In the 2009 season, the Giants schedule works to their advantage. They open at home against Washington, a game they should win. The Skins still lack a top-notch quarterback. Then, on a Sunday night the G-men play Dallas away. If Romo’s on his game, the Giants will be lucky to win this one. Games 3-5 could determine the Giants season. After playing away games against Tampa Bay and Kansas City, the Giants play Oakland at home. If the team doesn’t win all three, they’ll have trouble winning their division as the remainder of their schedule contains teams that should be contenders.
If Brandon Jacobs stays healthy, the Giants should have an excellent running game, but if he gets injured again, the Giants will be in trouble. By allowing Derrick Ward to depart, they lost a skilled backup. None of the remaining backups can compare to Ward.
The loss of Plaxico Burress should hurt the team even more. Manning’s accuracy is only average, so it’s critical that his receivers can get open and catch balls that aren’t well-thrown. Unfortunately, excluding the rookie receivers who are unknowns, the team’s top receivers are Domenik Hixon, Sinorice Moss, and Steve Smith. Moss is the weakest of the three. A second-round draft choice in 2006, I was surprised the Giants drafted him that high. In college, Moss played in 46 games but started only 12. And in his entire college career he had only 63 receptions for 1,046 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The first five games will reveal how good a passing game the Giants will have. If it’s poor and defenses can then focus on the run, the Giants will be in big trouble.