There is no escaping the injuries now. With little more than 2 weeks and 2 more preseason games before Week 1, the injuries are now centerstage. Of course the finality of Andre Brown and Jay Alford is known. But what of Robbins, Boley, Canty, Ross, Pierce, et al. What of the others who have missed enough practice time like Webster, Snee, Seubert, Phillips? If the Giants do not heal up quickly and get ready for primetime, then 2009 will be like 2008. That would be sad, because there is every reason to believe that the pieces are there to go all the way. We said after the Bears loss that there is no need to panic, it is just preseason. Believe that. Believe that the Giants will clean up their execution issues in preparation for the Jets. Believe that enough of these pros who are hurt will do whatever is necessary to be ready Sept 13. Believe that the losses of Alford and Brown, while larger than most Giants fans realize (DEPTH, PREPPING FOR EVEN BIGGER CONTRIBUTIONS THAT GET DELAYED BY A YEAR), will not be harmful to a Super Bowl run. Believe that this team’s bedrock (Webster, Jacobs, Tuck, Umenyiora, Snee, and yes .. Boss and Bradshaw) will be there.
Notice the trouble in putting Manning in that category. What do you get with Manning? 2007’s postseason or 2008’s postseason? 2007’s regular season or 2008’s regular season? Manning continues to be an enigma. If he can play with the consistency of 2008’s regular season and 2007’s postseason, wow! Still others will argue he just needs the latter, that the Giants are good enough to get into the playoffs, let’m squeak in and then go on the road so that we keep the guy OUT of the Meadowlands. Is this season going to boil down to the play of Eli Manning? Is it fair to say that the “ultimate” reason we won and lost in 2007 and 2008 was always about Eli?! We’d like to think that that is utterly simplistic in a team sport with numerous coaches and too many other invaluable contributions. But that is not entirely clear. The one thing that is clear is that we need everyone healthy first before Manning can then decide our fate. This sounds like a poll question- does Eli deliver for the Giants in 2009? The answer may very well determine the outcome of this season. If you have the answer to that question, please do share.