Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
We're not ready to predict that the New York Giants will fall off the face of the earth, because the NFC East is once again expected to be very tight. What's more, the G-Men haven't finished with a losing record since 2004, Tom Coughlin's first year as head coach.
But there are some clues that New York could be on the verge of a disappointing season in 2013. For starters, the divisional-rival Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles should be better, as we noted last week, and the defending-champion Washington Redskins are only going to keep improving as long as Robert Griffin III's recovery stays on track.
Based on numbers provided by The Dallas Morning News, the Giants were by far the healthiest team in the division last year when it came to starter games missed due to injury. Even if they don't get hit any harder this year, expect some of the NFC East to make up ground in that area.
Also consider that the cap-strapped Giants lost a slew of key veteran contributors in the offseason. Some were replaceable, but there's no guarantee second-year player David Wilson can take over cleanly for Ahmad Bradshaw. Brandon Myers doesn't appear to have the blocking ability Martellus Bennett possesses, and it's hard to find guys who can step in for star-level players like Osi Umenyiora and Kenny Phillips.
Essentially, it looks as though the Giants have lost some ground.
Of course, every time somebody writes something like that about Big Blue, they wind up making that somebody look rather stupid.
2012 record: 9-7
Projected 2013 record: 7-9