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Preseason Power Rankings No. 18: New York Giants

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There have been some magical runs on the way to two Super Bowl titles for the Giants under coach Tom Coughlin.

The start of the 2013 season was pretty much the exact opposite as the Giants got blown out, chewed up and left for dead on their way to six straight losses. Things got better from that point, but the start exposed some major flaws on the offensive line and in the secondary that the team attacked during the offseason.

There was no similar reaction to Eli Manning’s 27 interceptions as the team remained fully committed to their quarterback. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride’s long run came to an end, though, and new coordinator Ben McAdoo is installing the first significant change to the system of Manning’s career.

How he adapts to that and how quickly the new additions can come together will be the big questions for the Giants this season. Our panel’s No. 18 ranking represents the wait and see attitude that often follows such big changes.

Strengths.

If you were a free agent cornerback this season, you probably got a call from the Giants. They wound up signing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond and Zack Bowman to join Prince Amukamara and Trumaine McBride in a deep corner group that should match up well with any opposing offense. If Amukamara takes another step forward, the unit will lead the way defensively.

Antrel Rolle leads with his mouth, but he’s usually backed up with his play over the last four seasons. Rolle is coming off a particularly strong season, which has led to discussion about an extension. For now, Rolle will again serve as the constant in a shifting secondary.

If Stevie Brown makes it all the way back from the knee injury that wiped out his 2013 season to join Rolle at safety, the secondary should be one of the best in the league.

Manning threw 27 interceptions last season and Hakeem Nicks left for Indianapolis as a free agent, but it’s still hard not to see the passing game as a strength. Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and first-round pick Odell Beckham seem well-suited to the offense that McAdoo is installing. Their success will have much to do with a group listed in the next section, however.

Weaknesses.

The Giants did just as much work on their offensive line as they did at cornerback, but the upgrade isn’t as clear. Geoff Schwartz solidifies left guard, but Will Beatty’s ability to handle left tackle remains a theory and Charles Brown is coming off getting benched in New Orleans. Chris Snee’s health is a concern at right guard, with rookie Weston Richburg or J.D. Walton, who is coming back from two seasons lost to injury, the choices at center.

Jon Beason’s arrival in a trade with the Panthers last season coincided with a positive turn in the play of the team’s defense, but the oft-injured Beason is out with a foot injury for the near future. Jameel McClain has arrived from Baltimore, but holdovers Spencer Paysinger, Jaquian Williams and Mark Herzlich haven’t been consistently productive during their Giant careers.

The Giants didn’t re-sign Martellus Bennett before the 2013 season and Brandon Myers flopped as a fill-in, leaving the team without any proven players at the position. Adrian Robinson’s athletic ability draws raves, but he’s never been healthy. Larry Donnell is similarly unproven and Kellen Davis didn’t leave anyone wanting more in Chicago. With Dustin Keller and Jermichael Finley still possibly returning from injuries, the Giants could take a flyer on outside help.

Changes.

The Raiders were willing to pay Justin Tuck more than the Giants, leading to a big change at defensive end. Damontre Moore and Mathias Kiwanuka are back from last season and the team signed Robert Ayers, but the chances of the Giants defense getting back to its old ways relies on Jason Pierre-Paul. He was a shell of his 2011 self last season and needs to be healthy and back at full speed for the Giants defense to take off.

With David Wilson’s neck injury creating doubt about his future as a running back and the team coming off a dismal 2013 campaign, the Giants signed Rashad Jennings early in free agency. They are talking about him as a bell cow, something he hasn’t done before although he’s coming off a strong year for the Raiders.

Former Dolphin John Jerry joined Schwartz, Brown and Walton as free agent additions to the offensive line as the Giants heavily addressed their biggest problem area from last season.

Trindon Holliday comes aboard from Denver to give the Giants an explosive kick and punt returner who fumbles just often enough to ensure at least one reaction shot that makes viewers worry for Coughlin’s health this season.

Camp Battles.

Word out of Giants spring work was that the team wants Brandon Mosley to at least push Snee as the veteran comes back from hip and elbow surgeries. Jerry could potentially be part of the mix as well.

Linval Joseph left for the Vikings and the Giants will have to sort out playing time among several defensive tackles this summer. Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson are the veterans, 2013 second-round pick Johnathan Hankins has a big body for the middle of the line and 2014 third-rounder Jay Bromley has interior pass rush potential.

The Giants spent a little time with Josh Freeman, but he didn’t make it out of the spring. That leaves Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib to compete to be Manning’s backup.

Prospects.

The NFC East hasn’t produced a repeat division champion since the Eagles in 2004, so we’re used to seeing quick turnarounds in the Giants’ neck of the woods.

It’s not difficult to envision a scenario where the Giants make one this year. McAdoo’s offense plays to Manning’s strengths, the offensive line allows him time to connect with his talented receivers and Pierre-Paul brings back the pass rush as the Giants end their two-year playoff drought.

It’s just as easy to see things going the other way on the offensive line, though, and the revamped secondary will only hold on so long if Pierre-Paul isn’t leading a high-level pass rush.

Ultimately, though, it is going to be hard to install a new offense and overhaul several position groups while simultaneously making the playoffs. Blips are inevitable and the division is going to be competitive, which should make the start of the season telling.

It doesn’t have to be 6-0 instead of 0-6, but the Giants need to break well to keep things gelling well enough to be there when the season comes to an end.

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58 Responses to “Preseason Power Rankings No. 18: New York Giants”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Jul 14, 2014 9:07 AM

    The Giants Eagles and Dallas are fighting for last place in the NFC Washington/East. The Redskins are too talented overall. That is all.

  2. ejm845 says: Jul 14, 2014 9:11 AM

    I think that’s a little high for giants should have been around 32nd because there’s no way you can say there better then dolphins at 31 no really think about it

  3. filthymcnastyi says: Jul 14, 2014 9:22 AM

    Poor NY state. Having 3 teams who are all a joke must be pretty embarrassing!

  4. blahblahblah1313 says: Jul 14, 2014 9:23 AM

    If over rated little brother gets perfect pass protection and the running game is great and the defense plays lights out I believe he can cut down on his 30+ turnovers.

  5. egal99 says: Jul 14, 2014 9:24 AM

    You know Eli is secretly thrilled Gilbride is finally gone. At times last season, it looked like Eli wanted to put a Buddy Ryan on Gilbride. And for Eli Manning, who is as patient as they come, that is really something.

    Btw, Redskins fans in this board are beyond strange.

  6. bigwayne75 says: Jul 14, 2014 9:28 AM

    Really only 18, they should be around 11th. Oh people don’t realize that the Giants went 7-3 in their last 10 games. They picked some good players in the off season and had a great draft.

  7. jjackwagon says: Jul 14, 2014 9:33 AM

    Tuck was just looking for one more BIG payday and of course the Raiders obliged. He will just collect paychecks for a few years on a cellar-dweller and then retire as a Giant.

  8. ravensrunthenfl says: Jul 14, 2014 9:34 AM

    2 years later, the giants are still recovering from a 33-14 beat down at the hands of the world champion ravens. Btw how about that 2000 Super Bowl?

  9. bloomer006999999 says: Jul 14, 2014 9:39 AM

    Geoff Schwartz solidifies left guard … ?

    LOL.

    Dude couldn’t earn a back-up spot om the Vikings roster.

  10. pologroundsvet says: Jul 14, 2014 9:45 AM

    Fair analysis. A lot of changes and a lot of “what if”s this year. Anything is apt to happen and probably will. Let’s play the games and see.

  11. olcap says: Jul 14, 2014 9:53 AM

    You’ve already got the Stealers WAY too high since you haven’t mentioned them yet. So you think they will be at 17 again? That would be a safe pick, but I think they will be around 23 or 24 this year, JMO.

  12. southpaw2k says: Jul 14, 2014 10:06 AM

    I had no idea the NFC East hasn’t had a repeat champion in a decade. That’s a pretty remarkable stat, one that reinforces just how much the four teams beat each other up all season long.

    While I don’t expect the Eagles to go 6-0 in the division, I also don’t see any of the other teams really challenging them for it this year.

  13. u4iadman says: Jul 14, 2014 10:08 AM

    You ignored the glaring issue which is the QB position, which was not a system problem last season. Eli is an enigma even with the SB wins. The Giants will regret not taking a vet or very talented signal caller in draft.
    And I am a Giants fan.
    Raiders could beat this team.

  14. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 14, 2014 10:09 AM

    live in NJ… have to laugh a bit seeing Giants above the Redskins… no freaking way guys, no way

  15. justinstuckrule says: Jul 14, 2014 10:16 AM

    All the haters here know I’m a proud Giants fan but I’m realistic. Once the Giants ended the Josh Freeman era early, ended offseason practice early and threw in the towel on the 2014 season it was obvious that the coaches and management knew the Ryan Nassib era might not produce much until 2017. I’d like to see my Giants get back to 6 or 7 wins in the next few years but without superstars receivers Brandon Myers and Hakeem Nicks, stud lineman Dave Diehl, the tough running yardage machine Andre Brown, stalwart MLBs Dan Connor and Jon Beason, David Baas and JPP, what can anyone expect?

  16. bullcharger says: Jul 14, 2014 10:24 AM

    The Giants are good enough to compete for the division. None of the NFC East teams are good enough to run away with it.

  17. pencilmonkeymagic says: Jul 14, 2014 10:25 AM

    How is a passing attach seen as a strength when the QB throws everything to the opposition? No amount of good WRs fixes the inherent problem there.

  18. mudflapjesus says: Jul 14, 2014 10:26 AM

    Absolute joke that this team is ranked 6 spots better than the Cowboys.

  19. ctiggs says: Jul 14, 2014 10:34 AM

    NFC LOLeast #Noonehasitbetter

  20. lic112014 says: Jul 14, 2014 10:35 AM

    It’s ridiculous some of the stuff these people say.Giants should be 32nd,the Redskins are going to win the east,it’s these kinds of no nothing fans that make it easy for me to laugh.

  21. tooz72 says: Jul 14, 2014 10:41 AM

    Giants should be much higher…at least top 12

  22. RexCanCoach says: Jul 14, 2014 10:43 AM

    It’s a sorry division these days and to hitch your wagon to a rookie WR and 2nd rate running game at best…even if Eli returns to his old self 8-8 is about right for this team.

    The chances that they finish below .500 are high which makes them more like a #22 ranking to me.

  23. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 14, 2014 10:46 AM

    LOL at NFC East bashing

    historically best division in football… sometimes records deceiving

    compare to AFC East and South…. so give me a break here

    Redskins have capability of competing for it all… and being better than ANY AFC team

  24. jetsarestacked says: Jul 14, 2014 10:47 AM

    if the giants can keep eli clean then they will probably be better than this ranking. if not, then he’ll resort to heaving prayers and probably end up chucking 20+ interceptions again. i think this a fair ranking for them.

  25. narfmoo12 says: Jul 14, 2014 10:56 AM

    bigwayne75 says: Jul 14, 2014 9:28 AM

    Really only 18, they should be around 11th. Oh people don’t realize that the Giants went 7-3 in their last 10 games. They picked some good players in the off season and had a great draft.

    —————————————

    Seven wins against: Josh Freeman, Scott Tolzein, Matt Barkley, hobbling Terrell Pryor, hobbling RGIII, Kirk Cousins, and Matthew Stafford.

    That’s four wins against 3rd string QBs (3 may not even be on rosters this year), 1 vs. a backup QB, 1 vs. an injured starter, and Stafford.

    I wouldn’t count that as showing improvement down the stretch.

  26. bassplucker says: Jul 14, 2014 11:02 AM

    It’s weird to see the Giants going into a season with question marks at OL, on defense and yes, at QB after being consistently solid in all those areas not too long ago.

  27. homerx says: Jul 14, 2014 11:04 AM

    The Redskins have DeJax; wait until that explodes in your face. Those bashing Eli’s INT numbers need to watch the replay of ever INT he threw, more than half were in and out of the receivers hands or a result of Eli and WR not being on the same page; WR breaks out and Eli throws in.

    This is all fixable but may be a challenge because the offense will be new to everyone this year in addition to so many new faces. Too many changes in the off-season for me to say the Giants will make the playoffs but I do believe they will be re-energized. Killdrive was a very big drain and demoralizing on the offense. Most of the time I could even tell you what play was going to be run.

    Fortunately the NFC East is weak from top to bottom.

  28. justintuckrule says: Jul 14, 2014 11:23 AM

    If anyone has a case of insomnia, come to a giants entry and listen to the haters. Their tired, boring, wit-less comments will bring the sandman to you in no time.

    Here’s the deal…. Like always…. We’re the quintessential ‘if’ team. If everything breaks right, we can win a sb. If not, we can just as easily go 6-10. I’d rather be an ”if” team than one of the 3 hopeless pretenders in our division. The eagles have dirt for WRS, so they’re out. Dallas might as well just replace their defense with an arena league team and they’ll get the same results. As for wash….their hopes died in the fedex grass where their running qb left his acl.

  29. baddegg says: Jul 14, 2014 11:49 AM

    Everyone is talking about Redskins fans being strange but basically all you are doing is just looking at one poster (logical) who is doing schtick and then just generalizing it to all Skins fans…

    Meanwhile, multiple Giants fans on this board apparently not doing schtick are predicting top 10-12 range.

  30. pftisfulloftrolls says: Jul 14, 2014 12:03 PM

    Redskins have capability of competing for it all… and being better than ANY AFC team
    —————————————————————-
    That’s a nice joke. The Redskins aren’t going to compete for anything as long as Danny Boy is calling the shots.

  31. kev86 says: Jul 14, 2014 12:06 PM

    The Giants can beat any team. They can win big games. It has been proven multiple times. They are the teamin the East that has proven they can win it all anywhere and against anyone.

    18-1 – You are welcome.

  32. darocnessmonsta says: Jul 14, 2014 12:06 PM

    Funny how the Cowboys went 5-1 in the NFC East But all the teams in the Division ranked higher SMH

  33. southpaw2k says: Jul 14, 2014 12:35 PM

    politicallyincorrect says:
    Jul 14, 2014 10:46 AM

    “Redskins have capability of competing for it all… and being better than ANY AFC team”

    Are you really trying to sell me on the idea that the Redskins can be a better team than the Patriots, Broncos, Colts, Bengals, Ravens, Chiefs, AND Chargers?

  34. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 14, 2014 12:37 PM

    yes.. a bit funny
    but also very appropriate

    the thing with the Cowboys…. they are usually middle of the road, aka Perpetual Mediocrity, but they are the one team you really never worry about as they have zero potential to do more or ever be a real threat (sometimes they do beat you, but they are mostly irrelevant and not a team to take too serious)

  35. boomnutz says: Jul 14, 2014 12:38 PM

    People are crazy. I’m a Pats fan, so I obviously hate the Giants. They have one of the strongest secondaries in the game and an above average to possibly good pass rush. Together this will help cover up some of the issues at LB. Eli clearly sucked last year, but this is what Eli is, he’s a good QB who’s prone to uneven play. Look at how the Giants ended last year – 7 – 3. It’s a weak division. The eagles are very talented on offense but still have questions. The Redskins are talented but loaded with questions too and Dallas is well, Dallas. Giants with the division handily.

  36. billswillnevermove says: Jul 14, 2014 12:39 PM

    filthymcnastyi says:Jul 14, 2014 9:22 AM

    Poor NY state. Having 3 teams who are all a joke must be pretty embarrassing
    _________________________________
    Only one team is from NY State……….Buffalo. Go Bills!!!

  37. bigbluefan1 says: Jul 14, 2014 12:42 PM

    Ok so everyone has bashed Eli and the Giants thank you for that.

    I know of only a few teams that have more SB wins and none that hold the place the Giants do in the NFL.

    First off most of you would not have the NFL in your Flyover State if not for the very generous founder of the Giants when he argued that the TV money be split evenly between all teams and not paid out by TV market. That allows your team to exist.
    That also took major dollars out of the Mara pockets and gave it to the flyover states.

    The football it self is logged the Duke this is in honor of Mr. Wellington Mara.

    So when you team has been around as long lets see what history you have to speak of

    Until then shut up and sit down child

  38. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 14, 2014 12:56 PM

    Redskins will win the division… and be better than the Pats!

  39. iloveagoodnap says: Jul 14, 2014 1:15 PM

    bigbluefan1 says: Jul 14, 2014 12:42 PM

    Ok so everyone has bashed Eli and the Giants thank you for that.

    I know of only a few teams that have more SB wins and none that hold the place the Giants do in the NFL.

    First off most of you would not have the NFL in your Flyover State if not for the very generous founder of the Giants when he argued that the TV money be split evenly between all teams and not paid out by TV market. That allows your team to exist.
    That also took major dollars out of the Mara pockets and gave it to the flyover states.

    The football it self is logged the Duke this is in honor of Mr. Wellington Mara.

    So when you team has been around as long lets see what history you have to speak of

    Until then shut up and sit down child
    ………………………
    Ah, nothing like living in the past, and listing out the accomplishments and generosities of others, that you personally have absolutely nothing to do with.

    The bashing and this article is about this season, and it’s about the game of football. Not the charity work of someone who has ceased to exist.

    Maybe you should just try not being all butt-hurt that your team had a setback last season, and respond to criticism about football play with, I don’t know, a football argument.

    Or just keep patting yourself on the back for rooting for a team who had a nice guy as an owner 60 years ago. Whatever works for you hoss.

  40. touchdownroddywhite says: Jul 14, 2014 1:21 PM

    @bigbluefan1 –

    So Mara took a loss by encouraging the profit sharing model? Give me a break. He knew it would be good for the league and help it expand. He knew the simple truth that a smaller percentage of a larger number is often more money than a larger percentage of a smaller number. This was no sacrifice. It was multiplication by division. Dividing the profits up helped multiply the overall profit. Pretty simple.

  41. udontknowjaq says: Jul 14, 2014 1:27 PM

    If any team in the weak NFC east that can take & win this div over the Eagles, its the Giants. They always seem to get back on track. Looking at the roster nothing special seems to jump out at you but they have the most stable front office, QB & coach combo in the div. They proved over a decade they can bounce back. Dallas & Washington are a mess defensively & with injury prone Qb’s those 2 teams are a disaster waiting like usual.

  42. brokebackbrees says: Jul 14, 2014 1:41 PM

    Lol@#18. I thought they were gonna be ranked like #30. A Qb that has reached his peak and on decline. A shabby defense, a salsa wr as only offensive weapon. Have fun with a top 5 draft pick next year.

  43. justintuckrule says: Jul 14, 2014 1:47 PM

    If your kids’ lives depended on one football game, all you haters would take one Elisha Nelson Manning over WHOEVER your QB is. You know it and I know it.

  44. largent80100 says: Jul 14, 2014 1:54 PM

    They can win the NFC East by catching fire at the right time like they did in 2011 (and Washington in 2012 and Philly in 2013) but I see them as a 7-9 to 9-7 team.

    Giants have really good CBs, the WRs improved a lot by replacing “I don’t care” Nicks for OBJ but the offensive line is terrible and so are the linebackers.

    In the end is all about Eli, if he can throw 10 less picks than he did in 2013, they might have a chance.

  45. largent80100 says: Jul 14, 2014 1:59 PM

    @justintuckrule I would take at least 10 QBs over Eli, including Romo, fanboy.

    He is a slightly above-average QB at all, but using a team accomplishment to measure his playing instead of his borderline 60% completion and the fact that he’ll end his career only behind Favre in interceptions is ridiculous.

    For average people, Eli’s playoff record is 8-3, for me, two fluke SBs and three one and dones. I don’t care if he beat Brady twice if he has more turnovers since 2010 than Tom since 2005.

  46. justintuckrule says: Jul 14, 2014 2:46 PM

    By the way….Giants would have blown out the Pats in the 2nd SB if not for Wilfork’s admitted soccer-like flop drawing a holding call which negated a 3rd down conversion and stalled the Giants’ “put away” drive (they were up 9-0 driving in Pats territory toward a sure TD and 16-0 lead).

  47. thefiesty1 says: Jul 14, 2014 3:25 PM

    This leaves Philly as the best in the NFLEast. Humm, I think your way off. NYG and the Cowbabies may only be 9-7 and 8-8, but that’s ahead of the Eagles. Foles will fold this year. Not everyone out of Westlake High is a Drew Brees.

  48. bsaundaz says: Jul 14, 2014 4:24 PM

    the giants are way overrated here. lets be real, no o line, no d line, no linebackers no te, no rb, no qb. good wr, good secondary. no depth. gonna be battling for 3rd or 4th in the division. not a playoff team

  49. voiceofreasonsays says: Jul 14, 2014 5:09 PM

    It should be interesting to see the race between NY, Washington, and Philly for first in the NFC East.

    Oh, and then there’s Dallas…

  50. voiceofreasonsays says: Jul 14, 2014 5:13 PM

    “LOL at NFC East bashing

    historically best division in football… sometimes records deceiving

    compare to AFC East and South…. so give me a break here

    Redskins have capability of competing for it all… and being better than ANY AFC team”

    Well, the Redskins are still worse than the Broncos, Colts, and Bengals, but I agree that the NFC East is a very competitive division that is often overlooked.

  51. dallassux says: Jul 14, 2014 10:50 PM

    They are what they are…..middle of the pack.

  52. courtjester1234 says: Jul 15, 2014 6:49 AM

    As an eagles fan I have some reservations on anointing the birds as kings of the east. At this point last year all expectations were a .500 team at best. That being said I believe we will have a few rocky patches this year and might not be able to match last year. So if the eagles stumble this season, I see NY as the only logical choice between them and the R-Me-3’s or the broke back cowboys. But I’ve been wrong before and the eagles might just eat this division and go 11-5 or 12-4.

  53. nflgiant says: Jul 15, 2014 9:45 AM

    10-6 at best………..7-9 at worst……….

  54. daltine1996 says: Jul 15, 2014 1:37 PM

    12-4

  55. buljos says: Jul 15, 2014 7:24 PM

    I’ve become used to seeing our Giants relying heavily on outstanding play in the trenches from both sides of the ball. Those guys from championship caliber days are largely departed, and those who remain could be little more than shells of their former selves, as witnessed this past season. Can the lines get it done in 2014 with new FA acquisitions and early draft picks, week in and week out? If they can, this team is a contender. If they’re mediocre or inconsistent, then McAdoo and Fewell will scheme to compensate. That can work… witness the Seahawks, whose offensive line was less than stellar last season. But they had a killer defense to compensate… and maybe that’s what JR was trying to do with the secondary… compensate. If this D is better in 2014 than their 8th overall ranking in 2013, maybe that’ll work. But over the course of an entire season, with a pocket passer at the helm, the trenches will dictate success or failure in 2014 for the Giants.

  56. harrypairotestes says: Jul 18, 2014 9:29 AM

    For once, I do agree with this illogical character, the Giants are ranked way too high. I believe they were ranked at the bottom 10 when they won their last two SBs. As always, and I’m sure illogical will agree, the skins should be top 5 and ranked way higher than the Giants. Big Blue should be 25 at best to make another run this coming season.

  57. blu4l1fe says: Jul 18, 2014 12:07 PM

    While I do enjoy the banter, the prognosticating, from both fans and detractors, can get quite annoying. We all know, in every sport, much more in American Football, there’s really no favorite. A mediocre team can get hot at the right time and make it all the way to the last game in February. But, and in all fairness, I do enjoy the comedy relief every time I hear fans talk about their team winning it all every single off season.

    I believe skin fans hold the record for most predictions of winning the SB without one coming to fruition.

  58. dezolationangel says: Jul 21, 2014 9:38 PM

    Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line….the Giants O-Line is not any good. It starts and ends there.

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