The New York Giants end their exhibition season Thursday night by facing the New England Patriots in a rematch of last season's Super Bowl. So, of course, I reached out to the folks over at our Patriots blog, Pats Pulpit, for a '5 Questions' segment.
'Pulpit' has a new lead blogger this season, so this is the first chance I have had to deal directly with 'MaPatsFan.' I enjoyed his answers, and I think you will, too.
BBV: Is there any hangover from last season's Super Bowl loss to the Giants? I know the season didn't end the way the Patriots and their fans thought it was supposed to.
Pats Pulpit: I will not skirt around this one: that was a devastating loss. The Patriots were to place the crown on top of their incredible achievement, the 2007 season. It was pre-ordained; who didn't think they should eat their cake, too? That is exactly why they lost. Philisophically, they were claiming their prize while the G-men came to play a football game - big difference. I know how this feels. We did the same to the "Greatest Show on Turf", the LA Rams. Now I know how their fans felt in 2001. The players claim there is no hangover, but I think they feel there's unfinished business, a chip on their shoulder if you will.
BBV: Are you worried at all about Tom Brady's injury? It doesn't seem like that big a deal, but I'm curious.
Pats Pulpit: From everything I've read, Brady and the Patriots claim this is a different injury than the one that plagued him before and, it seems, during the Super Bowl. I believe the Pats' front office is making the right move by resting Brady during the preseason and letting the backups take some lumps and get experience. It does worry me, however, that Brady has ALWAYS been there, a fixture on the team that we can count on. Like Colts fans with Peyton, it's an uncomfortable feeling.
BBV: The Patriots are obviously still a very good, very talented team. Is there anything that concerns you about this team, any weaknesses that you don't see a clear answer to?
Pats Pulpit: During 2007, I'd forgotten who the heroes of the offense truly are - the offensive line. I was so caught up in the Mosses and Welkers of the world, I abandoned the pigpile. A PatsPulpit co-writer, JohnHannahRules, has a PhD in O-Line and reminds every so often it's the foundation that the offense stands on, literally standing on the shoulders of giants. It's what plagued us during the Super Bowl and it's plaguing us now. The O-line is having its share of ups and downs with a rotating cast of FAs and injured vets coming back. Ultimately, I'd like to see a younger cast of 300 pounders standing in front of Brady. That, I believe, is the next place for Belichick to concentrate.
BBV: Aside from Brady, what player could the Patriots least afford to lose for a long period of time?
Pats Pulpit: This will be no surprise to the PatsPulpit readers. While Moss was running down the sidelines like a gazelle and scoring touchdowns, WR Wes Welker was getting it down underneath. Wes ended up being Brady's safety valve when Moss wasn't open. He became our chain mover, the one cabable of finding the soft spots and working the CBs. If Welker were injured, we'd lose that and have a difficult time making those 5-8 yard gains so critical on medium yard situations. His recent rib injury during the Eagles game sent shivers.
BBV: Now the question that I love to ask. If you could have one player off the Giants' roster, who would it be and why?
Pats Pulpit: Osi Umenyiora. As much as I hated seeing him in the backfield in February, I can appreciate the guy's ferocity and talent. He's a top notch pass rusher, physical and smart, too. My wish, as an opposing fan, is that we had a chance to face him again. That the Patriots had a chance to come up with an answer for Osi and prove that he isn't unstoppable. Or, at the very least, slow him down.
I find it incredibly interesting that 'MaPatsFan' chose Umenyiora as the Giant he would most like to have, despite Osi currently being out for the season. It tells you a little about what other people feel the Giants have lost.
I also appreciated 'Ma's' honesty in answering the Super Bowl question.
Be sure to check out Pats Pulpit for my answers to his questions.