So here we go NFL, week 2. Everyone jumps to insane conclusions after Week 1 of the NFL. Teams are doomed, other teams have arrived, etc. etc. Just listen to Skip Bayless for 10 minutes (or 10 seconds) on ESPN’s First Take to get your weekly dose of bullocks and you can see first hand just what crazy conclusions “expert sports writers” and fans are jumping too. Let’s take a breath and just get on to Week 2. Which is here, tomorrow, insert smiley face. We got the Young Bucs VS the G-Women tomorrow and we’re going to start this preview off by taking a look at the two franchise QBs the teams have, at the state of the defenses on both sides of the ball, and then give my final game thoughts and prediction. Keep reading for your daily mental stimulation.
Just look at this mouth breathing, sneering quarterback. Talk about a bad case of little brother syndrome. He’ll never be better than Peyton, even though he has won 2 Super Bowls. And he’ll never have the spotlight in New York, even though his team is substantially better than the Jets. Must be tough… well, not really considering his salary and his rings. But, you get the point. The main point here is to compare him and Bucs QB Josh Freeman. Before you get all crazy on me and say there is no comparison. Let me show you some numbers I found particularly interesting here. Progression is my first point.
Both of the these QBs were drafted to be the franchise for their teams. Both were taken in the first round and the only difference there is Eli acted like a diva from Sweet 16
until he was traded to the Giants. Freeman took his role and on he went. In Eli’s first three years as a Giant he had 8,049 passing yards. In Freeman’s career (3 years, this being his 4th) he has had 8,898. Eli had 136 rushing yards, Freeman had 763. Combine the two and you’ll see Freeman has had 1,476 more offensive yards at this point in his career than Manning had in his.
In 2004 Eli threw 5.3 yards per attempt and a 48.2% completion rate, Freeman’s first year he had 6.4 ypa and 54.5% comp.
Eli’s 2nd year he had 6.8 ypa and 52.8% comp, Freeman had 7.3 ypa and 61.4% comp.
Eli’s 3rd year he had 6.2 ypa and 57.7% comp, Feeman’s stats last season were 6.5 ypa and 62.8%.
Combine each QBs TDs in their first three years and you see Eli threw for 44 TDs and Freeman threw for 51 TDs.
If you look at the side by side progression Freeman is at a better place than Eli was at that point in his career. Even at this point, there are certain things worth noticing when comparing Freeman and Eli. In 6 of his last 7 seasons Eli has thrown more than 25 picks. Freeman has never thrown 25 picks.
So here, you wonder why the Giants have enjoyed so much more success over the course of the last 3 seasons. The proof is in the pudding, the defense is the pudding. In 2009 the Giants had the 13th best D in the league, 2010 it was 7th best, and last year in the Super Bowl year they had the 3rd best D in the playoffs only behind Houston’s and Baltimore’s D (good company). Freeman’s defense has not done him any favors. The past 3 years the Buc’s D has been anemic at best (refer to my first blog of the year) and last year the Buc’s allowed a league worst 30.9 points scored on them a game. But, the tides may be turning and the winds may be blowing another direction in the Buccaneer’s sails. If the last game is evidence of anything (here I am jumping to conclusions), the Bucs defense is tired of being bad. They have new additions in key positions that were gaping holes last year. The facts are on the stat sheet. Last week, the Bucs limited the 2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year Cam Newton to 1 TD, 2 picks, and 4 rushing yards on 5 carries. Pretty impressive noting he had 4,000 passing yards and 500 rushing last year. Not saying this is going to be the toughest defense Eli faces all year, but he is in for much more of a challenge than he probably anticipates. Could Aquib Talib, Lavonte David, Gerald McCoy, and Mark Barron be the new bricks in the foundation that Ronde Barber, Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, and John Lynch were in the 90s and early 2000s? Only time will tell. But, the story in this game is not the Bucs D… but the Giant’s defense will be the key in this game for both teams.
The Giant’s defense is great, but there is an Achilles heal to it. Last year the Giant’s had the 29th worst pass defense in the league. This year there are lots of concerns in the Giant’s secondary.
Furthermore the Giants have 2 starting CBs who are injured for the game and could possibly sit out. CB Michael Coe is nursing an injured hamstring and is listed as probable, while CB Prince Amukamara is listed as questionable with his hurt ankle. This could spell big trouble for a defense that has to guard a rejuvenated Buccaneer offense that boasts weapons like all-pro WR Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams who grabbed a TD in last week’s game. Freeman has never had weapons on offense like he does now and if the Bucs are going to conquer the Giants on Sunday than he HAS to go OVER THE TOP. He HAS to throw TDs and chunks of yards to his receivers, hit Doug Martin out of the backfield, and get some balls to Dallas Clark.
With Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora, it is going to be a hard day of running for RB Doug Martin and for Tackles Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood. Expect Freeman to run more shotgun. The Cowboy’s showed that the Giant’s secondary is with flaw. If Michael Ogletree can have a spectacular game, then why can’t Sammie Stroughter or Arrelious Benn? So here I go with my pick for the game.
ESPN’s panel of experts unanimously selected the Giants to win the game. But, ESPN considers Skip Bayless and all of his botox glory to be an “expert.”
So that is why… I am going against the grain and picking the UPSET.
Giants fall by way of Freeman leading ANOTHER 4th quarter comeback. Now, can you dig it?
About the Author
Written by Daniel Stewart
I have worshiped Buccaneer football since the age I was collecting Pokemon cards.