New York Giants
NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: Fan favorite, Steve Weatherford recently became a salary cap casualty. The fact a punter arguably became the team's MVP over the last two seasons was a leading indicator of just how far Big Blue has fallen. For those fans old enough to remember Dave Jennings, you know exactly what I mean.
Sorry folks, this being the 25th anniversary of Super Bowl XXV will ultimately prove to be the best part of the 2015 season.
Recent history says the Giants have been a sub par team since winning SB XLVI. This season, I fear the Giants will only continue their downward trend.
After paying more attention this pre-season than I have in a very long while, I did not like what I saw.
In fact, tonight's opening game in Dallas may very well end disastrously. I'm consumed with the potential of a blowout. I'd rather it not turn out that way, but as an aside, the Giants have lost their last 4 season openers, and two of those came against the Cowboys.
For all the talk of the Giants offensive potential, I feel they will will struggle to score 20 points. I'll be paying particular attention to how many three-and-outs they commit. Moreover, I defy the Giants offensive line to spearhead long, time consuming drives.
Dallas, however, will do just that. Their offensive line is equipped to control the clock, and possession. They'll get off more plays from scrimmage and face little resistance putting up points against an already depleted Giants defense.
If the offense does not optimize their limited possessions, the Giants are as good as done.
1st Down and a Long Season to Go:
For starters, Steve Weatherford is gone - a salary cap casualty. I get that, because you can't spend small fortunes on punters in the cap era. But, I'm no less sorry to see him go. He was effectively the team's MVP these last 2 seasons - which is an alarming indictment against Jerry Reese!
Damn right I'm feeling glum...
Last year's bad defense stands poised to become this year's worse nightmare.
- The JPP situation is so ponderous, that I haven't a clue where to start. What I do know, is the Giants enter the season without a legitimate pass rusher.
- Linebacker remains in its usual state of neglect - again, thank you Jerry Reese. Jon Beason is hurt again, leaving Devon Kennard as the team's lone inspiring talent at the position.
- The secondary, meanwhile, reads like an intensive care unit. The departure of Antrel Rolle additionally created a major void in leadership. He was the traffic cop on the field. Outside of Prince Amukamara, we now have a bunch of Keystone candidates.
Offensively, Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. can't carry the Giants by themselves.
- During the pre-season, there was much talk regarding how Odell Beckham now wears a target on his back. That situation will clearly be worth monitoring. He won't get relief anytime soon though, as Victor Cruz is not yet ready for game action. Therefore, this would be a fine time (as well as being about time..) for Rueben Randal to finally up his game.
- My opinion of tight end Larry Donnell is favorable, but still incomplete. Over the past 2 seasons, the Giants haven't exactly utilized tight end to my satisfaction. That stems from the position having to compensate, and assist a poor offensive line....
- Everything starts up front. Rashad Jennings is a fine back, but what good is he if the offensive line can't create any daylight? How well, then, will the Shane Vereen acquisition turn out? What good is having Beckham if Eli Manning can't get him the ball, or worse, Eli gets repeatedly slammed to the deck? Keep your eyes peeled on Justin Pugh, who is now the starting left guard. Ultimately, the front five pose one Giant question mark. As this offensive line goes, so goes Big Blue.
Whichever way you shake it, the Giants are about to embark on a long troublesome season, again. I could be wrong about everything, but I doubt it.
And so goes my opening post....
Consider me punched in. The DO IT FOR THE DUKE portion of this blog is now in session.