With the Colts final home game of the regular season approaching, I took the opportunity to ask some questions of Edward Valentine of Big Blue View to give us a better look at this Giants team the Colts will be facing. I answered some questions in exchange, which you can check out here. Let’s jump right in.
With the playoffs off the table for the Giants, what are your expectations for how they handle these final two games? Will they work in different personnel to see what they have ahead of the offseason, or will they be playing for pride to finish the season?
Well, coach Pat Shurmur has made it clear that he is trying to win games. Eli Manning will be quarterback, bypassing a look at rookie Kyle Lauletta. The Giants are in a place where they re trying to change culture after last season went awry, and Shurmur is still establishing himself as a first-year coach. I think it’s important that the Giants play hard, show respect for Shurmur and for each other. The coach is going to be back next year and you don’t sent to see signs that the players aren’t listening.
Now, the Colts are the better team. Odell Beckham almost certainly isn’t playing. Landon Collins is on IR. How hard the Giants play might not matter on the scoreboard because they are the weaker team here, but it might be important to them heading into 2019.
What is the most important area for this Giants team to improve in during the offseason?
There are really two. On offense, the Giants must continue to improve their offensive line. They made some strides there this season, but there are still holes (mainly right tackle and center) that need to be addressed. On defense, the Giants really need talent upgrades across the board, starting with guys who can rush the passer. Can we have Darius Leonard, please? We’ll send you a Saquon Barkley autographed football.
What is the strength of this team and how do you think they match up against the Colts?
Well, the strength of the Giants is the play-makers they have on offense. Beckham, Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard. Unfortunately, I doubt Beckham plays again this year due to his quad injury.
If you could take one player from this Colts roster and put them on the Giants, who would you take?
Funny, this is my question that I’ve asked opposing bloggers for years. I usually hate having it turned around on me. This time, I’m ready though. We are actually polling BBV members on this topic. My answer? Andrew Luck.
At some point, the Giants need to move on from Eli Manning. Give me a 29-year-old franchise quarterback playing at an elite level and I will take that every time. I’ll figure out the offensive line and the defense once I get that done. So, about that Barkley autographed ball. If we send it to you, can we have Luck? Please?
How has the Giants’ rookie class fared this season?
Saquon Barkley is phenomenal. You can argue all day about the value of taking a running back second overall, or whether the Giants should have taken a quarterback or traded down. What you can’t argue about is how special this kid is — as both a player and a locker room leader. He’s amazing.
Second-round pick Will Hernandez was the second guard taken (behind Quentin Nelson, of course), and he’s been excellent. He will be a mainstay on the line for a long time provided he stays healthy.
Third-round picks B.J. Hill (DT) and Lorenzo Carter (OLB) have shown promise.
All-in-all, it looks like a good class. If Lauletta, a fourth-round pick, develops into a good QB for the Giants then the class is an absolute grand slam.