I'll start this post by apologizing to my loyal readers (all five of you) if you've been without your daily dose of Falcohol. A move and some long hours at work meant I was without internet to update with for almost the entire week. To make it up to you, I'll carry on as if nothing happened.
Let's start with some questions answered by ETVal of Big Blue View, SBN's excellent Giants blog. The Giants have been a seesaw team for the last few years, but I think it's fair to say they're more talented this year than they have been in a while. Does ETVal agree?
1. What exactly is Eli Manning? He seems to ride the roller coaster a lot in his week to week performances and I'm honestly not sure what to make of him. Will he ever be great?
ETVal: What is Eli? A very good NFL quarterback, that's what. This is not the Eli of a couple of years ago. He has grown a lot as a leader and as a player. He will never be Peyton or Tom Brady, but he can win. Last week he showed his maturity when he was horrible in the first half against the Jets, but rebounded to play well and throw 2 second-half touchdown passes as the Giants came from behind to win.
2. What's a realistic expectation for the Giants? The NFC East seems tougher this year than it has been in a while, minus the Eagles. Can they win the division?
ETVal: The Cowboys are winning the division unless a rash of injuries hits and they go in the tank. As for the Giants, they could win 11 games if everything breaks just right or they could implode and go 7-9. I think they will be one of those teams fighting for a wild-card spot right down to the final week.
3. Is Brandon Jacobs a star in the making?
ETVal: Good question. Everybody loves Jacobs' physical tools. The question is going to be how much pounding can he take w/his 'smash anything in his way' style. He already missed three games with a knee injury. By the way, Derrick Ward is a suprisingly good complement to Jacobs in the backfield. He is way better than anyone thought.
4. Who should the Falcons fear more than anyone else on both offense and defense?
ETVal: On offense, Plaxico Burress has been pretty much unstoppable. He has 7 touchdowns already. Most impressive, he is doing it with a bad ankle that has kept him from practicing for several weeks. He just shows up on game day and dominates. On defense, considering the patchwork nature of your offensive, fear the Chief. That's Chief Osi Umenyiora. The last time he faced a backup LT he dropped six sacks on Philadelphia's Winston Justice. If the Falcons don't double-team him he will kill Joey Harrington.
5. Just for fun, who is the worst player on the Giants?
Oh, boy! The worst player? I don't know, but let me do this. Let me give you the two players I consider the most disappointing. On offense, that would be the 2006 No. 2 pick, Sinorice Moss. The Giants thought Moss would give them a big-play threat at wide receiver similar to his brother Santana or Carolina's Steve Smith. He's done zilch in two years. His next big play will be his first. On defense, that would be cornerback Corey Webster. The Giants thought this guy would develop into a solid corner, but he's been awful. I cringe whenever he's on the field, which, thankfully, isn't very often these days.
Give a hand to ETVal and be sure to check out his site for all things Giants.