What's on the Giants holiday wish list?

Paul Schwartz: First of all, Kenny, since this is the holiday season we should be able to refrain from taking gratuitous shots at each other, at least for one week. That means I make no comments about, what shall we call it, your throwback attire. That means I do not remark about your curious hairstyle or engage in wisecracks about your desperate loyalty to the Phillies as you agonize through long, hot and losing summers. In the spirit of the season, we take the high road.

For this season, I believe there are several items the Giants would love to receive as presents. Eli Manning would like one of those pitch-back machines so he can practice throwing into tight spaces in order to improve his accuracy. Osi Umenyiora gets a large Tupperware container to keep fresh his overflow potential and a new bank account for the cash he's about to earn. Ace Hardware delivers a new set of shelves for Tiki Barber to hold all the awards he's starting to accumulate and for Antonio Pierce, an I Love NY T-shirt is in order to express his thoughts about leaving the Redskins and landing with the Giants. Will Allen unwraps a pair or gloves with suction cups, William Joseph gets some lozenges to soothe his throat from all the interviews he grants, Jeff Feagles gets a degree in Cartography because he always knows how to map out his next punt and Michael Strahan gets a Mont Blanc pen so he can start inking his Hall of Fame induction speech. Defensive coordinator Tim Lewis gets a podium so he can finally speak and Jeremy Shockey gets a rocking chair as proof that he's matured. As for Tom Coughlin, he gets a puzzle with 1,000 identical pieces so he can practice patience for all those repeat questions he so despises.

Ken Palmer: How about a personal ad for John Hufnagel? The guy's basically in charge of one of the game's better offenses and no one knows who the heck he is. Tim Carter? Think he needs a personal real estate agent. He's certainly going to be looking for a new home after this season. The drop against Dallas all but clinched that. Jay Feely needs a bunch of mind erasers (for you oldtimers, Paul, that's an adult beverage that has the capability of well, erasing minds…no doubt you partook heavily in college…after all, who would want to remember anything about attending Albany?). The Giants kicker is too good a player and person to have to relive all his latest troubles time and again. What Feagles really needs is for the Giants to trade for Peyton Manning, so he'll be able to cash in his number 18 jersey for a summer home in the Hamptons. Joseph? Perhaps a visit from the ghost of Christmas past as a reminder that he's not nearly good enough to justify his continuing to diss the media. On a serious note, Nick Greisen needs a nice, fat contract – from the Giants or somebody else. No one gives more consistent effort and provides more dependable production around here than Greisen and it's high time he's rewarded for it.

PS: So now that we're through playing around we can figure out what the Giants REALLY want under their trees this holiday. For this season, they would like to find a roadmap into the end zone, because even though they score plenty of points they don't hit pay-dirt often enough. Through 13 games, the Giants advanced into the red zone (sorry, coach Coughlin, we can't get into your "green zone'' jargon) an NFL-high 54 times, an average of more than four times a game. The Giants had come away with 26 touchdowns, good for only 48 percent, ranking 17th in the league. That's not exactly high-efficiency offense. Against the Eagles down in Philly, the Giants had drives stopped on the Eagles 6, 3 and 9-yard lines, settling for field goals when touchdowns would have put the game away. There's a lot going on here and much of it isn't good. Manning has become shaky in the shadow of the end zone, tossing far too many interceptions. The strength of the offensive line isn't power blocking, making things more difficult for short-yardage back Brandon Jacobs. Opponents have figured out those lob passes to Plaxico Burress and Shockey. If you want to buy something for the Giants, get them a navigational system that steers them directly into the end zone.

KP: And perhaps a weather vane as well. That way the Giants can determine which way the wind's blowing and throw accordingly. Lately it seems they've gotten too tight and scared to throw the ball downfield. They wouldn't have to worry about getting in from the 3 and 6 if they could get in from the 30 or midfield with long passes. They certainly have the horses to do so. It's time to air it out like they did earlier in the year, and time to try to win games. Sure you need to run the ball in December, but the better they run it, the more downfield options they'll have as a result. Now they just have to use them.

PS: While we're still on this holiday theme, the Giants would also love to see some prescriptions for medical health stuffed into their stockings. It's been a relatively injury-free season, much like it was back in 2000 when the Giants remained intact and found their way to the NFC East title and the Super Bowl. Luck always plays a part in this and fortune has mostly smiled on the Giants, but there were frowns galore when four starters went down in the victory in Philadelphia. There's no margin for error in this playoff race, with the Cowboys on the heels of the Giants and home-field advantage up for grabs in the hotly contested NFC. The Giants can't do without Pierce or Luke Petitgout or Kareem McKenzie for any length of time. As for you, Kenny, I hope this holiday season brings you serenity in your life as you resign yourself to coming in second-best in our little Double Coverage discussions.

KP: Lady luck needs to smile down on New York, much as she did in 2000. They went from pretender to contender to top seed in a matter of moments. They need the Carolinas and Tampas of the world to trip over themselves in the next couple weeks, which would open the door for Big Blue to make a move. Then we'd all have a January to remember. More importantly, though, I'd like to wish happy holidays to all…even Paul – it's the least I could do after a full season of whooping up on him and his ridiculous viewpoints in this spot.

The Giants Beat Top Stories