Editor’s Note: To help fans prepare for tomorrow’s big game with the Giants I turned to Andrew Ilnicki, editor of GMenHQ, for some help. Here’s five questions I had for Andrew and what he had to say. I also stole the title of this segment from Andrew. He’s a pretty smart guy. He just roots for the wrong team.
1. The Giants have sustained an incredible number of injuries early this season, but which one has had the greatest impact on the team?
Cornerback Terrell Thomas has been the biggest loss to the team. He was the best corner we had, best pure tackler, and his replacement was even injured during training camp. So now Aaron Ross, who has been consistently awful, is left to step up in his place. Behind him, it’s probably Prince Amukamara, who was the first draft pick the Giants made this year. He has a broken foot and is not due back to practice until October. Pretty pathetic.
2. Eli Manning won a Super Bowl only four seasons ago, but his play still draws a considerable amount of debate among Giants fans and New York media. What is the overall perception of Giants’ quarterback in New York?
That he makes too many mistakes, be it forcing the ball into tight coverage, or goes to the turf head first and looses the football at the most critical moment of the game. He has talent, knows the offense, can play at a high level– and if he minimized those mistakes he would be at that level he says he can play at. Waiting to see it. Haven’t seen it in two years.
3. What are the two things the Giants absolutely must do in order to win Sunday’s game?
The Giants are going to need to do what they always do–run the football and pressure the quarterback. The offense is predicated on the ability to run the football. This means the line needs to make some blocks and get into the second level. If they don’t, they will sputter on offense. Manning also needs to hit short passes to guys in motion and get the play-action game going.
The other thing–get pressure on the QB. If that’s Vick, fine. If it’s Kafka… I’ll be more optimistic (Editor’s note–it’s going to be Vick, sorry). But the way the corners have been struggling the Giants best shot on defense is to get that pressure early and often and shut things down before they get going for the Eagles.
4. It seems like Osi Unemyiora is constantly in the headlines as of late. He’s had much to say about his contract, injuries, desire to still play with the Giants, the Eagles, etc. What do you make of Umenyiora’s candor?
I can appreciate less coy behavior and more candor this day in age. The media baits every NFL player behind a microphone, so to see Umenyiora respectful but honest and willing to discuss his opinions is refreshing and the way it ought to be. No canned answers, no bitterness–just honest discussion about the reality of contracts and negotiations in the NFL today. Beyond that, I really hope he does want to help the Giants win this season and that he gets back on the field soon.
5. Big divisional game. Two bitter rivals. A swing game for both teams—who you got? Give a score and briefly explain why.
I have the Giants. I think they were so close in getting over that hump and getting back to the postseason last time these teams played–I think they figured a few things out. But then they left early. They NEED to play for 60 minutes, and nobody on this team has forgotten what happened last time. If you can’t get up for this game, you don’t belong on the Giants, or Eagles for that matter.