Game Day: New York Giants' reading material

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The day has barely started, and I know you guys are dying for 4:15 p.m. to get here already. That's when our New York Giants kick off their season against the Washington Redskins.

If you have been here for a while, you know I'm not much for predictions. I think the Giants will win today -- slice it any way you want, they are at home and they have more talent than the Redskins.

If they lose, I won't throw in the towel on the season. All I can say is I have a strong hunch this team will be better -- maybe much better -- at the end of the season than at the beginning.

Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News summed up his thoughts on the Giants this way.

This is not a perfect team. It’s not a juggernaut. And I’d be surprised if it’s as good as last year’s pre-Plaxico version. But look around the NFC? Who’s better? The Vikings and a quarterback who was retired until late August? The Saints with no defense? The Eagles with all their injuries? The Falcons with a second-year quarterback? The mess in the NFC West?

This is a weak and wide-open conference and the Giants, with their powerful offensive line and potentially powerful defensive line, are as good as any team in it. Yes, they have issues that could potentially be significant. But they are undoubtedly a good team that has the potential to be great if things go their way, if they’re healthy in December, and if they don’t - - figuratively or literally - - shoot themselves in the foot.

They are also a team that, health-permitting, will get stronger as the season goes on. I get the sense from the players that they don’t know yet what their identity is, and that it may take a few weeks to establish it. On defense, injuries have prevented them from really getting a good look at what new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan has in store. On offense, the chemistry between Manning and his unheralded receivers hasn’t quite been there.

That will take time, but it will happen. And when it does, the Giants could be close to the bullies they looked like back on Nov. 28. Because it will take time, though, the record won’t be as gaudy. But a 9-7 team won the NFC last year and a 10-6 team won it the year before that, so the final record really doesn’t mean a thing.

I really can't find much, if anything, to argue with their. Thanks, Ralph, for making me not have to write that myself.

Here are a couple of other stories to keep you occupied while you wait for game time.

  • Ernie Palladino has a Giants-Redskins Scouting Report.
  • FOX Sports says Kevin Boss could be a major factor in the Giants' passing attack. My take: I have said before that I would love to see that.
  • The Fifth Down wonders if the NFL did enough to protect players with its rule changes.
  • A quick note courtesy of the folks at NFL.com . Want a good indicator of whether or not the Giants can win the Super Bowl? It's no guarantee, of course, but today's outcome will give you a good idea. The 43 Super Bowl winners have a 35-7-1 record in the Kickoff Weekend games of their title seasons

Check back about an hour before game time. That's when our Open Thread for the game will launch.

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