Some opening day thoughts at the start of the 2012 season...
1) "I am a Jedi, like my father before me." Yes, the Force runs strong in Eli's family. Eli can sense pass rushers that he cannot even see. He has mastery of his weapons, including Cruz and Nicks. Add Bradshaw, Wilson and a healthy TE, and Eli can be lethal.
2) "Fear is the path to the Dark Side." And the only fear this Giants fan has is the Giants Offensive Line. These guys barely held it together in the playoffs vs San Fran. This year starts with Locklear at LT. He's serviceable, but he'll need help (chips, etc.) vs Ware et al in pass protection.
3) "Great kid, don't get cocky." We on this not so humble NY Giants blog have been concerned about the dearth at Linebacker for many a moon. This season brings optimism in Kiwi with a little more experience, Rivers with a fresh start in the swamp, and second year players like Herzlich and Williams getting some experience. Boley finally has some help. But please don't bring in Blackburn on passing downs unless there is a TE (or RB) with only one functional leg.
4) "Luke, you can destroy the emperor, he has foreseen this." It's a toss up between beating the Eagles and seeing Jerry Jones eat crow. And after his summer trash-talking, I really hope the Boys get undressed this evening. It can happen. Dallas has a marginal OL. Witten is out. Ratliff is out. Without Ratliff, all the Giants have to do is take care of DeMarcus Ware with some extra help and just make sure Spencer doesn't get into any rhythm. Eli has the skills players to make Dallas pay as long as he has a little time.
5) "These aren't the droids you're looking for.." The Giants have to cover up a weakness at CB. A few jedi mind tricks performed by Tuck, Osi and JPP on Tony Romo will have any weakness by Michael Coe compensated for nicely. John Fox played his jedi mind tricks by stacking blitzes on Dave Thomas's side so that the opposing QB couldn't target the swiss cheese CB.
6) "I find your lack of faith disturbing." I still don't believe in Kevin Gilbride, two Super Bowl titles and all. But our OC raves about Wilson, and that might be the antidote for Gilbride to finally have too many weapons for even him to screw it up. In English, this means that Gilbride will use Wilson (as long as the rookie can get into the huddle by taking care of blitz pickup) for outlet/flares underneath to bring defenses to their knees.
6a) "Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1." And the possibility of Gilbride calling more than 2 screens in a single game are a little more remote than that. But with Wilson, hmmm, maybe in 2013?!!!
7) "The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master.” Pay attention to young players like Linval Joseph and Jayron Hosley. They don't have the pedigree of first rounders like Prince and Wilson, but these guys could be staples of the team. If Prince remains brittle, Hosley could be starting soon enough. For Joseph, it's his 3rd year, and that is when interior guys on the Defensive Line become men.
8) "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." The replacement referees are going to make a mess of it for some teams and bail out others. That 20% of the game that Bill Walsh said was luck just went up to 25%.
9) "There is good in him. I've felt it." I'm a critic of Coughlin, but he gets the props. Tom Coughlin has gotten his players to peak at the right time twice. There was some luck required last year so that 9 wins got a playoff ticket. But Coughlin showed that it's more than luck when your players show up big at the biggest moments.
10) "Remember, the Force will be with you, always." Hey, the Force is most definitely with the Gmen. The Giants are 5-0 in NFC Conference Championship games and 4-1 in Super Bowls. This franchise is one of the league's favorite sons. And always remember that the Giants own the NFL's Emperor, aka the original hoodie, Bill Belichick.