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2009 Giants Season Preview!

Are you ready for some football!!! Yes, finally, the football season is upon us with the first game on Thursday, and the Giants opening it up against the Redskins on Sunday. I, for one, cannot wait. It’s been a while since there has been meaningful football. Enough of the preseason. I’m ready for games that matter. And GiantsGab is ready for games that matter. We are  your one-stop source for all the latest NY Giants news, predictions, tidbits and commentary.  I’m starting my first full season at the helm here at GiantsGab, and I’m can’t wait to talk Big Blue football with all of you.  We have great writers who will provide hard hitting commentary. So make this your home for everything Giants football. You won’t be sorry. Now, onto previewing the 2009 New York Football Giants!

The 2008 season for the Giants ended with a gun shot. Yes, I’m blaming Plaxico Burress for the Giants sudden demise in the last couple weeks of the season. It wasn’t  his impact on the field. It was the fact that this invincible team suddenly had a chink in their armor (sorry, I can’t resist with the gun puns). Every question was about Plaxico. They couldn’t adapt emotionally. Honestly, I was surprised by that.  I thought they would come away better for it. They didn’t. The Giants did the right thing by parting ways  with Plaxico. He’s gone, move on. But don’t fret, Giants fans. They are still a damn good team. The best in the NFC. Probably behind the Steelers and Patriots overall. This is a team built for a Super Bowl.


Eli Manning has a new contract. Does he deserve it? Probably not, but who deserves that kind of money, anyway. Eli’s contract brings security. This is his team. This is time to shine. He doesn’t have the prima donnas in Jeremy Shockey, Tiki Barber, and Plaxico. He has a bunch of team oriented guys. It’s your time Eli. Manning has an unique ability to come back down in games.  I wouldn’t put him in the same category as his brother, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. He’s probably in that next tier, with guys like Phillip Rivers, Tony Romo, Ben Rothlisberger, and Donovan McNabb. He’s a great quarterback. I feel comfortable with him. His arm is strong, and while he tends to throw a wobbly ball, he gets it there more often than not. He’s unflappable. That’ll serve him well.

Running Back:

Brandon Jacobs is a monster. Literally. A 6-4 back who runs like he’s 5-11. He punishes opponents all day long. That leaves holes for Ahmad Bradshaw and company to run free. That’s the key to the running game. Jacobs pounds. Bradshaw exploits the tired defense. It’s a strategy that has worked well. Even with 1,000 yard rusher Derrick Ward off to Tampa Bay, the running game will be fine. In fact, it was Bradshaw, not Ward, who led the Giants to a Super Bowl. Bradshaw was the leading rusher in the playoffs that year.

Wide Receiver:

The receivers. Oh the receivers. The big “downfall” of the team. I disagree. Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon, while not number one receivers individually, create a two headed number one receiver. Mario Manningham has shown a ton of promise. Hakeem Nicks looks impressive, and has huge hands. And Ramses Barden, the 6-6 wonder, will have (get out your pens) 10 touchdowns. Write it down. Draft him on your fantasy team. Anytime the Giants are in the red zone, he’ll be getting a look. The Giants will miss Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. There’s no doubt about that. And there are questions. Can they hold onto the ball? Will they avoid the mistakes of young players? Can they show savvy and experience in close games?  But, I believe they are more well rounded than they were before. They have guys who can stretch the field (Hixon, Manningham), guys who can make the critical third down catch (Smith), guys who can out jump you in the end zone (Barden).  The Giants might not have a bona fide star at wideout. But they have talent. And lots of it.

Tight End:

Kevin Boss is criminally underrated. I expect him to have a Pro Bowl year. Travis Beckum adds a H-Back dimension that the Giants have not had in a long time. He’s a tight end in the Dustin Keller mold, someone who will create mismatches. He was a first round pick until he got injured. The Giants got a steal here. The one problem with the tight ends is that they lack a true blocking guy. They traded Michael Matthews to the Patriots. He was a tremendous blocker. While Boss is more than adequate, Beckum and Darcy Johnson are more pass catching options. It’ll be interesting to see what they do on running downs, and goal line situations. Will they bring in an extra offensive lineman? That’s a question I want answered in the first game.

Offensive line:

The offensive line is a model of consistency, made up of a bunch of over-achievers, and a star in Chris Snee. They don’t get hurt, they don’t mess up. A coach’s dream. They have led the way for great rushing attacks. There are some who believe someone like David Diehl is better suited for guard, not at left tackle. However, I think he’s above average, and Rich Seubert, the guy he would replace, is an outstanding guard. Moving him to the bench would result in a lesser line. Depth is thin, which is why an injury could be devastating.

Defensive line:

The defensive line is like a poor man at Christmas dinner: hungry. They attack, attack, attack, until they’re full. Osi Umenyiora is back. Justin Tuck is a Pro Bowler. They added Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard. There is no let up. They go, go, go. This is a pressure based defense, and it starts with the defensive line. They have tremendous depth as well. Rocky Bernard probably doesn’t start on this team. On all other teams, he’s a starter. Fred Robbins is one of the more underrated players in the game. Barry Cofield is a stout run defender. Canty is someone I’m very excited about. He is 6-7, 300 pounds, and takes up a lot of space on the line, allowing for better opportunities for Tuck and company. He also can play defensive end, which gives the line greater flexibility than they have had in the past. The Giants will miss Jay Alford, who’s out for the season  with an injury. But, they have the depth to make up for it. There will be times when the defensive line will be: Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka at end, Justin Tuck and Chris Canty at tackle. That is an unstoppable combination. I believe that a great pass rush leads to a great team. A great pass rush means less time for the secondary to defend. Means more pressure on QBs. The Giants have a great pass rush. It will serve them very, very well.


The linebacking core is not tremendous, but they are good enough. Antonio Pierce is the consummate leader, and gets by on guts and hard work. He is the most important part of the defense. He makes all the calls,  he leads the defense. The one problem he has is that he can’t defend against small, shifty running backs like Brian Westbrook. He’s pretty good against bigger backs, but he can’t keep up with the smaller backs. I wonder if they will replace him with Jonathan Goff on passing situations, especially against the Eagles.  Danny Clark is vastly underrated. It’s possible that rookie Clint Sintim might replace him by season’s end. Sintim has a great knack for rushing the passer. In fact, you’ll see him early on in pass rushing situations. Michael Boley was brought in to shore the revolving door at weakside linebacker.  He’s an athletic ‘backer, who will fit well in the Giants attacking scheme.


The Giants have a young, underrated secondary. Kenny Phillips is a star in the making. Corey Webster and Aaron Ross are solid starting corners, while Terrell Thomas is a great nickel corner. Depth is a bit of an issue. After Phillips and Michael Johnson, the only other safety is CC Brown. After Thomas as the nickel corner, it’s only Kevin Dockery and undrafted rookie free agent Bruce Johnson. While both are talented, they are not starting material. The starters are very good. It’s the depth that concerns me a little bit. It’s not an issue that will define the season. Rather, it’s something to keep an eye on.

Special Teams

Jeff Feagles is the best punter in NFL history, and he’s still doing it today. He’s has a tremendous knack for downing the ball inside the 20. He does it every time. The Giants are lucky to have him. Lawrence Tynes is a hit or miss kicker. He’ll make a huge kick, then he’ll miss a chip shot. But, he’s the kicker, party because he sent the Giants to the Super Bowl, and partly because he does have a big leg. The kick and punt returners will most likely be Mario Manningham and Danny Ware. Both have the ability to break off a long run, but they don’t do it often. They are average, at best.


I really think that the Giants could go 13-3, but I’ll be a bit more conservative and say 12-4, and win the NFC East.

This team has the makings of a champion. They are fast, experienced, hungry, and ready to prove doubters wrong. Sounds a lot like the 2007 championship team, doesn’t it? I’m always hesitant to pick a team to become a Super Bowl winner—there are just too many variables. Injuries, unexpected ineffectiveness, a surprise team. So, I won’t do that here. I do think however the Giants have a great chance to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. They have to get by the Eagles, and maybe the Vikings. But I think that they can do that.  This is a team that is great at quarterback, running back, and the offensive and defensive lines. They are pretty solid every where else. You couldn’t ask for much more. As for the Super Bowl? I couldn’t tell you. It’s way too hard. But, as I said, there’s a great chance that they get there, and a good chance that they win it all. It’s going to be a fun year.  To paraphrase a line from Terrell Owens, “Get your popcorn ready, Giants fans. It’s gonna be a show.”

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7 Responses to “2009 Giants Season Preview!”

  1. Jesse Cassel says:

    this analisis is good but i do have some comments. to tell you the truth the running game doesnt worry me at all, i think they could have a better year this year then last year. ahmad is more of a change of pace then ward was i think that he can get into smaller holes and make runs longer without being tackled using his speed. i think ahmad bradshaw is ganna have a great season. i also think hakkeem nicks has all the makings of a superstar, i actually think he should be the starter coming into the season. hes the only one on the team that showed he can catch the ball consistantly and is a deepthreat. he should be the number one reciever now on the depth chart. o line the depth might not be great but tuton reyes is good enouph to back up anyone on the line except for center however i dont see anything good after him (i hate boothe idk y hes still on the team). and last but not least you talk about underrated secondary u just underrated it yourself. corey webster is probably one of the better corners in the leage. ive even heard him refered to one of the top 7 corners. hes one of the best out there today and by u just saying he solid thats underrating him by a mile.

  2. andrew ilnicki says:

    im not worried about running, im not worried about passing, im not worried about defense, or offense for that matter.

    based on all the elements we’ve seen in preseason in pieces, this football team can tango with the best, and beat them if they want to. GM Reese agrees — this team has a boatload of potential superbowl champs on it. the questions i have pertain to game preparation and management, adjustments, responding to injuries… etc. typically eli manages games extremely well, especially in crunch time… thats why he’s getting the big bucks and yes he deserves it. Wouldn’t the Jets have ponied up that kind of dough in todays market after what Joe Namath did for his championship team? Everyone talks about Brett Farve and his game management, yet no one thinks of Eli. I submit Eli’s game management rivals any of his contemporaries, and exceeds the casual observer’s take on his value. Eli can get it done and I don’t fault him for last seasons bitter end. I fault whoever called a direct snap to Ward on a crucial turnover on downs. I fault running on 3rd and nine and stalling a drive that resulted on a missed field goal. I fault not adjusting to the loss of a player in your game plans and play calling. That’s the aspect of this team that I question.

    Now that said, have they shown improvement and a willingness to get creative in their play calling, and stay aggressive and dynamic with it this season? yes. Now its time to see it in prime time though. Talent wise everything is in place, time to utilize it the best way possible.

  3. Jason C. says:

    I say 11-5, and Barden would be lucky to score 3 TD’s this year, I like a big target too, but I mean seriously, he’ll hardly see the field unless they’re desperate. Also I know Brees puts up huge numbers every year, but that isn’t hard when your team is constantly involved in shootouts, as a fantasy QB he’s a top 3, but to even put him in the top 10 in terms of actual play, is nonsensical at best…
    Here’s to an aggressive front line and no drops!!
    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  4. andrew ilnicki says:


    Lets figure the Gmen went 13-3 last year mentally as the last-second loss to the Vikings was due to the Giants playing their scrubs. I think they have improved their personnel this offseason, and i think they can improve on their record given the enhancements made…. how does 14-2 sound, too optimistic?


  5. CarsonBanksCombo says:

    I like your post and your passion but is there anything about the team you don’t like? I think they will be good. I think they will win the division but I don’t think they are perfect. You sort of gloss over the weaknesses at QB and WR. I think the personnel at these spots will be adequate (eventually), but as of right now they have to be graded as weaknesses (at best).

  6. andrew ilnicki says:

    dominik hixon and steve smith alone are strengths.

    rewatch the arizona cardinals game and the superbowl from 07 is you happen to think otherwise.

    manningham and nicks have shown they are around, as has moss when given the opportunity last thursday.

    kevin boss catches touchdowns for breakfast.

    i simply fail to see how any of the receivers can be construed as a weakness at best. unproven at best, a weakness? come the hell on….

    unless of course the only receiver you were familiar with before this season was plaxico burress, in which case your entire post is moot.

  7. Jeremy Fuchs says:

    CarsonBanksCombo- (love your username by the way). I wouldn’t construe QB as a weakness. In fact, I would say it’s a strength. Whether Eli deserved the money is not the question. It’s whether he can deliver as our QB. And he’s proven so far he can.WRs is a not a huge concern. Yes, they are young. Yes they are unproven. But they also have a TON of talent. And, as I wrote, are better balanced than before. And, if you’re going to be a division winner, and a Super Bowl contender, you have to be strong at all positions. Are there weaknesses? Yeah. Mainly at the kick/punt returner, which I outlined in the post. But, looking at this team, it’s hard to see a glaring weakness

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