A popular series from last year has been revived. Expect one for each team this offseason. Today, I’ll be talking about the Super Bowl Giants.
Results from the Past:
Last year, the team was expected to go 10-6. The offense was supposed to struggle early on without key players such as WR Steve Smith, but the defense was deemed to put the team on their back. The team ended up similar to what the expectations to them, winning the division. That was the furthest they were supposed to go; the road to the Super Bowl would be through the Falcons, Packers, and the winner of the other divisional matchup (predicted to be either the Saints or 49ers), a nearly impossible feat. The Giants had a good run, but it was expected to end. Fortunately for them, on any given Sunday, anything can happen. In any season, the impossible is possible.
The Giants became road warriors; it appeared that 2007 was repeating itself. After defeating the Falcons and the No.1 seeded defending champion Green Bay Packers, the team squared off and defeated the San Francisco 49ers in a blistering NFC Conference Championship. The Giants went on to beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl 17-14, a score predicted by former Giant Plaxico Burress the last time the two teams played each other in the NFL’s biggest stage (2007).
This offseason, the team has been going through a lot of changes. Personnel-wise, QB coach Mike Sullivan and assistant offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. left to be offensive coordinator of the Tampa bay Buccaneers and offensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs respectively. Through free agency, the team lost key players such as RB Brandon Jacobs (Patriots), Super Bowl hero WR Mario Manningham (49ers), and CB Aaron Ross (Jaguars).
The team did well on draft day and selected RB David Wilson from Virginia Tech with their first pick. While some felt that this pick could have been taken in the second round (especially since Cordy Glenn, Stephen Hill, Jonathan Martin, Courtney Upshaw, and Coby Fleener were available), it was still a decent pick. Wilson is an explosive back with a ton of potential, and he fills a need that RB Brandon Jacobs left. Wilson led all of college football in yards after contact and has great vision and patience. Give him time, and he may become one of the elite backs in the league with his amazing speed and a threat to take it all the way on any play.
With the second overall pick, the team selected WR Rueben Randle from LSU. Randle was considered first round talent before a terrible combine showing downgraded his draft status. Despite the poor showing, Randle is big and fast and has the physical attributes to succeed. With the departure of Manningham, this was a need.
With the 94th pick in the 2012 draft, CB Jayron Hosley from Virginia Tech was picked. Despite having second round talent, his stock fell due to a fail drug test at the combine. If he bounces back the way WR Mario Manningham did when he was a prospect in 2008, the pick will be a success. Hosley has instinct, good cover skills, and a ton of upside. However, he is terrible in terms of open field tackling. While he will require a time to crack the starting lineup, Hosley was a special teams ace, an area in need when you consider how a bad play by them can alter a season (DeSean Jackson anyone?). One TE, two offensive tackles, and a DT later, the New York Giants walked away with a decent draft. Given a decent training camp and preseason, the team should be able to compete in 2012.
Here is a look at the team’s regular season schedule, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports:
|Wed 9/5||Dallas Cowboys||8:30 pm|
|Sun 9/16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 pm|
|Thu 9/20||Carolina Panthers at Carolina||8:20 pm|
|Sun 9/30||Philadelphia Eagles at Philadelphia||8:20 pm|
|Sun 10/7||Cleveland Browns||1:00 pm|
|Sun 10/14||San Francisco 49ers at San Francisco||4:15 pm|
|Sun 10/21||Washington Redskins||1:00 pm|
|Sun 10/28||Dallas Cowboys at Dallas||4:15 pm|
|Sun 11/4||Pittsburgh Steelers||4:15 pm|
|Sun 11/11||Cincinnati Bengals at Cincinnati||1:00 pm|
|Sun 11/25||Green Bay Packers||8:20 pm|
|Mon 12/3||Washington Redskins at Washington||8:30 pm|
|Sun 12/9||New Orleans Saints||4:15 pm|
|Sun 12/16||Atlanta Falcons at Atlanta||1:00 pm|
|Sun 12/23||Baltimore Ravens at Baltimore||1:00 pm|
|Sun 12/30||Philadelphia Eagles||1:00 pm|
Overall, the schedule is not the easiest. Here’s what I think:
Best Case Scenario:
The Giants continue where they left off, and go 7-3 before the bye. Following the much-needed bye, they beat the Packers and Washington. The team then beats Atlanta and Baltimore before resting their starters in Week 17. If it has playoff implications, the team’s starters won’t rest and beat the Eagles at home. They split games between Washington, Philadelphia (if they win their last game), and sweep Dallas. Record: 13-3, Division winners, No.2 seed.
Worst Case Scenario:
The team does what it does every year in the regular season and play pedestrian. They go either 6-4 or 5-5 before the bye. The team gets their butts handed to them on a platter by Green Bay after last year’s playoff loss and lose two of their four games in the stretch of the Saints, Falcons, Ravens, and Eagles. In their division, they’re swept by the emerging Redskins, split with Dallas, and split with the Eagles. Record: 8-8, possibly third in division, no playoffs for them.
Usually, the Giants perform well when defending their title, so I’ll give them that. In all seriousness though, the team will win the week one game versus Dallas, followed by wins against the Bucs and Panthers. I feel that the Eagles will take off this year, and nothing will prove it more than beating the world champs. Once that happens, the Giants will rebound and beat the Browns.
For the 49ers game, it will be eerily similar to last years. The only difference is that I feel the 49er’s offense will be better with their free agent acquisitions, so they will win that one. The following week, the team will make RG III look normal and sit at 4-2. The team will beat Dallas, a team that tries to once again be the division powerhouse. The team loses to the Steelers, whose offense will be much better with an improved line and better offensive play-calling. The team then beats the up and coming Bengals in last-second fashion. At the bye, their record is 7-3.
Following the bye, the team steps up its game against the Green Bay Packers. While the Packers did make moves to improve their defense, the Giants will be able to exploit it with mismatches. Following the win, the team beats Washington and New Orleans, whose offense will be stopped several times while the Giants take advantage of the weak (you know why) defense. After that win, they beat the Falcons but lose to Baltimore due to lack of protection. The team then beats the Eagles in the rematch. Record:12-4, Division Winner, No.2 Seed
There are still many questions that surround the New York Giants. Will there offense be as potent? Will the defense be stifling? How much or how little did their losses in the offseason hurt them? How good was their draft? This may be an early look at the team, but I strongly feel that the NY Giants will prove they are among the league’s best.~
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