borrowing from blatently stealing from the great Peter King of Sports Illustrated today to offer you some off-the-cuff thoughts about the New York Giants. Here are 'Five things I think I think' about the Giants.
1. I think this Sunday is critical for the Giants. With three straight victories, the 3-6 Giants have given themselves reason to dream about becoming the first 0-6 team to reach the playoffs, even if Football Outsiders thinks that is a pipe dream. If the Giants are going to make history they absolutely have to win Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. True, the Packers will be using third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien, but even with Tolzien the Packers are the most talented team the Giants have faced since their Week 6 loss to the Bears. Sorry, Eagles' fans, that's the truth. A stumble against Green Bay would, in reality, kill the Giants' hopes for a historic comeback.
2. I don't think Eli Manning is hurt. I think Manning has trust issues right now, but I don't believe he's hurt. I don't believe Manning trusts his pass protection, and I can't really blame him after the number of hits he has taken this season. I also don't think Manning completely trusts anyone not named Victor Cruz to do what he anticipates on pass routes, a result of so many early-season miscommunications. Manning is sometimes throwing the ball too soon, sometimes holding it too long and way too many times throwing it without proper fundamentals. He looks uncomfortable.
3. I think I'm tired of the whining about Damontre Moore not playing enough. The defense has played exceptionally well for the past four weeks. Jason Pierre-Paul is getting better each week. Justin Tuck is playing the run as well as he ever has and, while he has only 1.5 sacks, he has had 19 pressures in the past three weeks. Maybe Moore could get some of the snaps going to Mathias Kiwanuka, but Kiwanuka did come up with a game-clinching strip-sack vs. the Oakland Raiders and does lead the Giants in sacks, albeit with just 3.5. Remember that the Giants brought Pierre-Paul, a first-round pick, along very slowly in 2010. They are doing the same with Moore, a third-round pick and one of the youngest players in the NFL. Moore's time will come. For now, celebrate how well the defense is playing and the contributions Moore is making on special teams.
4. I think the Giants have a very interesting decision to make at fullback. John Conner is playing very, very well. Conner is a Giant only because of the season-ending injury to Henry Hynoski, but he is certainly making a case for sticking around beyond this year. Hynoski, 24, can be a restricted free agent next season. Per Pro Football Focus Conner, 26, is currently fifth in the league in blocking among fullbacks with a +4.9 grade. His presence over the past few weeks has been a contributing factor in the Giants' improved run game. The Giants won't keep both players next season. It will be very interesting to see which fullback stays and which one goes.
Ed Reed [Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports]
5. I think you're nuts if you want Ed Reed to be a Giant. Released by the Houston Texans, the 35-year-old future Hall of Famer is done. He's shot as a productive NFL player. The Baltimore Ravens didn't fight to keep him because they knew it. Offseason hip surgery (remember what it did to Chris Snee) didn't help, and now the Texans have reached the same conclusion. At one time Reed was a great player, but not now. Antrel Rolle, Will Hill and Ryan Mundy are all better players at this point, and do you really want to sign Reed -- who wouldn't have anyplace to play with the Giants -- and possibly lose promising rookie Cooper Taylor? That would be foolish.
[Related: More on why Reed should not be a Giant]