Days Until Football is a series in which I preview every NFL team, one a day at a time until the NFL season starts on September 6th. It will preview offense, defense, and give a prediction for the team’s record. Also, I will list a fantasy star and sleeper. Here is the New York Giants preview.
Last year, the Giants were a massive letdown. Odell Beckham Jr. and others went down with injuries early, and the clubhouse was a disaster. Ben McAdoo did not know how to do his job, so he was fired mid-season. The Giants finished 3-13, dead last in the NFC. They hired former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to replace McAdoo has head coach for this season.
The biggest unknown on the Giants is Saquon Barkley. They spent their second overall pick on the former Penn State standout. Barkley is a great pass catcher and returner, along with his running skills. Barkley adds the running game element that Eli Manning had been lacking for years. Odell Beckham is one of the best wide receivers in the league, and he finally got his money today. He can catch a quick pass, then rip it off for an 80-yard touchdown. He often draws a couple defenders, leaving space open for Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. Despite playing in six fewer games than his rookie year, Shepard improved in total yards, yards per reception, and catch percentage. Second-year tight end Evan Engram had an inconsistent rookie year, but is a matchup nightmare with his rare combination of size and speed.
Let’s be honest–Eli Manning is a game manager. He has a 111-103 record and has never thrown for more than 5,000 yards in a season. With all the weapons, he should have a good year, but he will not be the reason why this team goes deep into the playoffs.
The Giants defense has all the talent in the world, but it was a locker room disaster last season. To fix this, the Giants will rely on a 3-4 scheme and made personnel changes. They traded away Jason Pierre Paul and traded for Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin, and they also have Oliver Vernon. Assuming they are all healthy and stable, Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple should be a good cornerback pairing. Apple is a former first-round pick who has not panned out yet, but is looking to make leaps this season. Landon Collins is also one of the best strong safeties in the league.
Predictions for Giants
I think the Giants will go 11-5, first in the NFC East. Odell Beckham is back and Barkley will give the Giants a running game they desperately needed. Evan Engram could make a sophomore leap and Sterling Shepard is a reliable second receiver. The Giants have a talented defense, they just need to put it together. Olivier Vernon and Alec Ogletree will generate a good pass rush and the secondary has a lot of talent.
Fantasy Star – Odell Beckham Jr.
Fantasy Sleeper – Sterling Shepard