As we head towards the final game of the preseason, it's time for another Q&A session with a blogger who covers the Patriots' upcoming opponent. Ultimate NYG is an awesome New York Giants blog that's been anchoring Bloguin's NFL coverage for nearly a year now. I asked the site's lead writer, Andrew Furman, a series of questions about the Giants, and he, in turn, asked me a few about the Pats. His responses are below, followed by a link to Foxboro Blog's Q&A session on Ultimate NYG.
1. Last week I asked our Rams counterpart about Super Bowl XXXVI. I suppose that it's only fair that I now give you some opportunity to gloat. What are your thoughts on Super Bowl XLII?
The Giants caught lightning in a bottle. It is one of the few times in my experience that I thought Belichick was outcoached. It is the middle of Q3 in a VERY low scoring game, you cannot pass on a FG. Also, the Giants would have gotten eaten alive with Moss running underneath, and yet that smaller stuff was not done until the (second to) last drive. Also, worth noting that Michael Strahan and the defense (admitted on the SB dvd voiceover that they) had a poker 'tell' on the Patriots offense. People like to pin some blame on Asante Samuel for dropping that INT, but I have seen that replay 10 times and there is no way he should make that INT, it is simply out of his reach.
2. You've recently run some interesting content about the Giants' new stadium. Care to briefly touch on some of your thoughts for those who missed out?
I honestly feel it is a waste of ~1.7B dollars. You can see the post from Wed 8/25. It is not a coincidence that patriarch Wellington Mara died in 2005 and the ink was not dry on the death certificate before his son was pushing forward to get the new trophy, er I mean stadium. The only "winners" are the Jets, who needed a home and were more desperate for something they could finally call their own.
3. The Giants started 5-0 last season before finishing 3-8. What do you attribute the Giants' collapse to and what can the team do in 2010 to get back on track?
Tom Coughlin is as good AND AS BAD as his coordinators. In 2007 and 2008, the Giants had their act together because Steve Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator and he worked wonders. Pre 2007 (Lewis) and 2009 (Sheridan) were disasters. The weakest link of the other side of the ball is Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride. So essentially Spagnuolo was not there to cover Coughlin. Also, even though teflon GM Jerry Reese will not seem to take responsibility, he left the Safety position dangerously thin. When Kenny Phillips had to have microfracture surgery after Week 2, it was only a matter of time (Bucs, Chiefs, Raiders completing the 5-0 set) that the wheels would come off once they faced a real QB.
The Giants can get back on track IF (1) newly acquired LBer Keith Bulluck has some speed and mobility left in his surgically repaired knee (2) Kenny Phillips returns strongly from his surgery (3) the OL and RB positions hold up physically (4) they find a kick/punt returner.
4. What are you the most excited about heading into the 2010 season?
If Phillips and Bulluck are both healthy, the Giants have the defense on paper that can be very special. If they do not, it can get late early around here. Also, if Ahmad Bradshaw stays healthy he can do great things for the offense.
5. What do you think the Giants' weak point is?
Linebacker. It is being held together with scotch tape and sticky glue. The Giants got Bulluck in July- they are desperate to shore up a position that has been serially neglected. The last time the Giants drafted a LBer in Round 1, their defensive coordinator was a guy named Bill Belichick (Carl Banks, 1984). 26 years is insane. And we are paying the price... you want to hurt us? Isolate our LBers in coverage with your RB and TE.
6. What is your prediction for the Patriots this season?
The moneyline is 9.5, which is fair. I am willing to bet that Brady is his old menacing self, but I think the losses of Ty Warren and Logan Mankins will keep the Patriots at 10-6.
7. What is your prediction for the Giants this year?
8-8. They have 10-6 talent on paper and 6-10 coaching, so I get 8-8.