Posted on: April 15, 2009 4:47 pm
Edited on: April 16, 2009 10:25 am

Don't Live to Regret: Edwards is a no-'Bray'ner

All the "woulda-shoulda-coulda" stories. Regretting the chances we DIDN'T take. Message to Jerry Reese: Get this guy, get him now.

Do you remember passing on an appetizer at a restaurant? You know, the really tasty looking kind that everyone else ordered but you?

You probably reasoned with yourself - "I can do without it - Mind over matter". You don't know why you felt that way, but hey - you saved a few bucks, saved yourself a few extra pounds, and saved room for your main course, right? The waiter no sooner slapped the plates down on the table and the succulent aroma was already wafting towards you. You could literally see the steam take the form of a hand that curled it's finger - beckoning you to "come here and take a bite". But you didn't... instead you sat and watched everyone else enjoy their appitizer. Of course, they offered to share with you - "C'mon, take some. I can't eat all of this anyway." You sat back, forced yourself to smile and said "Nah, really I'm good. If I wanted it I would have ordered it myself." But... you didn't. And though you were silently kicking yourself for overcomplicating such a simple decision, it evolved into nothing more than saving face. Stupid, right? I'll bet it worked out fine though, because you made up for it by grabbing some ice cream on the way home. That's what I would have done.

A minor regret, easily tucked away and forgotten thanks to a 24-hour Baskin-Robbins.

On weekends, we're all faced with making at least one trip somewhere - to someplace we would rather not be going if given the choice. Usually it's family you don't quite get along with or enjoy being around. Or good friends that happen to live a full 2-hour drive away. But what really burns you is not that you had to go in the first place - it's the fact that you ignored that little voice inside your head that told you there would be massive delays on the parkway. It told you that you should give considerable thought to taking that alternate route you're always so quick to brag about having discovered years ago.  At least now you have something to think about as you pop another piece of nicotene gum in your mouth while stretching every last nerve you own staying calm in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Another small regret that helped toss a perfectly good weekend afternoon into the trash can, but it's not the end of the world.

I remember being at Fairleigh Dickinson University almost 20 years ago for Giants training camp. A retired player - who shall remain nameless for fear that he may track me down - was milling around the commissary. I politely asked him for an autograph and reached out to shake his hand. He ignored me, and didn't even look at me when he said "I'm working. I don't sign while I'm working". A 20-something man acting like a dejected 10-year old, I dropped my head and shuffled away crestfallen (I think i actually shoved my hands in my pockets and kicked a rock as I left). It wasn't asking for the autograph that I regret. It was the comment I made when I saw him later in the day... he was presenting trophies to some pee-wee football team (complete with photographers from the local PennySaver). I uttered "Hey kids, don't bother asking for an autograph - He's 'working' today" as I passed by the group - I even threw in a set of obnoxious air quotes for good measure.

OK, so I was 20-something, but I would be lying if I pretended that there weren't multifaceted levels of regret attached to that incident. It's alright though, because I ran into him years later and everything was cool. And by 'cool", I mean he ignored me again.

And then there's "The Big One".

One big regret that each and every one of us lives with. Maybe it's that girl you were infatuated with and never summoned the courage to ask out on a date. Perhaps it was that promotion or opportunity you held yourself back from pursuing because you felt you had no shot at it. A house or car that you backed away from investing in, because it was "just a bit too..." something; too expensive, too old, too big, too this and too that.

Maybe it was keeping quiet when something needed to be said, or standing up for someone who needed the help. Maybe it was putting off a visit with a loved one until it was too late - never having the chance to say goodbye.

These are real-life. These matter, and these can hurt. They're important in comparison to your allegiance to an NFL team. There's a weight there, and its immesurable - the consequences dynamic. Let's get back to the NFL and lighten things up a bit.

In a few years, we could all be sitting around discussing the trade the Giants didn't make. You know - the one that could have sent Braylon Edwards to the Giants for some draft picks and a receiver? One of the dedicated and talented, yet undeniably not-ready-for-primetime receivers on the Giants roster? Yeah, Edwards had a down year in 2008... he dropped everything thrown to him. Except for that Monday night game in week four against the Giants. You just knew that this 6'3", 220 lb monster of a receiver was going to turn things around. He just needed some consistency from his quarterback, and a coaching staff with a winning attitude. It wasn't as if he was carrying the same baggage that Plaxico Burress did when he made the trip fom Pittsburgh in 2005.

Man, Braylon Edwards would have looked good in Giant blue as our new number 17. Too bad they didn't listen to that little voice in their heads, telling them to give considerable thought to taking that alternate route. Too bad they ignored the outstretched arm of the Cleveland Browns that only wanted a signature and a hand shake. To quote Shelly Levene, the desperately pathetic salesman in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross - "All my thoughts are on them as I'm holding the last thought that I spoke: 'Now is the time'... they signed."

An aroma is wafting towards East Rutherford at this very moment - beckoning for the Giants to "come here and take a bite" out of their offensive shortcomings. It's only a matter of opinion, but Edwards just might be something to invest in - and not worry about whether he's just a little too inconsistent. Or a little too expensive.

It's not life or death. But it's certainly not something that can be satiated by stopping off at a 24-hour Baskin-Robbins, either.



Posted on: November 6, 2008 1:56 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2008 11:57 pm

New York Giants 2nd Quarter Report Card - D/ST

Big midterm exam vs. Eagles counts heavily towards final Grade

 1. An NFL teams' _____________ is directly proportionate to its _____________.

O  credibility; win-loss record

focus; discipline

O  overall ability; individual accountability

rushing success; offensive lines' performance

All of the above

Click on this link for the Offense report card www.sportsline.com/mcc/blogs/entry/

DEFENSIVE LINE / LINEBACKERS:  A+  (last quarter A+) This grading period started off on a bad note. Monday Night Football is always hit or miss for the Giants, but their trip to Cleveland was as uninspired performance by the defensive line and linebackers since week 2 of last season, when the Green Bay Packers came into the Meadowlands and ran roughshod over them. They did not register a single sack on Derek Anderson (who's job had been temporarily saved that night) and RB Jamal Lewis had his best game of the season to date. Granted, Antonio Pierce and Gerris Wilkinson were both hobbled with injuries, but that game served as a wake up call to these units. Since then, they've regrouped and regained their ferocity; they held Frank Gore to 11 yards on 11 carries the following week; they buried Ben Roethlisberger the week after, sacking him four times and knocking him down an incredible 16 times; and picked up where they left off at Heinz field by terrorizing both Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger last week against Dallas.

The Giants are 2nd in the league in sacks; outside of Pittsburgh's dynamic duo of Harrison and Woodley, Justin Tick and Mathias Kiwanuka are the most dynamic pair of defensive inds in the game today. The effort and effectiveness of Kiwanuka - shifted from linebacker to end after the loss of Osi Umenyiora - has given the d-line the continuity it needs to remain tough against the run. Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield have also stepped up their game, and their ability to force pressure on the inside has greatly improved since last season.  

Danny Clark continues to play well at outside linebacker, providing sufficent speed to cover the middle of the field where the Giants have historically been exposed by tight ends. Rookie Bryan Kehl has shown what a 4th round draft pick from BYU can do. He's filled in quite nicely in the absence of Gerris Wilkinson, and will no doubt continue to get playing time as the season progresses. In addition, Chase Blackburn has seen his role increased, even after the return of captain Antonio Pierce form a quad injury.


DEFENSIVE SECONDARY:  B+  (last quarter B+)  This unit could have garnered an "A" or even an "A+" for their performance over the past four weeks, but certain factors - some in their control, some not - have to be considered in grading.What works in favor of a B+ rating is the fact that the Giants are 2nd in the NFL only to Pittsburgh (AGAIN with the Steelers! Geez...) in total passing yards allowed and average yards per game, not to mention their newfound penchant for creating interceptions.

CB Corey Webster (3 INT), along with safeties James Butler and Michael Johnson (2 INT apiece) have been very proactive in reading the quarterback and getting to the ball. Of the Giants 11 INT's this season, 9 of them were picked in the last three games. They're not blowing coverage assignments as much as they had last year, and appear to be instinctively aware of how to react after the receiver has possession (for the most part - Butler's tap dance during Nate Washington's TD reception would be exhibit 'A' against that opinion). The play of 2nd year man Aaron Ross and Webster have pretty much relegated veterans R.W. McQuarters and Sam Madison to backup and special teams roles. Rookie Kenny Phillips continues to impress coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and Spags has responded by gradually increasing Phillips' playing time. Phillips is a heady player (which is how the organization would explain their desire & tendency to go after Miami U players year after year) with a nose for where the play is developing. He hits hard and can punish receivers, which is an element the Giants defense has been missing for a while. And with Kevin Dockery sidelined last week, Rookie Terrell Thomas got his first start of the year. Now that Thomas' nagging injuries are behind him, Spagnuolo might look to get him more involved as well.

The reason that the 'B+' grade sticks for this report card is two-fold: First of all, the quaterbacks they've faced have not been world beaters. They were ineffective against Derek Anderson (who was granted a stay of execution based on that game). Then they took on Big Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, they picked him off four times in rather athletic fashion (three, if you discount the desperation pass in the final seconds), but Pitt was without WR Santonio Holmes, and Roethlisberger's erratic performance had more to do with his getting drilled into the turf 20 times as opposed to making bad decisions. Then there was J.T. O'Sullivan, Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger. No explanation necessary. the other concern had been the lackluster play of Aaron Ross. Josh Morgan and Braylon Edwards schooled Ross in back-to-back games. He was better in Pittsburgh, and really started to return to form against Dallas. He's had a reoccurring shoulder injury which has no doubt affected him, but if he's in the game he's got to perform.

SPECIAL TEAMS:  B  (last quarter B+)  John Carney is 18 for 19 in field goal attempts, and what's more impressive is that his 44-year old leg is 3-3 on attempts from 40-49 yards. His kickoffs have been noticeably been shorter of late, landing between the 10 and 15 yard lines but without the hangtime we saw in weeks 1 through 4. At some point, Coughlin will make the decision to save Carney's accuracy and experience for field goals, and utilize Lawrence Tynes' younger, stronger leg for kickoff duites. Jeff Feagles is still doing what Jeff Feagles does; he's only been called upon 30 times this season (less than four times a game) but still manages to use the field position he's been afforded to his advantage, landing 13 of those inside the 20.

Domenik Hixon and Ahmad Bradshaw have continued to handle punt returns and kickoffs, respectively. They aren't averaging significant yardage, though. Hixon has returned punts at an average of 9 yards a clip, while Bradshaw's 20.6 yards per KOR is on the low end of the league average. While they've done a fine job protecting the ball and avoiding trurnovers, it would be nice to see those averages go up a bit as they get more comfortable in their roles - especially heading into the meat of the schedule. he Giants punt and kickoff coverage has been spectacular, thanks to the efforts of the aforementioned Ahmand Bradshaw, Zac DeOssie and Chase Blackburn. They rank 2nd in the league in average kickoff return yardage allowed, and 3rd in the leage in average punt return yardage allowed.


Statistical sources: sportsline.com, nfl.com, pro-football-reference.com


Posted on: October 17, 2008 5:54 pm

Once is a lapse, Twice is a choice

Giants can put Monday Night behind them with strong effort at home this Sunday

The title of this blog entry is making a bold suggestion; that if Tom Coughlin's troops were to come up short again this Sunday, a more prepared, more determined opponent would not be the reason why.

The old adage. On any given Sunday... But does that term really apply to every situation?

On the surface, it most certainly does. The St. Louis Rams trip to to FedEx Field last week is proof of that. Miami defeating both the Chargers and Patriots supports that statement even more. However, I've been thinking about two games the Chargers played - the Monday night affair against the New York Jets, and the New England game this past Sunday. I had no doubt whatsoever that the Chargers would win those contests, and win them big. It was based strictly on a hunch - a gut reaction to something rather than scientific breakdowns of the matchups, personnel and likely gameplanning. If I were a betting man, I would have felt comfortable with plunking down a hefty (but budgeted - in case my wife is reading this) sum on San Diego in both of those games.

Before facing the Jets, San Diego suffered a very controversial and frustrating loss to Denver. This was the game that changed Ed Hochuli's life; ruling Jay Cutler's fumble an incomplete pass. The whistle blew.  No change of possession. The Chargers went home with a thorny 39-38 loss in their side. I had no doubt that SD would come out firing against the Jets - and being the better team that's exactly what they did. Fast forward 3 weeks later, and they're trouncing a delapidated New England squad. This was following what they would consider an embarrassing performance against the revitalized - yet less talented - Miami Dolphins. What's the connection between these two games? Why was I, like so many others, so confident that these games would end up just as they did?

It wasn't because Phillip Rivers is a better QB than Brett Favre or Matt Cassel, or that Norv Turner can out-coach Mangini or Belichick. It wasn't about analysis or head-to-head stat comparisons. There are three very simple, lucid reasons - They were home, they were pissed, and they're a better team. Doesn't that just seem to make so much sense? Would they're be any other angles to look at, details to flesh out or elements to consider? A team gets embarrassed on the road. They want revenge. What else do they need to get back on track if they're home, they're pissed and they're better than who they're facing? Does this imply that preparation and focus can be tossed aside? Of course not. And why not? Right. Say it with me this time... they're home, they're pissed and they're better. Besides, the "better" is born out of preparation and focus anyway, so it's already taken care of.

This is, in fact, a Giants blog. Not that you would remember that after reading that much blah-blah about a team 3,000 miles away from New York. Hopefully you're still here, and starting to see the big picture come in to view regarding this game at The Meadowlands on Sunday (FOX @ 1:00 pm). The Niners are on a 3-game losing streak, but you can bet you're $99 NFL licensed Danny Kannel jersey (#13) that they watched that Monday night game. They watched an uninspired defense allow Cleveland full acces to downfield passes, and an uneven "new and improved" Eli Manning make bad decisions that many (including me) thought were long behind him. San Francisco needs a win. They feel the NFC West is still within reach. They're coming to Giants Stadium this weekend to get that win.

Are the New York Giants looking for that win? Try asking anyone on the team that question and they'll either laugh or growl. It's a stupid question - the kind that doesn't apply to the notion that there's no such thing. This is one that shouldn't be asked. Because it shouldn't have to be asked.

The Giants are home. The Giants are better. Are the Giants pissed? We'll know by the mid-way point of the first quarter on Sunday. There's no question they want to put Monday night behind them and show the world that they aren't that team. That Eli Manning isn't that quarterback. That yes, indeed, they're defensive line is that good. The Giants and they're fans will feel a whole lot better if they are convincing, and everyone will sleep well Sunday night knowing that what happened the first four weeks wasn't an empty promise to themselves and their faithful. No predictions, no promises. Just the question of whether or not the Giants are pissed.

It's their choice. In the next three weeks they face Pittsburgh, Dallas and Philiadelphia. Three teams that can limit choices pretty effectively.  

One more thing... Week 2 of Preseason. On August 18th the Giants humiliated their opponent at the Meadowlands. There were dropped passes and botched handoffs, and a devistating blow to their quarterback who was led by trainers to the locker room for head x-rays. Do you remember which team that was?


NY Giants Quotes for this week:

Tom Coughlin:

"We've got a lot of stuff to correct. It begins right away unfortunately. It's a short week for us, but we have a lot of things that we have to deal with and I think we'll be about the business of correcting."

" We do have to focus on a lot of things. Our formula for winning kind of went by the wayside, in terms of we haven't turned the ball over [and] we did turn it over and that's not a good thing. We didn't really effectively stop the run and that hurt us."

Eli Manning:

"From play to play, game to game, you can't think about what previously happened. Whether it is a good play or bad play, you have to move on and think about this next play or this next game and what you have to do to prepare."

"Sometimes it is harder than just saying it, but I think over the years I have learned to do that and do it well. I have put it behind us, try to learn from it, learn why those mistakes occurred and what to do next time, and I think you learn some good lessons and you never stop learning lessons at this league and whatever level, just reminders of what to do under certain situations. I think I have learned that and I am ready to play this week."

Justin Tuck:

"We don't have to wait an entire week to get back onto the field to get that taste out of our mouth"

"We didn't really show up on Monday night, we didn't like the way we lost. I'm not psychic, so I don't know but I am willing to say that you will see a different Giants team. Guys are very eager to get back on the field."


Quote Sources: Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning - New York Post (10/16/2008), Justin Tuck - New York Daily news (10/16/2008)

Posted on: October 14, 2008 3:17 am

Blue Monday: Giants 14, Browns 35

Under the Bright Lights of Monday Night, Manning & Giants fall flat as Anderson rediscovers self, Browns offense

Road Warriors no more. 

Long before the Giants rolled in to Cleveland Browns Stadium for their Monday night matchup, most fans and experts had this game mentally marked as a "W" already. The way the Giants played, they must have marked it down as well. Watching this game unfold was like watching a kid messing around on monkey bars; completely unaware of the danger he's putting himself in, you sit helplessly from a distance and watch as he eventually slips and kisses concrete with as hard fall to the ground. He shoots up quickly with that "I'm OK - I'm OK - I'm OK" face as he looks around to see if anyone noticed his embarrasing display.

While the Giants apparent lack of an actual game plan - and inability to make adjustments at the half  - hurt them, make no mistake about it: the Browns came to play. Cleveland had their best offensive effort of the season posting 454 yards, while their defense rattled Eli Manning (18 of 28, 196 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT) en route to an impressive 35-14 victory. In my "Things To Do List" posting on Wednesday, I stated that a sustained, punishing pass rush was key to unnerving Derek Anderson (18 of 29, 310 yards, 2 TD's), and if successful, the Giants might witness the torch passed to Brady Quinn before their very eyes. The only "torching" in this game was that of the Giants secondary, and as it turns out we may not see "the Mighty Quinn" for quite some time. Derek Anderson was the man of the hour, and his performance cemented his #1 status for the Cleveland Browns. 

The Giants were trailing 17-7 with 2:15 remaining before halftime. Manning led the Giants on an 11 play, 80 yard drive - capped off with a 3-yard touchdown to Plaxico Burress (4 for 58) with :17 left. With the Giants getting the Kickoff to start the 3rd Quarter, they seemed primed to make a game of it. Following that kickoff, the very first play from scrimmage was a deep downfield heave intended for Burress. Something went haywire as Manning's pass sailed outside while Plaxico ran inside. This was the turning point of the game. On the positive side of things,  it was a perfect strike to Browns CB Brandon McDonald who intercepted at the Browns 33 and ran it back to the Giants 46. Although the ensuing drive resulted in a Pat Dawson field goal, the tone of the game changed dramatically

After a miserable start to his season, Anderson displayed accuracy and quick decision making not seen in his first four games. Give credit to Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski for changing things up; he called plays that put Anderson in line to succeed. The game plan was built around 3-step drops and quick strikes which helped Anderson maintain a rhythm and get comfortable in the pocket. His favorite target on this night was Braylon Edwards (as if there's another), who had a monster game with154 recieving yards and a TD. Edwards torched CB Aaron Ross for huge plays of 49 and 70 yards in the first half, then again for a touchdown in the second half  in which he juked Ross into a mid-stride spin around as he hit the ground clutching his left calf in the end zone. After a long delay Ross was able to leave the field without much assistance. It may have been a legitimate cramp or injury - but as a friend intuitively noted, Ross' injury appeared to be the kind you suffer from constantly getting "burned". Browns Running back Jamal Lewis (21 carries, 88 yards, 1TD) wasn't spectacular, but he was able to find holes right up the gut and kept the chains moving.

While multiplte improvements were evident tonight, other areas of concern for Cleveland did not improve - mainly in terms of penalties, and stupid ones. 10 penalties in all for 55 yards, 7 of which were false starts and one for an illegal snap.

The Giants defense gave an uninspired performance. They couldn't stop Cleveland's offense - couldn't stall a single drive. The Browns did not punt once in this game. In addition, much of Derek Anderson's success was due to very solid offinsive line play that kept Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka at bay. The Giants didn't sack Anderson, and for all intents and purposes never laid a hand on him. Even with the great performances by Anderson and Edwards, Center Hank Fraley and the rest of the Browns O-Line deserve the game ball for the effort they gave in nullifying the Giants pass rush.

Antonio Pierce (3 tackles, 1 assist) was clearly bothered by the quad injury that sidelined him in practice late last week, and sat out a few series in the first quarter in favor of Chase Blackburn who was visibly flustered trying to manage incoming play calls through his radio. In addition to Aaron Ross, LB Gerris Wilkerson left the game with an injury as well (no word on what that injury was as of this posting).

The Giants offense had it's own set of problems; foremost were Eli Manning's struggles. First of all, Nose Tackle Shaun Rogers was a one-man wrecking crew, and he hit Manning several times including a body slam to the turf that appeared to bother Eli's throwing shoulder. Manning had the shoulder looked at following the possession and returned to action. Secondly, It was obvious that Manning was over-extending himself in trying to put the ball in Plaxico Burress' hands. Manning was timid with his release, and clearly he and Plaxico were not on the same page. Manning's safety valve was Steve Smith, who had a career high 9 catches for 94 yards. Manning really never looked anywhere else for help; he threw twice to Kevin Boss, twice to Domenik Hixon and once to tight end Michael Matthews. Where was Amani Toomer? Don't ask Eli... Two of Eli's three interceptions were the result of great secondary play by the Browns and Manning telegraphing his passes. Brodney Poole and Eric Wright - whose 95-yard interception return for a TD in the fourth quarter shut the door on the Giants for good - were locked in on Eli all night, watching his eyes and reading every move to perfection.

Overall, the Giants just didn't seem like the Giants. Manning did not seem comfortable at all in the pocket, while sacked just once but knocked down repeatedly. The wonderful connection between Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards was stark contrast to the confusion between Manning and Burress. Manning was not utilizing the pump fake at all, and didn't seem to be scanning the field very well. Brandon Jacobs (14 for 67, 1 TD) could not help but run directly towards the nearest pile. Most peculiar was the fact that no visible adjustments had been made for the second half by either Kevin Gilbride or Steve Spagnola. This was simply one of those games that every team has at some point during a season, and that's not to take anything away from the tremendous efforts by Cleveland. The Browns were prepared, and executed their plans almost flawlessly. For the Giants, they need to put this one behind them and focus on the 49ers who come to town this Sunday.

During his postgame press conference, Tom Coughlin expressed his dissapointment in his teams' effort and applauded the Browns - particularly Anderson. Coughlin was also questioned about the long pass play to start the 3rd quarter that sailed behind Burress into the hands of Brandon McDonald - basically, who messed up - Burress or Manning? "It was designed as a post... to the inside", which indicates Manning made he error.

In an interview with WFAN play-by-play man Bob Papa, Eli Manning commented on that same interception. "It was on me, they're all on me" said Manning. "Plaxico ran down, I lost him in the line (of site) and we just missed it. He ran the right route, I just made a bad pass."

Defensive End Justin Tuck was asked about how the Giants handle this loss moving forward: " Well, I'm probably not the guy you want to ask about that" said Tuck. "To me, we might have learned something more out of this loss that if we had won. You know, we get ready for next week, we'll look at some film, see what we could have done better and work through it."

Postgame Press Conference quote source: 660 WFAN New York, Giants Radio Network

Category: NFL
Posted on: October 8, 2008 6:51 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2008 9:03 am

NY Giants: "Things To Do" List for Monday 10/13

Desparate Derek's last shot to hold off the Mighty Quinn.

Everybody's in despair,
Every girl and boy
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,
Everybody's gonna jump for joy.

The Giants' second prime time appearance this season is Monday, when they head to Cleveland to face the Browns (ESPN, 8:30pm ET).

The Browns are 1-3, and the next in a long line of  "weak" teams (as most pundits choose to categorize them) New York faces at the front end of their schedule. I'm not one who believes in "trap" games; trap games are excuses for mediocre teams. Judging by the way Tom Coughlin, Kevin Gilbride and Steve Spagnola have prepared the team each week, they don't believe in them either. With the exception of a pumped up Cincinnati team that took them to overtime, the Giants have disposed of the "weak" teams (I hate saying that) as "stronger" teams should.

Everyone knows that Washington will not be the same team New York saw in their first prime time affair. Everyone knows that the last 8 weeks of the Giants' season schedule is the NFL equivalent of a Tsunami; they'll need to find higher ground to avoid being engulfed by the onrushing wall of divisional games and playoff-caliber teams they'll face. Every win under their belt heading into week 9 against Dallas is another plateau of land that protects them from the tidal wave.

The Browns are a different story. Lauded as a potential Super Bowl team in the off-season, Cleveland has stuggled to put points on the board in all four of their games. Derek Anderson's accuracy is nowhere near what it was last year; in fact, Derek Anderson's everything is nowhere near what it was last year - and there's no rhythm or bite to the Brown's offense as a result. With each passing game (no pun intended) the Cleveland fans come down harder on Anderson, and it won't be long before Romeo Crennel gives up on him. Sing along everybody: Come all without - come all within - you'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn...

Will Quinn the Eskimo get here by the 2nd half on Monday night, or will Anderson pull himself together and survive to play for another day? Time will tell, but to that end the "things to do" list for the Giants on Monday is pretty simple.

1. Bury Derek: Blitz early, blitz often, then blitz some more. If the Giants offense does it's job and the Giants defense rattles Anderson into making mistakes, the fans will start booing and the Dawg Pound will start barking. When the fans boo and the Dawg Pound barks, we'll see the Mighty Quinn.

2. When Quinn the Eskimo gets there: Blitz early, blitz often, then Blitz some more. 

3. You can run, and they can't hide: The Browns actually have a pretty impressive secondary. Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald are developing into a solid pair of Cornerbacks. Safety Mike Adams is quick and smart (2 tackles, 1INT vs. Cincinnati on 9/28). While the Giants passing game is strong - and the urge to rekindle that connection between Manning and Burress is justified - the giants may find more success on the ground and shouldn't be afraid to run more than usual. Since the Browns D-backs have played so well (allowing 184 yards per game), it would make no sense for them to crowd the box to stop the Giants running game and leave themselves prone to the deep ball. If The three-headed monster of Jacobs, Bradshaw and Ward could get a minimum of 10-15 touches apiece, the Giants could devour the clock and at the same time keep Cleveland from loading up the line for fear of being beat deep.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com