Giants Make It Three In A Row

Adding to the mounting argument of parity versus mediocrity in the NFL, the New York Giants have managed to qualify for the post-season a third consecutive time. Buoyed by an opportunistic defense and spirited running attack the Giants fended off the feisty Buffalo Bills, 38-21.Despite another lackluster performance by Eli Manning the Jints punched their ticket for the NFL’s second-season, and here’s hoping they can avoid their recent history of playoff embarrassments.

With linemen Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee, and Rich Seubert opening gaping holes, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for a combined 291 yards and three touchdowns. Not since 1959, when Big Blue ran for 351 against the ‘Skins, have the G-Men gained as much on the ground.

Begs the question: Is it the backs? Line? Scheme? Or a combination of all? Whatever it certainly could diminish the accomplishments of a recent Giant back who embarked on a melodramatic farewell tour, only to use the platform as a means of throwing various teammates and coaches under the bus, then backing up the bus, only to reenact the previous throwing under the bus, and thus earning the dishonor of having his name forever stricken from the text of the Clipboard.

Then there’s Eli. Don’t know if it was the weather or the continuing influence of Kevin Gilbride, but Eli seems incapable of removing the ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ visage that continues plagues his career and cause every God-fearing Giant fan to lose any last vestige of hope that he can fulfill his draft choice ranking and/or pedigree.Thankfully the Giant defense picked off three Trent Edwards’s passes. Kawika Mitchell and Corey Webster both returned interceptions for touchdowns.

Hats off to a spirited Bills’ team. For the second week in a row they earned the dubious distinction of playing in the game most-affected-by-the-weather. Last weekend’s battle in Cleveland marked the first occasion that a televised broadcast needed a yardage marker graphic. As snow off Lake Erie blanketed the field, CBS added sideline numbers on the screen to help announcers find the yard markings. This week wind gusts of 40 mph and all the possible forms of precipitation had robust, sideline reporter, Tony Siragusa, doing his finest Bob Dylan and ‘seeking shelter from the storm’ in the broadcast booth(yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s gimme shelter from the storm. Gimme a little license wouldja?)

Many questioned the Bills when they drafted Marshawn Lynch and Trent Edwards. Dissenters expressed concern thatthe two California natives would not be able to handle December games in western New York. The two rookies give reason for hope to legions of Bills’ fans.

Great to see Kevin Everett make his return to Buffalo.Continued prayers go out as he continues to recover from a spinal cord injury.

The Giants’ victory creates a little irony. At one time people questioned if the New England Patriots would go for 16 and 0, or if they would rest their starters for the final game. Now it’s the Giants who will probably rest some players for the playoffs, and the Pats with an impending first-round bye will probably use the game as a tune-up. If yesterday’s first half vs. the Fish is any indication, the Pats have plenty of motivation to finish undefeated.

On that note: what makes for a greater team? Undefeated season but not winning the Super Bowl? Or one loss but winning it all?

EPL Yakety-Yak: Christiano Ronaldo continues to build his resume as the finest player in the world. The Man U wing tallied twice yesterday as the Reds halted Everton’s thirteen game unbeaten streak. Love ya Thrilla XOXOXO!

Recent NY Times article questions Joe Torre’s involvement in the steroid allegations brought out in the Mitchell Report. With the high number of players mentioned in the report, the writer suggested Torre’s hall-of-fame status needs review. Regular readers of the Clipboard know that I have nothing but respect for Torre and his accomplishments. I would hate to think he had knowledge of such activity. If any coach’s status requires examination, Tony LaRussa would have to top the list. He was at the helm when the ‘Bash Brothers’ were peaked and in St. Louis when McGwire basked in the nation’s hoodwinked glow.

All in all the recent allegations bring to light a clubhouse culture of baseball that many of us either didn’t know about or didn’t want to know about. Brian McNamee’s stories about players and body parts used for injection, offers newmeaning to idea of flying by the seatof one’s pants.

Casey’s Christmas day schedule will include the 5pm matchup between the Suns and Lakers. Lovin’ the resurgence of Grant Hill. The guy has endured his share of injuries and is still playing. His acceptance of a barely-above-league-minimum $1.8 mill per year contract shows his love for the game. Now if the Suns could only find someone to defend Tim Duncan in the playoffs.

Giving some context to Kobe’s 20,000 points. Yeah, he’s the youngest to ever do it, but can we please keep in mind he entered the out of high school and played for a Laker team that needed him to shoot thirty times a night. MJ played three years of college ball and was often injured early in his NBA career. Not to mention that Bulls’ GM Jerry Krause plotted to limit his playing time early in his career. Yeah you read that right. The GM tried to limit his star’s playing time.

Sad to see Scott Skiles getting fired. He’s a lunch pail guy who is worthy of respect. Not sure if he is to blame for the Bulls’ struggles, but he is definitely the fall guy.

Get well soon – in a letter to his fans Dick Vitale explained that he will be off the air for a couple of months. I for one will miss Dickie V.’s commentary. While there is no arguing he can be over the top, Vitale’s analysis is usually on the mark.

Merry Christmas!

7 Responses to "Giants Make It Three In A Row"

  1. The Thrilla   December 24, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Yo,

    Merry Christmas to everyone on the Clipboard. I have to go wrap my presents.

    Roger is a liar and he is no good at it. No one would make up stories like that, and for what reason?

    The Giants are weak with Eli, Quarterbacks get you through the Postseason, and the giants do not have one.

    What ever Happened to Jesse the Bachelor Palmer? I would like to see Jared Lorenzon. Eli is where he is at because of Peyton and Archie.

    I’ve never been a KOBE Fan, all guys would get away with what he did for a 4 million dollar ring. Vanessa could have had so much more though if she was smart.

    Once again Happy Holidays

    Note to Brian McNamee don’t send Roger his HGH Shipment for Christmas Send it to his son Kolby, he has someone in the family who knows all about “mooning injections”

    The Thrilla is out

  2. Reynell   December 27, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Skiles is a lunch pail kind of guy, unfortunately he is in a caviar kind of league. Wouldn’t he and Jeff Van Gundy do wonderful in the college ranks? Whoever signed Ben Wallace to that contract should take the fall. The young talent they shipped off to make room for him is doing pretty darn good. Sticking with the NBA for a second: what else can the Knicks do to completely tarnish the league and their reputation? Why do so many former NBA superstars constantly kid themselves by taking coaching and GM positions. Further proof: MJ drafted Adam Morrison over Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay. Did anyone tell the Bobcats organization about Kwame Brown?

    EPL/Futbol Yakety-Yak
    I hope Arsenal can stay within striking distance of Man. United after relinquishing the top of the table this past weekend. I don’t see Chelsea making a formidable move. Liverpool seems like it is more focused on the Champions League than the Premiership right now. And what is with the downfall of South American talent through the years? Pele goes bankrupt, Maradona can’t put the bottle down, and now we have Adriano and Ronaldo following the same path. Each of these players returned to their native countries at the tail end of their careers as if to fade into oblivion. Ronaldinho seems to be falling into the same tabloid stories – I believe the past World Cup that newspapers saw him “out and about” nights before matches. Kaka has become Brazil’s golden child, hoping he brings the spoils to Brazil’s national team that he is bringing for AC Milan. But will he be able to avoid the path his predecessors seem to be making pre-destined? No reason with those names Brazil isn’t making the finals every four years.

  3. Casey   December 27, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Reynell

    If we were giving out helmet stickers for great comments, your dome would look something akin to Archie Griffin.

    Another top notch comment – “caviar kind of league”

    Since you brought up Ben Wallace – if the Suns traded for him, Wallace (as much as a sack of potatoes he is with the Bulls) could make a difference. He and Skiles never got along (darn headbands), and Wallace pouted. He could benefit from a change of scenery. Wallace straight up for ‘Kindergarten’ or Stoudmire.

    Liverpool BARELY beat Derby on Boxing Day. Scored the game-winner in stoppage time.

    Anyone seen Thrilla?

    Where’s Aaron?

    Casey

  4. Chas   December 28, 2007 at 11:51 am

    On the subject of Eli…As I was watching Sunday’s game with my Dad while visiting my downstate (to you guys from Rochester, but upstate to folks from NYC) New York hometown, thinking that the Giants were going to lose that game, I was ready to say that it might be time for them to cut their losses and move on. But, then they pulled it out, no thanks to Eli, of course. So, in my mind, his job was barely saved, but then I thought about it a little more.

    Despite his underachieving, where does he rank in terms of NFL quarterbacks? I don’t feel qualified to answer that question in a quantitative manner (baseball being the only sport I claim to know a lot about), but he’s probably a little on the south side of average, right? So, this begs the question…if you have a slightly below average quarterback, who does have big play capability and a huge upside, do you give up on him? For now, I say, reluctantly, that the answer is no.

    Great point, Casey, regarding LaRussa and Torre. The other point that I think people are missing is that this investigation seemed to be pretty New York focused, so that may make Torre more a victim of circumstance than anything. What if Ken Caminiti was speaking the truth, and it’s looking more and more possible that he was, that 75% of players were on steroids? Should we punish the entire game? Some would say yes, but I say it just means we need to place it all in its proper historical context.

    This is completely hypothetical and not, in any way, an accusation, but what if we find out that Cal Ripken took steroids? Would that change everyone’s opinions of Ripken…or of steroids?

    Dickie V, whether you think he’s annoying or not, is an insightful commentator. But, he’s nowhere near as good an analyst as he is a person.

  5. Casey   December 28, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Chas –

    Glad you mention that about Dickie V. I had the chance to meet/ run in to him at a Notre Dame game. He was walking through the busy student center (The Huddle) when we made eye contact. I reached out my hand, and Dickie V. obliged. He stopped and we talked for a moment. He could have very easily brushed me off and continued walking the other way. Instead he took the time to get my name and where I am from.

    I enjoy your music reviews.

    Casey

  6. Casey   December 28, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Chas –

    Needed time to think about Eli. As long as Gilbride is calling the shots, Eli is going to be confused. Eli CAN look above average when running the no-huddle. Why not stick with it? The Bills and Jim kelly ran the no-huddle for four years. It can work as a team’s staple offense.

    Hopefully we can get Aaron back on the Clipboard. He’s been having computer woes. We’re gonna have to call him Heinz 57 because he needs to play a whole lot of catch up.

    Casey

  7. Aaron Smith   December 28, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Heinz 57 in the house thanks to the General graciously allowing me 5 minutes to use his computer.

    For years I have heard others say that Dickie V is annoying, but I am glad to hear that others like to listen to him. His insight into the college game and his love for basketball in general makes it that much more too. He helps make college basketball exciting and I for one would love to hear him to do the national championship game rather then Jim “Gettysburg Address” Nantz and Billy “flatline” Packer..

    But like others said, more than just basketball, he is a great human being. His involvement with the Jimmy V foundation speaks volumes..

    Interesting talk on Eli… Considering half the QBs in the NFL, I think you stick with Eli and see what you can get. Then again, a pretty good running game can hide a mediocre quarterback.

    Check out Sports Guy’s column on the state of QBs in the NFL..

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/071221

    Heinz 57 out,.,

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