Wonder on the NFL at midseason

Wonder reviews the NFL at midseason, examining which teams are for real and which teams are not.

UltimateNYG: Everyone is abuzz about the Giants after manhandling the Seahawks for their 5th straight win, the longest active winning streak in the NFL.  Was the win about Seattle being depleted or the Giants being very strong?

Wonder:  It was a combination of both.  The Giants are a very good team, but once Hasselbeck was ruled out of the game, the rest of the team packed it in.

UltimateNYG:  Can the Giants go all the way this year?

Wonder:  They are one of 11 teams with a realistic shot, but I am leaning towards the Saints as frontrunners in the NFC.

UltimateNYG:  Why do you put the Giants behind the Saints?

Wonder:  Right now they are too sloppy.  Turnovers, special teams..

UltimateNYG:  But they can clean that up.

Wonder:  Absolutely.  And that is why the Giants are one of 11 teams that I have as being there with a respectable shot at winning the title.

UltimateNYG:  So who are the other teams who can win it?

Wonder:  In the AFC, it is the Steelers and the Ravens as frontrunners.  And given that the Steelers LT Starks just went on season-ending IR, that puts the Ravens ahead of the Steelers.  Starks is not a great player, but he was serviceable, and when you lose another starter at a key position like that, you still lose a starter. 

UltimateNYG:  Who else is live?

Wonder:  The Patriots, Jets, Colts, Chargers and Titans in the AFC.  And in the NFC, you have the Saints, Giants, Eagles and Falcons.  I do not include the Packers because they are damaged and simply not healthy enough.  Atlanta is also charity, as they are only there out of respect for the mere fact that the other 10 are underwhelming.

UltimateNYG:   So you concur with Pete that this is a very weak year?

Wonder:  This is the most mediocre group of football teams I have ever seen, and that is not an exaggeration.  There are no good teams in the NFL.  The whole year is a total turkey shoot and it is wide open.   

UltimateNYG:  So the Giants are certainly viable, given your landscape.  What do they have to do to rise above the rest?

Wonder:  In order to get past the Saints, if they can address their sloppiness, play the Saints at home and put pressure on Brees, they can win.

UltimateNYG: And considering you have ruled out the Packers and do not have much belief in the Falcons, that leaves the Eagles.  The Giants play them twice and may very well meet them in the playoffs.  How do the Giants beat the Eagles? 

Wonder:  3 words.  Contain-Michael-Vick.  Keep him inside the pocket.  Throw everything else out.  You cannot rush him with 4, you need 5.  And the 5th needs to be an athletic spy.  You have to collapse the edge without letting him get out of the pocket.

UltimateNYG: Thanks Wonder.

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