New York Giants: 12 NFC East Players Who Could Be Problems

Andres BoteroCorrespondent IJune 21, 2012

New York Giants: 12 NFC East Players Who Could Be Problems

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    After beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants will face more competition in 2012 as they prepare for another playoff run. 

    In the tough NFC East, there will be numerous players that will test the Giants on both sides of the ball. 

    There is a massive amount of talent in the NFC East and the Giants will need to be prepared.

    Here is a small, but by no means expansive, list of players who will threaten the Giants this upcoming season. 

Michael Vick

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    Michael Vick has been a great quarterback for Philadelphia but injuries have slowed him down recently.

    He suffered neck, head, and rib injuries last year that took their toll.

    Despite these injuries, Vick is ready to shine and show that he is far from down and out, according to Gregg Rosenthal from

    In that same article, Eagles head coach Andy Reid stated that "he's worked like crazy" this offseason and is motivated to lead the Eagles to victory. 

    With this new sense of self-motivation as well as recovery from this past season, VIck could be trouble for the Giants.

    He has a strong presence in the pocket, can scramble to extend plays as well as call his own number and run for good amount of yardage. 

    If the Giants don't want to get burned by Vick, they will need the defensive line to penetrate and rush him into making turnovers or hitting him hard and often.

    If not, Vick will be running all over the field, handing off to running back LeSean McCoy  or throwing to DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Macklin, the Eagles' speedy wide receiver. 

DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin

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    It doesn't matter which defense they will face, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin will be a tough duo of receivers to lock down.

    Jeff McLane and Jonathan Tamari of reported that Maclin was identified by an unnamed coach as being poised for a breakout year. 

    He has bulked up this offseason and has been a part of OTAs, a far cry from a year ago when he could not participate in offseason training due to a cancer scare.

    With more training this year, it has paid dividends as he is now stronger and faster, making him a more difficult receiver to cover. 

    He had a good year, catching 63 passes for 859 yards and five touchdowns; however, he did miss four games last year due to injury. 

    With his clean bill of health this year, Maclin will play the full season and most definitely break 1000 receiving yards and double his touchdown total from a year ago.

    Looking at Jackson, he is coming off of a disappointing 2011 season that was marred with injuries (a third concussion that forced him to miss playing time) and contract negotiations. 

    Having worked out his contract, Jackson can focus on playing well and showing fans why he deserved a new contract. 

    Both receivers are game changers and will threaten the Giants secondary.

    The explosive Jackson has burned the Giants before; in 2010, he returned a punt he muffed for a late game-winning touchdown.

    The Giants secondary was a major factor in their Super Bowl win last season but they will have their hands full with Maclin and Jackson lining up on the field. 

Jason Babin and Trent Cole

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    Jason Babin and Trent Cole are two scary strong defensive ends that helped the Eagles lead the league with 50 team sacks.

    Babin and Cole had 18 and 11 respectively. 

    They both have great starts and speed off the line and can get to the quarterback quickly.

    Both players are great tacklers and will be viewed as the top pair of defensive ends in the league. 

    The Giants offensive line will have their hands full as they try to contain Babin and Cole.

LeSean McCoy

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    LeSean McCoy showed that he is one of the best running backs in the NFL last year, rushing for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns.

    McCoy can make long runs, be used in goal line situations, and even come out of the back-field as a receiver.

    His skill set can stretch the defense thin and when he has the ball in his hands, he can run past defenders as well as through them.

    McCoy will most definitely be a problem for the Giants this season as they try to find a favorable matchup for him, a player that is fast enough to close down any space on McCoy as well as being strong and large enough that they can wrap and bring him down. 

Dez Bryant

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    Coming in at 6'2" and 225 pounds, Dez Bryant is strong and large enough to fend off defenders and fast enough to leave them yards behind. 

    He has worked well with Tony Romo these past two seasons, consistently getting better.

    In 2010, he had 561 yards and six touchdowns while in 2011 he had 928 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

    He is poised for another good season and he seems ready to have his first 1000 yard season.

DeMarcus Ware

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    So far in DeMarcus Ware's career, he made six Pro Bowl teams (he did not make the team as a rookie) and has had at least eight sacks each year he has played.

    As an outside linebacker, he is considered by many to be one of the best pass-rushers in the league.

    NFL Analyst Daniel Jeremiah considers Ware to be the premier edge pass-rusher in the league. 

    With Ware on the field, the Giants need to double team so Eli can have enough time in the pocket to complete his passes and avoid the sack. 

Tony Romo

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    Tony Romo posted great numbers last year despite being sacked 36 times.

    Romo threw for 4,184 yards and 31 touchdowns.

    He is still a good quarterback but due to his 1-3 postseason record, is not quite an elite level quarterback. 

    If the score is close and Romo is leading a fourth quarter drive, the Giants need to be ready otherwise Romo can punish them by throwing deep to Dez Bryant. 

Robert Griffin III

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    The Redskins first-round draft pick will definitely be a threat to the Giants.

    He is a dual threat quarterback and has Olympic level speed. (He was an NCAA All-American in the 400-meter hurdles.)

    With his talents, established receivers like tight end Chris Cooley and Santana Moss and budding relationship with head coach Mike Shanahan, Griffin seems to be in an ideal situation to develop.

    If Shanahan was good enough to help John Elway win two Super Bowls in Denver, then I'm sure Griffin isn't going to complain.

    When he lines up against the Giants offense, they will not know what to expect.

Chris Cooley

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    Even though Chris Cooley missed much of last year due to injury, he is still a former Pro Bowler and a receiver. 

    With Griffin as quarterback, the defense will feel obligated to cover Griffin more intently leaving some space for Cooley to get free and become a prime target.

    Except for his rookie season (2004), 2009, and 2011, Cooley has had at least 700 receiving yards. 

    He has shown he is a reliable receiver who puts up good numbers and this year will be no different.

Brian Orakpo

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    Brian Orakpo is a versatile and physically imposing player.

    He can play rush linebacker or defensive end. For a player his size, he has freakish speed to boot and get around most tackles quickly and efficiently. 

    He had nine sacks and 59 tackles last year and if he puts up similar numbers to 2011 it is likely he will be selected for his third career Pro Bowl. 

    He is a real threat and the offensive line will need to double team him to protect Eli.