Recent history says the New York Giants will rebound from a rough season and win a division title in 2018. But how can this team actually pull that off?
As has been well-documented, going from last to first in the NFL in just one season is far from uncommon. Of course, that’s proven to be the exception in the AFC East when it comes to the New England Patriots, who have captured a league-record nine straight division crowns. Good luck to the New York Jets in 2018.
But it’s almost polar opposite when it comes to the NFC East. A year ago, the Philadelphia Eagles rebounded from a 7-9 finish and a berth in the division basement to 13 wins and Super Bowl LII champions. It marked the third consecutive year in the fifth time in six seasons that the NFC East champion finished last the previous year.
So what does that mean for the New York Giants, who come off a disastrous 3-13 showing while setting a franchise record for losses in a season? New general manager Dave Gettleman has been doing his thing offseason. And the club is now under the guidance of head coach Pat Shurmur, last seen as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.
So can the Giants go from first to last and capture their first division title since 2011? Here are three things that must happen if the club is to have any chance of enjoying a meteoric bounce back campaign.
3. Offensive line gels in September
The numbers show that quarterback Eli Manning was sacked just 31 times in 16 games this past season. But if you watched the New York Giants’ offense a year ago in terms of line play, the veteran signal-caller was on the move far too often.
General manager Dave Gettleman addressed the left tackle issue with the signing of former New England Patriots’ standout Nate Solder. For now, former first-rounder Ereck Flowers (who will not have his fifth-year option picked up for 2019) shifts over to the right side. The Giants also used a second-round pick in the draft to pick up UTEP’s Will Hernandez, who could solve a big issue at left guard.
Getting the offensive front fixed and performing efficiently from day one is imperative. If not, dealing with the likes of the defensive lines of the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys is going to be a major problem.