This play was made in his 11th season, on his third NFL team. Even though Anquan Boldin never had blazing speed or phenomenal route-running, he always had a knack for making plays, giving his best effort and having the toughness of a linebacker. I mean look at that fucking body control. Any other receiver in their 30’s does that and their bound to pop an achilles.
First of all, the guy registered 10 grabs for 217 yards and two touchdowns…IN HIS FIRST CAREER GAME! No one expected that from the second-round pick from Florida State. He didn’t even play receiver full time in college.
After finishing 11-5 and clinching a playoff berth in the 2016 NFL season, the New York Giants finally became relevant again for the first time since Super Bowl XLVI. Although the team only lost one defensive starter (Jonathan Hankins) and added offensive firepower in Evan Engram and Brandon Marshall, New York will have to be at their best in order to compile another winning season.
The Divisional Matchups
The Giants finished 4-2 within the division last year, and only lost by a combined seven points to the Redskins at home and the Eagles on the road. They also swept the No. 1 seed in the NFC if I remember. Crazy to say, but Philadelphia made some great moves this off-season with the signings of Alshon Jeffery and LeGarrette Blount. Paired up with a great offensive-line and a productive front seven, Philly can cause some havoc for the Giants on both sides of the ball. The Redskins are a little less worrying since there are questions on defense and within the management of that organization. Anything could happen between Dallas and New York, but the Giants defense matches up very well against Dak and company. The Cowboys revenge (in the words of Ringo Starr) won’t come easy.
On the Road Again
This is where the going gets tough and the tough gets going. New York has to travel to Oakland, Tampa Bay, Denver, Arizona and San Francisco. It’s important to note that NONE of those games follow each other. That’s right. The G-Men have to fly back to East Rutherford, N.J. after each of those games. The Buccaneers and Broncos games are the only matchups that occur before their Bye Week (Week 8). Head Coach Ben McAdoo will have to carefully plan out time management on these long and frequent trips, along with finding his guys some time to rest.
Not much needs to be said about Oakland. With a healthy Derek Carr and Khalil Mack manning the line of scrimmage, this might end up being the most difficult game of the season for the Giants. Denver still has a majority of their Super Bowl Champion defensive roster under contract. Von Miller could disrupt a game for any offensive lineman, let alone going up against Bobby Hart, Ereck Flowers or even D.J. Fluker. The Cardinals were a shell of their 2015 team last season, but the squad finished as the No. 2 ranked defense and the No. 9 ranked offense in the league, according to ESPN.com. The Buccaneers also have some great potential on offense and began to make some strides last season as a team. Desean Jackson finds a way to play against the Giants even when he leaves the division. The 49ers don’t appear to be too threatening, but you’d imagine they’ll be better than 2-14 under Kyle Shanahan and an upgraded defense.
Another cause for concern is the Giants’ play in road games last season. Besides Week 1 in Dallas (which is hardly a road game) and Week 17 in Washington, the Giants didn’t have a road win of much significance. They had flat performances against the Vikings, the Steelers, the Packers on two occasions, and even the Eagles in Week 16. This road stretch is more crucial than it appears.
The Safe Haven Games
Although New York faces some uncertainty on the road, they have a few home games that can easily tilt in their favor. Games against the Lions, Chargers, Rams and Chiefs are totally winnable and can all be controlled by Big Blue’s defensive front and secondary. The Giants beat the Lions and Rams last season, each game being dominated by Steve Spagnuolo’s bunch. Los Angeles and Kansas City won’t be easy wins, but home-field advantage can really make a difference against teams with sub-par offensive lines. The only real challenging non-divisional home game would be the Seattle Seahawks. The LOB is still alive and well and Russel Wilson’s scrambling could cause some fits. Beckham vs. Sherman Part 2 should be exciting.
So yes, the Giants do have a tough schedule, but when you’re a good team you have to beat, well, good teams. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. If they get into the postseason, they can easily become a Super Bowl contender with their dominance on defense and lightning receiving core. But first thing’s first, they must survive the 2017 regular season.
I really don’t care what anyone says, no quarterback in the league makes this play. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher is thinking, “Fuck this. Let’s just bring seven so he can’t afford the extra time he always buys in the pocket.” And it pretty much worked.
He couldn’t sit in the pocket and wait for his receivers to get down field. He couldn’t get off an ideal loft to the endzone. But he fucking did it anyway. Off his back foot, he launched a 50-yard bomb and took a smack by Markus Golden right after.
Now, I love Tom Brady more than the average Giants fan. He’s the greatest football player ever. BUT, I’m still taking Aaron Rodgers over him if I were a GM or coach. Here’s why:
Rodgers is more accurate and has a better arm.
His play-making ability.
How he can pretty much make any throw from anywhere on the field.
Brady has the best coach in NFL history (not a knock on him, just the truth).
And Rodgers wins too.
I want to take this moment to give a nice, “Fuck you” to anyone that even attempted blaming Aaron Rodgers for the Packers 4-6 record. They were 4-2 and then it looked like I was cloned 11 times and placed at every position on their starting defense. They gave up an AVERAGE of 38 points per game in their losses to the Falcons, Colts (they lost that game at home, what the fuck??), Titans and Redskins.
Rodgers and the offense, that featured a NON-EXISTENT running game, a shifting offensive-line, and constant injured receiving-targets (Randall Cobb, Jared Cook, Ty Montgomery), averaged 26 points per game. He not only led them to six straight wins and a division title, Rodgers also bullied the New York Giants vaunted defense and beat the NFC’s No. 1 seed on the road (Dallas Cowboys). It was Rodgers world, and we were all just living in it.
Then in the NFC Championship, the defense went back to their old ways and gave up a fat 44-point burger on the Packers.
He’s an MVP candidate every season and has helped lead the most consistent team in the NFC over the past couple seasons.
Think about it, if Larry Fitzgerald didn’t crush their dreams in 2015, they would’ve made three consecutive NFC Championship games from 2014-2016.
Also, he’s just a cool guy too. Every time the media comes scrambling to him asking him why the Packers suck, he basically says, “Chill out, I’ll go win some games really quick, brb.”
It’s funny, because everyone knew some crazy shit was about to happen when they SPANKED the Seahawks on FOX: America’s Game of the Week during week 14. Seattle (8-3-1 at the time) was coming off a home blowout against the Panthers, and even though they lost Earl Thomas, many figured they would still give Rodgers some fits in the passing game. In the words of Donald Trump, “Wrong.”
That’s what Rodgers can do for you. One game, one quarter, one play can spark a run for any team he’s around.
That shit must be annoying for Bears, Lions and Vikings fans to endure, but it’s pretty fun to analyze.