New York Giants: Road To The Playoffs

albert wellingtonContributor IOctober 3, 2009

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Quarterback David Carr #8 of the New York Giants hands the ball off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

The NY Giants have been one of the better teams in the National Football League for the last few years. With the expulsion of Plaxico Burress, many sports commentators and fans have been questioning the Giants' ability to be successful this year and make the playoffs, let alone get back to the Super Bowl as they did two years ago.

The "G-Men," as Chris Berman on ESPN so emphatically calls them, are still very capable of being one of the more dominant teams in the league, will surely make the playoffs, and have a chance at getting back to the big game.

You can't replace a player like Plaxico Burress; his size, athleticism, and pure ability to go up for the ball and bring it down made him one of the best wide receivers in the game before his infamous nightclub incident. However, the Giants have plenty of young talent that when combined can make up for enough of the loss of Plax and veteran Amani Toomer.

The team will have to rely on Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to carry the load at running back, both of whom are more than capable. Eli Manning is now a seasoned veteran, much improved over the last few years, and knows what it takes to win. Look for Kevin Boss to be targeted a lot by Manning as another passing option, which should be a nice contribution to mixing up the offense.

And then there's the defense who have improved even more since last year. The G-Men got Osi Umenyiora back from injury, who missed all of last year. Justin Tuck was getting preseason prognostications from sports commentators as being the future Defensive Player of the Year for the 2009-2010 season. The secondary has improved as well adding to the force that is the Giants D.

As for the coaching staff...Tom Coughlin is still the coach and you know he will continue to maintain order and discipline in the locker room and on the field. The loss of the defensive guru, Steve Spagnuolo, was a big blow, but Bill Sheridan will fill in nicely for him and be successful in his new role as Defensive Coordinator.

Finally, the NFC East once again is probably the toughest division in the NFC. The Redskins don't look like much of a threat but it's a strong possibility that the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants all make the playoffs.

The Eagles, however, have question marks with the status of Donovan McNabb's rib injury (forget about Michael Vick coming into the starting position) and the oft-injured Brian Westbrook. The Cowboys always seem to have some drama brewing either on or off the field, but at least this year they got rid of TO to limit the problems. The Giants seem to have the least concerns in their division and they should be able to have a nice season relying on their defense, running game, and even special teams.