The Redskins travel north this week to face the New York Giants. The Giants haven't been playing well through two games this year after leading both games and suffering from late-game meltdowns both weeks to start 0-2. The Redskins and the Giants is one of the best, most historic rivalries in the NFL and I reached out to Ed Valentine from Big Blue View to find out what's going on with the 2015 version of the New York Giants.
1. Go ahead and give us your prediction on Jason Pierre-Paul's future as a football player. How would you describe Giants fan's feeling about JPP at this moment and moving forward?
I have no way of knowing what the future holds for JPP, although I have to believe the condition of his hand and the impact it will have on his ability to grab and pull 300+ pound human beings, not to mention weight train properly, has to impact his ability to play.
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I think there is a lot of anger toward JPP, a lot of confusion about the way he has handled the whole unfortunate situation. There is a large segment of the fan base that wishes the Giants had just cut ties with the guy and moved on. I don't think that anger/disgust/disappointment will subside unless he returns and helps the Giants win.
I have serious doubts that he plays at all this season. If he does, it will be late in the year.
2. It's only been two games, but the Giants seem to be prone to letting leads slip away and melting down late in ball games. Who/What is to blame? How does it keep happening?
I wish I knew. Everyone knows what Tom Coughlin stands for as a coach, how meticulously he prepares, etc. Yet over the past couple of seasons the Giants might lead the league in inventing incredible ways to lose football games.
I have no idea how or why it keeps happening, but when a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback in his 12th year in the league is in the middle of the mistakes it's disturbing. It doesn't help that the Giants do not have a play-making defense really capable of playing through that kind of misfortune.
3. The injury report for the Giants looks pretty extensive coming into this week's match-up. What are the expectations for guys like Victor Cruz, Ereck Flowers, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? Who's going to play and who's not? What's the effect of those absences, particularly if Flowers can't go? How have those injuries affected the team and how do you think they'll affect the team specifically against the 'Skins?
Well, Cruz hasn't played yet, so that's nothing the Giants haven't been dealing with. His absence is felt because the Giants need someone to take some heat off Odell Beckham.
DRC almost certainly won't play. Flowers I'm not sure about. Justin Pugh will slide to left tackle and John Jerry to left guard if he can't go, and the biggest impact will be in the run game. Flowers is a work in progress as a pass blocker, but his size, strength and mean streak make him a good run blocker. Jerry? Awful run blocker.
Best injury news for the Giants is it looks like MLB Jon Beason will play for the first time this year.
4. What are the opinions of the fan-base on Eli and Coughlin right now? Obviously both have been very successful in the past, but both seem a bit off right now. What gives? What's next for those two?
The fan base is angry, confused, upset, on edge, whatever. Eli just signed a four-year extension. He's not going anywhere. Coughlin? He's got two Super Bowl titles, but three playoff-less seasons in a row (two with losing records). No one (well maybe some fans do) really wants to see it happen, but another losing season probably results in a complete overhaul in New York that would see Coughlin ushered kicking and screaming into retirement.
5. What do you know about this team? What do you think you know? And what are you hoping for?
I honestly don't know anything -- except for the fact that they SHOULD be 2-0. They had both of their games won, and gave them away. I think this team is flawed, especially on the defensive side, but I also think that in a pretty weak NFC East it is good enough to make a run. But, they have to win Thursday night to have a chance to do that. I hope they do make that run, partly because the playoffs are always a nice place to be and partly because I would like to see Coughlin able to go out on his own terms.
Thanks again to Ed for his questions and answers this week.