The New York Giants are the defending Super Bowl Champions. That should be enough to keep them at the top of the NFL. However, that was not the case with the Rant Sports power rankings that were released today. Instead, the defending Super Bowl Champions were placed third behind two teams they beat on their way to the Lombardi Trophy.
Both the Green Bay Packers (No. 2) and the New England Patriots (No. 1) rank ahead of the Giants which is absolutely incorrect. I understand these are preseason power ranking and don’t mean anything. I know they will change another twenty times. However, to rank two teams that fell to the Giants in the playoffs ahead of them without another game being played is just wrong.
The Giants lost Mario Manningham, Aaron Ross, and Brandon Jacobs along with a few other bits and pieces to free agency. Kareem McKenzie isn’t coming back either. Yes, those are some valuable pieces to the Giants championship but all have been replaced. Manningham is replaced by Rueben Randle, the Giants second round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and a healthy Dominik Hixon. Jacobs has been replaced by the Giants first round pick David Wilson. Aaron Ross is replaced by a returning Terrell Thomas who was a much better cornerback than Ross was and a healthy Prince Amukamara.
If you wanted to make the argument that the Giants biggest need was their offensive line and that it wasn’t addressed properly you might have a case. Replacing McKenzie will be David Diehl who is facing charges for driving while intoxicated. However, Will Beatty returns at left tackle and James Brewer has shown improvement in mini-camp and the Giants remain high on him going forward.
If anything, one can argue that the Giants have become more dangerous than they were to start the year last year. Obviously, getting players back from injury helps the Giants immensely but the Giants also added quality depth in the secondary and at linebacker, two supposed weak spots throughout the year last year. Keith Rivers comes over from the Cincinnati Bengals with loads of talent and lots to prove. Mark Herzlich is in good health after suffering a broken ankle last season and should continue to improve. Both Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams showed flashes last season and should only be better after a full offseason to better understand the defense. Ahmad Bradshaw is also healthy after undergoing a procedure to promote healing in his foot which has given him problems over the last year and a half.
I can understand the other writers believing the Giants are not the best team in the NFL but they are the only team that won the Super Bowl and deserve the respect that goes with that by topping the preseason NFL Power Rankings. I don’t think the Giants will stay atop those rankings but they do have a young team with loads of postseason experience with one of the best coaches in the NFL at the helm. Surely, they deserve the respect of being ranked ahead of the Packers and Patriots.
Perhaps the Giants will like being underestimated again. This is a team that thrived on shutting up and performing on the football field. This is the same team that was a Jake Ballard knee (he was inbounds) away from handing the Packers their first loss of the year last season. This is the same team that has beaten the Patriots twice in two Super Bowls over the last five seasons. Ah, but what does it matter anyway? The Packers sat at the top of everyone’s list last season and they fell to the Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs. It looks like the Giants are starting off this season with the rest of the NFL right where they want them.