Behind Enemy Lines Part II

Giant Insider Editor Ken Palmer provides insight into the 0-2 Giants.

6. Eli had a strong start last year, is there any difference to this one? Where has he improved?

It sure seems like the addition of QBs coach Chris Palmer has helped Manning a lot. He's a lot more fluid in his decision-making and release. He'll still make the occasional blunder, like the short INT last week, but there's no doubt that he's improved by leaps and bounds. He's also stepped up in a leadership capacity, which has been very evident this season. Now if only he could cover or tackle…

7. Is Ward for real or do they miss Tiki Barber?

You're always going to miss a guy like Tiki Barber, who came close to 1,700 rushing yards last season. Perhaps the Redskins remember him from the season finale? But Ward has made folks not miss Brandon Jacobs, who won the starting spot and then was injured only six carries into the season. Ward has great speed and shiftiness for a guy his size and has certainly been New York's biggest surprise this season.

8. What should the Redskins worry about most with New York's offense?

As much as he still gets a bad rap for his antics, foolish penalties and occasional dropped passes, Jeremy Shockey is still as dangerous a receiving threat at the tight end position as anyone – and yes, that includes Chris Cooley. If the Skins decide to take away the outside threats of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer, Shockey will kill them in the middle.

9. How much has the return of Amani Toomer meant?

Toomer is Manning's security blanket. The Giants were 6-2 with Toomer in the lineup last season and 2-7 without. That was no accident. Burress will always make the spectacular catch and fight like hell for the ball, but Toomer will always be exactly where he's supposed to be – and he has a great ability to break off routes in order to help Manning when he's under pressure. Toomer isn't the fleetest afoot, but he's a crafty veteran that can and will hurt you.

10. Who wins Sunday and why?

This isn't a homer call by any stretch, but the Giants aren't that bad. And I sure don't think the Skins are all that good – just yet, at least. Having covered the Giants more than 10 years, it's often pretty easy to see when they're going to drop one they shouldn't – but also steal one they shouldn't. Sunday's going to be one of those days. It'll be close and tight, but the Redskins don't have the aerial attack with which Favre and Dallas' Tony Romo exploited the awful secondary. New York's defense will be able to keep it close enough that the offense can win the game. Giants 20-17.


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