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Oct 25 Going into every football season, there are always a few players who fly under the radar during OTAs and training camp, but later emerge as big contributors during the season. Mostly, due to a slew of injuries at key positions, the Giants have been forced to throw some untested players into the fire, and several have not only filled in ably, but exceeded expectations.
Jason Pierre-Paul didn't have his best game two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Eagles and star left tackle Jason Peters, but he rebounded well enough Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys and star left tackle Tyron Smith that Tom Coughlin singled him out in a team meeting Monday morning.
Injuries could force the Giants' defense to look a little bit different in the weeks that follow this week's bye. Injuries at cornerback could lead the Giants to bring back the three-safety look they used on their way to their most recent Super Bowl title three seasons ago.
Beckham Jr. has started making believers out of many. The Giants spent the
No. 12 overall pick on him, and despite hamstring woes that cost him the preseason
and the first four games, he quickly has blossomed into an impact player.
running back Andre Williams looked so natural running the football in the
preseason, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, and doing it with impressive speed and
power. For whatever reason, the success hasn't translsated to the regular season.
With starter Rashad Jennings (knee) sidelined, Williams has struggled running
the football, the one area the Giants thought he would prosper.
Oct 23 If you feel like the Giants have been running the ball a lot, you're not crazy. So far this season, the Giants are running the ball more than almost any other team in the NFL. The Giants run and run and run and run. They run when they're ahead in the game and they run when they're behind. They run whether it's working or not.
Stingy against the run all season, Jason Pierre-Paul got things going in the pass rush department last week against Dallas for one of his best performances in recent memory. Pierre-Paul had six solo tackles, two sacks, three tackles for losses and three quarterback hits.
Larry Donnell was on the team last year in a reserve role -- a special-teams player who was working to develop as an offensive asset at tight end. He was a basketball player early in life and a quarterback when he arrived at Grambling for college, so tight end was new to him and he had to learn it. He's still learning it.
After a $116 million offseason spending spree the Giants thought they had a pretty solid foundation. But maybe what they were really looking at was a longer rebuilding project, and they've been fooling themselves into thinking they were close to a Super Bowl all along.
Oct 22 Giants tight end Larry Donnell has had something of a breakout season so far, emerging as a solid red zone and third down target. But judging by his two fumbles on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, there are clearly still some areas that he needs to work on, according to his tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride. "[Ball security] is one of those things we preach on a daily basis."
After showing flashes as Rashad Jennings' backup in limited touches, Andre Williams has struggled as the primary ball carrier as Jennings recovers from a knee injury, running hard and packing a punch, but often failing to let his blocks materialize before finding a crease. Williams is averaging only 3.1 yards per carry over the past two weeks.
Introducing the new, much more careful Eli Manning. Eli Manning threw 27 interceptions last season, as you may have read in this space and a few others. So far this season, he has thrown five. Four of those came in the first two games. He's thrown only one interception in his last five games and none in his last three. This is not a coincidence.
Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. has caught six passes -- on 11 targets -- for 62 yards and two touchdowns in the past two games for the Giants. It's clear the Giants are excited about Beckham's ability and look forward to helping and seeing him develop so that they can find new and creative ways to use him in the offense.
Pierre-Paul has a message for anyone ready to give up on the Giants as they
head into a bye week off disappointing losses to the Eagles and Cowboys. It's
simple: Don't write off the Giants (3-4). Pierre-Paul believes the Giants can
win their final nine games if they stop making mistakes.
middle linebacker Jon Beason said that he hopes to play after the bye week
against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night, but that he will have to first
get clearance from his foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson and that surgery might
be his best long-term option. Beason called it 50-50 right now whether he returns
Oct 21 Tom Coughlin's message to the Giants: Get ready, we're going to make a run. The Giants (3-4) have their work cut out for them to make that happen. Their next four games are against Indianapolis, Seattle, San Francisco and Dallas. The defending champion Seahawks (3-3) have the worst record of the group. Winning in Seattle still remains one of the most difficult tasks in the NFL.
The view from the outside is that the New York Giants are basically what their 3-4 record says they are, an inconsistent team that might not be good enough to be a contender. Jason Pierre-Paul isn't buying it. He looks at the Giants, and sees a team ready to go on a roll.
The Giants have several issues to address before returning to the field. Their rushing attack totaled 190 yards in the last two games, their first without injured starting running back Rashad Jennings. Penalties continue to hold back the offense and Sunday, tight end Larry Donnell lost a crucial fourth-quarter fumble.
The Giants played a whole lot better than they did against the Eagles, but it still wasn't enough to win. Instead, the 31-21 loss, the second straight in the NFC East, sends them into the bye week still trying to figure out what's gone wrong, still trying to find answers they thought were emerging in the three straight wins before the Philly game.
The Giants trail white-hot Dallas (6-1) by three games in the division, but are only one game off the pace for a wild-card berth. Their erratic play, however, leaves it unclear if they are capable of a significant advance in the standings.
Larry Donnell won't fumble his wife's coaching advice. "I told my wife I'm just trying to figure out what happened, and she said, 'You know, it's simple. Just hold the ball like you're holding Z,' which is my daughter," Donnell said, referring to 4-year-old Zarri. "I thought, that's some pretty good advice."
ESPN - Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 31, Giants 21.
ESPN - These Giants are clearly not contenders.
Giants.com - Instant Analysis: Cowboys 31, Giants 21.
NYDailyNews - Giants' Jameel McClain yells he's 'not the Mike' LB at Tony Romo.
NYDailyNews - Banged-up Giants can't rise to the occasion in Dallas, fall to Cowboys for 31-21 loss.
NYDailyNews - Giants fall to Dallas Cowboys, 31-21: Instant Analysis.
NYPost - The most important 9 seconds of the Giants' season - wasted.
NYPost - Free-falling Giants can't stop Romo, Murray in loss to Cowboys.
NYPost - The rise and sudden, abrupt fall of Larry Donnell.
NYPost - Kiss the division goodbye: These Giants are just pretenders.
StarLedger - Giants' pass rush to blame for 31-21 loss to Cowboys.
StarLedger - Rapid Reaction: Giants (3-4) already in big trouble and season's not half over.
StarLedger - Tony Romo's revenge: Cowboys quarterback pushes the Giants to the brink.
StarLedger - Tony Romo didn't throw an incompletion in second half? 'No [bleeping] way,' says Giants CB.'
StarLedger - Will Beatty: Giants still have to find their offensive identity.
StarLedger - Giants castaway Mike Pope gets game ball for coaching Cowboys tight ends to big day.
StarLedger - Giants' pass rush to blame for 31-21 loss to Cowboys.
Newsday - Giants can't stop Murray, Bryant in loss to Cowboys.
Newsday - Giants grades: Offense, defense, coaching get big 'D' in loss at Dallas.
Newsday - Giants Q&A: Was DRC hurting?
TheRecord - Injuries Catch Up to Giants as the Cowboys Break Away.
NYTimes - Injuries Catch Up to Giants as the Cowboys Break Away.
DallasNews - Giants praise Cowboys' revamped offense: "Their scheme is a lot better".
DallasNews - Dallas Cowboys should run DeMarco Murray right to a division title'.
DallasNews - Invisible man Gavin Escobar finally shows his worth for Cowboys.
(3-3) vs Cowboys (5-1)
Oct 19 With Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings out, giving Eli Manning more time is the Giants priority. If he's lost faith in his line, Manning won't say it. Nor should he, considering how good the line had been during the Giants' three-game win streak. . Remember how it manhandled J.J. Watt four weeks ago? Same line, same scheme. Just a much better game.
If the Giants can beat the Cowboys -- a difficult task considering they are without their best running back (Rashad Jennings) and best wide receiver (Victor Cruz) and their best cornerback (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) might be limited in both his snaps and his performance -- they will head into their bye week still in the thick of the NFC East race.
Victor Cruz is out for the season, leaving five Giants wide receivers with wholly disparate backgrounds to fill the void. Preston Parker barely played football in 2012 and 2013. Asked what he was doing during that time, he said, "Begging for money." Rookie Corey Washington, attended a little-known college of about 1,000 students. He has yet to catch an NFL pass.
Oct 18 Tom
Coughlin has no use for trash talk, and even less use for 27-0 losses. So
it's probably no surprise the New York Giants coach made the connection with how
the Giants acted last week and how they played Sunday night in Philadelphia.
Cruz said he has "no doubt" he will return to the Giants in top
physical condition and vowed to remain an integral part of the current team despite
being sidelined for the season.
offensive line, a seeming strength up until Sunday, must prove itself all
over again. And the defense, gashed by Philly's LeSean McCoy for 149 rushing yards,
must now contend with the NFL's most productive running back, DeMarco Murray.
Rodgers-Cromartie missed practice for the second day in a row but is hopeful
of participating tomorrow and playing Sunday, when the Giants face the first-place
Cowboys in Dallas.
tackle Tyron Smith of the Dallas Cowboys just became the first offensive lineman
in 10 years to win an Offensive Player of the Week award. New York Giants defensive
end Jason Pierre-Paul is not among those who might be surprised by that.
Oct 16 Victor
Cruz spent about 30 minutes at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center Wednesday,
his first visit to the Giants' facility since tearing his right patellar tendon
and requiring season-ending surgery. He was released earlier in the day from the
Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.
Giants are traveling to Dallas this weekend, and are preparing for more than
just the division-leading Cowboys. According to the Giants' Senior VP of communications,
Pat Hanlon, the team was briefed about the Ebola virus in preparation for Sunday's
game in Dallas,
After getting destroyed by Eagles, Giants need a fiery Eli Manning. Late on Sunday night, he made a point to say that the game should serve as a lesson for the Giants. And on Monday, he spoke about the team needing to "grow up" and "keep growing" now that Cruz is gone."They're powerful words," said linebacker Jameel McClain. "And you gotta take heed in everything that he says.
Coughlin told the Giants they must move forward from the devastating injury
Victor Cruz suffered on Sunday night. One of the team's leaders admitted that
he's having a hard time with that.
torn patellar tendon has ended the career of many NFL players, but the personal
trainer for Victor Cruz, who underwent surgery Tuesday, insists the Giants wide
receiver will be back.
Giants began the reshaping of their roster on Tuesday by placing wide receiver
Victor Cruz on injured reserve. They finished it by signing veteran wide receiver
Kevin Ogletree and placing cornerback Trumaine McBride on IR.
Manning has something to say. Finally. In the last few days, Manning has come
out with some blunt observations and appraisals of his team.
Oct 14 No
wasting any time. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz had surgery on Monday to
repair a torn patellar tendon in his right knee.
likely replacement for Cruz in the slot is Preston Parker, a veteran receiver
who has played well for the Giants, except for a fumbling problem. Rookie Odell
Beckham Jr. will certainly get additional playing time, but it is unlikely he
will be moved to the slot until Parker has been tried there first.
that silence as the Giants ready to face the Dallas Cowboys this week in another
key NFC East matchup? Get used to it. The Giants should be awfully quiet this
week after yapping way too much for their coach's liking heading into Sunday's
27-0 loss to the Eagles. Coach Tom Coughlin made his feelings know during team
meetings on Monday.
ESPN - Rapid Reaction: Eagles 27, Giants 0.
ESPN - Giants' Antrel Rolle: 'We took the day off'
ESPN - Giants' offensive line crumbles vs. Eagles.
ESPN - Still-developing Giants have no choice but to learn from ugly loss.
ESPN - Big Blue Morning: What now at wide receiver?
Giants.com - Instant Analysis: Eagles 27, Giants 0.
NYDailyNews - Philadelphia sports talk radio host celebrates Victor Cruz injury in tweet.
NYDailyNews - Giants lose Victor Cruz for season in 27-0 blowout loss to Eagles.
NYDailyNews - In loss to Eagles, NY Giants follow up trash talk with extended garbage time.
NYPost - Everything goes wrong for Giants in Philly humiliation.
NYPost - Giants report card is as bad as you can imagine.
NYPost - Eagles take some parting shots at Eli Manning and the Giants.
StarLedger - Justin Pugh: There isn't a good enough word to describe how bad I played.
StarLedger - Eagles secondary deserves credit in Sunday night sack party vs. Eli Manning, Giants.
StarLedger - Rapid Reaction: Giants get whipped by Eagles and (to make it worse) lose WR Victor Cruz to injury.
StarLedger - Victor Cruz torn patellar tendon: What his injury means to Giants.
StarLedger - Odell Beckham Jr tells injured Victor Cruz: 'I've got you'
StarLedger - Victor Cruz injury: What is a torn patellar tendon? How serious is it? What is the treatment?
StarLedger - Eagles RB LeSean McCoy makes Giants defense pay.
Newsday - Giants' rout in Philadelphia is hard to understand.
Newsday - Victor Cruz suffers serious right knee injury in Giants' loss to Eagles.
Newsday - Odell Beckham Jr.: 'I just have to play bigger'.
TheRecord - Victor Cruz lost for season with torn patellar tendon in Giants loss.
NYTimes - Giants' Momentum Crashes in Blowout Loss to Eagles.
Philly.com - Eagles make statement with resounding victory.
(3-2) vs Eagles (4-1)
Oct 12 So far, all LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles have been able to accomplish for the Eagles is to make them the league's 23rd-best rushing unit at 98.6 yards per game and 3.8 yards per attempt.
The Eagles have shown they can turn games in their favor with their special teams, and this sort of point-producing must have caught the eyes of the Giants as the head into Sunday night's game at Lincoln Financial Field. "Nope," said linebacker Mark Herzlich, one of the core special teamers.
Philadelphia fans seem more worried about LeSean McCoy than Nick Foles at this point. But Philly fans are not known for their patience with any of their players. That's why some were calling for former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to replace Foles after a 26-21 loss to San Francisco in Week 4 in which Foles threw two interceptions without a touchdown.
Linebacker Jacquian Williams has emerged as a key player for the Giants. He has been on the field for 322 of the 327 snaps on defense this season -- only Antrel Rolle (323) has more.
In an ideal world, Tom Coughlin would want a team filled with veteran players. But that's just not the way it works in this win-now, salary-capped era. It's a good thing for him, then, that it appears the Giants struck gold in the 2014 NFL draft, in what might turn out to be GM Jerry Reese's best and most immediately productive group since his vaunted Class of 2007.
The Giants have options with how they can use Jon Beason if he returns on Sunday, as expected. They don't necessarily need him to play every snap. Veteran linebacker Jameel McClain has performed well, especially as the nickel linebacker alongside Jacquian Williams.
When Rodgers-Cromartie first arrived in Philadelphia at the start of training camp in 2011. Immediately, he was part of what some Eagles players called the "Dream Team," a roster stacked with newly acquired talent on both sides of the ball. But Rodgers-Cromartie said he never fit in.
Justin Pugh will have friends and roommates rooting against the Giants on Sunday night in Philadelphia. "I don't give them tickets anymore," Pugh said on Friday, two days before his Giants face the Eagles in Philadelphia. "I got them tickets to the last Eagles game [in New Jesery] and they were cheering for the Eagles. So it's a wrap for them. Not just the Eagles game, for any game."
The birds have chirped. Chirped. And chirped some more. As the anticipation for the Sunday night NFC East showdown between the Giants and Eagles has increased, the trash talk has made its way up and down the New Jersey Turnpike all week.
Oct 11 It's been more than three years since Cruz first went to Philly on Sept. 25, 2011, for what was essentially his first NFL start, and out-classed their 'Dream Team' secondary for two touchdowns
The last few weeks defenses haven't been able to get to Manning quickly enough. The Giants are emphasizing the short passing game, so there isn't time for pass rushers to reach the quarterback.
the anticipation for the Sunday night NFC East showdown between the Giants
and Eagles has increased, the trash talk has made its way up and down the New
Jersey Turnpike all week.
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