I liked the 'Kudos & Wet Willies' style preview last weekend, so I think I will make that a weekly staple. That said, let's take a look at this afternoon''s game between our New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There will be lots of 'Kudos' Monday if ...
- The Giants defense shuts Derrick Ward up. Ward, the ex-Giant running back, has apparently been trash-talking Giants defenders and telling them he is going to have a big day Sunday. He was a Giant long enough that he should know better.
- The Giants play the run like the Giants. This goes along with shutting up Ward. I am bugged by a couple of things I have seen and heard with this Giants front seven. You keep seeing linemen (yes, Osi Umenyiora I am pointing my finger directly at you) run themselves out of plays that result in huge gains. Also, defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said something this week about guys not getting lined up properly. How does that happen? If this defense is going to be the dominant unit it was expected to be, the front seven needs to start paying attention and properly handling its run responsibilities.
- The Giants don't take the 0-2 Bucs lightly. Some around Tampa Bay wonder if the team is headed for an 0-16 season. I doubt Tom Coughlin will let his team fall into the trap of thinking they will win by just putting on their uniforms. I hope not, anyway.
- The Giants find their running game ... and their Red/Green Zone offense. We know these have been the two primary issues with the Giants offense thus far. Someday soon I think Brandon Jacobs is going to have a huge game. I hope it's today. As for the Red Zone, everyone knows the Giants have failed miserably in that department thus far. We will see what they do about it beginning today.
There will be lots of 'Wet Willies' Monday if ...
Osi Umenyiora is invisible. That is pretty much what Osi was last Sunday against Dallas. making just one tackle. With Justin Tuck limited -- if he plays at all -- Osi needs to step up and be what he says he is. That is, the best defensive player on the field.
- The Giants secondary gets exposed. We know all about the looooong, sad list of injuries in the secondary. Through two games the Giants have managed to overcome that issue. We have to hope the backups who have been thrust into larger roles continue to get the job done.
- The Giants turn the ball over. This one is sort of obvious. There is little question the Giants are the better team in this matchup. They will have to hand Tampa Bay some easy points or easy opportunities to give the Buccaneers a chance. Take care of the ball, take it away a couple of times and this one should be a Giant victory.