Game 1: at Dallas preview

The Redskins won a close one against Miami in OT, the Eagles went down in glorious beautiful flames against the Packers. If only it happened in Philadelphia so that the masses would have rained down their “loyalty” upon J.R. Reid.

The Giants now have a chance to get off on the right foot and begin the season in first place. Tiki Barber will continue to pitch his gossipy diary on NBC before the game, but his opinions are irrelevant. BRANDON JACOBS is the running back of the present and future.  Be Afraid NFL. Be very afraid.

While the Giants have an offseason of turmoil, Strahan may not even resemble the player he was, Eli Manning is a question mark as a leader, Plaxico Burress was staying awfully quiet for a guy that whines all the time, Jeremy Shockey’s hand turned purple, etc. Tom Coughlin is feeling the strain. It’s finally time to play football.

The Boys have been reveling in the never-ending hype machine swirling around a QB that can’t even contain his nerves on a simple field goal. You forget that T.O. is supposed to be their team celebrity. Wade Phillips is the coach, no more waxing poetic on the great Tuna who has failed to win championships at every post-Giants stop of his career.

In a few hours, we look forward to finding out what the 2007 Giants are. Underachievers? Hopefully not. How will Eli lead? Will it even matter. A first place tie is at stake. The Eagles are 0-1, and the Skins aren’t expected to do much. This game could – not to oversell – but determine superiority in the NFC East going forward this season.

Heading into Texas, the Boys have to be favored. They have the darling QB, the Hall of Fame (talent and stats not brains) receiver, solid running game, studs on defense like Damarcus Ware and Roy Williams. On paper and computer screens and TVs they are the better team. Giants are the underdog. Talented? Sure. But you never know. They usually play well when challenged to prove themselves, except for all of those times when they quit and didn’t care to show any pride last year. It’s hard to tell with them. Tonight is big.