New York Giants: 5 Players Facing Make-or-Break Seasons in 2013
5 New York Giants Who Have Something to Prove
Despite beginning the 2012 NFL season as defending champions, the New York Giants failed to reach the playoffs. Unfortunately, in 2013, a 9-7 record would not cut it.
At times, the team showed its prowess that took them so far the year before. The Giants won all four games in October, scoring an average of nearly 31 points per game. However, the team lost five out of its last eight games in the regular season, ultimately causing the lack of a postseason appearance. At the end of the year, the Giants had three Pro Bowlers: Eli Manning, Chris Snee, and Jason Pierre-Paul. Then rookie David Wilson even made the AP All-Pro 2nd team at running back.
Nevertheless, two of those four players, Snee and Wilson, make this year's "make-or-break" list. Why is this? Well with hopes high for the Giants squad in the upcoming season, even the team's most talented players need to be in their best form. The Giants return an excellent receiving corps, fueled by offseason additions of Louis Murphy and Brandon Myers. They also had several key draft picks, including Justin Pugh and Damontre Moore, who look to make a big impact as rookies next year.
There is no doubt in the minds of Giants fans that this could again be the year. If they can make it as far, the team could perhaps be the first to play in a Super Bowl in its home stadium. I wouldn't expect such an outcome, but I wouldn't be surprised either.
And so, without further ado, here are five players of the New York Giants who must perform well on the field this season.
In 2010, Justin Tuck had 11.5 sacks and 48 tackles for the New York Giants at the young age of 27. To fans and teammates alike, it seemed as if the sky was the limit. Over the last two seasons, however, Tuck has only recorded nine sacks and 57 tackles. At the age of 30, without a strong 2010-like year in the upcoming season, Tuck may no longer be a Giant.
With Victor Cruz in the process of landing a big deal, Hakeem Nicks, who is in the final year of his contract, needs to up his performance this year if he wants to see an equally-sized paycheck next season. Despite putting up over 1,000 yards receiving in 2010 and 2011, Nicks had less than 700 this past season with only three receiving touchdowns. Even though he played less games, he still had over 25 receiving yards per game less than either of the previous two seasons. For obvious reasons, this year is crucial to his future with the team.
Although Chris Snee has been instrumental to the New York Giants offensive line for a long time, he has had injuries during the last few seasons and is already 31 years old. With a big contract going through 2014, he may not stay with the team if he cannot perform. Additionally, Giants draft pick Justin Pugh is looking to play right away, and if Snee does not play as well as usual he may be replaced.
Antrel Rolle is over 30, plain and simple. He recorded one less tackle per game in 2012 compared to 2011, and he still has two full years left on his contract. Hopefully Rolle can maintain solid play and continue to be a force in the secondary, but if his numbers continue to drop the Giants may not hold onto him. After all, $9.25 million can go a long way in terms of acquiring younger talent.
After coming off of a spectacular season last year, David Wilson has one question to answer: can he be a consistent starting running back in the NFL? He certainly has the speed and potential to break out the big play, and most think he could be the future of the Giants. 2013 will be a big year for him, and if he proves himself as an outstanding halfback he could have a long and successful career in the league.
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