It's Friday, so it's time to visit with the enemy. This week, we talk to a guy you guys know well by now, as many years as we've been talking to him about the Giants. It's Ed Valentine at Big Blue View, SB Nation's outstanding Giants blog.
We posed 5 Questions, and came up with this:
Blogging The Boys: What's the deal with the Giants offensive line? So many moving parts I can't keep up!
Big Blue View: Injuries, injuries, injuries. After several years of staying injury-free, this group is decimated right now. At center, Shaun O'Hara has a Lisfranc sprain and is extremely unlikely to play. Unfortunately, the Giants just put his backup, Adam Koets, on IR with a knee injury. That means Rich Seubert will move from guard to center. That's one change. Second change is, with Seubert moving somebody has to play left guard. Logical candidate is David Diehl, who is usually the left tackle. Except he has a torn hamstring and won't play. So, Kevin Boothe, who just came off PUP this week and rookie Mitch Petrus will play there. Shawn Andrews, the former Eagle, will play left tackle. As much of a mess as it seems to be, I have no worries about center or left tackle individually. Guard is different. The other problem is these three have never played together, so communication might be dicey.
BTB: What's been the reaction to the coaching change in Dallas? Do Giants fans think Jason Garrett can change this team, or is it likely to keep playing bad football?
BBV: Well, we would like to see them playing bad football for at least one more week! Honestly, the reaction is that he can't do a worse job than Wade Phillips but that he is most likely just keeping the seat warm for whoever JJ hires next. Nobody knows anything for sure, but I would expect to see Dallas play with greater effort the next few weeks.
BTB: The Giants running game is back, and to be feared. What's been the key?
BBV: The biggest key has been the switch to Ahmad Bradshaw as the primary back. He is quicker and more explosive than Brandon Jacobs, and has the ability to make people miss and get into the secondary. Jacobs, though, has run hard the past few weeks and seems to have found a role. I would say another key thing has been the play of Bear Pascoe at fullback. Pascoe is a tight end converting to fullback because Madison Hedgecock is injured, and Pascoe has been outstanding clearing lanes for Bradshaw and Jacobs.
BTB: The Giants defense is among the league leaders in all kinds of statistical categories, but rank a little lower in points/game. Is that a problem on special teams? Or some other area?
BBV: It's been a field position issue, which directly relates to kick coverage. The Giants showed dramatic improvement last week in kickoff coverage, but still gave up a 57-yard return to Seattle's Leon Washington. Every time the Giants kick the ball I hold my breath and pray somebody makes a tackle. If that defense wasn't so good, and hadn't held teams starting at the 40 or 50-yard line to a whole bunch of field goals, that points allowed number would look a lot worse.
BTB: What should be the Giants gameplan going against a new coach and a team they beat up a few weeks ago? Anything new, or just go with what's been working?
BBV: I think the Giants just have to do what they do best. On offense that is run the football, take advantage of whatever one-on-one matchups the Cowboys offer them on the outside with the receivers, limit their mistakes and control the clock. On defense that means stuff the run, make Dallas one-dimensional and then go cause Jon Kitna pain. When the Giants get in trouble is when they come up with these 'exotic' game plans that really don't play to what they do best. Of course, an early lead wouldn't hurt. You always want to get out in front of a team that is going badly and discourage them.
Thanks for the knowledge, Big Blue View.