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New York Giants News and Notes: Let the Fun Begin Edition

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Good morning fellow Giants fans. We have reached the mid-point of the week, and today Tom Coughlin and some of his coaches and players, as well as Patriots coach Bill Belichick and some of his players, will answer questions from the media. You just know Coughlin will be asked if he thinks his 5-2 Giants will "collapse" in the second half again. Eli Manning and Tom Brady will likely have to answer questions about Manning's preseason claim that he is an elite QB and in the same class as his Patriots' counterpart. And you know what? This year, he is. Which is why it baffles me to no end that he gets no love from the likes of Pro Football Weekly, who even bumped Manning off of the "on the cusp" section this week in their MVP rankings. Manning's 102.1 QB rating puts him right behind Brady's 104.4, and ahead of Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, who are both in the Top 10. Are these guys watching Manning play, or just remembering all the interceptions he threw a year ago? Anyway, we've got the Patriots Sunday, and that means a lot of re-living the Super Bowl from four seasons ago, and that never gets old.

NY Giants' Eli Manning must prove that he belongs with elite NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers - NY Daily News
The next few weeks will be the true test of how elite Manning really is. He has games against Brady, Rodgers and New Orleans’ Drew Brees in the next five weeks.

Giants not living in the past with Pats on horizon - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Look at them and it feels like yesterday. The reality is that was almost four years ago, and much has changed as the Giants (5-2) and Patriots (5-2) prepare to meet for the first time in a regular-season game since Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Ariz.

What has also changed is that the Patriots' defense is a shell of what it once was, and the Giants' pass rush has been good, but not what it was during the Super Bowl run.

NY Giants cornerback Corey Webster faces tough challenge in covering NE Patriots receiver Wes Welker - NY Daily News
Corey Webster has done a remarkable job this season covering a slew of big, No. 1 receivers such as Larry Fitzgerald (6-3), Sidney Rice (6-4), Steve Johnson (6-2) and Brandon Marshall (6-4). But covering the Patriots’ No. 1 receiver on Sunday – the 5-9 Wes Welker – might be too tall a task.

Giants' Eli Manning gets support from wide receivers over Tom Brady comments |
"I understand the rivalry, I understand Eli and seeing how he performed. That last drive to win the game was just phenomenal, man," (Victor Cruz) said Monday, as the Giants began moving past the victory over the Miami Dolphins and toward Sunday’s matchup with the New England Patriots. "That’s part of his confidence and his demeanor, why he’s so good and why he’s a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. That’s always in the back of my mind. I never get flustered, I understand he’s been in this tough spot before, he’s been in these tough situations and he’ll pull through."

Giants' Eli Manning to tie Patriots' Tom Brady on Sunday with 111 consecutive starts |
Sunday against the New England Patriots, Manning will make his 111th consecutive regular-season start. That's good enough for the fourth-longest streak ever by a quarterback and is the longest active streak in the NFL.

Manning Steadies Shaky Giants in Win Over Dolphins -
The next time Eli Manning’s worth, or rank, among N.F.L. quarterbacks is debated, games like the Giants’ desultory 20-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday should be recalled. Not just because Manning provided sparkle to a dreadful game, but also because of the perseverance he showed as his brethren offered so little help.

Rodney Harrison rips secondary scheme -
Rodney Harrison [stats] remembers when the Patriots [team stats] secondary was feared. He remembers when it was among the NFL’s best. That’s because it was an aggressive, take-no-prisoners unit that made plays and buried opponents. No wonder watching how the secondary performed against the Pittsburgh Steelers made him angry. It’s not just a matter of having a lack of talent. That’s one thing. What seems to really irritate Harrison is how it played. Safe, soft schemes don’t compute with the former Patriots safety. It was never in his repertoire.

Where have we heard that before?

‘D’ is for defense -
The Patriots allowed more than 300 passing yards for the sixth time in seven games. It’s who they are. They looked lost in zone coverage and were unable to play man-to-man. It’s who they are. They appeared to pressure the quarterback but really didn’t, two of the sacks being of the coverage variety and the last two coming on Pittsburgh’s final non-drive for reasons only the Steelers seemed to understand.

So, technically, the Giants should be able to exploit this. But also, the Giants' defense needs to play like it did in the second half of the Miami game; getting in Tom Brady's face early and often to disrupt his rhythm. Still, it's likely that this game becomes a shootout--something more along the lines of the 38-35 score the last time these teams met in the regular season four years ago, rather than the 17-14 Super Bowl score five weeks after that.

Happy hump day guys, and let's pick up our game faces again--the ones we all threw at the TV as the Giants grabbed victory from the claws of defeat against Miami.