The Giants are touchdown favorites over the Jacksonville Jaguars tomorrow.
Fassel said one thing that was always spot on: "It is not who you play but when you play them." Well, Jacksonville is on a roll lately, having beaten the imploding Cowboys, the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns in 3 straight. While none of those three teams are overly impressive, you have to respect that this club is now 6-4. And on the flip side, everyone here knows that from the Jaguars' perspective, they are getting a banged up Giants squad. So this is a tremendous opportunity for the Jaguars. And a dangerous spot for the Giants.
By hook or by crook, the Giants need to get the win vs this below average team and move on. I do not care if the recap is zero goods, zero bads and all ugly's. When you are this banged up (now Andrews is doubtful), style points do not matter as much as wins. Of course that is only true to a point, but the message here is survival. The Giants have been bringing up discards from other teams, like Devin Thomas and Michael Clayton. According to my math, with Andrews out, the OL looks like Beatty, Boothe, Seubert, Snee and McKenzie. That leaves Petrus as the lone reserve for Sunday. Fffrightening.
Since we do not yet have a Jaguar team on the bloguin network, we spoke to Wonder about the Jaguars.
"This game is much harder than it looks," Wonder explains. "The Giants are -7 but should be -4.5, and the only reason why is that NY bets so much more money. It is so unlucky to lose Steve Smith, Ramses Barden and Hakeem Nicks all at the same time. How do you pass? If I am Jacksonville, I load the box. This game will not be easy for Eli. And on top of that, your OL cannot run block. This game is now a dogfight. Not a gimme game at all. Garrard is playing well and the Jags defense is playing better."
So if you are the Giants, how do you gameplan? "On defense, stop Maurice Jones-Drew. Stop the screen. Make sure Mercedes Lewis doesn't hurt you, that's it."
And on offense? Wonder continues: "Ram it down their throat and pray."
My take is different on the offense. While I welcomed the demotion of Bradshaw (accountability is more important than the best man out there), he'll still get plenty of playing time off the bench. Use him in your passing game. So instead of passes to Nicks and Smith, fill them with passes to Jacobs/Bradshaw/Boss/Beckum and even Pascoe. Use what you have. I actually think the Giants have less of a chance of running effectively w/o the OL than they do in quick short passes to their TEs and RBs. Pick your poison. If the Giants score 13-17 points and win, mark it off and get the hell out of there.