This article is the first in a series of articles I have decided to write. Each article presents the five biggest questions for each team in the NFL. The first article rightfully is dedicated to the New York Giants, the Super Bowl Champions. These questions are in no particular order.
1. Can They Stay Healthy?
Brandon Jacobs, the starting halfback for the Giants, was injured several times last season, fighting injuries such as hamstring, knee, and ankle. Eli Manning even had problems with his shoulder at points throughout the season.
With Jacobs out of the lineup, New York was 3-2 last season. With him, however, they were 11-4. Manning and Burress didn't miss any games, but you could tell their production was down. I really can't provide an answer to this one.
2. Can They Emerge in Their Division?
They went 4-3 when playing teams in their division, losing twice to the Cowboys and once to the Redskins. All three teams have improved since last season.
The Giants will have some tough battles against all three teams, and shouldn't expect to walk away 6-0. I think the Giants will go 5-1, being very honest, with the only loss being at Dallas.
3. How Will They Fare with the Retirement of Michael Strahan?
Michael Strahan, former defensive end for the Giants, has been very productive, and was a huge reason the Giants excelled in the postseason. Justin Tuck is a very accomplished back-up, but we all know that some players do better when coming off the bench.
Plus, there is just no replacing a future Hall-of-Famer. I would have to say that the Giants' defense will suffer this season, but could go back to normal production if Tuck can prove he is Pro-Bowl caliber, in which case, the Giants will have a Top Five defense once again.
4. Can They Continue Their Dominance on the Road?
The Giants record on the road was an astounding 11-1, losing only to the Dallas Cowboys in the first game of the season. That includes all four games in the postseason, enduring the heat of Tampa and the chills of Green Bay.
Playing three of the toughest opponents in your conference and the best team in the world (at the time) is a tough enough task, but all on the road in consecutive contests? The Giants pulled it off.
But now that each team has had the whole offseason, you would think that they would be more prepared for the road-warriors.
There are several intriguing match-ups on the road, playing the two toughest teams in the AFC North on the road, as well as Dallas and Minnesota. Knowing how well they perform on the road, they can go 3-1 through that stint.
5. Can They Repeat as Super Bowl Champions?
It doesn't matter if your team is destined to become the worst in the NFL after winning a Super Bowl, this is always going to be a question. They return the main pieces on offense, besides getting rid of tight end Jeremy Shockey.
However, the Giants won the Super Bowl with Shockey missing all four of the playoff games. Kevin Boss showed last postseason that he is capable of starting and being successful. The same goes for Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck.
Honestly, I don't know if it can happen. I like the Giants as a team, but repeating as the Super Bowl champion is tough for any team to do, no matter how talented you are.