Diary of a Giants Fan: Bye Week Review and Potential Prop Bets
…And on the seventh [week], [they] rested. This Sunday’s NFL landscape will feature no Giants triumph, no crushing loss, just a week of rest for the men of Big Blue. They’ve entered the bye week at 4-2 and atop their division. During this week off I offer you some reflective comments and some fun over/under prop bets…that I’ve just thought up.
All things considered the Giants find themselves in a pretty good place during their bye. Despite what was a Murphy’s Law governed pre-season with injury depletion the likes of which only medieval Europe has seen before (overstatement?), the Giants are leading their division. Their 4-2 record is certainly respectable, though it could and should be better. Wins against the underachieving Eagles and the overachieving Bills have been impressive, but losses to the nine completion, four interception disaster that is Rex Grossman, and a guy so bad he was backing up Tarvaris Jackson, have left a bad taste in my mouth.
Had the Giants bothered to show up week one, or bothered to take Charlie Whitehurst seriously, as ludicrous as that sounds, they could be 6-0. Though let’s not kid ourselves, the only dominating win the Giants have is their 28-16 shellacking of the so very much hapless St. Louis Rams. The win over the Cardinals could easily have been a loss, so all things considered the Giants are probably right where they should be.
Looking forward, coming out of the bye the Giants will play what is left of the once great organization known as the Miami Dolphins, though that is the last ‘easy’ game Big Blue will play. After that week eight showdown (can I really call it a showdown if I think that that the now defunct Braunschweig Lions – Oh yeah, I went European Football League on you - may put up more of a fight?) the Giants’ schedule gets incredibly hard. This schedule seems tailor made for the patented fast start and wilt down the stretch maneuver they have become so head-scratchingly known for. Games against the Patriots, 49ers, Packers, Saints, Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins will certainly test the G-Men coming home.
It’s hard to say what to expect from this team going forward. They are, after all, a team that has yet to show a consistent face in back to back quarters, let alone games. I certainly expect a slow down against what is an impossibly hard schedule, but to what extent is uncertain. The Giants have looked better in each game they’ve played and if that upward trend continues, specifically with the secondary, they could have a huge year ahead of them. However, a look forward into that beast of a schedule is a foreboding one. A swoon may be coming. But let's hope not. We’ll all find out together.
And now to offer you a brief spot of comic relief, I give you some Over/Under prop bets that you won’t be able to find in Vegas. But should:
Over/Under 2.5 Pairs of Headphones Broken by Tom Coughlin This Season: I’m not even sure that I’ve ever seen Tom Coughlin break a pair of headphones on the sideline, but doesn’t he just seem like the type? I don’t care if the Giants are up 42-0 in the Super Bowl, the camera will never and has never caught Coughlin with a smile on his face. Dude just looks angry all the time. What to Bet: Despite what I just said take the under here. Coughlin may look like an angry man on the sideline, he may be an angry man on the sideline, he may have said things to officials that would make most NFL coaches vomit – not just blush, vomit - but I doubt he’s the type to break anything. I mean, he’s not Harbaugh and Schwartz.
Over/Under 2 Pass Patterns for Stacy Andrews: Did anyone else get a tickle of excitement when they saw this 6’6, 318 pound offensive lineman out in a pass pattern on third and short against the Bills last week? I’m not sure what the hell he was doing out there, but he wasn’t called for ineligible down field so it was by design. He was wide freaking open by the way, more open than Mario Manningham has been in his entire life. What to Bet: Take the over. Anyone can see a fifteen yard out to Victor Cruz coming, but can you guard against the cover-two dissecting seam route run by a man with a 50 inch waist, a man who's forty time probably needs to be locked with a sun-dial? I didn’t think so. Mark my words, friends. The Stacy Andrews era is beginning.
Over/Under 3 Kick-offs Per Game in Which Lawrence “Larry” Tynes Can’t Find the End Zone: When the NFL moved the kick-off from the 30 to the 35 everyone assumed that every kick-off would find the back of the end zone. And hey, that’s true for most of the league. And yet, either by design or because Tynes has the flaccid leg of an out of shape man who just tried to run a marathon, the Giants kicker routinely can’t get the touchback. It’s downright frustrating. What to bet: You take the over, and you take it hard. Tynes just cannot kick it deep with consistency. It must be some kind of designed play. Though why would you design such a play? If you’ve seen the Giants' kick coverage you know that the touchback is always the better play. Always. It's got to be Tynes.
Over/Under 1.5 Giant Games Without a Fight: If you’ve watched the Giants for even a quarter in each of their games you’ve no doubt seen the team get into a post play shoving match with their opponent. It’s unreal how many people the Giants can find to fight during a given game. By the way, by Giants, I really mean Antrel Rolle. What to Bet? Oh. Take the under. We’re talking without a fight here. I’ve never seen a team fight more about less, and with Antrel Rolle - who just can't stop talking - on your team, you’ll fight.
Over/Under 4 Opposing Quarterbacks Decapitated by JPP: Did anyone see the roughing the passer personal foul penalty that Jason Pierre-Paul was flagged for in the Bills game? Dude straight up punched Ryan Fitzpatrick in the helmet and I swear the Harvard man was going down. If he gets any better opposing quarterbacks should be terrified. What to Bet: Well, are we talking actual decapitation? Take the under. Are we talking injured? I still take the under but its close. That dude is a monster.
Over/Under .5 Crushingly Depressing Losses: We all remember the Seattle game right? That’s just the type of loss the Giants are known for, but will it happen again? Well, looking at the Seattle game the only similar upcoming game is the Dolphin game in week eight, and they are not losing to the Dolphins. I mean. They are not losing to the Dolphins. As great as Miami once was, it is a mere shell of itself now. They're an organization with such a lack of direction that their wide receivers can’t stay in bounds when running in for a touchdown. What to Bet: Still, I take the over. I don’t think they’ll lose to a woefully inferior opponent again, but I can’t put it past the Giants to play over their heads in a hotly contested game against a better opponent and end up losing at the end. Look for the Packers or Patriots game as possibilities. Take the over, but just barely.
2.5 Impressive Triumphant Wins: As much as the Giants fans have come to expect a disappointing loss, they’ve come, just as much, to expect unlikely and impressive wins - wins like the week three win against Philadelphia, like, in smaller order, the week six win over the Bills. With the Giants schedule being what it is they’ll need a few of these wins to make it into the playoffs. What to Bet: Man, am I torn. I think I take the over, though. I’m not overly impressed with this Giants team so far, but their win over the Bills was very encouraging, they finally looked to be playing good football in all phases – they finally played a complete game. If they keep improving like they have been they could find themselves with some quality wins down the stretch – quality wins they’ll sorely need.