2015 NFL Season Preview- New York Giants
Despite failing to do better than their 7-9 of 2013, there is a lot of hope in New York going into 2015.
Quarterback Eli Manning had a bounce back year thanks to new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's west coast scheme. His interceptions dropped from 27 to 14 and he set a career high in completion percentage. Running back Rashad Jennings played well but was hampered by injuries for much of the season. Tight end Larry Donnell proved to be a good receiver but struggled with hanging on to the ball and blocking. The offensive line did better in pass protection but couldn't run block.
The defense was a mess due to injuries and other factors. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had his first double digit sack season since 2011 and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins was a run stuffer in the middle. The linebacker corps was dismantled by injuries and the run defense suffered because of it. The secondary played well until injuries forced out many key starters.
The rookie class produced some exceptional players. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. burst onto the scene after dealing with a nagging hamstring strain for the first four games. He lit up opponents with blazing speed, hands like glue, and shattered team receiving records. OBJ was the team's only pro bowler and was named the NFL rookie of the year. Running back Andre Williams showed promise as a power runner who improved his vision and patience as the season went on.
Giants 2014 Rankings
Opponent Passing Yards
Opponent Rushing Yards
NFL Rank- 7th
NFL Rank- 23rd
NFL Rank- 18th
NFL Rank- 30th
NFL Rank- 10th
NFL Rank- 29th
Despite back to back losing seasons, the Giants decided to retain head coach Tom Coughlin for a 12th season. New York will have to have a serious turn around if Coughlin expects to be around in 2016.
After the defense finished 30th against the run and 29th in total defense, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was fired. The team replaced him with Steve Spagnuolo who was the teams defensive coordinator from 2007-2008 and had the defense in the top 10 of every category in both seasons.
During the fourth of July weekend, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul injured his hand in a fireworks accident. The incident resulted in Pierre-Paul having his right index finger amputated and a broken thumb that will take six weeks to heal.
Notable Additions- RB Shane Vereen, WR/KR Dwayne Harris, WR James Jones
Notable Departures- CB Zack Bowman, CB Walter Thurmond, SS Stevie Brown, FS Antrel Rolle
Odell Beckham Jr. Highlight
2015 NFL Draft
Going into the draft, New York held the ninth overall pick and had many positions that needed to be addressed. Most notably at offensive tackle, middle linebacker, and safety.
Justin Pugh struggled in his sophomore season and maybe forced to move inside. The talent level on the offensive line is extremely thin.
John Beaton has been injury prone for much of his career but is expected to be back this season. The team needs a young enforcer in the middle if and when Beaton goes down again.
Antrel Rolle, Quintin Demps, and Stevie Brown are no longer with the team. New York needs more depth at the safety position.
The Giants ended up selecting Miami offensive tackle Ereck Flowers with the ninth overall pick. Flowers was praised for his quickness and balance when reaching the second level but also struggles with the speed of smaller pass rushers.
New York also notably selected Alabama safety Landon Collins in the second round and UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa in the third. Collins was viewed as the top run support safety in the draft but was criticized for being deceived by the play action fake to often. Odighizuwa has all the intangibles to be a dominant defensive end but has a serious injury history that forced him to have two surgeries and miss the entire 2013 season.
Landon Collins Highlights
What to Expect
The talent of this team is worthy of a playoff spot.
Offensively this team is set. The offensive line has enough pieces to have a good combination of run blocking and pass protection. If Eli Manning can have the same level of success he had last year, the offense will be just fine. If Rashad Jennings can stay healthy, the Giants can have a nice tandem of running backs to rely on. Odell Beckham Jr. Is on pace to be one of the most dominant athletes the league has seen in a longtime.
The big concern with this team is with the defense. The team lost most of the secondary to free agency and the pieces that are there now are very injury prone. Even when the linebackers were healthy, the had their faults in the passing game and stopping the run. The only solid unit I see on this defense is the front four.
Had they done more in free agency and the draft to improve their defense, they would be a favorite to win the NFC East. Since they have such a talented offense, but raise a lit of questions about their defense, I say they don't win the division, but are capable of a wildcard spot.
Best record they can hope for: 10-6