Jon Scott, publisher of PatriotsInsider.com interviews Rick Laughland, publisher of TheGiantsBeat.com in advance of Thursday night's New York Giants vs New England Patriots preseason finale.
Jon Scott: Eli Manning
has had a tough time getting out from his brother's shadow. Even on Top QBs in the NFL articles (aka Ron Jaworski's Top QB's http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2013/07/2013-jaws-qb-countdown/) Eli is ranked well below his brother despite winning more Super Bowls. What is it about Eli that elicits such apathy about his accomplishments around the country?
Part of the reason that Eli Manning is often overlooked is the fact that he has played on Giants' teams that have bolster a ferocious pass-rush and the play of their defense often times overshadowed the offensive unit. Manning has failed to develop the consistency year-in-and year-out in order reach elite status. When No. 10 is on top of his game he can beat and play with any quarterback. The problem is Manning is a bit too erratic at times with his decision-making and penchant for turnovers in big spots. Manning is also a low-key person who doesn't boast or brag about his accomplishments, so often times fans forget that he's a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Big Blue's gunslinger is often left off the list of the league's top QBs, but if he can string together consecutive seasons of consistent production, when it's all said and done it will be hard to leave him off the list of the NFL's elite signal-callers.
The Giants feasted on opponents with a heavy punch from their front four over the past few seasons. It seems that they've lost that edge of late with the retirement of Strahan, and the dismemberment of the group via free agency and injury. Is the front seven still capable of being a defensive force, or have the Giants morphed into something different (if so what)?
The Giants' front four is still very formidable, but it hasn't been as 'dominant' as seasons past. Injuries to Justin Tuck
and Jason Pierre-Paul
in 2012 made New York's defensive line look very 'ordinary' at times. The key to the Giants' success remains the same and that's pressuring the quarterback and forcing turnovers. With new additions in Damontre Moore
, Miles Austin
, Cullen Jenkins
and Johnathan Hankins
, expect New York to have a bounce back year in 2013 and wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. The Giants' secondary is a major question mark after losing play-making safety Stevie Brown
to a torn ACL and with strong safety Antrel Rolle
hobbled by an ankle injury. The Giants' pass-rush will be key in covering up some deficiencies in their secondary and unproven linebacking corps. The names and faces may have changed over the years, but Big Blue's 'secret sauce' still lies with the power of its front four.
What does Giants' nation think of Jets Nation? Is it like a littler Brother relationship or something else? (Especially with their struggles at QB)
Giants' fans have a borderline obsession with belittling the Jets and their fans. The Jets don't do themselves any favors by making headlines for all the wrong reasons, but often times it seems as though Giants' fans follow the Jets closer than they do their own team. In light of the two Super Bowls Big Blue has won over the past five seasons, the Jet fan feels an inferiority complex and is consistently reminded of their 'Big Brother's' success. Rex Ryan
refuses to take a backseat to any team, but unfortunately he's drawing attention to himself for everything off the field and his coaching credibility is being brought into question by Jets' fans and the New York media. In reality, the Jets and Giants are not a rivalry because they play each other only once every four seasons, so this is a typical case of the media and fans making something out of nothing.