I asked ETVal at Big Blue View five questions about the NY Giants:
- Will Eli Manning play on Sunday?
Unknown right now. He has a bruised or sprained shoulder and has been cleared to play by Dr. James Andrews, despite reports by ESPN and NFL.com that he has a separated shoulder and will miss a month. At this point it's not certain he will be able to make the throws or tolerate the pain by Sunday.
- Can Derrick Ward replace Brandon Jacobs?
Funny that the question up until now has been can Jacobs replaces Tiki Barber? The Giants will miss Jacobs, but nobody knows yet how good the guy actually is. Ward played well last week and the Giants like his size and speed, but whether or not he can handle the load as a featured back is unknown. Reuben Droughns and rookie Ahmad Bradshaw may also get some carries.
- Do the Giants have a pass rush if Osi Umenyiora can't play?
Umm, pass rush? Pass rush? I don't think the Giants believe in pressuring the quarterback, at least they didn't Sunday against Dallas.
- How will the defense fix what went wrong in Dallas?
Well, the pass rush is a huge issue. There has been some talk about moving Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end from outside linebacker to help that. He is playing linebacker for the first time and is struggling. We'll see. The Giants secondary is adequate, at best, so they have to find ways to put pressure on Brett Favre or he will have a huge day.
- What is the key (other than "get healthy") to the Giants winning on Sunday?
On defense, they gave up a ton of big plays to the Cowboys. They have to find a way to control that. Offensively, no matter who is the running back, they have weapons and can score points in a hurry. The Giants need Eli to play because Jared Lorenzen has thrown all of three NFL passes and nobody knows what he can/can't do.