• On the first series Week 1 against Dallas, David Wilson lost a fumble. Tom Coughlin sat him for the rest of the day. On the first series in Week 2, he had a bad drop. He played only 5 snaps the rest of the way, despite Ahmad Bradshaw being lost for the game with a neck injury. Andre Brown got 53 snaps.
• Big hit by Adrian Tracy on the Bucs’ first kick return. He got his hat on the ball and forced a fumble. Tracy looked good to me in training camp. Fast for a DE. He got down the field quickly in kick coverage. Those are the kinds of plays that might get you more playing time with the defense.
• Do NFL teams know something about Corey Webster? According to PFF, he was targeted 6 times last week against Dallas. He gave up 127 yards and a TD on 5 completions, with 34 yards coming after the catch. The Buccaneers came out and attacked him right off the bat on Sunday. They threw a quick hitter to Mike Williams, who made Webster miss and picked up a first down. Then later in the drive, they went up top to Vincent Jackson for 41 yards. On the Bucs’ second drive, they went up top again on Webster, and had him beat, but Josh Freeman overthrew Jackson:
They targeted Webster so much early, that FOX even put up a graphic pre-snap, as if to say, “Hey, here’s that matchup again…”
Webster played better as the game went on, and even had a pick on a bad pass that went right to him, but it is interesting that they targeted him 7 times, as opposed to Jayron Hosley, a rookie, on the other side, who only saw 2 targets.
• I highlighted a nifty little running play that the Giants tested in the preseason. They ran it again on Sunday on the Giants’ 2nd drive. It got 5.
• On the Giants second series, Eli Manning hit Will Beatty in the hands, drop. Then a run predictably went nowhere. Then Beatty had a false start. Then Eli hit Martellus Bennett for a would-be TD in the hand, drop. “Aw shucks guys, come on, help me out here fellas. Gee whiz.”
• On Eli’s first INT, it just looked like a bad throw to me. Here’s what Eli saw:
It’s a tough, tight throw, and one that Eli can make, but not a bad decision in my opinion. He simply underthrew it, and the lineback Mason Foster (circled), made the easy play.
Eli’s second INT was more of the same. Not a bad decision. He simply sailed it over Victor Cruz’s head. Ronde Barber got away with a little hold here:
Troy Aikman absolved Eli of the bad throw because of the hold. I disagree. As you can see, Eli still would have still sailed it way over Cruz’s head:
Still, bad call that cost the Giants possession of the football.
INT #3 was just an amazing play by Eric Wright.
• That wasn’t the only bad call to against the Giants. The other was on Vincent Jackson’s TD catch. Michael Coe had good coverage on Jackson, as he was right there with him:
But Jackson pushed off and got separation:
This should have been offensive pass interference. Easy call. OPI is the most under-called penalty in the game. Wide receivers get away with murder.
• On the Giants 3rd series, they ran with Henry Hynoski on 2nd and 10. May as well just send in the 3rd and long call at the same time as the Hynoski dive play.
• I don’t like Stevie Brown as the gunner on the punt team. Looks slow.
• The Buccaneers have a very good left side of the line in Donald Penn at LT, Carl Nicks at LG and Jeremy Zuttah at C. Their entire line did an outstanding job on the Giants pass rush. Chase Blackburn had a sack on a blitz, and JPP had a sack on play in which Freeman had 4.4 seconds to throw (that’s a lot). Otherwise, the Giants didn’t get much pressure at all. Where is Osi Umenyiora so far this season? Justin Tuck? Even on the Bucs drive to tie the game at 34, when everyone in the stadium knew the Bucs were passing, no pass rush at all. Nothing.
• Osi Umenyiora is a liability in the run game. We kind of already knew that, but here’s a quick visual. FB Erik Lorig engages with Osi (you can see him behind big Donald Penn), and proceeds to clear Osi 4 yards off the line of scrimmage.
Doug Martin easily gets around the corner for the TD.
• Andre Brown looked great on the Giants 3rd drive, and had a very good game overall. Ran hard. Showed some nice ability to cut. Got his pad level low. That opened up the passing game and Eli hit Nicks for an easy pitch and catch on a little post pattern. Also liked this play from him on a fumbled snap. Brown saw the fumble, aggressively ran up and picked it up off the turf and actually turned it into a 1 yard gain instead of a 4 yard loss. I have to wonder if Brown communicated with Eli that he would pick it up. Brown had the play in front of him and could see that the fumble wasn’t in immediate danger of being picked up by a Tampa defender, and you can see that Eli had every opportunity to fall on the ball, but patiently waited for Brown to grab it instead. Heady play:
• Reuben Randle showed some nice punt return ability. He had a long return called back. There were two penalties on the play (a hold and a block in the back). They probably could have called five. Still, Randle looked the part.
• I mentioned some calls that went against the Giants earlier. They had some go their way as well. Here was an atrocious no-call on Kenny Phillips:
That has the trifecta: He hit a defenseless receiver, he launched, and it was helmet to helmet. It’s couldn’t have been more in the middle of the field, where pretty much any referee could have seen this. What the hell are these officials watching?
• Good Martellus: 5 catches, 72 yards, TD.
• Bad Martellus: Dropped 2 TD passes on perfectly thrown balls.
• Eli Manning’s bomb to Victor Cruz was placed in the absolute perfect spot. If you sent a receiver with no arms down the field but you fixed a fishing net over his shoulder, the no-armed guy would have made the catch.
• If the Giants are going for 2, great chance it’s a run.
• Last season, the Giants were able to score last season because Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz were outstanding. Against the Cowboys, Hakeem Nicks, in my opinion, didn’t look like he was fully recovered from his broken foot and Victor Cruz had a terrible game. This Sunday against the Bucs:
That’ll do. In related commentary, the Buccaneers’ secondary should not be allowed to reproduce. Vasectomies all around.