NFL Preview- New York Giants
Wrapping up the NFC East, we head to a team that truly seems to have lost their identity. The New York Giants struggled to hold on the ball and even more so to stop opposing offenses from scoring a ton of points. It seems that Head Coach Tom Coughlin could be on the hot seat if they are unable to turn it around this year; even winning two Super Bowl titles won't save his job if the team doesn't at least contend for a playoff spot.
Eli Manning returns for another year under center for the Giants. Manning is coming off his worst season as the quarterback of the Giants, throwing over 25 interceptions. New York is banking on Manning not only bouncing back, but continuing to be the iron man he has been since he came into the league. The only other QB on the roster is second-year player, Ryan Nassib.
Victor Cruz returns as Manning top target. With the departure of Hakeem Nicks to the Colts, Rueben Randle is now number 2 at WR. The team desperately needs Odell Beckham Jr. to develop quickly and provide Manning another reliable target. They also need to figure out who their tight end is going to be.
The biggest hole for the offense will be at running back. After David Wilson was lost to a career-ending neck injury, the RB position became extremely thin for the Giants. They have only Rashad Jennings and rookie Andre Williams at their disposal in the running game. Jennings has shown plenty of flashes in relief of injured backs the last couple of years. New York hopes he those flashes prove that he is capable of being the workhorse they are going to need.
On defense, Justin Tuck is gone from the team so the pass rush falls to Jason Pierre-Paul and Matthias Kiwanuka. Michael Patterson and Cullen Jenkins fill out the interior of the line. Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie bookend the corner spot. Antrell Rolle leads the secondary from the safety position. Other than Jon Beason, the Giants need another linebacker to step up for the defense.
Let's take a look at the Giants' 2014 season:
Week 1- New York opens up on Monday Night in Detroit. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson put on a show against a beleaguered Giants' defense. New York begins 0-1.
Week 2- They host the Cardinals after a short week. The struggles for the offense will really struggle against this suffocating defense. Giants begin 0-2.
Week 3- The Giants stay at home against the Texans and find a way to get into the win column. They're improve to 1-2.
Week 4- They head to rival Washington and struggle to stop RG3 and company. They're now 1-3.
Week 5- Giants host the Atlanta Falcons and get back to winning, now 2-3.
Week 6- New York heads to Philly and takes a beating at the hands of the hated Eagles. They drop to 2-4.
Week 7- They head to Arlington to face the Cowboys. After losing in AT&T Stadium for the first time last year, they lose there again. Giants drop further to 2-5.
Week 8- Bye week
Week 9- They host the Colts, but are unable to do much against the Andrew Luck-led offense. Giants extend losing streak to three games and are now 2-6.
Week 10- They head to Seattle and take a beating to drop to 2-7.
Week 11- New York host the 49ers and struggle to again protect Manning. They lose and fall to 2-8.
Week 12- Giants host the Cowboys and bounce back by earning the split. New York gets to 3-8.
Week 13- They get a nice win in Jacksonville to improve to 4-8.
Week 14- They head to Tennessee and extend their winning streak to three games. Giants now 5-8.
Week 15- Giants host the Redskins but get swept and fall to 5-9
Week 16- New York heads to St. Louis and find a way to beat a tough defense. The Rams missing Sam Bradford helps the Giants. New York now 6-9.
Week 17- They at home against the Eagles. Another loss to their bitter rivals to finish the year 6-10.
The Giants have a lot of work to do to get their offense going consistently. They lost too many key members of their defense and will struggle because of this. This will be another long year in the New York/New Jersey area and could cost Coughlin his job.