Giants New Additions Have Made a Huge Impact
Last year, the New York Giants had one of the worst defenses in football, and the team had just two true offensive weapons in Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. During the off season the Giants had a strong draft and a $200 million spending spree. The draftees and the off season additions have changed the team. Last season, Big Blue had no issues scoring points but didn’t have much receiver production despite Odell Beckham’s huge year. The Giants defense struggled against the run and the pass and gave up many points. The Giants couldn’t protect the lead and couldn’t close out games. It resulted in the end of the Tom Coughlin era and another losing season.
As we near December, the Giants sit at 8-3 making them the first Wild Card. According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN New York, coach Ben McAdoo said, “This is where the real football begins”. The Giants enter the toughest part of the schedule and need the new additions to step up.
The Pass Rush is Back
The Giants pass rush is back to being a strength and they’ve had 16 sacks in the last four games. Olivier Vernon was the most expensive addition and he has had a huge impact. Vernon has 5.5 sacks despite getting off to a slow start. Vernon continues to get to the quarterback and continues to make tackles. Damon Harrison has been a dominant run stopper for the Giants. Both guys will have to step up this week because the Giants have a much tougher game than the last few they’ve had. Vernon will have a harder time getting to Ben Roethlisberger and Damon Harrison will have a tougher time stopping Le’Veon Bell.
Janoris Jenkins has done a great job shutting down some of the best wide receivers in the game. Terrelle Pryor of the Browns had a good game yesterday but not when matched up against Jenkins. Jenkins gave up just one catch to him and did the same Week 1 against Dez Bryant. Eli Apple has had his ups and downs as a rookie but he will continue to grow as a player.
New Offensive Options
Despite a bad game against the Browns on Sunday Sterling Shepard has had a fine year as the Giants number 2 receiver. Shepard had the eventual game winning touchdowns against both the Bengals and Bears. Shepard has. 44 catches , 476 yards and 5 touchdowns. Shepard has gained the trust of Manning in key spots and is a great side kick to Odell Beckham. Roger Lewis Jr. has two touchdowns on just six catches. Paul Perkins continues to grow as a running back despite a limited role.
The Giants have a strong shot at making the playoffs. Eli Manning is having his best stretch of the season as is Odell Beckham Jr. Jason Pierre Paul is back to being an elite pass rusher for the Giants. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been strong and Landon Collins is a defensive player of the year candidate. The Giants will rely on the guys like Manning , Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz to get the guys who haven’t been their before on the right track.