2010 has been just as schizo as any season in the Tom Coughlin era. With a defense that can dominate and and an offense that can take over a game, Big Blue has looked awesome at times. Yet a lack of first half execution, turnover problems, and a strange dropoff in intensity at times have made the Giants very unpredictable and hard to figure from one game to the next.
With only five games left (against the Skins twice, the Eagles, Packers and Vikings) there is no place for the mediocre version of the Giants to hide down the stretch. Big Blue ended their last contest vs. Jacksonville on a high note, as three consecutive sacks of Jaguars QB David Garrard slammed the door shut at the end of a hotly contested game. They had better hope this is the confident spirit that carries over to the first plays of Sunday’s contest against the Redskins.
What the Giants don’t want is a repeat of a troubling pattern of first quarter ineptitude. Last week the Giants knocked in a field goal for their first first-drive-of-the-game points of the season, but that was only because of a very fortunate replay call that nullified what would have been a drive-disrupting fumble. They got away with it last week, but you just feel from watching these games that the sand has run out of the hourglass of the Giants second chances. Big Blue must execute from here on out or they will be watching the playoffs on TV.
I liked the return of Brandon Jacobs to the starting lineup last week. Jacobs is hungry and capable of softening the opposing defensive front with his bruising assaults. Ahmad Bradshaw may arguably be the Giants offensive MVP this year, but if he gets enough carries after Jacobs has set the tone I only see Ahmad being more successful.
With Hakeem Nicks (who was starting to elevate his game) out for a few weeks, its receiver by committee once again. When Eli throws the ball its anyone’s guess who might be on the other end of the toss. Its up to Manning to be a little more fundamentally sound in his decisions than he has been, and its up to TE Kevin Boss and the running game to do a lot of the heavy lifting so a Mario Manningham can find himself somewhat ignored in single coverage.
The Redskins, with a poor offense and a low QB rating for Donovan McNabb don’t pose a huge threat for Big Blue, once again its the Giants own schizo confidence that can derail them.
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Written by Mark Reichman