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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

NFL: NY Giants 2010 Preview

Feels like the image above was an eternity ago when the underdog NY Giants stunned the sports world in by upsetting the undefeated New England Patriots, doesn't it?

The G-Men are coming off an underwhelming 2009 campaign that saw them sputter to an 8-8 record, missing the playoffs for the first time in 3 seasons. There haven't been any significant upgrades on either side of the ball, so you can expect much of the same in 2010.

NY's offense lives and dies with the consistency of franchise QB Eli Manning, who has shown progress every year he's been in the NFL. He's shown confidence running the Giants offense and should continue to grow and be a bright spot. After showing flashes late in the season last year's 1st round pick WR Hakeem Nicks appears to be up to the task of starting along side the steady and reliable 'other' Steve Smith, who was among the lead leaders in receptions (albeit for a paltry 11 yards a catch). Despite a solid line, the weak link of the offense will again be the running game, which just isn't what it was a couple seasons ago. Brandon Jacobs looks opposing before the snap but no longer runs like the beast he appears to be. Backup RB Ahmad Bradshaw lacks the size to run between the tackles consistently. Hopefully they can present enough of a threat to keep defenses honest and prevent this from happening repeatedly to Manning.

They may look to have a ton of talent on paper, but NY's defensive performance on the field leave much to be desired. They finished 30th in the league in points allowed, slightly better than STL & the Detroit Lions (ouch). This is a little shockingas the Giants have the luxury of fielding the deepest DE rotation in the league, with the ultra athletic tandem of Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, your mom's favorite DE Osi Umenyiora and 2010 1st round pick Jason Pierre-Paul. The retirement of Antonio Pierce leaves them inexperienced in their linebacking core with Michael Boley (27) being the only one having seen extensive time on the field. Jonathan Goff (24) has potential to be stellar and now has the opportunity to prove it.

The secondary is another area of concern for the G-Men. Neither of the projected starters Corey Webster & Terrell Thomas are considered lock-down corners and have tendencies to give up big passing plays. FS Antrel Rolle was a nice off-season pick up but Kenny Phillips' return from microfracture surgery will be something to keep an eye on. SS Deon Grant may not be enough to fill the void left.

In a nutshell the Giants have som weapons on offense and can apply enough pressure on opposing QBs from the edge to remain competitive, but they have too many question marks and inexperience to challenge for a wild card spot in the NFC this season, which may eventually cause heavily-scrutinized Tom Coughlin to lose his job.

Hey, at least they'll always have memories of David Tyree and "The Catch".


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