NFL New York Giants

5 New York Giants With Something To Prove

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5 New York Giants Who Need a Good Finish to 2013

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Disappointing and frustrating are two words that appropriately describe the New York Giants this season. At 5-7, the Giants are no longer clinging to playoff hopes but rather trying to finish up this year with a shred of dignity. Tonight, they will play the Washington Redskins in a matchup featuring the basement dwellers of the NFC East.

The Redskins have just as many problems as the Giants do, if not more. Washington is headlined by a lackluster defense and a sputtering passing game. Robert Griffin III has hit a sophomore slump head-on and is still trying to wade his way through the struggles. Although Washington’s run game remains one of the best in the NFL, it is not enough to overcome the problem areas. Sunday night is likely to be an ugly game as both of these teams are prone to playing mistake-riddled football.

In these last five games of the season, the Giants will have to try and gauge what players are going to be a part of this team’s future. There are several players along the offense and the defense who show promise and will likely cement themselves as integral components of this New York team in years to come. On the flip side, there is dead weight holding the Giants back. Both veterans and youngsters will have to use the rest of 2013 to show what they are capable of.

Here are five New York Giants with something to prove in the last five games of the season.

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5. Brandon Myers

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The Giants signed tight end Brandon Myers in the offseason after Martellus Bennett ended up signing with the Bears. On paper, Myers looked like an immediate upgrade because of his superior receiving numbers. However, his inability to block has proven to be a major concern for New York. In these last five games, Myers needs to show some improvements in that area and also come up with some big plays in the passing game.

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4. Jacquian Williams

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jacquian Williams is an interesting player. He is one of New York’s best cover linebackers, but he is a liability against the run. If Williams can become a more physical defender and show a better pursuit of the football in run situations, he will put his stamp on the Giants' defense. We’ll see whether or not Williams can continue to improve or simply remain a one-dimensional player who can only play in certain situations.

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3. Justin Tuck

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This is Justin Tuck’s ninth year in the NFL. He’s recorded just 2.5 sacks this season and seems like he will never quite return to the player he once was. Tuck has played well at times this season and has been disruptive against the run. However, the Giants can’t afford to start a defensive end that’s not going to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Tuck needs to show some signs of life in the pass rush, or his career as a Giant is likely over.

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2. Eli Manning

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a rough year for Eli Manning. Even when a matchup looks favorable for the passing game, Manning struggles to move the ball through the air. His interceptions could hit a career-high and his touchdowns may drop to a career-low for a single season. Manning has not looked comfortable in the pocket this year, and his lingering struggles are troubling. It’s time for Manning to show why he’s been a Super Bowl MVP twice in his career.

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1. Hakeem Nicks

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The Hakeem Nicks saga took another turn this week when Nicks explained that he was benched by Tom Coughlin last Sunday. Apparently Nicks was healthy enough to play, but Coughlin decided to sit him because of the amount of practice time he missed due to an abdominal injury. Nicks is supposed to play tonight against the Redskins, and he will have to put together a few major games if he wants to remain a Giant beyond this season. Catching his first touchdown of the season would be a nice start.