Another disappointing year is in the books for the New York “football” Giants as the team finished 5-11, which was dead last in the NFC East. There were high hopes coming into the season because the team thought they had fixed their offensive line and added an instant running game with an “all world” rookie running back. Once again fans were let down and the Giants are looking at a re-build.
Offense- Eli Manning is 38 years old and he’s not getting any younger. An immobile quarterback playing behind another bad offensive line is a recipe for disaster and that sums up this offense. In his defense, Eli did complete 66% of his passes and threw for 4,299 yards. That looks good on paper but the devil is in the details.
Manning was sacked way too many times, 47 total on the year. Eli wasn’t good at converting on 3rd down either and just couldn’t make the plays when they needed to be made. This shouldn’t happen with the playmakers that he’s surrounded by.
The offensive line has been a problem for years and once again the unit didn’t do Eli Manning any favors. Left tackle Nate Solder signed a sixty-two million dollar contract and did not live up to expectations. He gave up way too much pressure and needs to play better.
Rookie left guard Will Hernandez is a keeper. He plays with a nasty streak and could be a future star. The rest of the offensive line was a mess. Center, right guard, and right tackle provided replacement level play and the Giants need to get better there.
The receivers and tight end position put up some numbers but every one of them to a man will tell you they can do more. Most of the blame can be laid at the feet of the offensive line and quarterback, but the talent is there and the team needs more from this group.
Odell Beckham went over 1000 yards in only 12 games. Most receivers would take that in a heartbeat but it was a down year for him. Sterling Shepard caught 66 balls for 872 yards and 4 Td’s. He’s a solid number two and his arrow is pointing up. Evan Engram battled through injuries but is one of the best receiving tight ends in the league, as he finished with 577 yards in only 11 games.
Saquon Barkley was definitely the bright spot for the season. The Giants found a generational talent and he’s already one of if not the best running back in the league. Barkley finished with over 1300 rushing yards at 5.0 per clip, while going over 700 yards receiving and 15 total touchdowns.
Defense- The defense has some legitimate talent but didn’t perform the way they needed to. The Giants finished 21st against the run, 24th against the past, and allowed nearly 26 points-per-game, good for 24th in the league.
The Giants couldn’t get enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Olivier Vernon once again provided the most pass rush juice. In only 11 games he led the team with 7 sacks, 6 of those coming in December.
The team found a future starter in rookie 3rd round pick B.J. Hill. He was second on the team with 5.5 sacks and he also plays solid against the run. Rookie Lorenzo Carter also brought some heat off the edge and his future looks bright.
Against the run, rookie Dalvin Tomlinson was a force. Behind Tomlinson, Alec Ogletree and Landon Collins provided the thump others couldn’t bring to the table. Ogletree is a stud and balled out saving this defense numerous times.
The secondary couldn’t hold up this season. Corners Janoris Jenkins and B.W. Webb played okay but more was expected, especially from Jenkins. Landon Collins played solid at safety without many “wow” plays and he is headed towards free agency.
Outlook- The Giants need to move on from Eli Manning period. The team has been able to find some quality players in the draft and there is some young talent on the team. New York has the 6th pick in the draft and will have numerous picks in the 4th round to either add depth or provide some ammo to move around.
The Giants are expected to have an estimated 33 million in salary cap room depending on what they do with Eli Manning. Besides quarterback, the team has needs along the offensive line, cornerback, and possibly safety if they can’t re-sign Collins.
With the skill positions already set, a quarterback could come into a good situation if the offensive line could be cleaned up. The Giants nailed the draft last year and with a pretty good cap situation, the future could be bright, if they find a quarterback.
Now you know Broe @broeham