Each week, we've had an opportunity to ask and answer five questions from our opponent's SBN blog. This week, with the Giants on tap, we shipped off five questions to Big Blue View and answered the give they sent us. We tend to focus on the upcoming week, who's out, who to watch out for, how certain players are doing etc. This week, we turned over the question asking to the users here at Buc Em. You guys threw a few questions our way, and in turn, we asked Ed over at Big Blue View.
Be sure to hop over there and check out their take on the game this week, as well as their Q&A with us.
1) With Plaxico gone, has this helped or hurt the evolution of Eli Manning as a quarterback? Do you feel the 2007 playoff run was the coming of age of both Manning and the team?
How much more does Eli need to 'evolve' before people -- even some Giants fans -- will acknowledge that he is a card-carrying member of the Elite Quarterbacks Club in the NFL? A Super Bowl MVP performance in '07 in which he outplayed Jeff Garcia, Tony Romo, Brett Favre and Tom Brady. A Pro Bowl season last year in which he had the best completion percentage of his career. He's not his brother, but he is elite. As for coming of age, I do think this is a very mature team that seldom gets rattled, and 2007 has a lot to do with it. Sunday's Dallas game, playing in front of 105,000 people in the first game at JerryWorld, and winning on a last- second field goal, was a great
2) With Derrick Ward gone, has this hurt the running game. Zero rushing TD's through week 2, is this a sign of Jacobs slowing down, missing Ward, just a fluke, or teams daring Eli to beat them?
Ward is a good back, but it's not his absence that has hurt the ground game. To be honest, I'm not sure what the issue is with the run game right now. Teams might be loading the box a little, but I also think part of it is that the two teams the Giants have played Washington and Dallas -- are among the best run defenses in the
league. Ahmad Bradshaw can handle the No. 2 role behind Jacobs -- and a lot of Giants fans have long thought he is a better player than Ward. The only issue at running back right now is that Danny Ware, the third back, is out for a couple of weeks with an elbow injury. I'm confident that in the end the Giants will run the ball just as
well as they have the past couple of years.
3) With Tuck out this weekend (assuming he is), who should the Bucs look out for? Is their a primary pass rusher or blocker that has to be accounted for on every play?
Well, of course you need to account for Osi Umenyiora. I have the 'who is better, Tuck or Osi?' argument with Giants fans all the time. Tuck is a better run defender and a more consistent guy who is a force on every play. Osi is more of a guy who might not show up for most of a game, but in an instant can make a spectacular, game-changing play. If Tuck is out, Mathias Kiwanukawill play and, to be honest, I think he is every bit as good if not better than Umenyiora.
4) Tom Coughlin was on his way out a few years back but with a Super Bowl win has settled in. How long will he make it in New York?
As long as he wants to. It's funny, the folks from 'Hogs Haven' asked me the same thing a couple of weeks ago and I don't even know why that's a question at this point. He's got the Super Bowl title, a good shot at another one this year, and is working on four straight playoff appearances. He is going to go down as one of the three
greatest coaches in Giants history, along with Bill Parcells and Steve Owen.
5) You asked us, now I'll ask you. If you could take one of the Bucs players and put him on your team, who would it be and why?
This is a question I am going to have a difficult time answering -- I simply don't know the Buccaneers' roster very well. I might take Barrett Ruud since the Giants don't have an obvious long-term replacement for Antonio Pierce. I know he is getting up in age, but considering how thin the Giants are these days in the defensive backfield I would take Ronde Barber for a year, as well.
Thanks to Ed and Big Blue View for their time and answers.