HardFoulSports.com writer Jim Bearor is the only Giants fan on a staff full of Bills fans. So naturally we had to talk a little trash. Hard Foul Co-Founder and Bills fan Evan Sally traded some emails with Jim over the past few days on the eve of Giants vs. Bills. It got a little heated.
Evan Sally to Jim Bearor (9/29)
Finally the game we’ve been waiting for since the day the schedule came out. I know you got love for the Bills Jim, since the Bills and Giants paths don’t cross very much. But now it’s game week and your 1-2 team needs this one badly. Unfortunately your Giants have to come play in New York State for the first time since the last time they played in Buffalo, (do you ever feel shame that your team plays their home games in New Jersey?) and they’re about to run into a Bills buzzsaw. The defense just got done making Ryan Tannehill look pathetic, and Tyrod Taylor looks like a seasoned vet only 3 starts into his career.
That being said, I wanted to give your Giants some respect. Eli somehow won the Super Bowl twice and no one can take that away from him. And since he did it against the hated Patriots, Bills fans will forever be grateful. (Sidenote: could you imagine how much more insufferable the Pats and their fans would be had they won 6 Super Bowls? Seriously, thank you for beating them twice.) Odell Beckham Jr. is a beast of a player and one of the most enjoyable players to watch in the league. Even Victor Cruz is a great player and I enjoy a good salsa dance, just not this week of course. Like I said your Giants deserve a little respect and I was ready to give it to them.
But then I remembered your quarterback looks like this:
and then I read this gem of an article: Giants ready to stop Rex Ryan’s Read Option. Huh? Does Spags (Giants D-Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) watch the games? I’m not sure if the Bills have run read option at all this season and if they have, they’ve done it at most 5 times. Tyrod’s been dropping back and beating teams with his arm so far. I hope for your sake Spags is trolling or trying to psyche the Bills out or something because if he’s preparing for something the Bills don’t even do, I fear for your Giants.
Jim to Evan (9/29)
I’m always a little worried about my New York Football Giants. Don’t get me wrong, you know I’m the first one to defend Eli and Coughlin, but every single Giants game I’ve ever watched has been accompanied by an uneasy “F**k, this is about to go so wrong, isn’t it?” feeling. You surely know the queasiness I speak of. Even though Eli hasn’t thrown a pick yet this year, I’m conditioned to expect one or two knucklehead throws a game, followed by the “Aw, shucks” face. Coughlin’s a hell of a leader and motivator, but he’s also not great with time management (same with Eli) and his teams seem to have more lapses in focus and judgement than other squads. All of this being said, yes I still trust this quarterback/coach duo, because they’ve brought us to the promised land — twice.
I also admit that your Bills are on the come up. This is easily the most excited I’ve seen the fanbase since Ryan Fitzpatrick had you all believing in magic. For real though, that roster is stacked, you guys definitely have the talent advantage by a wide margin. You know I’m a big Tyrod fan too, I think he’ll end up being that franchise QB you’ve been missing ever since the great J.P. Losman gave up the game for his faith (or got released or something). All jokes aside, I think T-Mobile is really going to be good and I’m happy for you.
But yeah, it has been a while since our teams have faced off. About four years actually. I’m sure you remember. It was a classic December game at the Ralph, snowy as hell, and Ahmad Bradshaw made a name for himself, single-handedly winning us the game and keeping playoff hopes alive. Here’s a picture to help jog your memory just in case you forgot.
He ran for 104 yards and 3 TDs. That game was a lot of fun to watch, I really enjoyed it. Of course Bradshaw isn’t on the Giants anymore, and both of our teams are in radically different spots than they were four years ago.
Instead of Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyioura, and my favorite one-handed defensive lineman JPP, Spagnuolo has a bunch of young unproven players. Sexy Rexy — one of the best defensive minds in the game — is on your sideline now, and he has to be tickled pink by the elite group of players he gets to coach. Your skill position players on offense are reminiscent of every Madden fantasy draft team I’ve ever assembled, and I JUST FOUND OUT VICTOR CRUZ HURT HIS CALF AGAIN.
F**k, this is about to go so wrong, isn’t it?
At least we still have Odell, Eli, Coughlin, and Spags.
All hope is not lost.
Maybe there won’t be salsa this Sunday, but there will still probably be some very creative dance moves brought to you by the guy you passed over in last years draft in favor of Sammy Watkins. I can tell you one thing we won’t be seeing, and that’s the read option. Make fun of Spags all you like, but what’s going on here could be psychological warfare of the deepest kind, like Inception. Maybe Tyrod and the offense hadn’t planned on running the read option much to this point, but the way Spagnuolo put it, he made it seem like it was their idea all along. Don’t be surprised If Spagnuolo comes out of this game looking like Obi-Wan Kenobi after he Jedi mind tricked Greg Roman into running the read option or something like that. Whatever, I really have no idea what he’s talking about, but hey, I trust him.
That’s really where most of my confidence comes from as a Giants fan. As I stated earlier, Coughlin and Eli have their flaws, but they can still get it done on any given Sunday. I’m not shocked that Vegas has Buffalo giving 6 or 7 points here, they’re the better team. It wouldn’t surprise me either if Tyrod had a bad game (he’s due for one sooner or later), especially as teams start to build their film collection on him. Success hasn’t quite become the culture yet in Buffalo, and this is an opportunity for Big Blue to come in and steal this game before the Bills really get rolling.
Evan to Jim (9/30)
I love me some Sammy Watkins. Dude has shown some freakish ability in his time in Buffalo. And he’s had to, having to make some acrobatic plays to catch balls from the shoddy quarterbacks known as EJ Manuel and Kyle Orton. Now that Tyrod has arrived it looks like he’s going to finally get a chance to play with a real quarterback and show off the ability that made him the 4th overall pick. You’re lucky that it looks like he’s finna be out this weekend or else I’m pretty sure he’d flash some of his awesome potential on your weak secondary.
Unfortunately look at the words I was just using. Chance. Potential. With Odell Beckham Jr you’re not using those words anymore, his awesomeness is very real. And it burns me up man. I’m jealous of what you have. And it’s not just about the talent, in fact I’m still not sold that OBJ is a better player than Sammy. But OBJ has become a bonafide star. On the cover of Madden, the face of Head and Shoulders, I see him everywhere, taunting me. All I think is “that should be Sammy on Madden and advertising shampoo!” It’s very frustrating.
But as a Bills fan when we get down in the dumps, you know what we do?
We look at Mario…
Aren’t they terrifying? Aren’t you nervous right now? Our defensive line we’ve lovingly named the Cold Front is our pride and joy and it’s going to be your worst nightmare.
On Sunday, your beloved OBJ will be dealing with a great Buffalo secondary. And I’m sure he’ll get open because he’s a great player. But none of it will matter because Eli will spend the afternoon using Ralph Wilson Stadium’s turf like a seat cushion. Have you seen your offensive line? Patchwork at best, tire fire at worst.
I haven’t even mentioned AFC defensive player of the week Preston Brown fresh off of a pick six of Ryan Tannehill. Or Ronald Darby, the best rookie corner in the NFL. Or the fact they’re being coached by one of the best defensive coaches in the NFL in Sexy Rexy Ryan. Tom Brady may have given this defense a spanking but now they’re ready to ball out. They have a lot of frustration to take out and unfortunately for you the Giants offense is their next victim. Come to think of it, I’m genuinely worried about the mental health of your quarterback, because when Ryan Tannehill left the field last Sunday he looked like a broken man.
Jim to Evan (5:20pm 10/1)
If you’re expecting Eli Manning to show up and play like Ryan Tannehill on Sunday, you’re in for a rude awakening. Our offensive line could be problematic, and Eli may very well be hitting the turf over and over again, but he’s going to get back up every single time. He’s taken beating before, and he’s weathered all of them, 181 games and counting.
This one’s from the 2011 NFC Chamionship against San Fran. Elisha “Yes That’s My Real Name” Manning was sacked 6 times and hit 12, yet managed not turn the ball over and rack up 300-2TDs against an elite defense.
Your “Cold Front” is legit, and the #BillsMafia can always be counted on to create a hostile atmosphere. I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that Eli doesn’t give a shit how good you are, or how you’re going to knock him on his ass repeatedly. He’s been there, done that.
Tyrod, on the other hand, has not. He’s been in the league for a few years, but he’s only started 3 (I’m counting the first game because as far as I’m concerned, Matt Cassell doesn’t matter). As we’ve already discussed, teams are just starting to get film on him as a pro, and that means defenses will start to catch on to some of his tricks. I think he has a bright future, but he hasn’t been in an ugly, nasty, all-out brawl of a football game yet. If that ends up being the case, I won’t be worrying about the psyche of my battle-tested field general that has been bloodied up before, I’ll be smiling in the inside (only because I’ll be surrounded by drunk savages) when your new and shiny T-Mobile gets dinged up. I wouldn’t worry about it if was you though, those scratches and bumps give a quarterback some character.
Evan to Jim (6:25pm 10/1)
Thanks for worrying about Tyrod building some character. Bills fans really appreciate your concern and I’m sure Tyrod would too, if it weren’t for the fact that his entire professional career has been a character building exercise. People told him he couldn’t play quarterback in the NFL, that he would be a better wideout, never mind the fact that he was the ACC Player of the Year. When he suck to his guns and didn’t switch positions he fell to the 6th round of the draft, and while I’m sure he was happy to be a professional, to be stuck behind the super healthy, elite Super Bowl Champion that is Joe Flacco is a fate far worse than taking couple hits may be on Sunday. Tyrod was staring straight down the barrel of obscurity and he spent everyday in Baltimore working his ass off to make sure people would know his name. And improbably here he is, leading one of the top scoring offenses in the NFL and if he keep it up, he’ll become a household name. I’d say the guy has build a bit of character.
Also I really can’t believe you brought up your pass rush. Do you really think they’ll be “explosive” enough on Sunday? I wouldn’t expect your edge rushers to have much “burst” on the outside. Tyrod has a pretty quick release too, so even if they get close to him I’d expect for him to get the ball out like a “rocket”. I mean let’s get real, do you really think they’ll have the “fire” to “work” and contain T-Mobile? Oh by the way:
So buckle up my friend. I know you’re going to the game on Sunday, so it’s pretty cool that you’ll get to experience our beautiful stadium. But I’d advise you to not walk in there expecting to leave happy. I’d tell the same to Mr. Coughlin, Mr. Manning and Mr. Beckham Jr. too. How many times do I have to say it but your boys are about to walk into a buzzsaw of 70,000 people looking to help their heroes to annihilate you. When the Giants are down by 21 in the 3rd quarter and your tailgate buzz finally wears off, take a look around the Ralph. Enjoy looking at 70,000 euphoric people celebrating your favorite team getting their heads caved in. Just trust me you won’t want to look at the field, because it’s going to be ugly.
Jim to Evan (9:39pm 10/1)
Oh I have no doubt leaving the stadium is going to be the worst part of my whole trip. First off, I expect to have a full-fledged hangover by the end of the 3rd quarter, and by the end of the game I’ll be running on fumes. Then think about the crowd of people I’ll be walking with — your fellow fans will either be drunk, loud, and triumphant or drunk, loud, and salty. In both of these scenarios, I plan on keeping my head low in quiet excitement or quiet disappointment, and I can’t imagine a scenario where it’s really an enjoyable experience.
I guess the way I finished that last email may have led you to believe that I was attacking your QBs character, but that’s not what I meant. You don’t have to defend Tyrod to me, I’m one of the people who thinks he has what it takes to make it in this league. All I’m saying is he still has his fair share of humbling “welcome to the NFL” moments to look forward to. New England managed to provide a few of these a couple of weeks ago, pressuring him relentlessly and making him uncomfortable throughout.
Big Blue’s pass rush has been weak to this point, but it wouldn’t shock me if someone like Jonathan Hankins or Robert Ayers found themselves in the backfield a few times this Sunday (your offensive line hasn’t exactly been dominant either). I have to say, it did seem a little silly when Spags called out the read option as a point of emphasis, but if that’s what he’s preparing for, I have to believe he’s also going to have his players in position to contain T’s mobility.
I’m sure Taylor will have his moments that ignite the crowd and make thing a little uncomfortable for me as a fan in an opponents stadium, but I don’t think it’s going to be all sunshine and rainbows for your quarterback.
Right now, he’s the protagonist of a movie before the s**t hits the fan. He’s Daniel-San before he had his leg swept. He’s Frodo before he left The Shire. He’s Rick Grimes before he had to kill Shane. He’s Happy Gilmore before Chubbs dies. He’s Michael Corleone before he got sucked into the mob life. You get the picture.
The future is bright for your QB and your team — hell, they could make a playoff run this year. But not before Tyrod sees some more trials and tribulations.
I don’t know what to make of my New York Giants and their prospects this year, but I know they’ve led all of their games by at least 10 heading into the 4th quarter. They might not be as all-around good as your squad this year, but I fully trust the men who are in charge of making decisions, and I love the guy who we have leading the charge. How can you not love this guy?
Evan to Jim (1:29am 10/2)
Speaks for itself.
– Jim Bearor (@JimBearor)
– Evan Sally (@Evan_Sally)