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Five questions with the Giants

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18eagles

This weekend the Eagles face the reigning super bowl champs, NFC East rival, and best team in the NFC the NY Giants in what is a must win if the Birds wants to keep their playoff hopes alive. To catch up on all things G-Men I talked with Ed over at the great Giants blog Big Blue View. My answers to his 5 questions will be up over there.

Ok, let's get the Burress question out of the way. The last time we spoke you said, "Let me just say Burress is an idiot, but he is a very important idiot to the Giants hopes of winning another Super Bowl." Has the way the team played without Burress changed your mind on that? Or come playoff time is it inevitable that you'll miss a guy as talented as Plaxico?

Do I really have to answer this one? I am Plax-ed to the max. Anyway, here goes. The numbers, shown here by ESPN,  and the 11-1 record with Plax not playing a big role, tell you the Giants should be just fine. They have lots of other players, and Eli has matured. If the Giants do not win another Super Bowl I don't believe Plax not playing will be the primary cause. That said, the Giants have not played an important game without him. They don't win without him in Green Bay last year, and he did make the game-winning Super Bowl catch. We are just going to have to find out. Of course, if any of the Giants remaining wide receivers get hurt I will be cursing Burress.
The last Eagles/Giants game was a bit of an anomaly to me. I thought the Giants really outplayed us, yet we had the ball at the end with a chance to win and it ended up a one score game. Do you think the final score was a true reflection of what really happened?
No, I really don't. I thought the Giants thoroughly dominated that game and it should not have been close. If I remember correctly the Giants made a couple of stupid turnovers that made the game much closer than it should have been.
If the Giants win this sunday they clinch the division. Last year, the Giants didn't rest players when they had the chance late in the year. Clearly that seems like it was the right decision, but what about this year?
I doubt that anyone gets total rest. I do think you might see some guys like Ahmad Bradshaw get more carries, and maybe Mario Manningham, Sinorice Moss and some of the backup linemen get some snaps. I doubt Tom Coughlin will intentionally take his foot off the gas and allow the Giants to relax.
How important is Antonio Pierce to the Giants' defense? Are you worried that his involvement in the Burress situation could lead to a suspension or otherwise?
Pierce is a guy who's value/ability we have been debating lately, even before the Burress incident. He is a good player, but not an elite one physically or in terms of the number of plays he makes. What he does incredibly well is quarterback the defense, make the right calls and get guys in the right places. I don't think Pierce is going to face any discipline from the league, at least that is the sense I get right now. The only thing he might really be guilty of is panicking when the gun went off. I really think the absolutely indespensable player on the Giants' defense is Justin Tuck. Without him, that's not an elite front 7.

Who is currently the most underrated Giant?

Hmm, I could answer that a bunch of ways. Let me answer it this way -- by telling you who I think the most 'disrespected' Giant is. That is, still -- unbelievably to me -- Eli Manning. When are teams going to realize that this is not the 'old' Eli? This is a top-notch, upper echelon NFL quarterback who can slice you up if you dare him to. That is what the Redskins and Cardinals did the past two weeks, stacking the line of scrimmage, playing man-to-man on the wide receivers and putting the game in Eli's hands. He killed both teams, and he will continue to do it until teams get the message.  This is a mature quarterback who knows what he's doing and has a ton of weapons now, not the scared kid from a couple of years ago.