We’re 8 Games in- and while the Giants are sitting pretty atop the NFC East at 6-2, with their closest rivals at 3-4, they are still playing the toughest schedule in the NFC (happens when you win the Super Bowl) and their cushion can easily evaporate as fast as their 23-0 lead yesterday against the Cowboys.

Let me remind you, that I’m a former school teacher, so take this report card seriously!

NY Giants Mid-Season Report Card- Special Hurricane Edition!
Head Coach: Tom Coughlin – Grade A

The man is doing it right.  While the Giants have a good team, so do a lot of NFL teams, most of whom are floundering around the .500 mark. What’s the difference? Attitude, discipline, consistency and it all comes from the top.  Were you one of the many about a year ago calling for a new coach? I hope not.

Quarterback: Eli Manning– Grade A

Besides the season opener against the Cowboys, and the Redskins game a couple of weeks ago, Eli has been steady, consistent and deadly accurate. He was leading the league in passing after week 7, saved the team’s ass a few times with his patented 4th quarter comebacks and is quietly becoming the greatest Giants quarterback of all time.  From a diehard Phil Simms fan, I’m amazed.  It could be an MVP season for No. 10

Running Backs –  Grade B

Ahmad Bradshaw has looked excellent at times, and pedestrian at times, but in the end, he’s one of the best backs in the league.  The improved line play has made all the difference in his results.

Journeyman Andre Brown has been a great surprise, and shined bright when Bradshaw went down and shows promise when moving down hill or at the goal line.

Rookie David Wilson has been underutilized, but has shown that he has the after-burners that will make him a formidable weapon down the road.

The Hynocerous might become the  NFC All-Pro fullback, if they have a Pro-Bowl (I hope not).  Gilbride needs to spread the ball around, and utilize the big guy more often.

Wide Receivers – Grade A

Victor Cruz continues to become one of the greatest weapons in the NFL- perhaps the best wide out under 5’11’’.  Hakeem Nicks has been battling nagging injuries, but still has the best hands in the game and is truly the difference maker down field.   The back-up receivers… Randle & Jernigan are the envy of the league as the deepest, most talented group of wide outs.

Hixon and Randle continue to show they belong.  The QB certainly makes them look good.

Tight Ends –  Grade A

I was extremely upset when the Giants let Kevin Boss leave as a free agent to the Raiders.  I was just as upset when they let Jake Ballard go to the Patriots.  Maybe I shouldn’t get so upset…this year’s new tight end, Marcellus Bennett might be better than both of them, and he’s younger!

Bear Pascoe is the steadiest blocker in the game.

Offensive Line – Grade B+

They lost their rock, David Deihl, and carried on without a hiccup! Sean Locklear is a great tackle in his own right, and could remain as a starter the rest of the season, with Diehl filling in where necessary, or when the next gladiator falls. The O-Line didn’t give up a sack for 6 weeks, and it wasn’t from lack of blitzing.  Baas might be the weak link and run blocking could improve some, but I’m not complaining!

Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Gilbride – Grade B+

With a talented group to call plays for, Gilbride has done a great job with his receivers, and mixing things up. Although I wonder if our running game could be better utilized, as there are many games in which the Giants offense seems very one-dimensional. Check out the Patriots this year.

– written by Andy Pritikin – Featured Columnist