New York Giants: The Team's 2014 Final Report Card
After going 7-9 in 2013, the New York Giants made major changes to the roster, replaced a retiring offensive coordinator in Kevin Gilbride with Ben McAdoo and drafted a speedy receiver name Odell Beckham, Jr.
For the many changes this team made in 2014, the Giants still posted a 6-10 record and missed the playoffs again. That is five times in the last six years – off you are playing along at home.
This is the year where the Giants must show improvement or it could be the last in New York for team head coach Tom Coughlin. The blue collar attitude and work ethic the team has been synonymous with that has produced two Super Bowl titles since 2007 may be wearing thin on the management and the fan base that wants a contender and wants it now.
As the team settled into a new offense and learned how to adjust – mainly going through growing pains last year and waiting for their stud receiver to recover from injury, Eli Manning and his Giants looked small to most last season. When he was on the playing field, Beckham had one of the best seasons of any rookie player to ever put on a set of pads and cleats. The Giants are looking for more of that this coming season.
If you look at it from Dan Graziano’s point of view, the ESPN.com writer said the Giants had two three-game win streaks. Their quarterback cut his interception total nearly in half from last year. And they might well have the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year.
But what the Giants didn't have was enough success -- not nearly enough.
Now that Dallas is at the top of the NFC East, Washington is fishing to get out of the bottom of the division and Philadelphia may not be as good as its 10-6 record from last season, this needs to be the year New York shows it is “Giants Strong.”
This is a look at the team’s final report card from 2014.
When the preseason started, Eli Manning sounded more like a spoiled child who did not get what he wanted for Christmas. The other Manning, with two Super Bowl rings, had to relearn an offense, wait on his star receiver and learn to be more patient with his new teammates.
What started out slow became a bounce back season for Manning. Thanks to the emergence of rookie Odell Beckham and a strong statistical bounce-back season from quarterback Eli Manning, the Giants finished in the top half of the league in yards and points per game.
GRADE – C-
The only thing we can say is the team’s pass rush improved as the season wore on. A lot of that had to do with the Giants playing against teams that were not in playoff contention in the final month of the season.
They allowed 30.9 points per game against teams that finished with winning records. That is unacceptable by any team playing in this league. And if you really want to know how the season went for the Giants, that stat alone tells the story.
GRADE - D
This may have been one of Coughlin’s toughest. He had to adjust like everyone else to the new offense, get on the same page with Ben McAdoo, keep the ship sailing and hope Eli Manning did not cause a mutiny at first going.
The offense did progress but not by much. As Graziano said, “It was clearly a rebuilding year. Still, the Giants finished one game worse than last season. They had one win against a team with a winning record and went 0-7 against teams that made the playoffs. They deserved to be counted among the league's worst teams.”
That is certainly enough for the natives – and management – to get restless. This coming season is pivotal to the success of the franchise.
GRADE – D
OVERALL GRADE - D