Browsing Posts tagged Hakeem Nicks

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.

The New York Giants officially kick off their Super Bowl title defense on Wednesday night at home against the Dallas Cowboys. In the weeks leading up to this game, both sides have exchanged varying levels of trash talk. However, talk is cheap and the Giants have beaten the Cowboys seven straight times. Going into this game, Las Vegas pegged Big Blue as a four-point favorite. Here are five things to watch for on Wednesday night…

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Sure it’s early, but the new season will be here before you know it. What are going to be the best NFL picks for Week 1 between the Giants and Cowboys? Find out our pick here.

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So far, we’ve profiled Ahmad Bradshaw and Victor Cruz. Today, we’ll preview the man who is arguably Big Blue’s best play maker, Hakeem Nicks. Nicks, who broke his foot during a May 23rd organized training activity (“OTA”), vows he will be ready to go for Week 1’s home opener against Dallas. Given the injury to his foot, does Nicks’ fantasy value take a severe hit?

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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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The Saturday Game: Saints @ 49ers

The 49ers came out as hungry and passionate as I can ever remember seeing a team play. They went nuts on defense and special teams, forcing the Saints into just too many turnovers that even Drew Brees couldn’t manage to handle.

Alex Smith played an incredible game and mastered the quick scoring drive by taking the lead back twice with less than four minutes to go. One with a 28 yard run himself and the other with a laser throw right in the chest of Vernon Davis who handled hard hits from two defenders to hold onto the ball in the end zone with :09 on the clock.

As great of a game as they played on all three sides of the ball, and I’m not taking anything away from them this week, but is Alex Smith really a Superbowl quarterback? I know the story, seven offensive coordinators in seven years. However many head coaches over that same time. Yea, he stepped his game up to a tremendous level Saturday and came up with a huge win for his resume and that franchise, but ultimately I don’t see him competing for a championship right now.

Drew Brees is an incredible quarterback, no question about it. But his short term memory and extreme confidence was ultimately his downfall in this game because he kept putting balls in a position to get stolen by that swarming 9ers defense. Although Eli is known to throw his share of picks from time to time, he is smart in tough spots and knows how to play within what a defense is giving him.

The Sunday Game: Giants @ Packers

In another dominating performance by the New York Football Giants, they set the record for largest margin of victory ever posted by a visiting team to eliminate a defending Super Bowl champ and improved their all-time post-season record against defending champs to 3-0 (from Elias Sports Bureau).

Eli looked great as usual (21 – 33, 330 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT, 114.5 rating). Poised in the pocket, taking sacks instead of throwing bad passes, lobbing 66 yard jump balls into the end zone with time expiring, you know, the usual.

The running attack looked very sluggish to me all game. They were hitting the line of scrimmage and getting no where. Jacobs carried the ball 9 times for just 22 yards and lost that passion behind his runs I talked about last week. He made it easy to look passed those poor rushing attempts with his 14 yard TD run with 2:36 left to seal the deal (now that makes his game stats 8 rushes for 8 yards, by the way). On that run, both teams all pushed toward one sideline and he had just enough of a head start to make it to the opposite corner of the field without getting caught. He needs to get that passion back in order to really make a difference for this Giants team. Bradshaw also had trouble finding the holes that are surely not going to be any bigger against San Francisco’s monster defense.

I’m not as high on the Giants secondary as many people seem to be. I thought they gave the Green Bay receivers too much space to make catches. Luckily, they couldn’t capitalize and dropped over 7 easy balls. Fortunately, that’s not something that scares me going forward against the 49ers. If the Giants were able to hold Finley to just 4 catches for 37 yards, they should be able to do something similar with Vernon Davis.

That being said, the dropped balls did make up for the horrific officiating. I don’t think it could have been any clearer that the officials were pushing for Green Bay to make it to the next round. The Jennings non-fumble was without question the worst call I’ve seen in the instant replay era. Mr. Magoo could have told you Jennings lost control before hitting the ground on that replay.

The line didn’t get to Rodgers like I’d hoped (0 sacks, 0 knock downs, 0 hits in the first half), but they finally came alive in the second half and made big time plays. Osi started the beginning of the end with his strip of Rodgers and they started to swallow him by the end of the game leaving Rodgers with an abysmal 78.5 passer rating (44 points lower than his season rating).

And just for the record, I predicted this game (34 – 24) closer than Amani Toomer who I spoke with on Twitter Saturday.

Click to see full sized image of me Tweetin' with Toomer

Looking forward to next week, I don’t think San Francisco can duplicate their showing from Saturday and the Giants will continue to roll as they have over the last month (especially against second time opponents they’ve almost beaten). Again, my extremely bias pick, the Giants winning again on the road, 27 – 20 with San Fran scoring late to make the game look closer than it was actually played. And Cruz will get his first post-season salsa dancing in this week with a lot of focus shifting to the record-setting Nicks (first player ever with 65+ yard TDs in consecutive playoff games in the same year).

Todd Giannattasio is a guest blogger for New York State Of Sports. Todd also contributes simple recipes for guys at Easy Recipes For Beginners. You can follow him on Twitter@Tresnic.

After last week’s dominant performance against Atlanta, I told everyone that I came into contact with that the Giants were going to beat the Packers. I predicted it here. (I went 4-0 this weekend, by the way). I told people from Wisconsin that I met at my business conference. (They laughed). I told random people in the subway. I expect a tight game with the Giants pulling it out late. Instead, the Giants dug deep and just embarrassed the Packers.

Tom Was Tom--AP Photo

The Giant defense recovered three fumbles, forced one interception, and sacked Aaron Rodgers four times. Eli Manning threw for 339 yards (249 in the first half) and three TDs. Hakeem Nicks caught a hail mary touchdown pass before halftime. Brandon Jacobs finally ran north-to-south and scored the ‘goodnight the lights’ TD with three minutes to go. The Giant offense outgained the prolific Packer offense, 420 to 388. Special teams created turnovers. Tom was Tom. The Giants waved ‘goodbye’ to Aaron Rodgers and his horrible ‘Discount Count Double Check’ commercials. (Thank God). We’ll have more for coverage, but the Giants are heading to San Francisco to avenge another early season loss and punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.

Bang--AP Photo

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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The Giants took care of business in Philly earlier in the season. The Eagles made sure they didn’t let the Giants sweep the season series with a 17-10 win. The Philly front seven played absolutely stifling run defense, holding the Giants to only 29 yards on the ground. The Eagle pass rush kept Eli Manning off balance all-night, as Manning posted his worst completion percentage (18 of 35) to date.

Playing without Michael Vick, most Giant fans were ready to put this one in the books and move forward. However, the resurgent Vince Young capped another winning drive ending with a score to Riley Cooper. The Eagles played without Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson for a half, so Young was throwing to players has he worked extensively with at practice. Young did throw three interceptions, one to rookie, Prince Amukamara, who made his professional debut. But the Giant offense just really couldn’t get anything good.

Victor Cruz had his fourth straight game with at least 84 yards as he went for 128 and a score. Cruz kept slipping behind the vastly over-rated, Nnamdi Asoughma for big gains.

With the loss and Dallas win, the Giants (6-4) lost their grip on the NFC East lead and currently sit outside the NFC East playoffs. The Giants still play Dallas twice, but things are going to get much tough when the team heads to New Orleans to play the Saints on Monday night. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Eli couldn’t convert a fourth down for the third straight time–and that sealed the Giants fate. With 2:00 to go, Eli’s third, fourth down attempt was batted down at the line of scrimmage, sealing the win for the Niners.

The San Francisco 49ers showed America (without Frank Gore) that they are for real with a 27-20 against the Giants. Playing their second straight game without Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and DJ Ware combined for 89 yards on the ground. Eli threw two beautiful touchdown passes to Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. Eli did throw a key interception that turned into seven San Francisco points.

The Giants are still sit atop the NFC East with a 6-3 record, but are starting to feel a little heat by the 5-4 Dallas Cowboys. The Giants and Cowboys haven’t played yet, but I expect a hard fought contest.

The Giants will host the stumbling Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday night at Metlife Stadium. The Giants can put the 3-6 Eagles away for good next weekend.