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New York Giants season preview: Rise and fall with Eli Manning

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New York Giants season preview: Rise and fall with Eli Manning

Before the Eagles set off on what is sure to be a 100-year-dynasty of NFC East Championships, we’ll take a look at each of their divisional rivals and what they’ve got that could potentially derail the Birds seemingly surefire destiny.

Today we’ll cover the New York Giants, a team that is so smug in its own persona, they must have forgotten they share a stadium in North Jersey with the Jets.

New York Giants

What Happened Last Season: For the first time since 2011, the New York Giants made it to the playoffs, and the entire season felt like some terrible time warp where this maddeningly inconsistent team was gonna find a way to go from the Wild Card to the Super Bowl like an Amish family pulling their cart through a toll via EZ-Pass. Seriously, rooting against the Giants last year was like viewing an early season of "Game of Thrones." No matter how crazy things got, you knew deep down it was a foregone conclusion your favorite characters were going to be violently murdered before your eyes. Oh Oberyn, you were doomed before we met you.

Thankfully, for the first time since Asante Samuel wore midnight green, the Giants lost a playoff game they were supposed to lose, getting absolutely creamed by the Green Bay Packers 31-13. Man, do I love the Green Bay Packers. Reggie White may have been onto something.

The highlight of Big Blue’s season, both on and off the field, was superstar and sticky-glove case study Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ is admittedly awesome at football, but he had a terrible year in PR. It started with a weird thing between him and the kicking net. It ended with an ill-advised boat trip before a playoff game (or as we use to call it in the 2000’s, “a Romo getaway”). 

Overall, it was a strong first season for rookie coach Ben McAdoo. Unfortunately, that strong first season was overshadowed by a disappointing playoff appearance. It was like making great time on a road trip, only to have your car explode when you pulled it into the garage. That’s why John Mara always buys American.

What About The Offseason?

Did the Giants have an offseason? After spending big last summer, the only notable acquisition this year was 33-year-old Brandon Marshall, who could prove the perfect compliment to Beckham, assuming they’re both healthy (and as of this writing, neither of them are). Marshall is replacing Victor Cruz, who, like a fart in the night, was a tremendous annoyance that will quickly be forgotten and likely replaced by something stinkier.

The Giants offseason was most notable for what they didn’t do; sign Colin Kaepernick. Owner John Mara, who inherited all his money, said it was because fans wrote him a bunch of letters, so I guess it’s our fault for not putting pen to paper when the G-Men decided to keep domestic abuser Josh Brown on the roster a year ago. Seriously, a kicker!? You stick your team’s reputation on the line for a stinkin’ kicker? Even Howie Roseman’s thinking ‘Jeez dude, that’s a bad look.’

Mara is nearly as hypocritical as the New York media, which roasts Beckham for his little boat trip but pulls its punches against Eli, who may-or-may-not have been the center of a Super Bowl memorabilia fraud case. It doesn’t take a masters class in civil justice to figure out what’s going on here, in either case.

What’ll Happen This Season (Best Case Scenario): Landon Collins becomes the Defensive Player of the Year, and the addition of Marshall helps the 36-year-old Lesser-Manning take a step forward in the McAdoo Offensive… which, as far as I can tell, consists solely of “Beckham runs as far as he can and Eli tries to overthrow him.” Brilliant stuff, Ben. I can’t wait till the 30-for-30 comes out. The Giants offensive gameplan typically has the creativity of a response from Siri.

What’ll Happen This Season (Worst Case Scenario): Eli has one-too-many of his patented half-dozen turnover performances, Beckham acts in a fashion that has the MSM label him a “distraction,” and the entire season goes down the tubes, putting McAdoo on the hot seat and Eli Retirement Threat Levels at MAGENTA. Worth noting; the Giants spent a third round pick on a quarterback this April, which is about as passive-aggressive as things get in this business. Somewhere in Arizona, Donovan McNabb is mumbling “Kevin Kolb” over and over again as he waits for his Uber. Eli will know his pain.

Conclusion: Ever since Jerome McDougle took eight years off his life in his first professional game, Eli Manning has been equally capable of single-handedly beating the most impressive of opponents… or losing to a squad with the talent level of a decapitated weasel. You do not get to play against Eli Manning. Only Eli Manning plays against Eli Manning. No stat line of his will ever surprise me, and expecting any of that to change in his 14th professional season is as probable as John Mara showing up to Week 1 in a “Black Lives Matter” hoodie.

The Giants will be as good as Eli allows them. They’ll be good enough to beat anybody, but probably won’t.

Previously:

Washington Redskins preview: Dan Snyder's undrainable swamp

Dallas Cowboys preview: some new faces, same choking hazards

 

 

 

NFL power rankings roundup: Eagles drop down after Week 2 loss

NFL power rankings roundup: Eagles drop down after Week 2 loss

After a strong Week 1 performance against the Washington Redskins that resulted in a 30-17 victory, the Eagles faced a formidable challenge in Week 2 — former Eagles head coach Andy Reid and a Chiefs team that took it to the defending champion Patriots on their home turf in Week 1.

A 6-3 game heading into halftime turned into a 27-20 loss for the Eagles, as Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt found his footing in a 21-point second half for Kansas City.

Now the Eagles focus their attention on an 0-2 Giants team, desperate for its first win of the season and looking to spoil the Birds' home opener at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday.

Before the second divisional matchup of the season for the Birds, here's a roundup of where the Eagles landed in this week's national power rankings:

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio: Down six spots to No. 16
"They’ve got a chance to make it a two-team race in the NFC East," Florio wrote, "if they can manhandle the Giants."

NFL.com's Elliot Harrison: Down four spots to No. 14
“The Eagles let it rip most of the day in Kansas City, continuing the same defensive mojo they carried in Washington in Week 1,” Harrison wrote. "Carson Wentz used his mobility where appropriate, made a few intermediate throws and even received a gift to keep Philly in a tight contest. Everything unraveled late in the fourth quarter, right around the time the Chiefs' front seven decided not to let up. Wentz's protection broke down repeatedly, ultimately allowing six sacks. Then the real turning point came on the Chris Jones pick off a batted pass. Look, Doug Pederson's guys showed they will be a pesky bunch this year, but Wentz is not good enough to pull rabbits out of a hat. He needs help.”

USA TODAY: Stayed at No. 16
“Few pills are more bitter than dropping to 0-2 against former coach Andy Reid," USA TODAY wrote. "Maybe you should have treated Big Red a little nicer, Philly Fan.”

Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab: Up one spot to No. 11
“A lot of teams are going to lose at Kansas City this season,” Schwab wrote. “The Eagles played them tough. Carson Wentz was good on third downs against the Chiefs; the next step is becoming more consistent on first and second down.”

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco: Down two spots to No. 15
“The defense has impressed in the first two weeks,” Prisco wrote. “The front four is nasty.”

The Washington Post's Mark Maske: Down seven spots to No. 17
“Why, exactly, did the Eagles sign RB LeGarrette Blount if his second game with the team was going to be a zero-carry outing? That’s what happened Sunday in Kansas City, when Coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich dialed up 46 passing attempts by QB Carson Wentz,” Maske wrote. “That’s just misguided, pass-happy offensive play-calling. The Eagles did manage to get WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith more involved in the offense. But they need to utilize Blount or get rid of him.”

ESPN: Down six spots to No. 9
“How many Eagles quarterbacks have thrown for 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of the first two games of the season? Four. Ron Jaworski (1982), Randall Cunningham (1994), Donovan McNabb (2006) and Carson Wentz (2017)," ESPN wrote. "Wentz does not appear to be primed for a 'sophomore slump.'"

Malcolm Jenkins says Eagles are the 'team to beat' in NFC East

Malcolm Jenkins says Eagles are the 'team to beat' in NFC East

The NFC East isn't exactly a powerhouse this season. The New York Giants look flat out bad. The Washington Redskins aren't a whole lot better. And the Dallas Cowboys got their butts kicked in week two.

So Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins didn't exactly go out on a limb when he said the Birds are the team to beat in the East this season after two weeks.

Jenkins sat down for a weekly chat with CBS Philly's Joe Santoliquito about the Eagles' defense looking better in their week two loss to the Kansas City Chiefs than they did in their week one victory over the Redskins.

“The communication was far better [against Kansas City] than it was the first week. For the most part, we had two passes that got away. The one from [Travis] Kelce involving in the beginning of the game and the one against Jalen [Mills] later in the game [on Chris Conley’s 35-yard reception with 4:42 left to play].

The Birds' defense held their own with a number of deeper roster guys in the secondary putting in impressive efforts in fill-in rolls for players who went down with injuries. 

The standings in the East are bunched after just two weeks but the Eagles host the Giants in Philly's home opener on Sunday. Jenkins likes the way things looks right about now.

“We’re home this week and we have the home opener, we have plenty of motivation this week with the New York Giants coming to our place,” Jenkins said. “If you ask me, I would say that we’re the team to beat [in the NFC East]. We obviously we have to prove that. I have confidence in these guys.”

I think Philly fans always appreciate when any player in town goes the Full Jimmy Rollins. Let's just hope this Eagles team can back it up the way J-Roll and those Phillies did.