By Daniel Brennan on July 13, 2014
Overall, 2013 was a very disappointing season for the entire New York Giants organization. The front office has used free agency and the NFL Draft to try and fill some of last season's holes. The roster seems to be much improved but the Giants will still need a better effort from some of their most important players. Here are five New York Giants players who really need to bounce back from a disastrous 2013 season.
Mathias Kiwanuka had an extremely quiet 2013 campaign. Many (including me) believed he was due for a big year because he was finally returning to his natural position of defensive end. That was not the case. Kiwanuka had just six sacks last year, playing well sporadically but not providing consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Things must change this season, especially in the wake of Justin Tuck's departure.
David Wilson had a golden opportunity last year, especially after Andre Brown fractured his leg in the preseason. However, two fumbles in the season opener and a herniated disc in Week 5 put an end to that dream in 2013. Wilson is on the mend after undergoing neck surgery and hopes to be back by training camp. He is not the starter but will still see playing time if he can get back fully healthy. The Giants will need his speed in the backfield.
The entire offensive line, with the exception of rookie Justin Pugh, was nothing short of a catastrophe in 2013. Left tackle Will Beatty was one of the biggest offenders. Things only got worse when Beatty broke his leg in the final game of the year. Beatty is currently signed to a deal worth .75 million. If he is going to be paid like a top offensive lineman, he needs to start playing like one. The first step is getting healthy.
Since recording 16.5 sacks in 2011, it has been rough going for Jason Pierre-Paul. He had just two sacks last year and missed five games. Finally healthy, Pierre-Paul has talked about a monster 2014 season on the horizon. The Giants will need it more than ever without Justin Tuck, their leading pass rusher from a year ago. Pierre-Paul will also need to take on an expanded leadership role in Tuck's absence.
Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning suffered through the worst full season of his career last year. He threw a career-high 27 interceptions and finished the season with a career-low 36.5 QBR. The Giants simply cannot win if Manning plays so loose with the football. He needs to make smarter, more accurate throws and value each possession. If Manning is on point, New York will make a serious push into the playoffs.
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