I'm heading down to Charlotte tonight for the Giants vs. Panthers game tonight as part of my birthday weekend extravaganza. (Miami to follow. It’s tough getting old) I'm hoping for more offensive output then we saw in last week's Packers vs. Bears game because, you know, offense is exciting to watch and all. The Giants had a scare last week at home after Eli Manning put forth a first half that Jay Cutler would've been proud of. Then he fought back and won the Giants the game, which led me to this question: How many QBs in the league would you rather have on your team to lead you to a Super Bowl this year?
I asked some Giants fans, two Jets fans, and an Eagles fan. They all were pretty much in agreement. Aaron Rodgers was the only one they all agreed would be ahead of Eli. After that, it's a bit of a toss-up. Tom Brady is showing his age and hasn't played well big game in a long time. Drew Brees is good, but he's prone to bad games like last week just as often as Eli. Big Ben Roethlisberger has two Super Bowls and is the same draft class as Eli, but he hasn't performed as well in the big moments. Peyton Manning has half a neck. And then the young guys like Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, and Andrew Luck haven't done anything yet.
It's kind of scary to think Eli has come that far where he's the second most welcomed QB in the league for a team trying to win a Super Bowl. There were times last year when I wondered how he even won the first one. The guy threw three of the most mind-numbing interceptions last week during the first half. Then he came back and won the game. It helps that he has talent around him, but the guy just gets it done. The guy has two Super Bowl victories (both of which he performed well in), but it still feels a little weird.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
NEW ORLEANS over Kansas City
Bounty-gate or not, no one expected the Saints to start the season 0-2. Their offense looks slightly less powerful than it did last year. One would've expected Drew Brees to be able to call his own plays effectively, but maybe there's just some magic with Sean Payton that's missing now. The Saints couldn't stop anyone defensively last year and they didn't rectify that during the offseason. They gave up 40 points to the Redskins and 35 points to the Panthers. Lucky for them, they get to face a rather inept Chiefs' offense this week. The Chiefs couldn't stick with the high-scoring Falcons in Week 1 (a Chiefs' touchdown with five seconds left obscures the real score line slightly) and got blown out by the not-so-high-scoring Bills in Week 2 (two garbage time touchdowns from Bowe obscure the score there as well).
Garbage time scores count for Vegas spreads, but they don't count for survivor picks. The desperation for the Saints' is very apparent, so maybe there's a case that they'll drop their drawers and poop on the 50-yard line because they're incredibly nervous. They're a veteran team with a Super Bowl in recent history, so I don't think that will happen. Your other options are the Bears (should rebound after a long rest in a home game), San Francisco (who apparently isn't buying into this regression talk, but they're on the road), or Dallas (Tampa is kinda frisky, but the Cowboys should bounce back).
Team used: Houston, New England
Thursday Night Pick:
N.Y. Giants -1.5 over CAROLINA
The Giants are 32-17 on the road since the beginning of the 2006 season. They respond well to road challenges. They're missing Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw, David Diehl, and Domenik Hixon, but I'm not concerned. They have the parts to replace them for one game. Steve Smith will probably have a field day against the Giants secondary, but how do you not take Eli if the game is going to be close?
Last Week: 7-7-2
Survivor Pick: 1-1