Tennessee Titans-New York Giants: Tale of the tape

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As the 2008 NFL season continues its journey down the path to Tampa, two teams have stood above and beyond their competitors.

Fueled by smash-mouth football and the unlikely emergence of Kerry Collins, the Tennessee Titans have raced out to an impressive 9-0 start. The New York Giants apparently aren’t content with resting on the laurels of last year’s improbable Super Bowl victory, as indicated by their 8-1 record.

Both squads have lived up to their nicknames by stepping up as NFL Goliaths in 2008.

Who has the edge so far? Let’s allow the tale of the tape to decide.

QB: Eli, meet your predecessor

Kerry Collins and Eli Manning are the past and present of the New York Giants’ QB position. In relief of Vince Young, Collins has stepped up as a leader of the undefeated Titans. After living in the shadow of another Manning, Eli is carving his own niche as he continues his development into one of the league’s better signal-callers.

Kerry’s been great, but Eli is finally coming into his own.

Verdict: NY

RB: The battle of the nicknames

Smash and Dash vs. Earth, Wind and Fire.

Despite constantly facing 8-man defensive fronts, Chris Johnson and LenDale White have smash and dashed their way to success in 2008. Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw have each averaged over five yards per carry.

The Giants have the league’s #1 rushing attack (168.9 yards per game), so I’ll give them a slight edge over the Titans at RB.  

Verdict: NY

FB: Sarge vs. Hedgecock

Ahmard Hall is one of the NFL’s best kept secrets at FB. The former Marine is a blocking beast and is also a receiving threat out of the backfield. According to John Madden, NY’s Madison Hedgecock is the best blocking FB in the NFL.

I like Hall’s versatility and Hedgecock’s ability to pave the way for his running backs.  

Verdict: Even   

WR: A Giant mismatch

The Giants have a true #1 WR (Plaxico) and other guys who are stepping up (Toomer, Smith, Hixon). 

As for the Titans, Brandon Jones is playing well but the starters (The Justins) have been inconsistent to say the least.

There’s no debating this one.  

Verdict: NY

TE: Bo vs. The Boss

Bo Scaife has emerged from former Pro Bowler Alge Crumpler’s shadow to lead the team in receptions (42).

Kevin Boss may not have Jeremy Shockey’s ability, but he is a lot less of a headache. Boss has quickly become a fan-favorite in NY with his solid play.

Kevin may be “The Boss”, but Bo knows he has the edge in this matchup.

Verdict: Titans  

OL: The best of both worlds  

Paving the way for the league’s #1 rushing attack, the Giants offensive line has excelled at run-blocking this year. The Titans’ offensive line has been equally dominant in pass-protection, as evidenced by starting QB Kerry Collins only being sacked 4 times in 9 games.

Verdict: Even

DL: Trench warfare

Albert Haynesworth leads the way for a Titan defensive line that is equally adept at rushing the passer and stopping the run. Despite losing perhaps its top two performers from 2007 (Osi and Strahan), led by Justin Tuck, the Giants continue to be strong in the defensive trenches.

On the interior, as good as Fred Robbins has played for the Giants this year, he’s no Albert Haynesworth. I’ll give the edge to the Giants on the exterior though, with Tuck and Kiwanuka getting the nod over Jevon and KVB.  

Verdict: Even  

LB: No contest

The Titan linebacking group is led by steady veterans Keith Bulluck and David Thornton. Starting MLB Stephen Tulloch tends to overpursue at times, but his speed has been an asset to the Titan defense as of late.

For the Giants, Antonio Pierce is a great student of the game and is a leader on their defense. At outside linebacker, Chase Blackburn is playing better and his stop of Brian Westbrook on a crucial 4th and 1 sealed a Giant victory over the Eagles last week.

Verdict: Titans

DB: It’s all about playmaking  

Finny, Nick Harper, Griff and Hope have accounted for all of Tennessee’s interceptions (14). Finnegan is emerging as a Pro Bowl caliber corner and Griff isn’t far behind at safety.

The Giants are currently #2 in the NFL against the pass, but the lives of their corners are made much easier by the presence of their great pass rush. At safety, Kenny Phillips is making strides and may be one of the league’s best safeties in a couple of years.

Verdict: Titans

Special Teams 

K: Rob Bironas is great, but John Carney has made 21/22 FG’s while hitting on all of his extra points.

Verdict: Slight edge to NY

P: Craig Hentrich and Jeff Feagles are veteran punters who do a great job of pinning the opposition inside the 20′s. 

Verdict: Even

Returns: Chris Carr has been a pleasant surprise at KR for the Titans. NY’s Domenik Hixon is one of the league’s better punt returners.

Verdict: KR- Titans, PR- NY

Final Take:

The Titans and the Giants are two strong teams with a lot of talented players on both sides of the football. 

Who is the better team? The Titans are undefeated, but the G-Men are the defending champs. I’d say it’s a toss-up for now. Maybe we will find out for sure in a couple of months.

Now, it’s your turn. Titans or Giants?     

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28 Responses to “Tennessee Titans-New York Giants: Tale of the tape”

  1. Bill Sullivan Says:

    This site has become a JOKE! Why did you change it? I’m on the verge of taking it off my bookmark. It used to be a Giants’ site. Now it is ridiculous. Please bring back the “old” format. It was great. Where are the writers I loved like Rich O’Callahgan? Come on. Give us some REAL Giants news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Evan Says:

    Bill, you’re on the NFL Giants community page. If you look right above, you’ll see a link to “Big Blue 101″ which is the new link. Or just head to bigblue101.com. Hope that helps.

  3. Evan Says:

    Bill, you’re on the NFL Giants community page. If you look right above, you’ll see a link to “Big Blue 101″ which is the new link. Or just head to bigblue101.com. Hope that helps.

  4. pat. T Says:

    I think the Giants are much better then the Titans. I feel like Eli, Burress, Toomer, Hixon and Smith can make a ton more plays then Collins and his receivers. And i think thats wat it comes down to, becuase both teams are as good as it gets when it comes to stopping the run. And i also like the Giants DB’s better. The Titans DB’s are undersized and matches up against big receivers like Burress they will struggle. Plus the Giants have more depth then the Titans in that position! So i say Giants are by far better!

  5. Dave Says:

    Pat, are you serious. The Titans DB’s are possibly the best in the league. The numbers don’t lie. Our undersized db’s hit harder and make big plays on the ball just about every time something comes their way. NY’s db’s don’t even begin to match-up with the Titans’. Saying the Giants are far better is a ridiculous statement. NY’s receivers are better, but that’s about it. The Titans have played a tougher schedule ( as far as opponents wins/losses) and have ZERO losses to ANYONE. The Giants got beat by the Browns….the stinkin Browns.

  6. Kevin G Says:

    I honestly do not know who would win this game, I think that as a whole the titans defense is better, and that the giants have been getting by on their pass rush, which our offensive line is good enough to contain. by the flip side their offence is much more balanced than ours, it will come down to 2 things, our front 7′s ability to stop the run and eli’s ability to take care of the ball. if he throws 2+ picks (what the titans secondary is close to averaging) the titans win this game, if eli takes care of the ball i think the giants win.

  7. pat. T Says:

    Dave the Titans played tougher teams? I dont know about that! The Giants have play in the hardest division in the league and have beaten all 3 other teams. Kerry Collins cannot withstand the Giants pass rush. And no the Titans DB’s aren’t anywhere close to the best in the league. I’ve seen a couple of Titan games where Nick Harper was burned a couple of times, one in specific though against Baltimore he couldn’t guard Derrcik mason. And we both know the Giants WR’s out match your DB’s. Therefore the Giants are better. Like i said before you know both teams are gonna stop the run. So it comes down to the passing game and everyone knows your receivers suck! Titans WILL NOT MAKE IT TO THE SUPERBOWL!

  8. Kevin G Says:

    @ pat.
    I disagree, the titans offencive line has allowed 6 sacks n 9 games. that is an amazing feat, and there line is so good at pass protection, and kerry is very good at reading the blitz and finding the hot reciever. that I would be shocked if kerry was sacked more than once in this game.
    2: yes nick harper can be burned, and the titans know it, that is why there is almost always a safety over him to limit the damage, they can afford to do this because it is ok to leave Finnegan in man coverage, (I honestly believe that Finnegan VS Plaxico is one of the many marque match ups this game would bring) and when you are only rushing 4, there are not a lot of open passing lanes.
    3) yes, our receivers are not the best in the world, but they are good enough, especially if the giants put 8 men in the box like most teams do against the titans. no offense, but the giants secondary is no were near as good as the titans, and I think the titans receivers could make enough plays to keep the giants defense honest
    in summery, yes both teams can stop the run and run it well, but the titans are also 2nd in the league against the pass for a reason, and this ranking has been maintained without our best pass rusher KVB, who has been out for a month and will be back very soon.
    this is by no mans a sure thing, but this is probably the Superbowl match up, and it will be an amazing game. at least the titans did not lose to the bowns :)

  9. pat. T Says:

    Ok Kevin i dont know if you saw the Ravens vs. Titans game where Collins was sacked more than once, so dont be shocked if it happens again. And yes i know the Ravens defense is far better then the Giants(and Tiatns), but they also knew what gaps to blitz from and when to blitz. And the Giants will obviously watch film of that and realize the Tians were lucky to win that game. And Burress vs. Finnegan? hahahahaha! Plax would win that match up every time. FYI in that same game the Titans receivers dropped a ton of balls. Oh and by the way im not a Giants fan i just know their far better than the Titans(among other teams). The Titans record lies. And Collins WILL NOT LEAD YOUR TEAM TO THE SUPERBOWL! MARK MY WORDS :D

  10. Drexel Perry Says:

    Thanks for the comments guys…I was hoping that this subject would generate some good dialogue.
    If these teams were to meet down the road, I would love to watch the matchup between the Titan offensive line and the Giant D-line.
    I didn’t make mention of it in my post, but wouldn’t it be great to see Jeff Fisher get the best of a Tom Coughlin squad once again?

  11. Kevin G Says:

    @ pat
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=281005033
    box score for the titans ravens game, no sacks from either side, check your facts please.
    and my mistake, we are currently 3rd against the pass,
    and if Rex Grossmen can lead the bears to the Superbowl, than Kerry Collins can do it, I think we can all agree that he is better than Rex.

  12. pat. T Says:

    Kevin if you wanna go there about me checking my facts then you should consider hitting the spell check button. Examples its Grossmen(Grossman), Summery(summary), offence(offense) just a couple examples for you. But back to football, Rex is much better then Kerry and he also had MUCH BETTER WR’s than you do in Bernard Berrian, Muhsin Muhammed, and Devin Hester. Plus the Bears had a great special teams, one of the best kick/punt returners in history of the league. And Chris Carr sucks…

  13. Football Fanatics Says:

    I’ll go with the Titans for now. If they lose to the Jags on Sunday, then I think the Giants are the clear cut #1 team.

  14. Dave Says:

    Pat, your lack of football knowledge is amazing. You want to keep bringing up the Raven’s game, but who won that game? These are the same Ravens that beat the Browns by 10 points. Those same Browns beat the Giants by 21 points. If Chris Carr sucks, I’d hate so see how good he’d be if he were decent. Finnegan can hang with ANYBODY, up to and including Burress. Oh yeah, the Titans’ opponents have more wins and less losses than the Giants’ opponents, so yes the Titans have played a tougher schedule ( you’d know that if you really knew anything about football, though).

  15. Will Says:

    Drexel, I agree with all of your observations except running back.
    Ahmad Bradshaw is averaging just over 4 carries and 22 yards a game. I don’t consider this to be a significant contribution, and for this reason, I’d call the running back matchup as Even.

  16. pat. T Says:

    Dave i keep bringing up the Ravens game because it was the one full Titans game i saw and i saw the Ravens defense DOMINATE YOUR OFFENSE IN EVERY ASPECT. But ok last week your team played the Bears. With Kyle Orton(their starting QB, in case ypu didn’t know) the Bears would’ve easily won that game. And im not predicting the Jags will beat you, but its very possible if their run stopping defense can step up. Dont worry I’ll explain why. First because you cant throw against Mathis and if you do, it’ll most likely be incomplete or picked off. So that gives them the advantage to rotate their coverage to your number 2 WR, double your tight end, and/or put a safety in the box. Finnegan is an over hyped corner, he’s undersized and if he was so good teams wouldn’t throw his way. You say i know nothing about football. Yet all you’ve really said to prove your point is “the Titans’ opponents have more wins and less losses than the Giants’ opponents”. Dude that doesn’t mean you know football, those are just stats(you dont even have to watch the game to know that). Remember that the Tiatns barely beat the Packers, and in that game Donald Driver had 136 yds and greg Jenning had 79. With both receivers having at least one catch over 40 yds. That doesnt speak highly of Finnegan who is suppost to be your best corner. Oh since you like stats so much i’ll give you one more to prove Chris Carr sucks, Carr hasn’t ran a single punt/kick back for a touchdown. In fact his longest return has been for 52 yds, and thats why the Titans have been giving Paul Williams & Laveale Hawkins the oppurtunity to return punts/kicks as well. :D

  17. pat. T Says:

    Will, the Giants have to have the advantage when it comes to the rushing attack if their the number one rushing team in the league.

  18. Drexel Perry Says:

    Pat,
    Hawkins and Williams haven’t returned punts/kicks all year:
    http://www.nfl.com/teams/statistics?team=TEN
    Carr hasn’t scored a TD, but he’s done a solid job returning kicks. Not too many Titan fans are going to complain about his performance so far.
    As for Finnegan, he’s a tough little corner who is playing pretty well this year. Not bad for a guy who’s undersized and was drafted in the 7th round out of Samford.
    Even if I do disagree with you on a few things, thanks for taking the time to stop by and contribute to the conversation.

  19. pat. T Says:

    Drexel your right Hawkins and Williams haven’t returned kicks that was my mistake. I got a little confused and should’ve said Michael Griffin and Chris Davis. My bad. And im not saying Finnegan is a bad corner. Not at all. I just know he cant keep up with a guy like Plaxico Burress, but your fellow fans seem to disagree(not that they have real credibility).

  20. Dave Says:

    Pat you must have a crystal ball to be able to tell how bad the Titans would have lost to the Bears with Orton or how bad Finnegan would lose the match-up with Burress. I like stats because numbers don’t lie. They also don’t make unfounded statements about things that “could or “would” or “should have” happened. I’ve watched EVERY Titans game this year and because I live in NJ, I’ve also watched a large number of Giants and Eagles games. I have no problem telling anyone that I think the Giants are a great team, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to say they are the best team in the league given that there is a franchise in the league with a better ( undefeated) record. Acting like you know doesn’t mean you do. Throwing out a bunch of mumbo jumbo like such and such sucks and such and such couldn’t possibly cover such and such is just ridiculous and PROVES what little you know about football, YET AGAIN! Thanks for stopping by and stirring the pot, though. I, at least, appreciate having someone to debate my Titans stellar season with. And for the record, I certainly didn’t think the Titans would be where they are right now, but I am certainly not complaining.

  21. Dave Says:

    Pat. please do go to NFL.com and look up the numbers on the Titans DB’s. All four starters are in the top 23 for interceptions and 3 of the 4 are in the top 3… I’ll take those “worthless” stats all day every day.

  22. Dave Says:

    Since I’m on a roll. Mathis has 3 int’s for 49 yards and 0 td’s. He also has 4 passes defended.
    Finnegan’s numbers: 4int’s for 100yds and 1 td. 15 passes defended.
    Maybe ( and that’s a big maybe) Finnegan has been thrown at more, but QB’s and offensive coordinators alike are learning that that’s not a good idea.

  23. Dave Says:

    My appologies to Rasheen Mathis. I got his numbers confused for Deltha Oneal’s. Mathis has 147 int yards and 2 td’s. Also 8 passes defended.

  24. pat. T Says:

    Dave about the Titans DB’s that proves my point that their other teams aren’t afraid to throw the ball against your corners. Plus they obviously can’t run the ball against you. The Titans have really only played one legitament offensive team and thats the Colts. So we’ll have to see what happens in the playoffs, but its funny you say im throwing worthless info or in your words “mumbo jumbo” when your throwing all these stats at me and talking all this b.s like you know something about football. Because if you knew about football you’d know stats don’t mean ANYTHING! My point is i doubt the Titans receivers can make enough plays when a team takes away their run game… And i guess you bought the same crystal ball i did since you know that offensive coordinators & QB’s are learning not to throw Finnean’s way.. hahahaha

  25. Dave Says:

    My crystal ball says Finnegan will be in the Pro Bowl. Other teams HAVE to throw the ball against our defense. Not too many teams can/have run the bell well against the Titans, so it’s only natural that they have to throw against them. In the NFL world the great players have great stats. Those great stats lead to BIG paydays. Whether you think stats mean anything is a moot point. I am not a big “stat” guy, but numbers don’t lie. They may paint only part of the picture, but stats are tracked for a reason. Quiet honestly I like when the Titans are underrated and overlooked. It’s people like you that I think about every time the Titans find a way to win regardless of stats. I’m a big believer that any team can win any game. They are all professionals and they all get paid to play. 9-0 is only another “stat” to you, I suppose, but it’s the best record in the league and any/every team would like to have that record right now.

  26. pat. T Says:

    Dave oh man what can i say.. Ok your not a big stat guy, yet thats the only way you can get your point across. But that statement you made about great players having great stats isn’t always true. Example there are a couple of great corners in the NFL that don’t get alot of attention because they don’t pick alot of balls off, but QB’s don’t even think of throwing their way. But i’ll fill you in on a little secret you probably didn’t know, stats can be very deceeving. Anyways if i were a Titnas fan i’d think it’d be better not going into the playoffs undefeated because it creates uneccasary pressure that a young team won’t handle well. Quite honestly i also belive any team can win any game. But i just don’t think Titans will make the Superbowl..

  27. Brandon Buchanan Says:

    I think the Giants answered all of the questions this week. The run game has been awesome, Eli is managing the game masterfully, and the coaching has been superb.
    Game over…Kerry will literally end up on a stretcher after this game.

  28. Dave Says:

    Yeah, Kerry really blew it. I’d like to believe Giants’ fans aren’t all windbags, but you guys are making it difficult.

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