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NFL 2012: New York Giants Season Outlook

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NFL 2012: New York Giants Season Outlook
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Yes! Eli Manning is elite.

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.

The 21-17 last-minute victory over the New England Patriots certified Eli Manning among the elite quarterbacks of the NFL.

To even make it to the Super Bowl, they had to beat the top two teams in the NFC—Green Bay and San Francisco—on the road.

They had their struggles though, in the regular season.

They were swept by the Redskins, beaten badly by the Saints on Monday Night Football and had a four-game losing streak at one point of the season.

The rushing offense was the worst in the league and their defense was plagued by injuries, especially in the secondary.

Al Bello/Getty Images
Can Eli direct another Super Bowl victory this year?

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.

 

New Additions

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

 

Draft Choices

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?

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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

 

Subtractions

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.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Victor Cruz scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

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.

 

Schedule

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Tom Coughlin has led the Giants to two Super Bowl wins.

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?

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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.

 

Prediction

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.

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