Will the efficient, clock-controlling, big play Giants get off the plane in Dallas? Or will it be the tired, sloppy, Eli-interception-throwing Giants? Both were present in Jersey last Sunday, so who knows.
Which Giants show up in Big D could say a lot about the direction of the season. Later in the season, hopes will become expectations if the Giants do well — if they don't, worries will become full blown fears. Nothing is decided in Week 2, but Giant fans will see how their squad measures up to the NFL elite, and will have some sense which way the wind is blowing in '09.
HOPE: Eli Manning makes great decisions, (= no INTs!!) lets his running game do the heavy lifting, and then finds the open receiver without hesitation in big spots.
WORRY: Another what-the-F-are-you-doing moment from Eli where he tries to force a pass into the teeth of the opposing defense.
HOPE: The defensive line, led by Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, dominates the trenches and controls the flow of the game like they did Sunday for 3 quarters.
WORRY: The defensive line tires and starts backpedaling in the fourth quarter like they did Sunday.
HOPE: Mario Manningham catches another big strike and develops into a front line wideout.
WORRY: Maningham and his fellow inexperienced receivers will struggle to get open against the Dallas secondary and the G-men won't look their way once in the red zone.
HOPE: The offensive line will repeat their solid performance from the Skins game and give Eli all day to survey the field.
WORRY: Dallas D enjoys Eli sandwich.
HOPE: Bandon Jacobs runs roughsod over the Dallas D.
WORRY: Big Blue running game will be too predictable and the Giants may have to go pass-only if they're trailing late.
HOPE: Several punts strike that monstrosity of a scoreboard.
WORRY: There will be so much hype over the punts striking the scoreboard that it'll strip away any pleasure of seeing Dallas's stadium get ridiculed.
FINAL ANALYSIS: More worry than hope coming into this one. Dallas 27-17. Prove me wrong Big Blue!!!
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Written by Mark Reichman