NEW YORK – The 2011 NFL season has finally arrived after one of the worst off seasons I can ever remember. The two big downers were the lockout, which lasted about five months and more recently the injuries that have plagued the Giants before the season even started. The lockout was a drain on everyone associated with the NFL, including the fans who had to endure the constant threat of this season being cancelled. A lot of people were hurt financially, while the big boys argued over billions of dollars. Thankfully, with no time left to spare, both sides came to an agreement and here we are now, just hours away from the 2011 kickoff (Packers vs. Saints at 8:30 PM EST). The rest of the league will have their games played this Sunday.
The Giants mass injury epidemic is the other significant event that has occurred over the past month or so. With the recent news about the G-men losing LB Jonathan Goff for the year, it really starts to hit home when you realize that a good chunk of our defense are 2nd string players and rookies. I have a lot of faith in our players and they know they need to step up but the time for talk is over and they must perform on the field. The Giants brought in a bunch of players for workouts over the past 48 hours to try and plug some holes, including familiar faces with LB Chase Blackburn and LB Kawika Mitchell. Rookie LB Greg Jones will be practicing with the first team and will most likely get the chance to start against the Redskins this weekend. The Giants have lost 8 players (about 15% of the team) due to season ending injuries, two of them got cut and six landed on the IR list, they also have two players currently on the PUP list.
What does all of this mean? It means that fans should just sit back and watch the game on Sunday. I’m completely drained from all of the theories and analysis. When it gets this close to the first game, I tend to relax more because there is really nothing more you can do but play the game. There will be plenty of time to breakdown the Giants performance and speculate on the rest of their 2011 opponents but for now, enjoy the game. We know the situation the team faces with a lack of personnel and we will see how they adapt to that. It will be impossible to separate the significance of the date this Sunday (9/11/11) on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the start of the NFL season for most teams. There will be tributes everywhere you look, as there should be and I’m sure that George Martin will be out there walking for the 9/11 first responders. There will be a lot of emotion this weekend and a ton to digest. Never Forget! The Giants vs. Redskins game kicks off at 4:15 PM EST on Sunday.
Do you think the Giants are prepared to compete for a playoff spot in 2011?
RD – nygreporter.com