YAY! A win! It got hairy there for about 5 minutes... But luckily those were the first 5, and Eli had plenty of time to lead the comeback... I don't know why they don't ALWAYS defer, but that's besides the point. On to what in week 5 that is causing me angst, and is a cause for optimism.
1) The Defensive Line: Now, let me say right away that there are guys on this line who are playing their asses off (namely JPP and Anvil). However, this is a unit. They need to play as a unit and I'm going to call them out as a unit. You just went up against a team with a rookie QB, rookie RT, and rookie RB, and you barely laid a finger on Weeden. Not cool guys, not cool. Now, I get that teams are scheming against you, and offensive lines are holding... But come on. I have faith that they'll figure it out, and make up for lost time... It just better be sooner rather than later. But that's not all. 2 weeks in a row you have SUCKED at keeping contain on the outside. If that's who you are, fine. I'd still be angsting over it, but we've all seen this DL show great discipline (as recently as week 3 against Car.). That's just frustrating.
2) Chase Blackburn: I'm not going to hate on Chase for the long TD pass. That was on Stevie B, and a defensive call that never should have been made. What I'm getting on Chase for is the fact that the only time he actually tackled Trent Richardson, he did it by grabbing his ass and holding on for dear life until help arrived. Richardson is a tough tackle, no doubt about it, but if Rolle can square up, wrap and drive (ie TACKLE), then you need to too. Also, I LOVE Chase's effort and heart... But against any team that has some semblance of balance, he is just too athletically limited. Hopefully Herz or Rivers can take over.
3) Injuries: Dear sweet evil tap-dancing Tebus on a pogo stick ENOUGH WITH THE INJURIES! I'm starting to suspect that the Giants don't actually get hit with more than other teams, but that their doctors are more careful with the players than a lot of other teams are. That doesn't change the fact that week in, week out this team has more talent on its injury report than some teams have in their entire locker rooms.
1) Depth: The only reason the injuries haven't killed us is that this is a deeply talented team. Seriously, Kudos to JR for building a team where the "Next Man Up" is more than just a warm body to fill out the roster... Unlike some other teams I could mention. Once the walking wounded return, this will only get better.
2) Prince Amukamara: He is getting it done. I love an invisible CB. Unless he's in a soft zone (Perry!...), teams just don't throw to his side. I'd like to thank the 18 teams that passed on him because of his "Quirky Sense of Humor", 'cuz Prince's skills are no joke.
3) Offensive Line: This is a LOOOOOONG time coming. And quite frankly, it feels weird to be angsting about the DL, but optimistic about the OL. But these guys flat DOMINATED Sunday. Yes, the '9ers are a different kind of beast, but Eli stayed clean, and the running game exploded. In a good way.
4) David Wilson: First off, in 1 week you have scared teams into pooch kicking, just to keep returns out of your hands. Well done. But, I'm mostly optimistic about what you did the 1 time he actually took a handoff... not a pass or a trick play: DW took it 40 yards to the house. If AB2 is down next week (seems likely at this point), they NEED to feed DW the rock like an actual running back. I just don't trust AB1's feet to stay intact through another week like last.
5) Eli F'n Manning: This should be automatic, but damn... I want to know how many other QB's can lose a top-5 WR, and have the backups shuffled like a Vegas card game, and still be playing some of the best football in the league. I've used this quote before, and I think its going to find its way onto my sig: Eli Manning makes targets like Antonio Cromartie makes babies.
Not much here, but:
1) Defense: Giving up chunks in the pass game, uneven run defense, and disappointing pass rush... but still top 3 in the league for takeaways. Tearing my hair out while giving me hope... Can you PLEASE put it together?