New York Giants Schedule Turns Up The Heat Against NFC East

Reid DavenportCorrespondent INovember 6, 2010

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 10:  Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants celebrates after recovering a fumble during the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  The Giants defeated the Texans 34-10.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Sure, Eli Manning and the Giants are on top of the NFC East.  

But, through the first eight weeks of the season, they've only played one divisional rival.  

Which of course means that the second half of the season will be all the more vital for Tom Coughlin and company to make it back to the playoffs after a one year hiatus, and possibly win the division.  

In other words, if you thought the Giants' wins against the Bears and the Texans were breathtaking, you better buy an oxygen mask for the remaining weeks.  

Five out of their last eight games are against NFC East opponents, including the last game at Washington.  

So, what do the G-Men need to do to remain atop of the East and avoid another second half debacle?  

1.  Keep feeding Bradshaw:  

I'm not going to lie, I was concerned when Coughlin announced Ahmad Bradshaw would replace Brandon Jacobs as the starting halfback.  

But, the guy has been tearing up the turf so far, averaging over 100 yards per game.  

Bradshaw has been and needs to continue to be a huge part of this Giants offense.  

2.  Keep knockin' out quarterbacks

The latest casualty:  Tony Romo.  

With a total of 24 sacks in the first seven games, ten of them being against the Bears, the Giants' defensive line has captured the spotlight.  

As this line continues to remind fans of the days of Micheal Strahan, Perry Fewell is looking more like he'll stay on-board after the season.  

3.  Keep riding the Nicks' Train

Eight touchdowns through seven games.  

Hakeem Nicks has come out of nowhere to become one of  the top wideouts in the game.  

Nicks leads the Giants' receivers in touchdowns, yards and receptions.  

4.  Get the special teams back on track

With rookie punter Matt Dodge behind center, the Giants have struggled to execute on special teams.  

Dodge has had trouble handling snaps and being consistent.  

If Dodge continues to muff snaps and have short punts, look for a change.  

5.  Utilize the tight end position

Eli needs to get the ball to Kevin Boss and Travis Beckum more.  

Boss has the potential to be a premiere player in the NFL.  

Short dump-off passes to Boss and Beckum are not only a great way to pick up medium yardage, but also open up the long ball exponentially.  

Even though Boss has been banged up this season, he needs to get more than 33 yards per game.   


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