Wed 26 Dec 2012
The New York Giants need a lot of breaks to qualify for the NFL Playoffs. First and foremost, they must defeat the archrival Eagles at Met Life Stadium to finish 9-7. That means containing Mike Vick. You know it’ll be his final start for Philadelphia and he’ll want to make an impression. He’s auditioning for a job elsewhere. Whether it be for the hometown Jets or where ever, Vick doesn’t need any extra incentive. He’s plenty good enough to start for another franchise. You know he’d like nothing better than to stick it to the Giants and send Andy Reid out a winner in probably his last game as Eagles coach. He’s lasted 15 years. A tip of the cap to him.
In order for Big Blue to prevail, they must come out sharp. Against a putrid opponent, a quick start could be just what the doctor ordered. That means Eli Manning returning to championship form. Against that defense, he should be able to make connection with Victor Cruz, who also has been quiet during a second half collapse. With Hakeem Nicks clearly not himself, opponents have keyed on Cruz playing him tight. That’s included dangerous hits like the one Ed Reed delivered last week in Baltimore’s 20-point rout. Cruz has taken a lot of punishment but hasn’t missed a snap. Manning will involve tight end Martellus Bennett, who’s been a coup for Jerry Reese. The ex-Cowboy has delivered big catches for first downs and finding the end zone. Reese may not have addressed the Giants’ lack of secondary depth or weak middle but he did a solid job adding another target for Eli at a position of need. It’s not Reese’s fault that a front four that includes John Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora has disappeared with the latter two so disappointing that they might not be back. The Giants GM will have some tough decisions in the offseason.
It’ll be interesting to see what Tom Coughlin gets from banged up top back Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is a warrior who’ll play through anything. Dad thinks they should cut him loose due to being injury prone. I am not sure I agree because I love what Bradshaw brings. A hunger and winning mentality that’s been missing. David Wilson has speed to burn and should be heard from. The injury to Andre Brown really hurt as he was a tough back to tackle in the open field who was strong on the goal line. Hopefully, he’ll return next year. Sunday could also be the end for Corey Webster. The former playoff hero has been brutal down the stretch, getting victimized last week by the Ravens, who successfully burned him. I like Webster but the facts are ugly. It looks like this Sunday could be his final game in a Giant uniform. Hope he gives them something.
While the Giants need to prevail over the Eagles to match last year’s regular season record, which was good enough to win the Super Bowl, they need the following to happen:
A.Detroit to beat Chicago- This classic battle will be going on at the same time. The Bears haven’t played well down the stretch but should be able to prevail over the hapless Lions, who seem intent on getting Jim Schwartz fired. Detroit boasts record breaking receiver Calvin Johnson and can put up points. So, they’re capable. However, it’s hard to see a tough Bears D losing at home with the playoffs in front of them.
B.Green Bay to beat Minnesota- If the Vikings win over their nemesis, they’re in. Adrian Peterson is having a season for the ages. He has a shot at Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record. He deserves MVP over Peyton Manning and Tom Brady regardless. The Packers are still playing for something and have been on fire since getting their asses handed to them by the Giants. Aaron Rogers is playing lights out and the Pack D has picked it up, making them possible favorites to come out of the NFC. They’re fully capable of wrecking Minnesota’s season.
C.Dallas to upset Washington- Alright. It wouldn’t be that much of an upset. However, can anyone outside of Dallas see the Jekyll & Hyde Cowboys go into Washington and beat RG3 and the Redskins. The sizzling Skins seem like a team of destiny. Given up for dead at 3-6, they haven’t lost since. If they win Sunday night, that would be seven straight wins to capture the NFC East. One of the great runs. RG3 and Morris are some rookie duo. I wasn’t much of a believer in Mike Shanahan but you have to give him credit. He challenged his team and they’ve responded. Maybe Coughlin should’ve said his players were playing for jobs instead of being befuddled by their lax attitude. Tony Romo has had some miraculous fourth quarter comebacks including last week’s touchdown pass that forced overtime before New Orleans broke Texas hearts. Is there a crazier player than Dez Bryant? Remarkable talent. Two cent head. He does make plays. And Jason Witten is unreal. So, can Rob Ryan devise a plan to stop RG3 or will the rival Giant fans hate the most give them more reason to kick and scream. It might not matter.