In 2011, the New York Giants were at the top of the NFC East and after winning Super Bowl XLVI, it looks as if they will remain the class of their division.
The Giants have proven themselves as a strong team in their division as well as their conference. It's fair to say that they have earned their spot as the leader of the NFC East.
The Giants are riding a wave of success, and there are many reasons why they will continue to do so this upcoming season.
The New York Giants are on a high right now. They are entering the 2012 season as reigning Super Bowl XLVI champions. And the win is always sweeter when you’re the underdog.
The Giants won the Super Bowl even with a fairly mediocre record of 9-7. The New England Patriots were 13-3 going into the Super Bowl and the Giants still managed to beat them at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Yes, the Giants are back this season and standing tall. They had the best record in the NFC East at the end of last season and worked their way up to the Super Bowl.
This year with brand new rings and a renewed sense of confidence, they will remain at the top of their division.
If we look at the other teams in the NFC East, there’s really not a lot that the Giants have to compete with.
The Philadelphia Eagles finished last season with an unimpressive 8-8 record and did not qualify for the playoffs.
The Washington Redskins have been struggling for many years now in finding strong, consistent leadership and being capable contenders in the league.
And finally, the Dallas Cowboys have had some trouble motivating themselves into the powerhouse franchise that they once were.
The Giants could really take advantage of their situation as a championship team in a division of lackluster teams who are in need of rebuilding.
Eli Manning, the Giants' silent but skilled quarterback and the MVP of Super Bowl XLVI, has proven himself to be a strong and capable player.
Manning had a 61 percent completion percentage last season and a 65 percent completion percentage in the postseason. He racked up almost 5,000 passing yards and had a career high of 359 completions. And with 29 touchdowns last season, he is a quarterback to be reckoned with.
Manning has consistently improved over the years since his NFL debut with the Giants in 2004.
The Giants will remain the class of the NFC East largely because of Manning’s leadership and abilities on the offense.
The Giants have some real talent in their receivers. Victor Cruz is a young receiver with speed and agility. He led the team last season in receiving yards with 1536 yards, averaging 18.7 yards per reception.
Having only been in the NFL for three years, Cruz is quickly becoming a reliable receiver and a force on the field. He contributed nine touchdowns for the Giants last season and had big plays against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Hakeem Nicks was right behind Cruz on the stats board with seven touchdowns and 76 receptions for 1,192 yards last season. Nicks was a key component of the team’s success in the postseason.
Having this duo on the field is one of the Giants' biggest weapons.
Bradshaw led the team in rushing yards and had a total of nine touchdowns last season.
The Giants also have young running back D.J. Ware, who they can utilize more as a sizable threat on the offense.
The Dallas Cowboys finished last season with an 8-8 record and unexciting play from Tony Romo.
The quarterback was in a funk last season. Although he contributed 4,184 yards and 31 touchdowns, Romo is in need of a pick-me-up.
He could not seem to overcome the Giants both of the times the teams faced each other during the season.
Romo is an incredibly skilled quarterback and an accurate passer but could not seem to translate these skills to wins last season.
If the Cowboys continue under Romo’s frustrating leadership, they will see much of the same results from last season and the Giants will keep their place at the top of the division.
The Washington Redskins are rebuilding this year with a new quarterback, and he’s a rookie at that. The Giants have this working to their advantage.
The Redskins are sure to see some struggles at least in the beginning of the season as they get used to playing under the leadership of Robert Griffin III, and as the young quarterback gets used to playing in the pros.
Even if the Redskins improve their unfortunate 5-11 record from last season, the Giants should still find themselves sitting pretty at the top of the NFC East.