The 2014 season was one of the most disappointing seasons in the history of the New York Giants. They finished the season 6-10 which was the team’s worst record since 2004, and they had a rash of injuries.
However, there are several reasons why Giants fans should be optimistic that the Giants will return to prominence in 2015.
Here’s a look at 5 reasons to be optimistic about the Giants in 2015.
Unlikely to have 22 players end up on Injured Reserve
Last season the Giants led the NFL with most players ending up on injured reserve, with 22 players. Many of these were to key players such as Victor Cruz, Jon Beason, Prince Amukamara, Mathias Kiwanuka and Walter Thurmond III. In addition to the players that were lost for the year, other key Giants such as running back Rashad Jennings and guard Geoff Schwartz missed significant time due to injuries.
Now injuries are a part of the game. However, it’s unfathomable to think that the Giants would be hit with the injury bug in 2015 as they were in 2014. A healthier team will be a better team, so from this stand point alone, you can expect the Giants to be better.
Odell Beckham Jr
The Giants knew they had a special talent when they took Odell Beckham Jr. with their first pick in the 2014 draft. But no one could have imagined what a phenomenal season Beckham would have. In playing in just 12 games this season, Beckham had 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns which earned him the Rookie of The Year.
Not only did he win the Rookie of The Year, but at the NFL Honors award show he also won the play of the year with his remarkable one handed touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys. Already regarded as one of the best receivers in the league, fans are excited about what he will do in his second year in the NFL. It’s a known fact that players make their biggest strides from year one to year two. Having been unstoppable in his rookie season, defensive coordinators will be up all night trying to contain Beckham in his second season.
The Return of Victor Cruz
October 12th was a disastrous day for the Giants. Their three game winning streak came to an end as they were soundly defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles 27-0 and worst of all, they lost receiver Victor Cruz for the year with a torn patella tendon.
An injury such as this can be a career threatening injury or hamper an athlete the rest of his career. However, doctors have indicated that Cruz is ahead of schedule and will begin running later this month. It’s too early to predict what level we can expect Cruz to be for the 2015 season, but all signs indicate that he will be ready for training camp.
With the emergence of Odell Beckham Jr., Cruz will not be the teams’ number one receiving option next year. If Cruz can come back close to what he was prior to his injury, then the Giants will have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL with Odell Beckham Jr, Rueben Randle and Cruz. The last time they had receivers this talented was four years ago when they won Super Bowl XLVI.
The Return of Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator
After firing Perry Fewell who was the teams’ defensive coordinator for the past five seasons, the Giants replaced him with former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo was the teams’ defensive coordinator from 2007-2008 and helped them defeat the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
In his first stint with the Giants, he quickly formed the Giants defense into one of the best in the NFL as the Giants led the NFL in sacks in 2007. The Giants will need him to revitalize a Giants defense which last year finished 29th in total defense. If he can at the very least get the Giants to be in the middle of the pack in total defense, the Giants stand a good chance to be in the playoffs this year.
De Ja Blue
There has been a pattern for the Giants under the Tom Coughlin Eli Manning era. Every four years they’ve been with the Giants, they win a Super Bowl. This was the case in 2007, 2011 and Giants fans are hoping this holds true in 2015
This might be a stretch for some, but in addition to winning every four years there are other similarities between the upcoming season and the Giants two recent Super Bowl runs. For one, they play the AFC East during the regular season which is the division they played in 2007 and 2011. Another is the job status of Tom Coughlin. In 2007 & 201, there was an uncertainty about the future of Coughlin. Now that Coughlin is in the last year of his contract, there’s more uncertainty now than ever and the emphasis of winning has never been greater.
So if you’re a fan of the Giants, you should feel confident an optimistic about the team’s chances in 2015. Whether they win a Super Bowl or not we’ll have to see, but rest assured, 2015 will be much better than 2014.