For this week's GMC Playbook, Marshall Faulk wants to know which player needs to step up and be his teams' 2nd half MVP.
The New York Giants aren't out of the playoffs yet. The hope is dim, but they can still make it. They need to win out, and even then they'll probably some help in the form of tie breakers.
If that is going to happen, the Giants are going to need somebody to step up and seriously elevate their game. Let's take a look at the various candidates and go from there.
1) Eli Manning
It's a quarterback driven league, so there's no better place to start than with the Giants' franchise QB, Eli Manning. Despite throwing an interception this past weekend, Eli is still playing the most efficient football of his career. Up until that interception, he had thrown more passes without an interception than at any point in his career. Despite all the doubts about whether he could exist in a heavily West Coast influenced offense and adapt to new plays, new personnel, and new fundamentals, Eli Manning has thrived and is still the engine that drives the New York Giants offense.
2) Odell Beckham Jr.
Asking a rookie to become your offensive MVP? Yeah, that's where the Giants are thanks to injuries. But, the young phenom could do it of his own accord. He is already by far the Giants most dynamic play maker. There is also talk that even missing as much time as he has, he could work his way back into the offensive rookie of the year conversation. If he can continue to step up and make plays while forcing teams to game-plan for him, that could open up the field for the rest of the offense.
3) Jason Pierre-Paul
JPP is healthy and he is reaffirming his position as the best player on the defense. He isn't getting sacks like the Giants hoped he would, but he is applying pressure, batting down passes, and is one of the, if not the, greatest run defenders in the whole league. Certainly among the subset of 43 defensive ends. With the left side of the Giants' defensive line letting them down, they could really use more of JPP taking over games and depositing the QB on the turf.
4) Antrel Rolle
With the loss of Jon Beason, Antrel Rolle became the sole captain and leader of the defense. He is also the leader of a secondary that has been ravaged by injuries. The safety position is the key to Perry Fewell's play calling. He is more aggressive in the pass rush when his safeties are trustworthy and keeping the defense from being beaten deep. With the secondary in a shambles, Rolle needs to step up and hold them, and the entire defense, accountable to their jobs.
For me, the answer to Faulk's question is Antrel Rolle. He was voted the leader of the defense by his peers, and he needs to be that. With the defense hemorrhaging yards and points over the course of their 4 game losing streak, they the leader of that defense needs to step up. If Rolle can elevate his game and play like the safety the Giants expect him to be, and get the rest of the players to do their jobs -- no more, but never less -- the defense has a chance to turn it around, and with it, the Giants' fortunes.
But, I want to open this up to everyone else. Vote for who you think needs to be the Giants' 2nd half MVP. I'll even include an "Other" for write ins.