New York Giants 2009 NFL Projection:
Everyone knows the story. The Giants were dominating the regular season last year...
Until Burress shot himself.
The Giants had ample time to recover from his absence; however they didn't use that
time to sign a proven veteran receiver. In fact, Amani Toomer departed.
New York elected to use three of their first
five draft picks to address the situation, selecting WR Hakeem Nicks from North Carolina,
WR Ramses Barden from Cal Poly who at 6-6 could provide a strong red zone presence, and TE Travis
Beckum from Wisconsin.
Naturally the Giants hope to see improvement from Domenik Hixon who can break away from coverage,
but needs to do a better job of hauling in the ball.
Up front it's no secret the Giants possess a tremendous starting offensive line, led by pro bowlers
Chris Snee and Shaun O'Hara.
However, the unit's depth has been exposed during the preseason.
Naturally the Giants need their starting five to stay healthy throughout the season in
order to force their will running the ball with Jacobs and Bradshaw.
Depth at running back took a hit with the departure of Derrick Ward to Tampa Bay and the season
ending injury to Andre Brown. The bottom line-- New York's run blocking is good enough
for most any back to gain yards. The real problem is expected to be opposing defenses stacking
the line, and challenging Eli Manning to beat them with the pass.
Of course, when you have a defense as solid as what the Giants have, there are only so many
points you need to score to win most games.
On paper, New York has an embarrassment of riches on their defensive line
Tuck, the return of Umenyiora, Kiwanuka, Robbins, Cofield, and Rocky Bernard (from Seattle).
Unfortunately, Jay Alford is likely lost for the year with MCL and ACL injuries (not to mention he's the Giants'
snapper on extra points and field goals. And newly acquired interior lineman Chris Canty from Dallas has hamstring woes
that may keep him out the first few games.
Surely the Giants have enough options to play through their setbacks on defensive line until such time
as they may be able to field a wicked rotation.
New York's linebacking crew looks to improve year over year thanks to the addition of Michael Boley (expected to return in week 2)
and the drafting of impressive rookie Clint Sintim.
The Giants' secondary is also solid, led by CB Corey Webster. Although, Aaron Ross has an injured hamstring, leaving
Terrell Thomas as the likely starter in the meantime.
The G-Men will face plenty of solid teams in '09 due to a competitive NFC East with
all expected to field solid teams,
not to mention
the strength of the NFC conference on the whole. But the Giants catch a break as they face the
AFC West, a division that finished poorly in '08 and is still weak on paper heading into '09.
The Giants' defense caught the injury bug this preseason.
But they are deep and ought to be able to play through it.
Perhaps Big Blue will struggle in the early going
against division rivals Washington and Dallas.
But we still see an opportunity for a (12-4)
finish in 2009.
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Free 2009 NFL Predictions Note:
Remember these now archived 2009 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2009 preseason.
Of course many team components can alter throughout the yearly
football campaign which may have affected
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