Saturday, July 5, 2008

Team Preview: New York Giants

2007 Record: 10-6

Raise your hand if you saw this one coming. No one expected to see Eli hoisting Lombardi's Trophy in February. Yet behind some solid defense and an offense that got things done when it had to, the New York Giants were Super Bowl Champions. The Giants did what only the Steelers had done before, winning 3 road games to get to the big game then taking home the prize.

After starting the season 0-2, the Giants won 6 straight going into their bye week. They went 4-4 to close out the season, including a 3-point loss to the New England Patriots in week 17.

However, in the playoffs their defense made big plays when they needed to, including an overtime interception of Brett Favre to set up the game-winning field goal.

Michael Strahan retired in the offseason, but I don't think that's going to make a huge difference in the defensive front that just dominated New England's line in the Super Bowl. This is a very good defensive team. The offense is suspect at times with the receiving corps plagued by dropped balls and interceptions (see Minnesota game).

Are the Giants good enough to repeat? Yes. Do I think that they will? No. This is a team that got hot in the playoffs. Yes they beat some good teams on the road (Dallas, Green Bay, New England). If they get hot again in the post-season, they have the skill personnel necessary to bring it home (we saw this last year).

2007 Rankings:
Total Defense: 7th
Scoring Defense: 17th
Total Offense: 16th
Scoring Offense: 14th

As far as schedules go, the Giants have an "average" schedule, ranking 15th hardest in the league. They have tough road games in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. I see them having a similar season to last year, where they struggle against divisional opponents like Dallas and Washington but win games when they have to and post a record good enough to make the post-season. The secondary has some question marks and has given up big games through the air, meaning they are capable of losing a shootout. While they have a great front 7, their secondary and offense is, at best, average, meaning they are capable of falling into a cold slump and losing as many as 10 games. But with their schedule, I don't see this happening.

Ian's 2008 Prediction: 9-7
John's 2008 Prediction: 8-8

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