Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Giants v Buccaneers Recap

This should be an easy one, not unlike the game. Why waste time talking about it? Here we go:


Ahmad Bradshaw
14 carries for 104 yards is an awfully good day for the backup RB. Watching the game, the Bucs simply had no answer for Bradshaw. He was too strong, too quick, and his vision was too good for them to contain him, even on limited touches. Well done, 44.

NYG Run Defense
I ripped this unit a new one last week. Clearly, they were listening, as they responded with an inspiring performance against what is a pretty good running team. Granted, Tampa Bay was playing from behind pretty much from kickoff, so they had to throw a lot. But limiting a team to 28 yards rushing, more than half of which resulted from one QB scramble in 4th quarter garbage time, is a dominating performance no matter how you look at it.

Terrell Thomas
That timely INT of his now means that each of the Giants three healthy cornerbacks has an interception, and we're only 3 games into the season. Throw in Kenny Phillips' (poor Kenny) 2 last week, and we have 5 INTs in 3 games. Remember when this secondary was a huge, glaring liability, and any team with at least a high school quarterback could just throw all over us? Those days are gone, kids. Welcome to balanced, dominant-at-all-3-levels defense.

Travis Beckum
Whatever. Everyone on the Giants deserves a Highlight for a 24-0 destruction of a conference opponent. I'll actually justify this seemingly (and actually) random choice by saying that we saw a brief glimpse of why the Giants drafted Beckum this April. In the fourth quarter, he caught a quick pass and turned upfield for a 7 yard game. Beckum looked very quick on that play, and it's easy to see that speed being a major mismatch against linebackers as the season wears on.

Byron Leftwich
Can I give a Lowlight to the entire Bucs squad? Just focusing on Lord Byron, though, going 7 of 22 for 28 yards with an interception is incredibly bad. A 4 yards-per-attempt average is just not NFL quality play. Leftwich looked slow (which he is), confused, and frustrated all day. He was rushed into every throw, was completely off-target, and made very few good decisions.

Derrick Ward
If you're gonna trash talk all week, Mr. Ward, you need to show up on game day. Gaining 2 yards on 5 carries is laughable, especially considering that Tampa Bay's offensive line actually pushes a pretty good run block. Bet you wish you were back in New York!

Aqib Talib
Eli Manning ate Talib for breakfast on Sunday. The Fox commentators really nailed it when they noted that Talib was always in position to make a play, he just never made one. He had great position on Sinorice Moss (Sinorice Moss!!!), and couldn't stop a 5'8" receiver from winning the jump ball. Are you kidding me? For a kid with major maturity and discipline problems, he needs to play a whole lot better of he's going to stay in the league.

Not a lot to make note of this game. It's noteworthy, I suppose, that the Giants haven't shut out an opponent on the road since 1983. That's a pretty cool thing, I guess.

The Giants need to fatten up on these kinds of games, as the schedule gets quite a bit harder in a few weeks. They need to treat the games against Kansas City and Oakland like training camp, and use them to fix some of the things that have been troubling them. A 5-0 start isn't a given, but it is necessary if they expect to end the season as NFC East champs again. There are too many hard games against good teams down the road to make up ground lost early in the year. Continuing this level of dominance will be a great confidence-builder as guys start to get healthy again.

Not to, you know, brag, but I did manage to go 4-0 on my Week 3 Picks. Yeah, Lions! I was 4-0 against the spread, as well. That puts me at 11-0 straight up, 10-1 against the spread. I'll try to take some bigger risks with the picks this week (like picking 3 dogs last week, one of which WAS THE LIONS wasn't a big risk).


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