Jets, Giants ring up big numbers
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Last updated: Tuesday November 25, 2008, EST 8:15 AM BY VINNY DITRANI AND J.P. PELZMANSTAFF WRITERS
From Earth, Wind and Fire to Broadway Brett, the Giants and Jets have become the top two scoring offenses in the NFL. Here's a closer look at how they're doing it: FAVRE vs. MANNING
What makes them go
GIANTS: No question the Giants' offense is fueled by the running game. The coaches have learned to stay with it in games where it might start sluggishly, and defenses have to compensate for it every week. The Cards overcompensated Sunday, opening up the passing game.
JETS: Even though Brett Favre hasn't been throwing deep very often, the threat still is there at any time. Thus, defenses can't stack the box, which is one of the reasons veteran Thomas Jones is enjoying a bounce-back season after a sub-par 2007 campaign.
Follow the leaders
GIANTS: Even though the passing game is No. 2 when it comes to the Giants' attack, Eli Manning is the unquestionable leader of the unit. He has a lot to do with getting everyone in position for the best results in the run. And when he has to pass, as was the case Sunday, he rarely makes the big mistake that could put the defense in a big hole.
JETS: Favre has the "just one of the guys" attitude that makes his teammates want to play that much harder for him, much like former Giant Phil Simms. And in pressure situations, his poise and presence prevent his teammates from tightening up.
GIANTS: A year ago, wide receiver Domenik Hixon toiled primarily on special teams. The word out of practice was this guy caught everything thrown to him on the scout team. Now he is catching everything Manning throws to him in games as well as becoming an outstanding return man on kickoffs and punts. Not a bad waiver-wire pickup.
JETS: Remember when Jets' fans at Radio City Music Hall were booing the selection of tight end Dustin Keller with the 30th overall pick? It seems like longer than seven months ago, considering Keller recently has been a key factor, especially in the New England game. His speed makes him a matchup nightmare.
Little big men
GIANTS: At 5 feet 11, 195 pounds, Steve Smith hardly is the physical presence at wide receiver. Yet the second-year man from Southern Cal continually makes the big plays, especially on third down, and has become a competent blocker on the run. Smith's play to make the first down before getting out of bounds just before the game-winning TD pass remains one of the unheralded huge plays in that final Super Bowl XLII drive.
JETS: Maybe the best trade former GM Terry Bradway made was when he acquired a 2006 fourth-round pick from Kansas City for the rights to former coach Herm Edwards. The 5-foot-8 Washington, that selection, is an explosive X-factor as a running back and kick returner.
GIANTS: The Giants' offense has been so overlooked it now may be "looked." People have begun to notice what an excellent job the five linemen do on the run and the pass. But FB Madison Hedge*beep* remains the player least recognized for his contributions blocking for the run. And Sunday, he even caught a TD pass.
JETS: It took the revamped offensive line some time to jell after the acquisition of free agents Alan Faneca and Damien Woody, but the unit seems to be getting better every week. They are creating holes in the running game and giving Favre plenty of time. Right guard Brandon Moore is having an outstanding season.
Just one concern …
GIANTS: Brandon Jacobs should be ready to go Sunday against Washington after missing the Arizona game with a knee problem. But he and Derrick Ward, Nos. 1-2 in the running back brigade, have missed time with injuries in the past. Sharing the load may keep either one from breaking down, but the Giants cannot afford to lose either one for a long period down the stretch.
JETS: Favre has played much more under control this month, with only two interceptions in four games after throwing seven picks in three games. But will his 39-year-old arm be able to adjust to the often-tricky Meadowlands winds in December and perhaps January?
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Jets, Giants Ring Up Big Numbers EVERYTHING is about the Jets & Giants now lol
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