One more week, one more virtually must win game for the Bears. The Bears welcome, in the most inhospitable way I hope, on of the teams they are chasing in the wild card race. The NY Giants currently hold the #5 spot, but with uncertainty creeping in with the unsteady play of QB Eli Manning, the Bears have have a chance to not only get a game directly on a front runner, but also pickup what might be a crucial tie break. I posed some questions to our Giants blogger, who runs Big Blue View.
1) Eli looks to be in another second half of the season collapse. If it continues, what do the Giants do with him heading into the future?
That's the loaded -- 'What will the future of the franchise look like' question. It seems like weekly the opinion on Eli changes. There are a lot more whispers now about drafting a young QB or signing a younger guy to push him. He's signed for a couple more years, and I doubt he's tradeable, so for now the Giants just have to work with him and see if he can ever find some consistency. I just don't know if that will happen.
2) What has been the biggest impact on your team not having Tiki this year?
Tiki! Tiki! Tiki who? The Giants have barely missed the guy we call Tiki Blabber at Big Blue View Nation. The team has a good offensive line and Brandon Jacobs (out this week), Derrick Ward, Reuben Droughns and even Ahmad Bradshaw have all been productive when they have played. So, Barber's running has not been missed. On top of that, with his mouth out of the locker room I think there has been a better atmosphere and it has been easier on Tom Coughlin.
3) What is the current status of which running backs will be playing, who will be the starter?
Brandon Jacobs is the number one guy. He's a beast at 265 pounds, but durability has been a problem. He missed time with a knee and now a hamstring. He won't play Sunday. Derrick Ward, who played well when Jacobs was hurt the first time, has missed several weeks now himself. He should return and start Sunday. If he's healthy he will do fine. Droughns, a solid veteran, will handle short-yardage and will be the primary back if Ward can't go. Bradshaw is an exciting rookie the Giants are starting to work in. He's a good kick returner and probably their best breakaway threat.
4) The Giants strength on defense is the pass rush. What makes it so good?
Well, it had been the ability to use four pass-rushing defensive ends at one time on passing downs. With Mathias Kiwanuka done for the year, though, that's out the window. Still, with Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck (a pass-rushing DE who plays DT in passing downs and Fred Robbins the Giants line up four quality pass rushers. Plus, new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has not been afraid to bring pressure. You will sometimes see 6-7 guys coming after Rex Grossman.
5) If the Bears are able to protect Grossman, can success be had working against your secondary?
Yes. Without pressure, the Giants secondary can be had. Sam Madison has had a good year and No. 1 pick Aaron Ross will be a very good player, but if Grossman has time there are big chunks of yardage to be had out there against the Giants.
Bonus: How much do you really hate Tony Romo?
A lot. But not as much as I hate Bill Parcells for developing the guy.