The New York Giants went 10-6 and won a wild card spot in the 2007 NFL playoffs. They made it to the Super Bowl and then upset the heavily favored New England Patriots 17-14.
What will the do for an encore?
In 2007, Eli Manning continued to be plagued by interceptions, throwing 20 picks to 23 touchdowns. Although he was inconsistent, he become more accurate as the season continued. Look for the QB to still be iffy when it comes to high-pressure, big –play situations. On a thin receiving unit, Plaxico Burress, who had 70 catches for 12 TDs, is Manning’s guy. The highly rated running game is now without quality speedster Tiki Barber. Third-year RB Brandon Jacobs, who had 1,009 yards in 2007, and rookie RB Ahmad Bradshaw possess great potential. A topflight offensive line will protect Manning nicely.
The Giants topped the NFL with 53 sacks! Defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, who combined for 23, led a fine D-line. The secondary lost top player Gibril Wilson to free agency. The linebacking squad is thin.
Jeff Feagles is in his 21st season as the Giants’ punter, field goal holder and calming force. Placekicker Lawrence Tynes did well in his rookie season. He needs a bit more consistency. In the playoffs, Tynes did hit a 47-yard field goal to beat Green Bay in OT, winning the NFC. There are two good return men in Dominic Hixson and Ahmad Bradshaw.
The problem for the Giants is that they are about as good or perhaps not quite as good as they were last season. It will be tough for them to do what they did in 2007. In the division, the Redskins are improved and the Cowboys are perhaps the best in the league. A wild card is possible.