I had the outright privilege to talk with good friend (or pal, as he would prefer I put it) Andrew S., who happens to be 50% owner of a prestigious yet uknown podcast called Pals Podcast. More importantly, the inferior Andrew is a massive Giants fan, so I took this opportunity to get him to drop some knowledge on the upcoming matchup. Hope you enjoy one of the more entertaining posts on Saints Nation you will read, at least in my opinion and probably no one else's.
The Saints Nation: JPP said Brees will be easier to defend than RG3. Should he be suspended for taking banned substances immediately by Roger Goodell, because clearly he is on drugs?
Pal's Podcast: Oh hey pal! Its great to be here, thanks for the Qs! Get ready for a heaping load of A!
Your first question is an excellent one. I'm excited for what is sure to be a fun time!
Now, for as great as JPP is (and he is indeed a great man), he and his fellow defensive lineman were embarrassed Monday night by Robert Griffith the Third. And as much as I hate RGIII and the entire Washington Indigenous Persons franchise, I will begrudgingly admit that he is a gifted athlete. So unless Brees gets to play Sunday's game in a tank, its a simple fact that he will be easier to track down in a pass rushing situation than Griffith. The secondary however, may have a tougher time defending the pass.
So, the question becomes: did JPP mean to imply that the entire defense will have an easier time against Brees and RGIII? I don't know, maybe. I didn't bother to read the articles about this. All I know is that if Jason Pierre-Paul wants to enjoy some recreational drugs in his spare time it isn't any of my business. He's a grown man, live and let live baby!
SN: Eli, statistically, has had a pretty mediocre year. Thanks to the Super Bowl wins, he's got a long leash, though, right? Why are his numbers not great?
PP: Eli Manning will be starting QB for the Giants for as long as he can stand on two feet and wants to play in the NFL. You may have forgotten that this is a franchise that named Dave Brown as the starting signal caller for FOUR consecutive seasons. DAVE BROWN. FOUR. BARF.
So yes, Eli and his bling have an immeasurably long tether. As for his numbers, I could give you some excuses about injuries to the offensive line and receiving corp, but the bottom line is the reason Eli's numbers aren't spectacular is because when he is not wearing shoulder pads and a helmet he looks like this.
I'm constantly amazed Eli finds his way out of the locker room every game.
SN: Being without Sean Payton this season has really clued me into the true value of a head coach. Bobby Petrino leaving Arkansas abruptly was another example of that. If Tom Coughlin had left unexpectedly at the beginning of the offseason, what's the Giants' record right now in your opinion?
PP: Judging a coach's value to a team is a tough one, since there are so many variables beyond their control. While it's true teams can fall apart when they lose their HC, sometimes a team, like the San Diego Chargers for instance, is just going to be garbage no matter who's in charge.
Without Coughlin, I don't see the Giants quite sinking to a San Diego Chargers level of ineptitude, but they would certainly be worse off. I estimate the Giants would be 40% more Charger-like without Coughlin. 40 to 45%, give or take.
SN: Is the pass rushing trio tandem of Umenyiora-Tuck-JPP still as scary? Or are the first two slowing down?
PP: Another great question, and another opportunity to point out this clip of JPP doing 13 back flips in a row. JPP is basically a super human. I highly recommend that video if you haven't seen it yet. That acrobatic feat would be impressive for Nastia Liukin, let alone a 6'5'' 280lb behemoth like Pierre-Paul. What? I can be a women's gymnastics fan too. That's totally not weird at all.
But getting back to your questions, Umenyiora and Tuck have lost a step, especially Osi, who is now more of a pass rushing, strip sack specialist who can't contain the outside. Umenyiroa's containment is so bad that if you dropped him off in the Container Store with a $5,000 gift certificate he'd be all like, A DUH, WHAT?
Goodness this is spiraling out of control. Let's move on, yes?
SN: Based on the recent history of late season runs, are you fully expecting the Giants to turn it on any week now and make another deep playoff run?
PP: I'm not one to believe that previous season's results have any influence on current performances. As a fellow Bayesian scientist, I'm sure you agree that this futile attempt to ascribe a meaningful narrative on statistically random occurrences is a waste of time. That type of sports legend and myth creation has no business in serious sports blog of any merit or renown.
That said, as long as I continue to wear my lucky Giants underwear every day in the month of December, I'm confident the Giants will be able to turn it around and go on a post season run just like they did last year.
SN: Can you spell elite with E-L-I?
PP: Another crackerjack question! How do you keep coming up with these gems? Um, yes the word elite does contain the letters E, L, and I.
SN: My earliest memories of the Giants was Hostetler coming in for Simms, Otis Anderson being good, one of your players having a last name that sounded awful close to the word maggot, and Scott Norwood being your season MVP. Those were good times right? Any childhood anecdotes that made you a fan for life? Besides Scott Norwood crapping himself?
PP: Good times? Try GREAT TIMES.
Growing up in the New York City burbs during the 80's meant becoming aware of sports during the Jints' Parcell glory days. And Scott Norwood did indeed make life sweet for me at 9 years old.
But the victory of Super Bowl XXV also ushered in the execrable Ray Handly era. Hostetler and his mustache muscled my hero, Phil Simms, out the door and things quickly degenerated. Probably my favorite memory from that time was going to a game at the Meadowlands and listening to a clever heckler point out that, despite being down by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, "HEY GUYS, CHIN UP! ONLY FIVE MORE FIELD GOALS AND WE WIN!"
Haha, pointing out the shortcomings of others is truly exhilarating.
And I can tell you my early memories of the Saints were of, um, when did your team join the league? Didn't you used to be the Browns? Oh no wait, you had the kicker with half a foot back in the 70's or something. And Eli's dad. Well at the very least, you were definitely a football team, I can tell you that!
SN: If you're the Saints, how do you attack the Giants in this game? Any weaknesses the Saints should exploit to win this game?
PP: If I'm the Saints, the first thing I do is apologize to the world for sullying the reputation of the National Football League. Then, if I haven't quit the sport out of shame, I would begin the probably pointless task of game planning against the indomitable New York Giants.
I'd say your best hope for victory stems from the fact that you've had an extra FOUR WHOLE DAYS to prepare for this match up. No doubt as part of some conspiracy led by Roger Go-to-hell to deprive the Giants of their chance and birthright to win Back-to-Back-to-Back Superbowl championships. I can honestly think of no other plausible explanation for this stridently unjust scheduling.
I would also take advantage of a slow G-Men linebacking corp with heaps of play action, draws and screens. And if you take away the Giants inside running game, terrible Kevin Gilbride will revert to utterly predicable 2nd and 3rd down passing sequences for your secondary to exploit.
But basically you should just capitulate now while you can still cling to a shred dignity.
SN: You run a podcast that's largely unlistenable, and has about as many listeners as you've had girlfriends (read, not many at all). Tell Saints fans about it and why you keep it going.
PP: You're probably confusing our professionally run, award winning podcast, Pals Plopcast a Plopcast for Pals, with some other flight by night, Johnny come lately, amateur hour podcast for jerks. But thank you giving me the opportunity to plug the aforementioned Podcast. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I will tell you this: if you enjoy great times with pals and maybe a smooth, smooth belch here and there, you will love Pal's Podcast. Give it a listen, friends, why don't you? What have you got to lose besides, like, an hour of your life?
I also want to point out that maybe I don't have a sterling romantic track record, however one time in college I touched a boob. Yeah, that's right, you heard me. PUT IT ON THE BOARD, YEAH!
SN: Give me your score prediction