Are the New York Giants In Trouble Come the Playoffs?

Marisa ScolamieroAnalyst IDecember 30, 2008

Everyone knows that the Giants went on one of the most incredible runs at the end of the season last year. Their final three games in the playoffs were some of the greatest games played, not to mention they were all on the road.

And then came their big Super Bowl win over the mighty Tom Brady and the Patriots. They were down for most of the game, and then one pass caught by a guy named David Tyree changed everything, and the Giants had won the ultimate prize.

They started this season off extremely well going 9-1 over their first ten games. They did this without Osi Umenyiora who suffered a knee injury during the pre-season game against the Jets. Brandon Jacobs was also in and out of games due to a nagging knee injury, yet the Giants still found ways to get it done.

Over the past seven games despite only losing three games, the Giants are starting to lose their form. The offense has looked anemic at times, despite the absence of Plaxico Burress, and the defense has given up more than their fair share of points.

So the big question is...are the Giants in trouble as they head into the playoffs?

If they want to be successful they are going to need to do a few things.

First off, they need to keep on running the ball. It is uncertain just how available Brandon Jacobs will be due to his knee, but if Jacobs is in the game they better hand it off to him as often as possible. Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw can definitely shoulder some of the load so that it's not all on Jacobs, and if all three of those guys perform well, the Giants are in serious business.

They also need to start going to Kevin Boss a little more often. The tight end has the ability to block for the other guys and get big first down like he did on Sunday against Minnesota. If Jacobs isn't 100%, Boss is a great alternative because he, like Jacobs can run with people on his back. In addition he can also get himself open to catch a pass and gain some serious yardage for the Giants.

Second, the offensive line is going to need to start paying attention. Eli Manning is going to need pass protection, and if his line keeps getting called for offsides or a false start the punt team is going to be on the field longer than the offense.

Third, the defense is going to have to seriously work on tightening their game. Justin Tuck hasn't been 100% for awhile between battling the flu a few weeks ago and dealing with a knee injury. Tuck and Pierce are a big part of the success of the defense and if they end up playing teams like Philly they are going to have to be able to close up the holes so that a guy like Brian Westbrook isn't running on them all day.

It is definitely possible that if the Giants improve on these various areas they could very well land themselves in the Super Bowl for a second straight year (I won't get too ahead of myself). They need to remember what made them so good in their playoff and Super Bowl run last year and maybe, just maybe they'll be champions again.

Otherwise they're gonna be sitting on their couches watching someone else play on that Sunday in February.