Nice overview of the Giants in Yahoo! Sports the other day, focusing largely on the Giants underappreciated offensive line.
If most offensive success starts with the line up front, which NFC team has a better unit than the Giants?
The left tackle is David Diehl, a conversion last season from left guard; the right tackle is Kareem McKenzie; the left guard is Rich Seubert, whose horrific leg injury in 2003 seemed to mark him for the trash pile; the right guard is Chris Snee, who appears headed for a Pro Bowl berth this year; and the center is Shaun O’Hara.
Last season, through the 20 games that mattered, the line missed the total of one game (O’Hara, the first playoff game in Tampa). Diehl was said to be too slow for the position. He wasn’t. Sure, some of the super-fast defensive ends beat him, but they beat all the left tackles. McKenzie is a road grader on running plays and did more than well at pass protection. Seubert is said to be the toughest player on the line, the "Tasmanian Devil" when it comes to giving 100 percent. Snee combines size and strength with intelligence, and you know he has a great understanding of patience since he is head coach Tom Coughlin’s son-in-law. O’Hara is the "old man" of the line at 30, a nine-year veteran who joined the Giants (unrestricted free agent, Cleveland, 2004).
So before the high-tech defenses can get to quarterback Eli Manning and stand up the running backs like Brandon Jacobs (6-4, 265), Derrick Ward 6-0, 228) and the swift and elusive Ahmad Bradshaw (5-9, 200), they have to get past the O-line.
"We’ve got a few things going for us," says O’Hara. "Like smarts, toughness, talent and a very nasty streak when people say we aren’t good enough."
There probably aren't any superstars on that line. But, there aren't any weak spots either.
Here's one writer's opinion on the Giants chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions this year. Consider that the writer is Paul Domwitch of the Philadelphia News.
Do they have a chance? Sure, they have a chance. This is the parity-driven NFL, where every team not owned by Al Davis or Bill Bidwill or Denise York or Dan Snyder has a chance to capture the grand prize each year.
Even with the retirement of Michael Strahan, the Giants head into '08 with 10-plus-win talent, particularly if Eli Manning picks up where he left off last season. But they didn't win last year because they were the best team. They won because they were the hottest team at exactly the right time. They caught lightning in a bottle in late December, and that usually doesn't happen to a team 2 years in a row.
While I have great respect for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, the Giants' pass rush just won't be as fierce without Strahan coming off the left side.
To me, that's basically the standard line about the Giants. It doesn't thrill me, nor does it upset me.
We will just have to see what happens.