The Giants had a bye week and it could not have come at a more propitious time. One always worries about a change in momentum which can happen during a break. The Giants have a number of nicks and injuries. The risk of momentum is secondary to the chance to heal.
The level of play is way down this year, but if you can get past that, there are some amazing stories. We got an ample taste of that again this past week as some of the the teams projected to be very good this season are not.
On the plus side are Tampa Bay, St Louis and New England. Up until this past week the Jets and the Steelers looked like the better teams, along with Baltimore. The Steelers got beat in New Orleans and one could argue the Saints out-defended the fearsome team from the steel city. The Giants have moved into the list of better teams with a remarkable surge and it seems that only the Eagles currently might leapfrog them.
I am particularly intrigued and impressed with Tampa Bay, St.Louis, and the Chiefs. Tampa Bay, arguably the worst team in football along with Buffalo, finds itself in first place at 5-2. The play of Tampa’s second year quarterback Freeman is solid. McCoy seems to be leading a revitalized defense and most importantly they are winning.
The Rams are of special interest to me and they are vastly improved. I take a hard look because Steve Spags is someone who I wish we had the foresight to keep. He has turned this team around in two short years. Though still a work in progress, they are 4-4 and getting better all the time. I will always believe that “Spags” was the difference for the Giants in '07.
Kansas City is a much better team but (like the Rams) they blow up on occasion. They are still 5-2, which is remarkable considering how quickly they got competitive. Tennessee can win on any given Sunday. With the recent addition of malcontent Randy Moss, they too will be dangerous the rest of the way.
The Jets loss to Green Bay this past weekend in New York was shocking. The self-proclaimed best team in the league did not perform well against the Pack. They lost at home and were shut down. Sanchez was just awful and the questions about him surface the moment they are put to rest. There was wind all over the Northeast, but it didn’t seem to hurt Brady. He was outstanding. They manhandled the Vikings who, like Dallas, are in total disarray. The team put Randy Moss on waivers 3 weeks after giving up a 3rd rounder for him. There is real trouble in Minnesota and I think they are toast. Childress has turned out to be a buffoon and the way the Moss thing was handled is an embarrassment. Brett Favre looks like an old man who pathetically continues. I believe this is finally it and he had the chance to leave with dignity last year but predictably doesn’t understand the concept.
The Chargers came back, which was a must. They are still alive after a horrendous start because they play in a weak division. I don’t think the forty niners can do it. 49ers head coach Mike Singletary and Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips are done.
I am intrigued by the Raiders as they play well one week and just awful the next. They are 4-4 and have as good a chance as anyone to surprise and win.
This is shaping up to be the most unpredictable melange of mediocre football in memory. It’s still anyone's Super Bowl and Big Blue is thus far in the mix. That is something to celebrate after the horror of what we witnessed the last two thirds of '09.
Did you notice that Eli was not in the top five quarterbacks in the league and Rivers, Brady and his brother were. No biggie but it does make one wonder if Eli will ever become elite.
Closer to home, UltimateNYG won Best Pro Football Blog for the second year running. I credit Andy and my mates for their excellent work. Wonder is elusive but a very smart guy. He has that something extra that few have. Andy mentioned that we were in agreement on close to 85% of the draft project which, considering we work independently, is pretty incredible. Glenn and Paul are excellent in combining news, stats and facts and separating the wheat from the chaff. I am honored to be working with a very good group of people.
UltimateNYG is lucky to have a knowledgeable group of commenters who come here and share their insights with all of us. They make us better. We agree and we disagree, but we are having fun- more fun with the Giants winning!
The Giants were off this past week but the world doesn’t stop. We eagerly look forward to Week 9 when the team picks up again. Here is to believing that the sloppy Seahawks, who do play much better at home (3-0) than on the road (1-3), will not catch the Giants napping after the layover.