The Giants caught an indirect break this week with the news of Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone fracture, an injury that will keep him sidelined for at least 3 weeks. Big Blue should be coming out of their bye feeling much better about their season. They’ll be playing a banged up Raiders unit this Sunday, a Packers team missing their franchise QB the next, and have a date with the Dallas Cowboys at home on Sunday, November 24th. Through the first 6 games of the season, I was one of the biggest critics of the effort and performance the Giants put on the field week to week. But with the volatility of the NFC East, and what appears to be a bit of luck on their side, the Giants have a legitimate chance at getting to the post season. These next 3 games will be the deciding factor on where the Giants want to go in this 2013 season.
Coming off a pathetic loss to the New York Jets this past week, Drew Brees and the Saints will be looking to get back on track with a win this week at home against the Cowboys. The ‘boys have been on an emotional ride these past 2 weeks and I don’t see them walking out of New Orleans with a W in their pocket. My expectation is they’ll enter their bye week sitting at 5-5. The Philadelphia Eagles are not a good football team. Yes, Foles made history last week against the Raiders with his 7 touchdown passes but don’t forget what he did a few weeks ago against the Cowboys, completing only 11 of 29 passes and throwing no touchdowns before getting knocked out of the game a concussion. The kid is inconsistent and not a proven winner, as are the Eagles as a unit. The Redskins are mediocre at best and have a daunting closeout schedule to finish up their season, including 2 games against our G-Men. Anyone who thinks RG3 is the same player he was a year ago is kidding themselves. Just like everyone but himself had expected, RG3 is not superhuman like Adrian Peterson and the effects of his knee reconstruction have been visible not only on the field, but in his stats.
All of this leads us to the New York Giants. The potential for a hot streak has increased substantially with the injury to Aaron Rodgers and the improvement to our defense as a unit. The way our defense is performing at this point in the season will allow the Giants to stay competitive in every game. What we haven’t seen this year is the offensive dominance that we’ve been so accustomed to over the past few seasons. Don’t think the Giants haven’t hammered away at finding a solution to this over their bye week. Hakeem Nicks performance this season has been as whimsical as the Giants. His inconsistent play is a main reason the offense has not been able to get on track through the first 8 games. Gilbride has been preaching it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out. His critics have pointed out his lack of separation from cornerbacks as well as his unfortunate case of the drops. In the next 8 games one of these opinions will have to give. Drops can be overcome, and based on his first 4 years with the team he has had some of the surest hands in the league. Nicks has never been one for separation, he’s extremely difficult to take down after the catch. Once Hakeem starts bringing in his targets, and he will, his play-making ability will once again be on display for all to see. If the Giants have plans on returning to their dominating form, Hakeem Nicks must be the one to take them there.
The Giants offense is going to hit their stride in the second half of the season and I believe the Giants will be right in the thick of the NFC East race come December. If New York can win these next 3 games, I expect the Redskins, Cowboys, and Giants all to be sitting at 5-6, tied for 1st place in the division before tie breakers. This roller coaster ride is just getting started Giants fans, hold on to your seats.