New York Giants Season Preview

The Giants will kick off their season on Sunday, September 10th in Dallas against the Cowboys. It is beginning to seem like a yearly tradition that the Giants and Cowboys face off on opening night. There are high expectations for the Giants for this upcoming season. I will discuss key additions, key losses, strengths, weakness, and give win/loss predictions for every game this upcoming year. September 10th cannot come any sooner!

Key Additions: WR Brandon Marshall, TE Evan Engram, OL D.J. Fluker, DT Dalvin Tomlinson

Key Losses: DT Johnathan Hankins, K Robbie Gould

Strengths

Defensive Line

The Giants’ defensive line is arguably one of the best in the league. They were not able to re-sign Johnathan Hankins this off-season, but I think Jay Bromley, but more so Dalvin Tomlinson, will do a tremendous job filling that hole. Tomlinson has almost the identical skill set and body type of Hankins and he is from Alabama. Nick Saban breeds his defensive players really well. The Giants will also deploy Damon “Snacks” Harrison, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Olivier Vernon to fill out the rest of their defensive line. Harrison was the #7 DT in all of football last year according to Pro Football Focus. On top of that, I think he comes in even more hungry this year after he was a Pro Bowl snub last year. The best part of the defensive line is the duo of Vernon and JPP. They are easily a top 3 DE duo in all of football. Vernon played very well last year, but he was playing all season with a broken hand. Now that his hand is healed, he should have an even better season coming up. JPP is finally learning to play with his few fingers and he looks like a beast this preseason. To add to that, according to Pro Football Focus, Vernon was the #14 DE, while JPP was #12. That is three guys on the defensive line who are top 15 at their positions. Pretty damn dominant if you ask me.

Secondary

The defensive strengths do not stop there. The Giants also have one of the best secondaries in the league. When you have a defensive line that rushes the quarterback and a secondary who covers very well, it will lead to plenty of turnovers. The Giants secondary is STACKED with the likes of Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple and Landon Collins. There is a bit of a depth issue at secondary, but the Giants can live with that when they have such elite talent at the top. The Giants did address their depth issue a bit by with the Steelers for CB Ross Cockrell. Landon Collins had a record year last year, where he became the first player in NFL history to have at least 100 solo tackles, two sacks, five interceptions and 12 passes defended in the same season. DRC was tied for second in the NFL last season with 6 interceptions, Jenkins established himself as one of the best lockdown corners in the entire league and Eli apple was one of the best rookie cornerbacks last season. Jenkins, DRC and Collins were all highly ranked by Pro Football Focus last season. Jenkins was the #8 CB, DRC was the #5 CB and Collins was the #2 Safety.

Receiving Options

The Giants arguably have a top 5 receiving units in the NFL. Their unit consists of Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. Odell Beckham is easily a top 3 wideout in the league and he has the ability to make unbelievable catches. He is also a wiz after the catch as he has the talent to make many defenders miss. Brandon Marshall is a bit on the decline, but he is still a very big target with talent. He will complement Odell nicely on the outside. Sterling Shepard had a very nice rookie season last year and showed that he can be a threat out of the slot. Tight End Evan Engram was drafted by the Giants this year and we will see what he can do. However, from listening to scouts and watching tape, it seems like he will be a nightmare for linebackers to defend. He has elite speed from the tight end position and the ability to go up and get the ball. Eli will have plenty of options to choose from come game day. It will also be harder for defenses to double team Beckham as he will have plenty of help from Marshall, Shepard, and Engram.

Weaknesses

Offensive Line

The biggest problem for the Giants this year, as it was the same last year, will be their offensive line. The Giants do have two above average lineman in G Justin Pugh and C Weston Richburg, but it gets horrendous from there. The Giants will deploy three of Ereck Flowers, Bobby Hart, Brett Jones, John Jerry and D.J. Fluker to fill out their line. Last year, Ereck Flowers was one of the worst offensive tackles in the entire league. He was ranked as the #62 Tackle by Pro Football Focus and he was constantly being pushed around by the defense. During the preseason, he has looked just as bad. One scout who attended Giant’s practice said that Flowers put on one of the worst offensive line performances that he has ever seen. BAD, just bad. Hart, Jones, Jerry and Fluker are nothing to brag about either. They were all ranked 40 or lower at their positions, Hart and Jerry below 60, by Pro Football Focus. The Giants did not let up many sacks last year, but that was because Eli found a way to quickly get rid of the ball. I would say the running game is also a weakness, but I cannot really point to the actual running backs as the reason the reason that the running game is so weak. This horrendous offensive line cannot make any holes for the running backs to run through. They are constantly getting hit in the backfield because the opposing defense is walking right through the line. If the Giants wants to have any success this season it is going to start and end with their offensive line.

Linebackers

The Giants have a very good defense, one of the best in the league, but their linebackers are holding them back from being the top defensive in all of football. The Giants got torn apart by opposing tight ends last year because their LBs could not cover. They were one of 8 teams who allowed more than 1,000 yards given up to tight ends. They actually ranked fourth worst with 1,052 yards allowed to opposing TEs. They were also tied for allowing 5th most receptions to tight ends with 89. Devon Kennard is a bright spot in that unit, but it ends there. The rest of the linebacker unit consists of B.J. Goodson, Mark Herzlich, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and J.T. Thomas. Not one of these linebackers had at least 70 tackles or more last season. The Giants’ linebacking unit was ranked 28th by USA Today for this upcoming season. If they want their defense to truly be elite, the linebackers are going to need to step up.

Special Teams

There are three aspects to every football game: offense, defense and special teams. Too often last year the Giants would lose the special teams battle. Their kickers (Robbie Gould and Josh Brown) were nothing to brag about, their return men (mainly Dwayne Harris) were atrocious and their punter (Brad Wing) was too inconsistent. Both Robbie Gould and Josh Brown are gone this year and that leaves an even bigger problem. Alrdrick Rosas will be the kicker for the Giants this year as he won the battle over Mike Nugent. Rosas was an undrafted free agent from a non-NCAA school. The question for me becomes, can he handle the pressure of a regular season NFL game? He most likely has never been under that much pressure before between the big crowds and the big moment. Dwayne Harris looks like he will be the return man for the Giants this upcoming season and he was atrocious last year. He ranked dead last among return man in average yards per punt return with only 5.9. He was somehow named to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player, but watching him from a Giants perspective he was terrible on returns. Harris’ longest punt return on the season as 17 yards! That ranked 48th in the entire league, HORRIBLE. Brad Wing looked very good at times, but at others he did not. He struggled with his directional kicking and did not allow much hang time, which forced gunners to rush towards the return man. He also does not have a very powerful leg as his longest punt of 63 yards ranked dead last in football last season. However, he was top 11 in punts inside the 20 and average yards per punt. If he can be more consistent this year he will be a bright spot for the Giants’ special teams unit.

Prediction

Week 1: At Dallas W
Week 2: Vs. Detroit W
Week 3: At Philadelphia W
Week 4: At Tampa Bay L
Week 5: Vs. LA Chargers W
Week 6: At Denver W
Week 7: Vs. Seattle W
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: VS. LA Rams W
Week 10: At San Francisco W
Week 11: Vs. Kansas City L
Week 12: At Washington W
Week 13: At Oakland W
Week 14: Vs. Dallas W
Week 15: Vs. Philadelphia L
Week 16: At Arizona L
Week 17: Vs. Washington L

RECORD: 11-5, FIRST PLACE NFC EAST

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Nicholas LoPrinzi

I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.

One thought on “New York Giants Season Preview”

  1. Pingback: New York Giants season preview  – Sports News Worldwide

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