2014 DRAFT GUIDE
After missing playoffs, Giants look to bounce back

By TOM CANAVAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-23 12:27

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - A year ago, the New York Giants failed miserably in their bid to get back to the Super Bowl and defend their title.

This year, the Giants just want to stay home - and become the first NFL team to play the Super Bowl in their backyard.

The first cold-weather Super Bowl is being held in New Jersey, and the Giants have the offense to get there.

Eli Manning is in his prime. The dynamic Victor Cruz is re-signed and there are enough pieces on the offense to make coach Tom Coughlin's team's a threat for a third title in seven years. The question mark is the running game in the post-Ahmad Bradshaw era.

The concern, however, is the defense, the unit that was the key to titles in the 2007 and `11 seasons. It was the NFL's second worst in 2012 and the new-look unit needs to be better.

``We missed the playoffs last year,'' Manning said. ``That's the goal. You can't win a championship if you don't make the playoffs. It is about doing whatever it takes and making sure we're putting ourselves in position to make the playoffs toward the end of the season and then excelling at the end of the season to finish that job.''

The Giants (9-7) didn't miss the playoffs by much. The difference was a 3-5 finish after a 6-2 start.

Five things to look for as the Giants opening training camp:

1. JPP READY OR NOT: Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, the catalyst of the defense with 27 1/2 sacks in 48 games, had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back in June. The recovery time was expected to be 12 weeks which makes him a question mark for the start of the season. With the loss of Osi Umenyiora to free agency, Mathias Kiwanuka is back at DE. Third-round draft pick Damontre Moore has some of that freakish pass-rush talent that JPP has exhibited and he might be the surprise this season.

2. WHO'S IN THE RUNNING? Manning is going to have new faces in the backfield. David Wilson, the first-round pick in 2012, is the No. 1 back with the release of Bradshaw in a salary-cap move. Wilson is a breakaway threat but he has to prove he can pick up the blitz. Andre Brown is No. 2 despite coming off a broken leg. The other concern is at fullback. Henry Hynoski needed surgery on his left knee after being injured in the June minicamp.

3. NICKLE AND DIME DEES: With questions at linebacker and a plethora of seasoned defensive backs, expect the Giants to use a lot of nickel and dime defenses. The three-safety formation was a staple in the run to the Super Bowl in 2011, so coordinator Perry Fewell probably will roll out more gimmick defenses to match the more pass-orientated NFL. Look for veterans Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, Ryan Mundy, Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas - coming off two ACL surgeries - to lead the way.

4. HAKEEM NICKS MIGHT BE KEY: While Manning and Cruz are the offensive catalysts, New York needs a healthy Nicks at wide receiver to open things up. Nicks, entering the final year of his contract, refused to attend voluntary offseason workouts after struggling last season. He broke his right foot in minicamp and hurt his left knee in the second week of the season. A 1,000-yard receiver in 2010 and 2011, he had 53 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns last season. He can be a second game-breaker if healthy. Second-year receiver Rueben Randle and free agent signee Louis Murphy, a speedster, might surprise.

5. NEW KIDS IN THE HUDDLE: Veteran Josh Brown replaces Lawrence Tynes as placekicker. Top draft pick Justin Pugh should push veteran David Diehl at right tackle. Second-round pick Johnathan Hankins should see time at defensive tackle, even though free-agent signee Cullen Jenkins and Linval Joseph probably will start. Brandon Myers, who had 79 catches for 806 yards with Oakland last season, gives Manning his first proven tight end entering a camp since the days of Jeremy Shockey and Kevin Boss.

---

Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeMarco MurrayOct 25 08:28p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray worked out with TE Jason Witten before the team's official offseason program, and he credits the veteran tight end with his increased stamina and [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 25 06:42p

Washington Redskins DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry Riley (knee) and OT Trent Williams (knee) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week 8. [ More ]

Edwin BakerOct 25 06:22p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25. RB Edwin Baker was promoted to the 53-man roster in his place.

Tom CrabtreeOct 25 06:12p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25.

Jerel WorthyOct 25 06:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed DE Jerel Worthy to the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 25.

LaMarr WoodleyOct 25 05:02p

Oakland Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) were placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. CB D.J. Hayden (foot) was activated from the Physically Unable to [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 25 04:32p

Seattle Seahawks FS Derrick Coleman (foot) was placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. The team signed WR Phil Bates to the 53-man roster.

Damian WilliamsOct 25 04:32p

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, Oct. 25, after serving his suspension. WR Damian Williams was waived to make room for him.

Jack CrawfordOct 25 04:32p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (thigh), FS Jakar Hamilton (personal), OT Jermey Parnell (chest) and DE Anthony Spencer (knee, foot) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week [ More ]

Doug FreeOct 25 03:52p

Dallas Cowboys OG Doug Free (foot) could return next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Head coach Jason Garrett said he hopes Free will be able to practice net week.

Ryan TaylorOct 25 03:02p

The Baltimore Ravens waived TE Ryan Taylor and promoted TE Phillip Supernaw from their practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 25.

Chandler JonesOct 25 02:12p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) could be done for the season with a hip injury he suffered in Week 7. Jones will reportedly miss at least six weeks.

Chris CookOct 25 01:22p

The San Francisco 49ers placed CB Chris Cook (hamstring) and C Daniel Kilgore (leg) on Reserve/Injured and signed S Ray Ventrone to a one-year deal Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerell RobinsonOct 25 01:12p

The Cleveland Browns activated OL Nick McDonald and waived TE Gerell Robinson Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerald McCoyOct 25 01:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy has agreed to terms with the team on a seven-year contract extension worth close to $100 million.

Marcus EasleyOct 25 12:42p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) will work out before the team's Week 8 game to see if he will be able to play, according to head coach Doug [ More ]

Jason TrusnikOct 25 12:42p

Miami Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik could start at middle linebacker in Week 8 if LB Koa Misi (ankle) is not able to play.

Tavarres KingOct 25 12:22p

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed practice squad CB Peyton Thompson to their active roster Saturday, Oct. 25. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived WR Tavarres King.

Calais CampbellOct 25 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) likely will be a game-time decision for Week 8, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Campbell said his knee felt good during practice and hopes to play.

A.J. GreenOct 25 12:12p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is not expected to play in Week 8, because he has ligament damage under his toe. The team wants to be careful with [ More ]

Shonn GreeneOct 25 12:02p

Tennessee Titans RB Shonn Greene was arrested Friday, Oct. 24, and charged with a handicap parking violation, driving on a revoked/suspended license, reckless driving and resisting stop/halt/frisk.

Sean SpenceOct 25 11:32a

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Ryan Shazier (knee) should be able to play in Week 8, but it is not known if he will start at inside linebacker. Shazier and LB [ More ]

Aqib TalibOct 25 05:22a

Denver Broncos CB Tony Carter has drawn interest on the trade market prior to the Oct. 28 deadline. CBs Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby have taken away some playing [ More ]

Alan BranchOct 25 05:12a

Free-agent DL Alan Branch (Bills) was spotted in the New England Patriots' locker room but still has not signed his contract with the team. An additional report by Mike [ More ]

Jason KelceOct 25 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) is listed as questionable for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals, but he is unlikely to play. He had sports hernia [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) is expected to miss at least a few weeks, so DEs Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka could be asked to play interior [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants LB Devon Kennard might see more playing time with LB Jon Beason (toe) injured and possibly sidelined a while.

Emmanuel AchoOct 25 12:32a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) might be able to return for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals. If not, LBs Emmanuel Acho and Casey Matthews would [ More ]

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group