Raiders Face Eli in New York

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Eli Manning wonders whether he'll play against the Oakland Raiders.

    Odd makers nationwide are so certain of a big Oakland Raiders loss this weekend that they've given the New York Giants a whopping 15-point spread to beat the Raiders.

    Starting quarterback Eli Manning was listed as questionable for the game, but took the field after the kick off.  

    Manning returned to practice Friday and seemed to be able to work through an injury to his right heel. Giants coach Tom Coughlin said then he was “encouraged” by what he saw.

    Manning's backup is former first-overall draft pick David Carr, a bust so historic he makes JaMarcus Russell look like Johnny Unitas.

    This would have been the first start Eli Manning has missed since he took the Giants' starting quarterback job from Kurt Warner in 2004.

    How much are these New York Giants looking past the Raiders? Giants receiver Antonio Bryant, who was once with the 49ers long enough to have a cup of coffee and get a DUI, was asked about Manning possibly missing the Raider game on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption.

    "We're talking about a long season," Bryant said. "We're in week five, we're looking at longevity. We need Eli there in the stretch run, December, January, and hopefully in February."

    If they're not thinking about October, you might want to consider taking the Raiders and the 15 points.

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer whose NFL picks are about as reliable as as the "rent-to-own" ads on Craig's List.