Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants
The news of the day: Two weeks after saying he believed he'd need a full offseason to get back to full strength following back surgery, an ebullient Jason Pierre-Paul said Wednesday that he's feeling real good and is primed for a big second half. We shall see. Dude still has just one sack in his last 15 games and is correct when he says he hasn't looked like his old self. As we have discussed here before, a return to elite form by Pierre-Paul is the kind of thing that could really elevate the Giants and make them not just a competitive team but a very difficult team to play the rest of the season. And no, that doesn't mean "playoff contender," because they're not and it would still take a string of miracles to make them one. But if you yearn for the days when the Giants justifiably felt they could beat any team on any given week, a full-strength JPP could help restore that.
Behind enemy lines: On the other side of the defensive line, Justin Tuck could be lining up Sunday against a rookie right tackle, as injuries may be pushing Menelik Watson into his first NFL start. Banged-up at tackle and without starting running back Darren McFadden, the Raiders will have to rely an awful lot on young, speedy quarterback Terrell Pryor and a defense that just got absolutely torched by the Eagles at home last week.
Around the division: The Eagles are getting set to play a Green Bay Packers team they believe to be "at a significant disadvantage" due to the injury to star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This is relevant to the Giants because they get the Packers a week later and Rodgers is likely to still be out for that game as well. Rodgers' absence unquestionably makes these games tougher for Green Bay to win, but I'd caution against assuming sub-.500 teams like the Eagles and Giants have already won them. Mike McCarthy will come up with some sort of effective game plan for Seneca Wallace, and it's not as though there aren't areas of weakness for even the undermanned Packers to attack when they play the NFC East's teams.
Around the league: Permit me a shameless plug for this week's MVP Watch, which continues to include no Giants but does include a cameo by their quarterback in his brother's blurb. Enjoy it in good fun.