It’s Friday, that means it’s time to go behind enemy lines and see what’s happening with the New York Giants. When we play the Giants, we speak with Big Blue View to learn about this week’s opposition.
Blogging The Boys: The defense has been coming on for the Giants, how much does the Jason Pierre-Paul injury affect the situation on that side of the ball?
Big Blue View: It's devastating, and that is something I probably would not have said 5-6 weeks ago. Pierre-Paul, much to my amazement, played as well the past few weeks as he has at any time in his career. He and Olivier Vernon are a tremendous pair of bookends. Now, teams will just roll everything at [Vernon] in terms of protection. JPP is second on the Giants in sacks, second among DEs in the league in passes defensed and among the top six in hurries. Not to mention he is as good vs. the run as any 4-3 DE in the league. So, yeah, that hurts.
BTB: The Giants offense isn't as good as hoped, what are the main issues on that side of the ball?
BBV: Oh, I could write a book on that one. The OL isn't good. They can't run consistently. The passing attack is built around quick throws designed so Eli doesn't get killed. Do not be fooled by the low sack total -- Manning is tremendous at getting the ball out quickly and moving in the pocket to avoid sacks. Penalties. Turnovers. Ben McAdoo being too stubborn to get out of "11" personnel and open up the playbook. Giants use "11" 92 percent of the time. I could go on ... and on ... and on. But, I think you get the idea.
BTB: A playoff spot is there for the taking for the Giants. How confident are the fans that this team will get there?
BBV: Well ... that's a good question. I haven't polled yet this week, which I need to do. I think there is a lot of nervousness because all of the teams chasing the Giants (Green Bay, Minnesota, Washington) have victories over them. The Giants likely have to get to 10 wins. If they lose to Dallas, they host Detroit, then go on the road for Eagles and Redskins. A Week 17 game in Washington w/a playoff berth on the line is NOT a pleasant thought.
BTB: What's your take on the issue between Victor Cruz and head coach Ben McAdoo?
BBV: I think that Cruz was frustrated b/c he didn't get the ball Sunday, that's all. Cruz still thinks of himself as a star, as the guy he was 5 years ago, and he's not that guy anymore. He is the No. 3 receiver in a three-receiver set, and I think that's a tough pill for him to swallow. He doesn't separate from defenders. He’s been losing playing time to UDFA rookie Roger Lewis. By my count, Cruz was open twice on Sunday and by the time he got open Eli had already thrown the ball.
BTB: If the Cowboys want to win in New York, what should their game plan be on offense, and on defense?
BBV: Offense -- First and foremost you make certain that Olivier Vernon does not beat you. Head up on Tyron Smith you don't worry about that matchup, I'm sure. But, my guess is the Giants will move him around -- inside, to the other side, etc. When he's away from Smith make sure you double him. Run the ball, especially at what should have been JPP's side. Get the ball to Witten, since the Giants haven't covered him in maybe 10 years.
Defense -- Don't bother loading the box. Teams are handling the Giants' running game with six in.
Thanks for the knowledge Big Blue View.