New York Giants
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Jason Leach

The New York Giants will look to start the Pat Shurmur era with a winning season as they kick off their 94th NFL season against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

EAST RUTHERFORD—The New York Giants 94th season in the NFL will begin on Sunday as they host the reigning AFC South Division Champions the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Making things interesting is that the team was put together by former Giants two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Tom Coughlin, who serves as the Jaguars Vice President of Football Operations.

The Jaguars will be the first of six teams the Giants will face this season that made the playoffs a season ago.

Following the worst season in the history of the franchise that saw the team finish 3-13, the Giants cleaned house in the front office, coaching staff and locker room.

Co-owner and CEO John Mara is confident that new general manager Dave Gettleman and new head coach Pat Shurmur can bring credibility to the franchise. But it won’t be easy as the Giants schedule is tied for the eighth-toughest in the league.

Here is the preview for the Giants 2018 season:

Additions / Losses

Key Losses

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The Giants will enter the 2018 season without several players that have been key contributors to the franchise for years.

The biggest loss was JPP who was the team’s best pass rusher and the lone defensive starter from the Super Bowl 46 champion team. The team trade JPP in March to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a third round (69th overall) and a fourth-round pick (108th overall). The void of JPP has fans analyst wondering where the Giants pass rush will come from this season.

Although they missed significant time last season, Pugh and Richburg were the team’s two best offensive linemen for years. Jones filled in admirably at center in Richburg’s absence, but the team traded Jones to the Vikings at the end of August.

DRC was the team’s most versatile as he had the ability to play on the outside and at nickel corner. The team will also be without their leading rusher from a season ago in Darkwa, but the Giants have all of the confidence in the world that Saquon Barkley will be a huge upgrade from Darkwa.

Key Additions

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The biggest addition to the team is, without a doubt, Saquon Barkley who will give the Giants an every-down back that they haven’t had since Tiki Barber.

To pave the way for Barkley and to protect Eli Manning, the Giants signed left tackle Nate Solder to a four year $62 million deal, and drafted guard Will Hernandez in the second round.

The addition of Latimer will add size and physicality to the Giants receiving corps and will serve as the team’s primary kickoff returner.

One of the draft picks the Giants got in return for trading JPP is B.J. Hill who has been the defensive star of training camp, and Damon Harrison said that he’s the most athletic lineman on the team.

The Giants signed free agent Kareem Martin because of his familiarity with Bettcher’s system from his time with the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants took Carter in the third round because they believe he can one day be the team’s edge pass rusher to replace JPP. The Giants trade for Ogletree who gives them a playmaker at inside linebacker that can move sideline to sideline.

Riley will get the first shot at being the team’s starting free safety, but he’ll be pushed by Thomas who is also a special team’s ace.

Giants feel the hang time on Riley Dixon’s punts will be an upgrade over Brad Wing and help the team dictate field position.

With the Giants waiving Davis Webb after the preseason, Kyle Lauletta is now poised to be Eli Manning’s eventual successor. Of course, the Giants hope that Lauletta won’t see the field this season unless it’s in a mop-up role, because if something were to happen to Manning, the season is over.

B.W. Webb has been impressive throughout training camp and won the job of nickel corner. The Giants will need a big year from him if they’re to make the playoffs.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.