The New York Giants only won three games last season that were decided by fewer than 14 points. A squad that’s typically known for winning tight games behind the cool calm of Eli Manning found itself in many routs going in both directions during 2012. This after seven of New York’s nine regular-season wins came by less than that margin in 2011.
The last narrow victory Big Blue battled through came in late October against the Dallas Cowboys, when Dez Bryant became nearly unstoppable and — nearly — hauled in a game-winning lob to the back of the end zone. With the state of the Giants secondary this offseason, New York’s helpless against teams with multiple elite receiving options if No. 1 corner Prince Amukamara can’t stay healthy for the 2013 NFL season.
A nickel package of Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas and Jayron Hosley just isn’t going to cut it right now against the Green Bay Packers, and a dime that factors in Aaron Ross just sounds abysmal. After missing nine regular season games his rookie year Amukamara improved to just three last year, and Big Blue is leaning on 16 games in 2013 — being the only Giants cornerback to rank above 110th in Pro Football Focus’ 2012 cornerback grades.
If he can retain his health and his newfound “swag”, as he put it during an interview relayed by the NY Daily News, then the Giants secondary could optimistically end up half-decent if his teammates stay on the field as well. Amukamara and this defense seem to have grown closer since that 2011 hazing video hit the Internet during his rookie year.
“I think it probably did help a little bit,” Amukamara said. “If you’re doing bad on the field and they’re doing that to you it can probably weigh down on you. So just knowing that my teammates were for me and not against me helped a lot.”
Now Amukamara’s teammates need him more than ever.