The New York Giants Continue to Emphatically Answer Questions

David GellerAnalyst ISeptember 29, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13:  Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants looks on against the Washington Redskins on September 13, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

If the questions that the Giants have faced the past three seasons were categorized into one school-issued test, they would have an A to hang up on their refrigerator.

In other words, every time there are questions regarding an aspect of this team’s game, they immediately alleviate the issue with very little doubt.

After two games in 2007, the Giants defense was placed under immense scrutiny. They had faltered down the stretch in 2006 and began 2007 even worse. However, amidst all the chaos, the unit settled down and ultimately coalesced into one of the most memorable defenses in Giants history.

That same season, Eli Manning continued to face criticism that he would never be the quarterback the Giants mortgaged their future on. Two games in four weeks that broke all the wrong kinds of records appeared to confirm this notion that Manning would never be the man.

Just one month later, he etched his name into Giants lore forever. And he’s only improved since.

Following the remarkable 2007 Super Bowl run, the questions in 2008 were as prevalent as ever, albeit of less magnitude. First, it was seven months of wondering if the Giants were due for a Super Bowl hangover.

A 4-0 start out of the gate firmly answered that question. Then, many wondered if the Giants could thrive when transitioning from a schedule that consisted of playing a cupcake every week into arguably the hardest stretch run in the league.

All they did was go 5-0 until a certain receiver effectively ended his career and his team’s season.

Which brings us to this year. Replacing Plaxico Burress was a question the Giants could not answer last year, and it contributed to their demise in December and January. Although there was a flash of hope in form of a 34-28 overtime victory over Carolina that clinched the first seed, the Giants were unable to string together any form on consistency on offense.

Due to the sudden ineptitude of the Giants offense the last month, many believed that their inability to acquire a bona-fide star at receiver would hamper the team’s ability to return to prominence. After all, if they went 1-4 without Burress, how can a team expect to win the best division in the league?

This argument was only fueled when the Giants allegedly pushed for Browns receiver Braylon Edwards—and failed. Their only two additions at receiver were both rookies: Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, who didn’t even play in Division I.

It’s only been three games, but the passing offense looks more crisp than it ever has. Manning has been extremely decisive when throwing the football, and is making due on the promise he made to General Manager Jerry Reese that he would make everyone around him better.

That was a big question the Giants appeared to answer. Through three weeks, they also have faced questions of less enormity. Especially after their 33-31 victory to open up Jerry Dome.

After being gashed for four quarters, the Giants run defense were to face an intriguing Buccaneers threesome of backs that could have its way with a defense that is not used to playing in sweltering conditions.

All the Giants did was hold the Bucs to 28 rushing yards after listening to a heaping of criticism all week long.

More disparagement was directed towards the Giants due to their porous play in the red zone. Many were willing to let their poor red zone performance in Week One against Washington slide, but there were rumblings after the Giants could not get a touchdown in the red zone in week two.

A productive 24 points (would have been 27 if not for a missed 21-yard field goal) silenced the critics rather effectively.

When a student gets an A on a test, the teacher of the course deserves credit for properly articulating the lesson and assisting the student understand the intricacies of the unit.

Like the teacher, Tom Coughlin and the rest of the Giants coaching staff deserve recognition for having their team resolve the biggest problems that plague them a week before, or even one that dates back further.

It’s amazing how much one Super Bowl has allowed this team to buy into their coach’s set of values, and execute his philosophies so well.

And now some quick notes from the Giants 24-0 drubbing of Tampa Bay.

Allow Me to Vent…


How come Bucs coach Raheem Morris is allowed to throw the challenge flag, then decide not to challenge the play and not be charged with a time out?

On the Giants first drive of the game Steve Smith made an awkward catch that Raheem Morris seemed to question. So he threw the challenge flag, but decided not to challenge the play.

He shouldn’t be granted the opportunity to retract his challenge, and if he is allowed to do so, didn’t he stop the game? Therefore, at a minimum the Bucs should have been charged a time out. I don’t get that one.

Steve Smith is making a mockery of the hard catch

He is making his toe taps and off-balance catches look way too easy. It’s downright scary how good his body control is and how natural the ball sticks in his hands regardless in what direction he’s going. He could really be a good one.

Sorry Tony, you’re wrong

I was getting rather annoyed when Tony Siragusa was rambling on about how Jacobs needs to learn how to use his 265-pound frame when running the ball.

This argument may have been valid in 2007 when he was learning the ropes of the game, but now? What makes this statement even odder is that it comes a week after Rodney Harrison admitted to being troubled when facing Jacobs in the open field. If a guy like Harrison is admitting that, Jacobs must be doing something right.

Siragusa then proceeded to say the next day he is hearing that Jacobs is not the same guy as he was a year or two ago. I have a feeling this question will be answered too.