MVP from Each Positional Unit on the New York Giants

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IDecember 27, 2011

MVP from Each Positional Unit on the New York Giants

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    The New York Giants have had a better season than anyone could have imagined, which is why it is annoying to hear NFL analysts talk about how bad they have played down the final stretch. 

    This team has had to put up with so many injuries that people seem to have forgotten the number of players that went down before the season started. 

    The fact that this team is 8-7 and vying for the division is pretty incredible, and there have been several players that have stepped up at different positions. 

    This slideshow will take a look at the MVP from each unit of the Giants. 

Quarterback: Eli Manning

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    This is kind of a no-brainer. 

    Not only has Eli Manning been the best and only QB for the Giants this year, but at times he was even in the league MVP discussion. 

    His last two games were subpar and those talks have subsided, but the Giants wouldn't be anywhere close to where they are without Eli. 

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs

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    The running game for the Giants has been awful this year, but when it has been good it's been because of Brandon Jacobs

    When Ahmad Bradshaw went out with a broken foot, Jacobs did his best to keep the running game afloat. He's been running hard ever since and it has motivated the offensive line—the Giants have averaged over four yards per carry in each of their last four games. 

Receivers and Tight Ends: Victor Cruz

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    Before the season even got under way, Giants fans were ready to have Jerry Reese's head on a stake for letting Steve Smith go to the Eagles

    Smith was Eli Manning's go-to receiver, especially on third downs, and fans thought he would suffer without that security blanket. 

    Victor Cruz decided to erase Smith from their memories. 

    After Domenik Hixon went down with an ACL injury, Cruz was called upon to be the Giants' third wide receiver. In just his first game in that role he caught three passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. 

    In his last game he broke two Giants records with one play—a 99-yard touchdown catch. The catch is the longest in Giants history, but he also broke Amani Toomer's single-season receiving yards record. 

    He has 1,358 yards with one more game to add to it. He and Hakeem Nicks have both had solid years, but Cruz has been better. 

Offensive Line: Kareem McKenzie

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    The offensive line has been one of the worst in football this season, but do not blame that on Kareem McKenzie.

    In a year that has been an absolute disappointment for the unit as a whole, McKenzie has continued to be one of the more underrated offensive linemen in the league. 

Defensive Line: Jason Pierre-Paul

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    This should come as no surprise to anyone—Jason Pierre-Paul is having an All-Pro caliber season and has been carrying the Giants defense all season long. 

    He leads all defensive lineman with 81 tackles, is third with 15.5 sacks, has forced two fumbles, blocked a field goal and recorded a safety. 

    All this in just his second year. Still think Jerry Reese went wrong with this draft pick?

Linebackers: Michael Boley

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    Anyone who watches the Giants knows their linebackers are not their strong suit, but this year they have been surprisingly better than most would have expected. 

    Michael Boley's contributions go further than his stat line—he also has accepted a leadership role both on and off the field. 

    He makes the calls and adjustments for Perry Fewell's defense, and when Boley went down with a hamstring injury you could clearly notice the difference. 

Defensive Backs: Corey Webster

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    It was pretty difficult to select one of these defensive backs as an MVP because frankly none of them have had what most would call a good year. 

    I feel like I've complained the least about Corey Webster and he has made some big plays at times, so he gets the nod. 

    He also leads the Giants with six interceptions, which happens to be second best in the NFL. 

Special Teams: Steve Weatherford

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    It is not that hard to tell how much of an improvement the punting game has gotten as a result of dumping Matt Dodge and signing Steve Weatherford. 

    Weatherford has so much better finesse and placement with his punts that the Giants have won a few games this year because of their ability to win the field-position battle. 

    He also became Lawrence Tynes' holder and has been exceptional at that—Tynes has missed just four field goals this season, two of them having been blocked.