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Giants Round Table: Keeping Hope Alive

Welcome to our next installment of Giants Roundtable after a two week hiatus from me due to my laziness and business from the Holiday season.

This week is a huge week for the NY Giants if they have any intentions of being playoff contenders this season.

After a game in which they came out flat at home I’m a bit more concerned then most people because I haven’t seen that fire and consistency really since Plaxico Blew his leg off in the fall of 2008.

This team has playoff talent and a very good QB they should make the playoffs despite the pretty tough schedule they had in front of them this year.

I had organized this post the way I normally do but when I posted it the first time it disappeared so this time I’ll copy and paste the questions seperately. Same Questions same answers just a different presentation.

Fuchs is in Purple, JW in red, andrew in Blue, Mark in Green, and commenter Jeremy P in Orange.

Game Ball Goes to….?
Tom Coughlin got the actual game ball, and it was a collective effort. But I say Eli Manning.  For picking up his 15th last minute comeback win in his career, for picking up that final hot read and getting it to Kevin Boss for a first down and more, for stay cool and collected even when the Giant were down and almost out.  He didn’t turn the ball over either.

Was this JPP breakout game or just an aberration?

Well, yes. He did create some opportunities — he has very long arms and was able to strip the ball away from Garrard even though he was engaged at the time, just a really athletic and powerful DE with nowhere to go but up.

What was wrong the first half vs the Jaguars?

In my mind, the defense let the Jaguars control everything they wanted to.  No physicality, people were sluggish getting to the ball, no sense of urgency on defense.  On offense, I thought they moved the ball well actually.  It resulted in 2 field goals because of stupid mistakes once again.  The “incomplete pass” on the 3 yard line from Derek Hagan should have setup an easy score.  It didn’t.  Mario Manningham had a TD taken off the board because of a stupid and really meaningless play by Kevin Boss, Eli had already rolled out and Boss should have just let the guy go with a chip and push… that’s 14 points that the Giant really were staring at and found a way to let it slip by.   The second half, we all know the story.  Better execution all around and came away with a win.
The ususal: Eli Manning or Donovan Mcnabb running your team?

Eli has shown resolve over and over again… just when you count him out he shows up to prove everyone wrong. Eli’s best football is ahead of him, and we’re seeing now just how well he and Gilbride have developed the Giants offense. McNabb is still in adjustment to his new scheme, has struggled, has lost a step, and has his best football behind him.  I go with Manning.  

 The Giants have been owned by Donovan Mcnabb the past few seasons…is this a trend that will continue with his new team, Washington?

I think McNabb will have a sense of confidence, but it’s a totally different environment and that has been clear with their struggles and inconsistency in DC.  In a shootout scenario, it will not be like it’s been in the past with the Eagles the past couple of years.  McNabb is used to sweeping the Giants — but I think it was more than just him in Philadelphia.  I think the Giants win this time around against McNabb and I think the Giants continue their domination of the Skins. If left to the defenses, the Giants win.  If left to the running games, the Giants win.  If left to the passing game — even with the injuries I still think the Giants win this matchup this year. 

Can Washington score any enough points to threaten the Giants this weekend? 

I’ve seen McNabb throw for 400+ yards and put several TDs on the board, but most notably that was against Houston who has the worst secondary in the NFL.  So given the strength of the secondary in NY this year I don’t think he’ll be going deep that much like he used to in Philly.  Santana Moss is quick but he’s not Desean Jackson.  Chris Cooley is really the guy that will eat you alive, he’s the guy you have to stop in Washington.
Final prediction for game?
  31 – 17 Giants.  Another week of practice for the Giants offensive line and receivers, another game at home for the Giants, a new found sense of momentum.  I think the Giants get hot right now and propel themselves into the post season.  This game is completely in the Giants favor.  The Washington running game is a major part of their plan, it’s completely in shambles right now.  The Giants by comparison are running as well as they were in the beginning of the season with 2 healthy RBs.   The Giants line hasn’t allowed a sack in 4 games, the Redskins line is still new and has had their own injury issues to deal with… they have not excelled the way the Giants’ unit has in blocking.  The Giants have the better offense and defense, and they’ve been the more consistent unit.  This game is the Giants’ to lose. 
To Andrew:
Is mighty mouse Brandon Banks the Giants biggest concern for the game this weekend?
Tom Coughlin can’t stand dangerous returners, and he’s certainly that.  Nearly broke the game open for the Redskins last week with a TD return that came back only because of a chop block.  He’s a game changer, no question. And, rumor down here is that he’s toying around with Wildcat Formations for a change.  Looks like somebody saw the Giants play the Eagles and Jaguars game and decided to give them more containment issue to think about.  We’ll see. 

 What will see from Devin Thomas going back to Washington this weekend? 

He’s behind Manningham, Hagan, Calhoun, Clayton….  I doubt it.  In my mind he’s basically in the Sinorice Moss role, back burner unless there’s a blowout or emergency
Game Ball Goes to….?
 Kevin Gilbride for shrinking the offense and using packages that fit the healthy players left on the roster
Was this JPP breakout game or just an aberration?
 Neither, I think it was a step in the right direction.  He has been close a lot this year but he looks like he could develop into a pretty good player. 
What was wrong the first half vs the Jaguars?
 Typical Giants football, it’s Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.  You just never know what team is going to show up, but they can turn it on like a flip of a switch. 
The ususal: Eli Manning or Donovan Mcnabb running your team?
 Taking Manning still. 
The Giants have been owned by Donovan Mcnabb the past few seasons…is this a trend that will continue with his new team, Washington?
 Not this time, the Skins aren’t that good yet and I think the Gmen will be able to pressure McNabb all day Sunday. 
Can Washington score any enough points to threaten the Giants this weekend?
  I don’t think so
Final prediction for game?
Giants 17 Skins 13 
Do you think we’ve seen all we’ll see from Travis Beckum (a player who can make one big play a game, but not someone who’ll ever be seriously invovled in the offense)?

In this offense I think so.  Until they decide what they want to do with him I believe he will be hit or miss.  With everyone banged up he does have a chance to get a little more involved with the offense and make a statement for himself. 
How do the Giants stop the sack master Brian Orakpo?
Like they say you can’t stop him you can only hope to contain him,  hopefully the O-line can play a solid game and keep Manning on his feet.  My best guess is to keep in extra blockers . 
Was this JPP breakout game or just an aberration?

definitely not an aberration. He’s too athletic and tries to hard to be a bust. Barring injury he’s a future All-Pro.

 What was wrong the first half vs the Jaguars?
A combination of unfamiliarity with their opponent and fear of giving up the big play. It almost seemed as if they were playing it safe early. But once they figured out what the Jaguars were doing the halftime adjustments were easy to make. 
The ususal: Eli Manning or Donovan Mcnabb running your team?
If this was 7 years ago I would have said Donovan but Eli is now too good to trade for anyone else. Eli is missing half his offense and still put up 24 points. What’s even more promising is we should have scored more. Eli is now a top 5 QB. 
The Giants have been owned by Donovan Mcnabb the past few seasons…is this a trend that will continue with his new team, Washington?
Donovan has no shot to put up stellar numbers like he use to for the Eagles. The Redskins have no weapons and they are now down to their 4th or 5th string RB. Besides Donovan runs the same offense as the Texans and we handled them easily.
Can Washington score any enough points to threaten the Giants this weekend?
I doubt it. Actually the only way I see this being close is if we turn the ball over. Our Defense will wear the Redskins out and in the second half we’ll pull away. Similar to the way we manhandled the Bears.

Final prediction for game?
Jacobs has over 100 YRDs and 2 TDs
Anything else to add…?
 Garard and Donovan are similar so blitzing early is a must no waiting to the second half this time. I would love to see Osi, Tuck, and JPP on the field at the same time they’re our strongest pass rushers. The Redskins blitz a lot so we need to go to Boss early and control the middle of the field, some screens to MM wouldn’t hurt either. 
We aren’t at full strength but we should win regardless.

 Was this JPP breakout game or just an aberration?
Jason Pierre-Paul had a tremendous game, racking up his first and second career sacks. He came on strong the final quarter helping the Giants’ edge out the Jags. Do I think it’s his “coming out” party for say? I’m not sure. He’s still so raw and playing really in a limited role, just an accelerated version because of Kiwi’s injury. He is stuck playing inside where he can’t use his speed, he has to use his power. I don’t think this is the breakout game people are looking for. I think this was more of the this is what I’m capable game.

What was wrong the first half vs the Jaguars?
The first half the Giants’ simply came out flat. They did not come out with the “were going to pound it down your throat attitude” they needed to with Brandon Jacobs starting. They went with him early, but not often enough to set the tempo of the game. Whatever Justin Tuck said in his half-time speech worked, because the defense as a whole came out with a new found intensity. They made David Garrad look like Michael Vick the first half. The second half they got to him and knocked him out.
The usual: Eli Manning or Donovan McNabb running your team?
If this was a in your prime question you could easily make the case of McNabb and why he’s the most underrated QB of this generation, but right now, I’d take Manning. Donovan is a world class player and an even better human being, but Eli Manning is playing at a level McNabb isn’t right now. I’d take Manning.
The Giants have been owned by Donovan McNabb the past few seasons…is this a trend that will continue with his new team, Washington?
If Washington was a better team and McNabb had more weapons, I would think it’s very possible. However, McNabb has one weapon in Chris Cooley, and the Giants’ are the best in the NFL at shutting down TE’s this season. I don’t think McNabb will kill us, but you never know, he has Giant killing in his veins.
Can Washington score enough points to threaten the Giants this weekend?
Can they? Sure they can. Will they? No, probably not. With Clinton Portis out for the year, and Keliand Williams being the feature back right now, Washington simply doesn’t have enough weapons to threaten the Giants. The only issues the Giants may have is getting to McNabb, and stopping the speedy Anthony Armstrong. Without Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks this could very well be another tight game, though.
Final prediction for game?
I didn’t get a chance to post my prediction, but I called 24-20 Giants’ win last week and I was off by one point! I’m 8-3 predicting games, including the pre-season. (Take me to Vegas!) This will be a test for the Giants, I think. Can they win another must-win game and a game they’re supposed to win? I think so. Giants 27 Redskins 17
DeAngelo Hall has six picks this season, do you think he’ll get Eli this weekend?
Hall has been a killer for opposing teams, because he has been able to cut the field in half and force you to throw to the other side of the field. If Nicks and Smith were healthy for this game I’d say they could limit Hall, to a degree. However, with them both not playing, Hall will likely contain Mario Manningham and force Manning to throw to Boss, Beckum and Hagan. The Giants’ will likely try and run first, again this week. I don’t think Hall will beat Manning, but Eli does throw some passes that could be picked, so it’s very possible.
What have you seen so far from Derek Hagan since he’s returned?
Hagan has done everything the Giants’ could have realistically asked for when they re-signed him. He’s made plays when they’ve asked him, too, and Manning trust’s him. He had a touchdown reception in his first game back and has blocked well. Granted he almost coughed up the ball (Coughlin challenged the fumble and got it overturned) but other than that he’s been solid. It’s hard to see him sticking past this season, though.
Anything else to add…?
If the Giants’ want to make the playoffs this season, they need to keep pounding both Jacobs and Bradshaw. The running game, for the first time this season, was balanced. Not only was Jacobs and Bradshaw used effectively, they even got D.J. Ware involved in the offense. With WR Steve Smith not likely returning until Dec. 12th, (and he’ll be limited) and Nicks’ out for at least another week or two, the Giants’ need pound the ball. If they can get away with a win this week, they are in prime position to beat the Vikings, with Smith seemingly back and face-off with the Eagles for rights to the divisional lead.
I also believe the Giants’ need to get TE Travis Beckum more involved as well. Although he’s a poor blocker, he can do some damage lined up in the slot. With Manningham seemingly blanketed by Hall, this could be a prime game for Beckum to breakout.


Game Ball Goes to….?
 Mario Manningham. Stepped up big time with Nicks and Smith out.

 Was this JPP breakout game or just an aberration?

 Breakout. He has all the skills. Just a bit raw. Looks like he’s putting it together now
 What was wrong the first half vs the Jaguars?
 Just lack of energy. Apathetic performance
The ususal: Eli Manning or Donovan Mcnabb running your team?

 Eli. No doubt in my mind. Better in crunch time.


 I don’t know. Receivers are worse now. Not as good of a running game. I don’t think it will
 Can Washington score any enough points to threaten the Giants this weekend?
I don’t think so. Giants are a better team, on both sides.
 Final prediction for game?
 Giants 28, Redskins 14
 How’d that change from Bradshaw to Brandon Jacobs go?
 pretty well, I thought. Jacobs was sharp, and Bradshaw still had big plays. No fumbles either. Good move by Coughlin

Why is Donovan Mcnabb struggling so much this year?
I think, as I said above, that he doesn’t have Jackson, or Maclin, or Westbrook. Skins just don’t have the same talent around McNabb as Philly did.

 The Giants have been owned by Donovan Mcnabb the past few seasons…is this a trend that will continue with his new team, Washington?

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One Response to “Giants Round Table: Keeping Hope Alive”

  1. Dave says:

    good arguments. hoping for a win, you never know with the gmen.

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