NFC East: cordy glenn

2014 Predictions: New York Giants

September, 2, 2014
Sep 2
7:59
AM ET
video 
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

The short week and Washington's stellar crew of offensive weapons prove too much for the Giants to overcome. Will Beatty still sees Brian Orakpo in his nightmares. Prediction: Loss


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

 



NEW YORK -- Man, did the New York Giants have some options with the final pick in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night. Wide receivers, offensive linemen and pass rushers still abound. They very well could have traded back into the early part of the second round, picked up an extra pick and still taken someone very useful, such as wide receiver Stephen Hill or tackle Cordy Glenn or even a pass rusher like Courtney Upshaw.

Wilson
Wilson
But the Giants, before they went on their magical run and won the Super Bowl, were the No. 32 ranked rush offense in the NFL in 2011. And that 32nd-ranked rush offense lost to free agency a back -- Brandon Jacobs -- who accounted for about 40 percent of their carries. So, while the Giants aren't a draft-for-need kind of team, it makes a lot of sense that they decided to take a running back.

The Giants selected Virginia Tech's David Wilson to be Jacobs' replacement, but don't expect a running back like Jacobs. Wilson is a little guy -- about 5-foot-9, 206 pounds -- whose scouting report says he has outstanding top-end speed but still needs to work on his inside running and his initial burst. He's every-down capable, having racked up 334 touches last year with the Hokies, and that matters, since Ahmad Bradshaw always seems to be battling those foot injuries. And he's an outstanding athlete who qualified for the NCAA championships in the triple jump in 2010.

My guess is that the Giants were looking at Boise State running back Doug Martin, and the Buccaneers traded up into the back end of the first round and took Martin one pick before the Giants' turn. But it's entirely possible, knowing the Giants, that Wilson was the guy on whom they had their eye all along. The Giants like to bring guys into their system and develop them under their coaching staff and among their veteran players. So if Martin isn't an impact guy right away in 2012 -- if he's merely in the mix of Bradshaw backups with guys like Da'Rel Scott and D.J. Ware -- that doesn't mean he doesn't have big-time potential down the road.

Ultimately, this is more of a "need" pick than the Giants tend to make in the draft, but if they thought someone like Hill or Glenn or Upshaw or Stanford tight end Coby Fleener was well ahead of Wilson in terms of value, I'm sure they would have taken him. The Giants clearly think highly of Wilson.

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