After an outright thrashing at the hands of the Lions, things are shaping up for the Giants to even their record this afternoon. Not only has Arizona made the historically bad cross-country trip on short rest, but it looks as though they could be shorthanded at a few key positions. Big Blue’s offensive line should have an easier day protecting Eli against a Cardinals defense down 2 tackles & last year’s sack leader in John Abraham. Throwing against the trio of Peterson/Cro/Honey Badger won’t be easy – Cruz & Randle have a lot of “I’m getting open, give me the ball” talk to back up – but keeping Manning upright in the pocket will be a big step forward.
Also, there’s a chance a healthy JPP & Co. get a shot at Drew Stanton under center for the Cards. As of now, Schefty claims Carson Palmer has a 50/50 shot at playing while Ian Rapoport says it’ll come down to how his shoulder feels during warmups. The G-Men salvaged the second half of 2013 picking on backup QBs – so Stanton, who hasn’t thrown a pass in 4 years, would be a welcome sight. Even if Palmer plays though, he’s clearly less than 100% and has been a sack statue his whole career. Regardless of who’s taking the snaps, the Giants have to get pressure – especially on third & longs which continued to be their Achilles heel Week 1.
Whatever personnel issues Arizona might have, it’s up to Big Blue to take advantage. The inept offense displayed Monday night wasn’t ALL due to Detroit’s D. They looked discombobulated, timid and incapable of performing in 7-on-7 drills let alone an NFL game. I don’t expect this past week to have flipped the switch, but the key to gaining the confidence they’re lacking is to start fast. Move the ball early. Put first quarter points on the board. Give the home crowd something to rally behind. I know it sounds cliche, but another slow start/early deficit will not only bring back the ghosts of last week but the ghosts of 0-6. With 14 games to follow, today is far from a “must win” – but it most certainly would go a long way in establishing some optimism for a team struggling to find their identity. I think they’ll do exactly that.