Quick Review of 2011
Offense—No. 5 passing, No. 32 rushing, No. 8 total
Defense—No. 29 passing, No. 19 rushing, No. 27 total
After a not-so-spectacular regular season, the 2011 New York Giants got hot in the postseason and won their second Super Bowl in five seasons.
They had their struggles though, in the regular season.
The rushing offense was the worst in the league and their defense was plagued by injuries, especially in the secondary.
Despite all that, the defense got better in December as the Giants won three of their last four, including a 31-14 win over Dallas in the finale that gave the Giants the division with a 9-7 record.
They continued the late season momentum all the way to another Super Bowl win.
TE Martellus Bennett, S Stevie Brown, RB Andre Brown, S Will Hill, S Chris Horton, G Sean Locklear, DE Craig Marshall, CB Antwaun Molden, DT Carlton Powell, TE Ryan Purvis, OT Joel Reinders, LB Keith Rivers, DT Shaun Rogers, WR Isaiah Stanback, G Chris White, DT Oren Wilson
RB David Wilson, WR Rueben Randle, CB Jayron Hosley, TE Adrien Robinson, OT Brandon Mosley, OT Matt McCants, DT Markus Kuhn
How many games will the Giants win in 2012?
Undrafted Free Agents
DE Matt Broha, WR Brandon Collins, TE Larry Donnell, WR David Douglas, G Stephen Goodin, RB Joe Martinek, LB Jake Muasau, S JoJo Nicolas, DE Adewale Ojomo, CB Laron Scott, DT Bobby Skinner, WR Julian Talley
OT Stacy Andrews, TE Jake Ballard, CB Will Blackmon, WR Michael Clayton, S Deon Grant, RB Brandon Jacobs, DT Jimmy Kennedy, WR Mario Manningham, S Derrick Martin, OT Kareem McKenzie, CB Aaron Ross, LB Clint Sintim, WR Devin Thomas, DE Dave Tollefson, DE Justin Trattou, OT Tony Ugoh
Outlook for 2012
The Giants still have the two most important people in the organization—head coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning. All they've done together is win the Super Bowl twice.
Manning threw for a team-record 4,933 yards in 2011. It was a mark nearly 900 yards better than the previous single season team passing record.
Despite losing Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham, he still has his two most productive receivers. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks combined for 158 receptions, 2,728 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Their last ranked running game should get better.
With their first round pick they took running back David Wilson. Last year at Virginia Tech he rushed for 1,709 yards while scoring nine touchdowns.
The defense is healthier this year, though they have already lost free agent defensive tackle Shaun Rogers for the year with a blood clot.
The defensive line that shutdown the Patriots in the Super Bowl returns the biggest impact players on defense. Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora recorded 30.5 of the 48 sacks the Giants tallied last season.
Sep. 5 Dallas
Sep. 16 Tampa Bay
Sep. 20 at Carolina
Sep. 30 at Philadelphia
Oct. 7 Cleveland
Oct. 14 at San Francisco
Oct. 21 Washington
Oct. 28 at Dallas
Nov. 4 Pittsburgh
Nov. 11 at Cincinnati
Nov. 25 Green Bay
How far will the Giants go in 2012?
Dec. 3 at Washington
Dec. 9 New Orleans
Dec. 16 at Atlanta
Dec. 23 at Baltimore
Dec. 30 Philadelphia
The Giants will make five prime-time appearances in 2012, including the season opener on a Wednesday night against Dallas.
They also have two Sunday night games, at Philadelphia and home against Green Bay.
They will also play on a Thursday night at Carolina and a Monday night in Washington.
A tough schedule that features seven 2011 playoff teams.
Also of note is that they will face all three NFC teams they beat on the road to the Super Bowl last year.
The Giants should start extremely well. They should breeze through the first five games no worse than 4-1.
Then they will hit a stretch of seven playoff teams in 10 games. They also play the Redskins twice and the hated Cowboys during that stretch.
It will be during these 10 games that the Giants will solidify their position near the top of the NFC, or perhaps struggle like they did last season before putting it all together.
I am not sure how these games will play out, but be certain of one thing. If the Giants can get into the playoffs—even as the last team in—Eli Manning might get to play in his hometown of New Orleans in February.