It wasn’t long ago that we all counted the New York Giants out of contention and we started taking Eli Manning as a joke. It was hard not to with how hard things where getting for Eli and the Giants to grasp Ben McAdoo’s offensive scheme. The loss of Cruz, the inconsistency of Eli Manning, and the poor play from Jennings playing through injury led the Giants to a terrible season once more. They endured a horrendous run of 7 straight loses and finished with a 6-10 record for third in their division, Eli even threw 5 interceptions during a game against the 49ers. But there is a feeling of a bright future on this team and its not hard to figure out. Odell Beckham Jr.
OBJ has some of the best hands in football already and is a highlight waiting to happen. Just watch his one-handed catch against the Cowboys once more. (I say once more because we have all seen it and even now, we can not look away) We are definitely going to see more of Beckham Jr this upcoming season, and it will be phenomenal to see him paired up with WR Victor Cruz coming back from injury. Beckham Jr had a phenomenal year with 91 catches on just 12 games played. He amassed 1305 yards and a whopping 12 touchdowns. Victor Cruz on the other hand dealt with many injuries last year but has had an impressive career leading up to the 2014 season.
Eli Manning on the other hand wasn’t too shabby when he got things going. He threw for 30 touchdowns, his best since 2010, and he threw only 14 interceptions, his least since 2009. A career high 63.1% completion percentage and over 4000 yards. Quite the turnaround from a horrendous 2013 season. Manning has expressed confidence in McAdoo’s offense leading up to the 2015 season after having a full year to learn the system. McAdoo’s offense focuses on passing percentage, taking what the offense gives you and moving the change slowly but surely. Seems like Eli is in the right direction and has enough weapons to succeed.
The ground game needs some works but with a proper rearrangement of the offensive line, RB Rashad Jennings can be a formidable back. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry with the Raiders before moving to New York and averaging 3.8 ypc. He ran for 175 yards during a week 3 game against the Texans which gave light to the potential that Jennings has. New acquisition RB Shane Vereen is an incredible weapon for Manning to have off the backfield. The change-of-pace running back position isn’t given enough credit in this league, Vereen is certainly one of the top dynamic running backs in the NFL and it is a great safety blanket for Manning to have. And tight end Larry Donnell is no joke either. He developed a great connection with Manning and was a great possession tight end for Eli from the start of the year.
The Giants will continue running Ben McAdoo’s offense and it sure seems like they have all bought into the plan. Eli Manning has the experience and the weapons now, including WR Rueben Randle who was phenomenal last year and a great complement to the arsenal Manning and the Giants already boast. It is going to be fun to see the Giants offense at work this year if they can all stay healthy.