New York Giants Game Plan: Giants Look to Find Ways to Help Ailing Defense

John SzurlejAnalyst ISeptember 7, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 28:  Antrel Rolle #26 of the New York Giants celebrates his fumble recovery against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the final minutes of their 24-20 win on November 28, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Let's not all start saying the New York Giants' season is over before it started.

Despite the numerous injuries and concerns with the state of the defense, the Giants are still capable of having the offense carry this team.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the defensive concerns didn't amount to anything more than unnecessary worry.

I remember a Giants team that won a little football contest called the Super Bowl against an AFC powerhouse by doing something that is vital to any team's success.

The Giants ate the clock with long time-consuming drives that kept the Buffalo Bills offense on the sidelines watching and waiting.

Of course the missed field goal sealed it, but had not the Giants utilized the clock in the manner they did, one can assume they would have lost to those Bills as they were over-matched that year.

We arrive now at the start of a fresh season, a season where these Giants may have to summon the spirits of that 1990 championship team.

If the Giants wish to avoid a season long headache, the offense needs to become a consistent well oiled machine that is capable of taking a game and putting it on their backs.  The current Giants can be such a team, and they will.

Eli Manning is set to play his most important role since his Super Bowl victory as he leads his team onto the field for the new season.  Critics have swarmed around him and crucified him for his comments about being an NFL elite.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 29:   Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants in action against the New York Jets during their pre season game on August 29, 2011 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Eli should be able to turn those doubters into believers as he has many weapons to help him lead this team to a winning season.

The tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs will be the driving force that determines the speed and the success of the offense.

If the Giants are to manage the clock and dictate the pace of the games, these two smash-mouth ruffians must stay focused and consistent as they alone will allow Eli Manning to successfully navigate this offense up and down the field.

The Giants have two solid receivers in Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham who will be able to stretch the field and should have similar results as last season with Manningham leading the way.

Nicks and Manningham are perfectly capable of easing the losses of former tight end Kevin Boss and receiver Steve Smith.

The attention that the passing game received in the preseason is unjust, as the unit needed the games to find their sync.  It's only natural that they weren't going to just pick up where this unit left off last year.

If the Giants can keep the running game steady, even and keep the rush-to-pass ratio 2:1, then the Giants should be able to eat the clock with long drives, thus helping the defense by relieving the pressure for them to carry the load.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 08:  Aaron Ross #31 of the New York Giants takes part in practice at New Meadowlands Sports Complex on August 8, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Defensively, it is encouraging to see players like Aaron Ross playing like his former starting self.  I would expect Ross to be one of the most important factors in the Giants secondary as he's sure to be tested this year.

The funny thing is, people around the NFL are talking as if the Giants' secondary is comprised of rookies, and incompetent personnel.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Giants secondary is far from that and, barring some time to adjust to some new positions as the case for Antrel Rolle, the 2011 starters combined for 251 tackles last season and have an average of five years NFL experience. 

That's hardly inexperienced as some media reporters make it appear.

Overall do the Giants have some concerns?  Yes.

Are the Giants going to be a team playing with no hope for the season?  Absolutely not!

There will be a big undertaking by the Giants defense to find themselves and work together as an elite unit, that is just a matter of time to connect with each other.

The Giants will find ways to win games and adapt to the challenges they face.

If anyone is betting against them, prepare to lose your money.  The Giants will still be a playoff-bound team if they can pull together, and that is sure to happen.