5 Reasons the 2014 New York Giants Can Make the Playoffs
Do the New York Giants have a shot at the NFC East title and a spot in the playoffs? Right now the smart money is on the Philadelphia Eagles to take the division and validate the Chip Kelly model. It’s hard to dispute but the NFL is a funny game and some strange things can happen. So, let’s begin to answer this question by looking at the other two teams.
The Washington Redskins have a new coach and some problems on defense. Plus, they’re owned by Dan Snyder. That’s enough to make me discount them in 2014.
The Dallas Cowboys are deplorable on defense. The offense will be good if Romo is healthy but then again, they’re owned by Jerry Jones. That’s enough to make me eliminate the Cowboys.
Now that we’ve established the fact that it’s going to be the Eagles and the New York Giants fighting for the division we can get down to brass tacks.
1) The Giants finished their season at 7-3 in 2013 and we’d all like to believe that momentum carries over. In my mind at least, Tom Coughlin provides a steady hand and enough experience to make adjustments along the way. The man has won two Super Bowl rings.
2) With David Wilson gone, the Giants suffered a blow to their running game. That means Rashad Jennings just became the primary back. Jennings provides some tough running ability. Now it’s up to Coughlin to provide depth.
3) The passing game will only get better now that Reuben Randle become the #1. Adding Odell Beckham in the draft gives Eli Manning another pair of reliable hands.
4) New Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is a disciple of Mike McCarthy, installing a quick draw offense that fits the accuracy of Manning.
5) The Giants defense, lest we forget, was in the Top 10 of the NFL last season. For 2014, the Giants added the talent of Quintin Demps at safety, Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and Walt Thurmond at the corners, and will be pairing Jameel McClain with Jon Beason, giving them some versatility at linebacker. That’s a lot of good additions to an already good defense.
The 2014 New York Giants have done enough to make themselves contenders in the NFC East. If Eli Manning is healthy, and all indications are that he will be, the offense will recover from a big slump under Ben McAdoo. The intangible element in this whole thing hinges on the Eagles reproducing the magic of last season. NFL Defensive coordinators have had a season to digest and prepare for the offense of Chip Kelly. The Eagles won’t be the same team with DeSean Jackson gone. We won’t argue with a coach letting loose of a player who won’t buy into the team philosophy, but that’s a lot of offense going out the door.
For the Giants to capture the NFC East and/or a playoff spot the Giants must improve, and it seems they will. The Philadelphia Eagles must take a step back. Even if Philadelphia wins the division, the 8-8 Giants of 2013 don’t have to improve by leaps and bounds. Getting to 10-6 just might be the key to the postseason party. Once there, the Giants have proven they can get on a hot streak. They’ve done it twice in the last decade. Again, Tom Coughlin has a pair of Super Bowl rings to prove that.
The 2014 Giants schedule is not an overwhelming sight. I believe it’s fair to say that New York should sweep both the Cowboys and the Redskins. That’s four wins. Let’s say they split with the Eagles. There’s five. The remaining schedule has two easily beatable teams in Tennessee and Jacksonville. Now you’re at seven wins. That leaves games with the Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, and Seattle Seahawks.
Out of those eight games I believe the Giants can win three, maybe four. Probably against the Texans, Panthers, Rams, and Cardinals. Not to say they will but it’s possible. An upset or two, maybe Seattle at home or the Packers on the road, and the 2014 New York Giants are looking good, they’re probably winning the NFC East, and if not, almost certainly in the running for a playoff spot.