The New York Giants season last year was a catastrophe. 3-13 one of the worst seasons in franchise history. The result firing Ben McAdoo and brining in Vikings offense coordinator Pat Shurmur who turned Case Keenum into a great playoff QB. The hope is that between that and a great draft class the Giants can return to the playoffs, or at least the middle of the pack.
The Giants decided to blame problems with the offense last year on Ben McAdoo and continue to ride Eli Manning as the starter. That is the decision they made but I do not believe it’s the right one. You could blame the last two years on McAdoo but good QB’s overcome bad coaching, look at Aaron Rodgers for Christ’s sake. The fact of the matter is that Eli is in decline, he has been for the past three years, the numbers back it up. You need to believe in an Eli bounce back if you believe the Giants have a shot to make the playoffs. I think he will improve a bit, to the point where he isn’t costing them games like he was last year.
Saqoun Barkley the consensus best player in the draft joins the Giants to provide them something they have not had in a long time, a great run game. If Barkley can alleviate some of the pressure off Eli and the passing game that would greatly improve Manning’s chances of catching lightning in a bottle one last time. The running game will obviously depend largely on an offensive line that Dave Gettleman did his best to recreate in an offseason of minimal available players. Overpaying for Nate Solder who fills a hole at tackle but isn’t necessarily a top offensive lineman. Draft pick Will Hernandez will have a real shot to be the day one starter at guard. The line could go from bottom to average very quickly which should be considered a god send to Giants fans.
The receiving core for this Giants team continues to improve. It isn’t top tier quite yet, Sterling Sheppard needs to be more consistent, but it is getting close. Odell Beckham Jr. will return from his injury and if you believe the Instagram videos looks ready to go for day one. Odell has been seemingly forgotten in his offseason antics that he is a top five receiver in the leauge. If he can return to his former self then the Giants should be able to climb back to the middle of the standings. Forgotten in the tire fire that was the Giants season last year is just how good tight end Evan Engram was. Engram can be a massive asset especially for Manning. I am expecting him to do some really big things this upcoming year. The Giants Ariel weapons could be the most dangerous in the division.
The defense of the Giants returns as one of the best in the leauge. Damon Snacks Harrison remains a defensive machine despite his numbers dipping a smidge in 2017. Look out for Dalvin Tomlinson second year DT out of Alabama who racked up 50 tackles in his rookie year. Olivier Vernon anchors a linebacking core that was average last year with new addition Alec Ogletree to hopefully improve it. Ogletree was highly underrated in LA in my opinion. He’s a guy who does all the things that don’t really pop on the stat sheet, covers well, and makes tackles. If he can hold down the middle of the field so the Giants can unleash Vernon into the pass rush then this could be one of the most deadly pass rushing teams in the leauge. The Giants secondary is equally talented. You could make a strong case that Landon Collins should have won defensive player of the year last year. Janoris Jenkins although currently in some hot water for a body found in the basement of his house while he was in Florida, is one of the most talented corners in the leauge. However, one of the only and largest questions for this team in Eli Apple. An insanely talented corner but a cancer to the locker room last year, if he can keep his head on straight he can be a lock down corner if not I doubt he will make the week one roster.
The Giants have massive potential but also one massive flaw. His name is Eli Manning he’s nearly 38 years old and in the twilight of his career. The Giants also have an incredibly hard schedule playing both the AFC and NFC South. While they will bounce back to being a middle of the pack team this year they will not make the playoffs. However, if Eli Manning somehow bounces back to a top 15 QB this team should be considered an NFC contender, the Giants season lays on the shoulders of Eli I don’t think he will be able to carry them.
Record prediction: 6-10