It’s finally here. After a long lockout, a short offseason, and a ton of injuries, the 2011 regular season is here. The Giants are playing the Redskins, a meeting of division rivals, on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that touched both cities deeply. There is a long list of aspects and themes to look for on Sunday, and we’ll cover some of the top ones in the paper and here on the blog in the next few days leading up to the kickoff.
But like all lists, there is a top … and there is a bottom. And here, we go deeper into the analysis than anyplace else. Top 5? Anyone can give you those. Here we go all the way down and present you with the Bottom Five Things to Look For in each game.
Here’s the Week 1 list:
5. Greg Jones will start at middle linebacker and look good early, but the injury big continues to bite the Giants and he’ll have to leave the game in the second quarter with a sprained dreadlock.
4. After convincing Peyton to have unnecessary neck surgery and peppering Carson Palmer with so many Fidelity and Charles Schwab commercials that he decided to retire, Eli Manning continues his diabolical quest to eliminate all competition and therefore be a Top 5 quarterback. This time he does so by purchasing a six-month around-the-world cruise for Rex Grossman. Just to be safe, he lets John Beck tag along.
3. Due to increased security, Barry Cofield is late for the game when he is detained at the players’ entrance for trying to bring his Taser into the stadium.
2. Steve Smith starts and catches two touchdowns for the Eagles against the Rams in the 1 o’clock game and still feels so good he flies to Washington where he suits up for the Redskins in the second half and catches another TD for the ‘Skins. After the game, Coughlin says he thinks Smith is still 3-4 weeks away.
1. It doesn’t really matter. The real game starts at 8 here in New Jet City.