With the Raiders set to face off against the Giants in New York (Well, New Jersey, but whatever), I strap down Edward Valentine from Giants blog Big Blue View in a chair and use enhanced interrogation techniques to get the answers I want. Minus the straps and my techniques are enhanced because of the probing nature of my questions.
Edward: Wow, let me take those one at a time.
Boothe -- He has been a solid player for the Giants for years now, first as a backup and for the last 2+ seasons as a starter at guard and center. Better player than I thought he was.
Murphy -- The Giants thought he might help them with his speed, but he never plays. He's the fifth wide receiver on a team that only uses four.
Stevie Brown -- Tremendous player. I can't figure out how Oakland and Indianapolis never gave the guy a chance. Too bad he's out for the season with a knee injury. I am looking forward to seeing him back next season.
Myers -- Interesting case. You won't like this, but the Giants basically said recently that Myers has to unlearn everything he learned in Oakland. He is still developing some chemistry with Eli Manning, and the giants have asked him to block more than he is used to. At this point I have doubts Myers is with the Giants beyond this year, but we'll see.
Are the Giants more like the team that went 0-6 to start the season or 2-0 the last two games? In other words, do you see them continuing to pull out of their early season funk against the Raiders?
In answer to the first part of your question I really don't know. The Vikings were awful, and Josh Freeman had no business playing. The Eagles used an injured Mike Vick and an overwhelmed Matt Barkley at quarterback. They are better than an 0-6 team, but I'm still not sure what they are. As for Sunday, yes I expect them to win. They haven't played a single solid game yet this season and I think that might come against the Raiders.
What happened to the Giants' pass rush?
Jason Pierre-Paul's back surgery happened -- that's pretty much the story. JPP missed the entire offseason and preseason because of the back, and he just isn't anywhere near fully recovered yet. He says he doesn't expect to be 100 percent until next season. Justin Tuck is still a good player, but not a dynamic pass rusher. Also, the Giants just don't have dynamic blitzing linebackers.
Is Eli Manning's penchant for throwing interceptions this season a great mystery or is there a definitive reason for it?
It's been a combination of things, some of which are Manning's fault and some of which are not. There have been a few poor throws or poor decisions. There have been several mistakes by wide receivers and running backs that created interceptions. There were serious protection issues the first few games. Also, in some cases it's just a matter of looking at the scoreboard, realizing the Giants are losing, and taking risks because of it. Manning did not throw any picks in the two victories, and I do expect him to be better down the stretch.
I have been an Hakeem Nicks fan since his North Carolina days and had him as the best receiver in his draft class (the same class as Darrius Heyward-Bey). Why would David Diehl say he expects Nicks and the Giants to part ways after this season? Do you believe that to be the case as well?
Well, let's just say I trust Diehl's opinion on this. The two players have the same agent, and Diehl wouldn't say it unless he believed it. I happen to agree with Diehl, and I have for some time. I like Nicks a lot, and he is important to the Giants' offense. But, is he important enough to spent $12 million per year on? Is he worth that kind of money? I'm not sure. The Giants have serious salary cap issues, they have already made a $45 million commitment to Victor Cruz and they have Rueben Randle. I think they would like to keep Nicks, but I think somebody (ahem, the Carolina Panthers) will be willing to spend a lot more money than the Giants will to get him.