Dec 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) is congratulated by defensive end Justin Tuck (91) after throwing his fifth touchdown pass of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Giants: A Return to Form Must start with Core

2012 did not go according to plan for the New York Giants and defense of their Super Bowl title. If they are to rebound in 2013, the Giants will need a return to form from their core players.

The Giants finished the 2012 season with a 9-7 record, one game back of the Redskins in the NFC East and shut out of the wild-card picture. It was a season that was plagued by inconsistency on both sides of the football.

Despite the way they faltered down the stretch in 2012, the Giants still shape up to be playoff contenders for the upcoming 2013 campaign. However, they must get consistency from their team leaders and core players.

On defense, the Giants pass rush was basically non-existent in 2012 and Justin Tuck is going to have to step it up. The Giants pride their defensive line on depth and Tuck is the heart of that line. Jason Pierre-Paul is a stud, however with Osi Umenyiora most likely leaving for free agency it will be crucial for Tuck to give the Giants much more production than he mustered up in 2012.

Eli Manning is arguably already Hall of Fame bound and his two Super Bowl rings are reasons why. Despite making the Pro Bowl, Manning has to know that 2012 was not one if his better seasons. The Giants will need more consistency from Manning in leading the offense back to prominence.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin did all he could in 2012 to motivate his team, however it wasn’t enough. A large portion of that team will be back for 2013 and the talent is strong enough to compete for a playoff spot  as long as they can avoid any major injuries. It all starts with leadership and production from the core and the heartbeat of the team.

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