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5 questions with the Giants pt 1

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This week I sat down emailed with two Giants bloggers and picked their brains while having my own picked about this weekend's matchup. First up is Dan who blogs about the G-Men over at the AOL fanhouse. You can also check out my answers to his questions over there.

BGN - Going into the year I think the Giants biggest question mark was how they'd replace Tiki Barber. It appears that thanks to injuries they've more or less done it by committee. Have you been satisfied with Tiki's replacements and do you think the Giants will look to add a back in the draft?

The injuries are a bit of a concern, but if you were to remove names and look at the overall team production, you'd never even know Tiki was gone.  Now, don't get me wrong, Tiki was a great back for New York, but Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and company have given the Giants everything they needed.

I think the likelihood of the Giants drafting a running back is slim to none.  While Jacobs has suffered injuries (along with the rest of the team), he's going to be the number one back for a long time.  And should he go down, Derrick Ward has proven himself to be very valuable.  Beyond that, the Giants have Reuben Droughns, a proven NFL veteran, and Ahmad Bradshaw, who is extremely explosive.

Working in the New York area and reading your site, the great debate surrounding the Giants now seems to be over the future of Eli Manning. It seems to me that the talk is getting more negative than positive lately. What's your take on Eli and his future?

This is a hard question.  I used to be on the Manning bandwagon, but I've come back down to earth a bit lately.  The fact that he plays on the grandest stage makes him subject to relentless media attention, whether it be bad or good.  And despite the team winning, he's still being openly criticized -- and rightly so.

But people constantly ask "would he be a starter if his last name wasn't Manning?"  Well, to be fair, would he be so criticized if his last name wasn't Manning?  Would he be so criticized if the Giants weren't second in the league in dropped passes?  Would he be criticized if the Giants running backs and wide receivers weren't ravaged by injuries?

Eli will never be Peyton, but he's not nearly as bad as people make him out to be.

It seems that the Giants are once again in a year where they start well and struggle late. Was the Minnesota game a sign that it's all about to go horribly wrong or was it just a hiccup?

Had the Giants lost to the Lions and Bears, I would have said it was going to hell.  But unlike in previous years,  they found a way to win.  For that very reason, I'll look at it like a hiccup.

It may not be pretty, but winning is always better than losing.  And so far, they're still hanging tough.  Will it continue?  Well, that
remains to be seen.  But for the moment, I see no reason to panic ... other than the injuries.

Does Tom Coughlin have to win a playoff game this year to save his job?

He shouldn't, but I think I am in the minority here.

Bottom line, the Giants have pretty much done nothing but win with this guy.  Unfortunately, they've been repeatedly beaten down with injuries that seem to culminate at the end of the year and into the playoffs.

That said, I think Kevin Gilbride (OC) and the entire medical/training staff should lose their jobs.

Brian Westbrook has been a bit of a Giants killer over the years and he missed the last matchup between these 2 teams. How do you think the Giants D will plan to slow him down this time around?

I've repeatedly said that Westbrook is the best all around running back in the entire league, and I stand by that.  It's almost impossible to gameplan or protect against this guy, and Sunday will likely be no different.

It's hard to say how the Giants will approach him this week with all the injuries, so I won't even attempt it.  But if you're a fantasy guy, I'd suggest putting him in.

The Eagles will still lose, but he'll have a big day.

Much thanks to Dan from the AOL Fanhouse for talking some trash and shedding some light on the Giants.