My apologies for earlier. Sincerely. Here is my analysis/strategies from my yearly observations as well as a link to a great resource for more detailed analysis/breakdowns that stat lovers will enjoy.Patriots On Defense
The Patriots should focus, only when they are playing red zone defense, on Bear Pascoe and Jake Ballard. 2 Guys who are the height/near size of Gronk who have good hands and can sneak thorugh (though they are slow as shit compared to Gronk). Pascoe delivered a big TD last week and the Giants, unless Manningham is open, usually seem to spit the bit in the red zone. They have struggled there all year and your team has done a great job preventing TD's in red zone match-ups
. Do not worry so much about giving up yardage to the Giants. The Giants are great at finding ways to fuck up their drives. Just keep the TE's out of it when they are within 10-15 yards and watch Manningham!
He is sneaky and was responsible for that great 3rd and 15 season saving TD last game vs the 49'ers among other big TD's this year.The Silent Killer
The Giants running game is awful. One thing not many fans know to look for is the Giants running on the exterior
. If you think about the most recent big TD's Bradshaw has had, or even the big runs, it's usually to his right. You can guarantee at least 1 attempt, should they hit the red zone, before they try to hit a TE should he be stopped. Stuffing the middle will be pointless as Brandon Jacobs has pattented the 'hit a brick wall, do nothing' run. Don't waste your energy on those plays. Protect their right side. I noticed a stat that showed when there are interior runs, the Giants are near last in the league if not dead last. On exterior runs, they are near the top of the league. So look for that.
Also, the Patriots shouldn't take Bradshaw lightly. He usually is due for one or two good explosions per game and he and Jacobs, despite their awful (although somewhat improved 5 game running stretch) numbers, usually find themselves breaking through later in the game - especially in close games. You need to convince Kevin Gillbride early to give up on the run. Trust me, he is usually more than willing to do this.The Predictable & Not So Predictable
Look for the Giants to use Cruz as the only WR regularly used in the middle* and bully, along with Nicks, the CB's outside the numbers. This is especially true early in the game. That is their main strength and has led Eli, who has been accurate so far in this great run, has reduced his INT numbers in the process. Eli will be aware that there is a pass rush aiming for his head and will allow Ballard and Bradshaw to take short passes while saiving manningham/Pascoe for the red zone. Nicks and Cruz will be the play maker, long pass receivers and guys like Hynoski will be used to block and sneak a few short yardage plays as well. Jacobs will stand around and pick tissue balls out of his ass.
If I'm the Patriots, I worry more about shutting down the short pass and running game because the Giants will gain yards no matter what . Eli has 3 400 yard games and always plays well in domes (3 games). The key is to make sure they beat themselves in the red zone and get him to scramble. His INT's usually come from misread routes (Nicks/Manningham) in the middle and throwing off his back foot/scrambling and trying to do too omuch.
Also, look to make sure Cruz doesn't do this:
Courtesy Of Pro Football Focus
. Read the article no how he operates. It's a great job by that site and a must read site for those who love good analysis. I found them yesterday. Maybe you guys know of 'em...if so, sorry.Giants On Defense
Everybody talks about the pass rush. I want them to force Brady to get rattled not by knocking him around early on in the game. I want them to focus on stopping the run early and covering Gronk/Welker. Ironically, getting burned by Davis for 2 TD's may have helped them because they were forced to re-adjust their plans against TE's with speed -such as Gronk. I fear that if they shut him down they would get cocky. That break down in coverage on the 2nd TD to Davis had smoke coming out of Fewell's ears. If the Giants do execute one thing well, that can help them win, it'll be avoiding the home run play to Gronk/Hernandez and forcing the Patriots to kick FG's. I'm not saying they will accomplish this, but I have a feeling they will sacrifice some pass rush plays to put more emphasis on coverage the 'oh fuck' play that almost took them out of the playoffs 2 weeks ago. I think all the big talk about pass rursh, from the Giants camp these 2 weeks, is a decoy. I think they know it won't work as well with your team
and are focused on forcing you to score by running the ball/using the receivers. /theorySpecial Teams
The Giants need to just accept the reality that their punt returners are not going to help them this game. Look for their focus to be on Weatherford pinning you back and the return team focusing on just holding onto the ball. As for their tacklers, when they kick it off to you, watch out for Devin Thomas and Jacquian Williams might hurt their team, believe it or not, due to wanting to do too much after last week. I can see Edleman, if he's returning, take advantage of it. Just a weird feeling.Giants' Lesser Knwon Players To Watch
Blackburn, Pascoe and Kiwi. If they have a good game, the Giants will win. IF not, I will hold my nose. I already know big mouth Rolle won't do jack shit. /strategy
* Edit. I realize this statement about Cruz in the middle might be confusing. Gillbride's system sometimes calls for dangerous throws in the middle that, until last year, usually resulted in drops or interceptions. Cruz and Eli, who have trained since the pre season in small drills Eli developed, have a tremendous relationship. Cruz is sneaky and is unpredictable because the offense calls for it. So while he will look to expose the defense on the #'s, esp. early in the game, you'll find that Eli will present opportunties for interceptions. It's just that, when he and Cruz are on, they are impossible to block. The Patriots need to learn to read these plays and anticipate them as, if they do, they can be the few 'cookies' that come their way. I will try to find the article I read that broke this concept down beautifully. In the meantime I wanted to further clarify what I was talking about.
Edited by abty, 04 February 2012 - 11:37 PM.