Defense Important to New York Giants Postseason Hopes

Could the New York Giants make the playoffs in 2016, or will their trend of falling apart during the regular season continue? The last time the Giants made the playoffs, back in 2011, they went on to win Super Bowl XLVI over the New England Patriots by the score of 21-17. Since then, however, the Giants have gone 28-36 during the regular season, including 6-10 each of the past two seasons. The failures put an end to the Tom Coughlin era.

Defense Important to New York Giants Postseason Hopes

During Coughlin’s reign (2004-2015) as the Giants head coach, he compiled a record of 102-90 (second in victories behind Steve Owen with 153). This included six playoff appearances in twelve seasons, along with two Super Bowl victories. New York defeated the Patriots (in 2007 and 2011 seasons) to win those two Super Bowls.

Following the 2015 NFL season, Coughlin felt the need to resign as the Giants head coach. He did so to save the organization the embarrassment of having to fire him. The Giants replaced him with offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, whose work ethic and offensive rapport with quarterback Eli Manning made his hiring a no-brainer. Another reason for McAdoo’s hiring was the stability and continuity that he has instilled in the offense, which has allowed Manning to continue in an offense that has seen him flourish over the past two seasons. The two-time Super Bowl MVP is coming off his best statistical season, leading many experts to believe that Manning has an excellent opportunity to compete for the league MVP in 2016. If the Giants expect to make the postseason in 2016, Manning will have to continue to play well. But the unit on the other side of the ball must drastically improve in 2016 if the Giants want to make the playoffs.

Giants Defense Must Improve in 2016

The one area of the Giants that has hurt the team year in and year out is the defensive unit. For defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, this might be a make or break season for the coach players call Spags.

Spagnuolo took over the Giants defense once again in 2015. His considerable knowledge of defensive schemes was of almost no use last season, when the Giants defense finished last in total yards, passing yards and third down conversion percentage allowed. The G Men’s defense also gave up more than 420 yards per game while recording a paltry 23 sacks. For New York to be successful in 2016 they have to drastically improve in all of those defensive categories.

Given the fact that the Giants defense was unable to make stops when it mattered the most, or even apply occasional pressure on opposing teams, Giants general manager Jerry Reese went on a spending spree to upgrade their diminishing defense. He signed defensive end, Oliver Vernon, to a five-year, $85 million deal, defensive tackle, Damon Harrisonto a five-year, $46 million deal and cornerback, Janoris Jenkinsto a five-year, $62.5 million deal.

Spagnuolo and the Giants hope their signings are enough to help strengthen a defense that lacked the ability to apply pressure at all last season. Many Giants fans, as well as their players, feel Spagnuolo is a defensive guru who can help propel the Giants defensive unit just as he did in their Super Bowl XLII  victory in 2007.

Conclusion

There’s no reason why the Giants can’t make the playoffs or even win the NFC East in 2016. New York has a shot to accomplish either or both of those goals, as long as the revamped defense displays vast improvements in its aggressiveness and ability to get to opposing quarterbacks and Eli Manning keeps trending upwards in McAdoo’s offense.

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