It’s become a parlor game of sorts. What are the Giants going to do to improve this offseason?
Here’s what NFL.com’s Kareem Copeland wrote on what the Giants need right now:
Consistency, especially on defense. The Giants looked like the best team in the NFL at times and didn’t make the playoffs in 2012. The defense allowed the second-most yards per game, but had the No. 12-ranked scoring defense. That often means too many big plays. The run defense ranked No. 25 and the pass defense was No. 28. That’s very un-Giant-like. Injuries haven’t helped the offense, but Manning needs to live up to that elite status on a weekly basis. They’ll also need some offensive line help if Beatty and Boothe leave via free agency.
John Fennelly, Executive Editor
Not a bad analysis. Previously in the article, Copeland mentions that as long as the Giants have Eli under center, they have a “puncher’s chance”. I’ve always said this. The difference between 2012 and 2011 is that the Giants didn’t land enough punches when it counted.
Just think about 2011. All those big plays by Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Jake Ballard. Now think about 2012. Nicks was 50% (or less) most games and Ballard was gone, leaving Cruz to draw the total attention of the defense. Eli Manning went through a five-game stretch beginning in mid-October where he threw only 2 TD over a five-game stretch.
With a healthy Nicks, a content Cruz and more reliance on the improving Martellus Bennett, the Giants should be able to score more knockout punches this season. That much we know. Now how do the Giants pay to keep them all?
If they can’t, perhaps we’ll see if Rueben Randle becomes the solution. He sure looked very Nicks-like when he was given the chance.
As for the defense, DC Perry Fewell and Tom Coughlin both said something interesting in regards to fixing the pass defense by fixing the run defense first. To me, that means that DT and MLB will be priorities this offseason.