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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM

The New York Giants were an aggressive choice Monday Night for many VSM handicappers. Clients won BIG when the G-Men routed the Chicago Bears 41-13 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

*Jim Hurley’s Network matched its biggest unit-rating of the Preseason on New York. Cleveland over Green Bay back in Week One also graded out this high. Helped by their “New York sources,” the team handicapping approach of Network won scoreboard 68-20 the last two nights at the Meadowlands with the Giants and Jets.

*Kelso Sturgeon won his 10-unit Monday Night MoneyMaker on the Giants as well. That came on the heels of a 25-unit Game of the Week on the Jets the night before.

*Coach Ron Meyer had his highest rating of the weekend on the Giants. You may have read his blog posting earlier in the day on the “hot seat” status of head coach Tom Coughlin. Nobody has a greater sense of urgency after the lockout than coaches who have to win THIS year. Who better than a former coach to know that?!

*Wayne Allyn Root gave the Giants out on his Millionaire Club, and is now hitting 63% this year in the Preseason.

*Nick Bogdanovich, contributing August football while he wraps up his VSM tenure with 2011 baseball, also had the Giants Monday Night.

Let’s crunch the numbers and see how it happened...



Total Yardage: Chicago 414, Giants 380

Rushing Yards: Chicago 81, NY Giants 218

Yards-Per-Play: Chicago 5.4, Giants 7.0

Third Downs: Chicago 20%, Giants 27%

Turnovers: Chicago 1, Giants 0

Rushing Yardage and yards-per-play tell the story better than total yardage does. Chicago won yardage volume because they ran 22 extra plays. And, you Notebook regulars from prior seasons know that rushing yardage carries more weight than passing yardage does in football because it comes with less risk.

Let’s also note that the Giants blocked a punt to set up an easy touchdown. You can often tell who cares more about a Preseason game by studying the special teams! That doesn’t count as a turnover in the boxsore when it really should. So, the Giants won the key stats and turnovers in dramatic fashion.

If you didn’t watch the game, you may not be aware that backup David Carr was the passing star of the night.

  • David Carr: 9-11-0-84…passer rating of 138.1 (Giants)
  • Jay Cutler: 12-21-0-171…passer rating of 83.6 (Bears)
  • E. Manning: 8-16-0-78…passer rating of 64.1 (Giants)
  • Caleb Hanie: 17-28-1-166…passer rating of 62.5 (Bears)

Carr had two touchdown passes, which helped pop his ratings into the 100’s. But he was also razor sharp in terms of completions.

The Giants are surely happy with the result…but this really wasn’t all that good a night for Eli Manning. It was definitely a GREAT night in football for VSM handicappers and their clients!


Monday Night in the Pennant Races

*In the AL East, Boston fell at Texas 4-0, and is now a full game behind the idle New York Yankees.

*In the AL Central, Justin Verlander threw a gem for Detroit in their 5-2 win at Tampa Bay. Cleveland, perhaps disheartened by getting swept in Motown this past weekend, lost a lackluster 3-2 affair to Seattle. Detroit now leads the division by 5.5 games. Their edge had been just 1.5 games last Friday afternoon!

*In the AL West, that Rangers win we already mentioned moved Texas to a 4.5-game lead over the idle LA Angels. Big night for the pitching staff! It’s tough to hold that Boston offense to just four hits in this ballpark in 102 degree heat. But, given the woes the Red Sox had vs. the Tampa Bay staff last week…maybe the Red Sox offense isn’t what everyone thought they were.

*In the NL Central, the surging Milwaukee Brewers managed to lose a game and still increase their advantage on second place St. Louis! How did they do it? The loss came in a doubleheader split in Pittsburgh. St. Louis, possibly seeing the writing on the wall, fell quietly at home to the LA Dodgers. Milwaukee’s lead is up to nine games. It’s too early to track the magic number. But, you can stick a fork in this race unless the Brewers go into a prolonged slump.

*In the NL West, Arizona lost AGAIN on its Eastern swing…this time falling at Washington 4-1. The D-backs are 1-6 on the road trip…and are now down 32-10 on the scoreboard. Can a wake-up call last nine days? Arizona’s lead is down to just one game over idle San Francisco.

All of those idle teams will take the field Tuesday. The New York Yankees host Oakland. The LA Angels host the Chicago White Sox. San Francisco hosts San Diego. We’ll keep tracking the pennant races for you in these late night reports. The next update in the VSM blog will come Tuesday morning when the Network Notebook looks at Major League performance since the All-Star Break. Wayne Root is scheduled to check in with some baseball notes too later in the day. Thanks for being a daily blog reader!

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