I’ve taken some time to look around the web this holiday, and I found some good articles on the Giants, and their roster. Here’s a good read from David Syvertsen at MVN’s Giants 101. They have some good Giants opinions there:
Here we are. Finally within one week of the season opener in Dallas where we hope to trounce the cocky Cowboys and wipe the smirk off Tony Romoâ€™s face. Starting today, each Giants 101 writer (hopefully) will dish out their thoughts regarding the 2007 season using the same format. Look at it as both a preview and a little competition between the writers here at Giants 101.
Season Record: 7-9
NFC East Standings
1 – Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
2 – Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
3 – New York Giants (7-9)
4 – Washington Redskins (7-9)
Top Offensive Player: Jeremy Shockey – TE
-With Eli Manning appearing to finally be ready to take his game to the next level, I am under the assumption that the greatest beneficiary will be 27 year old and 6th year veteran Jeremy Shockey. I have stated time and time again that the one thing that separates Shockey from a monster year is health. If Shockey can avoid the injury bug, which is a big if, he will absolutely thrive in this offense. Kevin Gilbride has proven over the course of his tenure as offensive coordinator that he likes to use the short passing game. He has also stated and shown that after lulling the defense to sleep, he wonâ€™t hesitate to throw the ball downfield. That philosophy alone will reap enormous rewards for Shockey. Combine that with how improved Eli has looked this preseason in terms of accuracy and comfort, and I have to think a 90 catch-1,000 yard season could be in store for our maniac TE.
Top Defensive Player: Osi Umenyiora – DE
-A year ago at this time I projected a monster season from a DE I have had high hopes for ever since his fumble return for a TD in Baltimore back in 2004. Coming off a 14.5 sack season in 2005 where he simply looked like the best DE in football at times, I was ready for him to come out from under Michael Strahanâ€™s wing and completely dominate. However, the hip flexor injury that kept him out for 5+ games and just 75% for about 5-6 more really hampered his diversity as a DE. With his explosion clearly back and again, a scheme that will suit his and the playersâ€™ around him abilities, he will take off. I am predicting more than 16 sacks while playing the run incredibly tough as always.
Top Rookie: Ahmad Bradshaw – RB
I am going out on a little bit of a limb with this one but after watching this kid break off big run after big run after big run, my expectations have sky rocketed. He is starting off the season as teamâ€™s kickoff return man, therefore his opportunity to contribute and make plays will immediately exist. As far as him getting the chance to get into the backfield, I think that weâ€™ll see #44 get plenty of carries later in the season for a couple reasons. First being unfortunate; I donâ€™t think Brandon Jacobs will be able to stay healthy as a feature back all season. Secondly, the power run scheme is great and all but after our running game struggles early on, which I think will be the case, the coaching staff will be pressed to bring in a change of pace back every now and then. That is where I see Bradshaw coming in and possibly having a Willie Parker-in-2005 type impact from the get go.
Three Bold Predictions
Eli Manning will make the Pro Bowl
-I said it yesterday in my â€œ10 Things the Preseason has Shownâ€ article that Eli Manning is about to take off. Originally I was going to wait until next year to say this, but I am confident in my statement that he will take his game and place it amongst the leagueâ€™s best. His up and down start to a career along with a massive amount of media scrutiny has led many of you to start getting a little weak in the knees but with weapons galore on the offensive side of the ball and a much, much more QB friendly system will reap enormous rewards for Eli.
Aaron Ross will be starting by week 12
Look, no matter how you look at this situation we have in the defensive backfield, it is extremely difficult to think we have the potential to be anything above average back there this season. With 33 year old Sam Madison appearing to be an injury waiting to happen and RW McQuarters 30 year old RW McQuarters sure to slow down if he has to start week after week just like last year, weâ€™re going to need a kick in the butt at CB. If you are going to have a position of weakness, you want to at least have youth at that spot so there can be hope for the future. (more)
Here’s the Giants current 53-man roster:
Eli Manning, Jared Lorenzen, Anthony Wright
Brandon Jacobs, Reuben Droughns, Derrick Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw
Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss, Michael Matthews
Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, Steve Smith, Sinorice Moss, David Tyree, Anthony Mix
David Diehl, Kareem McKenzie, Guy Whimper
Rich Seubert, Chris Snee, Zach Piller, Adam Koets
Shaun Oâ€™Hara, Grey Ruegamer
Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Adrian Awasom, Michael Strahan
Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield, William Joseph, Manuel Wright, Jay Alford
Kawika Mitchell, Mathias Kiwanuka, Reggie Torbor, Gerris Wilkinson, Zak DeOssie
Antonio Pierce, Chase Blackburn
Sam Madison, RW McQuarters, Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, Kevin Dockery
Gibril Wilson, James Butler, Michael Johnson, Craig Dahl
K Lawrence Tynes, P Jeff Feagles
During training camp and throughtout most of the preseason, I thought this would be an easy win, and the Giants would get whipped. I’m NOT so confident right now with all our injuries at very key positions. The secondary will be tested often, the the running defense will have their hands full with Jacobs and Droughns. Shockey has always had his way with our secondary, so hopefully this weaknesses are being addressed at Valley Ranch this week. By no means are the Giants a blow over team. I expect us to run out of the nickel as a base defense until Newman returns.
The key to victory will be a fast start and strong finish. Unlike previous seasons under Parcells, the offensive team did not score soon enough, and did not score enough points to snuff out opposing teams. Garrett’s attack happy offense should help out in this area. Let’s hope the defense can keep up with the offense this time.