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BBI Feature: 2002 Giants @ Colts review ready

Matt in SGS : 7/24/2013 7:18 am
This next review comes from a Week 16 game at Indianapolis in 2002, the first time they would face Peyton Manning. The Giants looked like they were dead in the water at 6-6 after back to back losses to expansion Houston Texas and a horrible home loss to the Titans in OT.

Then, typical of Jim Fassel teams, they caught fire in December, and the Giants would go on to beat Washington and Dallas heading into this game in Indy. The Giants would need to win their last two games, at the Colts and then at home to the top seeded Eagles. They also would need another loss by the Falcons or Saints, both teams had begun collapsing late in the season.

This game featured Kerry Collins' perfect passing rating game, throwing 4 TDs, including 3 to Amani Toomer, one of them being a perfectly thrown 82 yard TD on a flea flicker. This also was the game in which Jeremy Shockey famously ran over a Colts defender, looking like a combination of Bavaro and Mike Ditka. Tiki Barber would also run for 2 TDs in a game that looked like a blowout and then turned into a shootout, with the Giants eventually winning 44-27.

I wanted to get this review in before camp started. Once training camp opens, with plenty of Giants news, I will probably take a break from the reviews, though I will see if I can get in the 1986 Giants @ Redskins game done before the season starts.

Enjoy! - ( New Window )
These are great Matt..  
Sean in PA : 7/24/2013 7:24 am : link
I loved this game, man when that 02 Giants offense was clicking it was nice to watch.
Great job as always Matt!  
truebluelarry : 7/24/2013 7:37 am : link
It is interesting to look back and relive these games in a new context.
One of the most memorable  
Mark from Jersey : 7/24/2013 8:11 am : link
regular season games for me. Mike Barrow was awesome that game, calling an autible for every autible Peyton threw at our defense.

That flee-flicker to Toomer was an amazing throw by Collins. Really showed what kind of an arm he had. He barely stepped into the throw and got it downt the field to Toomer.
Easily Collins' best non-playoff game as a Giant.  
Big Blue '56 : 7/24/2013 8:14 am : link
If I recall correctly,  
GiantFilthy : 7/24/2013 8:37 am : link
the defender that Shockey smashed had said a few disrespectful words about Shockey the week before. It was perfect payback.
This game was awesome.  
arcarsenal : 7/24/2013 8:42 am : link
Toomer was a fucking monster.

I remember thinking during this game that I had never seen a Giants offense as potent. It was weird seeing us just light it up offensively like that through the air. I grew up on Giant offenses that were usually run oriented and not very good so I almost couldn't believe my eyes when we had Toomer really emerge as one of the better WR's in football (totally got snubbed this season) and had weapons like Shockey and Barber.

Collins will never be Eli but when Collins was on, he threw some amazingly accurate passes. The throw to Hilliard streaking down the seam in the 2001 NFC Champ game was fucking gorgeous. You couldn't have ran right next to Ike and placed that ball any better.
Matt in SGS : 7/24/2013 9:34 am : link
what's crazy about this game also, and how much the Giants tore apart the Colts. The Colts were the #5 ranked defense in the NFL at the time. They still had talent that Mora (a defensive coach) and then Dungy (also a defensive coach) had built up.
Emlen'sGremlins : 7/24/2013 9:43 am : link
Guess you never saw the Y.A. Tittle Giants.
arcarsenal : 7/24/2013 9:59 am : link
I'm just under 30, so no.

I only really caught the tail end of the Simms era... not that we were an offensive juggernaut then, either. But I spent most of my childhood/teenage years watching Dave Brown, Danny Kanell and Kent Graham. Some absolutely pitiful offenses.

The Giants having something resembling a pro bowl WR was completely foreign to me until Amani Toomer hit his peak.
I remember this one vividly  
Kyle in NY : 7/24/2013 10:16 am : link
Amani was pro bowl caliber that season. He was phenomenal down the stretch. That was a really fun December.
Cherry to Alford : 7/24/2013 10:40 am : link
Something that makes his 2002 season even more impressive was that Ike was only able to play half the season if that. There really wasnt any other threat on the outside. They had Shockeys best year, and of course Tiki out of the backfield so that helped. But there wasnt another target on the outside that teams had to worry about.

Thanks again for another great review. I love being able to see these old games, really wish I taped all those from the 80s on
SanFranGiantsFan : 7/24/2013 11:01 am : link
If I remember correctly, Indy had some momenteum right before that Collins flea flicker. Then it was gone.
Fun game.  
an_idol_mind : 7/24/2013 11:11 am : link
However, I wasn't feeling all that good about things afterward. The offense was great, but the special teams gaffes at the end left me feeling like it was only a matter of time before the Giants got screwed by their horrid special teams.
Daryl Jones started 6 games at WR that year  
Aaron in MA : 7/24/2013 11:15 am : link
and caught 8 passes.
idol mind  
Matt in SGS : 7/24/2013 11:22 am : link
I actually mention that at the end of the review. This game had a bunch of harbingers that would bite them in the ass in San Francisco in the Wild Card.

The offense in both of those games looked great, making big plays all over the field with their skill guys. However, the Colts game had a few red flags

- Bober's long snaps were poor on almost all of the extra point attempts, and caused a miss by Bryant in once case
- Matt Allen as a punter was mediocre at best, and he had several poor punts in this game that put the Colts in good field position
- The Giants defense, with a big lead, had 2 cardinal sins. They got no pressure on Manning, and also allowed Wayne and Harrison to run free right through the middle of the defense for easy scores, particularly with Sehorn, Stoutmire, and Williams out of position and make up alot of ground on the scoreboard very quickly.

This was a 30-6 game at the start of the 4th quarter. With just under 5 minutes to go, the score was 37-27 and the Colts had all the momentum, until Fassel made an aggressive play call and decided to go for the throat and call for a pass to Toomer for his 3rd TD rather than run the clock which finally put the game away.

In San Francisco, they weren't so lucky, and we all know about Trey Junkin and "bummer".
remember seeing the flea-flicker live on TV in the lodge  
jlukes : 7/24/2013 11:34 am : link
at Shawnee Mountain while skiing
fond memories of that game  
jamalduff123 : 7/24/2013 2:35 pm : link
That Giants offense was really potent, makes the SF loss sting that much more.
Sean Payton as O.C. was fun!  
NYGBlue42 : 7/24/2013 3:10 pm : link
Love these reviews...  
rptl530 : 7/24/2013 5:10 pm : link
but minor correction. This is actually the 2nd time the Giants faced PManning, though the first time on the road.

This was a typical Fassel, Giants type game. Just when you think they're dead they pull out a stunner. The Fassel-led Giants just couldn't stand prosperity.
Matt in SGS : 7/24/2013 6:53 pm : link
you are right, I missed the 1999 game (and I went to that game too). I'll make that correction later. thanks.
mattnyg05 : 7/24/2013 7:41 pm : link
Love these!

Also, not to be a dick, but by 2002 Armstead was a Redskin.
santacruzom : 7/24/2013 7:53 pm : link
The flea flicker was the first play of the 2nd half if I'm correct.

The Colts' "rally" came afterward.
I loved the 2002 team  
jnoble : 7/24/2013 8:35 pm : link
our offense was on fire down the stretch. Rookie Shockey, Collins throwing frozen ropes to Toomer and Ike, Tiki Barber juking DBs out of their cleats....

And then just when thing seemed too good to be true, the 49ers playoff Meltdown happened. That game tramatized me. I still get worked up if I start to think about it too long
we've won two Championships with Gilbride and I'm not complaining...  
jnoble : 7/24/2013 8:46 pm : link
...but I wonder what our offense would be like with Fassel as OC running the 2002 style plays with our current roster. Eli takes the flipback from Wilson and fires the flea flicker downfield to Cruz!
Matt in SGS : 7/24/2013 8:56 pm : link
no worries, I'm looking for this kind of input. Gotta fire my fact checker, he sucks;)
These are great, thanks.  
bceagle05 : 7/24/2013 9:19 pm : link
Remember this game well. It's nice to see Shockey and Toomer showing so much affection towards one another back in the day haha.
Didn't read the review yet  
Route 9 in LEH : 7/24/2013 10:53 pm : link
but the field conditions at Giants Stadium were in such terrible shape in '02. It was the last year the stadium experimented with grass (mud) and I remember thinking the Giants offense was going to do something special on that nice clean turf. Boy did they ever.

Filth, yes it was Gibson or something and he said Shockey was no Tony G, then he plowed him over. Can't wait to read the review. Love old game talk.
The one play that stands out:  
Anakim : 7/24/2013 11:07 pm : link
Jeremy Shockey running over David Gibson. He ran him over like a truck
Toth029 : 7/25/2013 8:31 am : link
Link shows Shockey-Gibson
Click Here - ( New Window )
an_idol_mind : 7/25/2013 9:01 am : link
I think Fassel running the current offense would look a lot like 2012 - lots of yards, terrible play in the red zone.
Our offensive coordinator was Sean Payton,  
CT Charlie : 7/25/2013 9:34 am : link
and, yes, I wish TC would let Gilbride be creative occasionally.

Also, in the Shockey-bulldozer replay, Collinsworth commented on the Giants' quick rhythm on offense -- keeping the defense on their heels. THAT would be nice to see, too.
Anakim : 7/25/2013 12:29 pm : link
Man, I miss those uniforms. Those unis were much better than the ones we use today
One thing to remember about Sean Payton  
Matt in SGS : 7/25/2013 12:45 pm : link
and I mention it in the review, Fassel demoted him after they lost to the Eagles on a Monday Night. The Giants offense was struggling and Fassel took over the playcalling duties.

The often thrown around phrase was he "simplified" the offense and threw out the plays that didn't work. However, while that might have been true, what looks like happened was really a bigger hit on Collins than Payton. Payton's offense, as we've seen more since he took over with the Saints, was a high octane, big play offense, with a number of options. But we've heard rumblings about Collins' problems reading defenses, incorrectly calling audibles, etc. I think Toomer actually mentioned it in an interview on BBI last year. Essentially, Fassel stripped down Payton's offense, took out several of the reads and relied on Toomer, Shockey, and Tiki to make the plays and literally not allow Collins to audible at the line and run the play that's called, good or bad.

The Giants offense really hit it's stride late in the season...which is also when that Giants offensive line, with a bunch of undrafted free agents really gelled and became a strong unit. I always thought Payton got screwed by Fassel with that decision. But when the Giants won their last 4, Fassel got all the praise and Payton joined Parcells in Dallas the next season.
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