The New York Giants 92nd year in the NFL came to a bitter end as they were defeated by the Green Bay Packers 38-13 in the wildcard round of the playoffs.Although they did not achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl, the season was still a successful one.
But not all was good this season for the Giants. Here are the positives and negatives from the Giants 2016 season.
- They made the playoffs
After missing the playoffs four years in a row, the Giants made it back in 2016 and their 11-5 record was tied for second best in the NFC. In making it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the Giants reestablished themselves as one of the top franchises in the league.
- The defense was outstanding
The Giants defense was dominant all season long as they gave up the fewest touchdowns in the league (25) and did not allow 30 points during the regular season. Janoris Jenkins established himself as one of the best shutdown corners in the league, and safety Landon Collins might be the Defensive Player of the Year.
- The rookies
The 2016 rookie draft class has a lot of similarities to the 2007 draft class which most say was Jerry Reese best draft class. Sterling Shepard, Eli Apple, Paul Perkins have shown that they will be productive Giants for years to come. Safety Darian Thompson also showed promise as the starting free safety before his season came to an abrupt end in week 2.
- Free agents were worth the money
The Giants broke the bank spending money in free agency to revamp their historically bad defense in 2015. Their free agent acquisitions proved to be worth every penny. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison was named to the All-Pro Team and cornerback Janoris Jenkins was named to first Pro Bowl. Defensive end Olivier Vernon lead the team with 8 ½ sacks and was also solid against the run.
- Ben McAdoo
McAdoo may not be the next Tom Coughlin, but he showed that he’s not the next Ray Handley either. McAdoo had his shares of ups and downs but he never lost the locker room. He made several bold decisions to going for it on 4th downs which helped the Giants win tight games.
- The offense was poor
Inexplicably, the Giants offense struggled all season and never scored 30 points in a game. After finishing 8th in total offense in 2015, the offense plummeted to 25th. No one could have seen this coming especially with the additions of Sterling Shepard, Paul Perkins and a healthy Victor Cruz.
- Ereck Flowers
One of the reasons the Giants struggled on offense was due to the fact that their starting left tackle Ereck Flowers regressed. He couldn’t stop quick edge rushers from getting to Eli Manning, and he was called for more penalties than any other offensive lineman. The Giants now have to consider moving Flowers to another position.
- The walkie-talkie incident
The NFL took a 4th round pick in this year’s draft for Ben McAdoo being on a walkie-talkie during the Giants week 14, 10-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants are not in any position to lose a draft pick as they need to improve the offensive line, replace players they lose to free agency and to draft the successor to Eli Manning. The walkie-talkie incident will have a lasting effect on the franchise in 2017.
- Jason Pierre-Paul hernia injury
After a slow start, Jason Pierre-Paul was looking like his old Pro Bowl form registering a total 5 ½ sacks in weeks 11 & 12. But he suffered a sports hernia injury in week 13 against the Steelers and was lost for the remainder of the season.
The loss of JPP was evident in the wildcard loss, as the front four struggled to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers. Had he not been injured, the outcome may have been different.
- Receivers’ trip to Miami
The now infamous trip to Miami by the Giants receivers has been talked ad nauseam over the past week. The trip showed poor judgment, a lack of leadership and fairly or unfairly will be linked to their poor performance against the Packers.