Now that the joy of 2016 has passed us by we take a look at several reasons why you should be concerned about the 2017 New York Giants.
Normally, when a team has a turnaround season like the New York Giants experienced in 2016, it’s the beginning of bigger and better things to come. Instead, there are some growing concerns that the Giants will have a tougher time in 2017.
Here are five reasons to be concerned about the Giants in 2017:
1. The defensive free agents
The Giants defense surrendered a league-low 25 touchdowns in 2016, but this unit will look much different in 2017. Fifty percent of the defensive line is entering free agency as Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins will be looking to cash in. Pro Football Focus ranked the Giants front seven 11th in the NFL in large part to Pierre-Paul and Hankins. The Giants won’t be able to keep both, so they’ll need to decide who is more expendable.
2. The schedule is tougher
With free agency and the draft, rosters will change from now until the start of the 2017 season. But on paper, the Giants schedule will be much tougher in 2017.
The combined record of the Giants 2017 opponents this season was 107-98-3 (51.44 winning percentage). In addition, the Giants will also play five teams that made the playoffs, as oppose to the four teams that made the playoff this season. They also won’t have the benefit of a road game at a neutral site as they did against the Rams this year.
They also won’t have the benefit of a road game at a neutral site as they did against the Rams this year.
3. Not having a fourth round pick
Despite going 11-5 and making the playoffs, the Giants have several glaring needs they need to address such as the offensive line, tight end, free safety and another pass rusher. In addition, the Giants may have to cut several veterans such Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rashad Jennings.
By not having a fourth round pick due to Ben McAdoo’s walkie-talkie incident against the Cowboys, to fulfill a position of need will be costly.
4. Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz
The rule of thumb is that the biggest jump quarterbacks make happens when entering year two. Two of the Giants rivals, the Cowboys and Eagles, have two talented rookie quarterbacks in Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz.
The Giants went 3-1 against the Cowboys and Eagles this season, but their three wins were by a combined nine points. The Giants will need to play better next season if they hope to have the same success against the Cowboys and Eagles next season.
5. Eli Manning is 36
Next season will be Eli Manning’s 14th year in the league and will enter at age 36. He’s still shown that he can play at a high level but it’s only a matter of time before father time catches up.
Also, if the Giants don’t vastly improve their offensive line, his consecutive game streak will be in jeopardy.