The New York Giants are seeking to improve on their best season since they were crowned Super Bowl champions back in 2012.
Under Ben McAdoo’s first season as the head coach, the Giants went 11-5 and won the Wild Card but lost in the first round to the Green Bay Packers.
Last offseason, they spent $200 million in efforts to completely rebuild their defense, adding Damon Harrison, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, and Eli Apple.
This offseason they added pieces to the offense. They signed veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall and drafted rookie tight end Evan Engram out of the Univeristy of Mississippi to accompany receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.
Not to mention their running game will be much improved. This will be Paul Perkins’ first full season in the NFL replacing longtime Giant Rashad Jennings, and with big expectations for young and explosive running back.
Eli Manning’s timeframe is coming to a close, though the veteran quarterback claims he could go another 4 years, the goal is to win that third Super Bowl right now. Here is our New York Giants: 2017-2018 Season Preview.
Even with the additions and changes within the offense, one area that is of major concern is the offensive line.
What good is it to have four reliable targets in and a running back with fresh legs if the line doesn’t protect Eli or open up holes for Perkins to run?
They haven’t made any significant upgrades to their offensive line, and it appears they’ll be starting the dreadful trio of Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, and Bobby Hart. At least Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg are reliable week after week.
That being said, the Giants’ NFC East counterparts all have damn good offensive line play. At least according to Pro Football Focus. The Eagles are ranked #1 while the Cowboys and Redskins sit at #9 and #11, respectively.
On another positive note, they added Rhett Ellison who is a blocking tight end and tackle D.J. Fluker. Full back Shane Smith also made the 53 man roster.
If Flowers can step up and the O-line can open up some holes for Perkins to run and protect Eli, this offense will compete even with the fact they have a tough schedule against teams like Oakland, Kansas City, Denver and Seattle.
Many believe the Giants offense can be as dynamic as any Eli Manning-lead team, but the offensive line remains the question mark. Until we see how all offensive units mesh, the jury is out on this Giants Offense, despite all the dynamic play-makers not to mention the most electric receiver in the league, Odell Beckham Jr.
Besides Johnathan Hankins leaving to sign with the Colts, the Giants defense will be just as good, if not better than last season. 10 of 11 starters from last year’s defense will return for next season. Hankins was replaced when the Giants drafted Dalvin Tomlinson out of Alabama.
Damon Harrison will lead the run stopping efforts. The pass rush is lead by Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, who will be coming off an injury that sidelined him for the end of last season and the Wild Card game. If he’s back at full strength, JPP and Vernon are arguably the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL.
The unstoppable secondary, features DPOY candidate safety Landon Collins and cornerback Janoris Jenkins, is the best in the business. Second year safety Darian Thompson is also coming off a foot injury that sidelined him all of last year. He could provide strength and help up the middle. Eli Apple and Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie just add to this already great unit.
It will be the Giants defense that wins them games down the stretch. You could make the case that the Giants own the most dominant defense.
Final Record: 11-5
NFC East Finish: 1st
I also took into consideration that Ezekiel Elliot is suspended the first six weeks of the season, but the Cowboys and Giants will be fighting for the NFC East crown once again. Granted that Elliot’s suspension gets overturned, I would have predicted differently.
I do believe the Giants will overtake Dallas this year. The defensive core will continue to anchor and shut down opposing offenses.
The biggest X- factor will be the offensive line and if they can hold up all season.