Initial observations on Giants-Bengals, with pictures

• I know he’ll bounce back, but “Bad Eli” has been making a prolonged cameo the last 3 to 4 games.  Eli is probably the NFL’s all-time leader in getting away with intentional grounding.  He hates taking sacks and would prefer to throw the ball to nobody in particular, forcing the referees to make the call.  And he gets away with it all the time.  I give him credit for that – It’s smart… except when you do what he did last Sunday.  Here’s Eli doing everything possible not to be sacked, trying to shot put the ball to… well, your guess is as good as mine:

And here’s 325 lb Pat Sims catching Eli’s gift:

Later, Eli had another bad pick, but at least it made some sense situationally to throw up a prayer.  3rd and 5, down 18, late 3rd quarter… May as well try to make a play.  I mean… He’s only one Super Bowls throwing up prayers.  Here he is in the grasp, throwing a pass with nothing on it:

..into a gaggle of Bengals defenders:

Eli’s numbers over the last 3 games:

• Ahmad Bradshaw: 3 fumbles lost in the last 6 games.  It’s probably not enough to call his fumbling a chronic problem like it used to be, but he better tighten it up.

• Chris Snee had a decent day overall, but there were two plays where Bengals’ defensive linemen put him on roller skates and pushed him right back into Eli.  He was simply overpowered.  If I can find time, I’ll point those out later in the week.

• One player I definitely plan on pointing out is Linval Joseph, but I’m waiting for the “All 22″ to be made available.  Joseph can beat single blocking in the run game, but he was brutal trying to anchor against double teams. As the game wore on, if he knew a double was coming, he would just submarine and try to be a body on the ground getting in the way.  It got to the point where Bengals linemen would let him dive, then just run around him and block a linebacker on the second level.  That’s not what you want from a player that is supposed to be stout against the run.

• Chase Blackburn is the 5th most useful linebacker on the team, in my opinion.  When the rest of the Giants LBs get healthy, I think the Giants should be taking away some of Blackburn’s defensive snaps.  That’s not to say Blackburn isn’t a useful player.  He had one of the few highlights of the day when he popped the Bengals’ punt returner and forced a fumble.

• Hosley showed that he’s a rookie on the Bengals’ second TD.  Here he is with good coverage on Andrew Hawkins:

But Andy Dalton throws it where only Hawkins can get it, and Hosley dives to try and get the PBU.  He misses:

Hawkins makes the one-handed stab and walks into the endzone:

You might be tempted to say, “Hey, the other guy made a great play.”  And you’d be right.  He did.  But look at the first down marker in the picture above.  It was 3rd down.  Hosley was right on him.  If Hawkins makes the catch, so what?  Tackle him, and you’re forcing the FG attempt.  Bad awareness by the rookie.

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6 Comments

  1. Peter says:

    Just so you know, chris snee had a bad ankle. he didnt practice all week and then was limited on friday. they pretty much forced him to play

  2. ct17 says:

    I can’t think of 4 more useful linebackers than Blackburn, because I can’t think of 4 that play every week. Rivers has pulled every muscle he can name. As useless as Cincy fans told us he would be. Blackburn plays hurt. It’s not his fault that he is slow, or that Fewell instructs his players to drop in zone and ignore underneath routes.

    1. Well, yeah, I guess actually playing counts for something. Damn you and your good points.

      1. horatius says:

        That logic doesn’t always work though. Reed Doughty and Madieu Williams play safety for the Redskins, but they can be replaced by a couple of lawn chairs with no drop in production.

  3. horatius says:

    Loving it. The last few games by Eli can be attributed to the lack of luck that is usually on his side most games.

    That and the referees.

    1. BBI says:

      Yes, a 3-4 game stretch shows his true playing ability, while the last couple years were because of luck.

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