Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 11-23-15

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
As long as the Giants get a weekend off, things will look better and better in their attempt to win the NFC East.

They didn't play Sunday, but the Washington Redskins did and the Philadelphia Eagles did. And both not only lost but were shredded. Only the Dallas Cowboys, the fourth member of this under-achieving division, managed to win, but they are now 3-7 and still must play Carolina, Green Bay and Buffalo.

Fortunately for them, they also have Washington twice.

They are done with the Giants, having split their two games, and so they cannot make up the distance quickly. They will be resigned to scoreboard-watching - if they can actually continue winning.

So the Giants, heading into D.C. for Sunday's game, are 5-5. They have been playing better the last few weeks, and prior to their bye they gave the rest of the league the playbook for beating the Patriots, although they fell a point short (27-26) based on a touchdown catch that was ruled a non-touchdown catch and a botched interception that rookie Landon Collins knocked away from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The Cowboys must play the Redskins twice, Carolina, Green Bay, the Jets and Buffalo. Carolina, undefeated at 10-0 and the Sunday assassin of the Redskins, will be in Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Philadelphia, where head coach Chip Kelly is proving he didn't invent - or re-invent - football, still must face Detroit, New England, Buffalo, Arizona, Washington and the Giants. The Eagles, with barely enough time to recover from their shipping, will be in Detroit on Thanksgiving.

And what of the Giants? They'll go to DC on Sunday, then play the Jets, Miami, Carolina, Minnesota and close out their season at home against the Eagles.

If the 5-5 Giants win four of their last six games, the other teams - burdened with tougher schedules - will have to win more. Dallas would have to run the table to finish in a 9-7 tie with the Giants.

It's not going to happen.

Let's see now. Dallas finally got quarterback Tony Romo back and he won his first game after missing the prior seven. He beat Miami, which lots of teams have done, and in the minds of many he is still the best 55-minute quarterback in the NFL.

Washington has RG-3 sitting on the bench, and he seemingly can't be traded - although the ‘Skins would like to do just that - because he has a monstrous contract and no team is going to take that on. So they go with Kirk Cousins, who is a capable journeyman with no particular skills or panache.

Philadelphia starts Sam Bradford, obtained from St. Louis in a trade the Rams clearly won, and he is less than a journeyman.

The Giants, of course, have Eli Manning, and if he isn't among the NFL's Top Five, he's in the Top 10 and provides a whopping advantage over the other teams in the division.

The Giants may not be pretty, and they may be banged up via injury, but unless something unprecedented happens, they are still the class of the NFC East. They gave away their first two games, mismanaged a loss to New Orleans and then had the Patriots beaten until the final minute - and the loss was their doing, not New England's.

EXTRA POINTS - Cornerback Prince Amukamara (pectoral muscle) appears ready to play Sunday, barring a relapse during practice this week. ... If he does, he'll draw wide receiver DeSean Jackson, a test for any defensive back. ... "He's freakishly fast," Amukamara says, "but I've played against him the last five years and I know what to expect."

Check out Dave's website at E-GIANTS where you can subscribe to his newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here.
- Team Giants

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