July 23, 2014

2014 New York Giants Team Preview- Free Win Total Pick

The New York Giants went 7-9 in the 2013 season. Their record really doesn’t indicate how bad they were though. The Giants were outscored 383 to 294 points over the course of the season. The Giants can be a tough team to figure out. They have won the Super Bowl twice in the past seven years, but they have also missed the playoffs in four of those seven years as well.

New York has only gotten to double digits in regular season wins once in the past five seasons. The Giants actually had a -6 point differential in the regular season in 2011, but that’s also one of the years that they won the Super Bowl. How does any of this make sense? It tells me that the Giants have struggled to make it to the playoffs, but they are a team that is very capable of hitting their stride and flipping a switch to play much better in the playoffs if they actually make it that far.

NY GiantsCan the Giants be part of the postseason in 2014? Let’s take a closer look at their roster.

2014 New York Giants Offense

Eli Manning had a season to forget in 2013. Manning threw 27 picks which just about matched his total picks from 2011 and 2012 combined. Manning was really bad last year, but it’s also true that he didn’t have much help around him. The Giants had all sorts of injuries on offense, and the offensive line was just downright awful. New York had a turnover margin of -15 last year, which isn’t likely to be repeated in 2014. Manning might not be an elite quarterback in the NFL, but he is much better than he showed last season.

Rashad Jennings will get the chance to be the main man in the backfield for the Giants this year. Jennings rushed for over 700 yards last year, but I’m skeptical about Jennings’ chances to have a great year behind a disaster of an offensive line. Andre Williams was a Heisman Trophy finalist last year, and he probably has the highest upside of the Giants running backs.

At wide receiver, Odell Beckham gives this team a major upgrade right away. Beckham’s size and ability give him the potential to be a star in this league. His presence also allows Victor Cruz to slide back over to the slot, where he is much more comfortable. Jerrell Jernigan is a play maker who the team needs to find ways to get the ball to in open space.

This offense looks slightly better at the skill positions, but can the offensive line pull it together? If they can’t, it will be another disappointing season for the Giants. They have added some depth along the line, so I’ll project some improvement.

2014 New York Giants Defense

The Giants defense actually wasn’t bad in 2013. New York finished eighth in the NFL in total defense. They allowed 23.9 points per game, but that was primarily because of the amazing field position their opponents got thanks to the constant turnovers from the Giants offense.

Antrel Rolle intercepted six passes, and he’s back again in 2014. He’ll have more help on the other side, since the Giants signed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to start in the secondary. Prince Amukamara has had his ups and downs, but he just turned 25 and I expect an improved campaign from him in 2014. The secondary looks like an area of strength for the Giants.

Justin Tuck led the team in sacks last year, and he’s now a member of the Oakland Raiders. Linval Joseph is now on the Minnesota Vikings roster. That’s the Giants two best defensive linemen from last year that are both wearing different jerseys this season. Jon Beason was the leader for the linebacker corps last year, but he is injured now and likely won’t be ready for the beginning of the regular season. The Giants front seven looks weaker than it did last season.

2014 New York Giants Schedule

Week 1- @Detroit

Week 2- Arizona

Week 3- Houston

Week 4- @Washington

Week 5- Atlanta

Week 6- @Philadelphia

Week 7- @Dallas

Week 8- BYE

Week 9- Indianapolis

Week 10- @Seattle

Week 11- San Francisco

Week 12- Dallas

Week 13- @Jacksonville

Week 14- @Tennessee

Week 15- Washington

Week 16- @St. Louis

Week 17- Philadelphia

The Giants appear to have a relatively easy schedule. New York’s trip to Seattle followed by a home game against San Francisco in weeks 10 and 11 are tough, but the beginning and end of this schedule looks very manageable.

2014 New York Giants Free Win Total Pick: Over 8

I don’t love the New York Giants team, but I do really like the fact they play in a division where no one is dominant. They also got a nice draw on their games outside the division. The Giants have a solid setup to bounce back from last year, and betting against Tom Coughlin’s teams coming off a down season has been a bad idea in the past. Look for the Giants to get back above .500 this year.

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