The purpose of these previews is to provide a quick and dirty look at what the outlook is for each NFL team in 2019 according to my own philosophies and hot takes when it comes to pro football. That said, let’s take a quick report card look at where we came from, what’s expected, and the logic that drives my principles when evaluating NFL teams.
|Division Odds (Moneyline)||:||+1200|
|2018 Rank Rushing Yds/Gm||:||24|
|2018 Rank Against the Run||:||20|
|2018 Rank Against the Pass||:||23|
|Returning Starters Offense||:||7|
|Returning Starters Defense||:||7|
You may notice passing rankings are not included in my cute little NFL team report card. The reason for that is without at least one of, a top-10 ranked running game or top-10 defense, it generally does not matter how good your quarterback is. If you don’t believe me, read this genius’s irrefutable thorough analysis of elite quarterbacks, and how these two attributes correlates to their ability to win anything of note.
Now that you’re fully indoctrinated into my non-quarterback driven league cult, let’s do a quick run down of New York’s significant roster takeaways for this season.
Impact Additions – Acquisitions that are projected to start or have major rotational roles in 2019
|5: OG Kevin Zeitler, WR Golden Tate, S Antoine Bethea, DT Dexter Lawrence, CB Deandre Baker|
Impact Losses – Departures that had started or had major rotational roles last season
|5: WR Odell Beckham Jr., S Landon Collins, DE Olivier Vernon, OG Jamon Brown, CB B.W. Webb|
Difference Makers – Players who are widely considered among the best at their position heading into 2019
|1: RB Saquon Barkley|
Potential Breakout Candidates – Second or third year players that are logical selections to make “the leap” in the upcoming season based on past performance
|1: LB Lorenzo Carter|
How it could work
Saquon learned how to fly in the offseason? Besides that, first rounders Dexter Lawrence and Deandre Baker must be immediate impact players. And, Lorenzo Carter needs to bring enough as pass rusher to supplement the void left from Olivier Vernon.
Sprinkle in some inevitable Jabrill Peppers blitz packages and who knows… this very well could be a formidable defense. Or, at least improved from last season’s bottom third ranking.
Speaking of nowhere to go but up, three new starters on the offensive line and an offseason of development from 2018’s 2nd rounder LG Will Hernandez should help up front. That, plus the notion that Saquon might be so good that even a decrepit Eli can’t screw up the offense.
It might be a tall order, but there’s chance we get to December saying, “Maybe the OBJ trade wasn’t the biggest heist since Green Book winning best picture….”
Why it wouldn’t work
Odell touchdowns versus Eli interceptions are six to five through Week 2 in favor of OBJ, and Giants fans take it to the streets with pitchforks and torches.
After that, the offensive line changes turning out to be lateral moves, inconsistent play from many talented but inexperienced players on defense, and ANY more health issues among an already thin set of skill position players could make this an uphill battle at a 90 degree angle for Pat Shurmur’s second season as head coach.
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Talent and potential is legitimately there in different parts of the roster. But, that doesn’t mean it’s ready to be relied on for quality NFL caliber play over four months.
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Simply put, outside of Barkley, the Giants do not have one player that would be considered to be among the top players at their position heading into this season. And, I can only imagine what the offense would look like if he had to miss any extended time. Put me down for under 6 total wins for the G-Men.
Next up, I’ll continue covering the NFC East with the Washington Redskins.