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NY Post Interview with Howie Long

The NY Post interviewed Howie Long about the Giants:

“Q: Should the Giants play their starters on Sunday?

A: Sure. But whatever Tom Coughlin does, he has to be smart about it – he can’t rest his offensive linemen and play Eli Manning. And they cannot risk playing Brandon Jacobs if Jacobs is dinged. Let him sit and then you have two weeks to get that big diesel ready. Oh, boy, they will be tough then.

Q: Derrick Ward had the huge game against the Panthers, but how important was it for the Giants to have Jacobs back?

A: Brandon Jacobs is the MVP of that team. He sets up everything that they do in that offense. When he’s in, he keeps them off third-and-longs.

The thing that worries me about Jacobs is, I don’t know how long he can go in his career, as physical as he is. Running backs like Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders, you were lucky to get a piece of them. Jacobs runs to darkness, right into the contact. He’s as physical a running back as you will see. And I don’t know how long you can last in the league running like that.

Q: Do you think the Giants are obligated to play their starters because the Vikings and Bears are involved in the NFC North race?

A: I don’t think the Giants are obligated to do anything except what’s best for the Giants. The Bears and the Vikings are responsible for winning their games during the year so they are not in the position where they have to root for another team.

Q: The win over the Panthers was important to get home-field advantage, but do you think it was equally important for the Giants to get back on track after losing two straight?

A: That win could mean to the Giants what the Week 17 loss to the Patriots meant last year. To get off the mat after being down in the first half and to come back and win is going to give them great momentum.

Q: Who is the Giants’ biggest challenger in the NFC?

A: Against the Panthers, they saw a mirror image of the team the Giants were last year rolling into the playoffs. The momentum they have now is extraordinary, even though the Panthers lost the game. They have two great running backs, a dominant defensive line and an offensive line that’s really coming together at the right time.”

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