New York Giants Notes: Here Comes Donovan Edition

LANDOVER MD - NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback Donovan McNabb drops back to pass against the Minnesota Vikings at FedExField November 28 2010 in Landover Maryland. The Vikings won the game 17-13. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

I still can't look at Donovan McNabb without feeling a bitterness deep down inside. I took that sideline phone thing very personally on that January afternoon in 2009. McNabb is an animated player, sure, but he had gone too far as his Eagles were set to knock off our then-defending-champion Giants. It was like, "Here, let me put a platform on that knife I just stuck in your heart, and dance on it." Man, I can't stand that guy. But things are different now. He's playing on another team in the division, which still baffles most of us, but there it is. He doesn't have Andy Reid calling his plays, but he can still make stuff happen on the fly, even without DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook. But hey, this is a notebook, and I'm rambling....let's get to what's happening.....

Unless you live under a rock or were watching LeBron James make a mockery out of his former team and city, the Eagles won last night at home against Houston and are a half-game ahead of the Giants, making Sunday's matchup against Washington even more crucial. It's not like we expected the Texans to beat the Eagles, but in watching that game, and seeing them take the lead 24-20 late in the third quarter, it felt like we were watching the Giants play the Eagles. Suddenly it was 27-24, and then it was 34-24. Ugh.

Donovan McNabb wears Redskins uniform, but Giants know former Eagle's history of NFC East success
The former Eagle now plays for the Washington Redskins. But as Tom Coughlin said Wednesday, "He's still Donovan McNabb." As far as the Giants are concerned, that still makes him a threat Sunday afternoon.

Here is more about what Coughlin said about how dangerous the Redskins' QB is. "You could put it that way. He's going to be in a different uniform - that would be a little bit different for all of us - but we have played against Donovan many times and he certainly is an outstanding quarterback and leader of his team, no matter whether it's Philadelphia or Washington."

McNabb to face the New York Giants for the first time in a Washington uniform - trentonian.com
Although McNabb beat the Giants the last five times he faced them while an Eagle, and was sacked only three times in those wins, Bulluck and the rejuvenated Big Blue defense expect to see a dangerous Donovan make his first appearance in the new stadium for Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoff.

This article talks more about Keith Bulluck and his former college teammate McNabb facing each other, but calling him "Dangerous Donovan" is quite the truth, especially against the Giants.

Of course, the Giants are still dealing with injuries to key players, and Coughlin talked more about this yesterday. Basically, Steve Smith is improving, David Diehl is improving, and Shaun O'Hara and Shawn Andrews are not.

But that doesn't mean the Redskins aren't wary of Eli Manning and the weapons he does have to work with.

Antrel Rolle must learn that thoughtless remarks about fans, soldiers, aren't going to fly
Antrel Rolle has been a very good addition to the Giants' secondary this season, but if he doesn't develop a filter between his brain and his mouth, he's going to talk his way right out of town. Rolle has been on, well, quite a roll in his first season with the Giants. He says what comes to mind, which you may have noticed by now. He needs to wake up and realize he's no longer in laid-back Arizona, where he spent the first four years of his career. He can't get away with this stuff here, not in New York, where everybody is held accountable.

I love this dude and how hard he plays and hits, but seriously, he needs to shup up already before he says something even more insensitive than the military remarks.

Giants need to get out of the gate quicker after continuous first-half struggles | NJ.com
(Justin) Tuck’s speech similarly ignited a second-half comeback victory against the Jaguars and created a natural story line, but it also masked a glaring concern: The Giants struggled early against the Jaguars; they’ve suffered first-half trouble all season. The Giants have been outscored, 49-15, in the first half of the past three games. They trailed in five games at halftime this season, led in five and entered the locker room tied in one game. The Giants came from behind to win in two games and did not drop any game they led at halftime. When Lawrence Tynes connected on a field goal on the first possession against the Jaguars, it marked the first time the Giants scored on their opening drive this season.

Kevin Gilbride echoed this on Thursday, and tried to explain it. "....a couple of things have happened. One, we've started games - five of them have been with turnovers and that obviously diminishes your chances to score, but if you look at six of them, we've come back to score on the next drive, so part of it is - whether we're too hyped up, we made a mistakes, turned the ball over, maybe didn't anticipate one thing they did defensively."

We're now in December and if the lack of scoring early and having to play from behind continues, this team is going to be on the outside looking in for the NFC playoff picture.

Redskins Insider - Giants working hard to get Devin Thomas ready
New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday that starting receiver Steve Smith still can't practice because of a torn pectoral muscle. With fellow starter Hakeem Nicks out with a leg injury, it's possible Devin Thomas - the Redskins' second-round pick in the 2008 draft who was cut by the team in October - could see time against his old team.

Really? Is there any other reason to sign this guy than to get a glimpse into the Redskins' playbook?

Brian Orakpo is getting sacks, but Washington Redskins want others to join him
Despite the praise coaches heap on Orakpo, the team's pass rush has not matched preseason expectations. With 22 sacks this season, the Redskins are tied for 18th in the league. While some teams might be content to be near the middle of the pack, the Redskins certainly figured to put more pressure on quarterbacks this season by changing their base formation and introducing a variety of new blitz packages.

BBC - Neil Reynolds: Unpredictable Giants epitomise 2010 season
While Manning and the offence get a lot of attention, it could be this defensive unit that powers a run to the post-season. The Giants are far from perfect. They blow hot and cold and they struggle to find true consistency. But even with his interception problems, they have a playmaking quarterback in Manning, offensive weapons around him, dominant performers on defense and they are well-coached. In today's NFL, that might just be enough to be considered a serious contender.

Well, yeah, this is not anything we don't know. But it's interesting to hear someone from the other side of the pond put it so bluntly. Now let's get a win Sunday and stay in contention for the NFC East. Hopefully we'll still be tied with Philly on December 19 and get some key players back, then try to wrestle that division lead away. Yeah, I know...I'm looking ahead...one game at a time. So let's get 'em on Sunday!

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