I have no idea what to expect from the Giants this weekend. A surprisingly lackluster effort doomed the G-Men against the Cardinals last week, and their success in Philadelphia will probably have more to do with their degree of attitude adjustment this week than with their game plan.
Whereas us regular folks can adjust attitude with a few discounted beers after work, it seems a lot harder for this Giants team to change its emotional direction. It feels to me like Coach Tom Coughlin is slow to react to the issues his team is facing. And while the old man is fuming and stomping about, who is leading this team from the inside? Our would-be leaders, Tiki and Strahan, are busy hawking five dollar footlongs and being TV stars. Who does that leave with the personality to throw a few chairs around the locker room and fire up their teammates?
Well, it ain't Eli. The best I can gather is Antonio Pierce fills this role of team leader. Also known as the man who enabled/aplogized for Plaxico Burress bringing a loaded gun into a club jammed with innocent people. Not exactly a demonstration of toughness and leadership. Maybe I'm being too hard on Pierce but you see where I'm going with this….I'm afraid of a potential leadership and toughness void at the core of this team.
And without a unifying force to get everyone confident, agressive and on the same page, the success of the Giants depends on a random collection of the players' individual psyches. To predict each individual Giant's mindstate against the Eagles is therfore better done with tea leaves and horoscopes than an actual study of X's and O's.
But when I close my eyes, I envision the Eagles pulling out a close one. Call it 24-20. Eli improves but not enough to beat the midnight green cheesesteaks.
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Written by Mark Reichman