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Final Giants 2008 Report Card

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Final Giants 2008 Report Card

Post  Big_Pete on Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:50 am




January 14, 2009


Biggest improvement of all for Eli Manning Eli Manning was cutting INTs in half to only 10. Completion percentage (60.3) and rating (86.4) were career-highs, and ability to find enough plays to win and calm demeanor are exemplary. Tailed off down the stretch and endured brutal playoff game.


Two are indeed better than one. Brandon Jacobs (Earth) pounded away (219-1,089, 15 TDs) despite missing three games with lingering knee injury. Derrick Ward Derrick Ward (Wind) came into his own (182-1,025) and also was a factor in the passing game (41-384). Together, this dynamic duo lost only one fumble (Jacobs) all season. Not much left over for Ahmad Bradshaw Ahmad Bradshaw (Fire) with limited (67-355) workload. Can't discount the blocking of FB Madison Hedgecock.


Hard to believe pistol-packing Plaxico Burress got himself suspended and screwed up so much along the way. Wasn't very productive (35-454, four TDs), but always attracted extra attention, which no one else does.

Classy 13-year vet Amani Toomer (48-580, four TDs) is on the way out with every franchise pass-catching record. Steve Smith (57-574, 1 TD) should not lead the team in catches, but he did. Domenik Hixon (43-596, 2 TDs) is still developing. Not much again from Sinorice Moss (12-153, 2 TDs), and a learning year for rookie Mario Manningham 4-26).


As the replacement for traded Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss (33-384) led the team with six TD catches and showed great hands and downfield ability. His blocking also improved. Michael Matthews serves essentially as another lineman.


Entire unit gained great recognition as perhaps the best in the league, and C Shaun O'Hara and RG Chris Snee singled out for Pro Bowl honors. Monster blocking for the run, and Manning sacked an acceptable 27 times. Toughness and smarts in abundance, with LT David Diehl, LG Rich Seubert and RT Kareem McKenzie. Tough playoff ending, though.


Loss back in the summer of star DE Osi Umenyiora to knee surgery was overcome early, but eventually wore on this group. DE Justin Tuck, in his first year as a starter, had 12 sacks (plus one interception return for a TD), made the All-Pro team, but wore down with foot and knee injuries.

DE Mathias Kiwanuka (eight sacks) is talented, but at times also invisible. In the middle, Fred Robbins (5 1⁄2 sacks) tailed off after great start and shoulder problems, and DT Barry Cofield remains a dependable run-stopper.


Antonio Pierce (113 tackles) gets his teammates flowing to correct spots and expertly directs traffic, but was on the scene with Burress in the nightclub and had some rough times afterward. Danny Clark (74 tackles) was effective against the run and fit nicely in the locker room. Chase Blackburn works hard, but doesn't make enough plays on the weak side.


CB Corey Webster (three INTs) proved last year's playoff surge was legit, earned himself a fat new contract and emerged as lock-down corner. Second year for CB Aaron Ross (three INTs) was good, not great. S James Butler (three INTs) is smart, but lacks ideal speed, and S Michael Johnson is solid in run support. Of the rookies, CB Terrell Thomas surprisingly did more than S Kenny Phillips.


Only spark in return game came from Domenik Hixon, and coverage teams lacked one big gunner to make a difference, though rookie Terrell Thomas shows a knack and Chase Blackburn is always solid.


Strange deal here. Lambeau Field hero Lawrence Tynes tweaked a knee, and just like that was Wally Pipp, as 44-year old John Carney was signed and hit 35 of 38 FGs to make the Pro Bowl in his 21st NFL season and likely only go-round with the Giants. P Jeff Feagles at 42 had a remarkable year, also made the Pro Bowl and might punt forever.


Resolve of Tom Coughlin ensured there would be no Super Bowl hangover. He was on a major roll through 12 games, but couldn't break the team out of a late slide. Steve Spagnuolo got his defense to play hard and usually well as he likely heads off to a head-coaching gig. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride at times gets a bum rap, but he usually called a balanced (502 runs, 491 passes) game.
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Re: Final Giants 2008 Report Card

Post  Big_Pete on Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:50 am

what are your thoughts?
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