I apologize for not getting to these earlier in the week. It's been a long week over on this end, including yours truly being a bit under the weather. But, I did finally get a chance to send Five Good Questions to Ed Valentine, the head blogger at our New York Giants' site, Big Blue View. As the Giants and the Minnesota Vikings are both teams that have, to put it charitably, completely flopped so far this season, we have plenty to commiserate about.
Here's what Ed had to say about his team.
1) An 0-6 football team, much like a 1-4 football team, doesn't get to this point without a myriad of problems. But if you could point to the single biggest reason why the Giants are still searching for their first victory, what would it be?
Turnovers. Really in the end it's that simple. Fifteen interceptions. Eight lost fumbles. a -16 takeaway/giveaway ratio. Cut the turnovers in half and come up with 2 or 3 of the fumbles they have created and not been able to recover and the Giants are probably 3-3.
2) If the season were to end today, both the Giants and the Vikings would select in the top 5 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft. We know about Minnesota's issues at quarterback, but if the Giants remain in the top 5, do you think they would even consider taking a quarterback with Eli Manning behind center?
Not a chance. Anyone who thinks that really doesn't understand how good Eli Manning is, or at least how good he can be when he has a functioning team around him -- which he hasn't had this season. The Giants have issues at offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, secondary and maybe running back. Manning needs to play better than he has the first few games, but quarterback is not one of the Giants' issues. Putting a real team around their quarterback is the issue.
3) It appears that we're back to the stage that the Giants seem to hit every season, regardless of how good they are, that being the "is Tom Coughlin in danger of losing his job" stage. So. . .is Tom Coughlin in danger of losing his job?
No. People love to speculate about Coughlin, but I think that stuff is all just 'noise' that goes along with being 0-6. Coughlin has two Super Bowls and might be a Hall of Fame coach. I honestly think he gets some good football out of the Giants before the season is over.
The Giants won't fire Coughlin. I should qualify that and say it would be stunning if they did -- that's just not how this class, conservative organization operates. If the Giants go 2-14 or something awful like that I could see Coughlin walking away on his own. Or possibly the Giants 'encouraging' him to retire. I can't, however, see them shoving him out the door if he isn't willing to go. And, honestly, I don't think they should.
4) Give us one guy on each side of the ball that Vikings fans might not know about that you think will have a major impact on Monday night's contest.
Offensively I think Giants' fans are curious what will happen at running back. David Wilson is out and Brandon Jacobs might be limited by a hamstring. Rookie seventh-round pick Michael Cox has yet to carry the ball in a regular season game, but might get a heavy workload Monday.
Defensively everyone has been waiting for a breakout from rookie third-round pick Damontre Moore since he blocked a punt the first time he got on the field in the preseason. Unfortunately, shoulder and hamstring injuries have held him back. If he's healthy enough to go Monday he could get 30 or so defensive snaps for the first time. Giants' fans would be excited to see if he can help the pass rush.
5) How do you see Monday night's contest coming out?
I think the Giants find a way to get their first win. Sooner or later they have to stop turning the ball over and some of the bounces that have gone against them so far have to go their way.
Thanks to Ed for taking the time to answer our questions. We'll have some questions from Ed to yours truly sometime later on today.