Odds to win the NFC East +300
Odds to win the NFC +1000
Odds to win the Super Bowl +2000
Win Total 9.5
The New York Giants have won 10 or more games in four of the last six seasons, been to the playoffs four times during that span, and won the Super Bowl in 2008, yet there always seems to a multitude of questions with this team at the start of every season. Tom Coughlin enters his eighth year as head coach with a team that could just as easily win another championship as it could finish out of the playoffs all together like it has for the past two seasons.
The biggest question on offense is what kind of season will quarterback Eli Manning have? He is coming off a 2010 campaign where he started every game, passed for over 4000 yards, and threw a career-high 31 touchdowns. He also personally turned the ball over 30 times with 25 interceptions and five lost fumbles and saw his overall quarterback rating dip to 85.3 percent; the lowest rating in three years. Everyone knows that he is more than capable of leading this team back to the Super Bowl, but he will have to do a much better job at taking care of the ball to have any shot at actually doing it.
The Giants’ running game should remain a solid part of the offense with the re-signing of free agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw. He will once again be joined in the backfield by Brandon Jacobs to form a powerful one-two punch that combined for 2,058 rushing yards and 17 TD’s last season. The passing game will feature Hakeem Hicks and Mario Manningham as the two primary receivers, but New York will have to replace TE Kevin Boss, who recently signed with Oakland as a free agent. With the future of WR Steve Smith still up in the air, look for third-round draft pick Jerrel Jernigan to emerge as the possible No.3 receiver in the lineup.
Coughlin decided to utilize this year’s draft to focus on adding some youth and depth to the defense by using five of his eight picks on this side of the ball. He has already faced his first setback when his No.1 selection, CB Prince Amukamara broke his foot in his first practice and could be out for as long as two months. He is also dealing with the off-field distraction caused by DL Osi Umenyiora’s demands for a new contact. At this time, there does seem to be a simple solution to this mess so it is likely to drag into the start of the regular season. Overall, this unit remains pretty much intact from the one that finished the 2010 season ranked seventh in the league overall.
One thing we know for sure is that this team has enough talent to be a major factor in the NFC East race this season. Its recent struggle to beat Philadelphia over the past few seasons aside, Coughlin is notorious for fielding a competitive team that knows how to circle the wagons when the going gets tough. The problem getting past the Eagles will most likely continue for at least one more season, but the Giants will win enough games this season to get back to the playoffs as a wildcard team.
2011 Prediction: 10-6 and second in the NFC East
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.