The New York Giants made positive strides in 2016. But if they want to take it to the next level, they must win the offseason — again.
For the New York Giants, the 2017 season was better than many expected.
Finishing under .500 for three consecutive seasons, John Mara and company decided that new blood needed to be infused as he ousted longtime coach and two-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Coughlin for offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.
Jerry Reese, who was also on the hot seat, made the questionable decision of throwing a ton of money at free agents. He also skipped on need for potential in the first round of the draft as he selected cornerback Eli Apple over bigger needs like offensive line and linebacker, amongst others.
Fortunately, however, almost every offseason move paid off.
The combination of Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and Janoris Jenkins — all of whom became rich at the hands of the Giants — helped transformed the defense from one of the worst in football history just a year ago into arguably the best unit in 2016. The underrated signings of players like Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard, too, paid off.
The draft class was another huge boost to the roster. The aforementioned Apple took over on the outside and displayed the potential to be a shutdown cornerback. Second-round pick Sterling Shepard played like the perfect compliment to Odell Beckham Jr. Paul Perkins played like the running back of the future while BJ Goodson, Jerel Adams, and, to a lesser extent, Darian Thompson, flashed signs of potential.
Not everything went well for the Giants, though.
After looking like a brand new quarterback under McAdoo’s system, Eli Manning took a massive step back. 36 isn’t the ripest of ages, but the veteran quarterback never showed signs of regression thus far.
But the offensive woes aren’t only on Manning’s shoulders. The offensive line was an absolute mess in 2016 and the lack of a running game and legitimate pass-catching options outside of Beckham hindered the unit’s growth as well.
All in all, the Giants were a success. Their 11-5 record was the second best number in the NFC and the organization made their first postseason appearance since their Super Bowl victory back in 2011.
If the organization wants to capitalize on the positivity, this offseason will be vital. Let’s take a look what the Giants need to do before Training Camp begins this summer.