Our take – TGI tackles 15 hot NFL topics

Big Blue forecast: This could be a special year for the Giants. They showed an explosive offense at times as well as a suffocating defense. If this pass rush does not lead the league in sacks it will be a disappointment. It's a long season and no one knows what injuries there will be, but this year's team seems much better assembled to cope with injuries. They have quality depth at many positions.

Mathias Kiwanuka

We admit we were among those who thought they drafted the right player, but the wrong position. With other positions of need besides a DE it seemed frivolous at the time. After watching Kiwi play, it's clear he can be a special player. He reminds us very much of Miami's Jason Taylor. He could be that good. Let's see what happens when the real lights go on, but he sure looks like a playmaker.

Chase Blackburn

This guy can play. It's doubtful he will get a lot of playing time behind Antonio Pierce, but you have to love his effort. There are many teams in the league he could start for and be successful. Funny thing is, he came into the league exactly like Pierce did, as an undrafted free agent that initially made his mark on special teams.

Frank Walker

Talk about a guy being on the bubble and responding. We know he was not in the Giants' plans for this season. He was behind a bunch of corners. They even offered him around the league for anything they could get and found no takers. He was certainly headed for the waiver wire. But, something happened along the way. It's like a light must have gone on in Walker's head. He got good. Well, actually he got more consistent. He always could make a sensational play but he usually followed it with a clunker. Now, we still get good plays, but fewer and fewer clunkers. It is not impossible to eventually see him as a starter if he keeps improving.

Michael Jennings

He could very easily become Mr. Excitement. Sure, he is quite a character off the field, but he's not the annoying kind. He's funny and he knows when to turn it off. He's easy to root for and has tremendous speed. He's catching the ball better and is a big play waiting to happen.

Jared Lorenzen

How can anyone not want Lorenzen to succeed? He's got to be the hero for anyone even the least bit overweight. But he's not a circus sideshow any more. He can play. If truth were told, he has a stronger arm than Eli Manning and looks more accurate. I'm not suggesting that he will ever beat out Manning, but they can be comfortable with him as the backup. He also could be the best short-yardage runner on the team. He gives new meaning to the QB sneak. With his nimble feet, we could actually see him in the backfield in special situations.

Brandon Jacobs

Wow! His game against the Pats was really something. We thought they should have drafted a back just in case, but Jacobs' performance tells us they are in fine shape and he should get more touches this year than last. That can only be good for Tiki.

Eli Manning

So much is riding on his shoulders, but one thing we noticed this summer is that while he looks better throwing the ball, he still has his lapses. We understand a QB under a rush cannot always have perfect form or mechanics. Many times the QB has to get the ball away any way he can, but with Manning, sometimes when he has time he reverts. It's almost like he is lazy. Now, we know that's not true because he is a hard-working guy that studies the game, but there is no other way to describe his technique but to say he's sometimes lazy with it. Too many times he doesn't work hard to have sound throwing technique when he does have the time. We are convinced that is what leads to his spells of inaccuracy. If he is to become an elite QB, he has to correct this flaw.

A good sign

Four waived Giants – Willie Ponder, Damane Duckett, Curtis Deloatch and Eric Moore – all caught on with other teams. That is either a good sign that the Giants' talent is better or they kept the wrong guys. We think it's the former.

Carson Palmer

Speaking of elite QBs, Palmer is nipping at the heels of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. He is going to be very special. This could be a monster year for him. He does everything so well.

Washington Redskins

No team had a worse preseason than the Skins. We don't want to put much stock in the summer games, but they were awful. None of their QBs, Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell or Todd Collins, was capable of moving the team. Now, it's quite possible Joe Gibbs will rally this team, but it looks bleak starting the season. Brunell looks like he's finished. Campbell isn't ready and Collins never has done anything.

Detroit Lions

The all-time brainteaser is: How does Matt Millen keep his job and receive contract extensions? Three years in a row he drafted WRs in the first round. Charles Rogers is a bust and he was cut. Mike Williams may be following him shortly. Roy Williams is the only decent one. Funny thing is they had a sixth-round pick in 2003, David Kircus. They call him Circus Kircus because of his ability to make spectacular catches. They released him last year. He caught on with Denver and had a sensational summer, catching everything in sight as well as turning in some big plays. Something is rotten in Motown.

Denver Broncos

Speaking of the Broncos, they've done it again. They took an undrafted free agent off the street and made him their starting running back. No one thought enough of Mike Bell to draft him, yet he will be their opening day starter. They are famous for putting little-known players in the backfield and making them stars. Their offensive line and zone blocking schemes make it possible. We've often said any back can run in that offense. Oh wait. Ron Dayne couldn't. He was cut.

Kansas City

Again, it was preseason but this team looks like it is headed for a fall. They lost Willie Roaf and John Wellbourn, two key offensive linemen. Without them, what may have been the best offensive line in the league is suddenly very ordinary. They also lost offensive coordinator Al Saunders. He was the brain behind their offense. The Herminator (Edwards) is a defensive coach. Their WRs are not good. They suddenly became very easy to defend. Crowd the line, stop Larry Johnson and double-team Tony Gonzalez.

Green Bay

This looks like another real bad team. When will they realize it's time to find Brett Favre's successor and start to give him some experience. They won't win with Favre so what's the sense? Aaron Rodgers needs some experience and they will find out if he's truly their QB of the future.

Totally Obnoxious

Is T.O. actually winning the battle of (half) wits with Bill Parcells? It kind of looks that way. T.O. got to take the summer off and he will get to play anyway. It's bad timing for Parcells to be hawking a coaching video where he talks about teaching young men how to be winners. How badly do we want that whole situation in Dallas to blow up? That would be really funny if it did.

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