– The Giants HAVE to stop, or contain, Westbrook.
Minnesota was doing a good job of this, up until the long screen pass. Whatever they were doing was working. The Giants also have a better defense than the Vikes. Westbrook has been a Giant killer for years. Do you consistently run blitz? Do you keep a safety in the box at all times? Stopping Westbrook isn’t easy. You have to throw some exotic looks at them. You need a pass rush, which has tapered off in recent weeks. And your linebackers need to make the tackles. If Westbrook gets past them, he’s likely heading to the end zone.
-McNabb is hot.
Yes, Donovan McNabb is playing great football right now. The past two games have been exceptional. The Giants corners can stop the receivers, but, as I wrote above, it’s all about pass rush. If they get pressure, it will be a nightmare for McNabb.
-How will Jacobs’ knee respond?
To be honest, I don’t know. No injury report yet. If he’s healthy, he will be fine. If he’s 70-75%, he won’t be the same. What makes Jacobs great is not the yardage he gets, but the wear and tear he puts on the defense. Jacobs could be a defensive lineman. You have him pounding these guys all day, Ward and Bradshaw can step in and make big plays. That’s why Jacobs is the MVP of this team. e has to be healthy for the Giants to succeed not only on Sunday, but if they want to advance further.
-Can Eli replicate last year’s playoff magic?
In short, no. But he can be close. Eli was fantastic last year. It would be seemingly impossible for him to duplicate that. But, if he plays the way he’s played all year, he will be fine. If he limits mistakes, he will be fine.
– Can return/punt coverage be effective enough to stop DeSean Jackson?
Feagles has been making top-notch punts all year. And John Carney has been great. But Carney doesn’t always kick it that deep. And punt/return coverage has been spotty, especially against dynamic return men. If they can keep Jackson’s return to small gains, the Giants have a decided advantage. If Jackson consistently gets them into good field position, it might be a nightmarish game for the G-Men.
It should be a great matchup. Division rivals. The works.