It's 11 weeks into the 2016 NFL Season, and the New York #giants are 7-3, and have already surpassed their win total from last two seasons, in which they won six games. With a new head coach in Ben McAdoo and a $200 million dollar defense, is it time to start to calling the Giants one of the elite teams in the NFL? Here are the 3 reasons why the Giants are elite.
The Giants defense
The best part about the 2016 New York Giants is definitely the play of their defense. After spending about $200 million to acquire players like Janoris Jenkins, Damon Harrison, and Oliver Vernon, the Giants D is beginning to look very formidable. The stats aren't mind-blowing, as the defense ranks 16th in yards allowed, 21st against the pass, 7th against the run and tied for 5th in interceptions. Allowing an even 20 points per game, the Giants are middle of the pack as far as total defense is concerned.
In their 5 game winning streak, they've allowed 23 points, 10 points, 23 points, 20 points, and 16 points. Considering there are a lot of new faces on the defense, the defense has been consistent, and are only scratching the surface regarding their overall potential. Assuming that the offense picks it up towards the end of the season, I am confident the Giants have a defense that can be relied upon on a weekly basis, something they haven't had since 2011 when they won a Super Bowl.
At first, I had my reservations about Ben McAdoo taking over for Hall of Fame coach, Tom Coughlin. Naturally, letting go of a two time Super Bowl winning coach is difficult, and if they went out and paid $200 million to revamp the defense under his tenure, he would have had more than 6 wins the last two seasons.
With that being said, I am incredibly impressed by the job McAdoo has done over these 11 weeks. Anytime a rookie head coach is sitting at 7-3 in his first season, there is reason to celebrate. For me it's not just about the winning record, but how they are winning those games in the first place. In the Giants victories this season, they have won by: 1 point, 3 points, 4 points, 7 points, 5 points, 1 point and 6 points. The same close games the Giants were losing last year have turned into wins this year. All these wins were 1 possession games where the defense made a stand in the final minutes of the game.
My favorite part about the McAdoo era? The aggressiveness. A Giants team that has been known as a conservative football team is now going for it on 4th down on several different occasions. When a team doesn't have a reliable kicker, but has an elite Quarterback like Eli Manning, going for it on 4th and short yardage makes a lot of sense. The Giants have been aggressive on both sides of the ball and it's really starting to pay dividends for this football team.
When Eli Manning is under center, the Giants always have a chance to win football games. Granted, the offensive line is depleted yet again, forcing Eli to make some throws quicker than he wants to, which leads to a lot of the interceptions he throws. Sometimes Eli throws interceptions that are questionable to say the least, but overall, he makes good decisions. Eli currently has 2,708 yards, 17 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a QB rating of 88.3. Much like the defense, the numbers aren't mind-blowing, but it's his consistent play that has the Giants winning football games.
A guy like Odell Beckham Jr makes passing the ball fun. When he's double covered, the Giants have reputable receivers like Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz that can step up in big games. Eli is best as a game manager. If the Giants offensive line can protect Eli, he can spread the ball around effectively, killing the game clock and putting up points in the process.
If the Giants can get the offensive line healthy and start running the ball with some type of consistency, then the Giants can definitely make a run to the Super Bowl in the wide open NFC. #odell beckham jr #elimanning