The New York Giants postseason run last season was something to behold. It was miraculous. It was surreal. It was unbelievable.
At least, it would have been all of those things if we hadn’t seen the same movie just five years ago!
So, let me start over: the New York Giants postseason run was just another day at the office.
The G-Men ran the table, winning against Atlanta, San Francisco, Green Bay, and finally defeating the New England Patriots for another Super Bowl title. Eli Manning has firmly planted himself in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks and the Giants are looking to build on last season’s momentum.
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Some people will say that the Giants lucked out during the playoffs, as each bounce seemed to go their way. To that I would say: I agree, but the scoreboard is all that matters.
Can the Giants do it all over again? Here are some 2012 New York Giants predictions and futures odds:
Manning had one of his better NFL seasons in 2011 while throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and posting a rating of 93. Even better than that were the numbers he posted in the playoffs. Manning threw for over 300 yards a game, nine touchdowns, and a 103.3 rating. His regular season number are quite impressive considering that the Giants had the worst rushing offense in the NFL, averaging fewer than 90 yards per game and less than four yards per carry.
Ahmad Bradshaw will be asked to carry the load this season until rookie David Wilson can prove that he is NFL-ready. Wilson is known to have fumbling issues, but we all know that Head Coach Tom Coughlin can work wonders in this area. With Brandon Jacobs packing his bags and moving to San Francisco, Bradshaw will have his work cut out for him. Bradshaw has only carried the ball more than 175 times once in his career (that was an outstanding season, however).
Manning and company will have some issues that will become glaring as the season wears on. The loss of Jacobs will have a detrimental effect on the rushing game, and the loss of Mario Manningham will hurt the passing game as second-year wideout Ruben Randle is the front-runner to fill the void. Randle has yet to prove that he can succeed at the NFL level, as his athleticism is typically called into question. Yes, Hakeem Nicks, and last season’s shining star, Victor Cruz, can get the job done. But depth is always key as Nicks is injury prone.
The major concern for the Giants is the offensive line. The G-Men will struggle across the line as they will be starting players away from their typical position. With Kareem McKenzie gone David Diehl will have to move over to right tackle. Diehl gave up 13 sacks last season, and playing out of position doesn’t seem to bode well. This is absolutely a makeshift offensive line.
Cheer up Giants fans: the defense is here to save the day. Last year the G-Men led the NFL with 59 sacks. Jason Pierre-Paul was the leader of the squad with 16.5 and he is getting better each and every season. Not only do the Giants trot out one of the best defensive ends in the game in JPP, but they also have Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Add to that lineman Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, and Marvin Austin, and you just may have one of the deepest and most talented defensive fronts in the NFL.
It isn’t all roses for the defensive side of the ball as the secondary has some question marks. Aaron Ross is gone, and Terrell Thomas seems to have injured (torn) his ACL for the second consecutive year. Kenny Phillips had a solid season, but that, in turn, does not make up for the fact that Antrel Rolle seems to get torched every other game. To make amends for this the Giants went out and signed Antwaun Molden and Dante Hughes.
The linebackers are also a bit of a question mark as Chase Blackburn is not the answer at middle linebacker and newcomer Keith Rivers can’t stay healthy. Mathias Kiwanuka has done an impressive job transitioning, but his bumps and bruises always seem to add up.
With the pressure the line gets on opposing quarterbacks, the Giants defense can overlook some of their glaring deficiencies. But top-notch offensive teams will exploit these weaknesses.
2012 New York Giants Schedule Analysis
The reward for winning the Super Bowl is an impossible schedule the next season. The Giants have to play each NFC East team twice (as always, and it is never easy), and go on the road to play Carolina, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Baltimore. Along with these brutal road contests they will see Pittsburgh, Green Bay, and New Orleans at home.
The trap bet alert for the Giants will be in Week 5 when they play the Cleveland Browns. This game is sandwiched between a Sunday Night road game in Philadelphia and an emotional trip to San Francisco Week 6.
The Giants play seven teams that made the playoffs last season. Add to that two games each versus improving teams, Dallas and Philadelphia, and this is by far one of the most daunting schedules in the NFL this season.
2012 New York Giants Futures Odds
The New York Giants odds to win the NFC Championship are +850 and their odds to win the Super Bowl are +1750 at 5Dimes. The Giants season win total “over/under” is currently set at 9.5.
2012 New York Giants Predictions
This Giants team is coming off a remarkable playoff run and Manning continues to show why he is one of the best in the league. To doubt Manning and Coughlin seems to just fuel their fire. With that said, this team barely made the playoffs last season and now they have a wretched schedule ahead of them. With Terrell Thomas already getting hurt this offseason and the Giants offensive line in a bit of disarray, things aren’t stacking up well for a repeat trip to the big game.
I do not see this team finishing much higher than 9-7. To get to 10 wins with this schedule would be a remarkable feat. It will come down to Ahmad Bradshaw having a career season, the wide receiving corps staying healthy, and continuing improvement out of the linebackers and secondary.
Don’t count the Giants out. If they get to the playoffs they have proven they can win. But this season getting to the playoffs may prove more difficult than winning the Super Bowl.
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