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Know Your Enemy: New York Giants

Know Your Enemy rolls along with the New York Giants. The Giants had another disappointing year in 2015 with a 6-10 record. Long-time head coach and two time Super Bowl winner Tom Coughlin was forced out. Giants OC Ben McAdoo, former Packers coach, was promoted to head coach to keep continuity. Mike Sullivan is the new OC and Steve Spagnuolo is on his second stint as the Giants defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo was the DC last year and not much will have changed other than Coughlin gone with a new head coach. The Giants will look to make the playoffs since they won the Super Bowl in the 2011 season.

Quarterback
Eli Manning has been a good QB for the Giants. Manning is the lone Manning family member left in the league now and will look to try to one up Peyton again with Super Bowl wins. Eli completed 62.6% of his 618 attempts at 7.2 YPA for 4,436 yards. The younger Manning had a nice season with 35 TDs and 14 interceptions which is a big reason McAdoo was promoted. New York scored 26.3 PPG which was 6th in the league and another reason McAdoo was promoted and Coughlin shown the door. Manning’s rating was 93.6 The Giants can win a Super Bowl with Manning and this offense but they need to protect him and better defense.

Running Game
The Giants ran at an average of 4.0 yards per carry in 2015. Rashad Jennings had a nice year with 4.4 YPC on 195 carries for 863 yards. Jennings added 3 TDs. Shane Vereen had 61 carries for 4.3 yards per carry but is more of a receiving back. Andre Williams struggled with 2.9 YPC on 58 carries. The Giants have a decent running game but could get more production. Paul Perkins was drafted in Round 5 for RB depth.

Offensive Line
Eli had average protection in 2015 even with the rookie struggles by Ereck Flowers at left tackle. Flowers was a 1st round pick and must rebound after a dreadful rookie year in both run and pass protection. Justin Pugh was an excellent pass and run blocker and is a good guard. Geoff Schwartz was cut for cap reasons but was good run blocker at right tackle and is now a Lions backup. John Jerry was solid in pass pro but struggled in run blocking at right guard. Weston Richburg was a top 5 center as a second round pick. Marshall Newhouse may be the Giants new right tackle unless they move Pugh. They may have taken a step back on the offensive line going into 2016.

Weapons
Manning has a great weapon in Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham had 1,450 yards and 13 TDs on 159 targets. He is a great number 1 WR. He is no Eric Ebron but the Giants like him. Reuben Randle bolted for the Eagles in free agency and his 797 yards and 8 TDs will be missed. The Giants countered by drafting Sterling Shephard in Round 2 of the 2016 draft. Shane Verren had 495 yards and 4 TDs as a receiving back.

Wille Tye had 464 yards and 3 TDs and Larry Donnell added 223 yards and 2 TDS. Donnell will look to get back to 2014 form at tight end.Dwayne Harris had 396 yards and 4 TDs as the third WR. The Giants are counting on Victor Cruz to finally be healthy. Cruz hasn’t been healthy in 2014 and 2015 but the Giants may need Cruz this year with the departure of Randle.

Eli has still has plenty of weapons but the Giants could improve the run game and protection. New York should still have a pretty good offense and possibly a top 10 offense again despite their offensive line issues.

Defense

The Giants defense was a big problem last season allowing 27.6 PPG (30th in league). The Giants allowed 4.4 YPC and a 95.9 (25th) QB rating. The Giants did force 27 turnovers however. New York needed a big talent influx and they got what they needed this offseason in a big way on defense.

Defensive line
The Giants completely overhauled their defensive line. The Giants added stud DE Olivier Vernon after the Dolphins rescinded the transition tag. Vernon had 7.5 sacks, 30 hits and 40 hurries for the Dolphins. He was a monster.

Jason Pierre Paul only played 6 games last season due which caused some fireworks for the Giants internally. JPP only had 1 sack but did have 6 hits and 34 hurries in 511 snaps. His run defense took a hit after being dominate in years past. We’ll see if JPP can lend more of a hand for the Giants this season with more snaps and more dominant run defense. Boom or bust year for JPP on a one year deal.

Damon Harrison didn’t move far from the Jets. Damon Harrison is a beastly run stuffing nose tackle that was added by the Giants. Their run defense should be more formidable with JPP, Harrison and Vernon up front. Robert Ayers moved on after a 9.5 sack season for the Giants but Vernon and JPP provide plenty of pass rush. Jonathan Hankins and Jay Bromley will be the under tackle for the Giants but are average players.

Linebacker
The Giants are still weak at linebacker but should have a better front four. Jonathan Casillas, Mark Herzlich, rookie BJ Goodson (Round 4), Jasper Brinkley are mediocre players at best. The Giants may have trouble stopping the run with these linebackers. Brinkley was good in run defense in 428 snaps for the Giants.

Secondary
The Giants upgraded their secondary in a big way in the 2016 offseason. Janoris Jenkins got a big deal and was taken away from the Rams. Eli Apple was drafted in Round 1 of the draft and Dominick Rodgers Cromartie was a good CB for the Giants. The Giants lost Prince Amukamara in free agency but did plenty to build CB back with Jenkins and Apple.

Darrian Thompson was drafted in Round 3 to play free safety and 2nd round pick Landon Collins from 2015 must play better than he did his rookie season. The Giants will rely on two young safeties with plenty of help at CB.

Overall
The Giants were 6-10 but lost a lot of close games. They have a good offense with plenty of talent. They revamped their defensive line and secondary this offseason. New York lost a ton of close games and went 3-5 at home and on the road in 2015. The Giants will be a tough test in 2016.

New York travels to Minnesota in Week 4 and Green Bay in Week 5. New York hosts Chicago in Week 1 and Detroit in Week 15. The Giants won’t be an easy win for any NFC North team.