We are nearly three months into the 2017 fiscal year for the National Football League. It’s safe to say we have seen plenty of player movement via free agency and trades. And in late April, a total of 253 players were selected in the NFL draft. So as teams get ready for mini-camps and OTAs, we figured it was a good time to have some fun looking (and learning) at the significant numbers – both in regards to the past and the present – for each of the 32 franchises. You can play catch-up by clicking here. Now it’s time to check out the New York Giants.
You can’t say enough about what we saw from the Giants’ improved defense in 2016. A unit that allowed the most yards and most passing yards in the league the previous year improved to 10th in total defense and 23rd vs. the pass. Only two clubs in the NFL allowed fewer rushing yards than this team in ’16 (thank you, Damon Harrison), a big jump from the previous year (24th). And after giving up 46 offensive touchdowns a season earlier, the Giants saw that numbed reduced to 25.
That’s a hefty number. But it’s hard to ignore, especially with Ben McAdoo’s team struggling to score points this past season. The Giants averaged less than 20 points per game during the regular season and managed only 13 points in their lopsided 25-point playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. But thanks to that aforementioned defense, a New York team that allowed 442 points in 16 games in 2015 saw that number reduced to just 284 points. That was not only the second-fewest in the league but a whopping 158 points less than in ’15.
Veteran New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP. But he’s also a player that has had his ups and downs when it comes to ball security. And in 2016, he had another one of those seasons where turnovers were an issue. In 2015, Manning threw for 35 scores and coughed up the football 18 times – including just 14 interceptions. But this past year, he saw his TD strikes cut to 26 while he committed 20 turnovers. That included 16 picks while losing four of his seven fumbles.
The team needs to do a better job of running the football. And if Manning can get a little more protection, his new-look wide receiver troika of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall could rack up big numbers.