EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 19th of 32 preseason previews in 32 days leading up to the NFL season opener Thursday, Sept 5.
NEW YORK GIANTS
Win total last 5 years: 48
LVH over/under wins (9)
The New York Giants are perceived as a playoff team off winning a couple of Super Bowls under Eli Manning, but they’ve missed the postseason 3 of the last 5 years.
The Giants do win with head coach Tom Coughlin (83-61 during his tenure), but they played their way out of the playoffs last year by losing to Atlanta and Baltimore by a combined 67-14 to finish the regular season.
So will the G-men come back with a renewed dedication or are they growing stale? The first order of business is replacing Ahmad Bradshaw at running back. David Wilson has the ability, but his penchant for fumbles is a concern.
There’s no concern about the QB position other than keeping Manning healthy. Eli has proved durable, which is more than you can say for Hakeem Hicks, a vital part of the wide receiving tandem with recently re-signed Victor Cruz.
Defensively, Osi Umenyiora left for Atlanta and Justin Tuck comes off a disappointing 2012. He wasn’t alone. The once vaunted Giants defense ranked next to last in the NFL.
Thus the Giants went to work in the offseason bringing in defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson from Philadelphia, linebacker Dan Connor (Dallas) and DB Aaron Ross (Jacksonville).
Help on the offensive line comes from top draft pick Justin Pugh from Syracuse. The Giants also took Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib in the fourth round as perhaps a future backup to Manning.
The Giants open the season at Dallas and then hosting Denver in the Bro Bowl matchup of Eli against Peyton Manning. In the NFC East, the Giants can finish first and they can finish last.
Tuesday: New England Patriots
Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected].