Now that we've had more than 24 hours to digest Monday night's uncharacteristically entertaining preseason game, I'm ready for the real season to get here. Every year I go through the same cycle for the NFL preseason as I do for Spring Training: first I get really excited for the first few days of reports from practice; then I anxiously await the first preseason game, which I watch as intently as if it were a playoff game; next I spend a few days analyzing the first game and get myself psyched for the season; finally, once the excitement of the first game in months is gone, I get incredibly bored with the whole charade and spend the rest of the preseason a nervous wreck just praying that none of my favorite players get hurt. That final stage is where I am now: I wish I could hit a fast forward button to skip the next three weeks, so that the season opener would be tomorrow night and the Giants opener against the Redskins this Sunday.
Since I can't do that, here's a few Giants stories making the rounds:
- From the ESPN.com rumor tracker comes this entry about the Giants:
Jamie Dukes of the NFL Network put into words via his Twitter account a situation that has been raised by some others over the summer. Namely, the New York Giants might be a little bit too stacked on the defensive line.
"If I'm a GM around the league," Dukes wrote, "I'm going to pick up the scraps from the Giants D-line on cut day. League beware of the Giants front 9." No word has yet emerged from the Giants as to how many D-linemen will be kept on the final roster. But with injuries likely in the trenches, the smart money might be on them retaining them all.
Can't say I think he's wrong. The MNF announcers alluded to this a few times as well, that the Giants had some guys playing in the second half on Monday who probably won't make the Giants roster but will catch on with another NFL team. We tend to hammer this point a lot on BBV, but you've really gotta hand it to Jerry Reese - he's done a phenomenal job building roster depth at almost every position. Just take a look at Ed's 53-man roster projection and the guys he thinks won't make the team. When the biggest concern entering the season is the backup center, you're in pretty good shape.
- Apparently HeraldNet (Snohomish County's online news source...but I'm sure you knew that already) isn't too impressed with the Giants, predicting an 8- or 9-win season and "a lot of disappointed fans in the Meadowlands." The article is pretty much a fantasy preview without any new insight, but their reasoning for being bearish on the G-Men is entirely new and original: no Plax + no Spags = mediocre Giants. Wait, did I say "new and original?" Sorry, I meant to say "the same as everyone else."
- Matt Mosley reports his observations from the game Monday night. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Mosley is one of the few analysts that keeps me coming back to ESPN.com, and he has some good insights into the Giants performance the other night.
- Mike Garafolo writes about Mario Manningham's up and down night, concluding that despite a couple of nice plays, Mario needs to stop making mental mistakes. Can't disagree there, but overall I was encouraged by Manningham's performance. So far he looks like our best punt returner, and his third-down conversion (which was nullified due to an illegal formation) showed perfect timing between he and Eli.
- Two articles from Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News: one on the Giants stable of young receivers, and one about the Giants defensive line depth. I have to admit, it's pretty encouraging to read a Dallas writer comparing the Giants to the early-90's Cowboys. I hated that team with all my soul, but it's hard to deny that they were pretty darned good. I'd be ecstatic if Cowboys fans come to feel the same way about the current Giants team.
- Finally, in Giants Stadium related news, the Syracuse football team has signed a deal to play 3 big-time home games at the Meadowlands over the next 7 years: USC in 2012, and Notre Dame in 2014 and 2016 (whether Notre Dame will still be considered "big-time" by then is another discussion - I say this not as a Golden Dome hater, but as a pessimistic Irish Catholic).