Here is a Q&A session with G-Men HQ editor Andrew Illnicki:
1. What was your take on the Giant’s preseason?
The injuries to the Giants defense were catastrophic for many. I however think there is room for rookies to step up and make an impact. The Giants are thin at corner with Prince Amukamare, Terrell Thomas, and Bruce Johnson out — 3rd year Nickel corner Aaron Ross will start in their place… he has looked decent so far. The rest of the defense looks pretty scary, even with Osi Umenyiora out for the time being. Offensively, not a lot of TD”s for the first team but the players don’t seem to be worried — I think they will come week 1, particularly running the ball. I have high expectations needless to say.
2. Was Steve Smith a huge loss and will the WR corps be as strong without him?
As a possession receiver, no question its a loss. But he was pretty one dimensional. 9-11 yards a clip, that’s it. Coupled with TE Kevin Boss heading to Oakland you have to shake your head. But — Domenik Hixon, Victor Cruz, and a familiar name in Devin Thomas have an opportunity to fill in and give the Giants some different looks on offense this year. Both Hixon and Cruz double as deep threats, Thomas seems to be a fairly good Kick Returner. I think the Giants will be fine, especially if Nicks and Manningham stay healthy.
3. Do the Giants feel that Bradshaw and Jacobs still have plenty in the tank or will they start leaning on rookie D’rell Scott?
The Giants running game is pretty deep and overall very good. Quite interesting. I don’t see them leaning on Scott at all, although like Bradshaw late in the 2007 Superbowl winning season he could come in handy if there are injuries to the starters. From what we saw, he is a legitimate game changing threat every time he’s on the field.
4. Is this the season Eli begins his decline as a QB?
Man I hope not. He’s improved his number across the board every season — INTs have gone up with it. I hope he curtails that facet in 2011 and utlilizes the check downs more and gets his turnovers under control. Less forced passes and better decisions ought to do it.
5. What are the the keys to the game for the Giants beating the Redskins?
Run, Run, Play Action Pass. In that order. I don’t want to see the Giants get creative just yet — I want them to establish their fundamental running attack and avoid dumb turnovers. The pass can come into the picture after that. I think the defense will get pressure on Grossman and if they can keep passes from coming crisp into the seams of their zone they’ll be all set.
5. Final score and footnotes?
I have to believe the Giants Defense lets one TD get through but then clamp down after that. I see the Giants offense emerge throughout the game led by the running attack – Bradshaw and Jacobs have a stellar day with a TD each. Manning throws for 200 yards and 1 TD, 1 INT. 24-13 Giants.