The New York Giants have been a tough team to figure out over the past few seasons, and handicapping their outlook for 2015 is starting to prove almost as equally as challenging. Bovada has set their odds to win the NFC East at +300 as third-favorites, and their projected win total is set at 8.5 with a -115 moneyline set for the both the "over" and the "under".
Under the guidance of veteran head coach Tom Coughlin and with Eli Manning at the helm at quarterback, the Giants have easily been the most successful team in the NFC East for the past 10 years. They have been to the playoffs five times during this run, and two of those trips ended with a Super Bowl Championship (2007 and 2011). On the flip-side, New York has now ended up below .500 its past two seasons with a 7-9 record in 2013 followed by a 6-10 straight up mark last season.
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The problem in trying to pin down which direction this team heads in 2015 has been the Jekyll and Hyde nature of these last two seasons. The Giants started their 2013 campaign with six straight losses before turning things around with seven victories in their last 10 games. Last season they went on a seven-game losing streak after a promising 3-2 start. The key to success this year will be their ability to level things out with much more consistent play.
2015 New York Giants Overall Team Outlook
Coughlin is back for at least one more season and Manning will once again be under center, so the proven formula for success on offense remains in place. The first big question on this side of the ball lies in the team's running game. The Giants were ranked 23rd in the NFL last season with an average of 100.2 rushing yards a game. They added running back Shane Vereen as a free agent from New England to join Andre Williams, who led the team with 721 yards last year.
More importantly, New York used its first pick of the draft to beef up the offensive line with guard Ereck Flowers, and it also added some depth by signing tackle Marshall Newhouse as a free agent. Manning still had this team ranked seventh in the league in total passing yards, and he did a much better job with his touchdowns (30) to interceptions (14) ratio in 2014. The emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. as one of the up and coming wide receivers in the NFL should only improve this phase of the game.
Defensively, the Giants had their issues almost across the board in 2014. They were ranked 30th in the league in stopping the run and 18 th against the pass. Overall, they allowed an average of 25 points a game, which was ranked 22nd. The defensive secondary took some hits with free agent losses this offseason, but New York did add safeties' Landon Collins and Mykkele Thompson through the draft. With no dramatic improvement in several areas on defense, this could once again be the Achilles Heel of this team.
2015 New York Giants Schedule
The Giants went 3-3 against the rest of the division in 2013, and this dropped to 2-4 in 2014. They are going to have to find a way to earn at least a spit against Dallas and Philadelphia while sweeping Washington to squeeze four wins out of this year's schedule.
The AFC East should be a solid test, but New York could possibly salvage a split if it can beat New England at home. The NFC South should also be favorable with both Atlanta and Carolina at home. The other two games on the schedule are against San Francisco at home and Minnesota on the road, which could both end up in the win column.
2015 New York Giants Win Total Prediction
I was bullish on New York's chance to compete for the NFC East title last season, and I believe the Giants are still in position to challenge the Cowboys and the Eagles for the top spot in 2015. Manning is a proven commodity in the league with two Super Bowl titles, and Coughlin is one of the best coaches in the league at circling the wagons when things get tough. I am not sure if New York will get the job done, but I have no problem with a play on the "over" 8.5 when it comes to its projected win total this year.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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