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Tag:Eli Manning
Posted on: October 26, 2009 10:03 am
 

3-Way?

Tie for the NFC East division lead, that is.  If the Eagles beat the Redskins tonight (which should happen, considering how terrible the Skins have been), the top three teams in the division will be at two losses, with the Giants on top because they haven't had their bye week yet.

Giants vs. Cardinals

And speaking of the Giants, how disappointing was that?  I went to bed feeling sick because of that loss last night.  Though it looked like Eli would drive back and tie the game, he uncharacteristically threw an interception in the clutch when Steve Smith wasn't able to wrestle the ball away.

Steve Smith actually had a fantastic day, making a few key 3rd down catches, and remains as Eli's safety net.  Kevin Boss took a HUGE shot but held onto the ball, gaining a ton of respect from me and many other Giants fans.  Nicks, despite the fact that his TD was very lucky, is emerging as one of the Giants better receivers, and I'm hoping he'll continue to improve.

But one guy I just can't stand is Mario Manningham.  I don't like his attitude, his effort, and most of all, his hands.  He dropped an easy touchdown pass which would have put the Giants down by 3, instead of having to settle for a FG.  Eli, who was shaky all game, threw a perfect pass to him, but he dropped it.  This guy had character issues in college, which is why the Giants were able to get him in round 3 of the 2008 draft, but he's dropped many key passes so far.  Give the ball to Nicks or Smith.

Blowouts

Six games this weekend were decided by more than 28 points.  Most surprising of all these games was the Bengals domination of the Bears, and Palmer's 5 TD game.  Many people (including myself) thought that the Jay Cutler acquisition would benefit the Bears greatly, but he's been wildly inconsistent over his first 6 games.

Also, I can't stand the fact that the Raiders still want to start JaMarcus Russell.  He was terrible, and at least Gradkowski gave people the impression that he could play above a 60 passer rating.  The worst part is that Russell doesn't take any blame, while the rest of his team does.

Eagles vs. Redskins

As a Giants fan, I would love to see the Redskins pull off an upset to take down the Eagles, but I really don't see that happening.  Andy Reid is too good of a coach to let his team lose back to back games to below average teams. 

Posted on: October 9, 2009 1:50 pm
 

Fantasy Football: Best and Worst from the Draft

A little while I looked over the results of my fantasy football team's draft, and boy were there some funny picks, a few from myself included.  It's funny how much time and energy I spent into putting together my team, only to see it completely changed after Week 4.

My original starting lineup (PPR league):

QB: Donovan McNabb
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson, Clinton Portis
(wow this looks bad so far)
WR: Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson
TE: Greg Olsen
K: Matt Bryant
DEF: San Diego

Now, I've traded away Portis, haven't started McNabb since Week 1, my backup QB Hasselbeck got injured, and I've used a different defense and kicker every week.  My WRs are my only saviors at 2-2.  Here's my lineup for Week 5:

QB: Donovan McNabb (he's back!)
RB: Brian Westbrook, Knowshon Moreno
WR: Reggie Wayne, Percy Harvin (Vjax has a bye)
TE: Todd Heap
K: I can't remember anymore
DEF: Buffalo (??!?)

But anyways, enough of my problems, I want to take a look at some huge busts and great picks in my draft, which is a 12 person PPR league:

Round 1 Steals: Drew Brees (1.12)
Round 1 Busts: LT (1.8)

Rd 2 Steals: Reggie Wayne (2.5), Peyton Manning (2.8)
Rd 2 Busts: Larry Johnson (2.1)

Rd 3 Steals: Aaron Rodgers (3.3), Phillip Rivers (3.7)
Rd 3 Busts: LenDale White (3.4), Clinton Portis (3.8), Dwayne Bowe (3.10)

Rd 4 Steals: Ronnie Brown (4.10)
Rd 4 Busts: Terrell Owens (4.3), Derrick Ward (4.6), Lance Moore (4.9)

Rd 5 Steals: Vincent Jackson (5.8), Chad Ochocinco (5.9), Dallas Clark (5.12)
Rd 5 Busts: Antonio Bryant (5.4), Braylon Edwards (5.6), Roy Williams (5.11)

Other Major Steals: Ben Roethlisberger (8.8), Eli Manning (9.6), Donald Driver (9.12), Cedric Benson (10.3), Joe Flacco (10.6), Ray Rice (11.11), LeSean McCoy (13.11)
Other Major MAJOR Busts: Michael Crabtree (6.1), Darren McFadden (6.2), Anthony Gonzalez (6.11), Eddie Royal (8.7), Chad Pennington (12.1), Jake Delhomme (13.3)

There are some funny ones in there.  Hope too many people didn't suffer this season like me, the LT/Portis disease caught me pretty bad.

Posted on: October 5, 2009 3:46 pm
 

Giants vs. Chiefs

The score really didn't quite indicate how well the Giants dominated the Chiefs.  Cassel had two garbage time TD throws, and Larry Johnson did basically nothing against the Giants maligned defense.  I'm honestly shocked at how well the Giants passing game has been going, even though they haven't really had a challenge so far.

I'll start off with what I'm concerned about.  Obviously the biggest concern at this point is Eli Manning's ankle/foot.  Such a strange way to get injured.  It seems as though he'll be available for next week, and let's be honest, David Carr could probably beat the Raiders.  He's certainly better than JaMarcus Russell.  If Eli does play, they will most likely run the ball more, and perhaps put in Carr if they lead by enough at the half or end of the 3rd quarter.

One major thing I'm a bit concerned about is the upcoming schedule.  The Giants have a bye week at week 10, but face (after the Raiders) the Saints, the Cardinals, the Eagles, and San Diego.  Assuming they beat the Raiders, I would hope the Giants could win 3 of those 4 games reasonably.  2-2 in that stretch would be okay, landing them at 7-2 at the bye.

Going along with the schedule concern, these upcoming games will really test the Giants ability to defend the long ball.  Drew Brees can clearly punish defenses with a deep ball, as can Warner, McNabb, and Rivers.  The Giants also don't have the luxury of an early bye week where they can rest their injured players.  And boy do they have an injured secondary.  This could turn into the perfect storm in late October and November.

As for the good: the Giants are 4-0, with two division wins.  A win against the Raiders would go a long way considering their upcoming schedule.  A healthy Eli Manning means pressure off the running game, and the combination of Jacobs and Bradshaw has been stellar lately.  They've both on pace to run for more than 1,000 yards this season, and Manning over 4,000 yards passing.

Their defensive line has done a great job of confusing offenses, and spreading the wealth around their expansive depth.  They will HAVE to use this to their advantage against their ugly 4 game stretch.  If they can heal their wounds and focus on the game ahead of them, I could realistically see them at 8-1 going into the bye week, though 7-2 wouldn't be the end of the world.
Posted on: September 22, 2009 11:10 am
 

Super Mario!

Many thought that Domenik Hixon or Hakeem Nicks would have to step up to fill in for Plaxico Burress' enormous shoes, but both went down with injury.

Enter: Mario Manningham.

Eli Manning was able to rely on Manningham 10 times throughout the game, ultimately leading to a game-winning field goal in some of the worst conditions most people will ever have to play in.  The expression on Jerry Jones' face was priceless.

The most impressive thing about Manningham in the game against the Cowboys was the effort he put forth when the game was close (which was just about the entire time).  His ability to stay focused made him seem like a veteran.  One example of this was on his touchdown catch where he stuck with the ball after bobbling it.  In addition, on his comeback routes, he really came back towards the quarterback to shed the defenders, fighting for the ball and the extra yardage.

But let's not take away what Steve Smith did too.  He is definitely Eli Manning's most consistent receiver, and has stepped up where Amani Toomer left in the off-season.  Many people don't realize that Manning relied on Toomer heavily on third down situations, which is where Steve Smith has shined.  Smith also had 10 catches and over 100 yards receiving.

Eli Manning also looked a lot like his brother, notching his 12th 4th-quarter comeback in his career.  Though Eli usually plays very well in his first 8 to 10 games of the season, it seems as though he has solidified himself as a veteran, and perhaps even an elite quarterback in the NFL.

The thing that I like most about the Giants current situation is that their upcoming schedule looks fairly soft.  The play Tampa Bay next week (watch out for Carnell Williams!), then Kansas City and Oakland.  If the Giants are able to win their next three games (which is not easy considering they're in the middle of a 3-game road trip), they'll be 2-0 in the division, 3-0 in the conference, and 5-0 overall.  That will be very useful as their schedule gets harder.
Posted on: September 14, 2009 4:11 pm
 

Giants vs. Redskins

After watching the Giants game on Sunday, I've got some mixed feelings about Big Blue, though mostly positive.

First, the Giants defense looks as good (or better) than most people expected.  The best sight of the game was Osi returning Campbell's fumble for a touchdown.  Justin Tuck played very well, especially under pressure, and the Giants defense only gets better when they're backed into the redzone.  The pass defense could have been better, but only really gave up a lot of yards on one drive.  Corey Webster had an amazing interception, and Portis was held to under 100 yards rushing.

The Giants offense had it's usual ups and downs, but I was very proud of the way Eli was able to spread the ball around early in the game.  In the first quarter, he was able to dump the ball off to 7 different receivers.  It looks as though the Giants may not need to have an all-star receiver to replace Plaxico, but instead use a committee approach.  Mario Manningham played well, and Steve Smith continues to be a third-down savior.  Boss played pretty well too.

The one thing that worries me about the Giants is their inability to close games.  It seems as though they get to a comfortable lead, and then slowly allow the other team back into the game.  I'm not sure whether it's their play-calling or the mentality of the players, but a 17-0 lead should not go to waste.  I almost feel more comfortable with the Giants being down by 3-6 points in the 4th quarter, because (despite what many people think) Eli plays very well in the clutch.  Their stalled efforts in the redzone throughout the game did not help, and they could have easily won by 20+ points if it weren't for that fake field goal, which was beautifully executed by the Redskins.

All in all, I'm happy with the Giants performance, despite the injuries to Nicks and Ware.  They will have to play better against the Cowboys because they looked phenominal against Tampa Bay.
Posted on: September 2, 2009 10:43 pm
 

Preseason Power Rankings

Since the large majority of starters will not be playing in the fourth preseason game, I figure that now is as good a time as any to make my first power rankings of the 2009 NFL season.  They may slightly contradict earlier posts because of recent developments (Flacco being a stud, the Brandon Marshall saga, Favre, etc).  Anyways, here we go:

32) Kansas City Chiefs.  You know it's not looking good when you're starting QB may be out for a month and your offensive coordinator gets fired two weeks before the season.  Can we really expect too much from Larry Johnson?

31) Cleveland Browns.  This team just bothers me.  Dropped passes, inconsistent run game, and a Swiss cheese defense won't help Brady Quinn if he gets the nod.

30) Detroit Lions.  Sadly, this is a compliment.  They're making strides towards bolstering their offensive line, and not drafting another wide receiver.  Hopefully Stafford will be the bright light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

29) Denver Broncos.  What a mess.  Without Cutler, their passing attack is less intimidating.  Now, Brandon Marshall may not even be in a Bronco uniform.  These players just don't seem to like Josh McDaniels.

28) St. Louis Rams.  There is potential in St. Louis if three things happen: Jackson stays healthy, Bulger stays healthy, and Spagnuolo is able to motivate the defense.  If one of these things goes wrong, however, it'll be another disappointing season.

27) Oakland Raiders.  They are a very young team that, if healthy, could challenge the Chargers.  Russell needs to step it up and McFadden needs to complete 16 games.  Their organization is holding them back.

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  This depends completely on quarterback play.  If Leftwich is able to lead their offense down the stretch, they might find themselves in the playoffs.  Facing them is a tough division, a below average defense, and uncertainty at running back.

25) San Francisco 49ers.  Too many question marks will keep them out of the playoffs this year.  Given a few more years, Mike Singletary may restore 49er glory.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars.  Though he wasn't the starter, the loss of Fred Jackson will force Maurice Jones-Drew to carry the ball more.  They also don't seem to have the all-around consistency to be a major threat.

23) Cincinnati Bengals.  Just like the Rams, they need three things to happen: Carson Palmer must play 16 games, Chad Ocho Cinco has to mature, and Cedric Benson must earn his paycheck.  Oh, and the defense needs to show up.  Four things.

22) Buffalo Bills.  The absence of Marshawn Lynch will cripple them early on, and having TO may not make up for it.  If they can get better in November and December, they could make a run for a Wild Card.

21) Dallas Cowboys.  If Roy Williams is plagued with injury throughout the season, the Cowboys can kiss their playoff hopes good-bye.

20) Miami Dolphins.  Though they had success last year with the wildcat, most teams have begun to figure out how to dismantle it.  They also won't have the luck they had last year with no injuries to their starters.

19) Seattle Seahawks.  This could be a surprise team out of the dismal NFC West.  Hasselbeck looks healthy, and T.J. Houshmanzedah will help.

18) Arizona Cardinals.  Despite them making the Superbowl last year, many doubt this team (including me).  Warner is a risk at his age, and their running game is rarely utilized.  Plus, their defense is abysmal. 

17) New York Jets.  Their defense looks great, and their running game will get better if Leon Washington gets more touches.  Sanchez may not have an immediate impact, especially with the lack of a star receiver to help him out.

16) Houston Texans.  They're one year away from making it into the playoffs for the first time ever.  If Shaub stays healthy, that may come a year earlier.

15) Chicago BearsJay Cutler will give this team what the Bears franchise has always needed: consistency at quarterback.  Forte, Hester, and Olsen will see huge returns.

14) Washington Redskins.  Campbell looks much better, and Haynesworth on defense will have a large effect on the NFC East.  They just may not have enough to get the Wild Card spot with such a tough division.

13) New Orleans Saints.  Their offense ranks in the top 3, while their defense ranks in the 15-25 range.  Improve the defense, improve the record.

12) Philadelphia Eagles.  Most people have them ranked higher, but they've lost so much on defense.  Outside of Vick, they have had quite a few valuable pickups on offense.  Vick won't make an impact until his second year back.

11) Baltimore Ravens.  I thought Flacco would have a sophmore slump, but he's looked great in preseason.  Their biggest setback is their loss of Rex Ryan on defense.

10) Minnesota Vikings.  Put aside Favre, and you still have one of the best runningbacks and defenses in the league.  Throw in a veteran that knows the system, and you may have at least a division title.

9) Tennessee Titans.  Losing Albert Hayensworth may not be too much of a detriment, the system made him good, not the other way around.  Kerry Collins is another year older, though.

8) Green Bay Packers.  They could be the sleeper pick to win the conference.  Rodgers is in MVP form, and their transition to the 3-4 defense went much smoother than expected.

7) Atlanta Falcons.  Most people focus on Matt Ryan, but their defense appears to be improving the most.  Injuries and holdouts at receiver could hurt them, but Gonzalez may cancel that out.

6) Carolina Panthers.  Their only real weakness is inconsistency at quarterback.  Despite Delhomme's poor playoff performance, however, he was solid during the season.  Their running attack is one of the best in the league, too.

5) New York Giants.  Their receivers will either be the end of them or bring them to the Superbowl, since Eli Manning needs a deep threat.  Canty, Bernard, and Boley will add tremendous depth to their already stellar defense.

4) San Diego Chargers.  With Merriman and Cromartie back from injury, their defense will take a major step forward.  Rivers, Gates, Tomlinson, Sproles, Jackson, Chambers... get ready.

3) New England Patriots.  While everyone is focusing on Tom Brady, they've quietly added key players to their defense.  The loss of their offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and a surgically-repaird knee could keep them out of the Superbowl this year, however.

2) Indianapolis Colts.  Most people forget they won their final 9 regular season games last year.  Manning comes into this season healthy, but without Tony Dungi they'll have to work under a new system.

1) Pittsburgh Steelers.  This is not just because they won the Superbowl.  20 of their 22 starters are back, plus the coaching staff remains intact.  A fairly easy schedule almost guarantees a playoff spot and division title.  Plus, their defense is nasty.
Posted on: August 30, 2009 4:46 pm
 

Giants vs. Jets

I was at the Giants vs. Jets preseason game last night and noticed a few things that I would like to point out.

First, Mark Sanchez looked fairly poised, given that the Giants blitzed quite often.  Although the Giants were missing Antonio Pierce and a few other key defenders, he held his ground and was only sacked once.  He also didn't commit any turnovers, which is a great sign for the Jets.

Leon Washington also had quite a game.  Thomas Jones continues to bore the crowd while Washington fights for every yard and gives the fans something to cheer about.  I'm thinking of picking him up for my fantasy team if he continues to produce.

I honestly think that the Jets may be a contender this year.  When you look at Rex Ryan's defense, their running game, and their potential for Sanchez, it is quite possible that the Jets could give the Patriots a run for their money.  What they'll need is consistency with their passing game, and a #2 receiver to step up after losing Coles to free agency.

As for the Giants... I have very mixed feelings.  Their very first drive was perfect, and I thought I was in store for a blowout.  Eli Manning looked very accurate throughout the game, and looks as though he is comfortable throwing in the pocket.  The offensive line also did a very good job with protection.

The Giants running game was also stellar, with all three running backs averaging very well.  Danny Ware is showing that he really wants to get that #2 spot in the Giants depth chart.

Plus, how about David Carr and Hakeem Nicks!  David Carr was able to run the ball successfully while still throwing for two touchdowns to Nicks, who looked fantastic except for a dropped ball early on.  I'm really hoping he turns out to be a #1 receiver for the Giants in a few years.

Now for the bad.  What in the world is wrong with the Giants receivers?  Eli went 9/21 solely because his receivers could not catch the ball.  Steve Smith, a usually reliable player, dropped a 90-yard bomb, which ultimately would have won them the game.  Manningham looked sluggish and sloppy, while backup tight end Darcy Johnson couldn't hold onto the ball either.  It looked like they became too comfortable with an early score.  Boss remained consistent and Hixon didn't get many touches, so hopefully they can bounce back in the regular season, considering we won't see many (if any) starters in the fourth preseason game against the Patriots.

Overall, if the Giants were at full strength, I don't believe they would have given up as many points, but I wasn't quite happy with their performance.  On the bright side, Hakeem Nicks and David Carr looked brilliant, and Eli continues to be consistent while his running game carries the load.
Posted on: August 17, 2009 10:20 pm
 

ESPN's Overvalued Fantasy Players

I was watching the Giants game tonight and noticed something odd at halftime.  On the top of the screen they had (I think it was Mike Sando's) "Top 5 overvalued players" for fantasy football this year, and I didn't agree with the top 4.

His #1 overvalued player was Ronnie Brown, who I didn't realize was really all that well valued to begin with.  He's more than a full year removed from ACL surgery and had a stellar year last year.  Plus, the wildcat formation makes him dangerous.

His #2 was Reggie Bush, which I actually can understand to some extent.  I'm in a PPR league so he gains value in that respect, but his injury troubles are just too large.  He might be a good 3rd RB.

#3 was TO.  I don't get this at all.  He looked great in his first preseason game, and historically, he's done well in his first year on new teams.  I don't think anyone is ranking him in the top 5, maybe somewhere around 10th, so how could he be overvalued?

#4 was Eli Manning.  I can understand that there are concerns with him due to the lack of receivers with the Giants, but come on.  He's ranked like 18th in most rankings.  How is that overvalued?  Plus, he looked great in his first preseason game.

I actually plan on going for Brown as a second RB, perhaps Bush as a #3 if he's available, and Eli as a backup.  The Eli move is questionable, but I'm a Giants fan so what the heck.

My top overrated players would be:

#1: Chris Johnson.  No doubt he'll do well this year, but Lendale White will take a lot away from him since he's lost so much weight in the offseason.  Sophmore slumps are rough.

#2: Joe Flacco.  I really think that he's going to have a rough year.  The Ravens lost a lot of defensive support, and their running game is lacking.  These are crucial to your quarterback having success.

#3: Brandon Jacobs.  He fits in very well with the Giants, but he's not a good fantasy football back.  He will split a lot of time with Bradshaw, and Danny Ware could step in as a third down running back.  Plus, he's a concern with injuries.  I love Jacobs as a running back on my favorite team, but not for a fantasy team.

#4: Matt Cassel.  I almost have no faith in his QB skills now that he's out of New England.  It was the system that helped him get the numbers he had last year.  KC's offensive line is terrible, and they all around don't have the tools to support him.

#5: Matt Ryan.  He actually didn't have that great of fantasy number last year.  He's a great fit for the Falcons and will probably do well, but for some reason his numbers don't translate well to fantasy.

 
 
 
 
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