Monday, August 21, 2017

Preseason Week 2: Giants at Browns

Pre-Game Giants @ Browns
(nj.com)




A little bit of what and who I will be looking at during tonight's game.

Ereck Flowers

This is the obvious one. Should see number one overall pick, Myles Garrett, early and often tonight with the 1s playing into the 2nd half. I mentioned this last week, but I want to see him in the game even longer. He had an okay game vs the Steelers (no pressures, no sacks), but I am very interested in how he does against a guy like Garrett. 

Weston Richburg

Haven't been too impressed with Westy over here. He got lucky with Danny Shelton injured and not playing this week, but I want to see the dominant Richburg we are used to. 

DJ Fluker 

I think #FlukerTakeover comes out in full force tonight. I watched a replay of last week and he seemed to hold his own and then some. Guy is tenacious. 

Eli and Co. 

Eli and the starting wideouts have a chance to come out and shine tonight. I know about Beckham and Eli, I'm more concerned with Marshall and Eli. See where they are at with chemistry. Eli and Engram as well, excited to see what they've got for us.

Darkwa vs Perkins

You already know the #FreeDarkwa movement is all systems go. Perkins has a little fire lit under him after last games performance. But Darkwa was out there doing his thing. Let's see how Perkins responds, and how Darkwa continues his momentum. 

Shane Smith

Guy pops. That's all there is to it. A real FB to lead Perkins or Darkwa through the hole is exactly what this team needs. Ellison is there, but he's not a full-blown fullback. I want the real thing. Keep an eye out. 


Donte Deayon vs Valentino Blake 

From everything I've seen, Michael Hunter has that 4th CB spot "locked" so now it's up to Deayon and Blake. Blake had a pick on a badly thrown ball last week but seemed to get beat for two TDs afterward. Deayon had a muffed punt, but didn't seem to make any glaring mistakes in coverage. Deayon needs to have a couple big games to prove his worth. 

Calvin Munson/Skinner

Herzlich, Thomas, Robinson are all out tonight so Munson and Skinner will be getting some real burn in this game. Munson is that Herzlich type of special teams player. On all the special teams units. and impressing in practices. Skinner is an athlete that can play in the hole left by Robinson. Will be interesting to see how both do in their respective LB positions. 

Returners

Said it last week, and maybe even earlier. I don't think Harris is a lock as a returner, and thus a lock to make the team. Let's see what Rudolph has. The kid has a real shot to make it. Especially if he shows up on offense with Powe out. 

Defending the Njoku

David Njoku is a guy many Giants fans wanted, and now they have to watch the Giants defense try to defend him. How do the LBs do? Will we see a three safety set to try and combat what he can do on the field? Njoku sat out last week, so this is his first game to show what he can do on the field. 

Jabrill Peppers

Where will he play? Safety? Some LB? The special teams units need to be careful of his return talent. I want to see what kind of impact he can have on the game and if the Giants can contain him on specials. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Giants Final Roster Projection

Giants Roster Projection: Pre-Preseason Game 1

It's an interesting ordeal, trying to cut guys off of OTA and training camp tweets, but hey, I promised, and I shall deliver. 

** The guys in italics are the guys I'm torn on. 

QB: 
Stay: Eli, GENO, Webb
Out: Johnson

To be honest, it can go either way with Johnson and Geno, these preseason games will give them both the chance to prove their worth. Geno off a torn ACL, in a new offense. Johnson has the leg up, being in the system already. I'm taking a risk here and going Geno. 

RB: 
Stay: Perkins, Darkwa, Vereen, Gallman 
Out: Draughn, Abdullah

I've said it before on twitter, I don't think Vereen is a 100% lock to make this team. took a pay cut to stay on, if some depth guys at other spots impress, do you take the risk and cut them for a 3rd down RB? Perkins has had some drops in camp, so I'm not comfortable with him there. Vereen is a vet at the position, and a mismatch, so I'll keep him there for now. Gallman as a 4th rd pick can't get cut (hopefully) but really, we'll see. A guy like Abdullah could go crazy in the preseason games. #FreeDarkwa of course. 

WR: 
Stay: Odell, Shep, Marshall, Harris, Powe, King
Out: Rudolph, Lewis Jr., Lane, Snead, Johnson, Norwood

King proved his worth last preseason and then was rarely used. Hope is they figure out a way. Powe, I thought had a chance to make it last year but Lewis got the nod. Now Powe, my #DontSleep candidate, is having an insane camp, he's gotta ball out in the games. I think it gets interesting with Harris, another guy that took a pay cut to stay on. What if Rudolph goes crazy as a returner in these preseason games? We know he's been taking PR snaps in camp. Doubtful, but pay attention.

TE: 
Stay: Ellison, Engram, LaCosse
Out: Tye, Adams

One of the bigger surprises in my projection. LaCosse over Adams. Adams a 6th round TE that has looked decent, but didn't make much of an impact his rookie year. LaCosse had a strong camp last year, and now doing well again, just has to stay healthy. It comes to the guys that can contribute more on specials vs Adams really. That, and I have a fullback making the team even with Ellison's ability to play the position.

FB:
Stay: Smith
Out: Huesman

Huesman converted QB still learning the position, emergency long snapper, joined late last season on the practice squad. UDFA Shane Smith is a monster. 36 reps at 225 during his pro day would've been best at the combine. His 10'6" broad and 37" vert (0.5" less than McCaffrey) would have put him 4th among RBs in each of those tests. Smith started out as a LB at San Jose State, redshirted, switched to FB, was the primary FB the next 4 years. McAdoo while talking about Smith on Tuesday, "very physical, heavy-handed type player" and then “showed his good hands today and did a nice job” ... exactly the kinda quotes you want from your coach. Special teams work could lock him in. Here's a video of Smith laying the wood to Casillas in the hole, sounds sooo good (@DDuggan21 w/the vid).
video

OL:
Stay: LT Flowers (sorry), LG Pugh, C Richburg, RG Jerry, RT Hart, G/T Fluker, T Wheeler,  T Bisnowaty, C Jones.
Out: The rest. 

They usually carry 8 OL so I think Wheeler, Bisno, and Jones gotta duke it out for 2 spots. I still think Fluker becomes a starter on this line somewhere by the end of the year, maybe before season starts (#FlukerTakeover). Wheeler got some reps at 1st team LT and got "beat like a drum" so there's that. At least he's impressing. And Bisnowaty has the talent to stick for depth. Jones could easily be cut if they can find a backup center. 

DE:
Stay: OV, JPP, Okwara, Taylor, Moss
Out: Owa, Williams, Wynn, Schwan

Owa will go down as a 3rd round bust. Hasn't done much of anything, had some off field stuff going on taking a break from football. Who knows with him. 0 sacks 18 games in 2 seasons: that's all I know. Wynn also getting the boot. He's flashed, but I like Taylor's length/pass rushing ability. 7 sacks in 15 games as a reserve in 2015, but then only managed 4 sacks in 16 starts in 2016. Moss (34.5" arm length) was at Nebraska, got hurt freshman year, next year came back got a handful of sacks and a pick 6, but then he exposed himself to another student... getting him kicked off campus. Went to Youngstown State and in 15 games he had 59 tackles, 17.5 for loss, 10.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. 

DT:
Stay: Snacks, Bromley, Thomas, Tomlinson
Out: Banks, Bryant.

Bryant is a vet that the Giants picked up after he was on the Bills for a few years. Graded out decently in run stopping, but has had health issues. Not a flashy player, just pretty consistent. Bromley is ready to step into the void left by Hankins, and McAdoo has noted his physical play. Thomas got to the Giants last year and all of a sudden came down with an "illness." The Giants never took him off the 53, and then resigned him, so they must see something. Tomlinson is the rookie that will eventually take the starting spot next to Snacks. 2nd round pick from Alabama, can be a 3 down guy if used correctly. Active hands, strong, and has a real nice motor. Won't give up on a play. 

LB: 
Stay: Kennard, Goodson, Casillas, Herzlich, Robinson, Munson
Out: Grant, Skinner, Thomas III, Maponga

I can't see Thomas being healthy. Gets interesting after the first 3 guys staying. Herzlich should make team as that guy that does what is asked of him, specials, depth, whatever. Robinson suffered a concussion and hasn't been doing much at camp. Munson could be a shocker. A UDFA that the Giants are using in almost every special teams unit. High motor, downhill LB. Earlier in his career, he was also the gunner on kickoffs (running into doubles) and on kick return, he was setting the doubles. Skinner can get some quality burn if Robinson is out for extended time, so see if he can make some noise. 

DB: 
Stay: Jenkins, DRC, Apple, Deayon, Collins, Thompson, Adams, Berhe, Pinkins 
Out: Hunter, Blake, Tribune, Ihenacho, Murphy, Robinson, Amos, Thompson (gone already)

A lot of italics here. Giants usually carry 5 corners, so most likely 2 of 3 CBs italicized will make it. I wanted Deayon on the team last year as a slot corner. 5'9" but plays like he's 6'3". Has that attitude you love to see on defense, always around the ball. He's been battling with Hunter who has had a great camp as well. Blake was added in March but was almost put on the PUP because of a back issue. However, he would be that veteran behind Jenkins, Apple, and DRC which would be nice. 

Berhe strikes fear into opponents. He flies around and just lays people out. If he can stay away from concussions, he should be good to go. 3 safety sets! Pinkins is a beast. Going 100% in every single drill, pissing off teammates in the process (had a little fight with Jenkins during WIND SPRINTS). This guy just wants to play. Drafted by Seattle in 2015 as a corner, then moved to safety, got hurt, gained weight, moved to LB, got hurt, got cut. Then he was added to the Giants practice squad last October, he told the coaches to put him at his natural safety position during a practice due to injuries. He hasn't left since. Promoted to active roster week 13 last season and became a core special teams guy. 

Kicker: 
Stay: Rosas
Out: Nugent

Rosas has been impressive so far in camp. Like pretty damn impressive. Bombing 50+ yarders. Nugent is a vet which is a decent fallback option, but I think Rosas kicks his way onto the team.

Punter: 
Wing

Long Snapper: 
DeOssie
- I understand why they keep DeOssie around (resigned in February), he's been here forever (10 seasons). Just not a huge fan of (just) a long snapper taking a roster spot. 


There you go. My 53. Now tear me apart on twitter: @realtlkfb ... should be a fun conversation. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

New York Giants Week 2: Madden 17 Simulation

(Madden 17)
Disclaimer: Obviously this is Madden 17. Owned by EA Sports. I’m just bringing you a fun way to look at the matchup.

Each week during the season I will run a full simulation of the Giants game. All-Madden difficulty, 15 minute quarters, injuries, and depth charts up to date to the best of my ability. So with that said, here’s the Madden 17 Week 2 Recap:

Another Year, Another Shootout, Another Giant Loss to the Saints

The Giants came into week 2 knowing there could be an offensive shootout. Those thoughts came to fruition, but the Giants were on the losing end 42-35.

Drew Brees passed for 354 yards and 5 TDs with 0 interceptions while completing 72% of his passes.

Mark Ingram did his fair share of the work as well running for 147 yards on the ground and 1 TD.

Rookie Tommylee Lewis, who sat out week 1, made his mark with 2 TDs off of 3 receptions.

Colby Fleener had 9 receptions for 79 yards and a TD as well.

Brandon Cooks, another 3 reception guy, made the most of them as he scored twice also.

The Giants seemed to be clicking on all cylinders the first couple of drives. Saint went 3 and out to start the game which resulted in a punt that was downed at the 1. Nothing a little playaction BOMB to Odell can’t fix:


After another Odell TD (9 yds), the Giants were up 14 with 6:23 left in the 1st.

The Saints ended up marching right down the field on the following drive. Brees ended up hitting Fleener for his 1st TD pass of the game from 2 yards out to make it 14-7.

Sadly, a Giants 3 and out = the Saints taking 5 plays to score. The drive was highlighted by a 47 yard run by Ingram, and capped by this pretty pass to rookie Tommylee Lewis with 12:18 left in the half:


The Saints ended up going for 2 on a fake FG pass, but they were unsuccessful.

Rashad Jennings saw Ingram’s 47 yard run and decided to break off a long one of his own, to a tune of 72 yards and a TD (12:07):


Giants were up 8 until Wil Lutz hit a 31 yarder to make it 21-16 at the half.

The 3rd quarter was made up of a few Drew Brees’ dinks, dunks, and TDs. By the time it was over, the Saints had the lead, 28-27.

Giants started the 4th off with a bang. Jennings ran 15 yards, dragging defenders into the endzone after straight up running over Kenny Vaccaro:

Giants had to go for 2, and succeeded, making the score 35-28. Saints scored twice more making it 42-35. The Giants did have a chance to tie the game after getting to the Saints 21 with 1:38 left, but after a 10-yard sack (2nd of 2 on the day) and a false start, the drive stalled.

Eli finished 26/47 with 454 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. His main target was Beckham, hauling in 9 passes for a whopping 213 yards and 2 TDs. 

Rashad Jennings was impressive on the ground, carrying the ball 19 times for 163 and 2.

Final: 42-35. Onto Washington.  

Sunday, September 11, 2016

New York Giants Week 1: Madden 17 Simulation

(Madden 17)
Disclaimer: Obviously this is Madden 17. Owned by EA Sports. I'm just bringing you a fun way to look at the matchup. 

Each week during the season I will run a full simulation of the Giants game. All-Madden difficulty, 15 minute quarters, injuries, and depth charts up to date to the best of my ability. So with that said, here’s the Madden 17 Week 1 Recap:

Cowboys Rookies Put on a Show, Down Giants 55-20


The story in Dallas was not the revamped Giants defense, but instead, the two rookies donning the star. 

The highly touted rookie QB Dak Prescott (143.0 QB rating) picked up right where he left off in preseason, passing for 391 yards and 4 TDs while only missing on 5 of his 33 pass attempts. Oliver Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul could barely lay a finger on Prescott as his all star offensive line seemed to manhandle the pass rush. 

Witten and Bryant did most of the damage receiving. #82 had a line of 8 for 95 and 2, while Dez put up 123 and 1 off 5 receptions.

Rookie stud Zeke Elliott was no slouch either. He shredded the defense for 129 and 2 off of 32 attempts, a big chunk coming from this 42 yard TD in the first, putting the 'Boys up 14-3.

 
Eli (21/44 for 169, 1TD and 1 INT) was sacked 6 times. While most of the blame could fall on the offensive line, the receivers weren't creating much separation, either.  Tyrone Crawford had 3 of those sacks from the defensive tackle position, abusing guys like Justin Pugh and getting to the QB:



Beckham, Shepard and Cruz were held to a combined 84 yards and 1 TD (Shep) off of 8 receptions. Beckham was the worst of the trio, only posting a 2 catch, 14 yard day. Shepard's 2nd quarter TD brought the score to 24-10 Dallas right before the half:


There were some bright spots for the Giants. Janoris Jenkins had an interception, fighting Dez Bryant for the ball deep down the left side of the field:


Rookie Darian Thompson, who was banged up most of the week, came in on kick-off coverage, to scoop and score a forced fumble by fellow rookie B.J. Goodson.

Some holes were made for Rashad Jennings as well, he put up a solid 108 yards off of 16 attempts.

While this is only the first game of the season, it seems the Giants have a ton of work to do. Big Blue's $200M defense got torched, while their highly touted receiving corps did very little to compete. There's always next week, shake it off, and onto New Orleans.


Full game is below if you are interested:
You will see that I have control of Giants defense for the first couple plays (didn't call any, nor did I control any player) as I sort out the nickel package. I let the computer roll after that.