Most of the country was rooting for the New York Giants at the end of last season. They faced the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. New York was deemed as the underdogs and most of the country wanted to see Eli Manning defeat Tom Brady for a second time in a Super Bowl. They went on to win and the spotlight is now shining very bright on them in 2012.
The current version of the Giants is much like last year’s model. They will still do the things they’re known to do well (rush the passer, throw deep, etc), but will have some new faces doing it. Will they miss a step without a few key players who departed in the off-season?
Key Additions: DT Shaun Rogers, TE Martellus Bennett, RB David Wilson, WR Rueben Randle, CB Antwaun Molden, OG Sean Locklear, CB Jayron Hosley, OT Brandon Mosley and OT Matt McCants.
Key Losses: TE Kevin Boss, TE Jake Ballard, CB Aaron Ross, RB Brandon Jacobs, WR Mario Manningham, WR Devin Thomas, DE Dave Tollefson and OT Tony Ugoh.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC North and NFC South
Fantasy Sleeper: TE Martellus Bennett – The Cowboys drafted Bennett to be Jason Witten’s successor, but he never had the opportunity to be a productive player. They just drafted Adrien Robinson and Bennett, even though he is panned as a bust, will get the bulk of the targets. Manning has shown a tendency of looking for tight ends in the past (Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss, etc.), so Bennett could be a top-10 tight end in fantasy this season.
Team Analysis: Thanks to Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, Eli Manning had one of his best statistical years. Even though he threw 16 interceptions in 2011, it was an improvement from the previous season when lead the league with 25 picks. He lost a few targets this off-season (Manningham, Boss and Ballard), but he has some new toys to play with. Rueben Randle and Martellus Bennett should fill the void left by the departing players. On the defensive side of the ball, their secondary was their Achilles’ Heel in 2011. New York lost Aaron Ross in free agency and didn’t add any significant corners in the draft or free agency. They hope Prince Amukamara will take over his role. The one constant with the Giants every season is their pass rush. Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck are back again to terrorize quarterbacks. The NFC East will be very competitive this season. Every team has improved and it will be difficult for the Giants to even make the playoffs. I don’t see them repeating as Super Bowl champions or even making the playoffs. I don’t blame a “Super Bowl hangover”, I blame other NFC teams getting a whole lot better.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 8.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 8-8