Cruz, Giants have agreed to the framework, now do the deal

Victor CruzGiants wide receiver Victor Cruz seems to move as quickly in contract talks as he does when he gets behind a defense with the ball in his hands.

One day after saying that contract talks were moving in the right direction, Cruz said during an interview on WFAN that his camp and the Giants have agreed to the structure of a deal that will keep him with the team for years to come.

“From what I hear, they’ve just agreed on the structure right now,” Cruz said. “And that’s all I’m at liberty to say.”

With a salary of $540,000, Cruz is probably the biggest bargain in all of football. His desire to get a new deal done now has been spun as a desire not to hold out this offseason, which is probably less true than the risk that he blows out his knee this Sunday and finds that he doesn’t get the financial reward he’s earned for the Giants over the last two seasons. Read more…

NFL Week 8: The week’s 5 best bets

*Home team in CAPS

Giants over the COWBOYS-   We picked the Giants over the ‘Skins last week and see no reason why they shouldn’t repeat this week vs the ‘Boys in Dallas. After all, since the $1.2 billion stadium was built in Dallas in 2009, the Giants have had ‘home field advantage’, going 3-0 in their building! Injuries will have a greater impact on the Cowboys this week as RB DeMarco Murray will sit out for another game and RB Felix Jones is questionable. Dallas will also be without their starting center and their leading tackler Sean Lee who’s out for the remainder of the season (toe). The Giants will have Chris Canty, Prince Amukamara, and a healthy Hakeem Nicks, all of whom were missing in the season opening loss to the Cowboys.

JETS over the Dolphins- The 3-3 Jets beat the Dolphins in Miami 23-20 in week #3 and we think history will repeat itself at Met Life Stadium this Sunday. Although Miami boasts the receiver who came into last weeks games leading the NFL in receiving yardage, Brian Hartline, he was held to just one reception for 41 yards when these two teams last met. Could be because at the end of last week, the Jets have  given up the least amount of fantasy points to wide receivers in the league. That will mean a lot of Reggie Bush, something that the Jets are well aware of. Kerley, Hill, & Keller should all have a decent day against a Dolphins team that yields the 8th most fantasy points to wide receivers- if Sanchez gets the time. A victory gets the Jets another divisional win and evens their record at 4-4 going into their bye week. They’ll take it… Read more…

NFL Week 7: The week’s 5 best bets

Eli Manning has winning on his mind as the G-Men want some payback from their two losses to the ‘Skins last season.

GIANTS over the Redskins- It took six games for the mighty Giants defense to show up and after their brilliant performance in San Fransisco last Sunday we think it will carry over into this week’s divisional contest with the Redskins. We might not see the six sacks and three interceptions that did the 49ers in last week when Washington comes to East Rutherford because they are more of a ground & pound team with Alfred Morris & RGIII leading the way. Eli & his receivers are salavating at the ‘Skins lack of defense which yields an average of 417 yards to opposing offenses per game. They also have a bit of a ‘revenge’ factor going into this game as the Redskins did beat the Giants in both of their meetings last year. Giants are 4-2 but are 0-2 in their division and need this one.

RAIDERS over the Jags- After nearly pulling out what would have been the biggest upset of the week, the Raiders return to the Black Hole knowing that if they almost beat the undefeated Falcons on the road they certainly should have an easier time with the anemic Jags in their building. The Raiders defense will shine this week as they will face QB Blaine Gabbert who has been sacked 15 times this season and has thrown for 200 yards only once. Outside of RB Maurice Jones-Drew, there is little to get excited about as WR Justin Blackmon, the Jags 1st round pick, has yet to live up to the hype entering this season. The Silver & Black should romp in this one. Read more…

Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants ready for RG3

Jason Pierre-PaulJason Pierre-Paul better back up his smack.

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul says that if Griffin thinks he’s going to run well on the Giants this week, he should think again. This after Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin IIIhad one of the best rushing games of any quarterback in NFL history on Sunday.

Specifically, JPP told RGIII that running toward Pierre-Paul’s side of the field would be a mistake.

“Don’t bring it to my side,” Pierre-Paul said. “Go the other way.”

Pierre-Paul says the Giants’ defense has the athleticism to keep Griffin in check.

“Trust me, we chase quarterbacks all time,” Pierre-Paul said. “We turn and run to the ball, no matter what. He may get past us and zoom right past us, but trust me we’re right behind him. You’ve got to respect that too. It’s not all about the speed. We’ve got guys, all 11 guys that can run to the ball very quick. You’d be surprised. Very surprised.” Read more…

Trouble in the Big Apple: Bradshaw’s foot problem reemerges

Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw has sprung to life over the last two weeks, carrying the ball 57 times for 316 yards and two touchdowns in a pair of Giants victories.

It’s a big change from his first three games of the season. Bradshaw ran for just 133 yards in those games and the Giants lost twice, a state of affairs Tom Coughlin bemoaned more than once in his press conferences. Bradshaw’s been running well, but it seems that the heavy workload the last two weeks might have had a negative effect on his health.

Bradshaw isn’t practicing with the team on Wednesday because of a foot issue. Bradshaw has had foot problems for most of his career, including 2011 when he missed four games with a stress fracture before returning for the end of the season and the playoffs, and he’s had offseason surgeries twice since joining the Giants. Read more…

Hakeem Nicks ready to produce for Giants

Hakeem Nicks

Hakeem Nicks

The Giants have played their last three games without wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, a streak which might have a chance at coming to an end with the news that Nicks has returned to practice.

Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Nicks took part in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media. It’s the first time that Nicks has been at practice since the week before the Week Four game with the Eagles, when he practiced on Thursday and then was ruled out of the game because of a knee injury he suffered during the Week Two win over the Buccaneers.

That history provides a good reminder that getting back to practice is only half the battle for Nicks. It will be just as important to see how his knee and foot, which Nicks had surgery on this offseason after breaking a bone, respond to an increased workload. His knee swelled after that last practice, forcing him to concentrate on rehab only for the last two weeks. Read more…

10 Facts, stats, records in the Giants 41-27 win over Cleveland

Every so often a regular season NFL game comes along with an inordinate amount of interesting and little known facts accompanying it. Thus was the case in the Giants 41-27 defeat of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. At least five records were either tied or broken at Met Life Stadium on a rainy & chilly October afternoon. Here are some of the more interesting stats that we were able to extrapolate from this game…

1. The Browns came into this game having beaten the Giants in their last three meetings; in ’08, ’09, and ’10.

2. RB Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for a career high 200 yards.

3. Cleveland has now lost 11 games in a row dating back to last season.

4. RB David Wilson collected his first NFL touchdown.

5. WR Victor Cruz had a career high three touchdowns in one game. Read more…

Top defensive lines in the NFL this season

Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-PaulThe NFL has quickly morphed into a passing league. Quarterbacks are routinely throwing for more than 4,000 yards in a season. A handful of them even threw for 5,000 yards or more last season. This means that getting to the quarterback is essential. Due to the advent of the spread offense, a defense must rely mostly on the front four to get a pass rush. Which teams do this the best?

New York Giants: The Giants rely so much on their front four for a pass rush. Guys like Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora have been dominating the league for years. Their efforts are the reason why they have won two championships in the last five seasons. They scare opposing quarterbacks and keep offensive coordinators up at night trying to game plan for them.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills signed defensive end Mario Williams to a contract worth $100 million in March. They also acquired defensive end Mark Anderson as well. Combined with Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus, the Bills have one of the best front fours in all of football. They started to show some promise with five sacks against the Chiefs two weeks ago.

Denver Broncos: Lead by Elvis Dumervil, the Broncos have a solid front four that can limit your ability to run as well as get to the quarterback. You don’t want to be a quarterback dropping back to pass when that pass rush is coming at you. Throw in linebacker Von Miller and you have a nasty front seven to contend with. Read more…

Fantasy Football Week 3: Waiver wire pickups

Brandon LaFellWhile some of you will be interested in seeing how your higher draft picks who have been under-performing do in Week 3, (Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Larry Fitzgerald, Eric Decker, etc,) others more fortunate are looking to improve on what they already have. So here are this week’s pickups for you to consider:

Brandon LaFell-WR-Panthers- He really impressed Ron Rivera, Carolina’s coach after his six catch-90 yard performance on Sunday. “He’s developing into a fine receiver”, said Rivera. We liked that he was targeted eight times and are really high on his 17.2 YPC average over the first two weeks. Owned in 50% of leagues, he is a must add if you can still get him.

Brandon Gibson-WR-Rams-There is some good news-bad news that comes along with this 25-year-old receiver out of Washington St. The good news is that he has two touchdowns in two games and should have had a third had coach Jeff Fisher challenged the ref’s blown call last week vs the Redskins. Although he seems to be getting a nice share of Red Zone looks, the bad news is that he has only been targeted eight times through two games. In deeper leagues he’ll make a nice WR3 option & is only owned in 12% of leagues.

Andre Brown-RB-Giants- In the absence of RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck)  for Thursday’s matchup against Carolina, Brown will get the start after filling in so well last week vs Tampa Bay when he rushed 13 times for 71 yards and a touchdown. He also added a 2-point conversion and had two catches for 19 yards. The Panthers give up an average of 140+ yards per game which makes Brown an excellent Flex play in all formats. He is available in around half of all leagues. Read more…

Drop it like it’s hot: No excuses for Victor Cruz

Giants receiver Victor Cruz looks for an interference call from the officials after missing a catch in the Dallas Cowboys' endzone during their NFL football game in East Rutherford

Giants receiver Victor Cruz caught six passes in Wednesday night’s loss to the Cowboys, but he also dropped three passes, and after the game he acknowledged that his own poor play was one of the reasons the defending Super Bowl champions lost their opener.

“There’s no excuses for me,” Cruz said. “I have to catch those footballs.”

Dropped passes aren’t an official NFL statistic, but by one count Cruz had at least 10 of them last year. Giants coach Tom Coughlin acknowledged after the game that that’s a problem.

“Victor sometimes has concentration lapses where he tries to run before he catches the ball,” Coughlin said. “It was just a concentration lapse and something he’s got to continue to work on.” Read more…

Cruz, Wilson, karma make for a bad night

There’s a joke going around Twitterland that WR stud Victor Cruz saw the Giant’s team physician after the game on Wednesday night who told him he had a very high immune system and that if it didn’t change it would mean that he wouldn’t catch anything!

I don’t have the statics right in front of me but if I were to venture a guess, I would say that Cruz had three drops in all of last season; and I would be close. Did his three drops on opening night in E. Rutherford, N.J. cost the N.Y. Giants the game? No. They only lost by a touchdown. But they were costly nonetheless.

What could have been more costly over the course of the game was rookie David Wilson’s 1st quarter fumble. Wilson, who electrified the crowds and Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbright in the pre-season, never lined up in the backfield again after his blunder causing the G-Men to go exclusively with Ahmad Bradshaw the rest of the game who fought for every inch of the 76 yards he did manage to roll up. Read more…

New York Giants Cheerleaders: TSB’s hotties

Giants FanThere are actually a few NFL teams that do not have an official cheerleader squad and the New York Giants are one of them.

What woman would want to be called a “Giant” cheerleader anyways?

Why don’t the Giants have cheerleaders?

According to many, the Giants refuse to put together a squad because the team feels like it would take away from the overall game day experience.

Basically, they are worried that more people will spend time watching hotties in cheerleader outfits than Victor Cruz and Eli Manning.

The lack of hot women wearing skirts and provocative outfits have led Giants’ fans to insane measures.

How desperate are the Giants faithful for cheerleaders?

There are a number of sites that will take different cheerleaders and put the NY Giants logo on them. In fact, we have one in our gallery.

The Giants are one of the more popular teams in the NFL and just because they don’t have cheerleaders doesn’t mean there aren’t a good number of hot women cheering for Big Blue each and every NFL Sunday.

Our images are too hot for our PG site. To see the hottest New York Giants Cheerleaders visit our sister site here.

Fantasy Football: Running Backs to grab in the middle to late rounds

We’ve given you the WR’s to grab in the later rounds of your draft, and now it’s the running back’s turn. We have chosen our list from three-tier RB’s and higher and hopefully if you haven’t finished drafting (or for some of you if you haven’t started yet), here are some backs worth grabbing in the mid to late rounds.

BenJarvis Green-Ellis-Bengals– We liked this signing as soon as it was announced as the Bengals historically, are a running team first and foremost. With only Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard as back ups, BJGE should run and run often and have his share of goal line carries. For some reason, Steven Jackson is coming off the boards before Green-Ellis and frankly, we think it should be the other way around. In the last 3 seasons, S-Jax has seen his yards fall 1416, 1241, and last season 1145. He averaged 5 TD’s over the same period, while Green-Ellis has averaged 12 TD’s over the past 2 seasons with the Pats-and that was in a time-share! In fact we like BJGE better than Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore as well.

David Wilson-Giants– The N.Y. Giants who seem to make all the right moves lately, picked the Virginia Tech star in the first round for a reason; he’s a super-fast sly running back who will provide the lightning in the G-Men’s running game. If you’ve seen any of the pre-season games, you would have noticed how he can elude tackles and pick up some nice yardage after contact. He will make a formidable RB2 and at the same time will provide insurance for Ahmad Bradshaw owners. He’ll make a nice mid round pickup.

Donald Brown-Colts– Talk about late round value, the former fist round pick out of UCONN has virtually no competition so the starting back job is Browns to lose. Rookie QB Andrew Luck will rely heavily on Brown who also has great pass-catching ability which will help all those in PPR leagues. In a back-up role last season, he had as many touchdowns (5), as Steven Jackson. It must sound like we’re picking on S-Jax, but really, we’re just bringing out a point. Snatch this former Husky late-you won’t be disappointed. Read more…

NFC preseason power rankings

osi-umenyiora

Al Bello/Getty Images

As the end of the NFL preseason is quickly approaching, so to is the beginning of the 2012 NFL regular season. As there is one week left of preseason football, we are less than 10 days away from the start of the 2012 NFL season. I like to name this period “Week Zero”, as these power rankings are a basic opinion of how I believe the 2012 NFL season will pan out.

In the NFC specifically, there are a lot of teams to like, as picking the six best teams was harder than I imagined. In my opinion, the top 12 teams in these power rankings are all legitimate playoff contenders right now. For various reasons though, some teams are better now, while some teams may be better next year or the year afterward. Nevertheless, here are the Week Zero NFC Power Rankings.

16. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Vikings are young, but the question of Adrian Peterson’s health, Christian Ponder’s potential, and the defensive secondaries’ deficiencies gives the Vikings a whole heap of trouble in an NFC North division which features quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, and Aaron Rodgers.

Projection: 3-13

15. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

The acquisitions of wide receiver Vincent Jackson and All-Pro offensive guard Carl Nicks were great, and new head coach Greg Schiano is installing discipline into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but only little progress will be made in 2012 as Schiano will need a couple of seasons to get the Buccaneers back on track.

Projection: 4-12  Read More…

 

2012 NFL Power Rankings | Preseason Edition

 

tom-brady-Eli Manning

Ezra Shaw/Getty and Wesley Hitt/Getty

With the 2012 NFL Season set to start in a few weeks we put together our preseason power rankings based upon the free agent signings, NFL Draft, and the preseason thus far. Week 2 of the preseason continues tonight with six games scheduled and concludes Sunday night after the Eagles at Patriots game. While we don’t truly get to see how teams’ starting rosters will look until the third preseason game, we have plenty of information to start formulating our thoughts.

1. New England Patriots (13-3)

The Patriots added depth on their defense and should have some more speed on offense while giving the bulk of the carries to Stevan Ridley this season. The addition of Brandon Lloyd gives Brady and Belichick yet another toy to play with.

2. Green Bay Packers (12-4)

The team with the best record in the 2011 regular season was abruptly knocked out of the playoffs by the Super Bowl champs. This team’s weakness is clearly their rushing attack and NFL-worst total defense. Aaron Rodgers clearly covers up many of their blemishes but he needs more help if they expect to be at the top.

3. New York Giants (11-5)

I find it quite shocking that after their second Super Bowl in the last five years this team is still being overlooked. Their defense is better, Eli Manning is in his prime, and they replaced Brandon Jacobs with a humble David Wilson who is far more athletic.  Read More…