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Giants Roundtable: Sweet Carolin(a) Revenge

See that title? Not bad for an amateur, huh? I kid, I kid.

The Carolina Panthers slashed through the Giants last year in one of the most disgraceful performances in Giants history especially for a team in the heavy mix for a playoff spot (had the Giants won vs Carolina and at Minnesota who knows what could have happened.

Despite Carolina starting the inexperienced Matt Moore and despite being without DeAngelo Williams and even though Steve Smith got hurt in the game the Panthers still rolled up 41 points to the Giants 9 in a game that still makes me vomit in my mouth.

Will things be different this year. Let’s turn to the panel to find out.

In purple we have JW, in Blue Andrew Illnicki and in red font Mark Picucci. Anything else that is written is Jesse Bartolis (me. That’s the last third person reference I’ll write).

Who was the biggest suprise release for you this offseason?

I am going to say Jay Alford for the sole reason that the interior of the d-line last year sucked and if he came back healthy he could have helped.  I assume that Bernard is now healthy and Joseph looks like a great pick so that made Alford expendable but it still surprised me.

I think the biggest surprise release this offseason has to be Andre Brown. To me, the only other one could be Derek Hagan. If Hagan regressed in his gunner role – – which it seems he has – -then there’s no reason for him to be on the roster. Duke Calhoun is just as good as Derek Hagan, if not better on special teams, which made Hagan expendable. It didn’t help Hagan’s cause that the Giants’ would save over a million dollars by cutting him. His contract was non-guaranteed. Brown seemed to have recovered nicely from his ruptured Achilles and figured to get some touches on offence this year. I guess they figure D.J. Ware can carry those touches and be more valuable on special teams. They took a gamble thinking Brown would go unclaimed and land on the practice squad and it backfired, badly.A: I think the Giants’ stay healthy and finish the season 11-5. I see them making the playoffs and winning the division. Now it may just be I’m being a homer, but I think they’ll stay healthy this season and be as good as they can be. However, if injuries derail this team once again, they’re nothing more than an 9-7 team, at best.

Bear Pascoe showed he could handle the workload as basically the only healthy Tight End for the Giants for several weeks.  I thought Coughlin saying he was only a few snaps away from having a roster spot was a bit questionable at best with only having 2 TE’s on the final roster, especially since Travis Beckum doesn’t block well and the Giants use their TE’s for extra blocking assignments more than any other team in the league.  Indication of a massive change in Coughlin and Gilbride’s priorities?  Doubtful.

I’m going to agree with JW on this one. Bear Pascoe is surprising to me because the Giants didn’t keep three tight ends. I’m not surprised that Beckum was ahead of Bear Pascoe because Beckum has the kind of abilities you can’t find anywhere. An adequate receiving te who blocks well is really a dime a dozen even if Pascoe was a fan favorite. The one thing that surprises me about the Andre Brown release is that Coughlin kept D.J. Ware over Brown and I did not think that Coughlin liked D.J. Ware.

Andre Brown had practice squad eligibility while D.J. Ware did not. I wonder if the Giants thought with the turf toe injury that Brown would clear waivers.

If you could have either Steve Smith which one would it be?

As much as I love the Giants’ Steve Smith, I still have to go with Carolina’s Steve Smith. Carolina’s Smith, when healthy, is one of the most dangerous receivers in the N.F.L. He has playmaking abilities that few have in this league. The Giants’ Steve Smith is one of the more reliable receivers for the Giants, catching over a hundred passes. However, if you add Carolina’s Smith’s dangerous play making abilities paired with Hakeem Nicks, and Manningham it’s a much more dynamic and explosive unit. Our Steve Smith is more reliable, but their Steve Smith is far more dangerous.

Without a doubt the “other” Steve Smith.  He is just plain better then the Carolina version.

The Giants’ Steve Smith is on the up and up, the other Steve Smith is nursing a broken arm. I’m sticking with NY Blue on this one.

This is a tough call. Carolina Steve Smith is a unique playmaker who is aging. Steve Smith is a productive WR who lacks Smiths explosiveness. Carolina Smith has age, and for the future I’d choose NY Steve Smith, but with QB’s equal this year I’d still take Carolina Steve Smith.

What’s the Biggest X factor for the Giants season this year?
Health, health and health. Without the Giants’ being healthy, they’re a sub-par team, as evident by last season. If Umenyoria, Tuck, Boley, Canty, Nicks, Bradshaw, Jacobs and the offensive line are healthy, they’re a super bowl contending team. However, the Giants’ had a long list on injuries this summer. 14 of the 22 projected starters this year either missed practice time, or pre-season games with injures. Health is their X-factor, because without it, you’ll see a similar team as last year.

The health of Kenny Phillips.  He was off to a great start last year before being derailed by injury.  If he can come back even 90% he will be a force in the secondary.

Just like last year, the offense can only go as far as the defense takes them.  And I fully expect Eli Manning to pick up where he left off last year and put up career numbers again this year with a deep, young, and hungry set of receivers. The backfield will come back into focus.  So that means it’s up to the defense to hold up their end of the bargain, and right now the front 7 is looking good.  The safeties have been fortified, I’m going to say there’s a non-issue there now. But, there looks to be a weakness at CB which is going to be a problem if Aaron Ross, Terrell Thomas, and Corey Webster continue to suffer on with injuries… right now that’s the group that needs the most help.  We’ll see if they can get it together.

Some good answers here. Did you see the stat of 14 of the 22 projected starters have missed time. Healthy is an Xfactor for every team, and I like the defense answer, but I’ll say one that wasn’t mentioned is Special Teams. The Giants have tried to address the return game with Darius Reynaund from the Minnesota Vikings.

I really like the addition  of Matt Dodge I understand Feagles had a big leg and helped pin the team inside the twenty, but what I didn’t like with Feagles is that he couldn’t Turn the field over, which Dodge has shown he can do. Bombing a 74 punt in the preseason. We’ll have to watch the NET average of  punts to see if the coverage teams can help turn the field position as well.

Prediction of the Giants final record this year?
I feel a 9-7 record for the GMEN this year.

10-6, playoff bound.

I think the Giants’ stay healthy and finish the season 11-5. I see them making the playoffs and winning the division. Now it may just be I’m being a homer, but I think they’ll stay healthy this season and be as good as they can be. However, if injuries derail this team once again, they’re nothing more than an 9-7 team, at best.

Final prediction for the Panthers-Giants game?
Giants come out hot in 2010.  They break in the new Meadowlands with a 24-14 victory.

24-17 Giants

If you’re a follower of GiantsGab, then you’ll know I’m 3-0 in predicting the Giants’ pre-season games, and also predicted the EXACT score of the last – – and final – pre-season game against the Patriots. I think the Giants’ will come out and put on a solid victorious performance against Matt Moore’s Panthers. If they can get pressure on Moore they’ll be successful.

Will this new stadium make a difference in the Giants intensity level?
Over the course of the season I don’t think so, but for the first game I think it will.  They spoiled Dallas’ home opener and don’t want to be on the other end.  I think they are really disappointed from last year and want to start the season on the right foot  I think they come out full of intensity and use the stadium as motivation.

You’d hope paid professionals could get up for a game either way. In hindsight I think a better question might have been “how much of a difference will the new stadium make?”

I think the wind is interesting. Will there be more wind. How will that affect Eli Manning? With the PSL will there be more suits (since the prices went up) which will actually decrease the noise. The Stadium is much larger? Are the seats further away from the field? I think these are all pertinent questions and I patiently await the answer.

Q: Which running back worries you the most this Sunday (DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart)?

A: I’m more worried about DeAngelo Williams. He’s more of the blazing back, which is something I think the Giants’ will struggle with the early part of the season. The Giants’ seem to do well against the bigger backs that like to pound it. They had two beautiful goal-line fourth and out stops. One against the Steelers to end the second half and one against the Patriots. Williams is the faster back, and who knows how Bulluck will do against the quicker backs. Both had stellar performances against the Giants’ last season, but that was a depleted team who simply gave up.

I agree. The Giants have size, but they might lack speed in the secondary and linebacking corps. Jonathan Stewart is a pounder the Giants do ok with players like that (Marion Barber) but those fast players give the Giants problems sometimes (like Felix Jones). I think Antrel Rolle will really improve the run defense which isn’t talked about much.

Can the Panthers win with what they have at Quarterback?

Absolutely, Matt Moore proved that last year.  They’ve had a shaky preseason but for the most part that means very little. The worst thing the Giants can do is take any facet of this game lightly and lose their home opener, they need to prepare for the biggest game of their lives and execute at every level.

I think in the future for sure.I really like Jimmy Clausen and wait to see what happens moving forward. They do need more weapons in the WR corps moving forward, I believe.
How good is the Giants secondary, really?
I am still skeptical.  They have lots of talent but lots of questions.  Injuries, new additions to the secondary and staff and a new defensive system all worry me.  I know Perry Fewell is known for having great secondaries and I hope his magic rubs off on the Giants.

Talent=Production? Not always. Perry Fewell’s coaching ability should help out in a minute.

What would you give up from the Giants to get Jon Beason from the Panthers?

Dude’s everywhere, and is awfully reliable. Second and Third Round pick next year too much?

I would definitely do a third rounder. Maybe a 2 and a 5 like the Saints got Shockey for?
How important will Matt Dodge be in this game?
I don’t think Dodge will be that important for this game.  It is early in the year and the winds aren’t howling yet.  Dodge’s big leg has already transformed the special teams.  I feel that part of the reason that Hagan was released and that they kept the young guys (Calhoun and Cruz) is because they are more capable of covering Dodge’s big punts.  He has lots to learn but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Giants brought in a veteran if he struggles.

I hope he doens’t even punt because the offense dominates the game. We’ll see what happens though.

Who’s the X-factor for the Giants in this game?

Michael Boley. Boley is one of their better coverage linebackers, something the Giants’ missed last season when he was out a fair portion of the year with injuries. Boley was slow to learn the defense cause of the time he missed, and caught on late in the season. If Boley can cover like he’s able to, and blitz the way he’s been blitzing this off-season and pre-season, he will make a big difference. My runner up is Osi Umenyoria. If he can get off to a quick start, watch out.

Chris Canty. The Giants need a run stopper in this game. The Panthers love to run. It’s imperative that the Giants also improve their interior push.

Do the Giants have to win this game on the ground or through the air?
Even though the Giants want to spread it around and have a balanced attack I think the emphasis is going to be on the offensive line opening up some holes for Jacobs and Bradshaw to work with this game.  Everyone wants to see the Giants return to form in their running game this year, and I can’t think of a better time to show that then the home opener to New Meadowlands Stadium.  They need to win on every level of course for the pundits to believe in the Gmen this year, but that added emphasis on the running game is going to be there first and foremost.

I’m interested to see what the Panthers defense will be this year. I don’t think there is a wealth of talent there. They need Everett Brown to step up with the loss of Julius Peppers.

Anything else you want to add?
I am excited for the season to start but to be honest I am not sold yet on the 2010 Giants.  If they stay healthy they have a chance to be very very good.

You may have to have be patient with the Giants’ defense in the first few games, as they get acclimated with Perry Fewell’s new defense. This defense could have shades of former D.C. Steve Spagnuolo where they struggle early. They’ve been hurt, missed time and have been very vanilla in calling plays this pre-season. It make take time for them to catch on, but if they can catch on the way their capable of and stay healthy, they’ll get back to being one of the better defensive teams in the league. However, that’s a big IF. If they’re not healthy, they’re lackluster at best.

A win would be great, but I want to see some passion, heart, and intensity. Coughlin’s job could be on the line this season if there is not.

I think the Giants will pull this one out with the opening of the new “Giants” Stadium.

Have a nice day, everyone. Leave your thoughts about this upcoming game.

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4 Responses to “Giants Roundtable: Sweet Carolin(a) Revenge”

  1. Jason C. says:

    After the preseason I’m not impressed at all with Joseph in the middle and think our best DT could be Rocky Bernard (and that scares me). Stewart is BY FAR the biggest threat to this Giants team this week. He’ll convert at least 3 big time first downs, which will lead to points in some way or another. Luckily, I think the Giants are capable of putting up a lot of points this coming week, final score: 31-20.

  2. Chris says:

    For some reason I’ve got a bad feeling about this game. With the Webster and Ross injuries, I somehow think Carolina’s going to have a field day. I hope I’m wrong, but I think the G-men just don’t seem ready. I think they’ll be better at the end of the season than in the beginning. Prove me wrong men!

  3. Shane says:

    Just a thought:

    Have more sets with both Bradshaw and Jacobs!

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