Week Two was a turning point of sorts for the New York Giants. Trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-16 in the third quarter, Big Blue was frantically searching for a momentum boost. In came Kenny Phillips' devastating hit on Bucs wideout Vincent Jackson, and all of the sudden the Giants seemed motivated enough to stage a comeback. Despite not being flagged on the play, Phillips was initially fined $30,000 by the NFL. However, that fine has since been overturned.
This is especially surprising because Phillips has a history of getting into hot water with the NFL over hitting defenseless receivers. He was fined on several occasions in 2011 for similar actions. On Friday, Phillips joked that his recent injury was the only thing that kept his paychecks in his bank account.
"I haven't hit anyone in forever," Phillips said. "It kept me from getting fined, which is a good thing, kept a little money in my pocket. But I'm looking forward to getting back out there and having some fun."
On the field, the Giants have missed Phillips as an over the top safety. Although Stevie Brown has been an incredible story thus far, Phillips is an experienced veteran with a thorough understanding of Perry Fewell's defensive schemes. For example, Brown blew a coverage in Week 10 that resulted in a 56 yard touchdown for Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green.
Phillips is listed as questionable to play on Sunday, but he has practiced all week and should be good to go for Sunday's matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
His speed and physicality will help the Giants make up for the absence of Jacquian Williams. Williams is the Giants' nickel linebacker who generally covers tight ends and slot receivers. Without WIlliams in the lineup, it forced Fewell to put players like Michael Boley and Keith Rivers in pass coverage as opposed to stopping the run.
If the Giants use three safety formations against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, it could help the team throw a completely different look an offense that has started clicking as of late. Furthermore, it will allow the Giants to keep a tremendous amount of speed on the field to defend Green Bay's explosive wide receiver corps.
Also…Aaron Rodgers, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Green Bay Packers, Jacquian Williams, Keith Rivers, Kenny Phillips, Michael Boley, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Stevie Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Vincent Jackson