Giants Off-Season Plans Should Include Matt Forte

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30-year old running backs have never been players highly coveted in free agency unless they’re quarter backs.  This off-season, the New York football Giants should make an exception and go after Matt Forte to be their running back next season.

Forte has been the one of the most used running back in the league over the last few years. In 2014 alone, he not only rushed the ball 266 times, but  caught 102 passes as well. Forte has only missed eight games in eight seasons, so for you math majors out there, one game per year.

The Giants have zero stability in their backfield. Rashad Jennings came into the season the clear favorite, with Andre Williams likely to vulture carries, and Shane Vereen coming in on most passing downs. That has now transformed into a four running back rotation with the addition of Orleans Darkwa, who may be the best of the four.

 

Here’s a breakdown of all four Giants backs:

  • Rashad Jennings: 116 carries, 431 yards, 3.7 YPC, one touchdown
  • Shane Vereen: 51 carries, 216 yards, 4.2 YPC, zero touchdown’s
  • Andre Williams: 71 carries, 202 yards, 2.8 YPC, one touchdown
  • Orleans Darkwa: 33 carries, 134 yards, 4.1 YPC, one touchdown

Now here’s Forte at 30 (Note: He missed three games):

  • Matt Forte: 181 carries, 721 yards, 4.0 YPC, four touchdowns

Now, let’s not forget how well both Vereen and Forte catch the ball out of the backfield. The stats they’ve accumulated on the ground is only a small sliver of what they do as a whole.

Some of you are going to ask “what about Vereen? He and Forte are similar players.” I completely disagree. Sure, they are both fantastic catching passes out of the backfield. Both block well (enough) for their respective QB’s to have time to get rid of the ball. But Vereen can’t run in-between the tackles and grind out yards like Forte can and has every year of his career.

If Forte is signed, that means you would obviously have to dispose of one or two of the current running backs on the team. First one to go is Andre Williams. He has no side-to-side quickness and has one ability and that’s running north. That obviously hasn’t been much of a skill either as he’s only averaging 2.8 yards per carry. He can’t catch the ball AT ALL, so when he’s in the game, teams can put eight in the box because they know his only use is running straight ahead. Second one to go would be Rashad Jennings. Jennings is a skilled back, but if you bring in Forte, he’s too costly to have as nothing more than a backup. Plus, the Giants don’t use him nearly as much as they should.

That would leave the team with Matt Forte, Orleans Darkwa, and Shane Vereen. Two of the three are very good pass catchers, and Darkwa has shown the ability to be the featured back if anything were to happen to Forte.

There have been plenty of backs that have reached 1,000-plus yards at 30 or older. 47 times in fact, including Adrian Peterson just this season. All 47 times, it’s been done by someone of noteworthy status, exactly what Forte is.

I’m not saying give Forte a 3-4 year deal, but two years in New York could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Eli loves pass catching running-backs and who better than one who’s caught 100 passes in a single season. Forte is an all-around stud in the backfield. It’s the perfect fit and I hope the Giants will look at it and ultimately sign Forte for the next couple of seasons.

Facets Focus: Who Covers, Who Doesn’t, NFL Week 1

NFL Sunday is BACK! Here are our week one picks!

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Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears (+5.0) –> Packers

Cutler is 1-10 versus the Pack in his career and let’s face it, the Bears aren’t a very good team. Even without the footballing farmer for the year, look for the leagues best QB to torch the bears defense week one.

Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets (-3.5) –> Jets

Both teams are improved from a year ago, but the Jets happened to bring back their own personal island. I think it’s called Revis Island. I expect Darrelle to have a BIG first game back with New York. Don’t sleep on Ryan Fitzpatrick, who seems to always be under the radar.

Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams (+3.5) –> Rams

The defending NFC champs are coming back from an insanely difficult Super Bowl loss and I do expect them to win this game. That being said, it will be a close game in which the Rams cover the spread. The Rams seemingly play the Hawks tough often and I don’t expect it to change today.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans (-1.0) –> Chiefs

JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney are finally taking the field together and will be giving Alex Smith trouble all afternoon. But Alex Smith finally has some wide-receiver on the outside, Jeremy Maclin, that will actually catch a touchdown pass which will open up the running game for Jamaal Charles. Chiefs by a touchdown.

Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Redskins (+3.5) –> Dolphins

The Fins have A LOT of offensive weapons coming into the season and are my sleeper pick of the season. The Skins are starting turnover prone Kirk Cousins who will be seeing a lot of the Miami defensive line in his backfield. He may need to put a lawsuit against them, he may need to Suh.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills (+1.5) –> Colts

This just in: The Colts have a running game to help out Andrew Luck! Frank Gore is going to do wonders on the ground, but maybe even importantly, he’s going to do wonders for the offense as a whole. I like Tyrod Taylor and I think he’ll succeed but will be outdone by Luck and the Colts.

Carolina Panthers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) –> Jaguars

I really like what Jacksonville has done the past few years with their franchise and I think it will begin to show in 2015-2016. Losing Kelvin Benjamin hurts Cam A LOT as his weapons continue to dwindle form year to year. Look for a big game from Blake Bortles & TJ Yeldon. Jags by a field goal.

Detroit Lions vs. San Diego Chargers (-3.0) –> Chargers

Losing Suh flat-out hurts. No way around it. A healthy Calvin Johnson should mean big things to come for the Lions offense but not in week one in San Diego where Rivers and his big new shiny contract will torch the Lions secondary for 350+ passing yards.

New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) –> Cardinals

A healthy Carson Palmer is the biggest thing for the Cardinals. Cards were 6-0 with him at the helm in 2014, 5-5 without him. The Saints had a load of changes on both sides of the ball and I expect it to take a few weeks for them to gel. Cards by 4.

Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.0) –> Bucs

Sure it’s Titans vs. Bucs and sure there are 50+ other players on each roster, but today it’s about the two top picks in this years draft; Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. A fun week one match-up for teams that won’t be very good going forward. Look for Jameis to prevail over Mariota, like he did in the draft.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos (-4.5) –> Broncos

Last year we saw what Peyton did to the Ravens defense during week one and I expect something of that again. SUre it’s a different offense under new coach Gary Kubiak but Peyton will be Peyton as always. A double-digit win for the Broncos who will score a few touchdowns on the ground with CJ Anderson

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Oakland Raiders (+3.0) –> Bengals

The Raiders have a YOUNG and exciting offense coming into this season. They also have two pass rushers, now that they’ve recently signed Aldon Smith to play on the other side of last years first round pick Khalil Mack, that can do some serious damage. That being said, it may take some time to gain some cohesiveness, Bengals by 10.

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys (+6.5) –> Giants

The always exciting divisional match-up is looking like it will be an offensive affair. Dallas is happy to have star linebacker Sean Lee back but the six and half spread is a daunting task to pull off for Dallas. They may and probably will win the game, but if they do it’ll be by a field goal.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons (+3.0) –> Eagles

Chip Kelly has some new toys to play with in the form of Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, and Nelson Agholar and they’ll be in flight on Monday night. Look for a huge output for the Eagles. The three-point spread is an easy pick, Philly BIG.

Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers (+2.5) –> Vikings

No Borland, Smith x2, Willis. Minnesota gets AP back. BLOWOUT.

Troy Polamalu has some free time for Hair Product now….

Today news broke that one of the most recognizable faces in the NFL had retired. Twelve year veteran, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has announced his retirement from the NFL. While I was expecting him to retire soon,  I wasn’t quite sure it would be this soon. Polamalu quickly became recognized as a force to be reckoned with, that just happened to have the type of hair that was perfect for shampoo commercials. While he gained much of his notoriety in his earlier stages of his career as a fearless safety who was never afraid to use his head, his play noticeably declined in the later years. While his skill became less and less noticeable (although he still showed flashes), we must not forget some of the factors that have cemented his NFL legacy, and his Pittsburgh Steelers legacy. Here are a few accomplishments of one of the NFL’s most recognizable faces of the past decade.

– 8 time NFL Pro Bowler

– 2 time Superbowl Champion (XL, XLIII)

– NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2010)

– 5 time All Pro

While these are just a few of his impressive statistics, this loss goes deeper than performance. Over the past years he has been a fearless leader on the field. His decision may have come as surprise to many fans, and while this may be the case he did what he felt was right. Polamalu spent 12 years in Pittsburgh, but his presence wont soon be forgotten. While the Troy Polamalu era has ended the time has come for the Steelers to find a new defensive leader is upon us.

Chip Kelly’s Newest Prize: DeMarco Murray

NFL Free Agency got underway at 4 PM on Tuesday of this week and it started off with a bang. No team in the NFL has had a free agency quite like that of the Philadelphia Eagles. The beginning of the former Oregon Ducks Coach’s reign as a GM started off with a few moves that sent shock waves around the league. The first move was trading superstar running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for promising young ILB, Kiko Alonso. This was just the beginning of a flurry of moves that Chip would make. Some of those other moves include cutting Trent Cole, Cary Williams, and longtime Guard Todd Herremans. He wasn’t done, the next wave of shocking moves came in the following days. The first of the two moves was letting Jeremy Maclin walk in free agency. The receiver will line up in Kansas City next year with his former head coach Andy Reid. Following this the Eagles performed a QB swap with the Rams, trading Nick Foles, while acquiring Sam Bradford.

Many of these moves left Eagles fans confused, and concerned. One of the largest questions, if not the largest looming over the head of the Eagles about 48 hours ago was “Who is going to replace Shady?”. The answer might surprise you. It seems as though Chip Kelly had a plan all along. Chip didn’t leave Eagles fans waiting long, he went out and got Ryan Mathews to agree to a 3 year/$12 million dollar deal. Surely you would assume with the addition of the hard running, yet oft hurt Ryan Mathews with the electric 2014 Pro Bowler Darren Sproles,as well as promising young Chris Polk, Chip Kelly has his backfield set. This is where Chip’s unpredictability hit an all time high. Even after Mathews had agreed to terms Kelly still had someone one his radar who also had mutual interest in reuniting with his former college QB. Enter reigning 2014 rushing champ: DeMarco Murray.

At first glance many, like myself figured this was something that would die off quickly. I mean why wouldn’t it? Chip had already gone out and acquired Mathews who many considered right behind Murray as the best free agent running back. Surely enough like most of my assumptions have gone with the unpredictable Philly off-season I was Wrong. Yesterday about mid day it was mentioned that talks between the Eagles and the former Cowboy had begun to gain traction. Later in the day I received a notification saying that DeMarco Murray would be flying to Philadelphia this morning with “intent to sign” (per Adam Schefter). The Eagles made magic happen this morning when DeMarco Murray agreed to a 5 year/ 42 Million dollar deal with 22 million guaranteed. Now lets take a look at why it happened, if it makes sense, and what the All Pro running back brings to the city of brotherly love.

Why it Happened:

The Cowboys had a choice to make following the season. The choice was whether they applied the franchise tag to their superstar RB at the time (DeMarco Murray), or their superstar receiver, Dez Bryant. The Cowboys went ahead did what most would do and slapped Dez with the franchise tag. This meant that if the Cowboys were to retain Murray they would have to negotiate a contract with the tailback. Once other teams found out about Murray as a free agent they were willing to open up their pocket books. The teams who ended up pursuing Murray were the Cowboys, Eagles, Raiders, and Jaguars. As time went on, it was brought down to the Cowboys, Eagles, and Raiders, with the Jags falling to the wayside. Ultimately it came down to the Eagles and the Cowboys, although the Raiders reportedly offered Murray the most money. The Cowboys offered 5 million per yer and held firm on this, which allowed the Eagles to up the bid to around 8 million annually, and steal the division rival off of Jerry Jones squad. Another major reason behind the signing of Murray was the constant texts/calls new Eagles acquisition Sam Bradford sent to get him to join. Oh yeah it probably helps that Murray and Bradford were teammates/room mates at Oklahoma, where they ran a similar offense. Makes sense.

Does it Make Sense:

When looking at if this move makes sense it all comes down to Chip Kelly. When the Eagles traded LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso they shed around 12 million dollars in cap space and acquired Alonso, a former Oregon Duck who if healthy, can be a star for years to come. With the addition of Murray for around 8 million annually, plus the addition of Alonso, and Mathews  the Eagles are right around the number it would have cost to pay McCoy. By himself. So in this aspect it makes sense. According to Chip his goal was to get two backs to replace Shady and sure enough he did. If you were to tell me 48 hours ago it would be DeMarco Murray along with Ryan Mathews, I would have laughed in your face. Kelly essentially pulled a 1 for 3 financially by trading away Shady, and acquiring Murray, Mathews, and Kiko Alonso. Smart. The Eagles now have what many would regard as the best backfield in the NFL with DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, and Darren Sproles. Murray and Mathews are considered number one options, and Sproles is more of a element of surprise back who still earned a Pro Bowl bid last season.

What Murray Brings:

On paper it looks pretty good. The reigning NFL rushing champion is coming off his best statistical year with 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns. On top of this he had the seventh most touches ever in a season by a running back with 392 (per pro football reference.) Shady is absolutely and elite back, but so is Murray in a different way. While Shady is shifty, and more of an east to west runner, DeMarco is more up Chips alley as a North to South runner. Murray brings fresh look to a backfield that has hosted incredible running backs such as LeSean McCoy, and Brian Westbrook. One concern is that last season was the only season he has played all 16 games in his career, so he could be an injury concern. But when you consider the depth the Eagles now have at running back, him going down wouldn’t completely decimate their chances at all. Granted Murray is figured to get significantly less touches as he shares a backfield with Sproles, and Mathews, he will still be the primary back so there is nothing to fear Eagles Fans.

Chip Kelly has been all over the place this off-season. More “out of the air” moves have been made during by the Eagles recently than I can ever remember seeing. Chip has no problem dealing with big names, as he has traded/cut/let walk some of the most popular faces to wear midnight green in the last ten years. Today he showed that works both ways as he adds reigning rushing champ DeMarco Murray to an already impressive Eagles backfield, which has many Eagles fans second guessing whether they should have tweeted all those nasty things about him a couple of days ago. Hmmmmm.

Big Blue’s Day One of Free Agency

Free Agency started like horses out of the gate at the Kentucky Derby. There were three trades nobody expected to happen including big name players that weren’t really attached to trade rumors. The three trades didn’t include the New York Football Giants but Jerry Reese had a busy day, nevertheless.

The Giants signed five players, not including Jon Beason restructuring his contract to allow the Giants more wiggle room. The five signings they made were:

1 VEREEN

Shane Vereen was the prize signing on day one. Vereen got a three year deal worth $12.3 MIL, $4.5 of it guaranteed from NYG. Vereen is a dream come true for Ben McAdoo and Eli Manning. Eli hasn’t had this type of pass-catching running back since Ahmad Bradshaw and Vereen is going to see a lot of screens and quick routes called in by McAdoo. Just last year Vereen had 52 catches compared to the entire Giants running-back’s group 62. He had 467 receiving yards and three touchdowns while the Giants core had 469 yards and a goose egg. Pairing him up with Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, McAdoo will have a lot of fun changing formations, switching the three backs in and out of games, keeping legs fresh.

1 JT THOMAS

J.T. Thomas, a MLB from Jacksonville received a three year deal, like Vereen for $10 MIL, $4.5 MIL guaranteed. He’s mostly been a backup for the early stages of his career, but he had a lot of success starting 10 games for the Jags in 2014. He played all 16 games, starting 10, and had 84 tackles, two interceptions, five pass deflections and forced two fumbles. It’s interesting to see going forward if this signing, along with the Casillas one, make Jameel McClain more expendable. Jameel lead the G-Men in tackles in 2014 but with only one year left on his deal, New York may have signed these LB’s with the thought of letting McClain loose.

1 DWAYNE HARRIS

Dwayne Harris was the one contract I was originally not very happy with but I’ve begin to lighten up the more I’ve read and learned it. That contact ended up being five years for $17.5 MIL with $7.1 MIL of it being fully guaranteed. Harris really is a special team extraordinaire. He kick-returns, punt-returns and is a gunner too boot. It keeps Odell Beckham Jr. off the field from a potential return injury and improves the Giants horrendous special teams play which has lasted for what seems like all of Tom Coughlin’s tenure. Not to mention, he plays wide-receiver and see an increase of snaps for the Giants if Cruz doesn’t return fully healthy from injury.

1 JON CASILLAS

Another special team stud Jonathan Casillas was brought in by Jerry Reese today, again on a three-year deal and could be worth up to $10.5 MIL. Casillas specialty is coverage and bringing him and Harris in should keep DeSean Jackson in check twice a year. Like Harris, special teams isn’t the only thing Casillas can bring to the table. Being an outside line-backer, he may be the replacement to Jaquan Williams who wasn’t brought back by NYG.

1 MARSH NEWHOUSE

Last but not least, was depth added to the offensive line in the form of Marshall Newhouse. Just a two year deal for $1 MIL guaranteed and could make up to $3.25 MIL. Newhouse, who was once a starter in Green Bay, has settled into more of a backup role the past two seasons only starting seven games. Three of NYG’s backup linemen from 2014 are free agents so bringing in the young, once-upon-a-time starter isn’t such a bad idea by Big Blue.

The common denominator in all of the signings the Giants made today? Youth. Ages of new Giants are Shane Vereen (26), J.T. Thomas (26), Dwayne Harris (27), Jonathan Casillas (27), and Marshall Newhouse (26).

New York addressed some of it’s needs for the day and didn’t address others. There two primary targets at safety, which they desperately need, Rahim Moore and Ron Parker are still available. They’ll likely attack day two knowing they need some help in their secondary but for all of us fans, we’re going to actually have to wait until tomorrow to find out!

Eagles And Bills Did Some Business Together: Who Was The Winner?

We’ve brought in @zach_mason33 as a contributor on this piece as to who we think was the winner and who was the loser. Thanks Zach for offering your opinion on the matter.

 @Zach_Mason33: Winner – 1 BUFFALO

As you have heard by now the Eagles or should I say head coach Chip Kelly has come to an agreement to send LeSean “Shady” McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for the third-year linebacker Kiko Alonso who may I mention missed his entire sophomore season with an ACL tear, the second in his football career.

Some may see this trade as pointless or Coach Kelly just trying to get Oregon players to Philadelphia and you may be correct. Look, this trade will pay off in the long run for Kelly and the Eagles. Coach Kelly is inserting players in his system that know what they are doing as we can all see the Eagles roster now consist of nine players that played for Chip Kelly during his tenure at Oregon. Now you may be asking why trade Shady McCoy? Why not is the real question. In Chip Kelly’s system, a running back isn’t entirely “important.” What he mainly needs is a mobile quarterback and quick wide-outs. The Eagles are trying to solidify that defense, which is ideal if the Eagles want to make a serious run towards the Super Bowl. Getting a player like Alonso who is a young stud on defense was key it was a necessary move because of the recent departure of two time pro-bowl outside linebacker Trent Cole, so landing like Alonso will fill a huge void.

Shady on the other hand is not too happy about the trade and he has played his entire football career in Pennsylvania; played at the University of Pittsburgh prior to being drafted by the Eagles. As we can imagine he is distraught but its something that he shouldn’t take to heart. The NFL is a business as much as it is a game and all Shady can do is bring his talents to Buffalo and show Philly what they are missing. He needs to use this as motivation not a reason to stop working.

In the end I believe that the Buffalo Bills got the better end of this trade they get a reliable force on the offensive side of the ball, that is much needed. while the Philadelphia Eagles get a linebacker that is trying to come back from yet another ACL injury.

@The_Real_Grande: Winner – 1 EAGLES

So losing a 26 year old that has over 3,500 total yards in the past two seasons isn’t ideal. That being said, it doesn’t hurt that you save around $9 MIL in cap space and get one of the brightest young linebackers in the game.

Yes, Kiko is coming off his second career ACL tear, but these days with the help of surgery, players seems to come back stronger after it’s torn. He had 159 tackles, 4 picks and 2 sacks all during his rookie year. The Eagles released a lot of old faces on their defense and are seemingly going to spend all the money they have in cap room on the defensive end. We know Chip’s offense will successful no matter the personnel, exactly why stocking up on the opposite side of the ball seems like the best plan to get to the championship for Philly.

There are a handful of guys Philly can look into signing. My personal opinion would be Justin Forsett. He ran the spread running attack in Baltimore just last year so he wouldn’t have to change schemes at all. Losing Shady could really help Philly address other needs that need to be addressed after missing the postseason in 2013-2014.

At the end of the day, you can argue Philly lost their best player but they nabbed an elite-talent linebacker and opened up a ton of cap space they can use to acquire pieces they need, as I’ve mentioned. If you’re a Philly fan, there is nothing else you can do other then to trust in what Chip Kelly is doing for he future of the organization.

Who do YOU think will be the winner of this trade, long term?

The Tag Dez Should Have Never Received

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The game that we have all come to know and love has become a business as much as it is a game. The largest, most lucrative deals are being handed out to athletes all around the sporting universe. But, as the deadline was approaching on Monday afternoon for all franchises to place franchise tags on a certain unrestricted free agent they had, Dez Bryant was one of the players who was placed with the tag. Dez is the best player on Dallas’ roster and he should have been paid as such.

The 26 year old could quite possibly be the best wide-out in football going forward. He’s coming off a monster season which saw him lead in touchdowns (16), and top-ten finishes in yards, first downs, yards per game, etc. He’s improved his touchdown total each of his first five seasons and it’s clear it’s completely the opposite in regards to all the off-the-field stuff that came with Dez when he first arrived in Dallas.

Franchising Dez was the wrong decision. Regardless of this one year deal, someone is going to hand Bryant a blank check for him to fill out himself. Something Dallas should have absolutely done. Sure he’ll be playing for almost $13 MIL in 2015-2016, $12.82 MIL to be exact, but real incentive will he be playing with? How many balls over the middle will Dez lay out for as he has in the past? Why risk injury when a contract offer as massive as Calvin Johnson got could be on the way. Like DeSean Jackson and Randy Moss before him, risking injury after being smacked with the franchise tag is doubtful.

Dealing with the petty sideline rants and comments X makes, he’s a guy Tony Romo would like to see smiling. How certain can we be Dez is happy with not getting a contract he and everyone else knows he deserves. Sure Dez got paid. $13 Mil for one season is no joke. But he should have a long-term extension and if Jerry World doesn’t address that after this off-season it’s going to be a mistake he and the organization are going to regret for a long time. Bank on it.

Facets Player(s) of the Night: The Dallas Cowboys

1DALLAS

“America’s team” is headed to the playoffs thanks to a DOMINATING performance against a playoff bound Colts team. Offense, defense, special teams, Dallas practically played a flawless game.

Tony Romo pitched a perfect game throwing four touchdowns and only having two incompletions. A personal record fifteen straight completions in the midst of all of it had the Dallas offense looking like it wasn’t playing against a defense.

The running game didn’t pick up many yards per carry, but it still ended up having a 127 yard afternoon. DeMarco Murray stomached much of the burden and didn’t find much room to run, but still squeezed a touchdown out of the day, helping out fantasy owners across the globe.

Four different receivers caught a touchdown pass. Terrance Williams caught two of them, one from Brandon Weeden’s only pass attempt of the afternoon. Dez threw up the ‘X’ for a career best fourteenth time this season, which happens to lead the league, also.

The biggest story, might have been the Cowboys defense. I would, however, like to point out even the best QB’s in the world struggle without their deep-threat wide outs. Like everyone knows, that deep threat that was absent would be T.Y. Hilton. But let’s get back to the unit that allowed a mere ONE rushing yard, picked off Andrew Luck twice during the worst game of his professional career.

Dallas is headed to the playoffs, after three consecutive 8-8 seasons. They’re a completely different team than they have been the past few seasons. They’re complete and don’t act surprised if they make a run in the postseason.

Light at the End of the Tunnel for the Giants: 2015

As we sit here examining the four win New York ‘Football’ Giants nobody in there right mind thinks they’re a good team. There isn’t any real justification for it, honestly. That being said, there have been a few positives, positives in the form of guys like Odell Beckham Jr. and Devon Kennard.DEVON KENNARD

OBJr

Four win teams rarely have positives to look at. The Giants, do. Twenty players on injured reserve on one team is a lot. A whole lot. In fact it’s most in the entire National Football League. So looking forward to getting them back is absolutely one of the positives going forward. Guys like Prince Amukamara who was having a career year, Walter Thurmond, Victor Cruz will all be returning to full strength next year.

The two biggest impacts have been made by two rookies. Odell Beckham Jr. is a name that every sports fan across the country, more than likely the world, knows. Besides the fact he made one of the greatest catches in NFL history, he’s had six straight games of 90 or more yards. During this six game stretch that he’s currently in, he’s had six or more catches in each and Eli Manning has targeted him 68 times which is only nine less than the NFL’s leader in targets, Antonio Brown. He’s scored three touchdowns during that time and has put in every and any situation allowing him to flourish. Ben McAdoo and the Giants offense have used him in backfield, on reverses, punt returns and this pass week he threw a 50 yard bomb into the end-zone that fell incomplete. But, as previously stated he’s not the only rookie with a bright future. Devon Kennard has done a little of everything lately. The 5th-round draft pick out of USC has been showing out and proving why the Giants search for a strong-side linebacker may be over. Following a 3 tackle, 2 sack performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he played a flawless game against Tennessee. He record another 2 sacks, had 6 tackles, Kennard had 2 tackles for losses and he forced a fumble.

DEVON KENNARD 2 OBJr 2

2015 will have a chance for the Giants to have a very quality squad. If Jon Beason returns to the middle of the defense, the chance of a line-backing core persisting of Beason, Kennard, and Jameel McClain is really promising. Including the returns of DRC’s two secondary mates, the aforementioned Prince Amukamara and Walter Thurmond III, the Giants have a lot of promise on the defensive side of the ball.

On the other side of the ball, there will be question marks headed into the off-season. These questions mainly surrounding the offensive-line. But through the high draft-pick New York will have in the upcoming draft, and free agency that will feature some good offensive linemen, the future protecting our franchise QB and high upside backfield duo in Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in 2015.

NFL Week 13 Power Rankings

1. New England Patriots (9-2)

Seven straight wins, five of them by twenty or more, four in a row by twenty or more, The Pats top our rankings and more than likely everyone’s for that matter. The addition of LaGarrette Blount gives them a three-headed rushing attack which has been on fire of late. New England has the second best turnover differential in the NFL and that is a good recipe for success. What recipe you ask? Getting Tom Brady and New England’s NFL leading offense the ball as much as possible.

2. Green Bay Packers (8-3)

Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson and the boys are clicking on all cylinders. They’re second in the league in points per game, 31.5, The one team in front of New England in turnover differential happens to be the Pack. With Detroit in flux and losing two straight, Green Bay have taken control of their division and are poised to run away with it.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (8-3)

Maybe the most interesting team in the entire power rankings. No team has ever lead the league in turnovers and won a Super Bowl and yet, here we are headed into Week 13 and Philly is sitting atop the NFC East. Philly’s defense and special teams ability to score touchdowns has been the bread and butter of the this team. They have EIGHT touchdowns on defense and special teams and coming into the season we thought Chip Kelly’s offense would be what we’re talking about when we talk about the Eagles. Oh yeah, they’re pretty good too.

4. Denver Broncos (8-3)

The Broncos have had an quite a roller coaster over the past four games. Their offense is still top tier and will be as long as number 18 is at the helm. They’ve also had the second best run defense in football only allowing 75 yards per game. They have a relatively tough remaining schedule, the up and down Broncos better figure it out soon, they’re only one game ahead of Kansas City and San Diego.

5. Arizona Cardinals (9-2)

You would think a 9-2 team who’s 6-0 at home would get more love. Seeing how that same team lost their starting QB and play in what’s known as the toughest division in football, we’re not too sure how this Cards team ends up. Three of there final five games.are division opponents and Drew Stanton has three turnovers in the last two games replacing Palmer. One of the better defenses in all of football has sustained a ton of injuries and although their secondary flys around, I wonder how long they can keep this division lead without a very good quarterback to keep them off the field.

6. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)

DeMarco Murray and the Dallas offense hasn’t slowed a step, like everyone thought they would. They have the best offensive-line in football, which has allowed this offense to blossom. Two of the next three games are against the Eagles so there is a very good chance the division winner could be ultimately be decided three weeks from now.

7. Seattle Seahawks (7-4)

Lose Golden Tate this off-season? Trade away Percy Harvin mid season? No problem, Seattle will just be the top rushing team in the NFL averaging 170 yards per game. Their defense hasn’t lost a step as there sixth in pass defense and third stopping the run. Seattle has an extremely tough five game stretch to end their season. Let’s see how the defending champs prevail.

8. San Francisco 49ers (7-4)

Three wins in a row have the 49ers back in the hunt for the NFC West crown. Frisco has looked great defensively as one of the best rookies in football, Chris Borland, has been playing on an all pro level. The one-two punch of Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde has worked but Kaepernick is going to need to be consistent throwing the ball if they want to do damage in there next five games, four of which, are against opponents with a winning record.

9. Detroit Lions (7-4)

Two losses in a row has dropped the Lions down the rankings quite a bit, but they still make it into our top ten. Their defense had been the best in football until this past weekend when they gave up 34 points to the Patriots; the first time they’ve allowed more than 23 points during a game. Matt Stafford has weapons all over the place so it’s about time he and his offense gets on the right track.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1)

With the emergence of Jeremy Hill and a healthy Giovanni Bernard, the Bengals have the best two-headed attack in the backfield. Cincy is getting healthy at the right time and that could be dangerous for any opposing team. They have as many weapons as any other team in football but health and inconsistent play from the quarterback and defensive positions have been a huge letdown. They control their own destiny as they’re in the division lead and have a meeting with Pittsburgh week 17.