Could the Giants miss the playoffs in 2017
By Michael Stewart
As a Giants fan, there’s a lot to be excited for in 2017. The addition of WR Brandon Marshall, the drafting class of 2017 and finally making the playoffs in 2016 after 5 seasons of absence. On paper, The Giants roster looks very much set to venture further in the playoffs in 2017.
1. Injuries: Dating back as far as 2013 to the present, the Giants have had the most games missed (due to injuries) by their starters than any other team in the NFL. We all know that injuries are part of the game and all teams will need to deal with it. However; if this trend continues for the Giants in 2017 and especially to key players; it could cost them a playoff berth in 2017.
2. Losing the Battle in the trenches: In 2016, the Giants DL played much better and for the most part won the battle in the trenches. However; that can’t be said for the Giants OL in 2016 as their overall performance wasn’t as productive as the Giants DL. For the Giants to be taken seriously and assured a playoff spot in 2017, the OL must do a better job. Actually win the battle in the trenches. Whether that’s running the ball a little better or protecting the QB. If the Giants OL digresses in 2017, the playoff picture will be very dim.
3. Poor year by Eli Manning: This is an obvious one for the Giants if Eli Manning has a down season or worse injured for most of the season; then all hopes to make the playoffs will be gone in a blink of an eye.
4. Not Closing out Games: The Giants 2017 schedule will be challenging, so winning the close games is a must. Hard to imagine many blowout wins for the Giants with this schedule, so the need to hold on to leads in the 4th quarter is essential. If not, the playoffs will not be in reach.
5. Divisional dominance: Dallas won the division in 2016, Washington nearly made the playoffs and Philadelphia always plays the Giants tough. Every team in the NFL east improved their roster in 2017. The Giants play nearly 40% of the games against their rival division foes. Last season, the Giants had a 4-2 record within their division and that record must be duplicated in 2017 at the least. If the Giants want to secure a playoff spot.
Final Thoughts: This article is a definite “Debbie Downer” however objective on my part and hopefully none of these scenarios become a major issue in 2017. The Giants have been projected to win the NFC east in 2017 by many experts, but that remains to be seen as Dallas, Washington and Philadelphia will play a major role in determining the outcome.