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06 Sep 2012

Audibles Opening Night Special 2012

compiled by Rivers McCown

Each Sunday, the FO staff sends around e-mails about the games that each of us are watching. We share information about the games that the rest of the group might not be watching, ask questions, and keep everyone else informed about which games they might want to tune into (if they can).

On Monday, we compile a digest of those e-mails and produce this feature. By its nature, it can be disjointed and dissimilar to the other articles on the site.

This week: a special Audibles on the opening night game between the Giants and Cowboys. This Audibles also introduces a brand new member of the FO staff: Peter Koski. Peter worked his way up from the Game Charting project, and we're proud to introduce him as our Game Charting Coordinator this season.

Dallas Cowboys 24 at New York Giants 17

Aaron Schatz: I'm so excited I have to start Audibles three hours early.

Sean McCormick: NFL football on a Wednesday. How vulgar. (Not that I'm complaining.)

Rivers McCown: So, elephant in the room ... what are we expecting from the replacement officials tonight?

Brian McIntyre: Wishful thinking: They screw the pooch so badly we have the regular officials back by Sunday.

Peter Koski: I think the NFL is willing to cut off its nose to spite its face regarding replacement refs. What do I expect, though? I'm hoping for at least one ref to fall down while following a play in a comical manner.

Tom Gower: I'm not optimistic about a quick resolution of this. I want a resolution, too, but I'm just rooting for them to not be a storyline tomorrow morning.

Danny Tuccitto: Hold on, let me get this straight. With Mike taking the reigns of writing content about officiating, I made a personal pledge (to myself) to not talk about any officiating this season in the Audibles thread. I was one of the profligate ref-rippers last year, so just quitting cold turkey seemed like the easiest way to go. Lo and behold, I click into my e-mail to join our first conversation of the year, and we're starting 2012 with a discussion of the refs?!?!

Thanks for being the Bobby Brown to my Whitney Houston, guys.

Rivers McCown: Hopefully I can get compared to Bobby Brown in every thread this year.

Vince Verhei: Hey, if I want to be the Bobby Brown to your Whitney Houston, that's My Prerogative.

Peter Koski: I look forward to the article that describes each Texans defender as a song from the Ghostbusters II soundtrack.

Vince Verhei: I know every time I look at Brian Cushing, I hear Doug E. Fresh lines running through my head.

Rivers McCown: They are eventually going to play football after we're done being bludgeoned by all these 90's singers, right?

Matt Waldman: Thank you TIVO...

(I'm wrapping up a college game session...)

Aaron Schatz: Wow, that Dallas interior line looks fabulous early, doesn't it?

The Giants are running a fun little heavy set with Sean Locklear at left tackle and Will Beatty moved over to the far right as the sixth lineman, plus Martellus Bennett next to him.

Rivers McCown: Possibly related: the Giants longest run from scrimmage is three yards, halfway through the first quarter.

And there's the first fumble of David Wilson's career.

Our first Mike Smith Award of the year goes to ... Jason Garrett! Come on down!

Aaron Schatz: Fine play call, better execution by Antrel Rolle. I don't mind the obvious heavy "we're going to try stuff this thing down your face" play as long as that's not the only thing you ever run on fourth-and-1. The fullback give meant it developed faster than a handoff to DeMarco Murray. Rolle just beat the thing.

Rivers McCown: Problem is, as Vince noted on Twitter, you've got a brand new center and the interior of your line has been brutal through the first, and you're going straight up the gut?

Aaron Schatz: Ah, yes. True dat.

Danny Tuccitto: This is totally unrelated to the game, but Rivers opened the door. I still can't believe The Price is Right didn't invite Bob Barker to appear on their 40th anniversary special. Probably the biggest snub since Pacino (Godfather II) and Nicholson (Chinatown) lost out to Art Carney (Harry and Tonto) in the 1975 Oscars.

Peter Koski: DeMarcus Ware vs. David Diehl. Rob Ryan says "Yes, please."

Ben Muth: Bad series for Diehl. Has two protections without help, then gives up a sack and a hurry that forces a flush and a throw away.

Aaron Schatz: Cris Collinsworth: "The hardest thing for Romo is when he gets pressure right in his face." Well, then, that interior line is not going to be a problem AT ALL.

Ben Muth: You know how SyFy makes those ridiculous Sharktapus movies? The next one should be about a offensive line comprised of the Cowboys interior line and the Cardinals tackles.

Rivers McCown: The Giants line isn't exactly covering itself in glory either here, guys. First-and-goal and two runs that go absolutely nowhere.

Tom Gower: I think it was Chad Reuter who pointed this out, but Ryan Cook is 6-foot-6, particularly tall for a center. Jason Pierre-Paul set up low, and low man unsurprisingly won.

Danny Tuccitto: It's really early so this may mean nothing in the long run, but you have to wonder if it was wise for a team ranked 27th in power success rate in 2011 to have gotten rid of their two short-yardage backs.

Tom Gower: Tony Romo's passing strategy tonight isn't quite "find Michael Coe, throw ball", but I think it's pretty close to that.

Rivers McCown: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Running Into A Wall Of My Own Offensive Linemen For Two Yards

Danny Tuccitto: At halftime of opening night a year ago, the game already had 45 points on the board. With the way this one's going, I'd put the second half over-under at 4.5.

Peter Koski: Looks like the Cowboys are passing to set up the run. What was Dallas' draw DVOA last year?

Aaron Schatz: 50.3%, sixth in the NFL. They ran more draws than any other team, and it has been that way the last 3-4 years.

Cowboys just went on a nice deep ball to Dez Bryant where he beat Corey Webster. Guess it isn't ALL throwing at Coe.

And then the Cowboys end the drive with a touchdown to a wide-open Kevin Ogletree. They caught Chase Blackburn there taking a step forward, expecting the scramble. He had that middle zone, and it left Ogletree wide open.

Danny Tuccitto: Looked like Kenny Phillips, for whatever reason, was late getting over for that Bryant deep pass. He was playing deep centerfield on third-and-1, there was no play-action, and the other routes were all short stuff. Maybe the play just developed too quickly. Maybe, given the events of the first half, he was shaded a bit to Coe's side. Couldn't really tell definitively because he was off-screen for most of the sequence. Can't wait or that All-22!

Tom Gower: I noted this on Twitter, but that throw is really a place where Romo's game has developed. I remember the high-scoring Giants-Cowboys season-opener from a few years ago, and Romo really struggled to throw passes outside the numbers and down the field accurately -- he was something like 2-of-11 with a dumpoff if he hadn't rolled to that side. That pass to Bryant, though, was right on the money and, as Danny noted, beat Phillips to the spot.

Kevin Ogletree and Victor Cruz were both targeted 7 times in the first half. I woud've guessed one of those.

Vince Verhei: Kevin Ogletree's first half: 5-of-7, 47 yards, one touchdown. Guess Dallas has that third-receiver problem solved.

Real MVP of the half, though, goes to the Cowboys' front seven, which is getting tons of pressure and cutting off anything resembling a run. Sean Lee is making tackles sideline to sideline. DeMarcus Ware is listed with two sacks, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits. And a lot of credit goes to Rob Ryan, who is lining up his DL all over the place and giving the Giants a new look on almost every snap.

Danny Tuccitto: Silly question for halftime: Which gap is bigger? Eli and Peyton as quarterbacks or Eli and Peyton as product pushers? I feel like there's a chance Eli could match Peyton's legacy in the public football consciousness one day if he wins a couple more Super Bowls. I don't, however, think he'll ever make a commercial better than "Cut that meat!"

Mike Kurtz: Peyton Manning, upon retirement, should lobby for a position as Official Spokeman for Everything. We would then give him a crap-ton of money to film all the commercials. It would be awesome.

Danny Tuccitto: Romo with a case of Alex Smith syndrome on that short incompletion to Jason Witten on 1st-and-10 with 10:35 left: warp speed pass velocity to a target 10 feet away.

Rivers McCown: So, I see we have found this year's Laurent Robinson.

Danny Tuccitto: On the second Ogletree touchdown, Romo threw another one of those accurate, outside-the-numbers, split-the-corner-and-safety passes Tom was talking about earlier.

Mike Kurtz: It also helped that Ogletree was wide the hell open on that play.

Danny Tuccitto: Well, yeah, there's that.

Aaron Schatz: I don't think Ogletree really did much there. Romo made that play, first with the Audible and second with whatever he did to distract Corey Webster, which had him looking in the backfield and ignoring Ogletree. Ogletree didn't really "beat him" with the double move, Webster wasn't even really trying to keep up with him.

By the way, Kevin Ogletree could be this year's Laurent Robinson. He also could be this year's Frisman Jackson.

Rivers McCown: To be fair, Tony Romo is a much more enticing situation than an offense headlined by Trent Dilfer and Reuben Droughns.

Danny Tuccitto: Chris Collinsworth is becoming the Blake Fielder-Civil to my Amy Winehouse. Must. Not. Comment. On. The. Refs.

Apparently, ball skills aren't Brandon Carr's strong suit? His attempt at deflecting that jump ball with Domenik Hixon was borderline comical.

Rivers McCown: Awesome tackle by Bryant, helping to keep Murray out of the end zone.

Aaron Schatz: Cowboys offense has really improved with more protection -- more using the tight ends to block, and more Lawrence Vickers on run plays.

Rivers McCown: Looks like that Giants cornerback depth could be a problem. Justin Tryon is getting abused.

Aaron Schatz: I'm looking forward to having the Romo vs. Manning argument over and over again for the next five or six years. And over and over and over.

Rivers McCown: Is that the one where we try to figure out which one of them is elite?

Aaron Schatz: OK, we may need to do some of that fancy all-22 lookin' at this Kevin Ogletree stuff, because I do want to go back and figure out why he was the one guy open all night. It's not like the Cowboys have been picking on one specific cornerback here. They've gone to him covered by Webster, by Coe, by Tryon, and in the middle of a broken zone.

Vince Verhei: Well, it wasn't always Coe and Tryon, but it was often Coe and Tryon, and that's the bottom of the barrel. That's why I think Romo's performance is going to get a little overblown after the game (including in our numbers). He played well, particularly behind a shaky line, but those are some lousy DBs he was picking on, and Dallas had trouble with with the clock all night.

I'm most impressed tonight by the Dallas defense. Giants averaged 8.0 yards per play on their two touchdown drives (one of which came in a nigh-prevent situation) and 3.0 per play the rest of the game. Limiting the Giants to 10.1 yards per completion is a pretty big deal.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 06 Sep 2012

69 comments, Last at 10 Sep 2012, 3:07pm by Mello


by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 8:47am

Were the Cowboys DBs really as good as Collinswoth seem to give them credit for?

by AdamB (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 9:02am

I was at the game watching in person, so I didn't have the benefit of rewinding the Tivo, but from what I saw a significant amount of the pressure/sacks was driven more by a lack of open receivers than early pressure in Eli's face. There were a couple of plays where Ware destroyed Diehl, but I can anecdotally remember half a dozen plays were Eli had 4+ seconds to survey the field and step up into the pocket, but ended up getting flushed/hit or threw the ball away because there was nobody open. Again, I was sitting on the 40 so it was very hard to have a full field view (my eyes can't move in two directions unfortunately!), but that was the impression that I got as well my friends and the people sitting around us.

by ChaosOnion :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 9:31am

Also something to consider. Cruz dropped 6 or 7 catchable balls, killing a couple drives. One caught him looking up field. One hit him right in the numbers. Ogletree put the whammy on him.

by t.d. :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 9:56am

Three. He had three drops (and he had a few visible drops last season before he established himself as 'that salsa guy', so it's not like it was that out of character)

by Eddo :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:06am

Yes, I counted three as well (and Michaels/Collinsworth did, too). Isn't the knock on Cruz that his hands aren't that great? If so, this is totally within character.

by t.d. :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:11am

It is the knock on him, and I could live with it for a guy who gets the kind of YAC he does

by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:10pm

Thank you. I only counted two, but I believe that there was a third.

This is one of my pet peeves with NFL fandom, even on sites with excellent commenters like this one: if the QB is your guy, then every incompletion was a drop and every INT was tipped.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:36pm

I did count 2 drops from non-Cruz receivers as well. It wasn't a good night for Giants receivers.

by tally :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 2:29pm

Eli cannot f'ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.

by Ryan D. :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 2:33pm

Please be as hot as the first person to make this statement famous.

by tally :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 4:12pm

Sorry to disappoint. Nor is my face remotely equine.

by t.d. :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 4:47pm


by Mark S. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 3:50pm

There were definitely a few coverage pressures/sacks, but I thought it was more on the front seven/pressure. The truth is that the Giants' O-Line just flat out stinks. Last year they were last in rushing and gave up (IIRC) the second or third most QB pressure in the league. They are bad. They are very bad. Add to that the Giants receivers had like 6 or so drops and 3 or so big missed throws by Eli.

That said, while I don't know about the safeties, I think it's safe to say the Cowboy CBs will be at least solid.

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 9:27am

I might have missed the joke, but this is the track listing of the Ghostbusters II soundtrack:

1. On Our Own
2. Supernatureal
3. The Promised Land
4. We're Back
5. Spirit
6. Ghostbusters
7. Flesh 'N Blook
8. Love Is a Cannibal
9. Flip City
10. Higher and Higher

edit: Oh, so there was some singing during pregame? Caught the game late.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by Vincent Verhei :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:35pm

I actually owned this soundtrack on cassette. Elton John is on there. Elton John!

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 9:37am

I loved that play where Romo was rolling right and was about to either get sacked, throw the ball away, or run out of bounds. Instead, he spun around and took a couple of steps left, setting up his blockers perfectly, and buying himself enough time to complete the pass. That's a truly rare play right there.

I caught the game late, but what I saw of him was brilliant.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by The Powers That Be :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:19pm

Truly rare? Have you ever seen Tony Romo play before?

There was also the play where he was about to get sacked or throw the ball away or run out of bounds, but instead he spun around and threw a near-INT.

To my eye, this was a perfectly typical Romo performance, a tick down from the second half of last season, when he eliminated the bad decisions almost completely.

If he follows the 2009/2011 script, he'll get a little cocky over the next couple weeks, have a meltdown game where he throws 3 or 4 Favre-esque INTs, and then settle down and be brilliant for the rest of the season.

by Vote VVD on 12/9! (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 9:52am

With the rule regarding horse-collar tackles being 2012's "point of emphasis", my favorite moment of the night was the horse-collar tackle on Michael Boley that resulted in a 1 yard penalty and netted Dallas 4 points. I get the idea of professional fouls, but never understood the concept that a major penalty is discounted in the red zone.

by Eddo :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:05am

I generally agree, but what's the solution? I don't think you can award the touchdown, as I'm not convinced the penalty itself prevented it. If you hold off on the yardage and instead penalize 15 yards on the kickoff, it doesn't help the red zone issue.

by Vote VVD on 12/9! (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:28am

(Maybe I’m misunderstanding your post, but I think Boley would have easily scored had the Dallas tackle not grabbed whatever part of Boley he could find.)

You’re right that there is no solution, outside of a penalty touchdown awarded for any 15 yard penalty inside the twenty or ten, which I understand is a complete non-starter. It is just funny to see soccer-style ethics intruding into football at times. Other soccer-descendents like rugby and hockey, have largely eliminated ugly professional fouls, but the 11-a-side games openly embrace these fouls.

by Eddo :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:38am

I think you're correct that the tackle saved the TD. And it's possible that the only way for Boley to be tackled there was by his collar. However, like you say, I think awarding the TD automatically is a non-starter. It's conceivable that the Dallas player could have grabbed Boley's ankle just enough to save the TD anyway, or something like that.

by Ryan D. :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:33am

I thought the officials had the power to award a touchdown if a flagrant penalty occurred that was clearly unsportsmanlike in nature, and adversely affected a play. It's strictly a judgment call, and has probably rarely, if ever, been enforced at the NFL level.

In this instance, one could probably argue that any form of legal tackle from behind would have resulted in both players falling forward for a touchdown. Thus, the only way to prevent the touchdown was to illegally use a horse-collar tackle, which completely arrests all forward momentum immediately. Of course, this is why it's an illegal tackle; it's bad for causing injuries due to it's violent nature.

I don't think replacement referees would have ever had the balls to make that call (awarding a TD), especially on opening night, on national television, with everyone in the world hoping they'll do something monumentally stupid.

by Vote VVD on 12/9! (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:43am

You're absolutely right - check the very last two sentences of this horribly formatted penalty summary page: http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/penaltysummaries

The circumstances are pretty unique though - basically an Alosian assault on an end zone bound ball carrier. That's listed as an example, but it seems like that is meant to be exclusive.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:16pm

There isn't one. Soccer has proven this.

The 2010 World Cup had a match decided by an intentional handball in stoppage time -- this resulted in an ejection (straight red), one game suspension, and a penalty kick -- and it was still worth it.


by tuluse :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:40pm

I still don't understand why Suarez was so vilified for this.

by Vote VVD on 12/9! (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 1:40pm

Soccer doesn't prove anything, ever - in the specific case, soccer (and to a lesser extent football), both accept the professional foul. This isn't a least bad option - it is a deliberate rules choice. As I mentioned above, other sports like hockey and rugby understand that proportionality sometimes requires putting points directly on the board. Soccer and football(like a European criminal justice system) put unreasonably low maximums on punishment even for the most egregious penalties. In your well-chosen example the penalty caps become especially absurd when a three match ban is almost meaningless if your team is on the brink of elimination from a cup tournament and the worst result possible is serving your suspension during a few meaningless friendlies.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 4:04pm

What rule in a hockey puts a goal on the board?

Even a non-goalie covering a puck in the crease (the hockey equivalent of Suarez's penalty) is only a penalty-shot foul.

by Vote VVD on 12/9! (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 4:36pm

In the NHL a player is awarded a goal if he is on a clear-cut breakaway towards an empty net and the player is tripped or impeded. Happens several times per season in the NHL.

by bengt (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2012 - 6:57am

JFTR, a suspension of more games than were remaining in the world cup would have been extended into the next qualification, not into any friendly matches.

by Vote VVD on 12/9! (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2012 - 9:22am

I tried to check this and it appears that Suarez was suspended for only the semi-final against the NL - he played in the Third Place match.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 7:13pm

Rugby has penalty tries.

by Vote VVD on 12/9! (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2012 - 9:11am

Well precisely, and rugby with its yellow/red card system has a much more sensible schema for addressing violent play in the game (and of course, Rugby essentially took the system from hockey). Unfortunately, Rugby officials only lack only the political will to properly use it, like against New Zealand. I think the NFL is fairer and less political, but then I'm not a Saints or Steelers fan.

by Eddo :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:04am

1. No one mentions how awful the national anthem was?

2. I predict Ogletree will catch no more than three touchdowns the rest of the year.

by t.d. :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:15am

I think Ogletree might do alright, because I don't think teams are going to gameplan for him even if he continues to thrive. He's still less of a weapon than Austin, Bryant, Murray, or Witten. That's how Laurent Robinson got a $35 million contract

by Eddo :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:34am

I think this was the perfect week for Ogletree to explode, without it indicating it will continue.

1. The Giants' secondary depth was poor, especially once Coe got hurt. Secondary depth can be an issue for a lot of teams, but not quite this bad.

2. Bryant, Austin, and Witten all missed significant time during camp and the preseason, so Romo had a lot of reps and comfort with Ogletree. Romo's comfort level with the other three will only increase as they get more practice time.

3. If Bryant or Austin battle injuries all year (not too unlikely), Ogletree will be bumped to the #2 receiver, and get more attention.

by t.d. :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 11:27am

while all of that's true, Ogletree has been a camp star for years working his way up the depth chart. Time will tell, sometimes it works out for those guys (again, see Cruz, who was an afterthought at the start of last season). I actually think next week will be pretty telling, as Seattle has a great secondary

by bengt (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:12am

I already miss the off-hand remarks out of nowhere about things that no other person on the planet would be aware of, but I guess Audibles can survive without Tanier.

by Paddy Pat :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:57pm

+1... is he still doing his New York Times column? Thus far, it doesn't look like it.

by not Verified (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 1:54pm

I have not sen him on the Times in a couple months. Maybe his Sports On Earth job is an exclusive

by bengt (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2012 - 7:02am

This is the first time ever that somebody replies with a '+1' to something I wrote. You're forever in my heart, Paddy! ;-)

by Mello :: Mon, 09/10/2012 - 3:07pm

Looks like he's writing for a site called Sports on Earth. First I've seen the site, but do recognize another name on there, Will Leitch who created Deadspin.

by Bnonymous (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:14am

"All those 90s acts?"

Rivers, do you even shave yet?

by jds :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:15am

Any comment on the Giants kicking away with two and a half minutes left? Their D had not been able to stop anything in the second half, so the chances of getting a stop and the ball back seemed to me to be more remote than getting the onside kick back. I think Coughlin made the wrong call there.

by Eddo :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:32am

Recovering an expected onside kick, if I recall correctly, has a 16% success rate. There's a 5/6 chance the Giants would still need to get a stop, even if they had chosen to onside kick.

The choices are:

(0.16 * [odds of scoring from your own 45]) + (0.84 * [odds of forcing a three-and-out] * [odds of scoring from your own red zone])

[odds of forcing a three and out] * [odds of scoring from your own 30-40]

For simplicity, let's say the Giants' odds of scoring from their own 45 (after recovering an onside kick) are the same as scoring from their own 30-40 (after kicking deep and forcing Dallas to punt), and let's call that "S0".

Let's call their odds of scoring from their own red zone (after Dallas recovering the onside kick, but being forced to punt) "S1".

And let's call their odds of forcing a three-and-out "D".

So the choices are:

(0.16 * S0) + (0.84 * D * S1)

D * S1

Now, let's do the math:
(0.16 * S0) + (0.84 * D * S1) =? D * S1
0.16 * S0 =? 0.16 * D * S1
S0 =? D * S1
S0/S1 =? D

It makes sense to kick it deep if you think your odds are better of forcing a three-and-out than the relative odds of scoring from deep in your own territory vs. scoring from midfield. If that makes sense.

Basically, I think it was kind of a tossup.

by Kurt :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 11:57am

I think in this case the math is basically beside the point. Coughlin can't tell his defense "You suck. I don't trust you to execute at all." in week 1, even if they do.

by Eddo :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:04pm

Of course not. Mine was an academic exercise.

And I think, simply, Coughlin made the right call. Choosing to onside kick results in your defense needing to make a stop a very high percentage of the time anyway.

by otros :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 11:28pm

Isn't S0/S1 always >1 and D always <1
S0>S1 so S0/S1>1 and D being odds is <1

So it's always better to kick it short.

there has to be something wrong on your premise.

by Eddo :: Fri, 09/07/2012 - 9:59am

Hmm... yes. There must be.

If everyone could just ignore my math-filled post, I'd appreciate it.

by AdamB (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 1:27pm

I disagree. With the exception of one long run the Giants had done a decent job of stopping the run. They were getting great penetration but missing tackles. I don't think it's too much to ask your D to get a stop when you know the other team is running. Thing is, it should've worked. I have no idea what the D-coordinator was thinking by sending 5 and playing man on 3rd and 12. Rush 4, play zone, keep everything in front of you- let them complete a pass for 5/7/9 yards and make a tackle.

by Dean :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:19pm

I think it's pretty sad that so many of you were actively rooting for the refs to fail. Regardless of their squabbles, what we should be rooting for is for the refs to succeed. What we, as fans, want is a game which is smoothly officiated where at the end of the day we don't have officiating as a topic to talk about.

Actively rooting for the refs to fail would be rooting for a bad game. It'd be just as bad as saying "I want to see a bad game because both QBs endorse Candidate X in the upcoming election."

by The Powers That Be :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:27pm

It's a bit more like saying, "I'd rather see one disastrously officiated game and 215 well-officiated games than see 216 poorly-officiated games." Which seems like a reasonable position to take.

by Dean :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 2:34pm

Why not just root for 227 (including playoffs) well-officiated games?

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 3:08pm

Might as well root for the Easter Bunny to come to your house and hand you ownership of your favorite team.

by Dean :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 4:01pm

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that could ever happen - regular refs or replacements. But I'd still rather go into a game hoping the refs do a good job (or better yet, not thinking about them at all) than actively rooting for them to screw up.

by Ryan D. :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 10:15pm

It's nitpicking, but a full NFL regular season plus playoffs is 267 games.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 09/08/2012 - 4:49pm

Perhaps he's excluding the 40 games that don't matter in the last few weeks of the season, like Browns vs Dolphins.

by Kurt :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:52pm

I think it's more like Jets fans rooting for Tim Tebow to spectacularly fail if he becomes the QB, so they go in a different direction for 2013. Which also seems like a reasonable position to take.

by rageon :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 1:00pm

I also don't get the open hopefulness that the refs were horrible. Wouldn't an even better solution be that they do well, so that whether it's them or the prior guys we get to watch adequately-officiated games for the entire season.

Also, I just can't accept without any evidence at all that the 100 guys who had the job are without question the 100 most qualifies guys in the entire world. Is there anyone here who doesn't know of at least one person that happens to be in a job they suck at but for some reason or another still has it? It's not like NFL refs are part of some super-efficient meritocracy that ensures the absolute best will always rise to the top. I'm sure some of the replacements will be great, some average, some bad. Just like everything.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 1:03pm

Here's the thing though, the replacement refs aren't even the next level of refs at division 1 NCAA schools. They're the next rung down from that or retired refs.

I think it's virtually impossible any of these refs are among the 100 best in the world at their job.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 1:01pm

Picked cowboys to win division.Gaonts 2nd place and no playoffs. Before game . Now staying with picks

by theslothook :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 2:19pm

Couple observations now that I've watched the game a 2nd time:

1. Is it just me...or are the giants once again falling into the ugly trap of trying to stay "balanced" even when its completely obvious that a) their run game sucks, b) the giants potential for passing is really good. This is one of the huge culprits for their pathetic performance on offense yesterday

2) For all of reese's prowess, he has to be kicking himself for living with diehl for yet another season. I know the sb was great and all, but he was a massive liability last year and he didn't disappointing in that role in week 1 either. Eventually, they are going to have to hope some backup plays much better because diehl is obviously not going to get any better.

3) Dallas dbs actually did quite well overall.

4) This one is likely to get me shot on these forums, I just didn't like the way eli played this week. Yes, the o line was once again creaky, but he had some pretty obvious missed throws and it showed me why i still rail against eli being called elite. I think hes very good but I've seen so many games where he puts up all to familiar stinkers. Superbowls have apparently now placed him away ahead of romo and rivers, but i just don't think hes much apart from those 2(in the case of rivers, i think rivers is better still).

by Arson55 :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 2:44pm

I was not at all impressed by the replacement officials last night. It looked to me like the Giants offensive line were getting away with obvious holds repeatedly last night.

Obviously, I'm biased being a Cowboys fan, but I will say that I have no problems with the penalties they did call on the Cowboys, and that the Cowboys did get away with one on the Scandrick hold. But it was incredibly frustrating to see holds go uncalled most of the game until suddenly in the fourth quarter offensive holds start being called repeatedly.

For example look at New York's longest play of the night: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000058924/WK-1-Can-... Watch number 57, Victor Butler, as he tries to get to Eli.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 3:10pm

Tyron Smith got away with many holds on Paul himself.

Even with the real officials, holding happens all the time.

by Arson55 :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 4:25pm

Oh, I agree that holding happens frequently. And I'm not necessarily saying that the Giants were the only ones getting away with holding last night. But they were never once flagged for it. Yet the Cowboys got called for it repeatedly at the end of the game while trying to put the game away. It's not like they were any more egregious than the ones that weren't called earlier. Why the inconsistency? There shouldn't be a sudden shift at the end of the game like that.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 5:13pm

"Why the inconsistency? There shouldn't be a sudden shift at the end of the game like that."

Hey, my proposal is to just make most of it legal, then we don't have to worry so much about the inconsistency.

by akn :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 5:20pm

And that's the biggest knock against replacement refs. It's not that they make bad calls--all refs will make bad calls now and then (and all of us will disproportionately remember them)--it's just that the normal refs are fairly consistent in how they make those calls. Getting consistent is largely a function of experience, and that's something the replacements simply don't have at this level.

I was concerned that the game wouldn't go smoothly, with several minutes worth of zebra meetings destroying the flow of the game. While there were a couple of hiccups, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Then again, they had an extra 8th ref on the field, and last night represented the best of the replacements.

by BOS (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 2:47pm

How did the hold on Witten on 3rd & 2 behind the line of scrimmage turn into 3rd & 10? Shouldn't it have been 3rd & 12 or more? Was I the only person who saw this and was it just an error on NBC not denoting the yards to go appropriately or did the refs screw up? If it was in fact 3rd and 10 and should have been 12 or 13 the 1st down may have been in question (I don't remember how far past the marker Ogletree ended up).

by The Powers That Be :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 3:36pm

On that play, the hold occurred two yards past the line of scrimmage. At least, that's how they called it.

And the Ogletree reception went for 13 yards.

by VakAttack (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2012 - 1:33am

On the holding call against Vic Cruz in the second half, why did the ball go back behind the First Down Line? The foul was called beyond the first down marker and occurred after Martellus Bennett had made the reception and had gotten the first down. Any clarification? Am I remembering the events out of order?