Where have the New York Giants we saw in Weeks 1 through 14 (minus Week 5) been for the past two weeks? Wherever they have been hiding they better come out to play on Sunday night.
All week I have had to listen to how panic has hit the Giants and how they are no longer the best team in football. Instead the Steelers (who the Giants beat on the road) are apparently the new favorite of the league because they squeaked out a win over the Ravens (who the Giants beat by 20) and the Cowboys (who the Giants went 1-1 against). But let the media think the Steelers are the team to beat. Let the nation crown Pittsburgh as the 2008 champions. They did the same for the Patriots last season and that turned out well.
But on Sunday night the Giants will face a different type of team. They have seen solid passing team, defenses, and pass rushes, but they have yet to see a running game that can rival their own. And that is exactly what the Carolina Panthers present with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
The Giants defensive line should have no problem with Jake Delhomme and if the secondary can contain Steve Smith, the passing game of the Panthers shouldn’t be a problem. And considering the fact that the Giants problem the past two weeks has been their offense, the defense should be there once again to give the team a chance to win.
But the Giants can’t win unless they start clicking on offense again. The offensive line needs to return to form and protect Eli Manning from being sacked on every other play. The wide receivers need to minimize the drops and Earth, Wind, and Fire needs the Earth back.
Reports right now indicate that Brandon Jacobs is questionable for the game, but I have news for the Giants star running back and free agent to be. You better be in the backfield at 8:15 Sunday night. Because without Jacobs, the Giants are not the Giants. And without him for a second straight game, the Giants losing streak could reach three games. And then they would have to go on the road to Minnesota and close out the season with a win to avoid limping into the postseason with four straight losses.
I am confident the Giants will win because they have to. There is too much at stake in this game and they know how to take care of business in the big game. Here is the first taste of playoff football and it comes in December.
Giants 24, Panthers 20