By Michael Stewart
Brandon Marshall signed a 2 year contract with the Giants for a chance to capture a Super Bowl ring. At 33 years old, what can Giant fans realistically expect from him? Last year, Marshall did not have a typical season for him to remember as a professional with only 59 receptions for only 788 yards and 3 touchdowns, however; much of his lack of production could be mostly directed to the poor play at the QB position. In contrast to his 2015 performance; where Marshall collected 109 receptions for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns. To be fair to Marshall, a repeat of his 2015 season is not a realistic expectation although it would be welcomed. With fellow WR’s OBJ and Sterling Shepard getting their fair share of touches; along with rookie TE Evan Engram as well. The Giants should have one of the best passing arsenals in the NFL. The arrival of Marshall despite his age will create nightmare matchups for opposing teams to try to figure out whom to double team, especially in the red zone; where the Giants struggled in 2016.
The Giants really needed a big body WR and Marshall certainly fits that mold to provide more options in the red zone. Along with rookie TE Evan Engram, the Giants will have 2 big targets capable of dominating any defense not only in the red zone, but also between the 20 yard lines. Eli Manning will feel like a kid in a candy store on game day and is projected to surpass 4,000 yards again in 2017. I would project Marshall to finish with 70 receptions for 900 yards and 7 touchdowns. Based on many projections, I’m being a little bit more conservative than others who have him surpassing 75 catches for 1,000 yards and 10 TDS (which is possible). Either way, the Giants should benefit from Marshalls presence in a division that features Dallas, Washington and Philadelphia who have all improved their rosters this offseason.
Final Thoughts: Marshall is a big-bodied wide receiver (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and is entering his 12th NFL season in 2017. His career reception yards of 12,061, and 82 touchdowns is very impressive. As a six time Pro Bowler and once was a first-team All-Pro (2012), Marshall is really good on contested balls, because of his size and strength. Whether it involves getting off the line of scrimmage, or fighting for the ball when it’s in the air, Marshall uses his large physique to his advantage. If Marshall can stay relatively healthy (nagging foot injury in 2016) for the next 2 seasons, the Giants could very well find themselves playing in the Super Bowl.