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This week's chat with Ernie Palladino

Last week long-time Giants writer Ernie Palladino and I started swapping questions. Each week we will answer the same set of questions, with Ernie's answers here and mine at his Giants Beat blog.

Interestingly, this week Ernie and I part ways on a couple of our answers.

1. How long do you stick with Lawrence Tynes after watching him miss two chip-shot field goals the last two weeks?
Ernie's Answer: The problem here is whether to ditch a guy before he costs you a game, or stick with him as he goes through his problems. That's the line a coach walks with all these kickers. And the fact that Tynes hasn't cost the Giants a game yet with his misses indicates that Tom Coughlin is probably not ready to go to his short list of outside help yet. In a recent post on my blog, I referred to Tynes as the Don Stanhouse of football. Remember him? He was Earl Weaver's closer in Baltimore for a while. Called him "Fullpack" because he forced Weaver to go through a whole pack of cigarettes before he got the job done. Dink hits, walk the bases loaded, it was never pretty with that guy. Tynes isn't pretty, either, but when needed, he has come through. He hit not once, but twice in Dallas as Wade Phillips tried to freeze him. And don't forget, this is the guy who kicked the Giants into the Super Bowl after having a perfectly horrible game. In football, it's the end result that counts. And so far he's been a winning kicker.
2. Were you surprised to see the Giants blow out a bad team in Tampa last week?
Ernie's Answer: Actually, I was blown away by it. The Giants historically have played down to their level of competition. After an emotional game in Dallas the week before, nobody would have blamed them for a slight letdown. But they came out fast and actually finished off the Bucs in the second half. If they can do that against Kansas City, in another loud, noisy venue where many a winning streak has gone to die, the Giants might be showing a new facet to their game -- a true killer instinct that has been missing for years.
3. There was some talk over the weekend that Brandon Jacobs wasn't running hard enough. Do you see a difference in Jacobs this season, or is he just off to a slow start and will end up with his usual numbers?
Ernie's Answer: I'm actually a little worried about Jacobs. He does seem to be picking his way into holes, and I'm not sure whether he's nursing a slight injury or if he's just pacing himself. He does have a problem with fragility, and with Bradshaw possibly out or limited on Sunday with a foot and ankle injury, Jacobs will have to last that much longer. Of course, he wasn't thinking about that last week. The positive is that he did take 26 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. But he just hasn't looked right. Until I actually see a wrap around an ankle or something, I have to assume he's just off to a slow start. Even at this rate, he's a 1,000-yard runner if he stays healthy, so by the end we won't see much of a change.
4. Does the Giants' 3-0 record indicate true power, or just the exploitation of bad or overrated opponents?
Ernie's Answer: As with anything else, it's a little of both. Tampa is truly awful, and Dallas could well be overrated. But remember this. Even a bad team is capable of beating an injury-riddled team, which is what the Giants were when they went down to Raymond James Stadium. And the Giants manhandled the Bucs. That says something about the character of this team. If they come out of Kansas City with a win, even an ugly one, they'll have won three straight on the road. I don't care if they're playing high school teams, that's still hard to do. So I think the record leans toward power. There's a lot of good talent there, and more young talent developing behind it. Even the great Joe Louis fought the Bum of the Month. The key is, he won.