New York Giants: 5 Biggest Storylines of the 2011 Season
The New York Giants have a huge season in front of them.
It seems that the G-Men are staying put while everyone else improves.
I think this Giants roster is very underrated and has the ability to surprise a lot of people (just like a certain '07 season).
That being said, here are the five biggest story lines of the 2011 season.
Can the Giants Beat the Eagles?
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Yes, we're all thinking it, but can the Giants actually beat the Eagles this season?
I think their best shot is Week 3. The Giants might not have it all together then, but the Eagles might not either.
With Jeremy Maclin still possibly out, DeSean Jackson missing most of the short training camp and Steve Smith most likely not playing—the G-Men best chance is Week 3.
As the season progresses, the Eagles will get a lot more comfortable in their system and will more likely than not take that game from the Giants.
However, I'd rather lose that game later into the season (Week 11). It'll be a great measuring stick the Giants down the road, and it could be exactly what they need before the playoffs come around.
Who's Stepping Up for Steve Smith?
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With Steve Smith stunning the NFL world and heading to the Eagles, someone is going to have to step up NY.
The likely candidates are Domenik Hixon, Victor Cruz and Jerrel Jernigan.
Neither of these guys are proven yet, but they all have a lot of potential.
If I had to pick now, I'd pick Cruz.
But don't be too surprised to see the Giants mix it up during the season and not have just one slot receiver.
Can Eli Manning Lower His Interceptions?
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Eli Manning threw for 4,002 yards, 31 touchdowns and 25 interceptions last season.
If you take the interceptions out of the equation, he had a great year. However, we can't, but there's still a silver lining here.
Yes, the receivers did let cacthable passes bounce off their fingers and into the hands of the defense.
Yes, it's not all Eli's fault, but it can't happen again this season. He needs to work on his relantionship with his receivers, especially Hakeem Nicks.
If Nicks and Eli aren't on the same page, you can kiss this season goodbye. I do think Eli can lower his interceptions this season, but it's going to take some work.
Is This Tom Coughlin's Last Year Coaching?
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Everyone likes to put Andy Reid on the hot seat, but Tom Coughlin's seat isn't that cold either.
The Giant's should've made the playoffs last season. But they chocked down the strech, and the coach gets the blame. Yes, Eli gets some of the blame as well, but the team's overall mental lapses are pinned on Coughlin.
If Coughlin doesn't coach the G-Men to the playoffs this season, it may be his last.
Can the Giants Make the Playoffs This Season?
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We all knew this was coming.
Can the Giants make the playoffs this season? Yes.
I completely and truly believe the Giants can make the playoffs this year. If you take this roster top to bottom, there's very few teams I would take over the G-Men. They don't have any gaping holes, and they're a very solid team.
The only knock on the Giants is that they don't have a whole lot of standouts either. However, football is the ultimate team sport, and gelling at the right time is all it takes to make a serious playoff push.
The key word this season is potential. If the wide receivers and linebackers can live up to their potential, then the Giants will earn themselves a playoff spot.
If not, it's going to be a long season in NY.