Note to the New York Giants: The NFC Is Wide Open

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Note to the New York Giants: The NFC Is Wide Open

The New York Giants will open the season as the defending Super Bowl champions, a title that makes them the hunted. Everyone will be trying to beat the Giants, and they will have to prove that last season's Super Bowl title was not a fluke.

The Big Blue must show that they are able to play like they did during the playoffs for an entire season.

But look at the NFC: Which team do you think can over take the Giants? The biggest threat to the Giants, as always, are the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is filled with Pro Bowl stars. The only problem I see with them is that it is a circus with T.O., Tony Romo, and Roy Williams.

The Cowboys also have to deal with the fact that they have failed to win a playoff game since 1996. Even the miserable Arizona Cardinals have managed to beat them in a playoff game.

The Eagles will be able to challenge the Giants, but the G-Men have played well against the Eagles, and Manning and Burress have owned Lincoln Financial Field as of late.

The Eagles' defense is essentially a carbon copy of Jim Johnson's high-pressure system that Steve Spagnuolo runs. The Eagles, though, play it better and have superior players. They have questions at WR because they still have not replaced Terrell Owens as their number No. 1 option.

Also, Donovan McNabb has been unable to stay healthy as of late. Sure, the Eagles finished up strong, winning their last three, but I just don't see them emerging to win the NFC.

The Redskins last year were able to be fueled by the very tragic passing of safety Sean Taylor, which enabled them to make the playoffs. Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts are a solid two-back system.

Jason Campell, though, is a young QB with talent, but will Jim Zorn be able to turn him into an elite one, similar to what he was able to do with Matt Hasselbeck in Seattle?

Also, in Seattle, he was able to focus on just the quarterback position, but now he is in charge of a whole new team. Even with the recent addition of Jason Taylor, I still am not convinced that the Redskins are going to take the next step and win the NFC.

The trendy pick to win the NFC this year, of course, is going to be the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings can stop the run as well as anybody. They also can run the ball as well as anybody, with running backs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. My concern is that, while Tarvaris Jackson has potential to be a very successful QB in the NFL, what experience does he have in a big spot?

Even if it is experience of losing big games, he simply has not played in big games. Yes, the Vikings have owned the Giants over the past couple of seasons, but I just don't see them making it further than the Giants.

Another team that has a shot of dethroning the Giants are the Seahawks, who are always consistently in the playoff hunt. This will be Mike Holmgren's last year as head coach. This team also has released Shawn Alexander, who simply lost a step after his MVP season in 2005.

The Seahawks need to utilize the running game, and it is still to be determined if Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett, and Maurice Morris will be able to run the ball consistently well. 

The bottom line is that the Giants have as good of a chance to win the NFC as anyone. The Giants can flat-out win on the road, as they showed by winning 11 straight away from the Meadowlands.

That is a huge advantage because it shows they can go into an adverse situation, such as negative-three degree weather or in Texas Stadium against America's Team.

The members of the media still have doubts about this Giants team having any chance to repeat. If they are able to not turn the ball over and not be penalized, the Giants should have a shot.

The Giants use a two-back system, and despite the loss of Strahan, they will still put pressure on the quarterback.


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