The New York Giants have reached the halfway point of the season with a much-needed bye week. With a 2-6 record, it’s time to grade the Giants overall performance at the midway point.
As Manning goes, so does the Giants and thus far Manning has not had a stellar season. I must add that Manning he has not been given much time in the pocket. Manning has struggle with forced throws which has resulted in 15 interceptions in the 1st 8 games.
With no interceptions over the last 2 games (Giant wins), perhaps Manning has turned the corner and could regain his production from a couple of years back. If so, the Giants could make some noise down the stretch and make the NFC east interesting to watch.
What can we see about the Giants’ running game thus far as it has not been good? Despite the injuries (David Wilson, Andre Brown, Brandon Jacobs), the Giants lack of production forced them to sign Peyton Hillis for the remainder of the season. Since Hillis arrival, the Giants went from the worse rushing attack to 29th in the league, averaging 69.9 yards per game at 3.2 yards per carry.
Clearly the WR position for the Giants has performed the best on the offensive side of the ball with Cruz, Nicks and Randle. There have been some downsides with this trio as Nicks has had moments of catching the ball and Randle has been the target of Manning; which resulted in 6 interceptions. Cruz could be heading to the Pro Bowl at season’s end if he continues his production for the remaining season.
Brandon Myers has been a major disappointment after 8 games and the free agent signee could very well be playing his only season as a Giant. Aside from his lack of production, Myers also is a horrible blocker; which is a major criteria for a Giants tight end historically.
If the WR position gets credit for being the best offensive position, then the OL should clearly get labeled as the worse offensive position on the team. To simply state the Giants offensive line has been pathetic during the 1st 8 games. Overall, each player on the OL has shared or contributed to this claim and unless there is a revelation in the 2nd half; we could see the same results.
The Giants sack totals are down, but their play against the run has been impressive. Cullen Jenkins, Linval Joseph and Mike Patterson have all done an excellent job against the run and rank among the league’s top defensive tackles overall. The disappointment should be placed on Justin Tuck and Jason-Pierre-Paul as both have been invisible in sacking the quarterback. To be fair with JPP, It clearly seems that his back surgery has prevented him from regaining his form of 2011. As for Tuck, it also seems quite clear that father time has come knocking on his door. Despite their lack of sacks, the Giants DL have held the opponents RB’s to only 67 yards per game
Before the arrival of Jon Beason, the Giants linebackers were dreadful collectively. Since Beason’s arrival, there seems to be a spark within the LBer corp and now the Giants have a playmaker at the MLB position. Another who has been improving (especially over the last 3 games) since Beason’s arrival; has been Spencer Paysinger. The 1st year starter has been a proven defender against the run and perhaps the most consistent LBer throughout the year thus far.
This position perhaps has had the most misfortune of all positions on the Giants roster over the last few years. Injuries have been the reason for a lot of the setback this team down fall and this season is no exception. In my opinion, Amukamara, Webster, Thomas and Ross do not put fear in the hearts of opposing WR’s. At times, Prince Amukamara has looked like the 1st round player the Giants had hoped he would be. However; other times he looks lost as does Corey Webster and Aaron Ross.
Terrell Thomas who is returning from his 3rd ACL surgery (on the same knee) is a great story. Against the Eagles, Thomas performance was outstanding with 10 tackles and a sack. Overall, the Giants secondary has shown improvement in the stats column at the halfway point.
When safety Stevie Brown had season ending injury in the pre-season; many believe the Giants who have a problem finding a replacement to fill Browns shoes. Fortunately for the Giants Antrel Rolle is having one of his best seasons and also the return of Will Hill has given the Giants a very solid duo at the safety position. Add Ryan Mundy into the mix and the Giants have the depth at the safety position that has performed the best on the defensive side of the ball.
The Giants have given up 3 punt returns already, Josh Brown and Stevie Weatherford have been inconsistent and the Giants kickoff team has failed miserably.