NFC East Preview: New York Giants
The next team I will be looking at in the NFC East will be the New York Giants. I will highlight the key players on both sides of the ball who I feel will need to have great seasons for the Giants to be successful.
New York Giants:
Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Gilbride
QB (Quarterback): Eli Manning
Eli Manning is coming off his best season as pro. He threw for 4021 passing yards and had 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The Giants still finished with a record of 8-8. What can Eli do this season to help his team win games? He had an amazing season last year and their record was still mediocre. He has a talented group of receivers. I think he will put up around 3800 to 4000 passing yards with 25-27 touchdowns and 13-16 interceptions.
RBS (Both Running Backs): Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw
Jacobs clearly wasn’t himself last season with only 5 touchdowns and 835 rushing yards. In 2008 he had 15 touchdowns. He suffered a torn meniscus and then had surgery in the winter. If he regains his form, this offense regains its dominance. This season so far he hasn’t had many carries and is clearly getting frustrated. As for Bradshaw, he is coming off surgery on both ankles and feet. He has good power and speed which he uses well. He is the one that is getting the majority of the touches early on.
WR (Wide Receiver): Steve Smith
Steve Smith had a breakout year last season for the Giants. He had 1220 receiving yards with 7 touchdowns. He also set a franchise record with 107 receptions in 2009. He is really good coming out of the slot, similar to Wes Welker. He has the speed to stretch the field also. I expect around 1100-1200 yards receiving with 6-9 touchdowns. The Giants also have two other solid wide receivers in Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. Hakeem Nicks has the most potential to get 1000 yards receiving this year.
Defensive Coordinator: Perry Fewell
LDE(Left Defensive End): Justin Tuck
A very solid defensive end in the NFL. He rarely looses a one- on- one matchups. He is a great tackler and can also put the pressure on the quarterback. In 2008-2009 season he had 12 sacks, then last season he had 6 which was a drop off. I expect him to get around 7-10 this season.
RDE (Right Defensive End): Osi Umenyiora
Osi is a great pass rusher and gets out quick off the snap, but he really needs to improve on his run defense because it has gotten him benched before. In 2007 season he had 13 sacks, then in 2008 he was injured the whole year. Last season he had 7 sacks, I feel this season he will get around 7 – 9 sacks.
FS (Free Safety): Antrel Rolle
The Giants got Rolle in the offseason giving him a $37 million contract ($15 million guaranteed). Rolle has excellent range in coverage and is a great tackler in space. Plus, the Giants desperately needed help at the free safety position.
Overall I feel the Giants have a healthy team coming into the season. The main concern again is if the players can stay healthy. They have a good young core of receivers and their defense is also great. I predict that the New York Giants will struggle and finish 3rd in the NFC East. I think they will have a record of 8 wins and 8 losses or they may hit the 9 win mark but I feel the 8 – 8 mark is more realistic. I think they will also miss the playoffs.