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.