Monday, September 2, 2013
Giants' team preview: 'Meh' expectations
By Dan Graziano
Our ESPN.com NFL preview content went up Sunday night, and this is a link to the New York Giants' team preview. As you can see, of the five of us who were asked to make predictions, four of us picked the Giants to finish second in the NFC East this season (including me), and one -- Adam Schefter -- picked them to finish third. Here's what I wrote, in case you don't feel like clicking the link:
They always contend, and certainly could win the NFC East to no one's great surprise. But question marks on defense and in the run game, combined with the blocking downgrade at tight end and running back, make me think their ceiling is still that nine- or 10-win range. The Cowboys edge them out.
Obviously, we know what these predictions are worth. I picked the Giants to win the division last season and the Eagles to win it the year before that, so if you're a Giants fan, you might want to take the fact that I didn't pick them to win it this season as a positive sign. Make a pineapple joke. It's all good. We're friends here. Or something like that.
Anyway, if you scroll down past the predictions, you'll see a bit more detailed breakdown from me, and some interesting numbers from ESPN Stats & Info. The stat that jumps out at you is the one about how much less effective the Giants were last season than they were the season before in sacking the quarterback with their standard four-man rush. But it's also worth noting the one about David Wilson's 5.4 yards per carry between the tackles last season. Wilson is a better all-around back than I think some people realize, and if he does get a full-time starter's opportunity (something that was in doubt for much of the offseason but seems more likely with Andre Brown hurt), he could have an outstanding season.