NFC East: NFC Stock Watch 2010 Week 16
ESPN.com New York Giants reporter Dan Graziano makes his game-by-game picks for the 2014 season.
Week 1: at Detroit Lions
The Giants are coming off a mess of a preseason, undermanned and overwhelmed, with the offensive line still a mess and the new offense not clicking at all. No one will pick them to win this game. Except me. Prediction: Win
Week 2: Arizona Cardinals
This one's a comedown off the Week 1 surprise, as Arizona's banged-up defense still manages to flummox Eli Manning and collect a few interceptions. It's a bummer of a home opener as reality begins to set in. Prediction: Loss
Week 3: Houston Texans
Houston's defense is as liable as Arizona's to make life miserable for Manning and the offensive line. But Houston has bigger questions on offense than even the Giants, and this is a win for the New York defense against Ryan Fitzpatrick. Prediction: Win
Week 4: at Washington Redskins
Week 5: Atlanta Falcons
The pattern continues, and the Giants overcome two Osi Umenyiora sacks to outscore the Falcons with a furious Manning comeback in the final minutes. The Giants poke their heads over the .500 mark as they make the turn into the most brutal stretch of their schedule. Prediction: Win
Week 6: at Philadelphia Eagles
The Giants don't have Matt Barkley to kick around this time when they visit the City of Brotherly Love. Chip Kelly and the Eagles show them what a truly innovative offense looks like. Prediction: Loss
Week 7: at Dallas Cowboys
The season-long debate about what gives when an anemic Giants offense meets a pathetic Cowboys defense tilts in Dallas' favor in the first meeting. Tony Romo & Co. have more than enough weapons to outscore Manning and his bunch, and the Giants hit the bye with a 3-4 record. Prediction: Loss
Week 9: Indianapolis Colts
After a long break before the Monday night home game, the Giants get taken apart by Andrew Luck, Hakeem Nicks & Co. at MetLife Stadium for a third straight loss. The offense is starting to run more smoothly, but it still doesn't have enough playmakers to outscore one of the league's better offenses. Prediction: Loss
Week 10: at Seattle Seahawks
You're kidding, right? Prediction: Loss
Week 11: San Francisco 49ers
The Giants have obviously handled the Niners in recent years and in some high-profile situations. But by this point in the season, San Francisco's defense is back to full strength, and the 49ers can't afford to lose ground to the Seahawks by failing to beat the team Seattle just beat the week before. Prediction: Loss
Week 12: Dallas Cowboys
A sixth straight loss is by no means out of the question here, as Romo and his crew still have the potential to outscore anyone in a given week. But from this far out, I'll forecast that something goes wrong for Romo late in this game, and the Giants get a gift. Prediction: Win
Week 13: at Jacksonville Jaguars
This is where the schedule starts to soften up, when the Giants start playing teams that insist on not starting their best quarterback. It's unfortunate they're 4-7 at this point and just about out of the playoff hunt, but they will get it going against the bottom-feeders. Prediction: Win
Week 14: at Tennessee Titans
I think the Titans are going to be dreadful this year, and by December they won't be very difficult for anyone to beat, even at home. A third straight victory keeps the Giants' hopes alive. Prediction: Win
Week 15: Washington Redskins
Have to be honest: The NFC East is so unpredictable that, when doing these predictions, I just decided to give the Giants a 3-3 division record with victories in all three home games and losses in all three road games. It's as fair a way as any to do it, I believe. Prediction: Win
Week 16: at St. Louis Rams
After moving back to .500 with four straight wins, the season falls apart at the hands of the St. Louis pass rush. An offensive line that has once again been the Giants' biggest problem all year can't protect Manning in a must-win game. Prediction: Loss
Week 17: Philadelphia Eagles
Tom Coughlin's teams can always find a way to play for pride. The Giants' playoff hopes are extinguished, but they still manage to end the season on a high note and with a .500 record. Prediction: Win
Predicted Record: 8-8
1. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback: I know he got banged up on the first play of the game, but that's not the reason he lost two fumbles and threw an interception in a 24-14 loss to the Vikings. And Vick would have had at least two more interceptions if the Vikings' defensive backs could catch the football. The Eagles quarterback was sacked six times, and it just looked like he was trying to do too much on his own. It was obvious the Vikings were selling out to stop DeSean Jackson, so coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg should've adjusted their approach accordingly. It makes no sense that a talented running back like LeSean McCoy only has 13 carries. I'd keep feeding him the ball.
2. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys interim coach: I still think Garrett's the odds-on favorite to land the full-time gig, but his handling of Marion Barber's excessive celebration penalty lost him some points. Barber's a highly emotional player, but he has to realize that yanking his helmet off while still on the field is an automatic 15-yard penalty. Garrett could've been a hero to a lot of Cowboys fans if he'd benched Barber for his selfish display following a touchdown run in the second half, but that's not what he did. He gave a weak explanation Monday about Barber's "50" apologies on the sideline. Barber defied Garrett immediately when he violated the new dress code before the Giants game in the Meadowlands. He doesn't appear have any regard for authority. I'm still trying to figure why his teammates elected him captain.
3. Perry Fewell, New York Giants defensive coordinator: Everyone in the secondary played poorly against the Packers in a 45-17 loss, so I'll just go with Fewell. He's put together some nice game plans this season, but his unit has cratered over the last 68 minutes. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers embarrassed one of the top-ranked defenses in the league. And one of the reasons the Packers had so much success with the pass early in the game is because they gashed the Giants with the run. I realize John Kuhn's a nice player, but he shouldn't be breaking into the open field against this front seven. Fewell lost some of his mojo with this loss. Tom Coughlin's catching more heat than anyone, but I thought the defense's performance was more shocking than what Eli Manning and his running backs did with their six turnovers.
1. Washington Redskins' defense: Playing without several key players, the Redskins had one of their best performances of the season. They prevented the Jaguars from doing anything on the ground and Carlos Rogers and Kevin Barnes both had interceptions. Rob Jackson was starting for Brian Orakpo at outside linebacker. He had a sack and forced fumble in the Redskins' 20-17 win in overtime. Perhaps the Redskins can build a little momentum heading into the offseason.
2. Stephen McGee, Dallas Cowboys quarterback: I believe that McGee has a chance to become the backup quarterback to Tony Romo next season. He had the Cowboys in position to win the game or at least hold on for overtime if not for a missed extra point by David Buehler and subsequent failure by the defense. It took a little while for McGee to get comfortable, but he started making plays down the stretch. I think Garrett has to be very pleased with the way his third-stringer performed.
3. Santana Moss, Washington Redskins wide receiver: He had five catches for 85 yards and he continues to be the Redskins' most consistent playmaker. Moss thought he had one of his best seasons in '09 despite the Skins only winning four games. He's taken that same attitude into this season. At 31, he's still a dangerous wide receiver. But it's hard to say how much longer he'll be with the Redskins. He's certainly worthy of being on the "rising" list this week.