John Gennaro: Sitting at 5-7, are the 2013 New York Giants still thinking playoffs?
Ed Valentine: Yes, they are. It, honestly, isn't very realistic but the Giants continue to stick together and believe they can do it. After a disastrous 0-6 start -- one they completely earned by being awful -- that resilience is a big part of why this season did not turn into a complete debacle.
JG: What's been wrong with Eli Manning this season?
EV: I get some variation of that question every week, and the answer is it's a combination of a lot of things. First, the pass protection has been awful. He's been sacked 31 times (the most in his career w/four games left) and much of the rest of the time he is dodging guys and trying to find a spot to throw from. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks hasn't played well. There is also something I wrote about Thursday -- Manning really doesn't have much in terms of running backs or tight ends to throw to, guys where you can get easy, short completions or red zone mismatches. He's had some bad throws and poor decisions -- I think he always will because he's more gunslinger than artist -- but a lot of the problem is what has gone on around him.
JG: Name one player that the Chargers fans might not know, but should look out for on Sunday?
EV: Well, the guy Giants' fans really want to see is defensive end Damontre Moore. A third-round pick Moore is an exciting talent who has played very little. With Jason Pierre-Paul out last week he played a season-high 17 snaps. He's been slowed by his own injuries, but Giants' fans are excited by his potential.
JG: Do the Giants typically play well, under Tom Coughlin, on the west coast?
EV: The Giants have been completely and totally unpredictable under Coughlin, to be honest. Other than to say you can almost guarantee every season they will finish somewhere between 8-8 and 10-6 it is impossible to say from week to week, whether they are on the east coast, west coast, in London or wherever.
JG: Why have the Giants special teams been so poor this season?
EV: Well, let's see. They have no return guys who scare anybody. They seem to not understand that blocking is part of returning. The punter was very inconsistent at the start of the year, though he has been incredible lately. Injuries and lack of depth, especially early in the year, made a mess out of the coverage teams.
JG: Thanks, Ed, for stopping by and teaching all of us more about the 2013 Giants.
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