Q&A With The Enemy – New York Giants Writer Andrew Ilnicki

This week, Giants writer Andrew Ilnicki at http://gmenhq.com/ and I exchanged questions and answers about this week’s Packers vs Giants match up.  Here’s what he had to say:

That was a huge loss last week against the Eagles, it has to be disheartening to see a 21 pt lead go up in smoke.  Have the Giants players and coaches recovered from that? And how does a team pull it together after suffering that type of loss and constant media barrage?

It was a classic tragedy.  Only the Giants and Eagles could have delivered such a finish.  It was extremely depressing for everyone – coaches, players, fans, everyone.  But reports indicate they’ve moved on and the fact that they control their own destiny and can clinch a playoff spot with a win in Green Bay makes things easier.

Coughlin seems to be in the hot seat yet again this season.  The Packers have gained a reputation of being Coach Killers due to the firing of both Wade Phillips and Brad Childress after the Packers blew them out.  Is there any concern that this trend might continue, should the Giants find themselves in another big loss?

I think Coughlin puts everything on him for better or worse.  Players win game sand he loses them… something like that was said this week in the wake of the Eagles mess.  But Coughlin wasn’t executing the plays when they held the Eagles to 3 points in the first half, and I didn’t see him miss any tackles in the second half either that let the Eagles score 28 unanswered points. It is interesting to think about a difference coach in there, Cowher for example, but I think Coughlin has done a good job since he’s been in NY.  The team can only go as far as the defense takes them, we learned that last year and last week was yet another reminder of that. The right offseason moves were made, they have a top defense this year — AND offense — Coughlin has done a nice job at the end of the day.

Antrel Rolle did his best Joe Namath impression this week, essentially guaranteeing a win.  Most opposing teams use that as fuel for preparation and the person matched up against Rolle will most likely attempt to humiliate him into submission.  How does the rest of the team feel when a singular player goes on record with such a bold statement?

It’s hard for me to speak for the team, but I happen to know that Rolle speaks what many of the players are already thinking.  They are going to be fired up for that game in Green Bay, and I think Rolle is setting that tone early for the game from the Giants perspective. From the Packers point of view, they are going to use it as much as the Giants are. I look for another physical, hard fought game this week, it’ll be fun to watch.

Eli Manning is leading the NFL with interceptions and just seems to be very inconsistent this year.  What seems to be the problem? Is there a lack of focus, or a nagging injury that is keeping him from throwing more accurately?

I think Eli has made some poor decisions at times, but the exceptionally high numbers this year aren’t really indicative of poor decisions alone. He has thrown some good balls too.  He’s been getting his passes out, hasn’t taken many sacks, in many ways he’s having a good year for the Giants. But  last week it was indicative of what many of the INTs have been all year, tipped balls that unfortunately found the hands of the defense.  That makes 8 by my count of tipped balls that have gone for INTs.  He’s been focused, there is no injury news on him, and if anything the poor decisions were just trying to fit a ball into a situation that should have been a throwaway.

What is your prediction for the game?

I think the Giants win this one, backs against the wall they come out aggressive and stay that way for a change. 31 – 17 Giants

Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Playoffs, Rolle, Tom Coughlin

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