You know what Friday's all about. It's time for Ed Valentine and I to swap answers to the pressing questions of the day. For a glance at mine, head on over to Ed's blog at the Big Blue View; http://www.bigblueview.com/.
1. Given the post-bye schedule, can the Giants fight their way into the postseason?
"Sure they can. Will they? That's a whole different story. The schedule is brutal, with five quality teams in seven games. Can they go 5-2 in those seven games, which is what I think would guarantee a playoff spot? It's possible, but a lot of things have to change in those seven games. Most specifically, they have to play better defense. I am not jumping ship and giving up on the season, but at this point I'm not counting on a fifth straight playoff appearance, either."
2. Is the short, controlled passing game Eli Manning exhibited in last week's loss to San Diego the way to go?
"Well, chicks dig the long ball. So do NFL fans. I believe there are situations where you take your shots. Watch any good NFL team on a Sunday and there are always spots like "single-high" safeties where teams take shots down the field. That said, the Giants had sort of fallen in love with the deep ball and it was taking them out of what they do best -- which is control the clock. They got back to that against San Diego, and I was glad. They need to find a happy medium. As the weather and wind become more of a factor, they will have to take the short throws and move the chains. One thing to remember, though, about the big play -- when they can hit it it does help them avoid all that Green Zone trouble they have."
3. Many of the players say this four-game losing streak hasn't shaken their confidence. Do you believe them?
"Hardly. Hey, if you keep bringing stories to your editor and he keeps rejecting them are you still going to feel good about your work? If you keep applying for jobs and getting nothing but rejection letters are you still going to be confident? The players are saying the words they need to say, and that you would expect them to say. Of course their confidence has to be shaken somewhat, though. It's time for them to stop talking and start producing."
4. Has the offensive line finally gotten too old to get the job done?
"Well, I would hardly say it is falling apart. There are cracks surfacing, though, particularly at the tackles. Kareem McKenzie has, in my mind, always been the weakest link on the line. David Diehl has always had trouble with speed rushers, and that's never going to get better. My biggest concern has been watching blitzers run free, as well as the fact that the push doesn't seem to be there consistently in the run game. Drafting Will Beatty was a good start toward re-structuring the line, but it is an area that will unquestionably need off-season attention. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing another tackle brought in next season along with Beatty, and having Diehl move inside to replace Seubert."