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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tampa Bay Sunday 1PM

The Giants are +3. In some of our team's recent road games we have been favored correctly over teams like the Bears and the Bills. Of course the Bucs are not as weak as those two teams, but I am not impressed by them just the same.

1)I think that in a 16 game season with all the turnover of free agency you have to keep playing and keep improving every week. the Giants have historically had a poor record the game after a bye because they lost the speed of the game and need to keep playing to get better. So here it is the Giants came from behind with a spirited win over the Bills and played a lot of excellent football vs the Pats. This is a positive.

2) TB did the opposite. They went into hibernation, benched many starters and pissed away (2 weeks with) the 49er and Panthers games after sewing up their division. You lose speed and timing that way.

3) The Giants are getting more sane practices from Coughlin this year in the later months of the season (a la leadership council and Giants administration mandate to work better w the players), meaning they are more rested and fresh for games than ANY of the 3 prior seasons. Late last season they would show up for the first series and then be flat. Now they have legs underneath them and u r seeing 60 mins.

4) This team is playing for Coughlin.

5) The Giants are playing their best football of the year right now.

6) Secret weapon Ahmad Bradshaw. He was held out to rest his injured calf, but he is practicing this week and he has the speed to match the speed of the Bucs defense.

7) If you rush Garcia on the end he likes squeezing out and scrambling/passing on the run. Justin Tuck will be rushed up the middle and that is how you have to get Garcia.

8) The (mild FL) weather seems to help Manning.

9) The Giants loss helps... I do not see them coming out flat... they have not lost twice in a row since the beginning of the season.

10) I understand that Burress is practicing (he practiced today). He is better and the Giants' passing game is better. Other players like Butler, Moss and Dockery are practicing after being held out last week. O'Hara may play with a brace. I suspect if Mitchell needs a brace they would go with Wilkinson, who should benefit from getting snaps with the first team. Having that 8th day between games is a huge boost to all of these guys.

11) The Giants are 7-1 on the road and do not see that as an obstacle.

I like the Giants this weekend. Tell me how Eli plays and I will tell you with far more certainty what the outcome is. If Eli plays 3 quarters we win, if he plays 2 quarters we will be in a squeaker and likely lose. Either way, if we cannot get past TB we do not deserve the right to play Dallas or GB the following week anyway. After Game 10, I knew we would be right here on the road in the wild card game. What I did not know was whether we would use the last 6 games as a springboard... the Bills and Pats games answered that question and I therefore have to call for a victory on Sunday, for better or worse.

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