarkable with his performance was how he kept his composure throughout the 2nd half. Banks “talked about teams that can impact the play of a quarterback. If you can impact the decision making and the process of a quarterback you’ve got a pretty good chance in this league.” We’ve seen numerous quarterbacks including Brady and Rodgers who become very average with pressure applied consistently. We will not delve into play calling that could have defused the magnitude and quantity of those hits.
Glenn pointed out in his recap yesterday how the Giants beat the 49ers at their game by limiting mistakes, avoiding turnovers and special teams play (we will address the special team plays below). Banks made a statement that many of us wondered- why the 49ers “didn’t commit to the run” in the late stages of the game. Banks added, “the Giants went with a lot of different looks on them. They had what appeared to be single high safety but they also had a secondary guy that was also a top off guy who was an intermediate router type of guy. I just don’t think they were in the right defense to run the football (against). Sometime you can run on certain defensive looks but the Giants were jerking them around a bit. (Just wish NFL Game Rewind had coaches’ tape to get a better read on the secondary coverage deep and safety positioning to confirm this.) A major kudos thrown to Perry Fewell for confusing Smith, but apparently also forcing the 49ers away from their run game, which the Giants had difficulty containing at certain points in the game.
Banks concludes with some insight into their Super Bowl matchup. Banks states, “the one thing you have to worry about with the Patriots is that they'relike chameleons. They’re never the same team one week to the next. They do what’s necessary to adapt from a game-by-game basis. They’re not afforded the luxury of being good at one thing all the time. That’s where Bill (Belichick) has always excelled- the ability to make adjustments.” This is a quality that many on this blog envy and discuss almost religiously. Either way, after two very difficult tests and playing arguably the best offense and best defense respectively, there is a lot to like about the Giants chances versus the chameleons.
Finally, last week we wrote about the challenge the 49ers special teams would pose for the Giants. The 49ers relied on their league leading special teams unitto control field position. In this past game the Gmen had an average starting field position at their own 34-yard line (take away the fumble recoveries and they had average field position of 23). The 49ers allowed an average starting field position at their opponent’s 24-yard line over the course of the season. Likewise, the 49ers average starting field position was their own 29 versus their season average at their own 33.
Very acute observation by Vblasi67 yesterday:
I noticed on the last two punts he fielded that Aaron Ross went down quickly and carefully at the first sign of defensive presence. Obviously he decided to, or was coached to, protect the ball at all costs. Kyle Williams, on the other hand, appeared to be trying to make a play in overtime, which led to the game-winning strip. Can it be -- greatest irony of all -- that we are going to the Super Bowl because we outcoached the Niners ON SPECIAL TEAMS?
Ross came in as the punt returner with 4 minutes left in the 4thquarter. Kudos to Quinn and Izzo for this adjustment in having Ross field punts in the late stages of a tie game as well as coaching him to avoid the turnover. It was also evident on offense with Beckum and Cruz quickly giving themselves up instead gaining extra yardage to avoid the ball-stripping tacklers of the 49ers.
Got this from Greg Easterbrook's TMQ
As for the Giants, during their late-season surge, the offense has been effective on long-yardage downs, terrible with short yardage. The pattern repeated. At San Francisco, Jersey/A converted third-and-15 (for a touchdown), third-and-10, third-and-7 (twice) and third-and-6. The Giants failed to convert fourth-and-1, third-and-1 (twice), third-and-2 and third-and-3. Obviously, if the Giants face a third-and-1 in the Super Bowl, they should deliberately jump offside to make the down a more manageable third-and-6.
Eli on the "elite" thing: "My job is to play the game. Your job is to talk and make up stories."
I just love this one.
To be clear, I think the Giants strategy of capitalizing on Kyle Williams's concussion history, however aggressive, stops short of being vicious. In other words, the Giants weren't seeking to target the head per se, but to shake up a player who may have been a little gun shy from the concussions. Important distinction. Meanwhile, anybody see Devin Thomas quoted in the Times today about Williams?
“I think he was in a little bit of shock that the ball had hit him and he tried to pretend that it didn’t happen by not going after it,” said Thomas, who had grabbed the ball. “But I saw it. I was glued in, right on him. When they missed the call and said it was their ball, I told Coach right away, ‘Throw the flag, throw the flag.’ ”
Just like there's no crying in football (in theory), there's no denial.
What do you guys think of Devin Thomas saying that their goal was to "concuss Williams out of the game" ?
It sounds really disturbing to me. We're talking about someone's brain, his long term health, not "just" an ankle and an NFL career here.
Is it a comon thing ?
It took 7 years but the ST are coming around. We still had 3 blocked FG this season though.
Was Tynes hurt against the 49ers ? His kick offs were short no matter which way he kicked.
@capt george Remember when Baas when out injured and Boothe played center and Petrus came in at left guard? All of a sudden, the running game improved. Or at least it appeared that way. When Baas came back in, the running game, for the most part, went back to its former self. That is probably an over-simplification, but it seemed like the line was getting a much better push with the configuration of Diehl-Petrus-Boothe-Snee-McKenzie.
@capt george I think our chronic underperformance in short-yardage situations traces to three causes: 1) we've always had pulling rather than road-grader guards; 2) our QB can't run; 3) we stubbornly pretend that Jacobs, who is slow to hit the hole, is a short-yardage back (he's also too tall, thus visible). We seem not yet to have figured out how to exploit our assets: 1) Eli's savvy at adjusting blocking patterns at the line; and 2) Bradshaw's quickness, vision, and ability to get yards after contact. Our play calling in these situations does seem predictable and lacking in options.
@capt george beautiful. That is hysterical. How many times have we watched in agony and/or stress when they are in 3rd or 4th and short this season, much less these past few seasons?
Have to admit I marvel at how cohesive and focused this team is. No wonder Coughlin is so giddy as they are so in line. Understand completely where longtimegiantfan is coming from as this is refreshing to see nowadays. I give TC a lot of credit but it's more than him. Fewell finally figuring out and listening to his players about where their strength lay. Secondary coming together 3 nights a week. The unselfishness of this WR crew that points out the weakness of their opponent like Nicks predicted on Manningham's TD this past game. And now Eli being a VOCAL leader with his speech on SB prep this week. Very mature group now.
@Arthuro That is a great great quote.
The ESPN NFC West blogger (Mike Sando) made a post about this: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/58018/giants-concussion-tactics-vs-kyle-williams
Interestingly, he was essentially applauding the Niners all week for taking price in hitting hard and knocking opposing RBs out of games.
Even aside from this, the guy is crap. ALL his Niner/Giants coverage was very biased and homerish in favor of the Niners, and his posts since the game have all contained copious amounts of sour grapes and/or butthurt. The NFC East guy (Graziano) I don't like all that much either, but he is at least unbiased, for the most part.
Eh, whatever. It's a violent game. Nothing that they actually did appeared to be "head hunting". And they could easily have been looking at it from the angle of "this guy has had concussions... if he takes a hard hit or two he could be playing scared thereafter". And that doesn't have to automatically indicate unsavory tactics.
@Arthuro It's the culture of the game. The George Young quote on the side of the blog says it all. "we are not in the business of well adjusted human beings" It's not all of them and players trash talk too. Also, the rules have change so much that it would be almost impossible to do what he says.
@Arthuro Tynes was started to make ne not get the shakes every time he stepped out on the field until the last few games. Now it "OMG, Tynes is coming in the game."
@Arthuro Andy tweeted about Tynes short kickoffs. He has been shaky this post season. Missed FG in ATL game. Was penalized in Packer game for having his kickoff land out of bounds. Tynes does not have a strong leg. The new kickoff rule has worked in his favor. In the past, he has averaged 6 TB per year. This year he had ~18. The wind could of been a factor too. We will have to keep an eye on him. SB will be indoors.
@jfoster I wish his shoelaces would have kept Diehl out a little more just to see how Ugoh would do in comparison ...
@vblasi67 I love Bradshaw over Jacobs any time, any day but he is not any better in short yardage than Jacobs seems to be. Jacobs runs too high to be effective in short yardage and Bradshaw never has anywhere to run. Even when they throw it, they don't seem to just try and get the first down, no quick throws on a slant or other such quick hitting route (yes, i understand that CB's and S's can sit on routes like that and jump them for a pic) but when you don't run plays like that ever, the defense does not have to respect it and can stuff you or blitz you.
@Motown Blue After what Tom did to Matt Dodge after the punt the eagles took in for a TD to win the game, I will never ever respect his as a man.
Presumably the hit that gave Tyler Sash a concussion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqGfjCWjbWk
Yet WE're the dirt bags for talking about a guy with concussion history. Give me a break. Also how was that not called block in the back? It was sort of in his side, but to me looked like mostly back.
@CommanderShepard Sounds right
@capt george@Arthuro I agree - every time Tynes comes out there I look away from the screen. His OT kick probably helps keep him around another year, but I am hoping they took a good, hard look at his short kick-offs, shaky field goals, and try to find someone more reliable. There has to be someone out there that doesn't scare me to death every time he comes on to the field.
Comparing the Niners and Giants' olines in the running games... On a play with nowhere to go, Gore can get 3-5 often because even though there are no holes whatsoever, the oline gets push. On a similar hole-less play by the Giants, they get 0-2 because there's no push. That was a trend I saw throughout the game.
@capt george@vblasi67 I take both your points about Bradshaw and about quick throws. Why do you think "Bradshaw never has anywhere to run"? He's great at dragging tacklers to turn 4-yard runs into 6-yard runs. Does he need a little space and momentum such that it's an entirely different challenge to turn a dead stop into a two-yard gain? Does vision and cut-back ability count for less in short yardage? I still think we need more thrust from the OL. I wonder if bringing in a mauler like Joseph from the DL to block could help there. He's supposed to be the strongest guy on the team. Something is really wrong here.
@CommanderShepard Clearly in the back and the returner is already out of bounds.