The Giants have a bye this week so we do a little thing coaches like to call Self Scout. The Giants have used this as a learning tool since Tom Coughlin arrived. It really helps to look at your own tendencies and see how you would game plan against yourself.
The Offense (B): The Giants offense is starting to click at the right time. Although the running game has not quite reached the level they will need it to, the overall offense is moving in the right direction. When you see Eli feel comfortable with the likes of Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard you know the offense is working. It is great to see guys step up and make plays. Yes, teams will start to keep an eye on Ballard now, but that only opens up opportunities to get the ball to the backs, and to the other wideouts. The O-Line continues to be the victim of injuries, but again this builds depth for the rest of the season. All in all this offense which ranks 9th in points and 7th in passing is moving in the right direction. The running game will prove to be the final piece of any success they enjoy this season.
The Defense(C): It seems the defense has been struggling since day one. They must rely on pressuring the QB and have to find a way to limit the running games of opponents. Hopefully Justin Tuck will return in the next week or two and be able to stay healthy the remainder of the season. This is a big piece of the puzzle. The pressure that a healthy D-Line puts on the offense is key. Not only in the passing game, but against the run. Hopefully the second half sees the beginning of the career of “The Prince”. Prince Amukamara will allow the safeties to return to their natural positions and should strengthen the defense overall. Health is the key for this defense.
Special teams(B): The most pleasant surprise here has been Steve Weatherford. Top ten in average and top 5 in return yardage against is a big reason the specials have been better. Aaron Ross has stabilized the punt return position. I still would look for Jerrel Jernigan to get a shot somewhere here this season. He did dress for his first game last week. The kickoff returns have been so-so, but no turnovers in either category is a goal achieved. Lawrence Tynes has been stellar on kickoffs, but the confidence certainly isn’t there on the field goal front.
The Outlook: 30-16….That is the combined record of the teams the Giants will face after the Dolphins leave town. Not only do the Giants face some traditionally good teams, they play them at all the wrong places and times. IN New England, IN New Orleans on a Monday Night, IN San Francisco, IN Dallas on a Sunday Night, add to that home games against Green Bay and the cross town rival Jets. This is a tough challenge. Now, you never know what a team will look like when you finally play them, but it lays out as a very tough road. Maybe the best thing that happens for the Giants this year is Philly, Dallas and Washington stay mediocre to poor, and the path gets a bit easier. The Good news is this team can only get healthier. Hopefully they will continue to improve on this front and have a complete team to compete with going forward,