The New York Giants are predicted to win the NFC East by NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks.
The New York Giants had a very good 2016 season. They finished 11-5, earning the top Wild Card seed. The Giants would lose to the Green Bay Packers Wild Card weekend, so there is work to do. The reason the Giants had to face the Packers was because the Dallas Cowboys ran away with the NFC East.
The Giants would have won many of the other divisions in the NFL with 11 wins. But, the Cowboys finished the season 13-3. Two of those losses came against the Giants, who finished seventh overall in the NFL.
The Giants looked to have gotten better this season as well. They retained virtually every main player on their defense. Only Johnathan Hankins was lost, as he signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent. The Giants selected his replacement with their second round pick in Alabama defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson.
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Where the Giants really improved was on the offensive. While the offensive line still has some question marks, there is no doubt that the Giants have provided Eli Manning more weapons this season.
The days Manning relies single-handedly on Odell Beckham Jr. should be gone. Last year the Giants selected wide receiver Sterling Shepard in the second round. He has a productive rookie season. This year the Giants signed veteran Brandon Marshall. The Giants first round pick was used on Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram, a matchup nightmare for opposing teams.
The additions offensively are why some people are predicting the Giants to dethrone the Cowboys atop the NFC East. One of those people is NFL Network’s, Bucky Brooks.
"“You can print the shirts in New York,” said Brooks, a former NFL player and scout. “I think this is the team that’s going to win the NFC East.”“Evan Engram coming in gives them a dynamic playmaker, the most dynamic tight end they’ve had since Jeremy Shockey (a first-round draft choice in 2002),” Brooks said. “When you look at the other weapons – Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Odell Beckham Jr. – Eli Manning has everything he needs to really bounce back and have an MVP-like season.”"
Brooks added that the offense is loaded with the additions they made this offseason. He would not be wrong. In addition to Engram, the Giants added running back Wayne Gallman with their fourth round pick. He is a versatile running back that will help in a multitude of ways. He is a capable runner and should help in short-yardage situations. Gallman is also a good receiver out of the backfield, adding another dimension to the Giants offensive attack.
The Giants do not have one player in the backfield that will dominate touches. Instead, they have guys that will fill specific roles. Paul Perkins will handle early work with Gallman. Shane Vereen is still around as a very good third-down back. The Giants added a capable backup if he is unable to stay healthy again in Shaun Draughn.
The Giants offense has a lot to like. If the offensive line can improve, they will be in business. If the offense does happen to fall short of expectations again, they at least know they have a dominant defense to fall back on.
Landon Collins, Janoris Jenkins, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are all above average players in the secondary. Eli Apple, Andrew Adams, and Darian Thompson have a lot of potential heading into their second seasons.
The Giants have a great chance of jumping the Cowboys and winning the NFC East this year. The second year under Ben McAdoo should be smoother as he further learns the ropes of being an NFL head coach.
There is a lot to like about this Giants team. There are some weaker spots, but the talent overall is there. As long as you have a veteran such as Manning leading the way, and defense as strong as they have, the Giants will have a fighting chance.