As has become a tradition here on our fair web site, we reached out to our SB Nation brethren to provide expert insight into the up-coming opponent for the Arizona Cardinals. With the New York Giants of New Jersey on the schedule for NFL Week 4, we called on Ed Valentine, Giants blogger at Big Blue View and regional editor at SB Nation New York to share his thoughts on the game.
The big story we keep hearing about with the Giants is their injuries. We asked Ed to give us the run down on what exactly the Giants are missing. They names he listed were:
- Terrell Thomas, best CB (ACL)
- Jonathan Goff, starting LB (ACL)
- Domenik Hixon, WR / PR (ACL)
- Prince Amukamara, rookie CB (broken foot)
- Osi Umenyiora, DE, (knee)
In addition to these key injuries, the Giants lost a few big names to free agency which left fans of Big Blue feeling down after the first two weeks of the NFL season. (The Giants opened with a loss to the Redskins and then beat the Rams.)
Then in Week 3, New York beat their hated rivals from Philadelphia for the first time since 2008 and all is well again in the world.
"What we saw Sunday (against the Eagles) is that if the Giants are able to play turnover-free football, if they are able to prevent the big play on defense which has been an issue for awhile now, if they are able to do those things there is still enough talent for this to be a very, very good football team," Valentine said.
The Giants are ranked 15th in the NFL in rush defense (310 yards allowed) and 20th in pass defense (765 allowed). The secondary has been hit hardest by the injuries which contributed to New York allowing four-straight 300+ yard passing games to opponents prior to the Philadelphia game.
With pass defense an issue, Ed is understandably nervous about Larry Fitzgerald. "When you look at Larry Fitzgerald, it makes me nervous."
The teeth of the Giants defense is their ability to get pressure on the quarterback. They got to Michael Vick with just a three-man rush thanks in large part to Jason Pierre-Paul who Ed called a "Monster". Justin Tuck is a bit banged up but expected to play and the Giants rotate in a lot of D-linemen throughout the game.
New York runs a 4-3 base defense and like to blitz linebackers as well as corners and safeties from the edge. Kevin Kolb will have to be on his toes in this game.
The Giants are 18th in rushing offense and 14th in passing. According to Ed, New York has struggled to run the ball consistently and put together long drives. They scored against the Eagles with big plays which could be changing the identity of the Giants.
"They're almost shaping up and starting to look more like a big play offense than a grind it out, chew up the clock kind of an offense which is different for the Giants," Valentine said.
Eli Manning has been exceptional lately and is coming off a four-touchdown, no interception game against the Eagles.
"I'm a little nervous about this game, to be honest with you," Ed said.
Valentine thinks that coming off the big win over the Eagles it is possible the Giants will suffer a let down, "It wouldn't be first time."