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Our long national nightmare is over. Today begins the first day of many more days to come. Today is the first day of our famous NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: the hottest thing to come at you this summer. Of course, it can only star yours truly. Without further waiting, I proclaim this day, July 14, 2008, as the unofficial start to the 2008 NFL season!
This week, we will profile the always popular NFC East. It's the division that sees more of Joe Buck than Ed Werder and Sal Paolantonio combined. I'll get to my namesake's team tomorrow, but today, we honor the defending Super Bowl champions...
It's hard to believe that our defending Super Bowl champions actually started the 2007 season under much uncertainty. This was a team that lost Tiki Barber to retirement, saw Michael Strahan hold out for most of training camp and saw scrutiny for quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Tom Coughlin.
This team got no love from me. After they started 0-2, I immediately discounted them from even making the playoffs. In hindsight, I regret this move a lot. This team really showed a lot of heart in the postseason. I'm never doubting Eli Manning again.
The Giants will open up the regular season at home on Thursday night against division foe Washington Redskins. On Oct. 5, they face their first tough opponent when they face the NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks. The week after, they'll go on the road to face the Cleveland Browns. Manning will also get a chance to face Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. We finally get a chance to see these two '04 rookies, who are now Super Bowl champions, go at it.
It's now time to do the favorite that the kids enjoy, the burning questions (yearbook style):
- Eli Manning will: Continue to progress as a marquee quarterback
- Starting running back this year will be: Brandon Jacobs
- Jeremy Shockey will: Continue to be annoying and will get hurt (again!)
- Coolest name on the team (Top 3): Mathias Kiwanuka, Osi Umenyiora and Guy Whimper
- Michael Strahan will be: Buffer between Terry Bradshaw and Frank Caliendo
- Better back-up quarterback ( David Carr or Anthony Wright): Push
- Top Giants rookie in 2008: Kenny Phillips, FS, from The U
- Team MVP for this year: Osi Umenyiora
- 80s song that best describes the Giants: Don't Stop Believin'- Journey
- In 2008, the Giants will: Finish the season 9-7, third in the NFC East