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NYGibril28
09-08-2007, 07:55 AM
"I don't know what to expect." That is the phrase oftened uttered when asking a Giants fan how they think that the G-Men will do this year. With questions at a lot of key positions, it leaves everybody up in the air as to what exactly to expect this year. And with an offseason surrounded by turmoil, from comments made by Tiki Barber to the absence of Michael Strahan in training camp, it is easy to lose focus on what is really important. That being, what's going on on the field. Aside from a few spots, the Giants have a few question marks this year. Here's a breakdown, position by position.

Quarterbacks:
Eli Manning is the unquestioned starter. However, he has put himself in a difficult spot. He has shown flashes of brilliance, who can forget the game winning drive against Denver which he capped off by finding Amani Toomer in the endzone for the game winning score. However, he has been wildly inconsistent for the most part and has been outdone by fellow 2004 1st Round Quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. Many believe this is his last shot to shine before the Giants turn in another direction at the QB spot. A promising preseason gives everybody hope in the short term, but only time will tell if he'll mature into the potential superstar we all know he is. Backing up Eli is Jared Lorenzen, or as he is affectionately known, "The Hefty Lefty." Lorenzen has shown promise during the past couple preseasons, but has yet to throw a pass in a regular season game. If Eli were to go down, no one would know what to expect out of Lorenzen. Anthony Wright is the 3rd QB on the roster after beating out Tim Hasselbeck over the summer. Wright was very erratic in the preseason but has plenty of game experience, a quality that Lorenzen lacks.

Best Case Scenario: Eli has a career year, improving upon his completion percentage and lowering his total interceptions from last year.
Worst-Case Scenario: Eli remains inconsistent. He throws for a lot of yards and TDs, but he still makes a lot of poor decisions.

Runningbacks:
Well Tiki Barber is gone, time to move on though because he is not coming back. Brandon Jacobs takes over as the full-time back with Rueben Droughns and possibly seventh round draft pick Ahmad Bradshaw also getting some time. Jacobs has been the short-yardage and goal line back since he came to the Giants after the 2005 NFL Draft. He has excelled in that role, but no one is sure if he has what it takes to be a featured back. Rueben Droughns is a veteran who they brought over from Cleveland via trade, getting rid of injury-plagued WR Tim Carter in the process. He provides good insurance behind Jacobs but is anything but flashy. Ahmad Bradshaw is a really intriguing player though. He is very quick and fast to the hole. He will likely handle the majority of the Kick Return duties but could see some time at RB as well if Jacobs were to get hurt or not impress. Derrick Ward is also on the roster, a special teams player but he might see more carries this year. Robert Douglas is expected to be the FB, but don't be surprised if Droughns sees a lot of time there as well.

Best Case Scenario Jacobs excells as the feature back, running for over 1200 yards and 10 TDs.
Worst-Case Scenario Jacobs struggles as the feature back or gets hurt. Droughns is solid but unspectacular and really hurts the passing game in the process.

Wide Receiver:
After a preseason marred by injuries to the position, everyone is good to go now, with the exception of Michael Jennings, who was waived/injured. Anthony Mix steps into, dare I say it, the mix at WR in place of Jennings who was expected to make the team. Plaxico Burress, Eli's go-to target in the endzone says he is the healthiest he's been all season and he's ready to go tomorrow night. Amani Toomer is back from an ACL injury that cut his season short last year, but he'll have to perform well to hold back the charge of rookie Steve Smith and 2nd year man Sinorice Moss. Smith was very impressive all preseason and looks to have secured the role of 3rd WR for now. David Tyree is the other WR on the roster, a great special teams player, the best the Giants have, but he can contribute occasionally on offense as well.

Best Case Scenario: Plaxico and Toomer remain healthy all year and Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss both contribute a lot to the passing game.
Worst Case Scenario: Plax, Toomer, or both go down and Smith and Sinorice aren't able to handle the roles as the Top 2 guys.

Tight End:
Jeremy Shockey is healthy for now, and he is a force when that's the case. If they get him the ball early and don't let him get frustrated, he's almost as good as Gates. Two rookies are behind him on the depth chart. Western Oregon's Kevin Boss, a 5th round pick, and Georgia Tech's Michael Matthews, an undrafted free agent. Neither is expected to contribute much in the passing game though.

Best Case Scenario: Shockey stays healthy all year and has a Pro Bowl caliber season. Boss and Matthews contribute in the passing game as well as run game.
Worst Case Scenario Shockey has an injury-plagued season and neither Boss nor Matthews contributes at all in the passing game.

Offensive Line:
Across the line, the starters are good, but not spectacular. From O'Hara over to his right they are solid, with Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie, but David Diehl makes the transition to LT and Rich Seubert takes Diehl's place at LG. Guy Whimper has been unspectacular in preseason, and he was drafted to be the future at LT, but so far, he's been a disappointment, not to say there isn't time for him to improve. Kevin Boothe was signed after the Raiders cut ties with him, and he and Grey Reugamer will be the backups at the Guard positions, with Reugamer also doubling as the backup Center. Rookie Adam Koets, from Oregon State, will be the backup to Kareem McKenzie.

Best Case Scenario: Everyone remains healthy and Diehl and Seubert perform above expectations.
Worst Case Scenario: Injuries hit the line and inexperience takes over, really hurting the offense.

Defensive Line:
When healthy, the Giants boast one of, if not the best pass rushing tandem in the NFL in Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. Justin Tuck and Adrian Awasom are the backup DE's, with Tuck also going to get reps at UT. The DT's are the weakest spot at the defense. They have a lot of depth, but no one really jumps out as being spectacular. Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield are the starters, but William Joseph and Jay Alford figure to see a lot of time also. Manny Wright is also on the roster although I don't see him seeing much time.

Best Case Scenario Strahan shows no effects of missing the preseason and he and Osi remain healthy all year. One of the young DT's steps up huge alongside Robbins.
Worst Case Scenario: Age finally catches up to Strahan and he slows down. Osi has another injury-plagued season and no one steps up on the inside.

Linebackers
Antonio Pierce is the best the Giants have. He is a leader and makes a lot of big plays. Kawika Mitchell comes in from Kansas City and he'll start on the weak side. The question at LB is, how will Mathias Kiwanuka transition from DE to SLB. He figures to be a huge factor in terms of rushing ability, but how he reacts in coverage formations will be interesting to see. Reggie Torbor might see a lot of time on passing downs due to Kiwi's inexperience in that area. Chase Blackburn is the backup to Antonio Pierce. He is a high-energy player but lacks the physical talent of most LBs. Gerris Wilkinson and rookie Zak DeOssie are the other LBs on the roster. They'll both see some time but they'll need a few injuries to really get some reps.

Best Case Scenario: Kiwi really shines in all aspects of the position, and Pierce and Kawika stay healthy all year and contribute as normal.
Worst Case Scenario Kiwi struggles to adapt to the position, and Pierce gets hurt. Would make the Giants even more vulnerable against the run.

Cornerbacks:
Sam Madison is the veterand leader of this group, but he shown that he has slowed down from his earlier years with the Dolphins. R.W. McQuarters is the other starter, and he's solid, but unspectacular. Corey Webster seems to have won the nickel job over first round pick Aaron Ross for now, but I don't expect that to last long. Kevin Dockery, who I really think has a lot of potential is also on the roster, as well as Dovonte Edwards. Someone will have to go down for either to see significant time.

Best Case Scenario Madison and McQuarters perform well, but both Ross and Webster perform well and get some serious time.
Worst Case Scenario Madison and McQuarters show their age, and Webster and Ross aren't able to perform in the starters role just yet.

Safeties:
A position of intrigue, with James Butler being named the starter over Will Demps during the preseason, and then Demps being cut. Butler figures to start at SS, and Gibril Wilson will be the starting FS. Two rookies are the only depth in the secondary, so if either were to go down the Giants could be in trouble. Arizona's Michael Johnson figures to back up Gibril. Johnson had a nice camp and played well in the preseason. North Dakota State's Craig Dahl will be behind Butler.

Best Case Scenario Gibril anbd Butler have solid seasons, Gibril improving upon his great numbers from last year while improving in pass coverage.
Worst Case Scenario Either Gibril or Butler goes down and neither of the rookies is able to make an impact, leaving the Giants vulnerable against the deep ball.

Special Teams:
Jeff Feagles is one of the best of all-time at punting the ball inside the 20 and he's back in which could be his last year. Lawrence Tynes won the kicking job in the preseason over Josh Huston, much to everyone's surprise. He had a nice career in Kansas City, but had an unimpressive camp and preseason. Ahmad Bradshaw will start off as the Kick Returner, with R.W. McQuarters and Sinorice Moss as the Punt Returners.

Best Case Scenario Feagles is consistent all year, and Tynes steps up in the spotlight. Bradshaw gives the Giants good field position consistently.
Worst Case Scenario Tynes struggles and the Giants are forced to do some waiver wire searching for a new kicker.

Season Prediction: 8-8. 3rd in NFC East. No Playoffs.

Pro Bowl Players: Jeremy Shockey, Chris Snee, Antonio Pierce.|

Biggest Surprise: Steve Smith
Biggest Disappointment: Brandon Jacobs