This week Total Titans linked up with Andy Furman of Bloguin's New York Giants Blog, Ultimate NYG, to preview Sunday's game.
Total Titans: How good exactly is Eli Manning? I haven't seen anybody claim he's up there with Big Brother, Brees, and Brady, but how far away is he from them? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Ultimate NYG: We have a grading system at UltimateNYG where we project draft picks for what level they will reach as a pro.
1= multiple pro bowl, perennial all star
2= pro bowl player, if not in name
3= solid starter
4= replaceable starter
5= backup, special teams
6= fringe player, barely on roster
Now that you see the ranking system we use, Eli Manning is a 3, nothing more, nothing less. Guys like Brees and Peyton are '1's. We have these debates about Eli Manning all the time. He had a very special run of 5 games from the last game of the season in 2007 through the playoffs where he played at a high level.
(1) durable and does not miss starts
(2) improves his game every year
(3) is extremely calm and poised at big moments
(1) accuracy is hot and cold
(2) he does not throw a tight spiral, which is crucial in the wind of December/January in the Meadowlands
(3) he is quiet and is not the leader the team needs
(4) I wish the guy would run the ball about once per game to keep the defense honest
Bottomline: Manning is a very good QB who is the pillar of the franchise. He can win the franchise another Super Bowl, but he cannot carry a team there the way other elite QBs can.
Total Titans: Is Brandon Jacobs just a total head case, or what? Also, is he any good or was he just the product of a good offensive line that's gotten better?
Ultimate NYG: Jacobs is a hot head. He is not a bad head case. He just acts first and thinks second. Jacobs was very good from 2005-2008. But the injuries have taken their toll, and he has lost a step. His running style exposed him to too much abuse. When he was in his earlier years, he dished out so much punishment that he was feared. That made him a team leader who the offensive could follow into battle. Now that he cannot punish the opponent (with any regularity), he has lost his status as alphamale and is 2nd string behind Ahmad Brashaw.
Total Titans: Will the Giants try to blitz Vince Young into oblivion like the Steelers did, or will they rely on their front four to get pressure and play coverage?
My guess is the latter because of the Tampa 2. Yes, they'll blitz occasionally, but not like the Steelers did.
Total Titans: Keith Bulluck hardly played Sunday night because the Giants spent a bunch of time in a dime package. Are your linebackers as bad as that indicates, and are the defensive backs improved from last year when C.C. Brown was a starting safety?
Ultimate NYG: Yes, the LBers are bad. At Safety, in the offseason the Giants got Deon Grant and Antrel Rolle in Free Agency and Kenny Phillips back from IR. The secondary can be excellent bordering on fantastic, but the Defensive Coordinator has them playing off-coverage and in Tampa Two read and react. That will generate more INTs vs a QB that makes mistakes, but it takes away aggressiveness and give an opponent more time to develop plays.
Total Titans: Is there anything about the Giants you want Titans fans to know that I didn't ask about?
Ultimate NYG: Your defensive line is going to have a good ole time with our OL. Eli Manning better get rid of the ball quickly. I don't think our OL will be physical enough to establish the running game, as the unit is getting older and we have a problem at TE (we desperately need starter Kevin Boss to return from a concussion)
Total Titans: Finally, please feel free to make a prediction for Sunday's game.
Ultimate NYG: If Vince Young has his head screwed on properly and looks off the opportunistic Safeties, the Titans win this game.
Thanks to Andy for answering our questions and check out Ultimate NYG for my answers to their questions about the Titans.