A few quick thoughts as we approach 24 hours till kickoff…
…the key matchup Sunday is TB RDT Gerald McCoy lined up across from David Baas and Kevin Boothe. While the All-22 film confirmed it, anyone who caught a glimpse of the game on Redzone could see that McCoy finally showed signs of blossoming into the player he was expected to be by many coming out of the draft. McCoy was a force last week for a Bucs’ defense allowed only 10 yards rushing to the Panthers. The athletic DT was able to penetrate into the Panthers backfield at his leisure and because of this was disruptive in both the run and pass games. It has been a complaint of many that Baas has struggled, particularly getting push in the run game, since he got here last season. Tomorrow iwll be a great test for him. No other way to say it–McCoy was a force last week and if he maintains that level of play will be a major factor again Sunday.
…Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, former mastermind behind one of the statistically worst units in Giants’ history, had his back seven playing plenty of zone (although at the snap they give a man look) against Carolina last week. Not much blitzing either. As documented during last year’s playoff run, Eli has developed into a killer in third and medium-long situations, especially when given time to pick apart a zone. If Tampa offers a similar kind of look tomorrow thenthe Giants will find plenty of success getting the ball down the field, especially down the middle. Have a feeling that this is going to be the case. Should be a nice rebound game for the offensive line in pass protection as well.
…this week is a great opportunity for David Wilson to rebound especially as we get to see him go head to head against No. 31 pick Doug Martin, a guy that many preferred over Wilson. Martin had a solid first game, rushing for 95 yards on 24 carries as well as four catches for 23 yards. Not that the verdict will be out on Wilson after the second game of his career, but it would be telling if he were able to turn in a solid performance after his Week 1 struggles. In particular, it would be nice to see Wilson play a role in the Giants pass game to help ease things up down the field. Have a feeling that Wilson will take the fumble personally and turn in a very good effort this week.
…Josh Freeman played a conservative game against Carolina, completing only six passes to wide receivers for the entire game. Instead Freeman completed 10 passes to a combination of Doug Martin (4), FB Erik Lorig (4), TE Dallas Clark (1) and RB LeGarrette Blount (1). This is not to say Freeman was a non-factor, as the quarterback protected the ball flawlessly and delivered the ball well down the field the few chances he had. Tampa Bay had the ball for 37:27 and Freeman had plenty to do with this. Although if the Giants get back on track offensively then Freeman may be forced to assert himself more than he did in Week 1 in order to keep up with the pace.
…the Giants are already much healthier then they were in Week 1 with Boley, Phillips, Beatty, Kiwi, Tracy and Hosley coming off of the injury report. Marvin Austin will suit up and with the lack of depth at DT should see a good chunk of snaps. Prince Amukamura will return for the Giants as well and while he may not be at 100% having him in the lineup will be an upgrade. The return of Prince and a healthy Hosley will make this a different defense. With Hosley nearing full health he will start showing signs of being the impact player that he was at the collegiate level.