New York, N.Y. The New York Giants have mastered one thing over the course of the last few years. They know how to squeak into the playoffs, somehow remain under the radar, and roll off enough post-season wins to bring home two Super Bowl trophies. The New York Giants have also figured out how to knock off the best franchise in the NFL over the last ten years, on two different occasions to win it all. As we are just weeks away from the 2012 season beginning, New York is once again in a familiar position….as underdogs to a certain extent. Ever since Eli Manning has been the starting QB, the team has rarely looked flashy and hardly ever puts up gaudy numbers. The other team in New York seems to get most of the attention, as their coach is the polar opposite of Tom Coughlin. So what should New York Giants fans expect in 2012? Although plenty of talent is still on the roster, all signs point to a disappointing year for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Let’s not forget, there was a point during last year when the Giants lost five out of six, and were sitting with a 7-7 record. It took two gutsy performances in the final two weeks of the season for them to even make the playoffs. At 9-7, they outlasted Dallas and Philadelphia to win the NFC East. This scenario is eerily similar to what happened a few years ago, when they had to win tough road playoff games to make it to the Super Bowl. Last season was the same situation, as road wins at Green Bay and at San Francisco were necessary to continue their championship path. As they enter the 2012 season, a few key players are no longer around, however. Gone are Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs, who were critical cogs at times last year. Younger, more inexperienced players will fill their roles this year, and relying on young guys to come through has to be concerning. The NFL’s toughest schedule on paper is another roadblock for the Giants. Very few easy opponents are on the docket this season. The lack of hunger will be challenging for Coach Coughlin to get his team to overcome as well. It happens to so many champions in all sorts of sports. A team wins it all, and they unfortunately fall into the “fat cat” syndrome, where the drive to get it done just isn’t there. Another factor which won’t help them will be that their main rivals, the Eagles and Cowboys, are both under immense pressure to get it done this year. Pressure means both teams are under the gun to win, and win now. The Giants have proven to be a very resilient team in the past, but only when it seems that Tom Coughlin’s job has been on the line. 2012 is not this situation. He has now won two Super Bowls, and his job security is about as good as can be. For all of the reasons mentioned, a year for New York at or under .500 seems like it will be in the cards.
The early prediction here is that the New York Giants will finish 3rd in the NFC East. A season of 8-8 or 7-9 seems about right, as Philadelphia and Dallas should finish with better records. This is probably a good thing for the “G-Men” long-term, as in a few years they will somehow barely make the playoffs, win a few games on the road, and once again win the Lombardi trophy. This the only way the New York Giants seem to know how to get the job done.
Denver Sports by J Simp