Sunday, September 27, 2009

Flawless Execution: Giants Dominate Bucs 24-0

A 2-0 team, badly banged up, coming off an emotional-but-flawed victory against a division rival and traveling south into 90 degree weather to take on a dangerous 0-2 team growing more desperate by the day… For any other NFL team, this might have qualified as a “trap game,” but not for the New York Giants.

I’m convinced, even before today’s blowout, that this team doesn’t play “trap games” anymore. The experiences of the past two seasons have helped forge a group of players, who despite compiling wins and playing some very good football, remain humble and hungry to improve and get better each week, regardless of the opponent. This week, Tampa Bay was no exception…

Despite two victories in two games in 2009, Big Blue had much to prove against their NFC South opponents. Eli Manning and company had failed to score a touchdown in the red zone all season, the defense gave up 254 rushing yards against the Cowboys in Week 2, and the league-leading running attack of 2008 was averaging a pedestrian 100 yards a game in 2009. Even against winless opponents, that wasn't going to cut it for the Giants, and they came to play.

GSTV checks in with more:

Game Balls

Pretty much the entire team plays well when you beat a team 24-0 and outgain them by over 300 yards, but still, a few exceptional performances warrant game balls:

The Giants Coaching Staff – Outstanding game plan, outstanding job preparing the team to play, outstanding play-calling. ’Nuff said…

The D-line – After giving up over 250 yards to the Cowboys in Week 2, the Giants’ defensive front absolutely shut down the Buccaneers’ running attack, holding Cadillac Williams and former Giant Derrick Ward to just 28 yards on the ground. While they failed to record a sack, Big Blue’s front four were in the backfield and in the quarterback’s face all game long.

Antonio Pierce – The Giant captain has looked sharp to me this season, and today was one of his headier performances so far this year. He battle down a couple of pass attempts, including one on a big red zone stop, and was a big reason why the Bucs' offense spent most of the game on the sidelines.

Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw was a beast on the field Sunday, running for 104 yards on 14 carries in front of the man that used to handle the back-up duties for Brandon Jacobs. While Jacobs is the face of the Giants running attack, #44 set the tone for the ground game Sunday, running with speed, power and intensity. He broke off a 38 yard run in the first half. It’s just a matter of time before he takes one all the way to the house.

Steve Smith – The third-year receiver followed up on the best game of his career with another great performance: 7 receptions for 63 yards and a TD, and a number of crucial third down receptions. Last year Smith emerged as Eli Manning’s favorite target, and his stellar performance through the early part of the season has made him one of the most popular targets in the NFL. Smith ranks 2nd in the league in receptions with 23, and 4th in receiving yards with 277.

On to Road Again...

The Giants looked like their old selves against Tampa, dominating time of possession with a powerful running attack and dominant defense. They wrap up a three game road trip next week in Kansas City. With another strong performance, and a 3-0 stint away from the Meadowlands, the Giants might resurrect another dormant past identity: "Road Warriors."

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Giants: 3-0
Sack Count: 3
Take-away Count: 7

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RG-6 said...

The o-line definitely deserves a shout-out.

They played great today.

luisangelespinoza said...

Yeah Bradshaw was a beast!! And now we are about to face the Chiefs, and their defense has allowed an average of 119.3 rushing yards per game and five rushing touchdowns through the first three games. Bradshaw and Jacobs will have a TD FESTIVAL!!

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