I know this was posted as a Fanshot, but I had to celebrate the return of Carl by highlighting it here.
Considering the statistics -- the 1-3 Oakland Raiders are 32nd and last in the league in yards per game and passing yards per game. The 4-0 New York Giants are first in total defense and first in pass defense -- it would be easy to say all the Giants need to do this afternoon is show up.
The Giants have avoided that sort of attitude against weaker opponents the past two weeks, and have spent this week warning against it, as well.
"We definitely throw it out the window," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "Matter of fact, I don’t even feel comfortable talking about it. We realize that they have a young team, a lot of guys banged up. But they have a team that has a lot of speed. When they have a lot of speed and we don’t play an assignment right or something happens with a miscommunication or whatever, they can turn one play into 80 yards real quickly. So for us, even though we are number one and they are 32nd, we just want to go out there and play our style of football and let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully everything works out like the rankings say they should. But sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way."
"That team is dangerous," Tuck said. "You watch one film and you see the personnel they have. We always put speed on the board and you see their personnel and you see how they have 4.34s, 4.39s, 4.4 flats, 4.32s (in the 40-yard dash) and that can be scary sometimes. We know that we have to be on our Ps and Qs, because if you make a mistake against this team… obviously JaMarcus doesn’t have the greatest stats so far, but if we make a mistake they can go for 80 yards on one play that easily. We have to play our style of defense and play it well."
That said, whether Eli Manning plays or not this is a game the Giants should win handily. Still, I have been nagged all week by the feeling that this game won't be as easy as the victories over Tampa Bay and Kansas City. So, let's do the 'Kudos & Wet Willies' preview.
There will be lots of 'Kudos' Monday if ...
- The stats don't lie. On paper, these teams are mismatched and it should be a miserable day to be an Oakland Raider. Still, the game has to be won on the field.
- The Giants get an early lead. If the Giants get a lead it will do two things. First, it will demoralize a weaker opponent. Second, it will force the guy who might be the league's worst passer into throwing more than he wants to.
- The Giants don't make mistakes. Same as the past couple of weeks, for the Raiders to challenge the Giants our boys will have to hand them easy points or easy opportunities. Play mistake-free, it's on to face the Saints with a 5-0 record.
There will be lots of 'Wet Willies Monday if ...
- David Carr plays like the guy who got run out of Houston and Carolina. This, of course, is if Carr has to play at all. I actually have confident that Carr will play well enough if the Giants have to turn to him today, but still ... if the guy the called 'Mittens' in Carolina shows up, that will be a problem.
- The Giants insist on challenging Nnamdi Asomugha. There are plenty of things the Giants can do on offense today without trying to prove they can complete passes against the guy considered the league's best cover cornerback. I'd like to see Steve Smith catch a bunch of balls, but I want to win more.
- The Giants run out of healthy bodies. If the Giants keep getting guys hurt, Carl Banks is going to have to come out of the radio booth to suit up in the second half.