Monday Musings: I dig aggressive playcalling
The Giants botched the end of the Eagles game.
• I love aggressive play calling. Too often teams play it too safe and it costs them. The Giants were aggressive Sunday night against the Eagles, throwing on two fourth-and-1 situations, one going for a big play and one getting a key pass-interference penalty. But the end of that final series, the one that included that PI call, their aggression caught up to them.
To be frank, I thought they botched the end of the game.
Trailing 19-17, the Giants moved to the Eagles' 27-yard line with 49 seconds left and no timeouts. On first down, they ran Ahmad Bradshaw for a yard. On the next play, they attempted to go deep to Ramses Barden, but he was called for offensive pass interference. That moved the ball back to the 36 with 21 seconds left. Eli Manning threw an incomplete pass, and the Giants decided to try a 54-yard field goal, which Lawrence Tynes missed twice -- once when Andy Reid got a timeout to ice him and then again a second time.
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The Giants were in field-goal range when they attempted to go deep to Barden. Why not just run it inside for a couple more yards and kick? Then they didn't try to throw a quick out with 15 seconds left before Tynes kicked?
After Reid got the timeout, the Giants could have had a change of heart and tried a quick out to get more yardage. Instead, Tynes' second kick was way short.
Aggression is good, but you have to be smart about it. It's about when you are aggressive.
• Who to blame for the New York Jets mess? Take a look at the roster. This is a league where you need elite pass rushers and an elite passing game. The Jets have neither.
They built their roster to be a power running team that plays good defense. They don't do either of those now, and they can't pass it.
The roster is without talent. It's easy to look at the Giants' roster and see a passing game and pass rushers. That's why general manager Jerry Reese gets high praise. Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum hasn't done a good job of building either of those. That's why he's in trouble -- and all but gone.
• Can we stop with the Peyton Manning is done talk now? Manning showed he can still play at a high level against the Raiders on Sunday, completing 30 of 38 passes for 338 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His arm is just fine.
• Does St. Louis rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein have a leg or what? He had four field goals against the Seahawks on Sunday, including one from 60 and one from 50. He's the first player to do that in the same game.
• I will never question a guy's injury, but we're starting to see more and more of players dropping the ball when they get hurt. Jets receiver Santonio Holmes was the latest when he suffered a lower leg injury after catching a pass and just dropped the ball against the 49ers. Carlos Rogers scooped it up and ran it in for a score. Yes, it hurts. And I'm sure more than we know. But just dropping the ball has to stop. That's callous disregard for the football.
• Matt Ryan has 11 touchdown passes and two interceptions. But the number the Falcons should be most excited about is his yards-per-attempt, which is up to 7.9 per attempt. That's up from 7.4 last season and 6.5 in 2010, when the Falcons had the No. 1 seed in the NFC. To say the Matt Ryan-Dirk Koetter relationship is working is a huge understatement.
• The two leading rushers on winning teams Sunday were New England's Brandon Bolden and Washington's Alfred Morris. Bolden wasn't drafted, and Morris was a sixth-round pick. Bolden was second among all rushers with a 137 yards, and Morris had 113 yards. Yet again, more proof of my theory that you can find backs anywhere.
• PS: Mark Ingram had five carries for 11 yards for the Saints. Still think trading away a future first-round pick to draft him in the first round of the 2010 draft was a good move? Didn't think so. The Saints sure could have used a defensive player with that pick.
• I have to say I am surprised at the play of Bengals rookie linebacker Vontaze Burfict. He came out of Arizona State with a label as a problem kid, which hurt his draft stock. But he also was heavy at ASU and played slow. So far, the trimmed-down Burfict has played much better than expected as a rookie starter. He had eight tackles and a sack against the Jaguars.
• The Jacksonville Jaguars have two sacks in four games. That's for a team that has a first-round pick (Tyson Alualu), a second-round pick (rookie Andre Branch), a third-round pick (Terrance Knighton) and a free agent (Jeremy Mincey) they paid a big deal this spring starting up front.
• Eagles corner Nnamdi Asomugha is really having a rough go of it this season. He just doesn't look like the same elite corner, even when matched in man coverage, which used to be his thing. It could be Asomugha has slowed down, which happens with age.
• For all the money the Bills spent on Mario Williams, you'd think their defense could be capable of stopping a team once in a while. The Patriots scored 45 points in the second half against them. Williams was held without a sack for the third game this season.
• Tim Tebow blocked well Sunday. Fullback material?
• Seattle is 1-1 the past two weeks. They haven't been very good on offense in either game. Masked in the pandemonium from the official mess from their victory over the Packers was that Russell Wilson didn't play well that night. He also threw three picks Sunday in the loss to the Rams. He needs to pick it up or maybe they will turn to Matt Flynn.
• Still think David Garrard should be the starter, Dolphins fans? Play the kid. Always play the kid.
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