Three experts went with the Giants.
Judy Battista: Pick – Giants. “In an up-for-grabs division of flawed teams, Eli Manning’s steadiness and durability give the Giants a narrow edge over the Washington Redskins.”
This is positively savory. At 2-6, we’ve had a fine glimpse of the “steadiness” of Eli. Ever wonder what Eli’s career arc would have looked like if he’d come out of the draft two years earlier? Turns out when you strip away the road-grader offensive line, the reliable running game, and the elite pass-rushing defense, Eli Manning is David Carr, and Carr’s career is surely what he’d have if he’d been drafted by the expansion Texans (assuming he would have condescended to sign with them). Sure Eli has two rings, but he didn’t have to score more than 18 points to get either of them. This year is showing he’s simply not the difference-maker the TV expert class makes him out to be.
Albert Breer: Pick – Giants. “With the other clubs in the division facing some form of transition (caused by injuries, staff turnover, etc.), the time seems right for this model of consistency to bounce back in a big way.”
Albert: Since you’ve chosen to tout the Giants as a “model of consistency,” what exactly do they have to “bounce back” from? It’s OK to be wrong, but try not to contradict yourself in a single breath. No one can predict the NFL with any degree of consistency. When the experts are right, it’s usually due to a solid mix of predictive data crunching and blind luck. But the Giants’ house of cards has tumbled, and this is just one more “expert” who didn’t see it coming.
Kimberly Jones: Pick – Giants. “An improved defensive line makes the difference — as long as JPP is JPP.”
Nice qualifier, Kimberly, but JPP’s struggles don’t let you off the hook for the crack about that “improved defensive line,” which is dead last in the league in sacks. A for effort, though – everyone knows the Giants history with D lines, and that a great defensive line can be a difference-maker. Eli has two rings to prove it. Maybe this wasn’t a prediction so much as a retrospective. That’s how a lot of these “predictions” read, actually…
Up Next: Redskins