2013 New York Giants NFL Team Preview
Odds ? 5dimes.com
The New York Giants fell apart down the stretch in 2012, losing five of the final eight games and finishing out of the playoffs. The defense that was so strong initially became merely mediocre, and the team played marginally offensively, as well, for most of the season. The Giants are hoping to score more this season, while hoping the defense can be more consistent at minimum. With the loss of several Pro Bowlers, this is dubious, which is what causes NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes to place the Giants at +3500 to win the Superbowl.
With a strong arm like Eli Manning’s, the Giants look to air it out often under offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Gilbride must put the ball on the ground more this season, though. The team did not re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw, and it will rely on David Wilson as the primary ball carrier this season. Wilson had just 73 rushing attempts last season for 385 yards, but is expected to make big strides due to his impressive speed and ability to change directions. He had eight rushing touchdowns last season and makes an ideal goal-line rusher. The lack of depth behind Wilson is problematic, and will be an even bigger concern if he goes down as the offense would become almost entirely predicated upon the pass, then.
Manning has some good options at WR. Victor Cruz had a huge season last year and Hakeem Nicks is an emerging stud in the NFL (53 catches, 692 yards, 3 TDs). The tandem together is one of the toughest to contain for NFL secondaries, and that is what gives this Giants team a fighting edge as a dark horse in any such scenario. When Manning-Cruz-Nicks are all clicking, the Giants’ offense is an effective machine. If Wilson combines steady ball carrying with that, the Giants could be very tough offensively.
Defensively, “average” would be the best the Giants could hope for. The DL slumped badly in 2012 and failed to produce much quarterback pressure at all, and every player regressed statistically from the season prior. The Giants continue to lack firepower in pass rushing this season, and it is expected that opposing QBs and RBs have time a-plenty against a line that just won’t be able to break through many OLs. The LBs are inexperienced and the secondary is starting a talented but inexperienced duo as well, though many have high opes for Prince Amukamara.
The Giants really lack the defense to make much more of this than a .500 campaign. A best case scenario would be a “D” that could contain opponents well enough for a well-oiled offense to out-compete them by the narrowest of margins, but that’s just not a model that is sustainable from week to week. Manning is in his prime and the Giants don’t really want to rebuild, which is what has to make this a transition year at best. Another offseason of planning, signing free agents, and shaping this team may be all that is necessary to return them to playoff stature in 2014-15.
Check out Maddux’s NFL Season pick plans as we line our bettors’ pockets once again in the 2013 season!