New York Giants: golden tate

Rapid Reaction: New York Giants

September, 8, 2014
Sep 8
10:07
PM ET

DETROIT -- A few thoughts on the New York Giants' 35-14 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

What it means: As we told you going into the season, the Giants' offense is not a finished product. Not even close. But the problems go well beyond whether they're picking up offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's new schemes. The Giants' problems are about personnel. The offensive line isn't good enough. They don't have enough at wide receiver, as Victor Cruz is easily erased from the game and Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle aren't reliable. They have no dynamic tight end. And they didn't run the ball especially well Monday, either. Eli Manning's interceptions were bad, especially the second one, but the quality of the group around him needs to improve.

Stock Watch: The new Giants' secondary, DOWN. Yes, I know Calvin Johnson makes everybody look bad, but the breakdowns in the zones were terrible, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made way too many mistakes, letting Johnson go into empty space on the first touchdown and letting Golden Tate get past him for a critical 44-yard catch on third down in the second half. The Giants aren't good enough on offense to allow for a leaky secondary. This is supposed to be the strength of the team, but it was a weakness Monday.

Line must improve: Pass protection was Manning's biggest problem last year, was a major issue in the preseason and was terrible again Monday night. Left tackle Will Beatty looks lost, and he and the rest of the offensive line need to figure out some things in a hurry if the Giants are to avoid a repeat of last year's offensive crater.

Game ball: Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. The one bright spot, I thought, was the Giants' run defense, led by the play of the beefy defensive tackles on the inside. Especially with only three of them active for the game, Jenkins, Johnathan Hankins and Mike Patterson had to handle a lot of the load and held up well, limiting a talented Detroit running game to 76 yards on 30 carries. Jenkins made the plays that stood out most to me, so I pick him.

What's next: The Giants host the Arizona Cardinals at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
You don't think the New York Giants plan to bring back free-agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and neither do I. Nicks is going to hit the open market, some team is going to look at his skill set and his pedigree vs. the rest of the free-agent wide receiver market and pay him a lot. The Giants aren't likely to be that team, not after the year he just had, not with a new offensive coordinator whose system may be more geared to the Victor Cruz/Jerrel Jernigan-type receivers they already have.

Nicks
However, the Giants will need to replace Nicks somehow if he does leave. They were terribly thin at the position last year, and even if you project Jernigan as a capable contributor based on his final three games and assume some development for Rueben Randle, the best you can say is the Giants go into next season with optimism about wide receiver but very little certainty.

We have discussed the possibility that the Giants use the No. 12 pick in the draft on a wide receiver such as Clemson's Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M's Mike Evans, but these are not things on which you can count. The draft is nearly two full months after the March 11 start of free agency this year, and 12 isn't a high enough pick to engender confidence about who'll be available and who won't. The Giants will have to look at the free-agent wide receiver market and see what their options are there.

Andrew Cohen at overthecap.com has taken a look at seven free-agent wide receivers -- Nicks, Eric Decker, Jeremy Maclin, Julian Edelman, Anquan Boldin, Golden Tate and James Jones -- and taken a stab at predicting where they'll end up and how much they'll get. He predicted none of the seven to the Giants, and he's predicting Nicks signs with the Lions for three years, $30 million with $13 million guaranteed. (I've been saying Patriots for Nicks, but if those are the figures then there's no chance.)

I could see the Giants targeting someone like Tate or Jones (both of whom are projected here to the Jets) as a Nicks replacement. I don't foresee them joining the Decker bidding (and don't really think they should). Maclin isn't likely to get out of Philadelphia, and he's recovering from ACL surgery anyway. Maybe he's a target next year if he's healthy. Boldin is 33, and not a long-term solution. Edelman is likely to be viewed as a Tom Brady creation and probably won't get the money he seeks even off his big year. Maybe he ends up being a worthwhile bargain for the Giants.

Of this group, I think Jones, who is 6-foot-1, makes the most sense for the Giants. His history with new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo in Green Bay could help (or hurt, I guess, if McAdoo didn't like the guy). He won't break the bank, which makes sense given what they're already paying Cruz and the other needs they have for their salary cap room this offseason. And while he may not produce at Nicks' peak levels, the new Giants offense may not need him to do so. If they like Randle, want to give Jernigan some run and plan to throw it to Cruz 100-plus times anyway, this may be exactly the kind of guy they need.

W2W4: Giants vs. Seahawks

December, 14, 2013
12/14/13
2:00
PM ET
The 5-8 New York Giants host the 11-2 Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in a 1 p.m. ET game. Here are four things to watch for in the game between a Giants team that has no playoff hopes and a Seahawks team that looks like a favorite to be back at MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl in early February.

Rough week for Eli? The Seahawks have the No. 1 pass defense in the league, allowing just 175.6 passing yards per game. Eli Manning and the Giants' passing game have struggled through a rough season, averaging just 234 pass yards per game. Led by 6-foot-3 cornerback Richard Sherman and 6-3 safety Kam Chancellor, the Seattle secondary is big and physical and should beat up the Giants' receivers all game. The ability of Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz to withstand that beating will determine whether Manning can find success downfield. It would qualify as one of the week's larger upsets.

Look out for Lynch: Seattle has the No. 3 rushing offense in the league, mainly because of monster running back Marshawn Lynch. Giants defensive linemen spoke in relative awe this week of Lynch as a running back it takes a whole team to tackle. "It takes more than one person to bring him down," Cullen Jenkins said. "You've got to get 11 guys to the ball. You can't just leave one person hanging out to dry to try to bring him down himself, because he's a tough back, strong, fast, quick. He'll make you miss." After allowing 144 yards on 40 carries to the Chargers last week, the Giants have been paying extra attention to the run fits for their linebackers and safeties this week. It'll be more important than ever. One thing to note: Of the top 12 rushers in the league so far this year, Lynch will be the 10th the Giants have faced. (And next week, Reggie Bush will be the 11th. The only one they won't face this year is San Francisco's Frank Gore.) The Giants are 11th in the league in run defense, allowing 105.4 rush yards per game.

Road worriers: If you've seen the Seahawks on TV this year, chances are it's been a prime-time home game, and they've looked fantastic. The Seahawks' average scoring margin in their home games, of which they have won all six, is 18.7. But in their seven road games (in which they are 5-2), it's just 5.7. So they don't always look unbeatable on the road, where they've lost in Indianapolis and San Francisco and won by less than a touchdown in Carolina, Houston and St. Louis.

Wide receiver matchups: Seattle's Percy Harvin is still injured and will miss this game, so the big wide receiver weapons with whom the Giants' defensive backs will have to contend are Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate. Keep an eye on Tate, the fourth-year wide receiver out of Notre Dame. He's eligible for free agency after this season, and the Giants could be looking for help at that position, especially if Nicks leaves as expected.

Twitter mailbag: Rethinking Justin Tuck

December, 7, 2013
12/07/13
10:00
AM ET
You tweet New York Giants questions, I answer. So long as your questions are hashtagged #nygmail and make sense and I find them and pick them for this weekly feature and ... well, you get the idea.

 

Thanks for the questions. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday.

Big Blue Morning: Woe-line

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
8:00
AM ET
Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants

The news of the day: The Giants placed center Jim Cordle on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury. Since Cordle was playing in place of starting center David Baas, and Baas is also on injured reserve, this sends the Giants to Plan C at center. And no, the fact that "center" begins with "C" does not make it all okay. The most likely arrangement is Kevin Boothe moving from left guard to center and James Brewer taking over at left guard, which is what the Giants did Sunday when Cordle left the game. But that is neither certain nor ideal, and it's possible the Giants have some other plan of which we'll learn today. Either way, it's not likely to help with the problems they're having against the interior pass rush. The line did a heck of a job blocking for the run Sunday, but they need to find some way to keep the defense off of Eli Manning better than they have. On a marginally related note, I cannot wait to hear what Hakeem Nicks has to say today.

Behind enemy lines: As poorly as this season has gone for the Giants, it's gone worse for the Washington Redskins, the team they'll face Sunday night. Mike Shanahan has one year left on his contract as the Redskins' coach and is spending much of his time these days defending the work he's done in the first four.

Around the division: Eagles coach Chip Kelly officially named Nick Foles the team's starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. As Phil Sheridan writes, the decision was an obvious one based on the numbers Foles has put up in his five games since stepping in for the injured Michael Vick. Now, Kelly gets to find out how Foles operates knowing he's the guy, as Kelly continues to try to figure out whether he'll need to go quarterback shopping in the offseason or if he already has his answer.

Around the league: Drug suspensions don't just hurt the suspended players. They hurt their teams. Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate is 100 percent right when he says the drug violations that will cost his teammates significant time are the results of selfishness. The Seahawks have the best record in the league and the biggest of dreams. That program needs to run a little bit tighter, no?

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