Respect? For the New York Giants? What is this? Writing for Pro Football Focus Nathan Jahnke breaks with the "Giants stink/Giants are doomed/Giants have no chance/The season is already over" protocol and actually predicts that the Giants will make the playoffs in 2015.
Jahnke projects, in fact, that the Giants will end up the fifth seed in the NFC. He writes:
It might be a surprise to see the Giants so high, but if they can stay healthy they will be a tough opponent for anyone. Over the last seven games of last year, the Giants outscored their opponents by 12 points. They did this without WR Victor Cruz (74.3), CB Prince Amukamara (79.2), slot CB Trumaine McBride (81.6), and other star players missing significant time like CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (84.5), DL Robert Ayers (83.4) and OL Geoff Schwartz (81.9). Their only major free-agent addition was RB Shane Vereen, who should be more of a factor in the passing game (82.2 receiving). The Giants had eight players with a PFF grade below -10 last year, but only three remain on the roster with just one slated to start. This window of opportunity might be short for the Giants, as Eli Manning will reach the age of 35 before the end of the season, but they have put together a talented roster which should fight for a playoff spot and possibly the division.
"Tough opponent? Talented roster? Fight for a playoff spot?" What is this crazy talk?
That doesn't fit with the consternation over the last couple of roster spots, the hub-bub over recent roster shuffling, the constant worry about the revolving door at safety or the idea that coach Tom Coughlin and GM Jery Reese apparently have no idea what they're doing.
PFF, in fact, has been among the Giants' biggest boosters heading into the season. Recently, PFF put the Giants among its playoff sleepers, writing:
"If they can avoid the injury bug, the Giants are a strong contender to win the NFC East and potentially even make a deep postseason run."
How about that? Are the folks at PFF off their collective rockers? Could it be that there is a chance the Giants might actually be good? Sunday when the season opens against the Dallas Cowboys we finally get to stop speculating and begin to get an answer.