Five Quarterbacks and counting for the “New York Hitmen”
“Poise in the Noise is a Big Factor”
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, on what the Giants need to do to survive the hostile conditions at Qwest Field.
In 2008 after their bye week, the Giants went out to the West Coast and torched the Seattle Seahawks to the tune of 44-6.
They amassed more than 300 offensive yards in the first half, more than any other team that season. Everything Kevin Gilbride dialed up was working. Eli Manning gave eight different recievers his attention and threw for 267 yards and 2 TDs, no INTs. Brandon Jacobs averaged 9 yards a carry for 136 yards and had 2 TDs while Ahmad Bradshaw was the backup and had 11 carries for 61 yards. The offensive line gave up only one sack, the Giants defense had two sacks of their own. The Giants dominated time of possession with more than 36 minutes of control, went 100 percent in goal-to-go situations, and held the Seahawks without a touchdown in a tremendous defensive effort.
Will the Giants emulate their win in Seattle from two seasons ago? The funny thing is when you compare that 2008 Giants team to this year’s team, the 2010 Giants look SO MUCH much more dangerous heading into this game.
Eli Manning is a better passer. He has matured, he’s managing an extremely dynamic offense that has multiple dimensions and he looks like a top QB in more than fans eyes right now.
Eli has even more quality targets this year than he had back then for this game. Nicks/Smith/Manningham are perhaps the best young WRs in the game. That was on full display in Dallas two weeks ago against the much hyped Dez Bryant and Cowboys receiving crew.
Kevin Gilbride has been tremendous. Give credit where it’s due. In the past, the Giants have gotten all too predictable and one dimensional. This year the Giants have cultivated a dynamic game plan for their offense each and every week, and when they’re not beating themselves, they are beating their opponents, dominating them in fact with their many weapons. It may simply be they have more weapons to work with this year than they’ve ever had as a unit. Gilbride with Manning at the helm have been stellar at isolating where the defensive weaknesses are, calling the right plays and then mixing it up to stay deceptive.
Ahmad Bradshaw starting with Brandon Jacobs as the complement has proven to be a dynamite combo… potentially by seasons end they will be rivaling the league-leading trio of 2008 with just two running backs. The Giants have shown with their balanced attack they can run or throw on just about anyone right now.
The offensive line is back to form finally this year, and with the addition of TE/FB Bear Pascoe and OL Shawn Andrews the Giants in 2010 have depth and are more versatile in their line than they’ve been in years.
Kevin Boss and Travis Beckum make quite the tandem at TE. Beckum is the smaller H-back style TE that even lines up as a WR at times. Boss is a consistent blocker and has great hands and comes up with big catches seemingly all the time.
Perry Fewell’s defense looks as good right now as Steve Spagnuolo’s unit. They stay deceptive and get pressure, they stop the run, they shut down the opposing No. 1 receivers well. Back in form without question and perhaps better than they were in 2008 with depth all around.
There is a push up the middle from the defensive tackles, something that just wasn’t there in 2009. Gaps and running lanes are stuffed, but in terms of pass rush Chris Canty and Barry Cofield have been tremendous at collapsing the pocket and allowing Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck to work the outsides, get sacks and create turnovers. Outstanding pressure in 2010 for one of the league’s leading defenses.
The secondary is downright good. Antrel Rolle, Deon Grant and Kenny Phillips have all had a tremendous year. Help for stopping the run has been an asset all three have shown they can handle, and I haven’t seen a deep ball over the top go for a TD yet.
Corners Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster have a good job in coverage. Webster’s health has returned and may end up being one of the best shutdown corners in the league again this year.
Linebackers Jon Goff, Michael Boley and Keith Bulluck look dangerous. Great tacklers, great rushers, good in coverage so far … impressive.
Tynes and Dodge vs. Carney and Feagles… time will tell but I think Dodge has a good upside for the Giants. He kicked a 70-yard punt last week, that’s double what Feagles was getting last year. Tynes looks better than he has in recent years too hitting that 53-yarder right down the middle against the Cowboys.
Returner Darius Reynaud vs. R.W. McQuarters. It’s a wash. Domenik Hixon is clearly missed here as the return man, never mind his receiving skills.
Comparisons can be made to the 2007-2008 Giants, certainly when the Giants are playing the same team after their bye week. But I think if you look at where the Giants were a few years ago, you absolutely have to agree that the 2010 Giants are a better team.
I think the Giants can emulate themselves this week against Seattle, offensively and defensively — and dominate this game and move to 6-2 when they head back home to face the Cowboys. I don’t want to run the risk of overlooking this game, but if the Raiders torched them by 30 points and held them without a TD, I simply have to think the Giants are going to rout them as well. Disagree? Let me know!
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— ANDREW ILNICKI
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