New York Giants 2019 Season Preview

Russell S. Baxter

New York Giants 2019 Season Preview

By Bill Field

Special to Pro Football Guru

A season of transition or transformation? Year two of the Dave Gettleman/Pat Shurmur regime takes shape with a multitude of roster moves aimed at creating a culture of accountability and professionalism. Coming off two dismal campaigns, the pressure from ownership to deliver a winning team is unrelenting. Only one winning season since the Super Bowl win following the 2011 season accounts for that. Now 2019 brings the inevitable shift to a new quarterback starter. Regaining home field advantage at MetLife Stadium is key. The question remains – is this the year for a winning season or does the rebuilding and reloading program continue into 2020? G-Men fans don’t have an appetite for more losses.

Offense: The 2019 season marks Eli Manning’s 16th season trotting out under center. Is it the end of the era? When will Daniel Jones assume the starter position? This is Saquon Barkley’s team. Look for 2,500-plus yards from scrimmage from him. Gettleman reinforced an average at best o-line with the acquisition of hog mollies Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers, who will fortify the right side. Left guard Will Hernandez is a star in the making. Mercurial Odell Beckham Jr. is gone. Sterling Shepard assumes the number-one wideout mantle. Tight end Evan Engram looks to break out if he can avoid leading the league in MRI’s. The rest of the receivers – Golden Tate (suspended the first 4 games of the season), Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer, etc. − all come with a set of question marks.

Defense: Can the Giants score enough to offset a porous defense? This is a group lacking playmakers and talent, James Bettcher’s defense couldn’t stop anyone in 2018, especially in crunch time. He continues to recruit his “guys” from Arizona – 35-year old safety Antoine Bethea and oft-injured edge rusher Markus Golden. The linebacker position is a sore spot with slow-footed Alec Ogletree and limited B.J. Goodson. With no pass rush, quarterbacks had all day to throw. However, 2018 rookies B.J. Hill and Lorenzo Carter showed pass rushing promise late in the season. The defensive backfield was a mess – often out of position. Landon Collins took his talents to the rival- Redskins with Jabrill Peppers taking his place. However, Bethea lends a veteran presence at free safety. Look for 2019 first-round pick Deandre Baker to start opposite Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins. Can the defense be any worse?

Special Teams: A unit that was was once a year-in and year-out disaster area turned into a field position asset in 2018. Placekicker Aldrick Rosas was automatic, while punter Riley Dixon made fans forget Brad Wing and his line drive punts. Jabrill Peppers brings punt return magic. Corey Coleman’s season-ending injury hurts on kickoff returns.

Prediction: Finishing in the NFC East cellar last season brings dividends in 2019 – a far easier schedule. Out of the gate, the first four games offer legitimate opportunities for wins. Over the past two seasons, September and October swoons meant the season was toast by Week 10. The Giants are improving, with lots of potential star talent under the age of 25. It’s just not enough yet to pay off with a winning season. Look for the G-Men to be marginally better, but once again on the sidelines for the playoffs.

Win-Loss Record: 7-9 (3rd Place, NFC East)

Longtime New York Giants observer Bill Field (@fieldactivate) can not only be found on Twitter but his website (FieldActivate) as well.

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