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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Selfish Burress May Cost Giants A Chance At Defending Their Titl

Selfish Burress May Cost Giants A Chance At Defending Their Title-By Jon Wagner-Senior Writer at Large-Football Reporters Online

When New York Giants’ wide receiver Plaxico Burress literally shot himself in his left leg at a Manhattan club last Friday night, he may have also figuratively shot his team in the foot.

It seemed that the talented receiver had put some character questions during his five years in Pittsburgh to bed during most of his first three years with the Giants. But, ever since catching the winning touchdown pass in the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII win in February, Burress, now in his fourth season with New York, has apparently let his self-centered actions ruin what could have been a very happy marriage with the defending champion Giants.

If he had been able to stay out of trouble and simply show up every week as the professional that the Giants hoped he’d be, Burress certainly would have remained the Giants’ most dangerous receiving threat. After last Friday’s incident however, he may no longer get that chance.

Whether due to his self-inflicted gunshot wound, the impending legal trouble resulting from it, or from both, Burress may have played his final game in a Giants’ uniform this season. If that’s the case, the track record of how the Giants have been able to continue to flourish after ridding themselves of other talented troublemakers would indicate that Burress’ days as a Giant could be numbered not only this season, but for good.

After a multitude of missed practices, excuses, and fines, the Giants may have run out of patience. For proof of that, there’s no need to look past current Giant tight end Kevin Boss filling in adequately for four-time pro-bowler and ex-Giant Jeremy Shockey in helping the Giants to their first 11-1 record in their long, storied history.

As with Boss, the Giants certainly have Burress’ replacements waiting in the wings. Domenic Hixon, Steve Smith, and Amani Toomer have already more than picked up the slack in the weeks that Burress has already missed this season whether due to injuries or repeated off-the-field troubles.

But the concern for the Giants is if that trio can get it done come playoff time in January against some of the best teams the NFC has to offer, or in Tampa, should the Giants reach Super Bowl XLIII.

Though Burress’ potential postseason fill-ins are talented in their own rights, Burress is not only a receiving matchup problem at 6-foot-5 with speed, athleticism, and good hands, but he often commanded double teams, opening up the field for other options. Without him, the Giants will have to find other ways to keep good defenses guessing and maintain their efficiency as the league’s leading offense once the “real” season arrives and they seek to defend last year’s championship.

It’s entirely possible that the Giants could roll to another Super Bowl title in February without Burress. After all, the won a Super Bowl last season without Tiki Barber and Shockey, and they’re cruising this season without Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. But, as hard as it is to repeat as champions in a league like the NFL, the chances of doing so would have been a lot easier for the Giants if defending a championship and being part of a true team were as important to Burress as it is to what may soon become Buress’ former team.

Friday, November 28, 2008


AS we steam toward our first New York-New York Super Bowl, The Great Debate suddenly rages:Who's better, the Giants or the Jets?

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Favre's Success With the Jets is an Apology to Gastineau

New York City has been officially diagnosed with Brett Favre Fever. The New York Jets are welcoming new fans to the fold as the team continues to succeed, and everyone is buzzing about the potential for a hometown Super Bowl...

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Giants want Six in a Row

With a three-game lead in the division, the Giants (10-1) are on a roll and can virtually wrap up the NFC East with a victory over the Redskins on Sunday. New York will also surpass their win total from last season (10-6).

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New York Giants Examiner: Giants at Redskins: Preview

Can the Giants keep their streak alive or will Washington take the champs down

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Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan Officially Best Rookie QB Ever.(At least according

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was named the best rookie QB of all time by an Atlanta Journal Constitutional writer, read more about it here.

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Let's hope Kubiak's comments don't reflect his beliefs

I can't help but react to Dale Robertson's commentary today in the Houston Chronicle about the Texans "porous" defense. In the column, Robertson suggested that the Texans 35-6 win over the Bengals may have (then) signaled that the defense had found some footing.To that I invoke the theory of the blind squirrel and the nut.

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Fans and Media Call For Romeo Crennel's Firing

A growing chorus of voices is demanding that Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel be fired. Crennel has led the underachieving Browns to a dismal 4-7 record. Their latest loss came at the hands of the struggling Houston Texans. In the loss, the Browns defense allowed the Texans anemic offense to gain nearly 400 yards.

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Jets-Broncos: New York Must Step Up Where Denver Excels

The New York Jets and Denver Broncos haven't faced one another very often in recent years, but please believe there's still a very strong sense of animosity for the ponies. Perhaps it's more on the behalf of Jets' fans, but it certainly does exist...

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Newsday's List of Hall of Fame Eligible Semifinalists

So here we go. Here are the 25 (plus two seniors previously nominated) just-announced semifinalists for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The inductees will be announced the day before the Jets-Giants Super Bowl in Tampa.Terrell Davis? Really?

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John Lynch to Retire After 15 Years in NFL

As any Denver Broncos fan knows, safety John Lynch has had one hell of a career in the NFL for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos.With nine Pro Bowls, 1,277 tackles, 26 interceptions and winning a Super Bowl in 2002 with the Bucs, Lynch is almost certainly a guaranteed first ballot NFL hall of famer.

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Former Tampa Bay Buc Dave Pear battles NFL for help

Dave Pear will pull himself out of his shallow sleep, the way he has done for countless mornings. He will hobble across his house with the shuffle of a gladiator who has outlived the cheers. He will drink his coffee, he will take his pills, and he will read his Bible.

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Raiders still tinkering with a formula for winning - TFDS

The Oakland Raiders haven't allowed themselves to become complacent even after winning convincingly in Denver last Sunday. They are still working at getting better and are making the types of moves that we here at TFDS have been begging for since the last off-season. While it may be a little late for the Raiders to get that impact diamond in the...

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Lane Kiffin to coach Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee has reached an agreement with former Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin to take over as the Volunteers' next coach, with an announcement planned for Monday, barring any snags, according to multiple sources.

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Colts Have Rebounded to Become AFC Contenders Again

The Indianapolis Colts started out the 2008 season struggling, but have rebounded to become legitimate AFC contenders again behind Peyton Manning, Bob Sanders, and Tony Dungy.

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December Awaits Dallas Cowboys. Enough of the Turkey Dance

I have been waiting to write this post all season. December is finally here. The playoff run is about to begin. Games really start to matter now.The Dallas Cowboys have won three games in a row for the first time since the season started. After some ego-disrupting losses to...read the rest at thelandryhat.com

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Raise Your Hand If You Feel Sorry For the Detroit Lions

Chris Johnson was untouched on a short run to the outside and a long gain up the middle. The two plays were symbolic of the canyon-like gap between the once-beaten Tennessee Titans and the winless Detroit Lions.

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Michael 2: Vick Deserves Another Chance in the NFL

I think that Michael Vick should be allowed back into the NFL. I think that the Detroit Lions should give him a chance at RB.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

New York Looking Super In Both NFL Conferences

New York Looking Super In Both NFL Conferences-by Jon Wagner-Senior Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online

It seems that immediately after Super Bowl XLII, a general consensus was formed that the road to Super Bowl XLIII would go through anywhere but the place where either of the two New York NFL franchises call home.

Many believed that the journey to Tampa Bay in February would wind through Dallas or San Diego, or perhaps through New England, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, or Tennessee.

The idea of the New York Giants defending their Super Bowl LXII title was an afterthought, and the prospect of the Giants meeting their fellow Meadowlands tenants, the New York Jets, in Super Bowl XLIII, wasn’t even considered.

However, fast forward now, to Week 12 of the 2008 NFL regular season, and suddenly what exists, is the very real possibility of a first-ever all-New York (or if you prefer, all-New Jersey) Super Bowl on the first day of February, 2009.

Yes, that’s the new prevailing view for both a defending champion who has until now, proven itself as the team to beat in the NFC, and similarly, for the team which is this week’s fashionable pick in what has become a scrambled race among several different teams for AFC dominance.

For the Giants, flash back to Super Bowl XLII when looking at Sunday’s game in Arizona. Same locker room, same sideline, same result.

Returning for the first time to the place they were crowned Super Bowl XLII champions, the Giants, as they often have, overcame adversity to do something they’ve done all but once in their past fifteen games -– win. Again.

Playing together as a true team, and having others step up to continue to roll is something that has seemingly become second nature for the Giants. They lose Tiki Barber to retirement and Jeremy Shockey to injury (and later, for good, to Shockey’s poor attitude), and they win a Super Bowl with Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Derrick Ward, and Kevin Boss. They see Michael Strahan retire and Osi Umenyiora lost to injury for the 2008 season, and they pressure 2008 NFL MVP candidate Kurt Warner into enough mistakes on Sunday to hand the Cardinals their first loss in five home games.

Given that track record, it’s no wonder that with their leading rusher Brandon Jacobs missing all of Sunday’s game with a knee injury, and with their best receiver Plaxico Burress sidelined for most of the game (after aggravating a previous hamstring injury in the first quarter), the Giants would find several others to fill those voids in torching Arizona’s defense and special teams for nearly forty points, in a 37-29 win on Sunday.

For those who may still think last year’s run from a 10-6 regular season record to NFL champions was a fluke, the Giants became only the second team in NFL history on Sunday to win five consecutive games against teams with winning records (the 1970 Minnesota Vikings first accomplished that feat).

Despite their 2008 success, the Giants know their path to another Super Bowl remains a difficult one. However, their win over the Cardinals coupled with Carolina’s loss to Atlanta on Sunday leaves the Giants in very good shape for earning the top seed in the NFC. With five weeks left in the regular season, the 10-1 Giants lead both Carolina and Tampa Bay (each 8-3) by a full two games. The Giants don’t play the Buccaneers before the postseason, but they do host the Panthers in the next-to-last week of the regular season, December 21st, at Giants Stadium.

Should the Giants ride a possible number one seed to another Super Bowl, the AFC representative they could play also needs to be sorted out over the next couple of months.

Suddenly, that team is looking more and more like it could be New York’s other team after the Jets won a big statement game on the road for the second straight week.

After taking hold of the AFC East with last week’s overtime win in New England, the Jets waltzed into Nashville and handed the Tennessee Titans (10-1) their first loss of the season, and it wasn’t even close, in a 34-13 rout.

The Jets set the tone early with a nine-play, 76-yard drive grabbing a 7-0 lead just 4:35 into Sunday’s contest on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre to Thomas Jones, and they never looked back.

How much of a declaration was it that the Jets have arrived as serious Super Bowl contenders? Check these numbers: though the Jets were outgained through the air (236 yards to 217), Jets’ quarterback Brett Favre was very sharp, completing 25 of 32 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns; the Jets held a huge advantage on the ground, racking up 192 rushing yards to the Titans’ 45; and New York held the ball for more than two-thirds of the game, winning the time of possession battle, 40:30 to 19:30.

The past two weeks, against teams like the Patriots and Titans, are the types of games the Jets spent so much offseason money on upgrading key positions, especially of course, with the signing of Favre, and those moves seem to be paying off now.

At 8-3, the Jets are tied with Pittsburgh (also 8-3) for the second seed in the AFC behind Tennessee. However, given that the Jets just manhandled the Titans on their own turf, they should have plenty of confidence of going back to Nashville for a potential AFC championship game if the Titans and Jets end up as the top two seeds in the AFC.

Of course, it’s understood that defense often wins championships, but also it’s interesting to see which two teams, each now widely recognized as perhaps the current teams to beat in their respective conferences, are the top two NFL offenses at this point.

Two games in two weeks for Jets to significantly measure their progress from more modest hopes of years past, and 34 points scored by the Jets in each of those games. The Jets now rank second with 29.4 points per game, behind only the Giants, who lead the NFL in scoring with 29.9 points per game.

It’s only Thanksgiving week, so no one in New York is thinking beyond Macy’s floats in terms of any parades. But, if things continue for the next couple of months as they have recently, we may know by the end of January if at least one New York team might be gearing up for a parade of their own.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Thursday Night on Football Reporters Online

Another Informative show this Thursday night at Football Reporters Online! Professor Leonard Marshall Joins us! He is Currently an Instructor and executive in residence at Seton Hall University's Stillman School of Business, but most Football Fans will Remember him as #70 for the NY Giants during the 1980's and early 1990's, the Man who put the hit on Joe Montana in the 1990 NFC title game that eventually would put off the 49ers squad. He will Join us to discuss why the Retired NFL players aren't getting what they deservefrom the Union, His own GPF(Game Plan Foundation) andhis Youth Football Camp in Florida each summer.
Hear the Show at www.blogtalkradio.com/Football-Reporters

Monday, November 17, 2008

Al Davis, Jim Fassel, and The Oakland Raiders Need For A Head Coach

Jim Fassel says he wants to coach the Oakland Raiders. I think he should hold off on that before he hears my take. To make it work, Mr. Davis, the Manager of the General Partner of the Raiders, needs to really give the head coach power to be...head coach. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Old School Players Take NFLPA to School: A BASN/FRO Exclusive

Old School Players Take NFLPA to School: A BASN/FRO Exclusive
By Michael – Louis Ingram- Scouting Director Football Reporters Online/ Host-Black Athlete Sports Network

Editor’s Note: The following is a continuation of a series of articles first broken by the Black Athlete Sports Network last September; regarding the plight of many of the football players who laid the foundation for the National Football League’s rise in becoming the number one spectator sport in America.
Throughout the duration of this series, BASN staffers will offer their opinion and contribute pieces to a very convoluted puzzle.

This past Monday, over 2,000 retired professional football players scored a major legal victory in a San Francisco courtroom when they were rewarded $28.1 million in a verdict against the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and its licensing and marketing division, Players, Inc.
The Hon. William Allsup, presiding over U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, ruled that NFLPA and Players Inc. must compensate thousands of retired players. Citing a “breaching of their fiduciary duty” on the part of the defendants, jurors, in addition to finding the two entities culpable, ruled for $21 million to be handed over in punitive damages.
The jury of eight women and two men concluded NFLPA and Players, Inc. failed to market retired players' licensing rights under a group licensing authorization contract covering the licensing of electronic games, collectables and other merchandise.
Listed as point men on the original suit was Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Herb Adderley and former Cleveland Browns’ defensive back Bernard Parrish, with the original claim filed approximately two years ago.

Adderley, whose career was laced with accolades and championships, received everything he could from football – except proper compensation after his retirement in the early 1970s, barely surviving on $125.86 as his pension from his 12 years in the NFL prior to the filing.

Mr. Adderley and the victorious former NFL players were represented by attorneys from the national law firms of McKool Smith, P.C., and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. The McKool Smith team included firm principal Lew LeClair, senior counsel Jill Naylor and associates Brett Charhon and Anthony Garza.

The Manatt, Phelps group included firm partners Ronald S. Katz, Chad S. Hummel and L. Peter Parcher, in addition to associates Ryan S. Hilbert and Noel S. Cohen.

"This verdict is a great victory for the men who devoted their lives to building professional football," says Mr. LeClair of McKool Smith, attorney for the retired players. "We are thankful the jury decided to right this wrong."

Throughout the three week trial, several former NFL stars testified about the benefits promised by the union that were never received, and the difficulties in gaining information about the NFLPA's finances and licensing agreements.

First & Goal

While the verdict provides some long overdue git – back, there is a downside to this.

The numbers, on their face sound justifiable, but I beg to differ.

Just as insurance companies are wont to do, these numbers, even with the addition of punitive damages factored in, calculate surprisingly low; and this is something I feel the League expected it would take a beating on, as I feel this judgment represents acceptable losses by the League.

If you breakdown $28 million over 2,000 players, it comes out to $14,000 apiece. When you consider the timeframe of two generations; and the fact the League was drowning in liquidity from television packages, international revenue through expansion of the game to Europe, Japan, Mexico and Canada, the concept of the Super Bowl, facilitation for Electronic Arts (EA Sports) to put a stranglehold on the electronic video game business and the creation of the League’s own cable television network, it would be hard for me to fathom NFLPA and Players, Inc. appealing any decision.

But Liffort Hobley thinks these jokers got off easy. Hobley, a defensive back who played seven seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Dolphins, says the amount is even less. “The NFL should be ashamed of itself,” said Hobley, “in allowing this to fester into going to court.

“The money that the players finally get won’t be more than ten grand a head; and while it may offer some immediate relief, it doesn’t speak to some of the long – term concerns many of these veterans have.”

Hobley, now an account executive with Thomson Reuters in Dallas, Texas, says this first check should be an appetizer for a main course in the very near future. “It’s not like these guys (owners and union) were ever in danger of missing a payroll – and no one in NFLPA had the decency to do the right thing by the former players.

“You knew this wasn’t going to be a situation like the USFL debacle, where you kicked out three bucks in damages; but it may as well have been for what little you’re paying out now.”

LeClair confirms Hobley’s numbers. “At the beginning of the lawsuit, 2,074 players were listed on the class action. Twelve opted out, so by the time of the decision, 2,062 players are eligible for the payout.

“But it looks like the NFLPA legal counsel will appeal the decision, and given it takes upwards of two years before anyone sees a check, the per – person breakdown comes out to somewhere between eight and ten thousand per man.”

While that cash will be a welcome sight to those who need it and earned it right now, I’m thinking about the dozens of players the NFL callously let die because they waited for something they knew they were entitled to, but were told otherwise.

I can see a direct correlation between former NFL players dying prematurely to people who were killed after the big gasoline shortage in the 1970s. Motorists were killed for wanting gasoline; jumping ahead of lines, hoarding, etc. – but the oil companies were never taken to court in class action or personal litigation to my recollection because of the preposterous notion these companies aided and abetted someone losing their life – for wanting to fill their gas tank would remain beyond adjudication.

Or how about the hundreds of players whose lives spiraled into depression, pain, blues and agony because of conditions developed from playing a collision sport compounded with stress from continuous denial by NFL doctors refusing to acknowledge said affects as cause.

To conclude that men in their 40s, 50s, 60s and up were in damaged condition due to “natural wear and tear” is tantamount to spitting in their face; but the propaganda machine will remind you of what “noble gridiron gladiators these stout men were” – complete with martial music in the scale of C and John Facenda’s bellowing baritone.

Sure, these cats knew the job was dangerous when they took it – but so did you, you greedy bastards. Why couldn’t you just share and be fair with the understanding that it would be good business in taking care of those who helped you become stinking rich? It wasn’t like you were scrambling to make a payroll…

Show Me The Money!

Which now brings us from the Old Heads to the Young Bloods – the self – indulgent, the clueless (not all, but some); the ones who dance and gesticulate but miss the big picture even after seeing a Kevin Everett or an Anquan Boldin’s life change in one play.

What I’d be asking myself right now if I were a current player or recently retired one collecting what would seem to be a nice check is this: “If they went to such a great extent to screw these cats out of their money, what makes me think they’re not screwing me out of my money?

If you stretch out $14,000 over 20 years, that’s an average of $700 yearly; over 40 years, $350. I’m no accountant, but you would have to include a cost of living adjustment over a similar time frame, then, allowing for inflation, compute how much that would have accumulated if even a third of whatever cash was allowed to sit and accrue interest for a reasonable assessment of what each player really deserves.

It has been said often, and bears repeating: football players have the lousiest contract situation in all the major sports. Your bonus – if you get one – is your foundation. If you get hurt, all those numbers on your contract are as valuable as a roll of Charmin; and your usefulness to that organization after the fact makes you as valuable as the used Charmin that just got flushed away.

Suffice to say this cash should represent the first deposit in a workman’s compensation/royalties/reparations condition; to be expedited to those who need it with all deliberate speed.

The NFLPA and Players, Inc. ran their B.S. marathon; now it’s time for the money to talk.




(Managing Partner's note: The last thing we want to do at FRO is damage the reputation of the many fine people who are involved in the business of Football. Many of these said persons have no known knowledge of these Issues. However, as we expect to be thought of as credible journalists, we must "dig deeper" to tell the whole story, to make sure that justice gets done for those who are deserving of it and who are
waiting for it!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Football reporters online show 11/13

Another Thursday Night Football reporters online show and another Jam Packed 90 minutes of football talk.

This weeks Guests: Former University of Toledo and CFL Star QB Chuck Ealey, the subject of a PBS documentary this month, and Former Miami Dolphin DB Liffort Hobley will Join us, as well as your questions from the Mailbag and the Chat Room, and our game of the week picks. join os on Blog Talk radio at


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Who'll Save the Lions Now

Who'll Save the Lions Now

November 9, 2008

By Slavica Milosevska for Football Reporters Online

After signing a two year contract to the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, Dante Culpepper emerged from a short retirement at 31 years of age for an attempt to get today's statistically worst team of the NFL back on their feet.

Culpepper has expressed optimism in the team's potential and hoped to help bring their first victory, but only a miracle could help the Lions. “I can't say that I'm going to be the guy who changes everything, but I want to be the guy that helps," stated Culpepper. "No one person in football wins or loses the game."

The Lions were leading 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, but by half-time, the Jacksonville Jaguars gained the lead 24-7. In the fourth quarter, the Lions finally scored for the second time, and it ended the same way as it consistently has. The Lions lost 38-14.

The Lions rank 27th on offense, last in defense and are the only winless team this season. In 2001, the Lions lost their first 12 games and could very well make a new NFL record as the first 0-16 team.

On November 16th, the Lions will visit the Carolina Panthers who defeated the Oakland Raiders Sunday 17-6, are currently 7-2 and will be 8-2 after next Sunday's game.

(ed. Note-Culpepper split time with Drew Stanton: he was 5-10 for 104 yards while Stanton was 6-8 for 99 yards)

Giants hang on for win in Philly

Giants hang on for win in Philly
By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Managing Partner Football Reporters Online

There is no doubt in my mind that the New York Giants left everything they had on Lincoln Financial Field tonight. Could it have gone any better for Coach Tom Coughlin and the Big Blue? It could have, but they will take the 36-31 win on the road to raise their record tom 8-1.

Just as the Giants fought hard tonight, so did the Eagles. After Eli Manning threw an early interception, Desean Jackson scored the opening points of the game on a direct snap and 11 yard rush to the pylon. However, New York scored the next 17 points to carry a 10 point lead into the second quarter. Most of the first half was a pitched battle between the two teams defenses. After Philly scored off another Giants turnover (a fumble by Brandon Jacobs), New York got another score to end the first half on the second of John Carney’s 3 Field Goals, bringing the half to a close at 20-17.

Both teams got tougher on defense in the third quarter, trading TD’s to bring the score to 27-24, but you could sense that something was going to give on way or another. After the Giants stretched the lead back to 6 with Carney’s third field goal, the Giants forced the Eagles into a 3 and out. On the ensuing Punt return Dominik Hixon took it to The Yard for a 73 yard TD, but due to a holding penalty, the score was nullified. With the Giants starting the the Philly 40 yard line, they were still in a good position to get a score, and they did just under 3 minutes later with the Brandon Jacobs TD. With the score at 36-24 The Eagles drove down the field one more time to score and close the gap to 36-31, but a final drive would be stopped by a Giants defense that has given up little this season.

Held in check for most of the night again, Plaxico Burress managed only one catch for a 17 Yard TD early in the Game. Kevin Boss had 6 catches for 69 yards and a TD, and Armani Toomer had 5 catches for 53 yards. Jacobs was the big offensive star for New York, with 22 carries for 126 yards and 2 TD’s. The Giants face the Baltimore Ravens next, a team which always seems to Give NY fits. Yet, the Saga continues….

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Giants Handle Cowboys-almost have clear shot at division title

Giants Handle Cowboys-almost have clear shot at division title
By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Managing Partner Football Reporters Online

The New York Giants could have had the collapse of the decade. They could have fell apart. They could have played down to their competition as they did against the Browns, Bengals, and countless other teams over the years. Instead they came out and played “their game” against Dallas yesterday in the meadowlands. They established the run early, and although they had a few turnovers, and a few penalties more then normal, but in the end they finished the game up on the Cowboys by 21 points. They also moved to a 7-1 record, a half game ahead of all other challengers thus far in the NFC.

The Giants formula for success thus far has been a continuation of what they did late last season. Play solid defense, and establish the running game to open up the passing lanes. It doesn’t hurt that the kicking game has been so good over the last few years, with Jeff Feagles as the Punter and first Lawrence Tynes, and now John Carney placekicking. The Offense hasn’t been this good since the 60’s when Y.A. Tittle had Gifford, Shofner, Rote, and Morrison to throw to. While there are plenty of Current Giants to throw to, it’s the Earth (Brandon Jacobs) Wind ,(Derrick Ward), and Fire (Amahd Bradshaw) to run the ball that is the difference in this team since late last season.

But who is this 2008 Giants team really? Do they have what it takes to win the division, conference, and get back to the Super Bowl let alone win it for the second year in a row? Lots of obstacles stand in their way. First, there is the Eagles, who just refuse to die at 5-3, even though they are 0-2 in the division. Then, trailing close behind the Giants is Washington, who is 6-2, the only difference is the opening night loss to the Giants. Even Dallas, who just lost to NY yesterday, is still only 5-4 and coming up on their bye week. Carolina & Tampa in the South (6-2 & 6-3 respectively), Chicago in the North (at 5-3), and Arizona in the west,(also 5-3) are all competitive as well. Even Atlanta is 5-3, but like Dallas is 0-2 in their division.

If the Giants fall into a late season slump like they did in 2005’s playoffs or in the second half of the 2006 regular season, then you will hear the cry for Couglin’s head again. People are starting to claim that the Giants are the team to beat. I say I’m glad they aren’t letting the press clippings get to them. They almost blew it big time against The Bengals, and had a meltdown against the Browns. Now comes the big Sunday night match up with the Eagles. They will have to prove that they are the team to beat again.

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