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NFL New York Giants

5 Irreplaceable Players For the New York Giants During the 2013 NFL Season

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5 Irreplaceable Players For the New York Giants During the 2013 NFL Season

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012 the New York Giants disappointed the NFL just after beating Tom Brady in the Super Bowl again. Finishing 9-7 and second in the NFC East, the Giants plan on rebounding from a down year. Things are looking bright for the Giants now that they have their core solidified and healthy. With Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks back in the fold, Manning is gearing up for a big year. With Martellus Bennet gone, Brandon Myers must step up and become one of the main weapons down the middle and in the end zone. With an aging offensive line, an under-performing defense, and a new-look running game, the Giants must rely on their franchise quarterback.

The Giants have always been slow starters in the regular season, but when the playoffs are around the corner the Giants kick it into overdrive. In 2007 after going 10-6 the Giants reached the playoffs as a wild-card and knocked off the undefeated New England Patriots. In 2011 the Giants finished the regular season at 9-7 but dominated the competition, defeating the New England Patriots once again. The Giants have the potential to go deep into the playoffs if they are healthy. If they can weather the storm of Robert Griffin III and a retooled Philadelphia Eagles squad there are few better than Eli Manning in the postseason. Here are five players that are vital to any Super Bowl aspirations the Giants have.

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5. Justin Tuck

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When Justin Tuck is healthy, he is one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the NFL. The Giants need him to regain his form in order to recreate the fearsome D-line they boasted during their Super Bowl runs. His leadership and presence on the defensive line can’t be underestimated. He brings toughness that the Giants need.

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4. Victor Cruz

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Cruz is one of the most dynamic play makers in the NFL. He can line up at pretty much any position you need him to and he will excel. In 2011 Cruz caught 82 passes for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2012 Cruz caught 86 passes for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is a vital part in the Giants offense, and he will be for years to come.

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3. Hakeem Nicks

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Nicks has the ability to become one of the best deep threats in the game. His ability to make deep vertical catches and his strength after the catch is rivaled by few. In his four years with the Giants, Nicks has caught 255 balls for 3,726 yards and 27 touchdowns. Unfortunately for Nicks, he’s had multiple injuries throughout his career. In 2013 he is healthy and ready to ascend to the top tier class of receivers.

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2. Jason Pierre-Paul

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Pierre-Paul is one of the best defensive ends in the NFL. Since being drafted by the Giants 15th overall out of South Florida, Paul hasn’t missed one regular season game. His best season came in 2011 when he had 16.5 sacks and 65 tackles. His strength and long arms give him an edge for any lineman he lines up against. He has the ability to take over that Giants defense and really put himself in forefront with the best defensive players. His play is vital to the Giants defense being productive in 2013.

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1. Eli Manning

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

No surprise here with Manning. He may never get the credit he truly deserves, but his two Super Bowl rings speak for themselves. The Giants are always on a roller coaster. They can be good one day and bad on another, but Manning stays consistent. Both Super Bowl runs showed that Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Both in 2007 and 2011 the Giants coasted into the playoffs. Nobody gave them a second look, but that didn’t bother Manning at all. He carved every defense he faced and put the NFL on notice that the Giants were not to be trifled with. Eli Manning has what it takes to win another Super Bowl, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see number 10 hoist up the Lombardi trophy once more.