2015 is supposed to be the year the Giants get back into the playoff fray in the NFC. What has kept them from contention the past few years has been not been a lack of talent. Nor has it been poor coaching or preparation or execution.
Just finished reading a column on the Giants' needs in the upcoming draft (Rotoworld, Mar 25). Our colleagues John Norris and Evan Silva not only go through the team's needs but who specifically the Giants might target.
The needs are no surprise: safety, offensive line and defensive end. The Giants are light at safety and have mildly addressed the other two positions in free agency.
Regardless, we'll break them all down for you. The team issued their postseason autopsy today, citing the highs, lows and in-betweens from this pas season.
My comments are in italics:
Tags: 2014 New York Giants
?We did not have Odell Beckham Jr. ahead of Sammy Watkins,? Reese said in the interview, transcribed here by Giants.com.?
?We really liked him,? Reese said on Watkins. ?We had him ranked up there really high. I can tell you this, we had him ranked inside our top 10 picks. We liked the big receiver that Tampa Bay took (Mike Evans). We liked him as well. We felt like Watkins would be gone. (Zack) Martin was there, the offensive lineman. He was a guy that we liked as well. We took the best player on our board at the time and that was Beckham. We thought he could be a game-changing type player. He has been that for us. He has a chance to really develop and be a dynamic player for a long time.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Jerry Reese
The answer is, probably, no. Not on offense, anyway. In 1981, Lawrence Taylor cold-cocked the NFL with his speed an power. He was basically unstoppable. Unstoppable to the point that he changed the way teams deployed linebackers and also altered the way offenses protect passers. He was simply the greatest player of his time. You can debate that if you want. Good luck with that.
Just like hockey is looking for the next Gretzky and basketball the next Jordan, football is still looking for the next LT. That pretty much says it all.
Longest playoff droughts in New York Giants history:
- 1964-1980 - 17 seasons
- 1951-1955 - 5 seasons
- 1928-1932 - 5 seasons
- 1947-1949 - 3 seasons
- 1994-1996 - 3 seasons
- 2012-2014 - 3 seasons
All three could be in line for awards this season. Beckham will surely be named as a finalist for Rookie of the Year while Manning and JPP could be nominated for NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Beckham was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month twice - in November and December - the first player to be honored in consecutive months. ?He was also NFL Rookie of the Week for Weeks 12, 15, 16 and 17.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants, NFL Honors, Odell Beckham Jr, Steve Weatherford
They surrendered 400 points for only the fifth time in franchise history and finished 29th in the league in points allowed.
They have finished 27th or higher in that category three of the past four years under DC Perry Fewell.
CEO John Mara revealed yesterday that he felt so frustrated after the loss in Jacksonville that he felt like firing everyone in sight. He didn't, and instead, everyone may be back for another season.
GM Jerry Reese lamented about losing close games, apologized to the fans for consecutive losing seasons while promising to "keep all of our options open."
Tags: 2014 New York Giants
It was press conferences galore at the QDTC Tuesday morning, with Giants CEO John Mara giving his take on a disappointing 6-10 season. In a nutshell, Mara said he and his partner, Steve Tisch, still believe GM Jerry Reese and coach Tom Coughlin -- who also met the media Tuesday -- are the right men to direct the Giants going forward. That is, for one more year at least.
"I do not think that is an unfair statement," Mara replied when asked if 2015 would be a "win-or-else proposition" for a lot of people.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, John Mara
The defense on the season was a mess thanks to season-ending injuries to MLB Jon Beason, LB Jacquian Williams and CBs Prince Amukamara, Walter Thurmond III and Trumaine McBride. They allowed 400 points on the season, tied for fourth-worst in team history. On a positive note, they recorded 47 sacks, up from 34 last year, and the most since 2011 when they had 48 and won the Super Bowl.
DL - Grade: C-: Call it a good sign. JPP and Jon Hankins both started every game this season. On this team, that's a badge of honor. JPP Had two sacks of Mark Sanchez, raising his season total to 12.5, the most by a Giant since he had 16.5 in 2011. The bad news is they haven't been able to stop the run all year and they didn't again this week. DT Markus Kuhn got his first career sack.
The season ended with a game that resembles a microcosm of the Giants' problems the past two years: the opponent ran the ball at will, the special teams gave up a score and the offense failed in key spots, especially in the red zone.
In a contest that could have put a cherry on the season with a four-game winning streak, the Giants fell to the Eagles for the fifth time in seven games. Philadelphia did what they did best yesterday: hand the ball off and watch the Giants struggle to stop them.
Perry Fewell has been the Giants' defensive coordinator since 2010. During that period, the Giants' defense has been ranked among the best - and worst - in the NFL. His "bend but don't break" philosophy has taken the Giants to the top of the league, winning a Super Bowl. But it also has failed miserably at times, exposing the team both personnel-wise as well as calling into question the team's defensive strategy.
Last season, the Giants made a change at offensive coordinator, bringing in Ben McAdoo to replace the retiring Kevin Gilbride. At least that was the official narrative. This year, with the team missing the playoffs for the third straight season, many feel it's time for a change on defense.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Perry Fewell
Injuries have been a major story with the Giants and with one more game to go this season, a meaningless one playoff-wise, everyone is sitting around contemplating what might have been.
Two integral Giant captains, WR Victor Cruz and MLB Jon Beason, are two of the nearly two dozen players the Giants placed on injured reserve this season. Their services were sorely missed and one wonders where the Giants would be right now if these two key players were able to play out the season.
The 2014 NFL Draft class has been well received by critics and fans alike. Many rookies have made an impact in their inaugural seasons but making the Pro Bowl as a rookie appears to be a major challenge.
The top rookies being talked about - the Giants' Odell Beckham, Jr., Tampa's Mike Evans, the Raiders' Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins of Buffalo and the Bengals' Jeremy Hill - made major debuts this fall but all are on the outside looking in when it comes to the upcoming Pro Bowl.
The Giants' 514 yards, are the most accumulated in a single game since they gained 604 yards in a victory over Tampa Bay on Sept. 16, 2012. The?386 net passing yards was their highest total since they threw for 428 yards on Sept. 8, 2013 against Dallas. Eli Manning racked up a 131.5 QBR in the first half, completing 16 of 18 passes for 200 yards and a TD.
The Giants had a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver for the first time since Dec. 1, 2011, in a victory at Dallas, where Manning threw for 400 yards, Brandon Jacobs ran for 101 yards and Nicks had 163 receiving yards.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Giants-Rams
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has spent most of the second half of this season speaking about amazing rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. Monday morning, on his conference call with reporters, Coughlin took the time to recognize several other rookies:
"I would have to say I was very pleased with a lot of our young guys, to be honest with you," the coach said. "I would talk about Kerry Wynn for a minute, with an interception, a fumble recovery and playing a lot more in the rotation than he normally would have because of Damontr? Moore?s ejection. I also would recognize Nat Berhe, who did an outstanding job of recovering a fumble and making a tackle on the kickoff at the 10-yard line. Orleans Darkwa, who forced a fumble and then had an opportunity to play in the game and scored a touchdown on an outstanding run where he started one way and [the Rams] defense surrounded him and then all of a sudden, he broke out of the crowd and got in position to where he was able to score a touchdown there."
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Tom Coughlin
The Giants' hiring of Ben McAdoo to be their new OC last offseason was met with mixed results. Many fans and pundits are still on the fence as to whether McAdoo is the right guy to carry the Giants' offense into the future.
Head coach Tom Coughlin is not one of those guys
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Ben McAdoo
The matchup features two clubs finishing disappointing seasons. The Rams have struggled offensively at times against contending teams. They are 20th in rushing offense and 26th in passing. They are 20th in points scored.
Like the Giants, the Rams are still playing hard for their respective coaches as the playoffs drift further out of their reach.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Giants-Rams
?This is a great fit,? he said. ?I would love to finish my career here. I want to be with JPP and (Odell) Beckham, and I can?t wait to see (Victor) Cruz come back. These are my brothers. This is where I want to be.?
The 32 year-old Pro Bowler is in the final season of a? five-year, $37 million deal he signed back in March 2010, which, at the time, was the richest deal ever given to an NFL safety.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Antrel Rolle
While Beckham's tricky hamstring relegated him to watching the entire preseason (and first quarter of the regular season) from the sidelines, Washington was electrifying Giant fans with his late-game heroics.
During the preseason, Washington caught?10 passes for 155 yards and four touchdowns en route to being named NFL.com's "Preseason MVP". The Giants got caught up in the frenzy and the 6'4", 215lb, 23 year-old out of nowhere was placed on the team's final roster.
It's hard to bash a defense after a game in which they only allowed 13 points, and only three in the second half. So, we'll go easy on them, even though the Redskins met them halfway with poor execution and lack of composure.
The Redskins actually led this game, 10-7, at the half and it could have been 17-7 had the RGIII TD run not been reversed. The reversal of the call was the correct one, negating the TD as Griffin did not possess the ball all the way to the ground in the end zone after lacking possession over the goal line, and the Giants dodged a huge bullet. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after the play by Washington moved the second half kickoff to the Washington 35. The Giants cashed in on an onside kick to open the half and never looked back.
Overall Grade: B
If you look at the stat sheet, the Giants were outplayed by the Redskins on Sunday except when it came to making plays that counted. The Redskins gained more yards, had more first downs and held the ball longer than the Giants, but New York took advantage of their opportunities.
The Giants, coming into the season, were finally sufficient numbers-wise at LB. MLB Jon Beason was coming back after a strong 2013. Jacquian Williams was healthy and ready to break out. Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger were resigned with the hope they would continue to improve.
Then the Ravens cut Jameel McClain, who had learned how to play LB in the NFL at the hip of the incomparable Ray Lewis. The Giants acted swiftly and signed him.
Will the Giants replace Jerry Reese at the end of the season?
I'm saying no. First off, the Giants don't make their personnel evaluations and decisions until after the Super Bowl. That would only give a new GM about a month to set up their free agency and NFL combine strategy. That's not enough time. I understand that many are blaming Reese for the team's fall from grace, but the Giants are more likely to keep him and send Tom Coughlin sailing into the sunset.
Playing against an offense that was missing it's starting offensive tackles and wide receivers has it's benefits. Throw in a rookie QB with a sprained shoulder and a struggling rushing game, and your defense better throw a shutout, or damn near one. The Giants took full advantage of the Titans, allowing no points. The closest Tennessee offense came to scoring was in the second quarter when they drove to the Giants' 24 on a 13-play drive that ended with PK Ryan Succop missing a 42-yard FG attempt.
Tennessee had no answer for either player. Beckham was brilliant once again and Williams' grit and guile was too much for the beleaguered Titans' defense.
Williams rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and Beckham had 130 receiving yards and a touchdown on 11 catches. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it?s the first time in Giants history the team had rookies with 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game.
Some perspective: the Giants, who have a league-high 20 players on season-ending injured reserve, walloped a team who was playing without both their starting WRs and OTs. They also started a rookie at both QB and RB, and the QB had an injured AC joint in his throwing shoulder. An ugly matchup featuring lots of backups and late-season free agents masquerading as NFL players.
The Titans played as poorly as I've seen an NFL team play in recent memory. If the Giants had not blown them out, I'd be calling for housecleaning this very moment. They were that bad.
From the Giants:
Hazel, 6-5 and 238 pounds, played 13 games for the 2013 Cleveland Browns on special teams, including six in which he also played on defense. He had three special teams tackles.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants
Since the ship has sailed long ago on this season, and the new coach/GM posts have permeated all of our brains, it's time to have a little fun.
In case you've been living in a cave the past few months, you're well aware of the growing popularity of these daily and weekly fantasy football sites that promise to make you rich overnight.
GM Jerry Reese, who is on the hot seat depending on who you believe, will have his past two draft classes on display. RT Justin Pugh, WR Odell Beckham, Jr. DT Jonathan Hankins, LG Weston Richburg, DE Damontre Moore and LB Devon Kennard will all be in the starting lineup against the Titans this Sunday.
And, with RB Rashad Jennings dealing with a sore ankle, Andre Williams will be called upon to carry the load against Tennessee's rush defense, who rank last in the league (141.5 YPG) after 14 weeks.
On offense, they will start their opening day lineup in Tennessee this Sunday: LT Will Beatty, LG Weston Richburg, C JD Walton, RG John Jerry and RT Justin Pugh. They finally have some numbers behind that group.
Eric Herman has been promoted from the practice squad, joining James Brewer, Brandon Mosely and Dallas Reynolds in the second unit. Not the greatest of options, but at least three of the four are healthy. Brewer is still being monitored for concussion-like symptoms. He is also the only spare tackle on the roster.
After taking the lead 24-22 with 3:26 remaining in the fourth quarter, they allowed one of the league's worst offenses to drive 55 yards on eleven plays to kick the game-winnng, 43-yard FG with 0:28 left on the clock. Not only did the Giants defense fail in the clutch again, the Jaguars committed two possibly drive-killing penalties that they were able to overcome to keep the drive alive. In addition, the Giants allowed Bortles, who runs about as well as my postman (who is 55 and a heavy smoker) to scramble for 68 yards on five attempts.
Disgraceful is what comes to mind. No way were they tired, having only played 25 minutes and 68 snaps. Just inept and disorganized. DC Perry Fewell is long past his shelf life here. The Giants played a laid-back style that bit them hard in this game. All of the Jaguars' top gains came on either 1st and 10 or 2nd and long. And, again, they gave and the Jags took.
I've been asked this question a few times lately and have not really thought it through. That is, until I witnessed Sunday's pathetic loss in Jacksonville.
Tom Coughlin is still a top coach and the Giants would be hard-pressed to find someone equal to - or better - than him. After the loss to the Jags, I can see a change being made without much remorse or resistance. Enough is enough. The Giants may have reached the pinnacle of the sport twice under Tom, but they've also been embarrassingly bad too many times.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants
If you hold the ball for 34 minutes and outproduce your opponent in yards, first downs and almost every category that matters, you should win the game. The Giants did all those things in Jacksonville Sunday, but lost. After scoring 21 first half points, they managed just three against the Jaguars in the second half, arguably the worst team in the NFL entering Week 13.
In the?third and fourth quarters, the Giants had eight possessions: one resulted in a FG and another ended on a missed FG. The other six possessions ended with the Giants punting three times and fumbling three times. They lost all three fumbles, two went for Jacksonville TDs. After racking up 254 yards in the first half, the Giants could only muster 75 in the second, prompting head coach Tom Coughlin to say after the game they would have been better off just kneeling on ball instead of trying to advance it. Yes, it has come to that.
The Giants have been inconsistent on both sides of the ball this year. Their defense has experienced lapses that have led to big plays that lost games. The offense cannot run the football effectively. The Giants are 3-8 and it's no wonder that execution has been the main culprit.
"It is a variety of things," said OC Ben McAdoo when asked why the running game has struggled. ?"It is not always the line. The line, it is easy to point fingers at those guys. It is not always the same guy. It is a different position group, whether it is the five guys up front, whether it is the tight ends, whether it is the backs, the fullback position, there is enough blame to go around, receivers are involved in there, too. Eli Manning has to keep us in a great place, it just goes down to consistency and everyone doing their job, not trying to do too much, but being physical and winning their one on one match up, first and foremost."
The Giants practiced today at QDTC before heading out to Jacksonville for Sunday's game against the Jaguars.
DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), OL Adam Snyder (knee) and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion/shoulder) did not participate and have all been ruled out for Sunday.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is always a laid-back day with very little excitement. This year, there is no excitement in the land of the Giants. They are officially out of the play off picture at 3-8 and are headed into NFL obscurity in a season where most teams are talking about how they can still grab a playoff spot.
The Giants will be practicing today in preparation for their trip to Jacksonville. They will head down to Florida tomorrow to play perhaps one of the NFL's most meaningless games of the year. FOX is only televising the game in the Jacksonville and New York markets, with former Giant David Diehl providing color commentary alongside a play-by-play man that I'm sure most Giant fans have never heard of, Justin Kutcher.
Tags: 2014 New York Giants, Chip Kelly, Dallas Cowboys, David Diehl, justin kutcher, Mark Sanchez, New York Giants, NFC East, Philadelphia Eagles
An interesting question that many have asked me over the past few weeks and, truthfully, I have not thought too deeply about. There are many variables and hurdles that have to be resolved and cleared before such an event could happen.
First, Rex would have to be relieved of his duties as head coach of the Jets. That's already a foregone conclusion according to our Jets friends.
Overview: The Giants scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and led the ball game, 21-10, at the half.
QB Eli Manning was hot (14/16 for 191 yards and 2 TDs) and rookie WR Odell Beckham was putting on a show, reeling in all eight of his targets for 125 yards, including a one-handed TD grab for the ages. But in the second half, they came out flat, like they've done so many games this season.
This past offseason, the Giants hired Ben McAdoo to be their new offensive coordinator and playcaller. Kevin Gilbride, the former OC who won two Super Bowls here decided to "retire", leaving the door open for the Giants to change the direction of the offense.
They play at 1 p.m. in five of the final six, the only late start being the 4:05 p.m. game in St. Louis in Week 16. The other road games are against AFC South opponents: Jacksonville next week and then Tennessee the week after.
In addition to hosting the Cowboys, the Giants will host their other two NFC East rivals in the final stretch of the season. The Redskins are here Week 15 and the Eagles close out the regular season schedule at MetLife in Week 17.
Overview: The Giants defense entered the game having surrendered?at least 423 yards in each of their previous four games. They held the 49ers to just 333 yards on Sunday and the 16 points they allowed were the fewest in a loss since?Oct. 16, 2005, when they lost in overtime to Dallas, 16-13.
San Francisco was able to run the ball on the Giants, but to the success that many had thought. They rushed on 37 of their 66 offensive plays for a total of 148 yards. ?RB Frank Gore had a 17-yarder and QB Colin Kaepernick ripped off a 16-yarder but the Giants held them to 4.0 YPC, a solid performance overall.
With the score 16-10, the Giants were poised to take the lead with a touchdown. Having experienced difficulty running the ball vs 49ers all afternoon, OC Ben McAdoo decided to take advantage of his receivers' height and athletic ability with three corner fade patterns that were all unsuccessful:
- 1-4-SF4 (5:04) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete short right to O.Beckham.
- 2-4-SF4 (5:00) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete short left to R.Randle.
- 3-4-SF4 (4:55) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete short left to L.Donnell (E.Reid).
Last week vs the vaunted Seattle Seahawks' secondary, coined the "Legion of Boom" for their ability to slam and shut down wide receivers, Beckham caught seven passes for 108 yards highlighted by a 44-yard grab in which he burned the most famous player of the group, CB Richard Sherman.
After the game, Sherman called Beckham "a great player"and "the real deal" drawing accolades from pundits around the league. From NFL.com:
Jennings has missed time due to a knee sprain suffered against the Atlanta Falcons at the beginning of October.
During the game on?Sunday, the Giants lost backup running back Peyton Hillis to a concussion and Michael Cox to a broken leg.
The Giants travel to Seattle with hopes of stealing a win against the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. The Giants are trying to avoid their fourth straight loss after winning three in a row.
"You spend a lot of time talking to your football team. It?s a short week to do that," said head coach Tom Coughlin. "We?ve had that opportunity in a couple of sessions and, you know, it?s an emotional thing. A lot of people don?t understand how emotionally draining it is, especially when you lose. To get over that and get moving, but I think we?re getting there."
The Giants are once again overrun with key injuries this season and are going up against a Seattle team that is not exactly playing at the level they were last season. That shouldn't matter. This Giant team is not a clutch one, especially on the road.
The Giants have not beaten a winning team on the road since Week 6?of the 2012 season against San Francisco. Last season they won only three games on the road, period: at Washington, Detroit and the Philly, who started Matt Barkley at QB. The Giants won, 15-7, in a?game that featured?five Josh Brown FGs.
Over the break, the Giants entertained a slew of free agents in hopes of finding some live bodies to supplement their diminishing roster. They found no one worthy at the moment.
According to the Giants they have 12 players on the IR lists, the second most in the league behind the Colts, who will be here next Monday night.