Keys to a Giants Super Bowl Run
Is it Possible?
With all the offseason improvements made by the Giants in the offseason it seems as if they are making a push to take the next step in a quest for a Super Bowl appearance. Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger and the window for this team to make a final run at a championship is closing. There are 5 things that the Giants need this season to make a run for the division and possibly a third Super Bowl win for the Eli legacy, read below.
A Vaunted Defense
The Giants have taken steps in the past few seasons to repair what was, to put it bluntly, a horrible defense. The free agent acquisitions of Olivier Vernon, Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Janoris Jenkins added veteran leadership and skill to a defense that was lacking in both. The drafting of Eli Apple and Landon Collins helped shore up a secondary that was possible one of the worst in the league 2 years ago. The revamped defense saw O.V. come up with 8.5 sacks, a rejuvenated JPP with 7 and Landon Collins add 4 from the safety position. If you compare that to the year before where the only player with more than 3 sacks was Robert Ayers with 9. Everyone knows that the key to any defense is pressure on the quarterback, by taking time away from opposing quarterbacks you make them uneasy and they are less likely to complete big plays and more likely to make mistakes, resulting in turnovers. Elite defenses have long been the key to Super Bowl victory even for teams with pedestrian quarterbacks such as the 2001 Baltimore Ravens, the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2016 Denver Broncos.
Can’t spell elite without E-L-I
Eli Manning has long been the key to the Giants success over the course of his career. In fact, if you watch highlights from his two Super Bowl wins, you will see some amazing plays involving the frumpy faced quarterback. We all know this is a quarterback driven league and unless you have one of the defenses I listed above, you need one of the top quarterbacks in the league to compete for a championship. Eli has had his ups and downs with interceptions over the past few season, but he is only the 4th quarterback in NFL history with at least 12 consecutive 3,000 yard seasons. The only ones above him on the list are Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Brett Favre. Pretty elite company don’t you think? So, in order for the Giants to be one of the top teams in the NFL, Eli is going to need to have a season to remember. However, he cannot do it alone out there, which brings me to the rest of the article, Eli Manning’s support staff.
Hold the O-Line!
Now this is the part of the article when Giants fans start sweating like Augustus Gloop walking over to the chocolate river. If you don’t get that reference blame your parents for raising you poorly. As I stated in my previous two sections, pressure on the quarterback and a top-flight quarterback are the keys to winning in the NFL. So how do you stop other defenses from getting to Eli so he has time to make plays? With an excellent offensive line, that’s how! Unfortunately for Giants fans this offensive line is so bad that Ereck Flowers is still on it. The Flowers Experiment needs to end and if he is going to stay on this team he cannot play left tackle. I understand it’s hard to admit you made a mistake, but clearly Jerry Reese did. Now is the time for Reese to eat crow and move Flowers off the left tackle position and over to the right side of the line. Without time to throw Eli will be stuck throwing the ball away or having to dump the ball off short which will inhibit the Giants ability to be a big play offense. To see how important a top flight offensive line is just look at Mark Sanchez and his first two season in the NFL. With the best offensive line in football, the Jets had the top running attack in the NFL and made it to back-to-back AFC Championship games with what most people would consider a very bad quarterback. Sanchez could excel in the playoffs with his elite protection because he had time to throw. Eli needs the same, and he also needs help from the running game.
Get to the choppa! RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN
So, if the offensive line can play far and above their talent level, the running game is the next piece in making the Giants an elite team. Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese have faith in Paul Perkins, but as McAdoo said recently, every running back is the same when there are no holes to run through. That is the problem Perkins and the Giants have, there are no holes. There are less than no holes. In fact, if you could have negative holes to run through, that’s what Perkins has. It is troubling to this writer that Jerry Reese has spent all this time and money on free agents and solid picks for the defensive side of the ball, but has not addressed the offensive line issue. A solid run game would force teams to crowd the box opening up the passing game for Eli and his bevvy of wideouts.
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
The final piece of this Giants team is the wide receiving corps. With the drafting of Sterling Shepard last season as an excellent slot option and the addition of Brandon Marshall as a red zone threat and legitimate number 2 option, the Giants have given Eli plenty of weapons. Not to mention possibly the best receiver in the NFL Odell Beckham Jr. on the outside it seems that the Giants should have the top passing attack in the league. However with the Odell ankle injury, the Giants offense looked pedestrian at best against the Dallas Cowboys. Besides the additions on offense the Giants need a healthy OBJ if they plan to compete for a championship. With OBJ looking for a new contract, he is extra motivated to perform this year but cannot do that if he cannot get on the field. Giants fans will hold their breath that Odell is 100% healthy for the rest of the season and the Giants can get back on track.
So you’ve gotten to the end of this article and you have given up on the Giants getting to the Super Bowl. If you have, then I think you are a very smart person, if you haven’t, then you are a true Giants fan. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Giants put all this together and make a run this year, but I believe that the offensive line will hold this team back and prevent them from doing anything exceptional this season. Once that is addressed I do believe this team has enough talent to win it all, but will Jerry Reese have the football acumen to make it so? The world may never know.