Browsing Posts tagged Ahmad Bradshaw

On a night where the Giants honored and celebrated each of their Super Bowl championships, the Dallas Cowboys left Metlife Stadium smiling as they topped the Super Bowl Champs, 24-17. Tony Romo made clutch throw after clutch throw, compiling 300 passing yards and three touchdown strikes. Third-receiver, Kevin Ogletree, hauled in eight passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Touchdowns aside, Ogletree made the biggest play of the night on a 3rd-and-12 just before the two minute warning. Ogletree’s reception preserved Dallas’ lead and kept Eli Manning on the sidelines.

Defensively, it was the tale of two secondaries. During the off-season, the Cowboys revamped their secondary by signing corner, Brandon Carr and drafting corner, Morris Claiborne in the first round. On the other hand, the Giants allowed Aaron Ross to walk away and must overcome another season without Terrell Thomas and a temporary absence of Prince Awukamara. The team’s best corner, Corey Webster, didn’t look too great when Ogletree burned by him for a 40-yard TD strike. In addition, fourth corner, Justin Tyron was badly, badly beat by Miles Austin on Romo’s third touchdown pass. The Cowboys were able to slow down the explosive Giant passing attack while the Giant secondary was exposed play after play. The Giants had major issues defending the pass last season; those issues may be even bigger this year.

Offensively, the Giant receivers had a tough time getting seperation against the Dallas secondary. Even though Victor Cruz caught six passes for 58 yards, his three drops will weight heavily on the minds of fans. Coming off his injury, Hakeem Nicks looked a little out of sync while tight end, Martellus Bennett scored the Giants only TD on a nifty grab. Ahmad Bradshaw rumbled for 70 yards and a touchdown while rookie, David Wilson was benched after a first quarter fumble.

Outside of the secondary, the Giant defense had a respectable evening. Jason Pierre-Paul terrorized Tyron Smith and was always in the Dallas backfield. Pierre-Paul’s penetration allowed his team mates to pick up sacks. Linebacker, Keith Rivers looked really good until leaving with a foot injury. Justin Tuck and Osi were a bit quiet, so expect to hear their names more often next weekend.

Overall, it was a disappointing night for Giants fans. Dallas did a nice job of sustaining drives and keeping Eli Manning off the field. Giant fans haven’t watched a bad performance since Week 15 (against the Redskins), so it definitely came as a bit of a surprise. Dallas’ victory symbolizes their validity in the race for the NFC East crown.  The Giants will host the Tampa Bay Bucs next weekend, a game they must win.

One last point: Jason Witten, who is just three weeks removed from a lacerated spleen injury, played tonight. I’m all for the senimental ‘tough guy’ story, but Witten didn’t help his team tonight. Witten’s run blocking was putrid and his pass blocking was even worse. I can think of one play where JPP just threw Witten to the ground and put pressure on Romo. Witten had a few catches, but he just doesn’t look right. I’m not a doctor, but spleens don’t hear overnight. I’d keep him off the field until he could give me a ‘normal’ Jason Witten performance.

QB: Eli Manning Passing: 7-14-62-0 TD / 1 INT-  Sans Hakeem Nicks, the Giants came out with their first team offense and participated in three drives. During his first drive, Manning orchestrated a 12-play drive, which included a critical special teams penalty on Joe McKnight that kept the drive alive. Following three straight completions to Victor Cruz, which were mitigated by penalties, and one short dump off to Martellus Bennett, Lawrence Tynes booted a 35-yard field goal to give the Giants a 3-0 lead. In his second drive, Manning barely missed on a touchdown strike to Victor Cruz on a third-and-one from the 16 yard line. Some will argue that corner back Kyle Wilson held Cruz, but the referee did not throw the flag. The Giants converted the fourth-and-one as Manning found Domenik Hixon, who was closely covered by Darrelle Revis, for a short four-yard strike to pick up the first down. Once again, the Giants failed to score a red zone touchdown and settled for a 30-yard Lawrence Tynes field goal to gain a 6-0 advantage. On his final drive, Manning threw an errant pass that was intercepted by safety, LaRon Landry. Despite orchestrating two lengthy drives, the interception capped a frustrating night for Manning.

RB: Ahmad Bradshaw Rushing: 3-2-0 After taking his third carry, Bradshaw left the game and went to the locker room with an apparent hand injury. X-Rays came back negative, however a cyst on his hand was broken open. Bradshaw is not expected to miss any time, but Giant fans are beginning to wonder if Bradshaw is made of glass. Bradshaw has played through chronic foot issues before, but can he effectively carry the football and take hits with a hand injury? We will see.

RB: Danny Ware Rushing: 11-15-0; Receiving 0-0 (1 Target) Ware came in for the injured Bradshaw, but didn’t find much running room. Ware broke off one nice run of seven yards, but was quickly corralled by the Jet defense. With Wilson still learning the Giant offense and Bradshaw removing himself from the game, Ware simply served a stop-gap option.

RB: David Wilson Rushing: 8-26-0 Alike Ware, Wilson did not find much running room against the stout Jet defense. Wilson was able to slash his way for two first downs, but he looked timid at times as he broke the line of scrimmage. In addition, Wilson looked a bit dumbfounded in pass blocking situations. If Wilson wants to become a substantial part of the Giant offense, he must improve his pass blocking. Wilson was utilized as the team’s kick-off return man, however, he did not have an opportunity to return a kick.

WR: Victor Cruz Receiving: 5-51-0 (8 targets) With Nicks sidelined, Cruz was the team’s top passing option, garnering eight of fourteen possible targets from Manning.  The Jet secondary took turns covering the Paterson, NJ product, and Cruz made the most of his non-Revis match-ups. As noted above, Cruz hauled in three straight passes from Manning and had a touchdown catch unjustly ripped away by Wilson. It was an impressive performance by Cruz and Nicks’ imminent return will only enhance the Giants’ passing attack.

WR: Rueben Randle Receiving: 1-49 (2 targets) Even though Randle took the field with David Carr and the second team offense, he made his presence felt. Carr and Randle hooked up for a 49-yard strike down the left sideline. Randle chose to wear #82 and his big play reminded many of another #82 (Mario Manningham) who stepped up for the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

TE: Martellus Bennett Receiving: 1-7 (1 target) Manning found Bennett for seven yards on a third-and-ten from the Jet 24 yard-line, setting up Tynes’ first field goal of the evening.

Others: In the fourth quarter, running back, Joe Martinek hauled in a swing pass from third-string quarterback, Ryan Perrilloux and scampered 14 yards for a touchdown. Martinek’s score was the only offensive touchdown of the game. 

Kicker Lawrence Tynes successfully booted four field goal attempts.

QB: Mark Sanchez Passing: 9-11-59 0 TD / 1 INT- Despite completing nine of his eleven passes, Sanchez was sacked three times, failed to convert any of his six third down opportunities, and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Sanchez did not have Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, or Chaz Schillens, but frankly, it didn’t really matter. The play by the Jet offensive line, namely Wayne Hunter, was down right embarrassing. Hunter gave way to two ugly sacks and had a third waved off due to a defensive penalty. Sanchez was constantly under duress and the sloppy offensive line play is to blame. Through two pre-season games, Sanchez’s offense has yet to register a touchdown.

QB: Tim Tebow– Passing: 5-14-69 0 TD /0 INT; Rushing: 2-5-0 Alike Sanchez, Tebow was constantly under duress. Tebow’s most memorable play happened in the fourth quarter when Giants’ safety, Will Hill rushed in unblocked and sacked him. Somehow, Tebow was able to get up, but this hit was a microcosm of how poor the Jets’ blocking adjustments were. In addition, Tebow under threw a wide-open Stephen Hill in the end zone on a second-and-ten from the Giants 25-yard-line. That drive resulted in a Josh Brown field goal, the Jets’ only points of the game. While Tebow’s 5-for-14 effort appears terrible, five of his nine incompletions were drops by receivers. In addition, Tebow threw two balls out of bounds rather than forcing the ball into tight coverage.

Overall, it was a very poor showing from the Jet quarterbacks. Despite some poor decisions, the quarterback duo absorbed seven sacks. If the Jets don’t solve their offensive line woes, it won’t matter which quarterback is under center.

RB: Shonn Greene– Rushing: 11-36-0; Receiving: 2-9-0 (2 targets) When the offense isn’t scoring, it’s difficult to find bright spots. However, Greene ran with some authority, registering five plays of five yards or more. While these plays alone aren’t going to win games, Greene’s tenacity cannot be overlooked. As pure runner, Greene is not dynamic, but given the Jets desire to run a ‘vanilla offense’, Greene can gain three-to-four yards per carry.

WR: Jordan White– Receiving: 3-28-0 (4 targets) White started in place of the injured Santonio Holmes and instantly became Sanchez’s favorite target. White hauled in three of his four targets, which included an impressive catch over safety, Antrell Rolle. Prior to the game, White was dealing with some swelling in his knee, so his condition is worth monitoring. Should Holmes not be ready for Week 1, White will start in his place.

WR: Stephen Hill– Receiving: 2-21-0 (3 targets) Hill started the game with Tebow and the Jets’ second team offense. On the first passing play, Tebow threw a pinpoint pass to Hill along the right sideline. A few plays later, Hill was wide open in the end zone, but Tebow underthrew him.

Last season with the Broncos, Tebow had a propensity for locking onto his larger receivers. Hill resembles Tebow’s favorite Denver target, Demaryius Thomas, and the two could form a nice repertoire.

TE: Dustin Keller– Receiving: 2-9-0 (2 targets) Keller was able to make two nice grabs over the middle of the field, but was not heavily featured. With Holmes out with an injury, many assumed Keller would be featured. Look for him to be more involved this week against the Carolina Panthers.

Others: Running back, Bilal Powell played with the second team offense. Powell demonstrated patience and explosion behind a leaky Jet offensive line. Powell ran six times for 21 yards. Powell’s running back counterpart, Joe McKnight, only mustered three yards on three carries.

Over the next few months, I’ll be writing profiles for the Jets and Giants skill position players. Before I begin my fantasy series, I want to stress one major thing about fantasy football—know your scoring system. It’s pretty easy to read columns by Matthew Berry and Eric Karabell and live/die by their opinions. Typically, these guys will write their columns based on ESPN’s standard, non-point per reception leagues. These columns will give our readers a general overview of the player and my thoughts as we enter the 2012 drafting season. Without further delay, here is the first profile on Giants’ running back, Ahmad Bradshaw.

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Through the next few weeks, I’ll highlight each New York team (and their opposition) on both sides of the ball. Granted, some free agency moves will happen in the next few months, but these articles should give fans a general idea for the structure of each division. Without further delay, here is the preview of 2012 New York Giants offense.

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Three weeks after being cut, long-time Giants running back, Brandon Jacobs signed a one-year deal with the 49ers. The 29-year-old Jacobs has been taking fewer and fewer carries over the last few seasons. Ultimately, the Giants will need to replace not only his 700 yards and eight touchdowns, but his toughness that he brought every Sunday. There are a few external options that the Giants could look into in order to complement Ahmad Bradshaw. 

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It was strictly a business move.

Unable to reach an agreement on a reduced salary, the Giants terminated the contract of Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs, 29, wanted to return to the Giants, but the Giants did not want to pay his $4.4 million salary. Jacobs had a $500,000 roster bonus coming his way on March 17th and a $100,000 workout bonus. By letting the burly back go, the Giants gave given themselves $5 million in salary cap relief. 

Giants fans know that Ahmad Bradshaw is the Giants starter and future at running back. Essentially, Bradshaw replaced Jacobs as the starter in 2010 and hasn’t looked back. The combo formed an impressive duo during their four years together on the Giants, but both the Giants and Jacobs are ready to move on. 

Jacobs’ intense demeanor will be missed, but his inability to run ‘north-and-south’ on a consistent basis, will not. The question becomes–who sets up and takes Jacobs’ 151 vacant carries? Plus Bradshaw doesn’t have the cleanest bill of health in the league. People questioned the Giants letting Steve Smith go last year. Those same people are probably questioning the Jacobs move, but it’s all a part of the plan. 

For good reason, the 15-1 Green Bay Packers do not feel like the slam dunk favorites in the NFC. The Packers, led by soon-to-be MVP Aaron Rodgers, watched their QB put together arguably the best season of all-time. Rodgers was so good that he compiled 48 total touchdowns and threw just five interceptions in 15 games. Had head coach Mike McCarthy unlocked his inner Sean Payton, Rodgers could have easily topped 60 TDs. That’s how dangerously good Rodgers is and no one will dispute that. For as great as Rodgers is, he has used his quick throws, smart decisions, and moxy to cover up four clear Green Bay blemishes… 

 

Rodgers is Hip and He's Cool. But he's going down.

 

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Before the regular season even began, football fans heard endless rants about the Philadelphia ‘Dream Team’ and how this team was destined for greatness. The Giants were regarded by many as an outcast team with a lame duck coach and shoddy defense. However, the Giants proved to be the best team in the NFC East, winning nine games, including some big wins against New England, the Jets, and Dallas twice. Even after winning their final two games, the Giants are not receiving the credit they deserve. Every ‘analyst’ and ‘expert’ is predicting that the Packers, Patriots, and Saints are by far the favorites to hoist the Lombari Trophy in Indy. However, here are six reasons why the Giants can win it all..

Deja Vu All Over Again??

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After winning their last two against rated rivals, the Giants head into the NFC Playoffs as the #4 seed. While the Giant season has been filled with ups and downs, the Giants appear to peaking and getting healthy at the right time. Osi (two sacks), Justin Tuck (one sack), and JPP (one sack) were all healthy and created chaos in the Dallas backfield. Eli Manning fell 67 yards short of 5,000 yards (for the season!!!), routinely hooking up with Victor Cruz for large gains. Add in the sheer presence of Hakeem Nicks and the three-headed rushing attack of Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, and DJ Ware, and the Giant offense is balanced and explosive. Hell, even Antrel Rolle made a big play, intercepting Tony Romo in the third quarter. 

Victor Salsa-Ing His Way Into The Endzone

Bottom line, the Giants have the play makers on both sides of the ball to make a deep playoff run. Their first test will come in the form of the Wildcard, 10-6 Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta was the NFC’s top seed last season before getting routed by the Super Bowl Champion Packers. The Falcons are a classic dome team led by a quarterback (Matt Ryan) who is 0-2 in the playoffs. In addition to Ryan, the Falcons have four dynamic playmakers in Michael Turner, Roddy White, Tony Gonzlaez, and Julio Jones.

I fully expect the Falcons to have a tough time in the cold, dreary Meadowlands. Traditionally, dome teams have a tough time playing outside. The Falcons were 2-3 in outdoor games this season with wins coming in Carolina, and Seattle. Their outdoor losses came in Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Houston. While it’s impossible to compare apples to oranges in terms of games, the Falcons can expect to face a similar climate as to the one they played in, in Chicago. In Week 1, the Bears routed the Falcons, 30-12 in a cold, dreary Chicago. Granted, it was the first game of the season, but it’s the only truly climate comparison for the Falcons.

The Giants are playing much better football. The team is playing with a sense of urgency–and has the potential to be downright scarryy.

I fully expect the Giants to come out and handle the Falcons next Sunday. 

Shut up, Rex.

And enough with the B.S.

The New York Football Giants had all the cards stacked against them against impetuous coach Rex Ryan and his New York Jets. It was unclear how this Giants team would respond at a point of return, with their playoff lives in their hands, just a short week after laying a dud against the lowly Washington Redskins. Add in a full week of trash talking to an already hate-filled rivalry, which left myself wondering whether the Giants had fallen for the trap and played right into the over-exuberant hand of Ryan and the Jets.

The Giants responded, though, by playing up when the time called for it – playing a solid-if-unspectacular game – all the while putting the Jets’ season in jeopardy by defeating them ‘on the road’ 29-14.

With the win, the Giants improve to 8-7 heading into next week’s battle with Dallas.

Credit: Yahoo! News

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