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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Questions for 2008

1) New Eli or Old Eli? What we saw in preseason was more of the inaccurate Old Eli. In PS-3 when Hixon made those two Toomer toe TDs, some of it was Eli being there but some of it was Hixon taking poorly thrown balls and pulling them in. ELI CAN HELP HIMSELF AND BE MORE ACCURATE.

2) David Diehl liability in pass rush protection.

3) Depth at TE? I was surprised the Giants did not go after someone else. Matthews and Johnson both were criticized by their own coaches. Boss better stay healthy.

4) Does Bradshaw start (at some point) this season? We know he is not starting in W1, but if he is not starting eventually it means this offense is not playing to its maximum potential.

5) Does the Defensive Line survive the loss of #92 AND Osi? Does it manage to thrive? Kiwanuka and Tuck are both very good players, but neither has done it on a full time basis.

6) Is LB the big liability we see in W1, or does Pierce play with younger legs, Kehl get the kind of playing time to make a difference, Wilkinson play well and Clark do adequate stopgap? Lots of questions here, few answers.

7) Does Kenny Phillips make an impact? Does Ross/Webster/Thomas et al grow into a great set of corners, or do they slip back?

8) Is FG kicking a liability?

9) Do specials leave off where they left us last year, or do they start where they started last year? Tale of Two Cities.

Before Osi went down I was looking for 10-6 and playoffs. The bottom line for volatility here is - tell me how Eli's, Diehl's and Pierce's season are and I tell you how we do. If these three veterans do well, we do well, if two of them do well we do ok, if 1 of them do well we do poorly. There are many other variables, because if the second year players make that leap then we are in vg shape... but we still need those three to get it done. The weakest link on defense is LB. The weakest link on offense is Diehl's pass protection. The most inconsistent part of the team is Eli's play. Pierce seems to always start well and end slowly. He is generally playing/hurt by the end of the year, and then at that point it is like watching him with molasses under his feet. And as helpful as Diehl is in playing a position he is not meant to play, he exposes us to the speed rush. These questions this year are not as cloudy as they were last year, but they are important enough in determining the success of the team.

If you can tell me we have new Eli all year, the one who is playing 4 quarters, not disappearing in between games... if you can tell me Bradshaw and Boss are not wasted assets by Gilbride's meathead neglect... if you can tell me Pierce is fast all season... THEN THE GIANTS ARE LIVE AS MUCH AS ANYONE IN THE NFL. We will know much more after the first 3 games. Right now I have to make them 9-7.


bruno said...

When all is said and done, I have far, FAR fewer questions this year than last year. The biggest one last year, who is going to produce our running game?? We r a running team!!!! Well, in my opinion, the running game is still one of our greatest strenghts. And the credit goes to Mr Reese and the coaching staff. And that includes Gilbride. The start of last year our secondary looked weak, now we look very competitive.

scwesley said...

this prediction is so pessimistic I don't know how to handle that...Newsflash this team one the superbowl last year, and the question surrounding this team are far less than last season...I guess it's just i'm an optimistic fan, and ur the opposite... neither is better or worse...go defend that championship..
12-4, and a division championship...

Andy F. said...

Scwesley- I had more optimism when Osi was not lost for the season. It is hard to repeat because you do not get any 'normal' games. The Giants MUST win their 'winnable' games.. and yet those are against the dregs which are all aiming to play 'their' Super Bowl against the gmen.

I like to be 'sober.' Tell me we have the New Eli, the one that protects the ball and plays 4 quarters, and I will tell you we are 12-4 this season. If you can tell me that then you will be borne out and we will all be happy. Last season I had Manning as a big question mark, and that was essentially what it all boiled down to. With Manning we are alive, without him we are adrift.

Bruno- I was never concerned last season with the running game because we had a ton of depth. (That was not one of last year's questions and it is not one of this year's either.)

NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING OPTIMISTIC. The Giants need to stay healthy, Manning needs to show up, and the 2nd year players and others like Phillips need to make a difference and then something special can happen again. We will know a lot after three games. Do not judge the season after we kick the Skins' butt in W1. The Skins are not a vg team.

xtian said...

assuming each team will be hit with the same degree of injuries--which we know will not happen--during the season this is how i see the division:

based on talent, the cowboys--much to my chagrin--should win the division as they did last year with at least 11 wins. only internal fighting--given some of their personalities is not unreasonable--could derail them.

it's a coin toss between the giants and the eagles for second place with 10 wins. at least one will be a wild card team, possibly both. the problem with the eagles is their heavy reliance on westbrook and mcnabb; long term injuries to either ruins their season. for the giants losing tuck (especially) or kiwi would be trouble, but not as devastating as westbrook or mcnabb. note: having david carr behind manning is a big deal.

the redskins will finish last with 6 wins. this is based more on the inexperience of their coaching staff than their talent.

but these are paper predictions and this why we play the games: to find out what reality is. in the end, i would not be shocked, but rather pleasantly surprised, to see the giants holding up the super bowl trophy once again. and i'm rooting like hell for that to happen. :D

mezzanine said...

Strikes me a worst case scenario and assumes that they'll play as inconsistently as last year. I just don't this team this year will settle for anything less than a split with Dallas and will play with the responsibility and pride gained from their playoff run last year.

Andy F. said...

The Cowboys offensive line dominated the Giants defensive line until the middle of the third quarter of that playoff game when Flozell Adams got hurt. And that was with Strahan and Osi as starters and Tuck rotating. Unless we see a lot of injuries there for Dallas or TO goes down, then the Giants and the entire league have a mess of a time with this team. This is all on paper. We'll know a lot more after W3. Dallas plays AT CLEVE, home vs Eagles and AT GB. If they take out these three teams, they are primed to romp. I joked about it last night with a friend... the weakest link to the entire team is Wade Phillips. He reminds me of Barry Switzer in '95, winning a SB despite his presence.

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