Blogging Dirty had the opportunity to sit down with Joe Tufaro of GMEN HQ this week, for a special playoff Q&A. Be sure to check out GMEN HQ for all the latest on the New York Giants. Also check out Greg’s scouting report on the NY Giants.
Blogging Dirty – It’s been a roller coaster season for the Giants, having some highs with wins over the Cowboys amongst others and some lows with losses such as Washington at home a few weeks ago. How good are the Giants? Do they have a shot in the playoffs?
GMEN HQ – The Giants are as good as their health will allow them to be. The Giants, like all teams have had injuries, but the timing of those injuries have been the key. They lost their starting cornerback Terrell Thomas in the last pre-season game. They lost their starting middle linebacker three days before the opener inWashington. They lost Osi, Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Boley, and 5 players in the secondary, including their #1 pick, in consecutive weeks. They have played without Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, TE Jake Ballard, starting center David Baas, and All Pro Guard Chris Snee at different times. This is the first time everyone who is not on IR is back and playing their positions. A healthy Giants team poses many problems to the opposition. The Giants are finally as healthy as they can be.
BD – DE Jason Pierre Paul and WR Victor Cruz have been two of my favorite players on other teams this season. What has made both of them so good?
GMEN – Coaching, veteran leadership, and natural ability. J.P.P. is maybe the best athlete on the field. I did a piece on him( http://gmenhq.com/2011/
BD – What would you say is the biggest strength and the biggest weakness of the 2012 NY Giants?
GMEN – The biggest strength of the Giants is easy…ELI….as a matter of fact that is his nickname…Easy E. He is a top 5 Qb in this league, and proved it over and over again this year. He had the most 4th quarter TD passes in the history of the NFL with 15. He had the second highest 4th quarter rating next to Aaron Rodgers. We also had 5 come from behind wins this year including being down to the Cowboys in Arlington by 12 points with 5 and a half minutes remaining. He is the reason we are where we are. The biggest weakness of the Giants this year has been the running game. The multiple looks of the offensive line, less practice time in pads to accommodate the new CBA, and Ahmad Bradhsaw missing 5 weeks has reduced one of the best rushing attacks to a mere shell of itself. The play-action game only makes Eli better, and he really doesn’t need that much help.
BD – How do the Falcons win this game?
GMEN – The Falcons win this game with by running the ball successfully, and using quick passes to Tony Gonzalez and their wideouts. Screens, draws, and quick slants will give the Falcons their best chance.
BD – Vice Versa. How do the Giants win this game?
GMEN – The Giants win this game by pressuring Matt Ryan into mistakes, or just a bad game. If we get the 5-6 sacks we have been averaging the past three weeks, maybe a turnover or two, and keep your running game to about a hundred yards, we can score enough points to come out on top.
BD – Finally, give us your predictions for the game, with a score please.
GMEN – I never give precise predictions. Here’s what I think though. The weather is supposed to be poor on Sunday. Rainy, windy, etc. The Falcons are 4-4 on the road, with only one of those loses being in a dome. I’m guessing Matty Ice struggles a bit with the wind currents in Giants Stadium, and a slippery ball causes a few problems. This game will come down to the 4th quarter and the outcome will depend on turnovers, and the respective running attacks.
Thanks again to Joe for taking the time to speak to us.