Big Blue View is the resident SB Nation Giants Blog, if you didn't notice, and I traded some questions with him on our respective teams. Follow the link above to see my answers to his questions, and look down to see his answers to mine. Enjoy, or don't:
Big Blue View: At the halfway point this season I thought Eli was playing at a Pro Bowl level. Of late, he hasn't played well. What I will say about Eli is that two weeks in a row when his team needed him in the 4th quarter he made plays. Eli is a middle of the pack QB right now who may still get better, but will never be the immortal guy Ernie Accorsi promised. Accuracy and decision-making are always going to be issues. He doesn't fear pressure situations, though. There is some talk of finding a better backup to push him, but not replace him.
HH: Same question on Tom Coughlin who, for reasons that escape me, gets heaped with criticism for the way he manages the team. The last I checked, coaches exist to win and management of players was a means to that end. And Tom Coughlin wins. Every year I say "This will be the season where Coughlin's management style burns him and the Giants bomb" and every year the Giants go to the playoffs. What do I know?
BBV: Amazingly, there are still Giants fans who would like to see Coughlin replaced at the end of the year. On my site I constantly see the comment "he has to win a playoff game to show me he should stay." I'm not buying that. Unless the sky falls, this will be three straight years the Giants have made the playoffs. Not too many teams have accomplished that, especially with the quarterback situation and controversies the Giants have faced. Coughlin has changed a lot this season is terms of how he relates to players, and they have noticed. Is he a Hall of Fame coach? No. Is he a good coach? Yes. His team reflects his personality now, and he deserves a contract extension.
HH: How much do you miss Tiki Barber? It appears that you miss him a lot less than many of us thought you would.
BBV: Who? Tiki Somebody? Guy by that name used to hang around and be a locker room pain in the ass. He's gone, and we're better off. Running back is not really the hardest position in the world to fill (see Ryan Grant, Green Bay, who couldn't even make the Giants this fall). If you can block, you can run. Besides, the Giants have four guys -- Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward (injured), Reuben Droughns and Ahmad Bradshaw -- who are or can be quality NFL backs. Tiki's retirement has improved the atmosphere in the locker room and helped Coughlin re-establish control of the team. So, in the end, as great a player as he was, his retirement has been a plus.
HH: You are the last, best hope that some team can overcome an undefeated Patriots regular season. What is it going to take for the Giants to beat the unbeatable behemoth?
BBV: Well, the one thing I will say about that is this. The Giants are an ugly 9-4. They have not played one game yet this season where something didn't break down or go wrong. I keep waiting for that one perfect game -- solid defense, no turnovers or penalties, no missed opportunities by the offense, a big play or two on special teams. If that perfect game comes against New England they have a shot. If they play their typical game where they keep settling for 3 instead of 7, or give away a couple of chances with turnovers, then they have no shot.
HH: Which Giants player who I haven't heard a lot about will introduce himself to Redskins fans in a bad way this weekend?
BBV: I'll give you a couple of candidates. Ahmad Bradshaw is a rookie running back who will probably only see time returning kickoffs. He hasn't taken one to the house yet, but he's come close now 5-6 weeks in a row. It's going to happen, and soon. Michael Johnson is a very impressive, big-hitting, playmaking rookie safety. The amazing thing is both of these guys were 7th round draft choices.