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New York Giants story lines: 5 things to watch in the second half of the season

What happens at quarterback is just the beginning

NFL: Cleveland Browns at New York Giants
Kyle Lauletta
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

What would a successful season be for the New York Giants in 2018? Before the season began that was a question that came up often. My definition, considering that the Giants went all-in on a 37-year-old quarterback with a closing window, was that the only way to consider the year a success would be for the Giants to reach the playoffs.

Well, at 1-7 that obviously isn’t happening. Barring, of course, some type of miracle finish.

So, we are left figuring out whether or not any good things can come from the season, and why we should continue to pay attention.

Well, yes some good things can still happen. There are lots of long-term decisions to be made and lots of information about the current roster to be gathered before those choices are rendered. Let’s look at 5 things to watch the rest of the season.

Quarterback drama

How many more games will Eli Manning start as Giants quarterback? Is there anything Manning can do during the second half of the season to convince the Giants he can be a viable quarterback next season? Is this the final stretch of Manning’s career? How much will the arrest of Kyle Lauletta last week delay what seems like his inevitable insertion in the lineup? When he gets his chance, will the fourth-round pick from Richmond show the Giants enough to keep them out of the quarterback market in the offseason?

Quarterback drama will likely be the biggest story of the Giants’ final eight games.

Saquon’s chase for history

Right pick for the Giants in the 2018 NFL Draft? Wrong pick? That’s pretty much irrelevant to this discussion. He is a wonderful player, and with 519 rushing yards and 497 receiving yards has a chance to join Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.

Right now it’s hard to imagine anyone else winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

The new guys

GM Dave Gettleman likes to say that roster building is a 12-month job, and during the season the Giants have continued to try and upgrade the roster. There are three newly-acquired Giants we haven’t seen who will be interesting to watch over the final eight games.

WR Corey Coleman

Can the 2016 first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns rescue his career with the Giants? The Browns traded him to the Buffalo Bills in August. The Bill quickly gave up on him, and the New England Patriots cut him twice. The Giants have been searching for a third receiver. Can Coleman be the guy.

G Jamon Brown

The newest of the new Giants, can the former Los Angeles Rams starter who was acquired via waivers last week, be one of the “hog mollies” the Giants so desperately need? It figures that the Giants won’t waste much time getting Brown into the lineup. Best guess is that Brown will be starting at right guard as soon as he knows enough of the playbook.

CB Tony Lippett

When the Giants traded Eli Apple they filled his roster spot with this former Miami Dolphins cornerback. He has an eight-game tryout to show the Giants he has recovered from the torn Achilles tendon that cost him the 2017 season and can be part of their 2019 secondary.

The “race” for No. 1

The Giants currently have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Where will they end up? Will they have a shot at Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert if he declares for the draft? Would they take it? The Giants’ draft position will draw a lot of interest over the next few weeks.

Development of the young players

We have already seen the Giants begin to clear the decks to get players like B.J. Hill, Lorenzo Cater, Grant Haley, Tae Davis and Sean Chandler added playing time. Much of the intrigue over the second half of the season will be to watch their development and see which guys can be part of the team’s future.