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Posts of category  "Giants"

Here is a look at how it happened

The last-second field goal is one of the most dramatic plays in football, especially ones of a considerable distance. A made 61-yard field goal, like the one that beat the New York Giants, certainly counts. While the play that won the game for the Philadelphia Eagles will be the one remembered most, the play to set it up was just as important and should have been just as improbable.

After an incomplete pass on first down, the Eagles faced a second-and-10 from their own 38 with just seven seconds remaining in the game and one timeout. Before the play, Joe Buck relayed information to the listeners about the target line for a Philadelphia field goal:

“In talking to head coach Doug Pederson, he said Jake Elliott feels good pushing it to the 37-yard line… so we’re talking roughly 25 yards away from that.”

It was unlikely the Eagles would be able to gain 25 yards on the next play to get into Elliott’s comfortable field goal range, so the goal would be to gain enough yards where a decision needed to be made.

The Eagles lined up in a 3×1 set with a bunch on the three-receiver side to the right. Tight end Zach Ertz was the isolated receiver while the bunch included Torrey Smith at the top, Nelson Agholor inside, and Alshon Jeffery outside. The Giants, knowing the Eagles needed a big chunk of yards, played mostly deep against the three receivers, the one exception, Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie pressed against Smith at the top of the bunch.

At the snap, the Giants rushed just three and left eight men back in coverage. WIth the wide receivers’ release, all three stayed at or outside the numbers, which only gave the Giants a four-on-three advantage. With eight total players in coverage, the defense should hope for more than that.

Torrey Smith’s role here is to clear out the defenders over the top. He ran straight down the field and it didn’t matter if he got open or not. He wants to take Rodgers-Cromartie downfield and hopefully at least one other defender. Darian Thompson, the safety on the opposite side of the field eventually came over.

The other two receivers ran a pretty basic Hi-Lo concept to the outside. Agholor cut his route to the flat, while Jeffrey ran a deep corner route. They were the key to the play.

On the first down play, the Giants rushed four and were able to get pressure on Carson Wentz. Most of this was Jason-Pierre Paul pushing back right tackle Lane Johnson. The pressure from Pierre-Paul caused Wentz to panic in the pocket, scramble, and eventually throw the ball away for an incompletion:

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Eli Manning is sticking to sports.

The Giants quarterback was asked about the protests going on across the NFL, which included three of his teammates taking a knee during the national anthem, but Manning’s response was rather mundane.

“I think the team is focused on the game,” Manning said. “We’re focused about going out there and doing our business and understand that we’re football players and we have a job to do on Sunday.”

Buffalo Bills players take a knee during the playing of the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 24, 2017. The symbolic kneel comes two days after Trump's harsh comments on players who don't stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner." NFL player Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last year as a way to peacefully protest police brutality against African Americans in America.

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Its not all on coach Ben McAdoo, but the New York Giants’ coaching blunders have boiled over. The 2017 season is nearly lost for New York, but McAdoo can still save his team.

Prior to the season, Ben McAdoo was thought of as an up-and-coming head coach with a bright future in this league. In his first season in charge of the New York Giants, he led the team to 11 victories and a postseason berth.

Just three games into the 2017 season, McAdoo may not have a future in this league. His coaching blunders have boiled over and the New York Giants are reeling. We debate.

Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, debate the New York Giants in today’s NFL Sports Debate.

Todd Salem:

Ben McAdoo is not going to be fired anytime soon; probably not even this entire season. There are too many steps to take in between now and a firing, specifically removing play-calling duties from his job. The Giants franchise is also one that doesn’t move on from a coach lightly. McAdoo’s job is safe. But that doesn’t mean he deserves it, nor does it guarantee his coaching success in the future.

Through three games, New York is one of the worst teams in football offensively. It has far and away the worst running game in the league. Only Cincinnati has scored fewer points per game. Considering McAdoo is an offensive guy who was previously an offensive coordinator, this feels alarming.

Then there are the blunders he is making on a weekly basis: not using a timeout two games ago to conserve an extra possession after a field goal; continually passing on field goal opportunities of his own; play calling within the red zone; etc.

This past week was the Giants’ best offensive performance of the year by far. It was also the first game the team has had with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. Yet it came against a battered and shorthanded opponent, and McAdoo still saw his group fail miserable one time after another with scores and the game on the line.

It is hard to know what exactly is a coach’s fault. As this season has gone on, though, it all feels at least partially like McAdoo’s fault. To know his real standing as a head coach, we need to see him relinquish play calling, move Ereck Flowers off left tackle, and play with his healthy stars. One down, two to go. Then there’ll be no more excuses.

Dan Salem:

It’s ironic how similar the New York Giants narrative is to what the New York Jets went through over the last two seasons. Todd Bowles was a first year head coach who led his team to 10 victories, narrowly missing the playoffs with a loss in the final week of the season. He is a defensive minded coach and in year two the Jets defense was awful. They surprised people with their success, then disappointed everyone by underachieving with a team full of veterans in year two of Bowles. There are a few key differences between the 2015-16 Jets and the 2016-17 Giants, yet there is no denying that we’ve watched this movie play out already.

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New York Giants’ Odell Beckham, right, celebrates with Sterling Shepard after a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP)

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. appears to be headed for the doghouse.

Beckham Jr. pretended to urinate like a dog after catching a fourth-quarter touchdown in the Giants’ 27-24 loss to the Eagles.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. The NFL probably will fine him despite relaxing celebration rules in the offseason.

Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and celebrations directed at an opponent are still penalized by the league in order to continue “sportsmanship, clean competition, and setting good examples for young athletes.”

Giants co-owner John Mara said in an email to the New York Post on Tuesday that he was unhappy with Beckham’s behavior Sunday in Philadelphia.

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Big Blue faces long odds of reaching the playoffs

Can the New York Giants become the first NFL team since the 1998 Buffalo Bills to start a season 0-3 and make the playoffs? If they are going to do that, they need to start on road Sunday with a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Giants are 3-point underdogs.

“I think number one is we can’t worry about playoffs this week, we just have to get a win. That’s number one,” coach Ben McAdoo said on Monday. “We can’t accomplish going to the playoffs or getting a playoff berth or anything like that this week. All we can focus on is the way we prepare so we can go down and perform well in Tampa.

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The Giants’ offensive line is doing the same thing to Don La Greca’s mind as it is to Eli Manning’s body.

The ESPN Radio co-host screamed until his face turned purple, until his speech adopted an impediment, until he could not scream anymore in a Wednesday rant that summed up a Giants fan’s feelings on the start of this football season.

Dropping two games in humiliating fashion — with the offensive line unable to keep Manning upright — is not what set off the Michael Kay sidekick. No, it’s the alleged NFL experts who excuse how the line has performed who broke him.

“Stop creating some narrative that everyone knows football better than somebody else. Your eyeballs tell the story,” La Greca began in a nearly two-minute eruption. “The offensive line sucks. Period. That’s my stat. You want a stat? You want sabermetrics? … Give me a break. That’s what we’re going to do, Michael? We’re going to be like accountants now on baseball? What is it, the Pythagorean theorem?”

Math plus football equals La Greca meltdown.

At this point, as an apparent jab at those nerds, he adopted a lisp.

“The Pythagorean theorem says that the Giants’ offensive line, their record should be 2-0,” he said before letting out grunts, apparently his impression of what studious football minds sound like.

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The Odell Watch, Chapter 3, went about as you would expect it to go.

He’s feeling better, though he’s far from 100 percent. His mind is in a good place, and so is his confidence but, as he says: “The ankle is something you get on every day, and I never really know if I’m going to get as good as I can get.”

He is past the point, in his mind, where he’ll have to negotiate with his coaches and the training staff to spend most of Sunday’s snaps in Philadelphia on the field.

“That,” he said, “is going to happen.”

That, everyone else can agree, is a good thing for the Giants, a hopeful thing for the Giants, a positive step in the right direction for the Giants. But it is also a mere footnote in the Giants’ world right now, where every question and every answer and every shrug of a shoulder is directly related to the offensive line.

Funny thing, right? As an offensive lineman, the hardest part of the job is the anonymity. Stadiums cheer running backs who skedaddle for huge runs. They embrace quarterbacks who throw balls 70 yards in the air. None of this is possible without good offensive line play, and when it’s going well, nobody knows their names.

And when it’s going poorly, it’s like “Cheers”: Everybody knows your name.

But here is Odell Beckham Jr. — he’s the Norm of the Giants; the moment he’s spotted, 70,000 people bark out his name — who is trying to make his way back into the lineup, and it really is hard to get all that worked up about.

That’s partly because he admittedly still feels limited by the ankle, throwing this quasi-ominous thought out there Thursday: “I know once I’m comfortable cutting each and every way, I don’t think there’ll be any problems, even if it’s not 100 percent.”

But it’s mostly due to the fact that even if he wakes up one morning and his ankle is magically better, the way Joe DiMaggio woke up one morning in 1949 to discover his heels suddenly didn’t hurt anymore, there’s only so much faith you can have in what kind of difference he can make if Eli Manning is constantly fleeing for his life.

It’s like installing an epic sound system in your car the day after the transmission falls out of it.

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New York Giants fans react during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Lions won 24-10. (AP)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Halfway through their home opener, the New York Giants left the field to a cascade of boos.

By the end of the game, MetLife Stadium was practically deserted. Few fans stayed to watch the Detroit Lions leave with a 24-10 win that sent the Giants to their fourth 0-2 start in the past five years.

New York did not make the playoffs in any of those first three seasons and there are many ready to write off this team because very little is going right. The offense has 13 points.

While the defense is only allowing an average of 211/2 points, it is not playing nearly as well as last season. Special teams has contributed nothing and allowed a punt return for a touchdown.

It’s not what anyone expected after an 11-5 season in 2016 that returned New York to the postseason for the first time since 2011.

“We’re not worried about the fans. We’re not worried about the fans, at all,” Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins said. “If they want to neglect the New York Giants, they can neglect us. It’s about the guys in here, all 53 guys. We’re all that matters to each other.”

It would be easy to blame the Giants’ problems on the offense. It has generated very little either running or passing the ball. Coach Ben McAdoo’s play calling has been criticized and many think the job should go to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. The line has been terrible and Eli Manning’s play has been just as shaky.

Not having Odell Beckham Jr. for the first game because of an ankle injury and limited in the second compounded the problems.

“I think you’ve just got to believe that going through tough times will make you stronger, will make you stronger as a team,” Manning said Wednesday after a jog-through practice for Sunday’s game in Philadelphia.

“But you’ve got to get through them. That’s kind of the situation we’re in. There’s always going to be ups and downs of a season, hopefully we’ve kind of hit the rough patch and we’ll work ourselves out of it.”

Justin Pugh a former Syracuse University star, who had to move from left guard to right tackle on the opening series after Bobby Hart aggravated an ankle injury, said the line remains confident despite all the negativity surrounding the unit. It just has to execute better, avoid the penalties and mistakes and keep fighting.

“If the fans want to go out and boo, I can’t fault them,” Pugh said. “We haven’t put anything good out there on tape so far to prove them otherwise.”

Halfback Orleans Darkwa, who is pushing Paul Perkins for the starting job, said the offense is beating itself.

“I don’t think it’s the play calling or anything like that,” he said. “I just think it’s the execution part. We just have to execute better. We’re definitely still confident.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Justin Pugh concedes the boos that reverberated throughout MetLife Stadium on multiple occasions during Monday night’s loss to the Detroit Lions were somewhat deserved. The New York Giants haven’t put anything on tape this season to prove otherwise.

It doesn’t mean Pugh thinks it’s smart for fans to jump ship after two losses, despite the struggles of both the offensive line and the offense as a whole. He believes that would be a premature reaction to one-eighth of the NFL season.

“I know the group of guys we have, and I know the direction we’re headed, and I know the camaraderie that we’re building, and we’re going to keep getting better. And I think I speak for the offensive line when I say we’re going to go out there and keep fighting,” Pugh said, addressing the fan base. “So stick with us. Don’t turn your backs on us just yet. Just give us a chance here.”

The Giants (0-2) are far from throwing in the towel, despite ESPN’s FPI saying they have just a 7 percent chance of making the playoffs. They know that Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia is vital and that they can’t afford another impotent offensive performance.

Safety Landon Collins has called it a must-win game. Although Pugh wouldn’t go that far, he conceded that it is a “big game for us.” That might be an understatement. Only three NFL teams since 1990 have started a season 0-3 and still reached the playoffs.

The Giants still need to keep it in perspective. They don’t want to overemphasize the importance of this week. It would be counterproductive.

“Hey, again, there’s pressure to win every week. That’s part of being in the NFL,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “You want to go out there, and you’ve got to be careful making something bigger than what it is, and I think you always want to be relaxed and be ready.

“But I understand. Hey, it’s a game in the division, and we dug ourselves in a hole. We’ve got to get out of it.”

Three consecutive losses to open the season might dispel coach Ben McAdoo’s belief that this isn’t the “first good team to start 0-2.” He is still confident, even though outside the walls of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center there are serious doubts.

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ORCHARD PARK, NY – DECEMBER 24: Richie Incognito #64 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before the game against the Miami Dolphins at New Era Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Michael Adamucci/Getty Images)

Although Pro Football Focus thought the New York Giants offensive line fared well on Sunday vs. the Dallas Cowboys, something is still not quite right.

New York mustered just 36 yards from their running backs last week and Eli Manning looked uncomfortable in the pocket, checking it down to Shane Vereen nine times, and averaging just 5.7 yards per attempt.

To expect the team to make a big trade in order to bolster the offensive line is unrealistic, but I’m going to do it anyway – because, why the hell not?

(Note: these are teams who are either rebuilding or heading in the wrong direction)

4. Jared Veldheer 

Jared Veldheer isn’t mentioned among the elite offensive lineman in the game – because he simply isn’t in that class – but he’s a more than stable option at the offensive tackle position.

Veldheer moved to the right side of the line this season after spending his entire career on the left side, posting PFF grades of 79 or higher in five of the last six seasons.

He has a cap number over $10 million for this season but the team could choose to cut him at the end of the year and save over $7 million in cap space.

3. Josh Sitton 

The Giants had the chance to nab Josh Sitton last offseason when he was cut loose and I’m sure they regret not pulling the trigger.

Sitton posted an excellent PFF grade of 85.7 last season and he has a respectable cap number south of $7 million for the year.

Similar to Veldheer, if Sitton were to be cut after the season, he would save the team a large chunk of cap space ($8 million).

2. Andrus Peat 

Prior to the 2015 NFL Draft, there were a few legitimate names being floated around the Giants ninth overall pick in the first round.

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