The New York Giants had a disappointing end to their 2012 season, and with the streaking Washington Redskins climbing to the top to win the NFC East for the first time since 1999, many people are now penciling the Redskins to be the leaders of this division this upcoming season. Not so fast! This division is still up for grabs, and the Giants will most likely be the ones taking back their division crown.
The Giants proved in 2012 that they can play a high level of football, as evidenced by their dominant wins over the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, two of the best teams in the NFC. The Giants finished 9-7, and they’ll look back at a couple of games they should’ve won. For instance, their 19-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 was a crushing blow because it was a division loss.
The Giants only went 3-3 in the division last year, so that was a big part in the Redskins winning the division. The Redskins only lost once in the division … to the Giants. The Giants also lost that season opener to the Dallas Cowboys, and they were very predictable offensively in a losing effort at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What’s in the past is in the past, so the Giants can’t bring those games back. They can only move forward, and their lackluster performance in the games aforementioned should serve as a humbling reminder to bring 100% effort in every game this upcoming season. There are more reasons the Giants could win the division.
The Giants are more talented than the Redskins in pretty much every position. The Redskins have a dynamic quarterback in QB Robert Griffin III, but QB Eli Manning is a better quarterback. The Redskins and Giants possess the same amount of talent defensively. They possess solid pass rushers, and the Redskins boast one of the best linebackers in LB London Fletcher. However, that’s about all as neither defense is very good.
The Giants don’t have much change from the year they won Super Bowl XLVI, so they are very capable of making another championship run. Griffin III will only get better with time and experience, but he will need to work on becoming a better pocket passer as his career moves on. Remember, everyone let QB Michael Vick off the hook early in his career because the Atlanta Falcons were winning games.
Many people believe Griffin III is a much better pocket passer than Vick. I am not too convinced. Griffin III throws an excellent deep ball just like Vick and Griffin III benefits from a read option system where he can complete short five-yard passes. Griffin III likes to get out of the pocket often, and that can cut his career short. He needs to get better at five-step drops and throwing from the pocket to add years and good health to his career, thus making the Redskins legit for a while.
However, while Manning is here and effective, the Giants should still be the favorite to win the division.