February 3, 2008


Smart answer: Rookie Boss doesn't play any favorites (Jim McCabe, February 3, 2008, Boston Globe)

[Kevin Boss,] the 6-foot-6-inch, 253-pounder has been thrust into the spotlight, albeit at the expense of a Pro Bowl starter, Jeremy Shockey, who broke his leg Dec. 16 against Washington. Having played sparingly to that point, Boss didn't catch a pass in his first game as a starter, but in the next game, Dec. 29 against New England, he had four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown. In three playoff wins, Boss had four catches for 45 yards.

"I knew all season long I was just one play away from having to step up and elevate my game," said Boss, who was a fifth-round draft choice. "If an unfortunate scenario like an injury was to happen, and it did happen, I felt like I would always be ready."

In a game where the only thing likely to stop the Pats from putting up 50 is that Bill Belichick actually likes Tom Coughlin, the one offensive option that is likely to be at least somewhat effective for the Giants is dumping it off to the tight end, matched up against the ancient Pats linebacking corps.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 3, 2008 9:07 AM

Actually, I'd look for all the rookies on offense to have good days. Ahmad Bradshaw at rb and Steve Smith in the slot are also likely to do well. Smith for the reason you say Boss will get the ball, and Bradshaw because the Pats will likely stack the box to stop Jacobs and Bradshaw's slashing running style counters that.

I don't see why the Pats can score 50 when they needed 2 late touchdowns, one on which the Giants dbs completely blew coverage, in order to win a game they had to have, but which meant nothing to the Giants.

It's worth pointing out that the Giants have played tougher teams than the Pats have thus far in the playoffs as well, and in much tougher conditions.

At the end of the day, the Giants can win this game. They have to play like they did against Dallas to do it though and basically be mistake free -- playing like they did against GB won't cut it. If repeat the Dallas performance, and Brady plays as he did in the AFC Champ game as well, it could be the Giants in a walk.

Then again, Eli could throw 3 interceptions, the Giants receivers could drop 20 passes, their defense could get tired being on the field all game and it could be 35-10 Pats.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 3, 2008 11:57 AM

The Pats stoned the Giant running game. The rbs will have especially bad days.

The Giants had a cakewalk to this game, beating two teams that had easy schedules after not making the playoffs last year and a Cowboy team no one thought would win.

Take away the absurd penalty for too much celebration and the first game was a blowout too.

Posted by: oj at February 3, 2008 1:38 PM

Yes, the Pats made the mistake of focusing on Jacobs and Eli ate them alive.

The Pats d is their weak point. If the Giants play well on offense they could put up 50 points on a Pats d that is older, slower, and weaker than that of either the Cowboys or the Packers.

Psst, the Giants didn't use Bradshaw in week 17.

What gives the Giants a chance is that with their 3 rookies contributing more and more to the offense, and with their defense healthier, they're a much better team than they were in week 17. The Patriots? Not so much.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 3, 2008 2:36 PM

Other than a couple two minute drills. Eli was ineffective, which is why time of possession and 1st downs were so lopsided. A series of flukish occurrences made the score closer than the game and the Giants and their fans over-confident. That's why today could get really ugly.

Posted by: oj at February 3, 2008 4:13 PM

Yes, the Cowboys and Packers thought the same when they played the Giants.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 3, 2008 5:04 PM

50 points? Hah.

Some folks tried to tell you that the Giants showed the Pats very little in week 17, and it would be different if they faced them again.

The Pats got lucky then -- Giants dropped an interception that would've gone for 7 the other way, and then the Pats scored a td.

And the Pats were lucky they didn't lose by more, very lucky, tonight. Only a case of nerves by the Giants offense in the redzone in the first half saved them from having their doors blown off.


Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 3, 2008 11:10 PM

Tom Brady's human. For one day anyway.

Posted by: oj at February 3, 2008 11:48 PM

C'mon. Tom Brady didn't lose the game.

The guy was a human punching bag because his offensive line gave him no protection.

And it took until 8 minutes left for Belichick to finally realize that they had to hit Welker et al on quick 5 yard passes to counteract the Giants rush.

Plus, it's hard to win when you simply can't run the ball. Moroney (sp) might cut it in the awful AFC, but not against an NFC defense.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 4, 2008 12:04 AM

Jim in Chicago:

It's interesting to wonder what the score would've been if the Giants had managed to intercept and return that pass when Brady got creamed right before the end of the half. Add in the momentum and the Giants might've won by 10 or more.

I was at the game and afterwards I kept shaking hands with Giants fans and thanking them for (temporarily) shutting up all the talk about how awesome the Patriots are.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 5, 2008 12:48 AM