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5 New York Giants Who Can Hold Their Heads High

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Five Giants Who Can Hold Their Heads High

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

When a team is in the playoff discussion prior to the start of a season, and doesn’t end up making it there, the result is usually utter disappointment. Enter the New York Giants.

The Giants dug their own grave by rattling off six straight losses to begin their 2013 campaign. Four of the teams that New York lost to ended up going to the playoffs, but the fashion in which they lost was simply nauseating. The Giants surrendered at least 30 points in five of the six losses and scored over 30 points themselves just once. New York was also on pace to break the record for turnovers in a single season. The low-light of the losing streak was a 38-0 loss at the hands of the Panthers.

To the credit of the Giants, they kept fighting and even made a push toward the playoffs, which ultimately ended in Week 14. New York was able to pull off four straight victories after their six-game losing streak. Their schedule was legitimately weaker and they were able to take advantage. Although it didn’t mathematically eliminate them, a crushing three-point loss to the Cowboys at home put the Giants back into a serious hole.

In a season with such an immense roller coaster ride, there were obviously aspects of the team that struggled, as well as aspects that fared very well. When all was said and done, there were certainly some positives the Giants could take out of their 2013 disappointment. Here are five New York Giants who can hold their heads high after this very disappointing season.

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Jon Beason

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Jon Beason made his season debut for the Giants in Week 6 and still nearly led the team in tackles. Beason was an immediate upgrade from the struggling linebacking corps New York had to begin the season. He assumed a leadership role on and off the field and was one of the main reasons for the team’s turnaround. Beason finished the season with 93 tackles, just five shy of team leader Antrel Rolle.

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Justin Pugh

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Injuries forced rookie Justin Pugh into the fire in Week 1. The Giants drafted Pugh with their first-round pick and expected the right tackle to learn on the fly. It was a rough start for Pugh and the entire offensive line, but Pugh was one of the only Giants along the offensive line to make improvements over the course of the season. New York had to be happy with Pugh’s quick development, and will most likely be able to count on him for many years.

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Victor Cruz

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Victor Cruz spent the offseason in the headlines for controversial reasons. Cruz held out of voluntary workouts due to contract negotiations, but any bad blood created along the way was surely expunged when he stepped onto the field. During a season where Eli Manning and the offensive line struggled mightily, Cruz still put up very respectable numbers. Cruz caught 73 passes for 998 yards and four touchdowns. He surely would have eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the third straight season but he missed the last two games due to a knee injury.

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Justin Tuck

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Most people thought this was definitely going to be Justin Tuck’s final season with the Giants. It looked as though the many injuries Tuck had suffered through had finally caught up to him and would permanently slow him down. That clearly wasn’t the case. Tuck started off the season slow but turned it on down the stretch. He rattled off 7.5 sacks in just four games and finished with 11 on the season. Tuck had five more sacks than the next closest Giant and made a compelling case for New York to bring him back next season.

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Antrel Rolle

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Antrel Rolle was another Giant who got off to a slow start but then flipped a switch. The nine-year veteran led New York with 98 tackles. He also intercepted six passes, which was tied for second best in the league. Rolle’s leadership means a lot to the Giants. He is a player that likes to talk and almost always backs it up on the field. Rolle was voted to the All-Pro second team for his great performance this season.