Wizards

Giants can't allow 49ers to get to Manning again

201210071719623603659-p2.jpeg

Giants can't allow 49ers to get to Manning again

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The NFC title game was the low point for the New York Giants' offensive line last season.

While Tom Coughlin's team won the contest and went on to win the Super Bowl, most of the linemen recall it was the game they let quarterback Eli Manning down, literally.

Or as guard Kevin Booth put it: the game the line almost got ``Eli killed.''

Manning was sacked six times and hit six other times in the 20-17 overtime victory. The exhilaration of winning was coupled with more than a certain amount of soreness walking off the field. His uniform bore the signs of the attack: grass stains, mud and anything else that was on the field.

When the Giants (3-2) meet the 49ers (4-1) in San Francisco on Sunday in their first matchup since the conference championship, protecting Manning will be the No. 1 priority for Pat Flaherty's offensive line.

``That game was certainly something that we thought about all (offseason) even though we won the Super Bowl and we beat them in that game,'' guard Chris Snee said Wednesday. ``We still walked away saying that we didn't play well, we didn't do our job up front. That can motivate you though the offseason.''

Manning, who earned his second Super Bowl MVP in beating the Patriots in the title game, downplayed the hits, particularly in relation to the number of passes he threw that day. He unloaded a career-high 58 for 316 yards and two touchdowns, including what was then a go-ahead 17-yarder midway through the fourth quarter to current 49er Mario Manningham on a third-and-15 play.

``We also had 64 dropbacks last year,'' Manning said. ``You throw the ball that many times, you're going to take hits. Hopefully, we can have a good balance of the run and pass. You're going to get hit sometimes playing quarterback. You don't worry about that. Hopefully, you'll have enough time to get the ball out for the routes to develop and guys are getting open.''

The offensive line has done an outstanding job this season, limiting opponents to five sacks. Manning has had three games where he hasn't been sacked. The 49ers, however, have one of the top defenses in the league. They're No. 2 overall, giving up an average of 81.4 yards rushing and 181.2 passing.

Opponents have gained an average of 3.98 yards on first down - best in the league - and scored on just 22.2 percent of their possessions - third best overall.

``They have a good defense,'' center David Baas said. ``You've got to give them credit. They touched Eli way too many times, so that's something that we've got to focus on. Eli is tough and I feel like he's definitely somebody that will stand in there no matter what. But that's our job. We've got to keep him clean.''

Left tackle Will Beatty said the line has watched videotapes of last year's conference championship but he noted the 49ers are not the same team. They have some new schemes and new stunts.

``You still got to go out there and have fun,'' Beatty said. ``It's still a game. You're not looking at them as they're unstoppable. They're not looking at it as we're unstoppable. So, it's men going out there playing the game they love to play.''

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said he remembers seeing Manning getting up after every hit and competing.

``He is a magician,'' Harbaugh said. ``The things that he gets out of, gets into, the throws that he makes, things that he sees when he is able to execute, those are the words I would use to describe him. Also just a football player.

``That's about the highest compliment you can give a football player cause it encompasses so many things. That's the way we look at him.''

The Giants anticipate another hard-hitting game. Both contests against San Francisco last season were played at a very high tempo, and the 49ers seemingly are on a roll after outscoring the Jets and Bills, 79-3, over the past two weeks.

``They're playing awesome, they're playing great and they, especially the last two weeks, definitely played together,'' Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck said. ``Offense, special teams, defense and their coaching staff has them playing at a very high level and everybody knows about their talents.

``We've definitely got to go up there and play one of our best games to have an opportunity to beat them. But we have talent in this room and we'll be ready to play and I think it's going to be a great game.''

---

NOTES: TE Martellus Bennett (knee), DT Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), LB Chase Blackburn (hip), RB Andre Brown (concussion), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot-knee), S Kenny Phillips (knee) and CB Corey Webster (hand-hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. ... Coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks is improving and might practice this week. ... The Giants signed former Rutgers RB Joe Martinek to the practice squad.

Quick Links

5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

usatsi_10649028.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

RELATED: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RAMON SESSIONS

4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

Quick Links

Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

usatsi_10648782.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

RELATED: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RAMON SESSIONS

Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS