NY Giants: Looking Past the Bye

By Andrew Santoro

For the first time since 2012 it is week 11 and the Giants are a front-runner in the playoff race. Even though they stand at 5 and 5 and are in the middle of the pack of the NFL coming into the bye, they are atop the NFC East.

At the conclusion of week 10 there are only 11 NFL teams with a record over 500, the fewest this far into the season since 1990. Which  Coincidentally ended with Otis Anderson earning a Super Bowl MVP award.  It is also the 25th anniversary of  the Jeff Hostetler, New York Giants Super Bowl run.

With a win from the Eagles and the Redskins, there could be a 3 way log jam a top the NFC East.  Also, let us not forget about the last place Dallas Cowboy who are pleased to report Tony Romo will get his first start since falling to injury in week 2 of this season.

So what does this mean for The Giants?

First, just because the Giants have the lead now does not mean they will win the division. The Giants also have the toughest ranked schedule in the NFL for the remainder of the 2015 season. I am almost certain there will be no wildcard coming from The NFC East, the Giant must win the division to get a ticket to the big dance.

How can this be accomplished?

It would behoove The Giants to finish the season going 5-1. I believe this can be achieved! However, they will need our high-powered offense to kick it up a notch.  Meaning  not only will players like Manning and OBJ need to perform to the best of their abilities, but so will

 and perhaps even Hakeem Nicks.

Also as much as I love seeing Beckham with the ball in his hand, Manning cannot force feed him the way he did earlier in his career with Jeremy Shockey.  Just having OBJ on the field throws a wrench in the gears of opposing defenses.  If the defense wants to take away Beckham, the Giants should counter with Randle, Vereen and Harris . 

On the other hand, the Defense has definitely been the Achilles heel.  The Giants defense will need to play lights out vs. Carolina and the Jets.  The return of JPP has awoken the Giants dismal pass rush.   If the Giants can hang with the Pats, they could go 5 – 1.  

As far as the back-end of our D is concerned, we will finally see the return of Prince Amukamara. One of the most underrated corners in the league.  As far as linebackers go, Devon Kennard is by far our best LB and Jasper Brinkley has performed better than expectations since stepping in for Beason/Unga.

When it comes to our special teams, place kicker Josh Brown and punter Brad Wing have played great all year. The 10 guy in front of them have not. Harris, Herzlich and 6th round pick Geremy Davis need to take the game up a notch if they are make the playoffs.  

It’s a safe bet that if the Giants would have stopped the Danny Amendola return the outcome of that game would have been much different.  The bye week is for healing. Donnell and Prince could be back, Richburg and Unga should be healthy.