The New York Giants are looking to add a fifth Super Bowl title to their trophy case and be the first back to back champions since the New England Patriots in 2003-04.
On Wednesday, September 5 the Giants kick off the NFL regular season against the Dallas Cowboys home at MetLife Stadium. Some other key games for the Giants this season are on September 30 on the road against the rivaled Philadelphia Eagles. On November 25, the Giants take on the Green Bay Packers at home in a rematch of last year’s surprising playoff victory. The Giants conclude their season on December 30 against the Philadelphia Eagles at home.
Two key additions to the Giants roster are defensive tackle Shaun Rogers and tight end Martellus Bennett whom are looking to bolster the team on both sides of the ball. Rogers was once considered a superior defensive tackle during his years with the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns. However, a broken leg decreased his productivity and he saw limited playing time last season with the New Orleans Saints. Any help he can add to an already powerful defensive line can only be seen as a positive.
Bennett saw limited playing time in his years with the Dallas Cowboys. After tight ends Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum tore their ACLs during last year’s Super Bowl the Giants have a hole to fill at the position. While Bennett is looked at as more of a blocking tight end than a receiver, he did report to training camp 20 pounds heavier, which he claims is added muscle. Only time will tell what kind of tight end Bennett will truly be now that he will have more playing time.
For the key additions the Giants added, they also lost important players from last year’s team. Wide receiver Mario Manningham and running back Brandon Jacobs both departed for the San Francisco 49ers. Ironically, the Giants defeated the 49ers in overtime during last year’s AFC Championship game.
Looking to fill the gap for Manningham’s departure will be last year’s breakout star Victor Cruz. Cruz had over 1,500 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season for the Giants, and always seemed to come up with a key catch when the team needed it. It remains to be seen if he will be able to put up numbers like that again in only his second full season in the NFL. Hakeem Nicks, the Giants other star wide receiver was removed this week from the physically unable to perform list after breaking his foot during the offseason. He is now cleared to practice with the team.
“I love Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, but I’m worried if they’ll be able to make up for the loss of Mario Manningham,” said Giants fan and Connecticut resident Dinah Landry.
Helping the Giants on the defensive side of the ball was the re-structuring of defensive tackle Osi Umenyiora’s contract. Umenyiora, was thought to be headed out of New York after last season but after firing his agent and renegotiating his contract by himself with general manager Jerry Reese, Umenyiora was convinced to stay for at least one more season.
The Giants began their preseason with a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars 32-31. Their next preseason game is against the New York Jets on Saturday. After that the Giants take on the Bears on August 24, before wrapping up the preseason against the New England Patriots in a repeat of last year’s Super Bowl on August 29.
In the tough NFC East the Giants have a long road ahead of them if they want to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. Although, after only going 9-7 in the regular season last year the Giants proved that anything can happen once a team reaches the playoffs.