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- JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - The defense really seemed to turn things around when Jon Beason got here and became a leader and link in the middle of the defense. Working with Justin Tuck up front and Antrel Rolle in the secondary, the defense worked like a well-oiled machine. Beason, in my opinion, however, will also require a bigger investment than any Giants free agent to retain him, other than perhaps Hakeem Nicks. This is also not to take anything away from Justin Tuck or Linval Joseph, but I believe the Giants have more ready replacements in house for Tuck and Joseph than they do Beason.
- DAN SALOMONE: Fact - While no turnaround can be attributed to a single person in the ultimate team sport, Beason’s effect on the team was undeniable from the moment he landed here. On the field, he bridged the secondary with a talented defensive line. Off the field, his natural leadership abilities glued together the team.
- MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - I say that because I don’t know how you can say that definitely. Do you go by position, strength of the teams, etc.? I think the talent is distributed pretty evenly through the two conferences.
- JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - This is nearly an impossible question to answer so I’ll answer it this way. The AFC has more teams with quarterback questions. The only teams in the NFC with even slight questions at quarterback are the Vikings, Buccaneers, and Rams. And those teams are probably more than happy to come back with the same starting quarterback next year. The AFC, meanwhile has quarterback questions in the Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Jaguars, Titans, Browns, Texans and Raiders. You need quarterbacks to win, so I’m going to go with the NFC.
- DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - In terms of top talent as it currently stands, the NFC is ahead. Twenty of the 30 All-Pro first-teamers were from the NFC. But in terms of depth, it evens out in a league of parity.
- MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - I don’t see anyone who can logically challenge him. Rolle had a terrific season statistically and he was a captain and leader. Sounds to me like an MVP.
- JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - It would be difficult to give the MVP to anyone on offense considering the unit’s struggles, and Rolle was the most consistent player on defense all year. He has the interceptions and the intangibles. It was his best year as a Giant. No surprise it came the year he actually got to play safety instead of slot corner.
- DAN SALOMONE: Fact - Rolle, for the same reasons just stated about his fellow Miami alum, kept the team together on and off the field. Losing six games to start the season can divide a team, but Rolle was a major voice that helped the Giants win seven of their last 10 games. Not to mention the vet had career and Pro Bowl-caliber numbers.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - I’ll take Will Hill’s pick six in Detroit. Without that play, the Giants likely would have lost that game. They probably wouuldn’t have defeated the Packers even if JPP hadn’t picked off that Scott Tolzien pass.
- JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - As an individual effort, it showed ridiculous anticipation, reaction time, athleticism, hands and speed. It shows how special Jason Pierre-Paul can be if he gets healthy and improves his consistency.
- DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - I’m going with Will Hill’s pick-six in Detroit. The guy just has a nose for the ball in the most crucial times, and let’s admit it, the Giants were fading in that game before his play. The defensive touchdown gave the Giants a reason to believe as they gutted out an overtime victory on the road against a team fighting for the playoffs.
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