Mathias Kiwanuka Out: 5 Reasons the New York Giants Will Still Win the NFC
The New York Giants have placed DE Mathias Kiwanuka on the injured reserve, which ends his 2010 NFL season and it may end his career with the Giants.
This is the second time in the last four years that Kiwanuka's season has ended early. The talented defensive end is in the final year of his contract, which seriously jeopardizes his future with the team.
Despite the injury to one of their best defensive players, the New York Giants will still win the NFC.
After Week 7, the Giants are 5-2 and have won four games in a row. Their two losses have come to Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts.
The New York Giants are currently enjoying their bye week, after handing a devastating loss to the Dallas Cowboys and injuring Tony Romo.
Here are five reasons why the New York Giants are the best team in the NFC and why they will win the conference.
Balanced Offensive Attack
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The New York Giants quietly have some very dangerous weapons on their offense.
Ahmad Bradshaw is leading the entire NFL is rushing yards heading into Week 8. Bradshaw's 708 rushing yards are more than Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, and Arian Foster.
The New York offense is second in the league in total yards, ranking ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints.
The combination of Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs in the backfield gives their opponents headaches. It is the new edition of "Thunder and Lightning", as Jacobs can punish defensive players at the end of games.
Eli Manning has thrown eleven interceptions this season, the most in the NFL. However, the Giants have shown that they can bounce back from costly turnovers and the win the game.
Manning has three young, exciting wide receivers in Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, and Mario Manningham.
In the Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys, all three of them scored at least once. Smith caught for 101 yards, while Nicks had two touchdowns along with 108 yards.
This offense should only improve as the season goes on, as Eli Manning will cut down on the amount of turnovers.
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Just like the offense, the New York Giants' defense has been consistent this season.
The Giants have allowed a good number of points this season, but that statistic may due to some costly turnovers, as we saw in the game against Dallas.
New York's defense ranks second in the NFL in yards allowed per game. The team has only allowed an impressive number of 263.3 yards. The Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed 299.3 yards a game.
The defense is also consistent when it comes to knocking out quarterbacks. Tony Romo became the fourth quarterback to be knocked out of a game by the Giants.
Against the Chicago Bears, the Giants forced both Jay Cutler and Todd Collins to leave the game. The defense also did a number on the Detroit Lions' backup quarterback Shaun Hill, by breaking his arm.
This is evidence of the defensive line constantly applying pressure and getting into the backfield.
If the New York Giants can build an early lead, the opposing quarterback will not be looking forward to constantly throwing the ball.
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The New York Giants have a relatively weak remaining schedule. Some of their toughest games have already been played (Colts, Titans, Bears, at Dallas) and they have escaped with a 5-2 record.
Here is the Giants remaining schedule, starting with Week 9 (after their bye week):
at Seattle, Dallas, at Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Washington, at Minnesota, Philadelphia, at Green Bay, at Washington
The New York Giants will most likely go 6-3 during the final nine games of the season. New York will most likely split with both the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. It is also foreseeable that they will lose either in Green Bay or Minnesota.
A record of 11-5 this season should lock up a first round bye in the NFC.
Experienced Quarterback and Head Coach
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Tom Coughlin is making Tiki Barber look like an idiot once again. Barber is obviously bitter that he did win the 2008 Super Bowl with the Giants.
After losing big to the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans, Tiki Barber said that Coughlin was in jeopardy of losing his job.
The New York Giants responded by winning four games in a row.
The fact that Coughlin and Eli Manning have won a Super Bowl together gives them an advantage over most teams in the NFC.
Coughlin has already proved that he can win big games, no matter how much pressure may rest of his shoulders.
Manning has experienced the playoffs multiple times in his career and should be able to guide some of the team's younger players in crucial moments.
He also has the incentive of winning one more Super Bowl than his brother Peyton.
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There are no great teams in the NFC this season. Not even the New York Giants currently deserve to be mentioned in the discussion of the best three teams in the NFL.
If New York's offense can play smart football by mostly handing to ball off to Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, their defense should carry them deep into the playoffs.
Eli Manning only has to manage the game and occasionally make one or two big plays with his three electric wide receivers.
The defending Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints (4-3), have looked simply average this year. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) will fall off eventually, despite their coach's positive hopes.
The early favorite, the Green Bay Packers (4-3), have dealt with injury after injury as their offense will not reach their potential. The Chicago Bears (4-3) have serious issues and the Minnesota Vikings (2-4) have a quarterback that may end the season on a wheel chair.
The Dallas Cowboys (1-5) are finished. The Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) and Washington Redskins (4-3) are both inconsistent.
The winner of NFC West will not make it out of the first round.
The Atlanta Falcons are the only other NFC team that is 5-2. However, their defense has been exposed the last two weeks and their offense does not have the same amount of weapons as the Giants do.
The next slide is how the NFC playoffs will look.
NFC Playoff Predictions
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First Round Byes:
1. New York Giants, 2. Atlanta Falcons
Other Division Winners:
3. Green Bay Packers, 4. Arizona Cardinals
5. New Orleans Saints 6. Philadelphia Eagles