Is the Giants defense heading for trouble as injuries mount?

While it’s still early, if you held a gun to my head and asked me what team I thought was the best in the NFL right now, I’d say the New York Giants. Mario Manningham and Steve Smith have stepped up nicely to fill the void left when No. 1 receiver Plaxico Burress was released in the offseason and Eli Manning is off to a tremendous start.

Defensively, the Giants have shown signs of that pass-happy bunch that caused major issues for Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLII now that end Osi Umeyiora is healthy again after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

But there seems to be a troubling trend developing for the Giants, one that could potentially put a damper on whether or not they can build a lead in the tough NFC East.

Injuries are starting to mount for New York on the defensive side of the ball, with the latest victim being rising star Kenny Phillips, who was placed on injured reserve today due to a knee injury. Other defensive players who are currently banged up for the Giants are Chris Canty (calf), Justin Tuck (shoulder), Aaron Ross (hamstring), Kevin Dockery (hamstring) and Clint Sintim (groin).

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Ten second-year NFL breakout candidates

Players like Matt Ryan, Chris Johnson and Joe Flacco have already pulled a seat up to the proverbially NFL dinner table after turning in solid rookie seasons. But which second-year players (who didn’t have great success in their rookie campaigns) are set for breakout seasons in 2009?

Here are 10 that jump out to me:

(Note: I consider players like Ryan, Johnson, Flacco, Jonathan Stewart, Matt Forte and Steve Slaton as already having breakout seasons, so you won’t find them on this list.)

In no particular order:

1. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
Justin Fargas is a favorite of head coach Tom Cable’s in Oakland, but the Raiders didn’t select McFadden with the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft not to take full advantage of his talents. Thus far this summer, the Raiders have lined McFadden up not only at running back, but also at receiver and even quarterback. With Cable calling the offensive plays this season, McFadden is set to see plenty of opportunities to excel in Oakland’s offense and as long as he can stay healthy (a turf toe injury slowed him down last season) the former top 5 pick could emerge as the Raiders’ most potent offensive weapon. The one part of his game that he’ll need to improve on, however, is his ability to run between the tackles. If he can’t, the hard-running Fargas will steal plenty of McFadden’s touches this season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts