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Postcards from Camp: Big Boys

Jon Kinsman

By: Jon Kinsman, YFFL Commissioner

Posted: Aug 27, 2006

Return of the King
Jeremy Shockey
The connection between Eli Manning and Jeremy Shockey could yield big dividends for the Boys this season

QUINCY, MA The Big Boys came out of nowhere in 2005 to post the league's best record and remind us all of Chris Davidson's fantasy football aptitude. The dominant owner of the 90's, Chris had been losing esteem amongst his fellow owners until the Boys ripped off six wins in a row to begin last season. Then controversy rocked the team as Davidson dealt Brett Favre, the 12 year face of the franchise, in an intra-division trade to the Dragons. Lambasted by other owners, Chris was steadfast even after losing the next two games. The Boys won out their remaining schedule, securing a bye and the top seed, but in a storybook match-up in the NFC Championship that saw the return of Favre against his former team, Tiki Barber proved too much and the magical ride ended for Chris and the Boys.

Critical Question Facing Owner Chris Davidson

Can the good fortune continue in 2006? Although the Boys lost only 2 games in 2005, they topped the 50 point mark only twice and finished with the fewest points against of any team since the latest scoring changes. With an improving NFC East, the Boys will have to score more if they have any hope of repeating as division champs.

Player to Watch

Eli Manning, QB - After the Favre trade last season, the reins were permanently given to the youngest of the Manning legacy. Eli showed flashes of brilliance during his tenure last season, but his inconsistent play sometimes hurt the Boys, especially in their playoff exit when he mustered only 186 yards and a touchdown. The duo of Manning and Jeremy Shockey will drive the Boys all season long.

Projected Starting Lineup

Manning, Droughns, Jones, Wayne, Jackson, Shockey, Draft Pick, Cooley

Outlook

Despite the protests of the Favre trade, the addition of Darrell Jackson gives the Boys one of the better WR duos in the league. The same goes for the tight end position, where Shockey and Chris Cooley provide consistent scoring bursts that will keep the Boys in any game. The running game is a big question mark for the Boys. Although both Ruben Droughns and Thomas Jones racked up 1,000 yard seasons last year, Jones is being pushed by Cedric Benson and Droughns had difficulty finding the end zone last season. With a young offense in Cleveland, it could be more of the same this year.

The Boys have enough weapons to compete in the NFC East, and if Eli can make "the leap", another division title is not out of the question. However, the 11-2 season of a year ago was probably an aboration. Look for the Boys to linger near the top of the division all year long, but fall just short of the division crown.

Prediction

7-6; 533 points; 2nd NFC East