New York Giants 2009 Season Preview
by Badger of Predictem.com
2008 Record 12-4 (12-4 ATS)
Won NFC East Division Earned NFC top-seed and homefield advantage.
Stadium: Giants Stadium
Head Coach: Tom Coughlin (12th Season 123-100)
Training Camp Site: University at Albany, Albany, N.Y.
Current 2009-2010 Super Bowl Odds: 11-to-1
Its hard to imagine a 12-4 season being labeled a disappointment, but thats exactly what the 2008 season was for the New York Giants.
One year after taking home the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 42 by
winning every playoff game on the road, the Giants set themselves up
perfectly with the best record in the NFC and homefield advantage
throughout the playoffs. But wouldnt you know it, the Philadelphia
Eagles gave them a taste of their own medicine with a Divisional
Round playoff upset in Giants Stadium, 23-11.
The Giants also suffered embarrassment and plenty of distractions
with the entire Plaxico Burress shooting situation during the course
of the year, and this past offseason, so you can bet Tom Coughlin and
the Giants players are ready to strap it up and turn the page for a
new 2009-2010 season.
Whos In/Whos Out
The Giants cut bait with Burress at the tail end of last season
trying to rid themselves of the distractions and the baggage, and in
doing so they dumped their best offensive weapon at receiver, but
they also allowed the other starting wide out Amani Toomer to walk to
Kansas City as well.
Running back Derrick Ward left for greener pastures in Tampa Bay
during free agency too, so quarterback Eli Manning is going to have a
whole host of new faces to look at in the huddle this season.
The Giants did add some solid defensive line depth when they picked
up end Chris Canty from Dallas and tackle Rocky Bernard from Seattle
in the free agency period. They also added safety C.C. Brown
(Houston) and Michael Boley at linebacker for depth.
Draft Class 2009
The Giants addressed their need for playmakers at receiver by taking
Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina with the 29th pick of round one. They
also added 6-foot-6 Ramses Barden in the 3rd-round, a sleeper pick
from tiny Cal Poly who has the size to replace Burress on the end of
those Eli fade routes near the goal line.
Linebacker Clint Sintim (2nd), tight end Travis Beckum (3rd) and OL William Beatty (2nd) should make the final roster out of this draft as well, but the rest of the draft class (9 picks) will likely just
be training camp bodies.
Manning recently signed a contract extension worth over 90 million,
but well find out right away if hes worth it or not with all of the
Giants roster turnover on offense this season. He threw for 3,238
yards and 21 touchdowns in 08 and still remains a very accurate
passer (60.3 comp %), which will be tested with an entirely new
That crew includes the two rookies Nicks and Barden, but is also includes incumbents Steve Smith (57 rec., 1 TD), Domenik Hixson (13.9
ave., 2 TD) and Sinorice Moss (12.8 ave., 2 TD). Tight end Kevin Boss
also emerged as a red-zone threat last season, leading the Giants
with six touchdown catches in 08.
But rest assured, the Giants under Coughlin and coordinator Kevin
Gilbride with continue to try and shove the ball down opponents
throats with heavy dose of running back Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs barely
topped 1,000 yards last year, but he ended with 15 TDs and was the
main cog in the Giants ground game that led the NFL in yards per game
with 157.4. Ahmad Bradshaw will be the change-up back replacing the
The Giants were able to keep defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo
after the Super Bowl season, but they werent able to do it two years
in a row as he left after last season to become the head coach of the
St. Louis Rams. Bill Sheridan, who spent the past three years as the
linebackers coach, will take over as new coordinator and he should
have a relatively easy time because the Giants defense is stacked.
Justin Tuck emerged as a Pro-Bowl defensive end last season ending
with 12 sacks, and this year he gets teamed up with Osi Umenyiora on
the other side after missing last season with a torn ACL. Even if
Umenyiora is half of his former Pro-Bowl self, those two make up a
great pass rush that also added Canty and Bernard for depth.
Antonio Pierce is finally free and clear of his legal troubles, so
expect him to play with a renewed drive and focus. Hell team up with
Boley, Danny Clark and Bryan Kehl at linebacker to try and keep the
Giants in the top 10 in run defense after finishing 9th in 2008
allowing 95.8 yards per game.
The secondary features a host of young, athletic players led by
corners Aaron Ross and Corey Webster. Kenny Phillips and Michael
Johnson now have Brown backing them up at safety, so the Giants are
likely to maintain last seasons top-10 finish in pass defense as
well (8th -196.2 ypg).
Veteran kicker John Carney did a very nice job last season as a fill
in (35-of-38, 1-for-1 from 50+), but Lawrence Tynes is back as the
Giants kicker after missing the season with a knee injury. Tynes was
23-of-27 in 2007 and was the goat-turned-hero in the Championship
game victory over the Packers.
Jeff Feagles continues to be a very reliable punter with another
solid season in 08, ending with a 44.0 yard average with an
excellent 40.2 net.
Bradshaw (22.2 ave.) is a decent kick returner, and Hixson is one of
the leagues best punt returners (10.1 ave.), but if both players
take an increased role in the offense their return days could be over.
Sept. 13 WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Sept. 20 at Dallas Cowboys
Sept. 27 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Oct. 4 at Kansas City Chiefs
Oct. 11 OAKLAND RAIDERS
Oct. 18 at New Orleans Saints
Oct. 25 ARIZONA CARDINALS
Nov. 1 at Philadelphia Eagles
Nov. 8 SAN DIEGO CHAGERS
Nov. 15 Bye
Nov. 22 ATLANTA FALCONS
Nov. 26 at Denver Broncos
Dec. 6 DALLAS COWBOYS
Dec. 13 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Dec. 21 at Washington Redskins
Dec. 27 CAROLINA PANTHERS
Jan. 3 at Minnesota Vikings
Betting Odds and Projections
As a bettor if you were on the Giants early and often in 2008 you
ended up a very happy man, as they finished the year tied with
Baltimore and Tennessee with an NFL-best 12-4 ATS record. But unlike
the Ravens and Titans who surprised oddsmakers early in the season
before they started adjusting the lines, the Giants played almost the
entire season in the role of favorites and made their 12-4 having to
cover the number as a chalk.
With nearly the same team as the one that went 12-4, the 2009-2010
Giants are floating a little under the radar as they are currently
listed at 11-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl at Bovada. Thats a
solid return and an excellent middle in a short-middle-long
approach to laying future wagers.
This year the Giants must start fast because their schedule after a bye in week 10 is brutal, with just a road game at Denver as
the only cupcake game in the final seven. The good thing is they
get to play most of them at home in Giants Stadium, including games
against the rival Cowboys and Eagles in back-to-back weeks in December.