Jan 16, 2007

Giants 2006 Season Recap Part 2: The Good

Will not forget:
The Philly comeback. With the Giants looking at an 0-2 start, they stormed back from a 24-7 4th quarter deficit to win in overtime, 30-24. Eli (despite 8 sacks) and Plaxico led the comeback. The best win of the year.
Ballin' in Dallas.
In what may have been Drew Bledsoe's last game as a starter, the Giants dominated from the opening drive, when Plax caught a 50-yard TD pass on the Giants 5th play. The D harassed Bledsoe and Romo all day, sacking them 6 times, and causing 4 picks. Bledsoe's poor play resulted in Tony Romo getting a shot as Dallas' QB. He played poorly in this game, but exceeded all expectations the rest of the season, leading Dallas into the playoffs. But we all know what he did against Seattle...
Tiki dominating games.
Against Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, he ripped off 185, 141, and 234 (a team record) yards respectively. It was beautiful watching him as he carried the team at times.
Plaxico's leaping catches.
I was in San Diego recently and heard their 'sports radio guys' talking about Plax. A guy was ripping him even though he had 10 TDs, saying he only gets them in bunches: '4 in one game, 3 in another, and 4 in another,' and that he does nothing in the remaining games. He couldn't be farther from the truth - especially this year. Of Plaxico's 10 TDs, guess how many games they came in (of the 15 he played in)? Yeah, 10. You can't diversify your scores any better than that.
Despite Plaxico's occasional laziness, he was almost solely responsible for several wins: Week 2 vs. Philly, Week 7 vs. Dallas, and Week 14 vs. Carolina. Now that Tiki is retiring, Plax will be the Jints #1 skill player in 2007. If he keeps consistent focus, he could be an elite WR (he's on the cusp).
J-Shock's helmet-less catch-and-run.
It was Tiki's season, but perhaps the play-of-the-season goes to Jeremy Shockey. In the midst of this tumultuous year, the team and fans could always count on J-Shock to bring passion and excitement to the field every Sunday. In a must-win game, Shockey's helmet was knocked off by a Philly defender, but whereas most players would curl up and avoid contact, Shockey tried to engage contact. With his long, blond hair flying around, he picked up a first down, and fired up the whole team. The Jints tied the game late in the 4th quarter, but the D couldn't hold the lead. How bad did the team want it? I don't know. But I do know how bad J-Shock wanted it.
Fred Robbins' breakout season.
Our DT was known as a perennial underachiever, and DT was viewed as the weakest part of the Giants D. It turned into a strength as Robbins lived up to and exceeded his expectations. He was a big reason the Giants D was even moderately good. He stuffed the ran and rushed the passer - a tough feat for a DT.
Big J.
There's no other player I enjoyed watching on a consistent basis as much as Brandon Jacobs. He'll likely be the starter in 2007, and I can't wait. Now I don't know if he will have as many punishing runs while carrying the bulk of the carries, but it's hard to doubt his DE-sized frame (6'4", 264) and seemingly limitless energy. He loves contact, the way Walter Payton, Larry Csonka, and Jim Brown did. Countless times he dragged half the defense for extra yards, and if not he was destroying DBs. He averaged 4.4 yards a carry but next year, when he's on the field more often, he'll raise that average. He's been used almost exclusively in short-yardage situations where the D knows he's coming. His stamina will be tested in 2007, but I'm sure he'll pass with flying colors.

Giants MVPs
Offense isn't hard: RB Tiki Barber, the Man - 2127 total yards, 5 TDs.
But a not too distant 2nd is WR Plaxico Burress, who also carried the team, but would occasionally succumb to laziness. Still, was Eli's best and most reliable target - 988 receiving yards, 10 TDs.

Defense is harder to quantify, but it would have to go to DT Fred Robbins, who turned a supposed weakness into a major strength. He finally had the kind of season everyone hoped he would have - 46 tackles, 6.5 for losses, 5.5 sacks, 3 pass deflections, and even 2 picks.
Coming in a close 2nd is MLB Antonio Pierce, the heart of the D - 140 tackles, 7 for losses, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 9 pass deflections, and 1 pick.

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