The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE
Big Blue View editor, Ed Valentine, answers my questions regarding the Giants weak links and injuries.
1.) I was just reading the Big Blue View scouting report for the game and in the comments there seems to be so many different opinions on how to stop RGIII (I have no answers myself). Has Coughlin or the players said anything about a different approach this week? How do you see the Giants scheming the Redskins Offense this week?
Valentine: The Redskin offense is just much different than what NFL teams usually have to prepare for. It has power running, it has downfield passing, it has play action. All of it comes out of formations and places NFL defenses are not accustomed. And you can't really scheme for RGIII's athleticism. That said, I think the Giants will do some things differently this week. First, with safety Kenny Phillips having returned last week you will see a lot of three-safety looks with only one or two linebackers on the field. You may also see a lot more of the three or four-defensive end sets, really just to increase the athleticism on the field. It will be interesting to see exactly what the Giants do, but those are a couple of things to watch for.
2.) The loss of Andre Brown was devastating. So, that leaves a banged up Ahmad Bradshaw, rookie RB, David Wilson, who hasn't seen much action this year, and the new addition, Ryan Torain. How do you see the Giants running game looking on Monday Night?
Well, it will be fine as long as Bradshaw's feet don't fall off. Bradshaw has been banged up forever, only practicing once per week. Giants fans are looking forward to seeing Wilson get a full-fledged opportunity. He's an explosive play-maker with great speed, it's simply a matter of whether or not he can handle his assignments and limit mistakes. What I'm interested to see is how the Giants handle short-yardage and goal line, where Brown was becoming increasingly important.
3.) What is the state of the Giants defense at this point of the season? Any weak links?
The defense played better against Green Bay last week than it had at any time since a 26-3 victory over San Francisco, the week before the first match-up with the Redskins. The pass rush looked terrific last week, with the Giants coming from a lot of angles and disguising what they were doing up front nicely. The return of Phillips really stabilizes the secondary, and helps the run defense. The weak link might be cornerback Corey Webster. Somehow he seems to be involved in a lot of the big plays the Giants surrender.
4.) The Giants were a whopping 5-6 in the red zone last week vs the Packers. Nicks, Cruz, Rundle, Bradshaw all with TDs. I fear for Haslett this game. With the Giants giving up so few sacks, and all their WRs, how do the Skins stop this offense if you were defensive coordinator?
Well, everyone always says 'stop the run' first. That's too simple. You have to make Eli Manning uncomfortable. You have to make him move, you have to make him throw before he wants to, you have to hit him enough that he gets antsy and starts making throws he shouldn't make. Of course, that is what everybody tries to do and it's easier said than done.
5.) Do you see the Eagles winning more than 5 games next year and are there any coaches you don't want to see go there?
I haven't thought much about the Eagles and next year, to be honest. The real question is do they win five games this year? As for coaches I wouldn't want to see go there it would be sort of weird to see Steve Spagnuolo, former Giants defensive coordinator, there. I'm just wondering how seriously teams will pursue Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell for a head-coaching gig this offseason.
Thanks again to Ed. For those that can't make the game and are watching it at home, don't forget Samsung is giving away a $10,000 value TV set. Enter the Smart TV Makeover sweepstakes here.