2009 New York Giants Season Preview
2009 New York Giants preview from MadduxSports.com. The NFC East once again houses 4 phenominal teams all capable at making a run through the playoffs. We will likely see teams over and undervalued off one good or bad performance. As NFL picks handicappers we can keep you on the undervalued and off the overvalued teams.
2009 New York Giants Predictions
By Adam Barone
The coming season will be a telling one for the New York Giants. They lost both Plaxico Burress and Derrick Ward, two key components to any success the offense has had with Eli Manning at the wheel. Losing Burress’ distracting behavior will be a positive for the team, but Manning’s quarterback rating dropped from an impressive 102.7 with him on the field, to a nauseating 68.6 without. This Burress guy sounds important…
Manning had a respectable season overall in 2008, throwing 21 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. The team’s leading receiver was Steve Smith with 57 catches. Smith will head an unproven receiving corps that includes Domenik Hixon (43 catches in 2008), Mario Manningham (four), and rookies Hakeem Nicks and the enormous Ramses Barden. Barden will certainly be a target in the red zone at 6’6”. Tight ends Kevin Boss and rookie Travis Beckum make an appealing pair. The Giants will have to do everything but, or maybe including, pray if they hope to have anywhere close to the passing game they had in their Super Bowl season of 2007.
The loss of Ward will also be costly, unless his replacement, Danny Ware, can do something to prove that Ward’s success was a product of the team’s zone blocking scheme. Brandon Jacobs will keep the starting job, though he’ll need a capable backup because he tends to get injured—possibly a result of his repeatedly slamming into defenders. Third year back Ahmad Bradshaw still has a lot of upside despite his poor sophomore season.
The offensive line is the team’s strength on that side of the ball, with a Pro Bowlers Shaun O’Hara and Chris Snee at center and right guard. Depth may be an issue though, as there’s only one backup with much NFL experience.
When the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2007 it was their defensive line that carried them there. The loss of Osi Umenyiora for all of 2008 was a huge blow, but he’ll be back opposite Justin Tuck, who’s cemented his status as one of the league’s best. The Giants pass rush as a whole was disappointing, but the additions of end/tackle Chris Canty, tackle Rocky Bernard, and linebacker Michael Boley, along with the return of Umenyiora should rejuvenate it.
The secondary features Corey Webster and Aaron Ross on the corners, with decent depth behind them. The loss of safety James Butler could be significant because he was the unit’s leader. Last season’s first round pick Kenny Phillips will probably move from nickel back to safety in his place.
The defense ranked fifth overall—eighth against the pass and ninth against the run—so it should remain solid considering the revamped pass rush.
Kicker John Carney surprised many in replacing injured Lawrence Tynes, but Tynes is back for 2009. Bradshaw will continue to handle kickoff returns, while the team will need to find a replacement for punt returner R.W. McQuarters.
Head coach Tom Coughlin is still one of the best in the league, but he’ll probably need a lot of luck if he’s going to direct this team back to the Promised Land. Can the running game still carry this team without Derrick Ward? Is there a consistent playmaker on the outside that can spread the field? Will this be it for Ross and Rachel? Find out next time…