Now when I saw Osi Umeniyora got down against the Jets I pulled a Will Smith screaming, "Mama NO!" Osi is the most talented defensive player the New York Giants have. He has one of his best off seasons and looked to have a career year. Despite this the Giants will still make the playoffs
First people think that the New York Giants lack leadership on the defensive side of the football. There is no doubting that Strahan and Osi were leaders on that team but their absence doesn't mean their are no leaders left. Antonio Pierce was always the leader of that defense. Leaders on the defense usually come from the MLB spot.
Secondly Justin Tuck is a physical monster. It will be interesting to see how he makes the transition from situational to every-down lineman. Mathias Kiwanuka was a pass rushing stud at LB before his injury and putting him back at DE will give the New York Giants a second great pass rusher. The Giants lose their amazing versatility but that means that the DTs will have to step it up a little
The secondary is not as big of an issue. Last seasons the Giants secondary did avoid the major injuries that has plagued them this century but their age showed. Sam Madison always a step behind and Dockery showed no competence what so ever. This year Aaron Ross has become the CB the Giants have looked for. He is what they wanted Will Allen and Will Peterson to be. Corey Webster has regained his confidence will be a solid #2 corner. The X factor will be the play of rookie Terrell Thomas. At nickel, his physicality can help to jam receivers at the line and pass catching TEs. Gibril Wilson was only made a good player due to that line but Kenny Phillips is going to be an All Pro and may be will be Defensive ROY. Sammy Knight along with an improve Butler should take care of any secondary issues.
The linebacker corp is still solid for this year. Antonia Pierce is one of the most underrated players in all of football and is an absolute rock at MLB. Danny Clark has been coming off very productive seasons and should have a good year with his old coach. The weak side linebacker will be the key. Had Osi not gone down that would have been Kiwankuka's job. Now that will be on Wilkinson who won't be able to carry the full load but will do an adequate job.
The offense will be better this year as well. I believe that Eli has grown in the QB he is supposed to be. The wide receiving corps in deep. Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith, and Amani Toomer are a great 3 wide out set and the emergence of Moss (finally) and Hixon, along with the drafting of Mario Manningham gives Eli great depth and talent at WR. At RB the Giants are overloaded with talent. Jacobs is a great bruiser with underrated speed while Bradshaw and Ward complement him perfectly. The offensive line is one of the best in football. Boss I think is an improvement over Shockey. One Boss is not a cancer in the locker room. Boss may not catch and run as well as Shockey but will be good enough to be an effective weapon like a Mark Bavaro. He also blocks a hundred times better than Shockey.
I don't think that the Giants will win the division. That goes to the hated Cowboys (but that doesn't matter since the Cowboys can't win in the playoffs). The North will be won be Minnesota and Green Bay will not make the playoffs (I have no faith in Aaron Rodgers). Tampa is going to win the South and Seattle the West. I don't think the Saints have enough defense to make the playoffs. I think that the Giants will get the first wild card spot followed by the Eagles. If the Gaints avoid major injuries then they will make the playoffs and in the NFL thats all a team needs to win the Super Bowl.