Denver Broncos @ NEW YORK GIANTS
NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS: I Believe Issues With The Backfield And At Linebacker Are Too Much To Overcome In Time For Achieving Week Two Success.
I don't care much for things like the Manning Bowl, but Peyton's seven touchdown passes in Week One sure got my attention. This week, he'll be calling signals against a secondary containing a safety (Antrel Rolle) nursing a groin issue, and Prince Amukamara at corner who is one more solid hit to the helmet away from missing significant time with a real concussion. Not to mention, Peyton stands to befuddle a depleted and common linebacker unit.
That said, the Giants defensive line, and Justin Tuck in particular had a good Week One. Tuck led the team with eight tackles and assisted on a sack. Linval Joseph combined with Tuck, while JPP recorded a solo sack. Tuck and Joseph also had another two QB hits apiece. Peyton Manning is a statue and goes down easy, so there is a good chance the Giants can get their hands on him - but with Peyton's smarts and timing, not too much. There is no reason why they couldn't create enough havoc however, to induce an interception or two. And that's what the Giants will need - maybe a score by the defense, but certainly a turnover or two.
That's where Coach Fewell comes in. He needs to do a good job of disguise and deception, and figure a way to deliver some aggression Peyton's way. If the GMen just man-up against him, he'll dissect them like a Meadowlands swamp frog in some Secaucus high school biology class. This is why I prefer a 3-4 set over a 4-3 front. I guess in a 4-3 Mathias Kiwanuka is athletic enough to release from the line and cover a back or tight end, but without stunting, a four man front doesn't lend itself to much deception without blitzing. Otherwise, JPP's play last week was very encouraging.
I'm afraid the Giants are headed for a shoot-out. And why shouldn't they be able to hang around? Eli threw for over 400 yards last week and three different receivers caught passes for over 100 yards each. Even though the backfield is unsettled, at some point, the Giants could find themselves in the fourth quarter with a chance to affect a win. I just don't think the defense will be able to make enough stops to make anything stand - not without cashing in on turnovers.
I'm afraid the Giants just weren't prepared for the first two weeks of the season folks. Next week, regardless of opponent, the Giants will restart the season right. Sure, 0-2 is troublesome. But parity will rule the day. The NFC East division is up for grabs this year, and every team will stumble along the way.
Circling back to the running game, I fully expect Coach Gilbride to call at least twenty-five rushing attempts. But if Brandon Jacobs gets more than nine of them, something went very wrong. At this stage in his career, I don't know what game ready for Jacobs is, but I feel he needs at least another week before he becomes somewhat impactful, or at least helpful.
Trust me, I'd love to be wrong about all of this.