Follow the jump for all the goodies. And check out Inside Football for my answers to Pat's questions.
Ed: I have to start in roughly the same place you did -- with the injuries. Without Bradshaw and Nicks, can the Giants still score enough points to stay with the Patriots in a game that looks like it will be a shootout?
Pat: While Nicks is unlikely to play, there's still a chance that Bradshaw might be able to go - the guy has a super high pain threshold and he's been able to play through a stress fracture before. But to answer your question, I do. I get the feeling, reading between the lines, that they found something in the Patriots defense that they can exploit and while I don't want to give it away, let's just say that I think someone we'd least expect to have a big day could end up shouldering most of the load if things go according to plan.
Ed: Speaking of injuries, you never could have guessed a few weeks ago that Justin Tryon would have become an important Giant. How big is his loss to the defense, and to the special teams?
Pat: Huge. Not only was he a dynamo on special teams, he was starting to settle in on defense I that sub package where he was taking on that nickel role which left Antrel Rolle free to do what he does best, which is play up near the line rather than have to worry about coverage.
Ed: If Ahmad Bradshaw is out for a few weeks -- or the rest of the season -- do we finally get to figure out once and for all if Danny Ware is a quality NFL running back?
Pat: Well again, I don't think Bradshaw is going to be out that long. However to answer your question, Ware has been on this team for a number of years now and I think it's telling that the Giants keep drafting young running backs to compete with him, don't you?
Ed: So, I polled my readers this week to find out whether they would prefer to see Greg Jones or Jacquian Williams getting the majority of the playing time at linebacker. The answer came back as .... Mark Herzlich! What is your take on how the young linebackers have played, and whom you think would help the defense the most at this point?
Pat: I think it was rather telling that Jacquian Williams was taken off defense last week - he had been making quite a few mental errors and I suspect that he might have been given a little bit more to handle than what he was ready for. Jones has played rather sparingly with the heavy use of the nickel early in the season, but I can't say he's really knocked my socks off when he's been in there.
Herzlich had a dynamite game on specials last week. Is he ready to contribute to the defense? I'm not sure he is, but with him the good thing is he's a very bright guy who's itching to get in there, yet who's patient enough to know his opportunities will come.
As to who I think will help the defense the most, I guess it depends on the opponent. I also think with a full year of seasoning under their belts, all three - Jones, Williams and Herzlich (and I guess you can throw in there Spencer Paysinger) - will become that much better.
Ed: Let's talk about Chris Snee. Whenever people talk about Snee, they always refer to him as the Giants best offensive lineman. I'm not so sure anymore. At the very least, I would have to say he isn't nearly the dominating guy he was two or three seasons ago. What are your thoughts on Snee?
Pat: I agree. I'm not sure what it is, but Snee's level of play seems to have dropped off a bit. Sometimes I wonder if it's age, or maybe it's because he's playing next to a new center, or he is hiding an injury - who knows? But I definitely agree that something is off with his game this year - jut can't put my finger on what it is yet, though I have some suspicions.