0:00 — GIANTS 0, COWBOYS 0 (key stat: Manning begins the season 7/9 for 72 yards)
2:53 — With the ball on the Giants’ 37, Cowboys go for it on 4th-and-1. Giants stuff RB Lawrence Vickers for no gain and take over on downs. Giants are building the bridge when it comes to fourth down defense after the Falcons failed on three attempts in their playoff game nearly eight months ago to the day.
3:22 — Keith Rivers flushes Romo out of the pocket, rushing the pass. Corey Webster almost grabs an interception, but pass falls incomplete, setting up third down.
10:20 — TE Martellus Bennett gets his first catch against his former team — a 9-yard gain after Victor Cruz’s 26-yard reception from Eli Manning.
11:31 — The first carry of Wilson’s career is a 3-yard gain to the right side.
12:21 — And there you have it: the return game is revealed for the time being. Domenik Hixon back to return first punt.
13:58 — Giants go three-and-out on first offensive series of 2012.
15:00 — GAME DAY CAPTAINS: Chris Snee and Osi Umenyiora along with team captains Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, and Zak DeOssie. Giants win toss, elect to receive. Cowboys will defend west goal. *David Wilson back to return for first kickoff.
This week’s game will be the 100th regular season meeting between the two teams, with the Cowboys leading the series, 56-41-2. In the last meeting, the Giants defeated the Cowboys, 31-14, on Jan. 1 in Week 17 of the 2011 regular season to win the NFC East title and return to the postseason for the first time since 2008.
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, E. Rutherford, NJ
Weather: Scattered clouds. Warm. 80 °F, Wind: WNW 9mph
» 75 Sean Locklear will start at LT in place of 65 Will Beatty
» 55 Keith Rivers will start at LB in place of 59 Michael Boley
» 37 Michael Coe will start at CB in place of 20 Prince Amukamara
» 92 Josh Brent will start at NT in place of 90 Jay Ratliff
Tags: Chris Snee, Corey Webster, David Wilson, Domenik Hixon, Eli Manning, Keith Rivers, Martellus Bennett, Michael Coe, Osi Umenyiora, Rocky Bernard, Sean Locklear, Victor Cruz
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How much are you thinking about repeating as champions when the defense begins Wednesday night?
“Honestly, not that much,” Umenyiora said this morning on NFL Network’s NFL AM. “I’m not lying, I’m not lying. I’m serious. I’ve been in the league so long that I just know how difficult that is to do, and I know that if we start looking ahead to winning another Super Bowl – first of all, people are picking us to finish third or fourth in our division. So we’re not going to be sitting over here thinking we’re the best things in the world right now.
“We have a very tough schedule, the toughest schedule the NFL has ever seen probably. We just have to go out there and play it one game at a time. I know it’s a cliché…I know it is, but that’s really the way we have to look at things right now.”
And who better to lead them than Eli Manning?
Entering his 10th season, Umenyiora, a two-time All-Pro selection, arrived in New York a year before Manning did. So he’s seen the reigning Super Bowl MVP’s growth for nearly a decade.
“Obviously his maturity level, he just makes outstanding plays,” Umenyiora said. “And when it’s crunch time, he comes through. We believe in him. He believes in his teammates. He believes in his receivers, his offensive line, and he just goes out there and performs. He prepares at a high level. He’s just our leader, and he’s a great player and a great man.”
As for the other quarterback, Umenyiora was asked how many times they plan on getting to the Cowboys’ signal caller Tony Romo in the season opener.
“As many times as possible,” he said. “He has a very quick release. We know he’s not going to sit there and hold the ball. He’s going to try to get the ball out quick. The receivers are going to be running shorter routes. They’re going to throw quick passes and try to run the ball. But as many times as we can get back there. I think the key is getting back there and harassing him and pressuring him. Sacks are going to come. Sometimes they come, sometimes they don’t, but the key is getting pressure on him. And I think we’re going to try our best to do that.”
Tags: Osi Umenyiora
Posted in Daily Blitz, TV/Radio | 1 Comment »
The general manager was recently profiled in The Pacer, the official newspaper of the college in his home state, and spoke about his journey from humble beginnings in Tiptonville to winning his second Super Bowl last season.
“I had to schedule my classes around football and make sure they were balanced. I had to work for my scholarship,” said Reese, who was a grad assistant and then a secondary coach at Martin from 1988 through 1993 after being named team MVP his senior season. “With my background and leadership qualities I learned at UTM by being part of a team, I still use those skills today.
“You’ve always got to dream big. I always dreamed of being head coach at UTM at some point and look where I am now.”
Charley Deal, a close friend and assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations, sees what he’s done today.
“For someone who came from his background, Jerry pushed himself and was hard on himself,” Deal said. “He worked around the clock to make himself better.”
» NFL.com and NFL Network analysts gave their 2012 predictions on stats leaders, MVP, rookie awards, and more. Jason Pierre-Paul appears to be on the short list for Defensive Player of the Year.
» Barden builds on momentum. [Kieran Darcy, ESPNNewYork.com]
» ESPN.com’s NFC East blogger Dan Graziano continued his ranking of the top 20 players in the division. WR Hakeem Nicks came in at No. 6, with five players to go (one player announced a day).
Other Giants in the rankings so far:
8. Justin Tuck, DE, Giants
10. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
18. Osi Umenyiora, DE, Giants
20. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants
Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerry Reese, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Ramses Barden, Victor Cruz
Posted in Daily Blitz | 4 Comments »
For Bears quarterback Jay Cutler — the upcoming opponent on Friday night — that means a heavy dosage of the Giants’ pass rush that he’s all too familiar with.
In Week 4 of 2010, the Giants totaled 10 sacks in a victory over the Bears, nine of which were of Cutler before he left the game with a concussion. While Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora each notched a hat trick that night, the sack parade didn’t even include Jason Pierre-Paul, who was unable to reach the quarterback in the fourth NFL game of his career.
“I don’t think anyone else in the league has five, six guys that can rotate in that front four that can play like those guys,” Cutler said on Monday, according to ESPNChicago.com. “So it’s going to be a tough test for (the offensive line).”
Fast-forward to last week against the Jets, the Giants tallied seven sacks despite the interior of the defensive line being banged up. They’ll see if they can continue with that same pressure on Friday at home in the best test of the preseason.
“Those front four that they have are some of the best in the league,” Cutler said. “They’re really long, they’re fast, they can bull rush, they can speed rush.
“It’s going to be a challenge for those guys.”
>> Jason Pierre-Paul, the Late-Blooming Defensive Wunderkind. [Robert Andrew Powell, The New York Times Magazine]
>> Giants host family of shooting victim. [Ian O’Connor, ESPNNewYork.com]
Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora
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0:00 — Giants 13, Jets 0 (key stat: Giants recorded 3.0 sacks in the first half)
1:55 – JPP notches his second sack of the night on Sanchez.
2:16 — TOUCHDOWN. Rookie CB Jayron Hosley intercepts Sanchez and takes it back 77 yards for a touchdown. XP is good. Giants 13, Jets 0.
6:11 – Steve Weatherford’s punt is partially blocked.
7:46 – The Jets go for it on fourth down from the Giants 36. DT Rocky Bernard and the Giants stuff RB John Conner for no gain, turning ball over on downs.
11:30 – LB Keith Rivers snags Rb Shonn Greene coming around the left end, tackling him for a loss of 4 yards. The next play, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck team up for a sack of Sanchez.
12:14 — FIELD GOAL. Tynes hits 30-yarder, his second of the night, to give the Giants a 6-0 lead (drive: 13 plays, 39 yards 4:33)
Tags: Chase Blackburn, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jayron Hosley, Justin Tuck, Keith Rivers, Lawrence Tynes, Osi Umenyiora, Rocky Bernard, Rookies
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“I think I’m an elite dad, yes. I think so,” he told Steve Serby of the New York Post.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP is grasping the gifts of fatherhood, Serby writes, while he and his wife Abby raise their 16-month-old daughter, Ava.
“ ‘Dada’ is one of her favorites,” Manning said. “‘Ball’ was actually, I think, one of her first words. She’s big into any sort of football or basketball, baseball. She likes to pick ’em up, she’s got a pretty good arm so far, so she’s got a little coordination.”
>> WR Isaiah Stanback’s one-handed touchdown catch came in at No. 5 on NFL Network’s Top 10 plays of the preseason Week 1.
>> Q&A with Eli Manning: QB talks best Super Bowl catch and roughhousing with Peyton. [Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports]
>> WR Hakeem Nicks passes physical and is eligible to practice for the first time since the Giants reported to training camp. [Giants.com]
>> DE Adrian Tracy dubbed ‘Young Os’ [Ryan Hayner, ESPNNewYork.com]
Tags: Adrian Tracy, Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Osi Umenyiora, Super Bowl
Posted in Daily Blitz | 4 Comments »