Five questions is back! We have used the Reply All interface a couple of times, but not this week. It will probably return, depending on the participation of the other site.
Yes, I already had a podcast with Ed Valentine of Big Blue View. That's fine. We also exchanged questions and gave our takes about our teams to give insight to the opposing team's team site.
Here are the questions and answers:
ROTB: So a lot has been made of the offensive changes. How is that going so far? How is Eli Manning adjusting?
BBV: Well, you know how this goes. The Cardinals went through it with Carson Palmer last season. It's slow, and it's painful. I think the Cardinals probably had an easier time of it last year for the simple reason that they had better weapons in the passing game than the Giants do.
Manning is not entirely comfortable, you can see that. Looking at Monday's game, though (which I did here) I believe the real problem is lack of real play-makers and the struggles of an offensive line that is still not settled.
ROTB: Two staples of the championship teams were protection for Eli and a great pass rush. What is the state of both lines?
BBV: As I indicated above, the offensive line is still unsettled. Geoff Schwartz, signed in free agency to be a mainstay at guard, is on short-term IR. Chris Snee retired, and whether his replacement is eventually going to be Brandon Mosley or John Jerry, or maybe even Schwartz when he returns, is still to be determined.
The Giants have a rookie at LG in Weston Richburg and a center (J.D. Walton) who missed almost two seasons with injuries. Will Beatty wasn't good in 2013 and is working his way back from a broken leg at LT. The line play was not good Monday night.
Defensively, the pass rush remains to be seen. Jason Pierre-Paul played well Monday, and the Giants did have some failed opportunities to get to Matthew Stafford. They need to apply more pressure, though, that is still a concern.
ROTB: What are the Giants' strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the ball?
BBV: Offensively, I couldn't really identify a strength right now. They "hope" to lean on the running game while they iron out the passing attack and try to figure out who their wide receivers are, but that did not go well on Monday.
Defensively, the secondary "should" be a strength. The Giants have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Prince Amukamara and Walter Thurmond at corner, with Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown at safety. Unfortunately, Monday there were breakdowns and Amukamara is the only guy who really played well.
ROTB: What are the reasonable expectations for the Giants this season, and have things changed at all after the Week 1 loss?
BBV: Well, after Week 1 there is a lot of bridge-jumping. Maybe you've seen the video of the moron who burned his No. 10 jersey. This is not a great team. They don't really have the weapons they need for this offense to be explosive. I have said all along this season could be a five-win year or, if everything went right, a 10-win year. After what we saw Monday you have to lean toward the five-win type of result. For the Giants to make a truly competitive run might take the best coaching job of Tom Coughlin's life.
ROTB: Who are expected to be the biggest contributors on both sides of the ball, and who could be underrated contributors this season?
BBV: Well, offensively the Giants have to try to get the ball to Victor Cruz. He is their most explosive play-maker offensively, and he had only two catches Monday night. Defensively, it's really all about whether Jason Pierre-Paul can return to the All-Pro form he showed back in 2011.
A young receiver to watch might be Corey Washington. Arizona fans should be familiar with him, since the Cardinals had him and cut him early in the offseason. He had a spectacular preseason for the Giants and might grow into a prominent role in the passing attack eventually. Washington, by the way, has been eyeing Sunday's game ever since Arizona released him.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $250,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 2's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first place wins $25,000. Starts Sunday, September 14th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.
State laws prohibit residents of Arizona from playing FanDuel for money. For more info check FanDuel rules here.