The New York Giants enter the offseason with much work to do, but coming off an 11-5 season and a playoff appearance it looks like expectations for the Giants will be high in 2017. In an initial “way-too-early” set of 2017 NFL power rankings a trio of mainstream outlets have placed the Giants in the top 10.
Why they're here: The Giants' defense took a major jump after a series of offseason additions, allowing the NFL's second-lowest points average (17.8 per game) and forcing 25 turnovers, tied for 11th in the NFL. The emergence of All-Pro safety Landon Collins and the consistency of defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who had the best approximate value (via Pro Football Reference) of any Giants defender in 2016, was especially promising. There is reason to believe that defense can be a strength of the Giants for years to come.
What could change: Teams always are smart to emphasize their superstar playmakers, but the Giants were too reliant on receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in 2016. He accounted for nearly twice as many yards from scrimmage (1,376) as any of his teammates. Without offseason improvement, an extended absence from Beckham would cripple the offense. The Giants will spend the offseason looking for ways to be more well-rounded.
FOX Sports (9):
The Giants weren’t nearly as good as their record indicated, and that was on display against the Packers in the postseason. Despite their failure in the wild-card round, the Giants boast a young, dominant defense with just about all of its playmakers returning for another season. Pencil them in near the top of the NFC East again next season.
Sporting News (7):
They already did their major defensive upgrades. Now they need to boost their offensive line and running game to make Eli Manning great again.
Valentine’s View: These are, of course, relatively meaningless. Can the Giants be a top 10 team next season? That depends largely on how they answers the many questions they face this offseason. How do they fix the offensive line? Can they keep the defensive line together? Can they find more play-makers for the offense? Still, a ranking just inside the top 10 is probably accurate for the Giants right now.
Your thoughts, Giants fans?
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