The New York Giants, winners of their last two games, have for the most part stemmed the tide of the beginning parts of the 2011 NFL season so far.
Numerous injuries have made the road for head coach Tom Coughlin and company very difficult so far, but Big Blue (2-1) look to build more momentum in week four against the Arizona Cardinals (1-2) in Glendale.
It’s sort of returning to the scene of the crime for many of the Giants players. Many fans remember the University of Phoenix Stadium as the site of Super Bowl 42, where the Giants pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history against the New England Patriots.
Also, Pro Bowl safety Antrel Rolle returns to face his former team for the first time. He has the tough task in keeping an eye out for star Cardinal wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The entire secondary, which has been depleted due to injuries throughout, will be a major factor.
Both Osi Umenyiora and Mario Manningham may start this week after they returned to practice. Umenyiora, who has yet to play a single down all season, can boost the defensive line that looks to put a stop to Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb. With him and Jason Pierre-Paul (4.5 sacks), the Giants can get back to their tradition of dominance on the defensive end.
Manningham is recovering from a concussion from the week 2 Monday night win against St. Louis. In his absence, Victor Cruz had a career game against the rival Eagles last week and will look to stay as a regular target for Eli Manning (745 passing yards, 6 TDs) along with Hakeem Nicks throughout the season.
If the offense wants to ground and pound with their two running backs, their offensive line has to do a better job blocking though. The team is averaging less than 100 yards per game on the ground, and both Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw have looked good but could definitely benefit from better blocking. The offensive line, who lost key components from the past few seasons, also needs to do a better job protecting Manning in the pocket.
Will the Giants share at least first place in the NFC East and become 3-1? If the secondary can limit Fitzgerald and Early Doucet’s receptions and yards after, Big Blue should put the pieces together for their third straight victory.
About the Author
Written by Chris Ryan
Chris Ryan is a Staten Island, NY native who is a graduate of SUNY-Cortland, majoring in sport management. At Cortland, he was the sports editor of the student-run newspaper The Dragon Chronicle for both his junior and senior year. He interned for the sports producer and sports anchor Bruce Beck at WNBC-4 Sports in New York City for their 6:00 and 11:00 news programs. Also, he interned in the summer of 2010 for the New York Jets as a sports writer for their website during their training camp which was shown on HBO's Hard Knocks program. Assignments included writing feature stories that were included on both newyorkjets.com and the Jets Playbook given out to the fans at the game. Most recently, he was a broadcast assistant with the NBA for the 2010-2011 season. Chris is a Yankees, Giants, Knicks and Rangers fan.