Blogging The Boys: Brandon Jacobs has turned into a stud. Talk about the Giants' running game and why it's been so effective recently, beyond Jacobs' natural talent.
Big Blue View: Jacobs (80 carries, 450 yards, 5.6 yards per carry) is a terrific player, as we all expected he would be. The Giants, though, have also succeeded with Derrick Ward (101 carries, 448 yards, 4.4 yards per carry) and Reuben Droughns (38/155/4.1) carrying the ball. That is a credit to an offensive line that has no superstars, but is one of the best in the league. They have been tremendous.
BTB: Is Eli Manning finally starting to emerge from his brother's shadow? Are the New York fans and media embracing him as the QB for this team far into the future?
BBV: Eli has been very good. He had a rough game against the Dolphins in London, the worst of his career (59 yards passing, I think). Other than that, though, he's been good. He has thrown the ball more accurately, has been in command of games, shown better body language and has grown into the role of offensive leader. He's made a few mistakes in two-minute situations, but he is a quality quarterback. He'll always be somewhat star-crossed in New York, but I think fans recognize they can win with this guy.
BTB: Plaxico Burress is having a fine season. I guess his injury and no-practice schedule is working for him. What's been the main ingredient in his successful season?
BBV: Burress used to be a guy who pouted and took plays off, a little bit like the reputation a certain wide receiver who is now in New England had. There has been none of that this season. Burress has played hard and Eli has been giving him chances to make plays. There is no question getting the ball to Burress comes first, then getting it to Shockey and Toomer is secondary.
BTB: We've been hearing all about the special 4-DE front-line and the pressure it can put on a QB. Talk about how the Giants use this formation and how the defense lines up.
BBV: The Giants use this line very judiciously and it has been tremendous. They will use it in long-yardage situations. You won't see it in third-and-five, but you will see it in third-and-seven or similar situations. This group lines up with Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora at the ends and Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka at the tackles. With Osi and Strahan putting pressure from the outside, quarterbacks have been stepping right up into Tuck and Kiwanuka all season, and they are fast enough to run guys down. The Dallas line is so big I am interested to see how effective Tuck and Kiwanuka will be coming from the inside, especially if the Cowboys try to go the trap/draw route.
BTB: Last year, Dallas got out of NY with a win on a last-second FG. What do you expect to happen this time around at the Meadowlands?
BBV: I am looking for another nail-biter. The Cowboys won't drop 45 points on the Giants this time, but the Giants won't hold them to 10 either. No predictions, but I'm guessing 27-24 or 30-27 either way, somewhere in there. And I am praying like hell that the game does not come down to a Lawrence Tynes field goal, since unpredictable is about the nicest word I can use for his kicking so far.