New York Football Giants = COMPLETE DOMIANTION
I cannot say this enough. I get tired of people who hate the Giants talking all this nonsense about “But the Titans are 10-0” or “Wait ’til Week 16!!! (The 8-2 Carolina Panthers come to East Rutherford that week)”.
Let me explain something.
The Giants’ offensive line is the best in the NFL. Anyone who says otherwise is jealous and willfully blind. This unit, comprised of Dave Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie have been playing together for five years now. There is something to be said for chemistry and consistency. The offensive line has gotten progressively better since 2004 when they were assembled. Now? The Giants lead the NFL in rushing at 170 yards per game. Earth (Brandon Jacobs), Wind (Derrick Ward), & Fire (Ahmad Bradshaw), as they’ve been dubbed, pound teams into submission. Even the Baltimore Ravens, who only surrender about 65 yards per game rushing usually.
The Giants managed 210 (minus three on kneel downs to wrap it up) in Week 11.
Eli Manning has cut down dramatically on his mistakes. He reverted to his rookie mistakes versus Cleveland in Week 6, which was a loss, but other than that, Eli has done what he needs to do. He proved he could single-handedly win games, and he proved he could “manage” (I hate that word) games — which he has done of late.
The defensive line sets the tone for the entire defense. Although the Pittsburgh Steelers surpassed the Giants in sacks two weeks ago, sacks do not dictate how great a defensive unit is. The Giants make timely and HUGE plays. The sacks are just a portion of that. The linebackers keep contain. They stay in their gap and maintain gap discipline, they are good in coverage and are solid tacklers.
The secondary, which people who don’t even watch Giant games (only highlight shows), is much better than people realize. They come up with huge interceptions (a dozen in the past six weeks?) excellent tacklers and with rookie free safety Kenny Phillips (Sean Taylor 2.0 — FROM?!?!) the Giants are pretty much the best defense in the NFC and only second to the Steelers or Titans, if second at all.
Add to that, clutch kicking from John Carney, Sheila MacRae, Audrey Meadows, GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY!!! The best punter in the history of the NFL (and master of the Coffin Corner Kick) Jeff Feagles, and a very good return game featuring Domenik Hixon on punts and Ahmad Bradshaw on kickoffs and the Giants do not have any glaring weaknesses.
The Steelers do: Ben Roethlisberger and his decision-making. Their offensive line woes. Willie Parker’s health. Their secondary’s tendency to gamble to make big plays.
The Titans do: Kerry Collins did what he is doing right now with the Titans back in 2000 with the Giants. DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE. They run the ball excellently (aside from the loss to the Chicago Bears — 29 rushes, 20 yards). They have the best defensive tackle in the NFL (and it’s not close) in Albert Haynesworth. Their linebackers are solid, if not unspectacular. Their secondary consists of ballhawks (especially Courtland Finnegan, who is underrated).
But one thing that holds Tennessee back — their ability to pass for yardage when their running game is stifled. Sure, they did it against Green Bay and Chicago, but those aren’t great defenses. We will see when they play Indianapolis (with a healthy Bob Sanders) and Pittsburgh — or even the Giants, should both teams reach the Super Bowl. Again I say, Kerry Collins will KILL them if he has to pass the ball 30-35 times per game. Eli Manning for the most part only makes one or two bad throws per game, and every other game, one of them will be an INT. Collins hasn’t seen anything yet.
This is the most you’ll hear a seasoned Giant fan of 25 years toot our horn, because we all know better. Even the Giants teams from 1985-1993 (excluding Handley in 1991-1992), with all their talent and dominance, did not elicit bragging from the fans. The 2008 outfit won’t either.
All I am saying is, right now, the Giants = COMPLETE DOMINATION.
We will see if that lasts into February 2009 when it matters most. No bragging. No prognostications. No putting Dallas, Washington (or WARSHINGTON, as Lee Corso says it) and the Iggles down. Just focusing on US.