By Chris Peterson @cpetersonHDN on June 12, 2014
The New York Giants had a difficult 2014 season that was marred by injuries and inconsistent performance. Yet the team finished strong, winning seven of its last ten games, and after an extremely busy offseason, the Giants are hoping to rebound. Here are five early predictions for the 2014 season.
Unfortunately for the Giants, Pierre-Paul was a shell of his former self last season as he played in just 11 games and registered just 2.5 sacks. When healthy, the 25-year-old pass rusher is one of the best defenders in the NFL, and as long as he can remain healthy in 2014, he will have a bounce-back season which will be key for the Giants to turn things around in 2014.
The Giants' lack of a running game really hurt them offensively in 2013. Running back David Wilson's health is still in question but free agent acquisition has turned heads thus far in Giants' OTAs. Last season in Oakland, Jennings rushed 733 yards in just eight starts. He averaged an impressive 4.6 yards per carry and scored six touchdowns. Behind a revamped offensive line in New York, he will rush for 1,000 yards in 2014.
As much as Giant fans are counting on Odell Beckham to replace the departed Hakeem Nicks, it's Randle who will have the breakout season in 2014, making fans forget about Nicks. Last season he caught 41 passes for 611 yards and six touchdowns with only three starts. He should be a 16-game starter this season and will establish himself as a legitimate playmaker for the Giants' offense.
Manning was downright dreadful last season. He threw just 18 touchdowns compared to a league-high 27 interceptions, while completing just 57.8 percent of his passes. Yet he is still a two-time champion and one the best quarterbacks in football. With an improved offensive line, a better running game and more weapons in the passing game, Manning will get back to passing for 4,000 yards and close to 30 touchdowns in 2014.
The Giants have missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, but Manning is too good to let it happen for a third straight season. The front office has worked hard to surround him with enough talent on both sides of the ball to get back to the playoffs, but the most important step is getting Manning to play like an elite quarterback again. If Manning plays at a high level, the G-Men will win the NFC East.
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