Found December 21, 2012 on
The Other Paper:
The New York Giants are coming off one of their worst losses in recent memory — a humiliating 34-0 beatdown by the Atlanta Falcons — and have fallen into a three-way tie looking up at the Cowboys and Redskins for first place in the NFC East.
Nevertheless, the team still insists it is at its best when their backs against the wall. At least that's what they publicly say citing last season's playoff run and Super Bowl victory as proof.
Now former Giants linebacker and current ESPN analyst Antonio Pierce says the Giants past success had to do more with their heads than their backs.
"I really think they are a team that's mentally drained right now," Pierce said of the Giants team that will look to save its season with a must win against the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday.
"Coach [Tom] Coughlin is preaching mental toughness, and I don't know if they can say that have that right now. They are a team that is not as strong as in years past, as far as being mentally tough."
Pierce says Big Blue might be relying on last season's playoff run, after they reeled off a six-game win streak culminating with the victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, as some sort of blueprint for doing it again.
In September, Pierce said the Giants were basically overlooked last season because they came out of nowhere. This season they have a shiny Lombardi Trophy as a bullseye on their jerseys.
The "we can turn it on when it counts" philosophy doesn't jive with Pierce.
"My concern with the Giants is them constantly talking about what they've done in the past," said Pierce, who played on the 2007 Super Bowl championship team. "They are looking in the rear-view mirror, thinking they can always rely on that. Our backs re against the wall, this is the way we like it, and after [Sunday's] performance — an embarrassing, slap-in-the-face loss — I didn't see any players out there that played like everything really mattered at the time."
Pierce pinpointed the once ferocious defense as the main culprit for the Giants' shortcomings and named names.
"Opponents studied and figure out ways to block these guys and slow them up," he said. "So, I don't see the defensive coordinator [Perry Fewell] being as creative, coming up with different designs to free them up."
The ex-Giant didn't go easy on his former teammates either.
"Honestly, [Justin] Tuck has not been Tuck for three years now. and Osi [Umenyiora] is a situational pass-rusher. He comes in on the third down and he makes plays. But, for the most part as a group, they are being asked to make plays without any more creativity."
The Ravens are in the same boat as the Giants and looking to regroup after collapsing in the second half of the season.
"You come off back-to-back years without being in the playoffs and then you win a Super Bowl and things change," said Pierce. "Every year with coach Coughlin we had a different slogan. This year's team has to stick to that and not regurgitate what they've been able to do in the past."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora told USA Today Sports that he regrets the way he handled his contract situation by holding out and causing some friction with the Giants over the past few years.
“Yes, a lot of regrets. I completely went about it the wrong way,” said Umenyiora. “Honestly, if I would’ve handled it differently, it wouldn’t even be a question about...
While New York Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck and
running back Ahmad Bradshaw missed another day of practice Thursday, wide
receiver Hakeem Nicks was able to return after being sidelined on Wednesday,
reports Kieran Darcy of ESPN New York.
Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck sat out practice
for the second straight day Thursday.
Tuck is dealing with a shoulder injury...
Ahmad Bradshaw took part in practice on a limited basis Friday, and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he was encouraged about having the running back for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Bradshaw, the team's leading rusher, sat out last week's 34-0 loss at Atlanta after spraining his left knee a week earlier in a win over New Orleans.
Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (sprained knee) didn't practice Thursday for the second straight day. SOURCE: Jenny Vrentas, Newark Star-LedgerFantasy Spin:Bradshaw missed the 34-0 debacle in Atlanta but said he expects to play Sunday. He could be a game-time decision so both Bradshaw and David Wilson owners should have other options.
Last week: 13 (+0)
Net points per drive: 0.42 (8th)
DVOA: 13.3% (7th)
Weighted DVOA: 10.5% (8th)
I went back and forth on Chicago/NY Giants for the final playoff spot. The Giants control their own destiny, but the Bears have very winnable games against Arizona and the team who lost to Arizona (Detroit) to finish their season, while the Giants have to go to Baltimore....
I love me some Black Ops Juan…
Like most NFL players, I’m sure Ahmad gets into a little Madden online or a little Black Ops II. I’m digging both right now, especially Black Ops II. Bradshaw really wants to play this Sunday, but we might see a whole lot of David Wilson this weekend.
Bradshaw Outside JCPenney
Knowshon Reps Young And Reckless
New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith were both listed as questionable after taking part in limited practice Friday in advance of Sunday's game. Bradshaw has knee and foot injuries that kept him out of last week's loss at the Atlanta Falcons. Smith suffered a concussion during the Ravens' loss to the Denver Broncos...
Alex Raskin of CBS Sports.com is a respected analyst who is unbiased toward New York sports teams. Still, I didn't expect Raskin to get on the Ravens bus for this one. This game to me is a pick'em. Both teams match up evenly across the board. Even their injury counts are eerily similar. I would even argue that the Giants have more motivation and need to win than the Ravens...
The New York Giants (8-6) will play the Baltimore Ravens (9-5) this coming Sunday evening at MT&T Bank Stadium from Baltimore, MD.
Game starts at 4:25 pm on Fox (TV) and WFAN (Radio).
Giants favorites over Ravens.
Spread is -2.5 points.
My pick is the Giants.
The world has not ended as the Mayan calender turned out to be wrong obviously...