| | Which Giantís Defense Will Show Up vs. Carolina?
Which defense will we see this weekend for the Giants? Will it be the one that had a great goal line stand against the Raiders and earlier this season went 16 quarters without allowing a touchdown, or will it be the one that allows passing yards by the bucket?
The defensive line has Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, who have combined for 26 sacks, enough to get both into the Pro Bowl. The linebacking corps has been ripped apart by injuries to all three opening-day starters and now has Nick Greisen, Kevin Lewis, and Alonzo Jackson, not household names.
Then there is the secondary, which has allowed more passing yards than all but five NFL teams. Now they face Carolina's Steve Smith, whose 103 catches and 12 touchdowns are both tied for best in the NFL. "Steve Smith had a great year, no question," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin. "Even more so when you think that every team has it on their checklist to do something about Steve Smith. The other day we gave up a lot of passing yardage to some outstanding receivers. But our No. 1 thing will still be to stop the run. That's where we start."
Defensive coordinator Tim Lewis is also a strong candidate to fill one of the numerous current NFL head coaching vacancies. "Tim's approach is a very positive one. He's very decisive in his teaching methods and his approach to the game plan and how it's presented to the players," Coughlin said. "He believes in the plan and that the players executing it will give us every chance to win."
So which defense will we see? The best guess is that we will see the one that allows a lot of points, which means Manning and company will have to keep pace if the Giants are to have a chance.