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The New York Giants are coming off of a rough season that should provide motivation for 2014. After launching themselves into a 5-0 record in 2009 New York ran into a buzz saw in New Orleans and never really recovered, finishing at 8-8. Somewhere along the line the Giants lost their physical running game and the defense that’s been their cornerstone. Getting that tough style of play back and perhaps leaning more heavily on Eli Manning and a talented group of young wide receivers could go a long way towards restoring New York in the NFC East. In one of the toughest divisions in the NFL the Giants are faced with a turnaround scenario that will make or break the current lineup. Only a few years removed from a dramatic Super Bowl win, the New York Giants plan on responding with a return to power. Look for Eli Manning to lead the charge and make Giants tickets the hottest ticket in the Big Apple.
The whole mindset of the New York Giants has been dominating by the run. While the Giants coaches would like to get back to that, the fact is things are looking much better in the passing game. Eli Manning posted probably the best year of his career and his work with a new trio of young receivers was responsible for much of New York’s success. Steve Smith became a legitimate #1 receiver in the NFL with 107 catches and seven touchdowns. His opposite number, Hakeem Nicks, caught 47 passes and averaged almost 17 yards per catch. Finally, Mario Manningham rose to the occasion in 2009 by compiling over 800 yards in the air. Manning and his three amigos make for an interesting problem on a team that wants to re-establish the run. Rebuilding the ground game hinges on Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw staying healthy, something they couldn’t do last season. It all adds up to a challenging season for the New York Giants, one in which Eli manning may be called upon to carry the load with his arm. Entering the prime of his career, Manning can get it done.
Defensive power has been a trademark of New York Giants ticket but that didn’t happen in 2009. So New York scrapped the coaching and installed Perry Fewell as the new Defensive Coordinator. Fewell will be looking for improved health on the D-line to accomplish his goal of putting pressure on the quarterback. Chris Canty, Jay Alford, and Justin Tuck all spent time on the sidelines last season and they’ll be needed in 2012. The Giants added firepower in Antrel Rolle and rookie Chad Jones in the secondary. Fewell also like to run more blitz packages so look for a more aggressive style of play from the Giants, one that sets the tone and dictates to an offense, in other words a return to New York Giants roots.
Get Giants tickets for any NFC East game as the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles all must visit New Meadowlands Stadium. The NFC East is wide open and these are crucial games. New York will also play host to the Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, and Carolina Panthers over the course of the season with road games in Green Bay and Indianapolis offering big challenges.
NY Giants: Wide Open at Wide Receiver
Last year the New York Giants were 11-1 at the end of November. They had a golden opportunity to repeat their Super Bowl success of the year before. They were powered by an absolutely dominate running game along with a top notch defensive line. Too bad the NFL season doesn't end in November, because after November the Giants looked nothing like a team trying to defend a Super Bowl title. Of course everyone knows the turning point in their 2008 season was when Plaxico Burress decided to carry an unlicensed handgun into a New York night club. To make a long story short, Plaxico Burress shot himself and is now facing two years in prison. The Giants wide receiver problems all started in the offseason when they chose not to re-sign Amani Toomer and to cut Plaxico Burress. Cutting Burress was an expected move because of his pending legal issues. But when the Giants did not re-sign Toomer it was a stunning decision because he was the only veteran wide receiver on the roster after they cut Burress. Enough about Toomer and Burress, let’s talk about the void that was left at the wide receiver position.
In 2009 the Giants will have two new starting wide receivers for the first time since 2005 and the interesting part is nobody knows who the two will be. During the offseason the Giants were not able to land a big name wide receiver via trade. Thus leading the Giants to go with the players they had on their roster, along with two wide outs they drafted with their first and third round picks. The receivers on the roster as of late August are, Steve Smith,Sinorice Moss, Dominik Hixon, David Tyree, Derek Hagan, Taye Biddle, Mario Manningham, Shaun Bodiford , as well as the rookies Ramsees Barden and Hakeem Nicks.. Steve Smith and Dominik Hixon are the front runners to grab the starting positions due to their production and experience. There is also reason to believe the Giants expect the two rookies, Nicks and Barden to eventually make impacts throughout the season due to the talent of both Nicks and Barden. Nicks, has the speed and pass catching ability to contribute right away. On the other hand, Barden stands 6 foot 6 inches tall and will probably be a big red zone threat right away, but many think he has a large learning curve ahead because the transition from division II to the NFL is a major one. We all know not every receiver listed will make the final roster, but the ones that do make it will have the opportunity to fill the shoes of both Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer.
How big are the shoes left behind by Toomer and Burress you ask. Well let’s take a look at the shoes of both Toomer and Burress and see what kind of production the Giants are losing. First we'll look at career receptions for Toomer and Burress and compare it to the career receptions of the receivers on the Giants squad right now. Second we’ll compare touchdown catches. Okay? Here we go! The total number of career receptions for the ten players on the Giants roster right now is 262, the career total of receptions for Toomer and Burress is an amazing 1,173. It was shocking to see the difference in catches, but what was even more shocking was the difference in touchdown receptions, because let's be honest, scoring touchdowns is how a player is measured these days. There is no build up needed for the difference in touchdowns, it's 109 to 12. Wow! I had no idea how productive Toomer and Burress were. I knew Burress scored a lot and was productive, but I always saw Toomer as a procession receiver, not someone who got in the end zone so frequent. I'm stating the obvious here, but the current Giants receivers have a lot of work to do this season. We’ll see if experience at wide receiver really matters for a team trying to win a Super Bowl.
Lastly, to defend the Giants, the coaching staff has had the whole offseason to tweak their offense in anticipation for all the young talent at wide receiver. There have been reports that this is the first offseason Eli Manning has had to work with the starting receivers thus far in his career. Because in years past Burress has opted to workout in his home state of Florida. It is also a fact Eli is now the true leader of this team since, Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, Jeremy Shockey, Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress are no longer in the locker room. Eli must step up as a leader and make these young receivers better if the Giants want to have any kind of the success they had in 2007. If the Giants struggle, not all hope is lost because they have arguably the most dominating running game in the NFL to fall back on. A solid running game can be a quarterback’s best friend and in this case the best friend of a young talented receiving corp. The running game may be able to buy the offense a little more time to develop a good passing game during a long grueling season. In closing, it will be interesting to see how the Giants handle all the young talent at wide receiver because as we saw last season it could make or break their whole 2009 outing.
Ready to see this year's Giants in person? We have seats and tickets for you. As always, the best tickets at the best prices are available here:
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Victor Cruz doesn't need this game. Eli Manning doesn't. And Antrel Rolle certainly doesn't. But for a handful of Giants, no game will have more meaning than Thursday's preseason finale against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. The starters will ...
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