I’ve seen all three of the Giants games this season, having just finished watching their odd contest with the Tennessee Titans. They dominated the awful Carolina Panthers in the second half. They were dominated throughout by the Indianapolis Colts. Here’s what I discerned from the Titans tape.
- The Giants run game that ushered them to a Super Bowl victory was up-the-gut with Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward, countered with Ahmad Bradshaw taking off on the outside. Their interior run game is almost non-existent now and they gained all their significant yards on outside pitches to Bradshaw. Against linebackers of our speed, I don’t see that working.
- I counted a total of one completion made to a receiver in-stride, moving down the field and that was to tight end Kevin Boss in the seam. This play has killed the Bears for years.
- The Giants like to go three-wide and complete intermediate passes in front of the corners. They’ve got three talented receivers – Manningham, Smith and Nicks – and our defensive backs need to make tackles in space. The Bears like to force opponents into ten-plus play drives. The Giants will oblige.
- David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie will start for them at the left and right tackle spot, respectively. And neither can block Julius Peppers. Both will require significance assistance.
- If Shaun O’Hara can’t go again at center, look for Rod Marinelli to dial up some stunt blitzes for both Briggs and Brian to exploit the over-matched Adam Koets.
- The Giants seem to throw to the backs as a last resort. Both of their designed screens on Sunday were disasters.
- Their play-calling around the goal line is boring. Lots of drop backs that involve Eli standing in the pocket. If the Bears increase pressure down there, they’ll get turnovers.
- On a whole, I was terribly unimpressed with this unit and think the Bears are going to have the opportunity to score a boatload of points Sunday night.
- They have faced three teams. The one that wanted to throw the ball (the Colts) threw it at will.
- The only thriving remnant of the championship defense, as far as I can tell, is Justin Tuck. Tuck is still a brilliant player but they don’t move him around the line of scrimmage. He’ll be lined up over Kevin Shaffer, most likely, the entire game. Expect Brandon Manumaleuna to spend most of the evening at his side.
- They almost sell-out their linebackers with mega-blitzes on third and anything over five yards. The Bears could gain big yards early with well-calculated screen calls.
- The Giants linebackers are not particularly fast and not particularly versatile. We’ll have huge mismatches with Forte and Olsen whenever we line them up outside.
- The trick to running the ball against this group is attacking the ends directly and not letting Tuck or Kiwanuka (Osi is essentially not on the team anymore) beat our tackles to the inside.
- Justin Gage and Kenny Britt are talented guys but not speedsters and there were opportunities deep down the field against this secondary. If Vince Young weren’t the Titans quarterback, they would have scored at least ten more points.
- In the fourth quarter, Giants defenders wanted nothing to do with the field and Chris Johnson ran through them.
- Didn’t see much of rookie punter Matt Dodge, as the Giants didn’t punt much Sunday. But he’s mostly struggled in his rookie season.
- Lawrence Tynes is one of the most inconsistent kickers in the game. He pushed a low-forties kick about six or seven yards right.
- They acquired Darius Reynaud from the Vikings in the Sage Rosenfels deal and he’s returning their kicks and punts. He doesn’t seem like a big threat.
- Their return games have struggled so badly, they’re moving some starters onto the units. I think we might have a big game returning the ball.