So we, admittedly, underestimated the commitment required for us both to preview all 32 NFL teams together in a little more than a month. It's tedious, thankless work. So from now on we're splitting the rest of the teams among the two of us to get done twice as quick (and with half the work). It is with that that we're proud to bring to you the 22nd of our 32 team previews for the upcoming NFL season, the New York Giants.
KYLE'S TAKE: I thought I had a strong grasp on what was going down with the NFC East this year. I had Washingston winning it, the Giants taking the wild card, Dallas not far behind, and Philly in last. But now, I don't know. Portis hurt his shoulder making a Hulk Hogan bodyslam of a tackle and Mark Brunell didn't impress me in his preseason debut. I thought T.O. was going to start behaving in Dallas because, well, he had to. Instead, Parcells is already pissed at him because Owens has spent more time on a bike than on the field. Philly will do better than I originally expected. The one thing I am still convinced of, though, is that the Giants will make the playoffs.
I'm a Manning-hater. It's nothing personal. I'm just tired of hearing about them. However, Eli is doing better than everyone has given him credit for. Not only does he have to perform in the shadow of his record-holding older brother, but he's doing it in the biggest media market in the world. Despite all the pressure on him, he's still one of the best, and most promising, quarterbacks in the league. He has had problems with big pressure situations at the end of last season, but that's natural. He will learn to calm down and perform even better this year when the pressure is on.
He still has weapons. Plaxico Burress was a big target for him last year and Amani Toomer will contribute as well. Second round pick Sinorice Moss -- brother of Redskins receiver Santana Moss -- is a player that the Giants are really excited about. Jeremy Shockey became a favorite target of Manning last year on his way to a career season, catching 891 yards and 7 touchdowns. In terms of tight ends, those numbers were good enough for first (touchdowns) and second (yards) in the league. At running back, they appear to be set. Every year, I think Tiki Barber is getting too old and each year he continues to impress and confound me. Who knows? Maybe since I'm accepting him this year, he'll suck it up. I doubt it. It looks like the Giants have a potent offense.
Their defense isn't that bad, either. Defensive ends Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora absolutely tore it up last year. In fact, Umenyiora had the second-most sacks in the league. Antonio Pierce is a great middle linebacker who has had over 100 tackles the last two years. The Giants also picked up Lavar Arrington from the division rival in Washington. Arrington really wasn't impressive with his one tackle in the Giants' preseason game against the Chiefs, but once he settles down Arrington should be a nice addition to the team. And if he doesn't succeed, he can always go back to his day job fake-rapping for local commercials. Check out this awful commercial I had to endure for four years at Maryland:
The Giants lost Will Allen to the Dolphins but replaced him with Sam Madison from the Dolphins. If you ask me, that's a downgrade. Will Allen was just getting better and Sam Madison is getting older. At safety, they acquired Will Demps from Baltimore, who didn't play all last year. The team is hoping Demps can play like he did two years ago, when he recorded 87 tackles for the Ravens.
Their defense should be good enough to hold opponents enough to make the offense's job easy. If the NFC East is really as strong as it is on paper, they should have to claw their way to the playoffs. If the division winds up being overrated, the Giants should make it easily. One way or another, the Giants will be representing New York in the postseason. Which is, you know, good, because the Jets are a lost cause.