The New York Giants: 2010's Most Overlooked Team

Michael O'DonovanContributor IJune 17, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 13:  Jonathan Goff #54 of the New York Giants celebrates after an interception in the third quarter with teammates Justin Tuck #91 Dave Tollefson #71 and Kevin Dockery #35 against the Philadelphia Eagles at Giants Stadium on December 13, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

During the summer doldrums of what is the NFL off-season, we are in a current state of inactivity; the period between OTA's and Training Camp. 

As we all anxiously await the coming of the new season, we listen and read all the hype NFL "experts" proclaim for certain teams. 

ESPN slurps their usual suspects — The Cowboys, Colts, Jets, Pats, and Packers — which we all come to expect. 

But as I listen to other "experts" from the NFL Network and Sports Talk Radio, among others, I've noticed the New York Giants are getting absolutely no love whatsoever. 

Here's how it's been for the past couple of months with the headlines, articles and discussions...

Jets are the best/favorite team in New York.

Cowboys rule the NFC East; Redskins will make waves with McNabb; Eagles a surprise team in the East (don't they always say that?).

I hear nothing about the Giants. Scratch that, the very seldom spoken words I hear or read are that the Giants are a middle of the pack team this best.

Huh? Really? Come again? 

This is when I really start to question how much "experts" really know or actually watch games in detail. 

Though it is true the Giants fell apart last year, there is no way anyone should be dismissing them for this coming season.  Here's why...

Last year, the Giants dealt with injuries to the following players:  Kareem McKenzie, Rich Seubert, Hakeem Nicks, Brandom Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Rocky Bernard, Jay Alford, Chris Canty, Justin Tuck, Michael Boley, Brian Kehl, Antonio Pierce, Kenny Phillips, Kevin Dockery, Michael Johnson, Corey Webster and Aaron Ross, among others.

A majority of these players missed significant playing time last year.  I understand that injuries are a part of life for NFL teams to have to deal with, but every individual I listed was a projected starter or in the starting rotation. 

That's over half of the starting units that were riddled with injuries during the season.

This year, I believe it's silly if the Giants aren't being talked about as a potential Super Bowl team. 

One of the bright spots of last year was the emergence of the young core of Wide Receivers. 

I expect Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks (a rookie last year) and Mario Manningham (first year of significant playing time was last year) to improve upon last year's numbers. 

We may even see Ramses Barden and Travis Beckum develop into contributors, and let us not forget the steady and solid play of the Bossman.

I expect the running game to get back on track. Although I've never been a huge fan of Brandon Jacobs, he is better than what he showed last year. 

For someone his size, I've never understood why he goes down so easily within the first two to three yards with contact. But if he gets his steam roll going and his legs churning, look out! He was too hesitant last year due to injuries, and I believe he'll be more of a bruiser again this year. 

Bradhsaw should also benefit from Jacobs being healthy, as well as himself being 100 percent.   

Also, do not forget about Andre Brown, the RB from NC State, who was a fourth round pick last year. 

He was highly regarded coming out of college, and some projected him to go in the second or third round last year. Although he is coming off of a ruptured Achilles, it happened during training camp last year, and he should be fully recovered by the time the season comes.

There is no doubt the defense suffered the most from the injury plagued 2009 season.  The injuries, coupled with the loss of Spagnuolo as Defensive Coordinator, can explain a majority of what went wrong with the defense last year. 

Now that Sheridan is gone, a DC I was suspicious of from the get go (remember when Osi left training camp after a confrontation with Sheridan; the beginning of something 'rotten in denmark' with the defense) I expect better things with the addition of Perry Fewell as DC.

If the Giants can stay healthy — an issue already starting with the loss of Domenik Hixon for the season yesterday — and a stud middle linebacker can emerge during training camp or the season, I see no reason why the Giants cannot return to Super Bowl glory.

What's the word, my Giants fans?  Let me know what you think!