Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Forecasting a Giants rebound
By Dan Graziano
Football Outsiders is projecting 2014 records for every NFC team, and they're predicting a 9-7 record (and a second-place NFC East finish) for the New York Giants. It's an Insider article, so I can't give it away, but here's a snippet of their logic:
It's very unlikely the Giants put up a turnover margin of minus-15 again, especially since Eli Manning's 27 picks almost matched his total from 2011 and 2012 combined. More importantly, the Giants were destroyed by injuries last year, with the highest "adjusted games lost" total of any team Football Outsiders has ever tracked (going back to 2000).
Since the Giants were 7-9 in 2013, 9-7 wouldn't be the most massive one-year turnaround in league history. And I agree with the notion that this year's Giants are likely to suffer fewer significant injuries and turn the ball over less than last year's Giants did. I do hold to the notion, however, that the Giants' 7-9 record last year was not indicative of how bad their team was, and that their coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for keeping them focused and winning games during a December when other teams (including a few they were playing) had shut it down.
Of course, Tom Coughlin is still the coach, so we're justified to go into this prediction season believing that the Giants will win at least as many games as they should, and likely more. From May 20, 9-7 doesn't seem at all out of the question. Of course, from May 20, neither does 7-9. Or 11-5. Or 4-12. It's May 20, after all.