Even though we’re still in January, New York Giants fans should be excited and optimistic about the moves the franchise has made.
The New York Giants have been hard at work since the final week of the worst regular season in franchise history came to a merciful end. First, Dave Gettleman was named the new general manager. About a month later, the Giants named Pat Shurmur their new head coach.
Shortly after the announcement was made that Shurmur was the new coach, he and Gettleman were at the Senior Bowl practice scouting the nation’s best seniors.
We have a long way to go before the regular season begins, but the Giants are on the right track towards having a successful 2018 season.
Here are four reasons to be optimistic about the Giants in 2018.
Three of the team’s last four head coaches made the playoffs in their first season
Over the last 25 seasons, whenever the Giants have hired a new coach, they make the playoffs in their first year on the job. Jim Fassel (1997), Ben McAdoo (2016) and Dan Reeves (1993). The only coach that didn’t make the playoffs in his first season was Tom Coughlin. He, of course, made up for that by winning two Super Bowls.
History has a way of repeating itself, and the Giants are hopeful the trend continues and Shurmur leads the Giants to the playoffs.
There’s no way they’ll be hit with injuries the way they were in 2017
The rash of injuries the Giants suffered last season was unfathomable. Key players such as Odell Beckham Jr., Janoris Jenkins, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris were all put on injured reserve and missed a good portion of the season.
In the Giants Week 5 loss to the Chargers, four receivers left the game with injuries. Three of them were lost for the year.
There’s a better chance of a person being struck by lightning twice than losing four receivers to injuries in one game. There’s no way the Giants get bit by the injury bug in 2018 as they did in 2017.
They’ll have four of the top 100 picks in the draft
What’s the positive about going 3-13? You pick at the top in each round of the draft.
As it stands right now they’ll have four picks in the top 100 (second, 34th, 66th and 98th).
Of course, there are no guarantees when drafting players, but with Gettleman the mastermind of the Carolina Panthers going 15-1 and making the Super Bowl in 2015 now making the picks, you have to feel confident that he’ll make the right selections.
He can’t be any worse than Jerry Reese, right?
The new 3-4 defense
The Giants defense has struggled to put pressure on quarterbacks over the past few seasons in the base 4-3 defense. In 2017, they had just 27 sacks, which was tied for 29th in the NFL.
New defensive coordinator James Bettcher will implement his 3-4 defense, which makes it difficult for opposing offenses to determine where the fourth and fifth pass rushers are coming from.
Last season, when Bettcher was the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, they registered 37 sacks, 10 more than the Giants, good enough for 17th in the NFL.
Expect the Giants pass rush to get a boost under the new 3-4 scheme.
Yes, I know it might be a little premature to look ahead towards September when the regular season begins. But it’s human nature to look ahead, and so far the Giants are heading in the right direction.