Giants hope to take advantage of first-half schedule

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants began this season by dropping the first two games and not looking very good in the process. But, as fate would have it, the Giants are never as bad as they appear under Tom Coughlin, who never stops striving to improve his team’s play. They’ve won the next two games and looked very good doing it.

“We’re trying like heck to be the best we can be,” said Coughlin. “We’re trying to improve on a weekly basis. We’re trying to do the things we didn’t do in the beginning. We’ve had some takeaways, we’ve had pretty good control of the ball, with the exception of the one the other day. We’ve done some things that worked together as a team, so I’m hoping that continues.”

Last year, the Giants fell out of contention early by losing their

first six games. This year, after going 0-2, they needed to win some games to avoid a similar fate.

“Definitely it’s good to get those two wins, get two in a row, get back to even, but we’re still down in the division, so we can’t let off the gas,” QB Eli Manning told reporters on Monday. “We’ve got to keep working to get better each and every week. Another huge game this weekend, so because of our start, they’re all important, they’re all big for us. We’ve got to find a way to win this game.”

And that game would be the one coming up this Sunday against the Atlanta at MetLife Stadium. The Falcons seem to be a perfect opponent for the surging Giants and their suddenly potent offense.

Atlanta may have one best offenses in the league (tied for 1st in yards w/Indianapolis and 2nd in PPG with 32.8) but their defense is near the bottom. They are 28th against the run and 30th vs the pass.

The past two weeks, the Giants’ offense has shredded JJ Watt and Houston and then squashed the 4th ranked Redskins in DC.

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Giants’ scouts, front office featured in NFL Network series

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, NFL Network will be premiering the first episode in a four-part series called Finding Giants. There will be a new episode every Tuesday through October 21.

The show is a must-see for New York football fans, providing viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the front office of the Giants and the process of finding the future stars for the organization (view trailer).

Finding Giants offers an in-depth look at scouting and team building in today’s NFL and shows what it takes to find and draft the best players to fit an organization. Finding Giants will also give fans a unique look at the personal side of working in the NFL as scouts and their wives balance life on the road with family life at home.

Additionally, Finding Giants will show footage inside the Giants’ draft war room during the 2014 NFL Draft, in which the Giants selected such players as Odell Beckham Jr., Weston Richburg and Andre Williams.

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Demps moves up on the depth chart

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants signed safety Quintin Demps this past offseason primarily to be a kick returner and for depth at safety. But sometimes, things take a turn once the season gets underway.

USATSI_8107934_110579513_lowresDemps has been tapped to start over the incumbent, Stevie Brown, at free safety until further notice. Brown, who is returning this season after missing the 2013 campaign with a torn ACL, has played well, but has not shown the ballhawking ability that won him the job back in 2012.

Head coach Tom Coughlin was asked why the change was made.

“Just to try to increase the play that we’re getting in the middle of the field, trying to make sure that we get Stevie (Brown) to be in the best spot he can be in as well,” the coach explained.

Demps responded by playing a solid game vs the Redskins last Thursday. He had seven total tackles with an INT and two passes defended.

“He’s very fast,” Coughlin said of Demps. “He’s a good returner, he catches the ball well, he’s been a veteran in the secondary, he’s played in the secondary.”

It’s been a trying year thus far for the Giants as they try to make all the new parts on their roster fit together.

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Beckham plans on making his debut vs Falcons

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants will not practice today, as it is players’ day off. Yesterday, they were out on the field almost in full force. MLB Jon Beason (foot/toe) did a “little”, LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) was “better” and first round pick, WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring), is closer to making his NFL debut this week.

What does head coach Tom Coughlin have to see from Beckham before that happens?

“There are a lot of things,” said Coughlin. “He has to practice, he has to practice consecutive days, he has to be able to show us that he’s not only strong enough but can endure day after day, so there’s some room here to make some progress and impress everybody.”

Coughlin also said Beckham does not have to be the punt returner to be active for the game.

“No, he doesn’t have to be that to get on the field, no,” the coach said.

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NFC East at the quarter pole: Giants third

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

After four weeks, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys sit atop the NFC East at 3-1. The Giants are third at 2-2 and the Washington Redskins are last at 1-3.

Last Thursday, the Giants routed the Redskins in Washington, 45-14 for their second straight victory.

Yesterday, Philadelphia shocked the 49ers early with two special teams TDs and a pick six on defense, but San Francisco scored the final 16 points to win the game, 26-21. The Eagles had no points on offense and a mere 11 first downs, with only one coming on the ground.

Dallas embarrassed the New Orleans Saints, 38-17, in front of a national audience.The Cowboys showed a balanced attack on offense and their “banged-up” defense shut down Drew Brees and the powerful passing attack of the Saints.

This week all four teams are home. The Giants host the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas entertains Houston, The St. Louis Rams are in Philadelphia and Washington hosts Seattle on Monday night.

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Giants begin prepping for defenseless Falcons

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants (2-2) get back to work today at QDTC as things get back to normal after a short week. They will practice today, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game vs the 2-2 Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium.

The Falcons lost to the Vikings in Minnesota yesterday, 41-28, in QB Teddy Bridgewater’s first NFL start. The Falcons are just 1-9 in their last ten games on the road and their defense is a mess. Only Jacksonville has given up more yards thus far this season.

What to keep an eye on this week…

WR Odell Beckham, Jr., the Giants’ top draft pick last April, should be ready to practice in full with the team and, if all goes well, could dress this Sunday vs Atlanta. Beckham will likely be used more on special teams as a returner then on offense until he’s deemed stable.

MLB Jon Beason (toe, foot) could amp up his participation this week as well. Beason has missed the past two games after aggravating the foot that kept him out of training camp in Week 2. Head coach Tom Coughlin said on Friday the team was not rushing Beason back.

“Jon is a competitor and he wants to compete and play and contribute to his team,” said Coughlin. “His teammates thought enough of him to elect him captain and he brings a real personality and a real energy to our team. We want to be able to utilize his talents and his ability when he can help his team. He does have an injury that we have to deal with and we’re going to have to take a look at this on a weekly basis.”

Also this week, CB Jayron Hosley will return to the team after serving his four-week suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. The Giants have been granted a roster exemption for Hosley that expires today. They must either waive him or waive another player in order to retain him.

Prince turning into a leader on the Giants’ defense

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

“I expect Prince to play like a first-round draft pick. That’s pretty cut and dry for me…”When you pick a guy that high, in the first round, you expect him to play and play well and be a strong contributor to your team,” - Giants GM Jerry Reese on CB Prince Amukamara on Day 2 of the club’s 2012 training camp.

Two years ago, it was up in the air whether Prince Amukamara, the Giant’s first round selection in the previous year’s draft was going to be an impact player for them. He had slipped down the draft order all the way to No. 19 and into the lap of the Giants.

But his rookie year was an uneven one. Although the Giants would win the Super Bowl that season, Prince would not contribute until the second half of the season after a broken bone in his foot robbed him of a full offseason program.

As time has worn on, Prince has become a staple on the Giants’ defense. He has been playing like that first round pick. He is their starting RCB and is molding into a solid pro. After four games this season, Prince leads the Giants in tackles with 25 (19 solo) and has seven passes defended, which is the most in the NFL (before Sunday’s games).

He began this year not knowing if he would be a Giant longterm. The Giants picked up Prince’s fifth-year option at the deadline, hoping he would combine with newly-signed FA Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to create a formidable pair at the corners.

Prince had the luxury of playing with such veterans as Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster, but seems to have flourished across the field from DRC.

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