The 27th best team in the league. The 15th best NFL Quarterback. The 21st best rushing offense in the NFL. Okay, maybe the last one makes sense. But to expect the Giants to finish 5-11 or Eli Manning to be outplayed by Mark Sanchez, Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert is a bit of an overreaction following a single week of the NFL season.
The Giants will get back on track tomorrow against a team that still has to find its identity. Former Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano took over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, and after one week it looks as if heís poised for success. But letís not forget that his team defeated the Carolina Panthers, who have won a total of eight games since the beginning of the 2010 season. The Buccaneers also have rookie Doug Martin starting at Halfback. Although he had an impressive debut to the tune of 95 yards on 24 carries and an additional 4 receptions for 23 yards, the Carolina defense was battered and the New York Giants, aside from one bad play of missed tackling, held DeMarco Murray to reasonable standards.
Eli Manning had a fine performance against a much-improved Dallas defense last week and there is no reason to believe he wonít have an even better performance against the Buccaneers. Hakeem Nicks is about as close to full strength as he will ever get, and Victor Cruz is surely focused on not being the teamís scapegoat for the second straight week. Martellus Bennett and Domenik Hixon both showed a flair for making big plays last week, so Tampa Bay will have a difficult time containing the multi-faceted Giantsí aerial attack.