We all know what happened when the Patriots lost Randy Moss: Their offense got waaaay better. I don't think that situation is analogous to the Giants' because they play different roles in their respective offenses and, more importantly, SS12 is not a malcontent PoS. But I WOULD say the Moss case is instructive in that losing a star receiver is not necessarily a tragic thing for an offense IF there are related changes which improve it at the same time.
I'm hoping three factors mitigate the loss of our best receiver.
1. Run the ball more. The Giants have run the ball for over an 180 ypg average in their past 5 games, with receivers out. I'm part of the sect here at BBV which believes this is a good thing.
2. Receivers in their best roles. I'm sure some will disagree, but to me Steve Smith is one of the best slot receivers in the NFL AND has been taken somewhat from that, his traditional role, this season after his breakthrough 2009. If I was calling the plays I'd have Nicks & Ham burning downfield, and Smith never out more than 15 yards. He's a hella route runner. I'm hoping that we'll see this in action but with Beckum and Hagan filling his shoes a little bit. SS is irreplaceable and his timing with Eli si the best on the team. But at least we'll have guys playing their optimal roles.
3. Simplify the gameplan. We play a basically conservative offense to begin with and I always cringe to see the Giants try anything tricky. What I mean here is that I expect a greater % of 1st-down runs, which I love; a stronger emphasis on picking up the 10 yards instead of 20; more high-percentage passes, and a focus on pass protect.
(The Real) Steve Smith is one of my favorite players and will be missed. I hope these factors mitigate the loss.
For the 63rd time I'm gonna plug Sirius NFL Radio ... I'm not a stockholder!
This morning they did an in-depth on Giants-Eagles with Sal Paolantonio, who I think is an Eagles guy. He said several things I found interesting that I thought I'd relay.
1. The EAGLES need to run the ball more! We're over here harping on this about the Giants; guess what? The Eagles also need a dominant run. I think as Giants fans we hope the team with the most rushes / rush yards wins b/c it would mean big-play TDs weren't a deciding factor.
2. Eli is a great QB. The question was, "We all know how GREAT Eli can play, but is he the Achilles heel of this team?" Sal said he is a big fan of Eli and in short, no: Eli calls the pass/run option more than most NFL QBs and does a great job of it, etc. etc., I don't want to conflate all I've read here into this so I'll stop.
3. Jamar Chaney in for Stewart Bradley. Said the kid is smart, quick, and capable, calls a good game. But can the 240-pound rook take the 515-pound pounding of Bear Pascoe and Brandon Jacobs for 4 quarters? No doubt the loss of Bradley for Philly is in the same level of impact as Smith is for us.