New York Giants struggled last year and missed out on the playoffs after finishing the regular season with a disappointing 6-10 record. Big Blue were extremely unlucky with injuries – losing star wide receiver Victor Cruz and starting cornerback Prince Amukamara early in the campaign – and who knows where they would have finished with a healthy squad.
Many have argued that the Giants were the best team to finish with a losing record, and they will be looking to draft well and reach the postseason this time around. We take a look at Tom Coughlin’s Giants side and discuss their chances of winning the NFC East this year.
The return of Victor Cruz is huge
Cruz will be entering his fifth season in the NFL and will be raring to go after spending the majority of last season on the sidelines. The undrafted wide receiver, who spent his college days at Massachusetts, should free up the phenomenal Odell Beckham Jr on the opposite side of the pitch and the two are likely to provide Eli Manning with a deadly attacking threat.
The Giants drafted Beckham Jr in the first round last year, but he missed the first six matches of the season after picking up an injury in preseason. He finished an impressive rookie campaign with 91 receptions for a staggering 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in as many matches. Beckham also produced arguably the greatest catch ever against the Dallas Cowboys, which prompted him to receive vast media attention and helped him to announce his arrival to the NFL.
They must strengthen at running back
Although these two wide receivers give Eli Manning viable ‘down the field’ options, they will still need a strong running game if they are to reach the playoffs. The Giants lost David Wilson – who was forced to retire after sustaining a serious neck injury – and Rashad Jennings continues to blow hot and cold.
They did acquire former New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen in the offseason, but they still require an ‘every down’ power back that can help take the pressure off Eli Manning. The Giants are fairly solid defensively, but are likely to strengthen in the upcoming NFL draft. They may instead opt to focus primarily on a new running back and reinforcements for the offensive line.
The Giants have a genuine chance of winning the NFC East this year if they bolster their defensive unit and the offensive stars stay healthy. The remaining teams in the division – Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins – have arguably got ‘weaker’ in free agency, and the Giants will be looking to win as many divisional contests as they can in order to ensure that they reach the playoffs this campaign. If you would like to place a bet on the Giants winning the NFC East this year, or just on the NFL in general, Betfair are currently offering 40/1 on Big Blue to be crowned Super Bowl champions. Their supporters certainly think that they will, at least, win their division this year.