2009 Offers an Opportunity for Greatness

Louis GiangarraCorrespondent IMay 19, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -  JANUARY 11:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Eagles defeated the Giants 23 -11. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

For the 2009 New York Giants, the goal is simple: Bring back the Lombardi Trophy.  This team is loaded both offensively and defensively, having only improved from last season's team. Though the loss of Plaxico Burress is a big one to overcome, there is enough talent on this team to pick up the slack. This team should be aiming for a Super Bowl, and they have the talent and the coaching to make it happen.

On offense the key to the season is going to be Eli Manning. He struggled at the end of the season after losing his favorite target. No QB-to-WR combination had more touchdowns over the past four years than Manning and Burress.

Manning is going to have to develop the same type of chemistry with the fresh young faces that now make up his receiving corps. There is not a shortage of talent, just a shortage of name recognition. Domenick Hixon, Steve Smith, and first round pick Hakeem Nicks out of North Carolina should provide a very stellar 1-2-3 punch.

Behind them are Mario Manningham, Sinorice Moss, and another rookie Ramses Barden of the football power house at Cal-Poly.  Those guys won't figure to see the field as much, but Barden's incredible height (6'6") will almost force him out there in the Red Zone.

Then, of course, the Giants are also bringing back one of the best rushing offenses in the league led by the best Offensive Lines in all of football and the battering ram they know as Brandon Jacobs. With that combination of running and passing, this team has the capability of putting out a top five offense each and every week.

Defensively the Giants are replenishing their defensive line across the board. They went out and added Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty to a defensive line that was already a strength. The return of Osi Umenyiora cannot be overlooked either.

Osi missed the entire 2008 season with a knee injury but is back to 100 percent and dying to get back at it. His last season, 2007, he finished with 15.5 sacks to lead the team and finish in the top five of the entire NFL. Bernard and Canty were brought in to develop the type of rotation on the defensive line that the Giants were able to ride to a title in 2007. 

The old adage "You can never have too many pass rushers" certainly applies to this team. The Giants were also able to sure up the biggest weak spot on the team by adding second round pick LB Clint Sintim from Virginia and signing free agent LB Michael Boley from the Atlanta Falcons. What was a weakness before, should now be a strength and opposing offenses will feel that strength first hand when they face this group.

With a top level offense, and a top level defense the expectations have to be high.  Very few teams can boast two sides of the ball as strong and as deep as the New York Giants. They should be setting their sites on the ultimate prize at the end of the season and working every day to make that dream a reality. The only team that can prevent them from achieving that goal is the New York Giants. If they want it, its their's for the taking.