New York Giants
8-8 (6-9-1 ATS), 3rd Place NFC East in 2009
Not all that long removed from a Super Bowl victory, the New York Giants had a disappointing 2009 season that saw them go just .500 and stand no chance of making the playoffs down the stretch. However, with a ton of returning starters, there is a lot of hope in the Big Apple in the G-Men's new stadium opening up this year.
2010 Draft: A defense that conceded 26.7 points per game last year really needed a bit of a boost, and the unit certainly got a heck of a lot more athletic with the selection of DE Jason Pierre-Paul out of South Florida this year in the first round. In fact, New York's first four draft selections were all on defensive players. An interesting selection in the seventh round was P Matt Dodge, who could replace Jeff Feagles after a subpar season of booting the ball.
Offensive Outlook: Last year was a bit of a struggle at times for QB Eli Manning as he adjusted to an entirely new set of wide receivers and tight ends. WR Steve Smith turned out to be a true star, catching 107 passes for 1,220 yards, and seven TDs on the season, while WR Mario Manningham and WR Hakeem Nicks both had over 750 yards as well. Manning cracked the 4,000 yard barrier and tossed 27 touchdowns against 14 picks in arguably the best season of his career. The running game was sufficient, as RBs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for a combined 1,613 yards and 12 tuddies. All of the key pieces to the puzzle are once again back for the boys in blue, and improvement upon an offense that scored 25.1 points per game in '09 is expected.
Defensive Outlook: The Giants' defense went through a huge overhaul last season, as none of the defensive ends that really made this unit fantastic over the years had even a remotely decent season. CB Terrell Thomas had a fantastic second season in this league, picking off five passes to lead the team. Unfortunately for the Giants, he also led the squad in tackling. He and DT Barry Cofield were the only two players on this defense to start all 16 games a year ago, and only DE Justin Tuck started more than 13 aside from those two. Tuck had six sacks, good for second on the team, and he will most likely be the bookend to Pierre-Paul in a relatively youthful front four. It wasn't so much the yardage that the Giants gave up that was concerning, as 324.9 yards per game wasn't that bad. It was all of those points, which included allowing 40+ points five times over the course of the regular season that was so costly.
2010 Betting Outlook: NFL betting fans were just torched by the Giants at the end of the season after they started 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS in their first five games. They only had two more covers for the L/3 months of the year and haven't covered the spread against a non-divisional playoff contending team since the second to last week of the 2008 regular season. Still, we tend to believe that this is a team that is generally going to be undervalued, so we may get some nice prices, particularly if the defense can start to shore itself up in the trenches.
All Odds for 2010 NFL betting season can be found at Bookmaker.
New York Giants Odds To Win NFC East: +250
New York Giants Odds To Win NFC: +1100
New York Giants Odds To Win Super Bowl XLV: +2600
New York Giants Regular Season Win Total: 8.5 over -135
Manning may have to ultimately look a little bit like his brother this year, as his defense isn't going to be good enough to figure out how to win games for him on a consistent basis. However, with Smith, Nicks, and Manningham having another year under their belts working with the younger Manning, this could be a unit that closely resembles Wayne, Harrison, and Gonzalez from Indianapolis. The G-Men won't win the division, but we tend to believe that they are right on the verge of the postseason and should be a team to keep a very close eye on in 2010.
2010 New York Giants Prediction: 9-7, 2nd Place in NFC East
2010 New York Giants Schedule
Week 1 - Home vs. Panthers
Week 2 - Away @ Colts
Week 3 - Home vs. Titans
Week 4 - Home vs. Bears
Week 5 - Away @ Texans
Week 6 - Home vs. Lions
Week 7 - Away @ Cowboys
Week 8 - Bye
Week 9 - Away @ Seahawks
Week 10 - Home vs. Cowboys
Week 11 - Away @ Eagles
Week 12 - Home vs. Jaguars
Week 13 - Home vs. Redskins
Week 14 - Away @ Vikings
Week 15 - Home vs. Eagles
Week 16 - Away @ Packers
Week 17 - Away @ Redskins