Fans of the New York Giants are used to feeling as though their team is being overlooked. Having experts, analysts, and pundits discounting the Giants’ is a familiar feeling.
Seeing them give credit to the Giants and place lofty expectations on them is considerably less familiar, and, frankly, frightening in some cases. After all, the Giants’ best moments of the last decade came as scrappy under dogs who won despite the odds.
Chris Simms, former quarterback and son of Giants’ legend Phil Simms, has ranked the Giants as second overall in his pre-Season power rankings for Bleacher Report.
About the Giants, Simms says:
2. New York Giants
2016 Final Ranking: 7
A lot of people might not realize it, but the Giants were tied for the fifth-best record in the NFL last season (11-5). The Giants also beat Dallas, the team with the best record in the NFC, twice. Now, they're better.
This was already one of the best defensive teams in the NFL. Additions like Brandon Marshall, Evan Engram, D.J. Fluker and blocking tight end Rhett Ellison could make the offensive side of the ball equally dangerous.
The offense was already headed in the right direction anyway. I know Sterling Shepard turned his ankle in practice, but he's been tearing it up all offseason. He and Odell Beckham Jr. are poised to be one of the most dangerous wideout duos in the league. The Giants are also entering year two of the Ben McAdoo system.
They have no excuses this season. They're in the conversation for the best receiving corps in football, the best secondary in football and the best defensive line in football. When you have those three things plus Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Eli Manning, you have a legit football team.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting THAT.
Depending on how they are basing their analysis, most people are expecting the Giants to be improved over what they showed in 2016. The defense should still be solid, and they have invested in improving their offensive personnel and diversifying the scheme. It remains to be seen whether or not they’ll improve over their 11-5 record, but even taking a step back to 10-6 would be respectable considering the caliber of teams they will be facing this year.
They should be better, but the refrain is — and will be until the Giants silence it — that the offense will only go as far as the offensive line allows, particularly the offensive tackles. We’ve heard some positive reports from camp regarding Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart, but the proof will come in pre-season games.
On paper the Giants should be improved. Their offensive personnel should be better, they have continuity on the defense, with greater experience in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, and several young players are looking to take steps forward in their second and third seasons. There’s reason to be excited about the Giants, but seeing it expressed outside of the fan base (even from the son of a Giants’ great), definitely caused us to take notice.
Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys are sixth, the Washington Redskins are ninth, and the Philadelphia Eagles are 23rd.