14 October 2010
This week I did the "bloggers exchange questions and viewpoints on the respective teams they cover" bit with Andy of Bloguin's New York Giants blog, UltimateNYG.
There's some good intel on Sunday's opponent, a game neither of us expect the Lions to win. It didn't come up in the questions, but while exchanging emails, I got to know first hand their distaste for former Giants, and current Lions safety, C.C. Brown, always and forever to be known in NYC as Can't Cover Brown. In Andy's words, "God, did we hate HATE HATE him!"
I also learned Andy was at the other end of the Skype connection on Tuesday, as he attended the Justin Tuck side of the same Subway event I covered. They're also big fans of Ndamukong Suh over at UNYG, and they believe the Giants are Super Bowl contenders...if the defense keeps destroying quarterbacks.
What follows are UNYG's answers to my questions. My answers to their questions should go live at UltimateNYG sometime today. I'll post a link to it when it hits the interwebs.
TWFE: So which team is the real Giants? The Giants team dominated in losses to the Cots and Titans, or quarterback eating monsters who beat the Bears and Titans? What triggered the defensive surge, especially on the line? I have to admit it was fun watching the Giants defensive line utterly destroy Jay Cutler.
UNYG: We are debating that internally and on the site. I feel there is a meaningful uptick in the defense the past few weeks that is more real than some of my cohorts here at UltimateNYG think. But that does not mean I am "completely" sold either. I want to keep seeing defensive progress by the Giants.
The DL has seen a big uptick in play from Osi Umenyiora, who has had 5 sacks and is playing reasonably well vs the run. Good line play has helped the LBers, who have been the weakest link. Goff is making strides. I am watching him very carefully, because if his uptick is the real deal at MLB, then the entire defense can gell and be excellent. I am happy to see the DC using a little more press coverage than he did at the beginning of the season.
On the offensive side of the ball, our OC is a boob who will have a good gameplan one week and then go AWOL the next.
The boob in question, Kevin Gilbride.
Gives off a Millen vibe, doesn't he?
But even that is an uptick, because the guy could go many weeks before making needed adjustments. Now that he has Hakeem Nicks becoming the true Plaxico Burress X WR, he'll get more in a comfort zone, which is not good news for other teams.
TWFE: With some success, Ahmad Bradshaw has taken over the main duties at running back. We all saw the nationally televised, Brandon Jacobs tossing his helmet into the stands incident (and the pig-nosed Colts fan involved). Has the issues at running back been sorted out? How much are the duties split between the two? Are Jacobs' days numbered as a Giant?
UNYG: Bradshaw has to stay healthy and keep the ball high and tight. His track record at doing both are poor. He is a super talented back who manufactures yards and gets positive numbers when nothing is there. It makes it harder for Jacobs to be 'the man.' Jacobs seems to be running a little harder, but it is not like '07 and '08. Right now Bradshaw is gtg about 60-70% of the snaps.
I cannot say Jacobs' days are numbered yet because depending on the timing of Bradshaw's next imminent injury, Jacobs could be the new starter and ressurect himself. At the moment he is not playing for the Giants- he is merely playing for himself. He's not going to last with that attitude.
TWFE: Is this Giants team capable of making it to another Super Bowl? What do you think needs to happen/improve in order for the New York Football Giants (sorry, couldn't resist) to have a long playoff run?
UNYG: Before the Texans game, I was definitely not of the opinion that the Giants should be considered in contention. But after the game (plus the Giants' defensive effort vs the Bears), I am thinking differently.
As I noted in #1 above, I need to see Jonathan Goff keep making improvements at MLBer. If he does, the answer is yes. The Giants have been neglecting LBer for a long time, so Goff, who is a 5th rounder in his first season as a starter, just needs to do his job reasonably well for the rest of the defense to excel. Everyone knows about the DL with guys like Tuck and Osi, but the Giants secondary can be equally impressive if they are used aggressively.
The short answer is to watch Goff for Super Bowl aspirations of this team. The last two games he has played well, so there is hope.
TWFE: For the most part, no one outside of Indianapolis and New York are fans of the Manning brothers, especially for their selling souls out as pitchmen. I have to wonder if the off field stuff interferes with team activities. Even though he has quarterbacked the Giants to a Super Bowl win, is he really all the beloved by the fans? As fans on the Giants, do you ever get fed up seeing your quarterback doing ridiculous commercials? Seriously, the Oreo Double Stuf Racing League? What. The. Hell?
UNYG: Eli is easily one of the hardest working players on the team. So we don't worry or pay attention to the Madison Avenue BS. As for him being loved or not, he has the support of all Giants fans because even those who do not see him as terribly good realize he is the franchise and know that he can be depended on every week to play.
He's a very steady QB that plays well in big games. As long as there is no wind.
TWFE: To be honest, no one in Detroit believes the Lions have a shot in Hell at winning on the road. How do you see the game playing out, do the Lions have a chance at all? Will the Giants cause the Lions to tie their own record of road futility at 24 consecutive losses?
UNYG: I do not see the Lions winning. Hill will make enough mistakes against Fewell's opportunistic defense, combined with the Lions secondary being not good enough to contain the Giants WRs.
The only scenario I can see for the Lions winning is if our special teams (which were terrible in Weeks 1-4 before holding together in Week 5) gift-wrap14 points for the Lions.
To find out more about the Lions' upcoming opponent, the New York Football Giants, check I heartily suggest you check out UltimateNYG!
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