Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bradshaw, Wilson keys to a Giants victory

Tom Coughlin made it very clear to his team after their 17-16 loss to the Redskins last Monday night. "We have to win every game from here on out, we have no other choice."

Last Monday's loss to Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins, the New York Giants have seen their division lead shrink to just one game, and there's more than one team hot on their heels. The Redskins and Cowboys are both 6-6 while the Giants sit at 7-5. The Cowboys cruised past a dismal Philadelphia team last week, and the Skins beat the Giants on Monday Night Football.

The Giants have mad nothing easy on themselves, and now must win the rest of their games to assure themselves of a playoff spot.

On Sunday, Eli Manning and the Giants offense openly welcome the NFL's worst defense with open arms.

The New Orleans Saints, who have had a down year, are giving up 440 yards per game, a stat Eli doesn't mind looking at. But Manning and the Giants passing attack won't be the key to the Giants winning the game. It will be up to Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, and the Giants offensive line to control the clock and keep Drew Brees and company off the field.

The past two times the Giants have faced Brees and the Saints, Brees embarrassed the Giants defense putting up 48 points in 2009, and 49 last season. Fortunately for the Giants both games were played in the Superdome where the Saints are almost unbeatable.

The scene will shift to MetLife Stadium for tomorrows contest where the Giants are used to the cold and wind, and the Saints would rather be in the comfort of their own dome.

The Saints rushing defense has given up an average of 153.8 rush yards per game, which again ranks last in the league. Bradshaw has put up some of his best rushing numbers for the Giants since joining the Giants, and is headed for a 1,000 yard plus season. Tomorrow's game will be in his hands, and hopefully in David Wilson's hand eight to ten times.

This game is the must win game this season for the Giants over the next four weeks. After tomorrow the Giants go on the road for games against the 11-1 Atlanta Falcons, and the 9-3 Baltimore Ravens, and finish at home against the 3-9 Eagles. The game against the Eagles may mean nothing if the Giants can't win these three.

If the Giants have shown us anything it's that they play their best with their backs against the wall. They have successfully backed themselves against that wall with a 1-3 record over their last four games.

Tomorrow is going to be a high scoring game with both offenses putting up points, but the if the Giants can get their ground game going, they will be able to control the clock, and thus take the game out of Drew Brees hands.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top Twenty Moments of the Year in New York Sports

The count down continues of the top moments from 2012...

Here are moments 15-11

15. Eli Manning passes Phill Simms as the Giants All-Time leader in touchdown passes. 

Eli Manning has been criticized, praised, criticized again, and praised again during his career with the Giants. On November 25, 2012 against the Green Bay Packers,  Manning passed Giants great Phil Simms for the most touchdown passes in franchise history, and maybe the greatest Giants quarterback. Manning hit Hakeem Nicks inside the Packer ten yard line, and Nicks did the rest just barely breaking the plane of the end zone for the score. It was Manning's third TD pass of the night and the 200th of his career.

14. McElroy leads game-winning touchdown drive after replacing Sanchez. 

It happened less than a week ago, but Jet fans have been calling for Mark Sanchez's benching for a month. It has been a dreadful year for Sanchez, and after his three picks and no point performance through the first two and a half quarters, Rex Ryan decided to put in McElroy. The change electrified the crowd and the team, and McElroy stepped up and led the Jets down the field for the eventual game winning score. McElroy  hit tight end Jeff Cumberland for a one yard score, and his first career touchdown pass. Can McElroy take the Jets over the .500 mark this season? You will have wait until Sanchez gets benched against Jacksonville because Sanchez is the starter.

13. Rangers clinch first place in the Eastern Conference. 

When was the last time Ranger fans could say they had their team was the one seed going into the playoffs? It was the 1993-1994 season, and the Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup. Stats like this gave Ranger fans hope that their team would make it back to the promised land. Well that and having the Vezina Trophy winner between the pipes. Unfortunately the Rangers could not get by their Hudson River rivals, the New Jersey Devils in the Conference Finals. Great to see the Rangers take the top spot in the East last year, now it's time for them to bring the cup back to New York (if there's a season this year).

12. Jeter fractures ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS.

The Yankees had tied Game 1 of the ALCS three innings earlier and seemed to have some momentum on their side. But in the 12th inning Derek Jeter ranged to his left to field a routine ground ball. Jeter landed awkwardly on the ground and did not get up. X-rays revealed a fractured ankle for Jeter, who's Yankees ended up losing Game 1 6-4 in twelve innings. Jeter's injury seemed to have sucked the life out of the Yankees fans and players. Jeter missed the rest of the series, and the Yankees were swept by the Tigers in four games.

11. Kreider delivers for Rangers against Ottawa. 

The Rangers were on the brink of exiting the playoffs, and it was only the first round. They say the playoffs is a brand new season and anything can happen, but the Rangers could not afford to get bounced this early after the season they had. The Rangers called up Chris Kreider, who was fresh off a National Championship victory with Boston College, to replace a concussed Brian Boyle. In just his fourth career NHL game, all in the playoffs, Kreider delivered for the Blueshirts. After trailing the Senators 1-0, Derek Stepan tied the game nine minutes into the second period. Brad Richards gave the Rangers the lead with a power play goal late in the period. With under a minute left in the period the Ottawa defense broke down and Stepan hit Kreider who slipped behind the defense, and Kreider buried his first career goal. Ottawa would score with under a minute to go in the game, but that was all. The Rangers won the game 3-2, Kreider had his first game winner, and the series moved back to the Garden for a Game 7 the Rangers would win 2-1.

Up Next: We start the Top Ten Moments from 2012.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Redskins edge Giants 17-16 in NFC East showdown

All eyes may have been on rookie all-star Robert Griffin III, but it was the Redskins defense that stole the show in the second half last night in Washington's 17-16 win over the Giants.

The New York Giants needed this win. If they beat the Redskins last night on Monday Night Football, they would be 8-4 with a two game lead over the Dallas Cowboys with four to play. Now Big Blue has a one game lead not only on the Dallas Cowboys, but the Washington Redskins have climbed to within a game of the division lead.

The Giants did a great job keeping Griffin III off the field in the first half. The Giants first three drives of the first half averaged twelve plays and around six and a half minutes. Eli Manning had the Giants driving all three possessions, except one problem. The Giants only put the ball in the end zone one time Monday night on an Eli Manning pass to Martellus Bennett.

After Griffin III led two scoring drives for the Redskins, a field goal and a fumble that led to a touchdown, Manning led the Giants down the field 54 yards and set up another Lawrence Tynes field goal.

 The Giants led Washington 13-10 at the half, and were getting the ball to start the second half.

The Giants had a chance to put some distance between them and the Skins with the opening drive in the second half. The Giants drive was stalled at their 41 yard line, and the Giants were forced to punt. The Redskins had all the momentum, driving the ball deep into Giant territory before Alfred Morris was stripped by Chase Blackburn, giving the ball back to the Giants.

The Giants took the turnover and drove down to the Washington 16 yard line thanks to a 49 yard pass from Manning to Victor Cruz. Once agaiat n the Giants got down deep into Redskin territory, but had settle for another field goal by Lawrence Tynes.

After that scoring drive, the Redskins held the Giants offense to just 16 yards of offense.

On the following possession, RG3 drove the Redskin 86 yards on 12 plays ending with a touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon, who had eight catches for 106 yards and a score, giving the Redskins a 17-16 lead.

The Giants could not get any offense going on their next two drives, and also lost right tackle Sean Locklear to a knee injury.

Penalties stalled two of the Giants drives Monday night and cost Big Blue ten to fourteen points; points they could have really used.

Griffin III, who went 13/21 for 163 and a touchdown, and the Redskins offense kept Manning off the field with a four minute drive to end the game.

Manning finished the game 20/33 for 280 yards and a touchdown, but could not lead the Giants to another comeback victory.

Alfred Morris led the Redskins rushing attack with 124 yards on 22 carries, while the Giants Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 103 yards an 24 carries.

The Giants will host Drew Brees and the struggling Saints Sunday at 4:25 pm, while the Redskins will take on the Baltimore Ravens at FedEx Field at 1:00 pm Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys will be in Cincinnati to take on the surging Bengals at 1:00 pm.