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Know Thy Enemy: Big Blue View, our New York Giants Blog

If you're anything like me, you probably don't know a dang thing about the New York Giants and more importantly, their current football squad (other than the trio of Eli Manning, Jeremy Shockey, and Plaxico Burress). Never fear, ETVal from Big Blue View, our New York Giants Blog, has accepted the task of answering this Buc's Fans Questions in a lovely SB Nation Q & A Session......

JScott:
There's been a lot of talk this year about whether Eli Manning was not only good enough to QB for the Giants, but whether he could make it in the NFL period. Has that talk subsided this season or is there a portion of the fan base that would like to see him go?

ETVal:
Ah, the Eli question right off the bat. Read the comments on my site pretty much any day (even after Eli was brilliant Saturday against New England) and you know a large portion of Giants' fans are tired of waiting for Eli. He frustrates all of us because he has brilliant games like Saturday night, but then too many games where he looks like the backup on the high school JV. There are plenty of fans who would like to see him run out of town. A good playoff run, though, and that opinion will change.

JScott:
Ronde's brother Tiki Barber retired during the off-season, has Brandon Jacobs and Company been able to carry the load? Does the team lack excitement with Tiki gone?

ETVal:
Tiki Who? The Giants have not missed Barber's running at all. Jacobs is an absolute terror defenders hate to tackle. Derrick Ward ran really well in games Jacobs missed before breaking his leg. Reuben Droughns has contributed, and rookie Ahmad Bradshaw (151 yards against Buffalo, 88-yard touchdown run) might end up being the best of the bunch. To be fair, Barber was a great receiver as well. Jacobs has hands of stone, so throwing the ball to him is an adventure. Bradshaw can be a dangerous receiver, though. As for excitement, no the Giants don't lack it. They are better this year than they were a year ago, both offensively and defensively.

JScott:
The Giants, like the Bucs, have struggled against some of the more elite teams in the NFL this season (Cowboys, Packers, etc). Whats the story behind that? What would you say is your teams Achilles heel?

ETVal:
Well, the story behind that is that there is an elite group of teams in the NFL, and the Giants have not been one of them. They have been a cut below -- good enough to beat most teams, but not good enough to beat the true Super Bowl contenders. Giants' fans are hopeful the team will take that step in these playoffs. This teams' Achilles Heel is pass defense. If they don't get pressure on Jeff Garcia Sunday, there will be plays down field available for the Buccaneers.

JScott:
Coughlin decided to play his players, while Gruden decided to rest his players. Do you feel either coach made the correct decision? Do you think the Giants will be able to muster up the same energy and drive against the Bucs?

ETVal:
I think Coughlin was correct to go for it Saturday. The Giants lost, but that's the best game they have played this season. The Giants finished the season with an inspiring come-from-behind win over Buffalo and a terrific effort against New England. Coughlin believes, and I agree, that the Giants are headed into the playoffs playing well. As for Sunday, the impressive thing about this team is that it always gives maximum effort. It isn't always pretty, but they play their guts out.

JScott:
Our fan base was pretty excited to sign former Giant, Luke Petitgout this off-season. Shortly after the season started he was injured for the year. Did the Giants O-Line and Fan Base miss the guy or have you guys not missed a beat with Luke gone?

ETVal:
Letting Petitgout go was a controversial decision by rookie GM Jerry Reese, one I'm not sure even Coughlin endorsed. Petitgout, however, is no more than an average to slightly above average left tackle, and he wanted to be paid like a super star (and the Bucs obliged). So, the Giants let him go. David Diehl moved from guard to left tackle to replace him, and he's been tremendous. The Giants have a very good offensive line, so letting Luke go turned out to be the right move.

JScott:
Being a Mets Fan in Florida, are Giants Fans generally Yankees Fans and Jets Fans are Mets Fans or do I have it backwards?

ETVal:
Yes, Giants fans are Yankees fans and Jets fans are Mets fans. Except, of course for 'Mr. Met,' one of my faithful readers who loves the Giants.

JScott:
Whats your prediction for the game, including a score?

ETVal:
Well, I have to take the Giants. I'm getting sick of watching Jeff Garcia whup the Giants in the playoffs (San Franciso and last year with the Eagles), and it's payback time. Giants 24, Bucs 20.

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Ed, my man, I appreciate your time. Words can't even express how excited I am to watch this Playoff game. I never thought we'd make it to the Playoffs with all of the injuries we sustained.... Good Luck Sunday and I'm sure we'll (Q & A) it up again.... Be sure to checkout Big Blue View, SBNation's New York Giants Blog, ETVal does one heck of a job over there!!

Go Bucs!!!