New York Giants
Last year was a complete disaster for the New York Giants and not many people would argue against that. Their 0-6 start out of the gate set an awful tone for the rest of the season and essentially ensured they would not make the playoffs.
The season for New York brought some bright spots, but the “bad and the ugly” definitely outweighed the “good“. Giants’ fans have probably erased the majority of last season from their brains at this point.
As the regular season opener approaches, Big Blue supporters will hope to not relive those lackluster moments this year. Keeping that abysmal notion in mind, here is what fans will hope to see less of this season.
ANEMIC RUNNING GAME
The Giants were absolutely dreadful on the ground last season, ranking near the bottom of the entire NFL. 1,332 yards on the season is GIANT garbage. Some of their worst rushing performances were in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos and Week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks. Stuffed runs such as these became a common occurrence throughout the season:
New York had a paltry 23 yards rushing on 19 rushes against Denver and only 25 yards on 14 rushes against Seattle. If this type of production, or lack thereof, continues, this will be a long painful season. As opposed to 2007 and 2011, where it was a strenuous, yet historically “Super” season.
THE MANNING FACE
After Eli Manning’s abysmal season last year, every football fans knows what the “Manning face” is. This has become a “thing” on social media. GIFs and memes of Manning with the look of dismay, after throwing one of his 27 interceptions last season. Some of these memes are pretty funny, but there is no doubt that Giants fans would rather not see Manning be the butt of social media jokes throughout the season:
If Manning is doing his patented “Manning face” often in 2014, that means the Giants are committing turnovers and are likely losing games.
MISCOMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN QB AND WR’s
Eli Manning and his wide receivers, especially the younger ones, were not on the same page last year. Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz acknowledged the disconnect, but it was also very plain to see. Miscommunications can obviously lead to interceptions, which we saw aplenty last year, but they can also can lead to incompletions. For a team that struggled to put points on the board, they need to have sustained drives. Receivers have to catch the ball in order to do that.
Big Blue had a turnover differential of -11, ranking 29th in the NFL. Great teams do not turn the ball over and create turnovers. The Giants did the exact opposite. Eli Manning’s interceptions were a huge problem of course, but reckless ball-handling also played a role in the poor differential number.
In 2013, the Giants were a team with a struggling offensive line, no run game, abundance of interceptions, and no rhythm on offense. Players coughing up the ball is not what they needed last year and not what they need this season.
AWFUL START OF THE SEASON
New York has a very legitimate chance to compete in the NFC East and make the playoffs this year. No team in the NFC East is among the conference’s elite teams and no team is expected to run away with the division. Chances are the division champ will be decided in the final games of the season, if not they very last game like it has in the past few seasons.In a tight division race and with the Giants facing the 49ers and the Seahawks in the middle of the season, it is absolutely crucial for New York to NOT START 0-6!
Every new season brings hope to a fan base, no matter what sport. When you have a franchise that has experienced the sweet, sweet taste of success twice in the past seven years, fans start to have expectations, and deservedly so.
Giants fans have seen the really good and the really bad the past few years. Last year brought a lot of the really bad. Big Blue will try not to crush their hopes and their fan base’s hopes before the halfway point of the season this time around.